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Wednesday, November 12, 2008
NewsBusters Misleadingly Defends Limbaugh
Topic: NewsBusters

A Nov. 9 NewsBusters post by Rusty Weiss bashing the Los Angeles Times' James Rainey for an article that, in Weiss' words, "attempted to castigate the right wing media as a bitter and resentful group of shameless journalists" -- so Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity are "journalists" now? -- misleadingly defends Limbaugh. He writes:

Questioning our under-experienced President-elect isn't being fair?  Is it truly unfair to question the effect that a potential Obama victory had on our markets, and what an actual victory has done to send the stock market into the tank? 

Rainey is referring to Limbaugh's commentary that with the two day post-election stock market plunge, the Obama recession is in full swing.  Rush isn't the first, or only one raising such a point.  Investor's Business Daily ran an editorial on October 10th, regarding the link between a market dive and the election of America's first socialist President.  Our President-elect will make a dramatic shift away from capitalism, and will raise income, capital gains, dividend and payroll taxes, but it is simply unfair to assume any relationship between that knowledge and the biggest two day market loss since 1987?  Rainey wishes only to indulge in mindless Limbaugh bashing.

In fact, even the Fox Business Channel and the Wall Street Journal dispute the idea that Obama's election was the sole and direct cause of the stock market's drop in the two days following the election, citing unfavorable reports on employment and retail sales that came out at the same time.

Weiss then cites Limbaugh's assertion that Democrats are "going to take your 401(k), put it in the Social Security trust fund" and Rainey's correction that "Obama and the Democrats have proposed no such thing. The proposal, in fact, emanated from a single economist, one of many experts testifying to a congressional committee":

Not to mention, the phrase ‘plotting a government takeover' is quite misleading, when Limbaugh actually had stated that Obama's party ‘is talking about a government takeover of 401(k) plans.' 

Talking and plotting are two very different things.  Talking and proposing - also two very different things.  Rush never claimed they were plotting or proposing anything.  He said the Democrats were talking about such things. Rainey skillfully has taken Limbaugh's comments out of context, a staple for an LA Times writer.

But Weiss is taking Limbaugh out of context to minimize his remarks and hide the fact that Limbaugh accused Obama and Democrats of doing a lot more than "talking" about taking over 401(k) plans:

He wants to bankrupt the coal industry.  His party is now talking about a government takeover of 401(k)s.  In addition to you losing your 401(k), can I make a point to you about this?  Imagine every 401(k) and SEP/Keogh Plan in the country, and the government takes 'em over.  They're going to pull 'em out of the stock market.  Your investments are in the markets or wherever else you have them. They're going to take your 401(k). The way they're going to "sweeten" this for you is to take your 401(k) back to its August levels before the market decline. They're going to say to you, "We're going to restore the full value of your 401(k)," and you're supposed to have your tongue on the floor panting going (panting), "Really? Really?  Oh, wow! I love Obama! I love the Democrats."

Right. Then they take your 401(k) away from you after they "restore the value," and they put it in your so-called Social Security fund, which is bankrupt, and they're going to grow it by 3% each year with government bonds, and they're going to adjust that for inflation.  Well, whoopee-doo.  If we enter a deflationary period, which a lot of people think we might now -- which is not good, by the way. Deflation is bad for producers because they can't sell the things they produce for a profit.  It can drive businesses out of business if we go deflationary.  Inflation is bad, too.  But deflationary is a horribly bad cycle.  They're going to take your 401(k), put it in the Social Security trust fund, whatever the hell that is. Trust fund, my rear end.  Whatever they're calling it, going to put it there, guaranteeing you 3% interest a year, and the most that you're going to be able to contribute to it, Rachel, every year is 5%.


So, in addition to you losing your 401(k) to the government at 3% a year for the rest of your life, adjusted for inflation, all that money comes out of the stock market.  Okay.  So let me start at the top here, connecting the dots.  On Tuesday we elect a new president. The new president promised -- even before the election, by the way, when we had a 4,000-point drop. The president promised to increase corporate taxes, capital gains taxes, the top marginal income tax rate, a massive new energy tax that will bankrupt coal, and his party is talking about a government takeover of 401(k) plans.  So on Wednesday the Dow drops about 486 points.  It's down 346 points today, but of course, according to the Drive-Bys, these two events have nothing to do with each other. It's just a coincidence.

The full context shows that Limbaugh potrayed it as an actual proposal, not something one guy mentioned in a hearing. Despite Weiss' assertion that "Research into the issue seems to contradict the assertion that the idea is relegated solely to one radical economist spouting off ideas," he offers no evidence to support the claim.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:46 PM EST
Obama Derangement Syndrome Watch
Topic: WorldNetDaily

It was the Sunday after the election, and everywhere I looked I could only see impending doom.

There is no way God would have allowed Barack Obama to become president were He not finally turning America over to judgment, to whatever great or lesser extent that will be.

I sat in my mother's church and was surprised to feel anger when the worship leader smiled and sang the same songs as ever, as if life hadn't drastically changed the week before, as if the Church itself wasn't indicted by Obama's election.

-- Jill Stanek, Nov. 12 WorldNetDaily column

There is no question that the Barack Obama Movement was led not by elder statesman, but by college students and twentysomethings. This election cycle provided Generation Y a chance to assume unearned moral superiority over their elders by promoting a black president. It also provided Generation Y a chance to live out the precepts of their public school educations, which focused on "changing the world," as well as "diversity" and "tolerance."

Here's the big question: Why in the world should we be excited about young Americans defining our politics?

No political mass movement led by young people has ever resulted in good. In fact, the most murderous mass movements in history have been led by young people. Nazism became popular among the youth before it became the German national theology; Hitler, of course, cultivated young people by targeting them for service in his SA, or Sturm Abteilung, and later, his Hitler Youth. The movement for Soviet Communism was led by young devotees of Lenin, who swallowed his sadistic ideology wholesale; later, the Soviet system would ask children to spy on their parents in service of the state. Similarly, the Chinese Maoists were largely composed of young people; so were the Vietnamese Viet Cong. It is no coincidence that the current Islamo-fascist movement is dominated by militant young Muslims.

-- Ben Shapiro, Nov. 12 syndicated column, reprinted at WorldNetDaily and 

Posted by Terry K. at 11:41 AM EST
CNS Baselessly Claims 'Many Democrats' Back Fairness Doctrine

A Nov. 11 article by Nicholas Ballasy states that "many Democrats in Congress have said the Fairness Doctrine should be re-imposed to counter the influence of conservative talk radio, which dominates the marketplace with shows hosted by people such as Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Neal Boortz and Mark Levin."

Not only does Ballasy offer no evidence to support the claim (citing one supporter is not "many"), his article features the statements of two Democratic congressmen who don't support reinstating the Fairness Doctrine, which would seem to undermine the claim.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:26 AM EST
Newsmax Takes Refuge In Irrelevant Land Mass Vote
Topic: Newsmax

We've previously noted that after the 2004 presidential election, Newsmax was selling a U.S. map depicting the presidential vote by county, which showed an overwhelming red color for President Bush -- which is misleading and irrelevant because land masses don't vote for president, people do.

In an apparent attempt to make itself feel better about John McCain's loss, Newsmax is repeating the tactic. A Nov. 11 article by Kenneth D. Williams, carrying the headline "America Is Still a 'Red' Nation," states:

A county by county breakdown of the 2008 presidential elections show that once again most counties went Republican (red counties voted for McCain, blue for Obama).

Now in its third iteration since the 2000 Bush-Gore election battle, the map has changed only slightly.

Nowhere does Williams note that this is irrelevant because, again, land masses don't get to vote for president.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:55 AM EST
Klein Repeats Unverified Claim
Topic: WorldNetDaily

A Nov. 11 WorldNetDaily article by Aaron Klein claims:

Hamas held a meeting in the Gaza Strip several months ago with aides to President-elect Barack Obama, but the terror group was asked to keep the contacts secret until after last week's elections, according to a senior Hamas official.

Klein's only source for this is a report in "the leading Al-Hayat Arabic-language newspaper." Klein adds: "Yousef could not be reached by WND for immediate comment."

In other words, this is a one-source article that even Klein himself has not been able to verify.

This is sloppy, partisan journalism (albeit the only kind that WND practices). Klein should have waited at least until he got more detailed information from Yousef -- if you'll recall, he's Klein's go-to guy when Klein feels the itch to baselessly link Obama to Hamas -- before running with it. That he didn't demonstrates that Klein is acting in a malicious manner, and his only goal is to smear Obama. 

Klein ironically quotes Yousef, apparently from an earlier interview, as saying: "I praised him six months ago, some people tried to use that against him." Of course, Klein himself was one of the people doing that. It's not noted -- nor has Klein ever stated -- whether Yousef knows that the man who interviewed him was the same one using his words to smear Obama.

UPDATE: Klein also repeats a claim by FrontPageMag, made in a Nov. 11 article by John Perazzo, that Robert Malley -- whom Klein has previously attacked for his alleged ties to Obama despite never actually being a formal adviser -- was "dispatched by Obama" to Egypt and Syria, where he is "representing Obama's positions" in meetings. But Perazzo offers no evidence to back up his claim.

Malley severed his ties with Obama in May following news reports that he had been meeting with Hamas, something Obama has pledged not to do.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:57 AM EST
Updated: Wednesday, November 12, 2008 9:23 AM EST
Newsmax Features Claims of Discredited Researcher
Topic: Newsmax

A Nov. 10 Newsmax article by Phil Brennan cited a discredited researcher in claiming voter fraud in the Minnesota Senate race between Norm Coleman and Al Franken. Brennan repeated claims by "John Lott, writing for Fox News," to suggest that "it appears to be too much of a coincidence that Minnesota's one tight race just happens to be the race with the most "corrected" votes by far."

As Media Matters detailed, Lott -- a favorite go-to researcher for right-wingers -- has been caught using fraudulent data, has been accused of lying about it to cover his tracks, and of using a fake Internet persona to hype his own falsified work.

Brennan has previously repeated right-wing speculation that purported voter fraud will tilt the election Democrat Franken's way.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:26 AM EST
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
WND Misleads on Another Gun Case
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily has a bad habit of uncritically repeating claims made by the right-wing Gun Owners of America without verifying them, let alone bothering to tell the full story.

WND does it again in a Nov. 10 article reporting on the case of David Olofson, who is serving a prison sentence for, according to WND, "simply for loaning a broken gun to a friend." The truth is much more complicated than that -- not that WND will tell you.

WND writes that "The case arose when Olofson loaned an Olympic Arms AR-15 semi-automatic rifle to a friend, who fired it at a gun range. The weapon reportedly misfired, letting loose several shots at the same time, and drew the interest of authorities." Americans are largely prohibited from owning fully automatic weapons. WND regurgitates GOA's claims that "There is nothing illegal about owning an AR-15 that occasionally misfires."

Here's what WND won't tell you, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

U.S. District Judge Charles Clevert said Olofson knew or should have known the gun in question fired automatically.

"This was a man who has considerable knowledge of weapons, considerable knowledge of machine guns," Clevert said. "Mr. Olofson, in this court's view, has shown he was ignoring the law."

Assistant U.S. Attorney Gregory Haanstad noted that Olofson had two previous gun-related convictions, including carrying a concealed weapon with his children trick-or-treating. He also noted that Olofson was reprimanded for corrupting Army computers and perhaps providing militia groups access to sensitive information.


People can legally own fully automatic, military-type M-16 rifles, but they must have a federal license and cannot transfer it to someone else.

According to court records, Kiernicki turned the rifle's firing selector to the third position, pulled the trigger, and three bullets fired with each pull. Then the weapon jammed. The automatic gunfire was reported to police, who contacted the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Kiernicki testified Olofson told him the third position was for automatic firing, but it jammed, court records indicate. He also testified Olofson told him he had fired the weapon on the automatic setting at that same range without a problem, according to the records.


Clevert said the key was not what parts were in the weapon but whether it operated in automatic mode. He played a video used at trial showing ATF agents firing Olofson's weapon in automatic mode. He also noted that in one ATF test, the rifle didn't fire automatically when military-grade ammunition was used.

Haanstad said Olofson had provided weapons and ammunition to so many people he couldn't keep track. A search of his home turned up books on converting rifles to fully automatic, and e-mail on his computer showed he bought M-16 parts, records show.

Olofson had contact with vigilante groups and professed to be part of the sovereign movement, which doesn't acknowledge federal laws as applying to them, Haanstad said.

WND has written several other articles on the Olofson case that also largely ignore the other side of the story.

See what you learn when you don't trust WND as a news source?

Posted by Terry K. at 2:34 PM EST
Graham Bashes Newsweek for Doing What Bozell Did
Topic: NewsBusters

In a Nov. 11 NewsBusters post, Tim Graham bashes Newsweek's Jon Meacham for claiming "that Barack Obama ran a 'centrist' campaign and that he in some way already resembles Ronald Reagan."

But what did Graham's boss, Brent Bozell, say a few days ago? Oh, yeah: that Obama "ran as a Reaganite" and "won over ... the public as a fiscal conservative." Bozell further claimed that "Barack Obama won as a conservative."

Graham might want to read those in-house talking points of the day before putting fingers to keyboard.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:15 PM EST
Obama Derangement Syndrome Watch
Topic: WorldNetDaily

It is not just a victory for the Democrats; it is a Marxist tsunami. The principles that have guided President-elect Obama to this point are deeply rooted in Marxist philosophy. He is now in the position to infuse government with this philosophy through his appointments and legislative agenda. Democrats Obama, Pelosi, Reid, Schumer, Frank and others with recognizable names are only the face of what's in store. Behind this face is a force teaming with the power to obliterate the U.S. Constitution and the machinery of self-governance it created.

The God to whom our founders prayed for guidance has been thrown overboard by the modern Democrat Party. For at least a generation, Karl Marx has provided both inspiration and guidance to the people who are now in control of America. Republicans have not just been out-maneuvered and out-campaigned; some Republicans have been willing participants, joining the Democrats in the worship of Marxist ideals.

This Democrat tsunami is not only a defeat of Republicans; it is a defeat of freedom. 

Henry Lamb, Nov. 8 WorldNetDaily column

Why do you think young people overwhelmingly supported Barack Obama?

Could it be because they have been taught by government schoolteachers that socialism is good and capitalism is bad?

Could it be because they have been indoctrinated to believe it is discriminatory to uphold marriage as an institution between one man and one woman?

Could it be because parents have given over their kids for most of their waking hours to the state, forsaking their own godly duty to train up their children in the ways of the Lord?

You bet it could.

-- Joseph Farah, Nov. 8 WorldNetDaily column

Posted by Terry K. at 9:54 AM EST
Graham Has a Fit Over Ayers
Topic: NewsBusters

In a Nov. 10 NewsBusters post, Tim Graham has a hissy fit over the Washington Post's gossip column noting that "unrepentant domestic terrorist Bill Ayers is coming to downtown Washington for a book event at a radical coffeehouse." Graham seemed especially put out that the writers "breezily discuss" the appearance under a "cutesy headline." (Apparently, gossip columns aren't supposed to use cutesy headlines and breezy discussions.)

No mention, of course, on his employer's rather close relationship with another unrepentant domestic terrorist: G. Gordon Liddy.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:17 AM EST
Caruba Smears Obama Voters

Alan Caruba uses his Nov. 10 column to declare that those who voted for Barack Obama are brainwashed idiots:

Many of those who helped elect Barack Obama as the next president represent a very different generation of Americans from earlier ones.
They have passed through the politically correct indoctrination of government/union controlled schools and have little accurate knowledge of history, geography, or civics with which to make informed judgments. They are more the product of popular media and culture than any previous generation.

Caruba then purports to paraphrase "dedicated communist" Antonio Gramski to suggest that Obama's election is the result of a communist conspiracy.

A little Obama Derangement Syndrome there, Alan?

Posted by Terry K. at 1:22 AM EST
NewsBusters Falsely Portrays Reported Statements as Reporters' Opinion
Topic: NewsBusters

Kristen Fyfe writes in a Nov. 10 NewsBusters post:

"Controversial." "Onerous." "Ideologically offensive."  These are the words used by Washington Post reporters Ceci Connolly and R. Jeffrey Smith to describe the pro-life policies of President George W. Bush.  The liberal slam came in an article about some of the early actions President-elect Obama will take when he is inaugurated next year.

"Obama Positioned to Quickly Reverse Bush Actions" was carried in the November 9 edition of the Post.  The story revealed that Obama is "now consulting with liberal advocacy groups" in order to create a hit list of "the most onerous or ideologically offensive" regulatory and policy initiatives of the Bush administration.

In fact, the Post itself stated no such thing. From the Post article:

A team of four dozen advisers, working for months in virtual solitude, set out to identify regulatory and policy changes Obama could implement soon after his inauguration. The team is now consulting with liberal advocacy groups, Capitol Hill staffers and potential agency chiefs to prioritize those they regard as the most onerous or ideologically offensive, said a top transition official who was not permitted to speak on the record about the inner workings of the transition.


Obama himself has signaled, for example, that he intends to reverse Bush's controversial limit on federal funding of embryonic stem cell research, a decision that scientists say has restrained research into some of the most promising avenues for defeating a wide array of diseases, such as Parkinson's.

In fact, the Post didn't call Bush's "pro-life" executive orders -- or any other specific executive order -- "onerous" or "ideologically offensive"; a "top transition official" made that claim about executive orders in general, and the Post simply reported it. And the executive order regarding embryonic stem cell research is described as "controversial" because, well, it was. Fyfe offers no evidence that it wasn't; nevertheless, she baselessly asserted that the story "left no doubt as to the reporters' feelings on pro-life initiatives."

As we've previously reported, MRC writers have a problem with falsely ascribing the views of the people the Post writes about to the Post itself.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:40 AM EST
Monday, November 10, 2008
Speaking of Child Abuse ...
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Joseph Farah spends his Nov. 8 WorldNetDaily column getting worked up over a video of a teacher at one of "the government indoctrination centers we euphemistically refer to as public schools" yelling at her students, which he calls "nothing short of child abuse" and "an extreme example of the kind of indoctrination that goes on in public schools around the country."

As we've noted, Farah seems to prefer this kind of child abuse and indoctrination.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:38 PM EST
Sheppard's Domain of Misinformation Grows
Topic: Washington Examiner

Noel Sheppard isn't content with limiting his misinformation to NewsBusters.

A Nov. 10 Washington Examiner op-ed by Sheppard falsely blames stock declines on the two days following the presidential election were solely attributible to Barack Obama's victory, asserting that "there's no question this represented Wall Street's vote of no confidence in Obama's economic plans for the future."

In fact, as Media Matters points out, even the Fox Business Channel agrees that stocks dropped on Nov. 5 due to the release of a pair of reports showing lower employment and increased layoffs. Further, the Wall Street Journal reported that stocks dropped on Nov. 6 due to further signs of a weakening retail sector and anticipation the release of the monthly federal unemployment report.

Sheppard also curiously failed to mention that stocks closed 248 points higher on Nov. 7.

Posted by Terry K. at 4:48 PM EST
Obama Derangement Syndrome Watch
Topic: NewsBusters

Warner Todd Huston, in a Nov. 10 NewsBusters post, freaks out over Obama transition team leader Valerie Jarrett misspeaking by saying that Obama will "rule" on the first day of office:

It's a word that reflects the worst fears that people have for Obama the "arrogant," the "messiah," that imagines he's here to "rule" instead of govern.


Someone needs to get to Jarrett and inform her that American politicians are not Kings and do not "rule" from office. But if this is the attitude of Obama's transition team, what does The One himself imagine he is about to unleash? Could the fears that Obama thinks he is being anointed America's King be far off with this sort of talk flying about?

Time for your medication, Warner ... 

Posted by Terry K. at 3:16 PM EST

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