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Thursday, November 27, 2008
Feder Still Dishonestly Attacking NYT
Topic: Accuracy in Media

We've detailed how Don Feder has offered shoddy and misleading evidence to forward Accuracy in Media's campaign to boycott the New York Times. That continues in a Nov. 24 column Feder wrote for WorldNetDaily.

In portraying the Times' coverage of the presidential campaign as "biased, brutish and business as usual," Feder offers numerous misleading claims and unsupported or hypocritical assertions.

Feder claims "the Times tried to soft-peddle Obama's ties to unrepentant terrorist William Ayers" adding:

An Oct. 17 editorial charged that by bringing up Ayers, McCain and his running mate had moved beyond mere "distortions," driving deep "into the dark territory of race-baiting and xenophobia." Since Ayers is white and native-born, this left many Times-watchers scratching their heads.

In fact, the editorial in question was published on Oct. 8, not Oct. 17, and the remarks about "race-baiting and xenophobia" were not in reference to Ayers. The editorial also stated:

Ms. Palin, in particular, revels in the attack. Her campaign rallies have become spectacles of anger and insult. “This is not a man who sees America as you see it and how I see America,” Ms. Palin has taken to saying.


Her demagoguery has elicited some frightening, intolerable responses. A recent Washington Post report said at a rally in Florida this week a man yelled “kill him!” as Ms. Palin delivered that line and others shouted epithets at an African-American member of a TV crew.

Of course, Feder made of AIM's relationship with another "unrepentant terrorist," G. Gordon Liddy. Indeed, Feder and Liddy served together as judges for the Media Research Center's annual awards in 1997.

Feder also wrote:

In an Oct. 3 story on the vice-presidential debate, the Times characteristically reported that the governor "used a steady grin, folksy manner and carefully scripted talking points." In other words, Palin is a hick, a rube – a political Stepford wife who would have been lost without her script (doubtless written by the RNC). In a companion editorial, the paper charged that Palin "never got beyond talking points in 90 minutes, mostly repeating clichés and tired attack lines and energetically refusing to answer far too many questions."

Feder offers no evidence that Palin did, in fact, venture beyond Republican talking points during the debate or that she did not refuse to answer all the questions she was asked.

Feder referred to the Times "coverage of Palin's daughter's unwed pregnancy" as "sleaze." In fact, the Times did not first report this; the McCain campaign announced it.

Feder claimed that the Times "studiously ignored" alleged statements in support of Obama by terrorists and dictators, including Fidel Castro's statement that Obama is "the most progressive candidate to the U.S. presidency." As we noted the last time he did this, Feder took Castro's words out of context; Castro was giving Obama a compliment that was backhanded at best and that Castro also called the U.S. embargo against Cuba that Obama pledged to maintain "an act of genocide." As PolitiFact also noted, Castro did not actually endorse either Obama or John McCain.

Feder also noted that "Ahmed Yousef (a top Hamas adviser) compared Obama to John F. Kennedy," which came from an interview Yousef did with WorldNetDaily's Aaron Klein and right-wing radio host John Batchelor. As we've detailed, there are numerous questions about the interview regarding the nature of Yousef's participation in it that Klein has yet to answer.

Matching Feder's dishonesty in attacking the Times is AIM's promotion of Feder's column. A Nov. 25 AIM press release states:

Boycott The New York Times editor Don Feder said today that “palpable bias” at the paper has contributed to steep declines in The Times’ readership, advertising revenue, and stock value.  The New York Times Company dramatically slashed its quarterly dividend last week, and its shares have lost 66.8% of their value this year.

But Feder did not mention the Times Company stock price in his column. And like the MRC, Feder and AIM ignore other more logical and plausible reasons for the decline, such as the paradigm shift from print to online and the growing commoditization of news.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:15 AM EST
Updated: Thursday, November 27, 2008 11:20 AM EST
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Farah Can't Handle Criticism
Topic: WorldNetDaily

As we found out, Joseph Farah is desperate to disparage and discredit any and all criticism of WorldNetDaily.

Farah's latest target, as detailed in his Nov. 25 column: Kevin Hulten, a blogger for a weekly newspaper in Wisconsin. Writing about someone who forwarded a Nov. 11 WND article by Bob Unruh about how "members of a pro-homosexual, pro-anarchy organization" interrupted a church service in Michigan, Hulten stated: "The mere fact that you reference a 'story' from a site that purports to be 'A free press for a free people' and then in the next breath complains that no news outlets have covered the purported attack should tell you that upon deeper examination that even you know that the old WorldNetDaily is not an acceptable source of information."

Of course, as we've repeatedly detailed, Hulten's basic premise is correct. But that didn't stop Farah from going off the handle. Farah called Hulten's paper (as he did with the Huffington Post, where our article on WND that incured Farah's wrath appeared) "insignificant," a "pathetic journalistic institution" and "that rag," and denigrated Hulten (as he did with us) by calling him a "simpleton" and someone "who pontificates on things he doesn't understand in between blogging about high school football games." He engaged in his usual manhood-measuring game (as he did with us), complaining that the paper's website "provides no place on its website where readers can evaluate the relative experience of its top management and staff." And he engages in his usual disingenuous defense of WND.

Farah wrote that "WND based its Nov. 11 story, written by a 30-year veteran of the Associated Press, by the way, on five separate sources and has yet to be questioned by anyone with any knowledge of the report." In fact, Unruh's account of the church protest is based solely on one person, a right-wing blogger, Nick DeLeeuw. The other sources Unruh cites -- a press release from the church, and right-wing activsts Randy Thomasson, Gary Glenn, and the Catholic League's Bill Donohue (the church in question is not Catholic) -- are commenting on the incident, not corroborating DeLeeuw's acount. Further, as we've detailed, Unruh's work for WND has produced articles so deficient in journalistic balance and ethics that they would never pass muster at his old employer, the AP.

Nowhere, however, did Farah respond to this statement by Hulten: 

This is another important sign to note when evaluating your potential media gathering sites: if investigative articles are followed by attempts to propagandize the conclusions reached in said article with the profits headed directly towards the authors, then this is not a good sign. Not good at all.

The beauty of today’s electronic age is that we all have the ability to evaluate the worth of any given form of media, and to discard it if it doesn’t live up to certain standards.

It has become extremely popular in some circles to blame the media for all the ills that society faces, especially in the political realm. I often wonder if this media spite is a backlash from partisans who are just a little pissed that certain media members uncovered a little too much dirt about their party favorites.

That said, in today’s media world, if you don’t like the point of view provided by the source you’re evaluating, then you are free to navigate your way to a provider that lines up with the way that you see the world.

But therein lies the rub: if we all surrender the middle ground in attempt to find “media” sources that line up with a certain ideology, how will we ever know what is true anymore?

That, dear reader, is why you get the Lake Stevens Journal in your mailbox every Wednesday. 

Further, contrary to Farah's claim that "I still care about truth – and fighting for it everywhere," WND has a long history of lying to and misleading its readers.

We, by the way, are linked to in Farah's column as an example of the "medium-size venues" that have criticized WND. Though WND graciously published our response to Farah at WND, he has yet to comment further on it or actually substantively rebut any specific claim we've made about WND.

Instead, Farah has apparently decided that all criticism of him and WND is not legitimate; he laments in this column that "it seems like everyone wants to take a shot at me and my news agency." Of course, Farah is not shy about passing judgment on other news organizations -- usually for daring to express an opinion about WND that is insufficiently praiseworthy.

If you dish it out, shouldn't you be able to take it? Farah demonstrates that he can't.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:59 PM EST
Newsmax Promotes Obama-Hater's Skewed Poll
Topic: Newsmax

A Nov. 25 Newsmax article is a repeat of a press release on "an exclusive post-election poll conducted by ATI-News and Zogby International" claiming that "A majority of American voters say they would have been less likely to vote for President-elect Barack Obama if they had known he supported controversial legislation that would eliminate workers’ right to a secret ballot in union elections." But that poll is based on a misleading question.

According to the press release, the question asked by pollsters was whether they had known "about Barack Obama’s support for a congressional bill to outlaw workers' rights to a secret ballot in union elections." But that's a false portrayal of the Employee Free Choice Act, which the press release called "misleadingly dubbed."

In fact, the law would not "outlaw workers' rights to a secret ballot in union elections." According to the House Education and Labor Committee:

The Employee Free Choice Act does not abolish the National Labor Relations Board election process. That process would still be available under the Employee Free Choice Act. The legislation simply enables workers to also form a union through majority sign-up if a majority prefers that method to the NLRB election process. Under current law, workers may only use the majority sign-up process if their employer agrees. The Employee Free Choice Act would make that choice – whether to use the NLRB election process or majority sign-up – a majority choice of the employees, not the employer.

Since the poll question is based on a false premise, the poll is meaningless -- and Zogby's poll partner has no credibility.

What is ATI News, the organization that paid for the Zogby poll? Its website shows it to be merely an aggregator of other news websites; it generates no original reporting. It is operated by Brad O'Leary, who wrote the WorldNetDaily-published anti-Obama book "The Audacity of Deceit" earlier this fall. As we've noted, the book -- which is a bit of speculative scaremongering about "what can be surmised from his record about Obama's domestic policy prescriptions as president" -- contains numerous misleading or false claims about Obama.

As a promotion for his book during the presidential campaign, O'Leary enlisted Zogby to do a series of polls purporting to show that Obama is out of the mainstream, using similarly skewed questions.

So, it appears that not only is the bankroller of the poll discredited, Zogby is as well for accepting O'Leary's money to regurgitate his skewed, inaccurate questions and give O'Leary false legitimacy.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:28 AM EST
Shapiro Falsely Claims Autoworkers Make $75 an Hour

In his Nov. 26 syndicated column, published by and WorldNetDaily, Ben Shapiro falsely asserted, "The average UAW worker makes $75 per hour in salary and benefits, as compared to $42-$48 per hour for workers in Japanese plants in the United States."

In fact, that figure includes not only future retirement benefits for current workers, but also benefits paid to current retirees; actual hourly pay and benefits. Further, in the contract the UAW negotiated with General Motors in 2007, new hires make as little as $14 an hour.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:56 AM EST
WND's Favorite (Alleged Ex-)Nazi Obama Smearer Strikes Again
Topic: WorldNetDaily

A Nov. 22 WorldNetDaily article promotes how Hilmar von Campe's WND-published rantings likening Obama to Nazis "has drawn angry reactions from both the American political left and the political right." But the article merely promotes the controversy, and it doesn't treat the criticism as legitimate, stating that, as a former Hitler Youth, "von Campe believes he carries a sober responsibility to warn Americans how quickly free society can be destroyed through socialist ideology." Nor does WND address the false and misleading claims von Campe has made about Obama, a tactic he presumably picked up in his Hitler Youth days.

With such a display of shameless dishonesty by WND, you know what's next. That's right -- another von Campe smear job.

In a Nov. 25 WND column, von Campe purported to detail "The real objectives of Barack Obama," which involves more likening to you-know-who:

There was another Nazi organization that had the same task as all other institutions, namely to keep people under control and influence their thinking. It was the Service to Work (Arbeitsdienst). Young men had to serve half a year before entering into military service. It seems that Obama likes this Nazi feature because he has proposed, in addition to the idea of a civilian national security force, a plan to create a national community service program. Obama's motives for this cannot be different from the Nazi motives – to bring as many youth as possible under their socialist umbrella and influence. Obama has 3.1 million e-mail addresses from young people who are waiting to do something.

President-elect Obama says that America is no more a Christian nation. He is not a Christian himself because you can't be a Christian and promote the killing of unborn human beings, which he does. He also wants to neutralize our Constitution by adding class-warfare concepts. His plans point to where he wants to lead the American nation: onto the same road Germany took in 1933. Americans, do you want to go in that direction? It is still time to take the opposite direction – a nation under God.

As he has before, von Campe repeats the "civilian national security force" falsehood. And Obama never said that "America is no more a Christian nation"; he said:

Whatever we once were, we're no longer just a Christian nation; we are also a Jewish nation, a Muslim nation, a Buddhist nation, a Hindu nation, and a nation of nonbelievers. We should acknowledge this and realize that when we're formulating policies from the state house to the Senate floor to the White House, we've got to work to translate our reasoning into values that are accessible to every one of our citizens, not just members of our own faith community.

Telling lies and pulling quotes out of context? Looks like von Campe is using a version of the very Nazi-esque Big Lie technique.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:50 AM EST
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Is CNS Blaming Bill Clinton for Bank Problems?

A Nov. 25 article by Matthew Hadro claims that "Four major banks, including one that collapsed, two that received federal bailout money and one that filed for bankruptcy this past September, paid former President Clinton $2.1 million for 13 speeches he delivered on their behalf between 2004-2007." This follows a Nov. 21 article by Matt Cover headlined, "Bailed-Out Citigroup Paid Bill Clinton $700,000 -- For Words, Just Words."

Is CNS blaming Clinton for the banks' financial problems because they paid him to speak? It appears so. 

Another Nov. 25 article by Cover noted that "Robert Rubin, a key economic advisor to President-elect Barack Obama who served as Treasury secretary in the Clinton Administration, has been one of the highest paid executives at the now twice bailed-out financial giant Citigroup."

But no original CNS article notes that Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, who is administering the financial bailout of entities like Citigroup, is a former CEO of Goldman Sachs, which has received billions in bailout money -- and made $38 million in his final year as CEO before joining the Bush administration.

Posted by Terry K. at 6:49 PM EST
Another WND Writer Who Doesn't Read WND
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Add Janet Folger Porter to the list of WorldNetDaily writers who don't read the website they work for.

Porter's Nov. 25 WND column calls the birth certificate released by Barack Obama's campaign "Rathergate all over again with more amiss than a 1970s Selectric typewriter," asserting that the "Certificate of Live Birth documents posted on Mr. Obama's website, Daily Kos (a pro-Obama blog) and, (a pro-Obama political research group), were found to be altered and forged."

So how does Porter (or any other WND employee, for that matter) explain what WND wrote in August about this very same certificate:

A separate WND investigation into Obama's birth certificate utilizing forgery experts also found the document to be authentic. The investigation also revealed methods used by some of the bloggers to determine the document was fake involved forgeries, in that a few bloggers added text and images to the certificate scan that weren't originally there.

Porter's not exactly known for her careful research; she once uncritically quoted a neo-Nazi racist to advance her anti-gay agenda. Indeed, in this column she falsely called "a pro-Obama political research group"; in fact, it has criticized the Obama campaign for straying from the facts on numerous occasions.

If Porter wants a real Rathergate-like scandal, how about checking into Jerome Corsi's use of bogus documents to attack Obama?

And if WND's own writers and columnists don't read the website, why should anyone else?

Posted by Terry K. at 9:23 AM EST
Updated: Tuesday, November 25, 2008 9:30 AM EST
New Articles: Newsmax's Election
Topic: Newsmax

Part 1: The Bias Is Back

It never really went away, of course, but the presidential campaign allowed its biased and misleading ways to return to prominence in attacking Barack Obama. Read more >>

Part 2: Denying the Mandate

The false and misleading claims didn't work, and Obama won the presidency. So Newsmax tried to downplay the magnitude of his victory. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 1:33 AM EST
Kincaid Conspiracy Watch
Topic: Accuracy in Media

Cliff Kincaid is still peddling his financial crisis conspiracy theory in a Nov. 24 Accuracy in Media column:

This is America today―a country that is losing its ability to manufacture things but has to continue to pander to rich Arabs and the Chinese Communists for money just to survive. In addition to our jobs, savings and investments, it looks like our sovereignty and national pride are being sacrificed as part of this process.

Whether the financial meltdown has been engineered or not―and there are major questions about its timing, just six weeks before the national elections―it will be up to President Obama to manage America’s transition into this New Global Order. With his background in Marxism and extensive Wall Street contacts and associations, he seems perfectly suited for the task.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:44 AM EST
Monday, November 24, 2008
Topic: Newsmax

Media Matters details how Dick Morris' shilling for the National Republican Trust PAC -- which includes his columns at Newsmax -- failed to mention that the PAC has advertised on Morris' blog and emails, paying Morris thousands of dollars in the process.

Also, a Morris column in which he describes Barack Obama's reported nomination of Hillary Clinton as secretary of state as "the blonde leading the blind" also appears at Newsmax.

Posted by Terry K. at 7:03 PM EST
Wash. Examiner's Right-Wing Bias Spreading to Sports Page
Topic: Washington Examiner

The Washington Examiner already has a dogmatically right-wing editorial page. Its news pages have included fawning profiles of conservatives such as Brit Hume, Dana Perino and John Boehner. It keeps adding right-wingers to its staff.

The bias is now apparently spreading to the sports page. A Nov. 23 column by Rick Snider ostensibly criticizing Obama for supporting a college football playoff system descended into gratuitous Obama- (and Clinton-) bashing:

Worry about getting a puppy first. Golden retrievers are nice. But, solve the world’s ills before spending even five minutes on a college championship series.

In other words, mind your own business.


Sorry, Mr. President-elect, but we need your eyes on other balls. Like tax breaks for sports writers. Health care paying for hair plugs and liposuction. Early retirement for 48-year-olds.

But a college playoff system? Listen to your wife’s chuckle. She’s the smart one in the family.

Uh oh, the Clintons must be back.

What does name-checking the Clintons have to do with a college football system? Somehow we suspect Mark Tapscott approves.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:36 PM EST
Who Appointed the MRC to Speak for Left-Wing Bloggers?
Topic: NewsBusters

A Nov. 24 appearance on "Fox & Friends" by the MRC's Seton Motley to discuss "left-wing bloggers critical of President-elect Obama for choosing center-left, rather than far-left staffers for his presidential transition team" follows the template: Motley appears solo and is not identified as a conservative.

How about having, you know, a left-wing blogger on the show to discuss left-wing bloggers? Or would that violate the MRC's apparent deal with Fox News that its representatives must never be contradicted on air?

Posted by Terry K. at 1:20 PM EST
Farah Freeps His Own Petition
Topic: WorldNetDaily

To "freep" something means to pad an opt-in online poll by encouraging like-minded folks to vote in order to skew results, as demonstrated by the denizens of Free Republic. Such "freeping" can also apply to other online activities like petitions.

Thus, in his Nov. 24 WorldNetDaily column, Joseph Farah engages in what can only be described as freeping the WND petition demanding release of Barack Obama's birth certificate (never mind that Farah's own employees have previously declared it to be "authentic"):

It appears to me that about 1,000 people per hour are signing this petition. I would say that is evidence indicating public interest, wouldn't you?

I tell you this because there are other judges who will be ruling in the days ahead. Even the U.S. Supreme Court is going to review this issue soon. That's why it is imperative that the public makes its voice heard.

You now have that opportunity on this petition.

I urge you to e-mail it to all your friends.

Do you know people concerned about this birth-certificate issue?

Do you know Americans who still care about little matters like constitutional eligibility for presidents?

Do you know others who will put their names to this petition and pass it along?

Then put your name to it and e-mail it to your entire Christmas card list.


At the current rate, before the end of December, we'll have 1 million signed up on this petition. We can get there faster if you can help me circulate it beyond WND readers.

I would think a petition of 1 million names would be sufficient evidence of public interest for nearly any judge.

Of course, Farah fails to note that opt-in online petitions with no apparent mechanism to prevent duplicate or fradulent names -- Farah or WND have not indicated that such measures are in place on this petition -- are virtually meaningless, to judges or anyone else -- except perhaps Farah and anyone else desperate to keep this false meme alive for no other reason than to smear Obama.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:25 AM EST
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Kincaid Still Pushing Financial Crisis Conspiracy
Topic: Accuracy in Media

Cliff Kincaid uses his Nov. 20 "AIM Report" to rehash his conspiracy theory that the financial crisis was created to elect Barack Obama:

If you examine the polling trend, McCain was moving ahead of Obama by mid-September. One poll, the Rasmussen poll, had McCain over Obama every day from September 12-17. McCain evened up the race again on September 23, after Obama had taken a lead, but it was Obama all the way after that.

The crisis, which is continuing and could get far worse, was man-made. It was not a natural disaster like an earthquake or a hurricane. And it is a fact that President Bush’s Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, who worked for a Democratic firm, Goldman Sachs, and has very close ties to Communist China, is the one who convinced Bush on September 18 to publicly demand hundreds of billions of bailout dollars from Congress.

This is when McCain began falling in the polls. That’s apparently because McCain, like Bush, is a Republican, and he was blamed by Obama and the Democrats for the Republican policies that were said by the media to have produced this crisis.


A hedge fund operator such as George Soros, who was convicted of insider trading in France, is known to make money from the collapse of national economies and currencies. He was labeled “The Man who broke the Bank of England” because of his financial activities against the British currency. Did he break the U.S. economy?

In addition to the usual suspects -- Paulson, Soros -- Kincaid adds economist and Obama supporter Joseph Stiglitz: "Stiglitz, a financial contributor to Obama’s presidential campaign and major backer of the national Democratic Party, is in a perfect position to guide the transition into a global socialist economy."

Kincaid once again repeated the discredited claim that "Obama’s Global Poverty Act" obligates the U.S. to spending $845 billion to fight global poverty. As we've repeatedly pointed out whenever 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.

In another section of the report, Kincaid served as self-appointed arbiter of who is and isn't right-wing enough:

I find that the media are populated by many “conservatives” who are not really so conservative. This category includes the Fox News cheerleaders for the Wall Street bailout, such as Bill Kristol, Fred Barnes, Charles Krauthammer and Bill O’Reilly, and columnists David Brooks (New York Times), Peggy Noonan (Wall Street Journal) and Kathleen Parker (Washington Post Writers Group), who ridiculed Sarah Palin because she doesn’t read the New York Times.  As we strive to correct the liberal media bias, we have to keep the conservative media honest as well. We need new conservative media voices.

On the other hand, Kincaid is pretty much unique among right-wingers in criticizing Karl Rove: "It’s true that he helped elect Bush two times, but considering what happened on November 4, isn’t it about time for somebody in the media to ask him some pointed questions about what he built and why it didn’t last."

Posted by Terry K. at 10:58 AM EST
Will WND Expose African Press International and Apologize?
Topic: WorldNetDaily

We've previously documented how WorldNetDaily has chosen to be suckered by the claims of a previously unknown website called African Press International that it has an audiotape of Michelle Obama purportedly haranguing it, despite copious evidence of the website's dubious nature. Even Jerome Corsi was begging API for a copy of the (likely nonexistent) tape.

After days of uncritically promoting API's claim, an Oct. 22 article struck a skeptical tone for the first time by reporting Fox News' denial of API's claim that it had struck a deal with Fox to air the tape. This was the last article WND did on it.

Meanwhile, others have done the investigative work into API that WND wouldn't. The Mountain Sage blog dug into the background of API's "Chief Editor Korir" and found that Korir has had a hand in previous false claims and runs an alleged charity that appears to be somewhat interchangable with API. As a result, Korir has posted a lengthy bio to try and refute the claims. Mountain Sage has more on API here.

WND, meanwhile, accepted "Chief Editor Korir" at face value, asking no questions whatsoever.

With this new information surfacing -- and yet another promised appearance of the purported audiotape apparently come and gone -- will WND tell its readers the full truth about API? Will it retract API's claims and admit that it chose to be bamboozled by the promise of an Obama smear?

Yeah, right. Lying about Obama is a matter of course for WND -- why would it bother to tell the truth now?

Posted by Terry K. at 1:21 AM EST

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