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Thursday, December 4, 2008
Hostetter Misleads on Autoworker Pay
Topic: Newsmax

From a Dec. 3 Newsmax column by E. Ralph Hostetter:

Auto execs’ agreeing to nominal pay and forgoing perks won’t translate until much long term unless they address their main systemic problem: labor unions.

Using GM as an example, labor costs, including wages and benefits, have been $73.26 an hour, so a 40-hour week paid the GM worker $2,938 a week, including all benefits.

In fact, autoworkers do not make "$73.26 an hour" or "$2,938 a week," as Hostetter claims. That figure includes not only future retirement benefits for current workers, but also benefits paid to current retirees.

Hostetter has a history of making false and misleading claims. 

Posted by Terry K. at 2:37 PM EST
CNS Labeling Bias Watch

The headline of a Dec. 3 article by Tiffany Bell describes newly appointed Obama White House communications director Ellan Moran as a "pro-abortion activist," and the article references "pro-abortion women candidates" and "other pro-abortion activists." The term "pro-choice" is used only once, in a quote. By contrast, those on the other side of the issue are described as "pro-life groups," and the "activist" label is not applied to them.

This follows CNS' longtime labeling bias on the issue of abortion.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:16 AM EST
New Article: WorldNetDaily's Birth Certificate Fraud
Topic: WorldNetDaily
WND is still raising questions about Barack Obama's birth certificate, even though it determined months ago that the certificate is "authentic" -- a report it has refused to acknowledge (or retract) since. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 1:51 AM EST
Klein Repeats Biased Attack on Kurtzer
Topic: WorldNetDaily

A Dec. 2 WorldNetDaily article by Aaron Klein uses the occasion of a -- what else? -- anonymously sourced claim that Obama adviser Daniel Kurtzer would be named U.S. envoy to the Middle East as yet another opportunity to rehash previous attacks on Kurtzer that Klein fails to label as coming from right-wingers.

Klein repeats his previous claim that Kurtzer "long has been seen in Jerusalem as one of the Jewish state's greatest foes in Washington" as claimed by Zionist Organization of America's Morton Klein, former AIPAC executive director Morris Amitay, and former Jewish leaders Benjamin Netanyahu and Yitzhak Shamir. As we detailed when Klein first forwarded their attacks on Kurtzer, Klein and Amitay are right-wingers, and Netanyahu and Shamir are members of the right-wing Likud party.

Further, Klein once again fails to mention, as we've also detailed, that Kurtzer is an Orthodox Jew, is the former dean of Yeshiva University and was caricatured in the Egyptian press during his tenure as U.S. ambasssador to Egypt -- all relevant information to readers. Yet Klein refused to tell his readers that.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:40 AM EST
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Newsmax Promotes Another Skewed Anti-Labor Poll
Topic: Newsmax

For the second time in a week, Newsmax has published the results of a poll opposing the Employee Free Choice Act without describing the political agenda behind the group promoting it.

A Dec. 2 Newsmax article states that "A majority of both Republican and Democratic voters oppose The Employee Free Choice Act, according to a new poll by Public Opinion Strategies of 800 general election voters," a poll conducted by the Workforce Fairness Institute. But, as with a Nov. 25 article on a similar poll, Newsmax failed to tell its readers about the political agenda of the groups involved.

The Workforce Fairness Institute has a pro-business agenda (though it claims not to be "anti-union"). It states that it is "funded by and advocates on behalf of business owners who enjoy good working relationships with their employees, and would like to maintain those good relationships without the unfair interference of government bureaucrats, union organizers and special interests."

WFI's polling firm, Public Opinion Strategies, has a political client list that is almost exclusively Republican; it highlights a quote on its website calling it "Republican polling firm."

The article also claimed that poll respondents were "presented with neutral language describing the key provisions of the bill." But according to the poll, the supposedly "neutral language" falsely suggested that secret ballots on union representation were being eliminated entirely:

Instead of holding a federally supervised secret ballot election to decide whether to unionize, union organizers would be allowed to ask employees to sign a card saying they support forming a union.

In fact, 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.

The poll also asked, "If this proposal passes and becomes law, how worried are you that LABOR UNION ORGANIZERS would use deception, harassment, and even coercion to get employees to sign a pro-union card?" It did not mention "deception, harassment, and even coercion" by business owners fighting union representation; for instance, the House committee noted that "in 2005 alone, over 30,000 workers received back pay from employers that illegally fired or otherwise discriminated against them for their union activities."

A truly unbiased poll with "neutral language" would have noted both, or neither. By painting unions, but not businesses, as engaging in "deception, harassment, and even coercion," WFI exposes its agenda, as well as contradicts its claim that it's not "anti-union."

Posted by Terry K. at 6:22 PM EST
Updated: Wednesday, December 3, 2008 6:23 PM EST
Quote of the Day
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Critics who denounce and slander their colleagues for comparing Barack Obama's meteoric rise to power with that of Hitler's are out of ideas or have too much time on their hands.

-- Jerry Kane, Dec. 3 column. Yes, Kane is defending those Obama-Hitler comparisons that WND loves to publish.

Right Wing Watch has more

Posted by Terry K. at 3:33 PM EST
Newsmax Promotes Anonymous Attacks on Rice
Topic: Newsmax

A Dec. 3 Newsmax article promotes attacks on Susan Rice, Barack Obama's nominee as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations -- but the article is completely anonymous. It cites only two sources, "a Washington insider who has worked with Rice" who spoke to Newsmax and "one Africa expert who worked with Rice" who spoke to Newsweek.

That anonymity extends to the author of the article: Newsmax put no byline on it.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:45 PM EST
Corsi Still Peddling Discredited Claims Based on Fake Documents
Topic: WorldNetDaily

A Dec. 1 WorldNetDaily article offering an update on Jerome Corsi's health repeats the claim that Corsi "reported Obama allegedly raised nearly $1 million for Odinga to run for president in Kenya in December 2007." In fact, as we've detailed, the only evidence Corsi has forwarded to support this claim are documents that are clearly fake.

Corsi has never addressed the issue of the fake documents he used to back up this claim -- yet he still treats the claim as if it were true. Nor has he officially retracted his other fake-document-based claim: the obviously forged emails purportedly from Obama to Odinga setting up Obama aide Mark Lippert as a liaison between the two.

Before Corsi returns from his convalescence to "investigate key issues regarding the president-elect," he might want to correct the record about his fake documents.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:08 AM EST
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Don Feder Unleashes Yet Another Uninformed Anti-NYT Rant
Topic: Accuracy in Media

As we've detailed, Accuracy in Media's founding of a website to promote a New York Times boycott appears to have been motivated by little more than a desire to serve as an arm of John McCain's presidential campaign than of any desire to seriously address questions of media bias. With the election over, Boycott NYT is looking more and more like a joke.

In a Dec. 1 article, Don Feder writes: "In a series of six alleged 'news' stories on the Mumbai massacre, from November 27 to December 1, The New York Times (America’s newspaper which sounds like a broken record) refused to call the terrorists Muslims or Islamic extremists." But Feder is cherry-picking; according to the Times' archive on the subject, The Times published 25 articles related to the attacks between Nov. 27 and Dec. 1. Further, Feder does not state which six articles he plucked out as a purportedly representative sample of the Times' coverage.

Feder then asserted that "The Times adamantly refuses to recognize a connection between Islam and worldwide terrorism, even though most terrorist acts are committed by Muslims, terrorist groups have names like jihad-this and Islamic-that, and terrorists regularly quote the Koran’s kill-the-infidels verses." Using technical terms like "jihad-this and Islamic-that" is apparently what passes for research as far as Feder is concerned.

By cherry-picking those six stories -- which he does not identify -- Feder carefully avoids Times articles that did, in fact, mention Islamic links to the incident:

  • A Nov. 28 article noted that an Indian official "suggested the foot-soldiers in the attack might have emerged from an outlawed militant group of Islamic students, while also quoting RAND Corporation analyst Christine Fair as saying, "There are a lot of very, very angry Muslims in India. ... "The economic disparities are startling and India has been very slow to publicly embrace its rising Muslim problem."
  • A Nov. 28 article stated, "The Hindustan Times, an influential Indian newspaper, reported Thursday that India’s security agencies believed that the multiple attacks in Mumbai were by an Islamic militant group, Lashkar-e-Taiba, operating out of Pakistan."
  • A Dec. 1 editorial noted that perpetrators of the violence appear to be linked to "Islamist group from the disputed region of Kashmir that is increasingly collaborating with the Taliban and Al Qaeda."

Feder goes on to write:

That aside, The Times frequently got the facts wrong or omitted important details. In a November 30 story, the paper described the murders as “indiscriminate.”

Hardly. When a Turkish couple told their captors they were Muslims, they were immediately released. The terrorists targeted Mumbai’s Chabad House (a center of Jewish activity in the city) for one reason and one reason only - they wanted to kill Jews.

The only terrorist captured by Indian commandos said he and his comrades were told to target foreigners (particularly Americans and Brits) and Jews. Indiscriminate, did you say?

Feder apparently never bothered to read the rest of the article to which he linked:

Contrary to earlier reports, it appeared that Westerners were not the gunmen’s main targets: they killed whomever they could. By Saturday evening, 18 of the dead were confirmed as foreigners; an additional 22 foreigners were wounded, said Vilasrao Deshmukh, the chief minister of Maharashtra State, where Mumbai is located.

Rattan Keswani, the president of Trident Hotels, said he had found no basis for reports that gunmen had rounded up holders of American and British passports at the Oberoi and herded them upstairs. “Nothing seems to suggest that,” he said, noting that a range of nationalities was represented among the 22 hotel guests who died, in addition to the 10 staff members, all Indian.

If the terrorists were "told to target foreigners" and Jews, why were so many Indians killed? Feder doesn't answer that question.

Feder also writes: "In thousands of words of coverage, The New York Times never mentioned that victims’ bodies frequently bore the marks of torture. One of the doctors who performed post-mortems was quoted on the Indian news website as saying 'of all the bodies, the Israeli victims bore the maximum torture marks.'" But the Rediff article to which Feder is referring contains only one named source; the rest, including the doctors purportedly being quoted, are anonymous. That's not to say it isn't true; it's just unverified with no reason given to protect the identities of those being quoted. 

It's telling that Feder would blindly take the word of anonymous sources at a website he knows nothing about and the veracity of which he has presumably not investigated. It's also telling that AIM has given Feder his own website to peddle such easily disproven lies and distortions.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:14 PM EST
WND's Obama Birth Certificate Fraud
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Here once more, for the record, is what WorldNetDaily wrote in August about accusations that the birth certificate issued by Barack Obama's campaign is a fake:

[A] WND investigation has found that at least part of [Philip] Berg's lawsuit relies on discredited claims.

[...] [sic] says it obtained Obama's actual birth certificate and that the document was indeed real. The site discredited some of the claims of Internet bloggers, such as that the certificate as viewed in a scanned copy released by Obama's campaign lacked a raised seal. also established that many of the alleged flaws in the document noted by bloggers were caused by the scanning of the document.

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.

This article remains live on the WND website. It has not been retracted, nor has WND issued any correction to it.

This means that all of WND's subsequent reporting claiming that Obama's birth certificate is a fraud or a forgery flatly contradicts that August report -- which, again, WND has not corrected or retracted.

This also means that any WND report or column on Obama's birth certificate that does not reference that August report is a fraud -- indeed, we have found no other article in WND's archive that specifically refers to the conclusions in that August article. And the fraud continues:

  • A Dec. 1 article by Bob Unruh quoting "imaging guru" Ron Polarik's claims that the certificate Obama released is "forged" fails to reference the August WND article calling Obama's birth certificate "authentic."
  • A Dec. 1 article urging readers to FedEx a letter (through WND, of course) urging the Supreme Court to "review a case Friday challenging the eligibility of Barack Obama under Article 2, Section 1 of the Constitution, which stipulates the position can only be filled by 'a natural born citizen'" fails to reference the August WND article calling Obama's birth certificate "authentic."
  • A Dec. 1 article by Chelsea Schilling on Berg's lawsuit fails to reference the August WND article stating that it "relies on discredited claims."
  • A Dec. 1 column by WND editor Joseph Farah repeating claims that the certificate is a "forgery" fails to reference the August WND article calling Obama's birth certificate "authentic."
  • A Dec. 2 WND column by Janet Folger Porter promoting claims that the certificate is fake fails to reference the August WND article calling Obama's birth certificate "authentic."

As long as WND fails to mention its previous reporting in which it called Obama's birth certificate "authentic" -- either by publicly affirming it or publicly retracting it -- all subsequent reporting that fails to reference that article can only be considered fraudulent and borne of a pathological hatred of Obama.

Does WND have the guts to either affirm or retract the August article, while telling its readers why it is doing so? We shall see.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:56 AM EST
FrontPageMag Tosses More Softballs at Ziegler
Topic: Horowitz

John Ziegler gets the softball treatment again at FrontPageMag, this time for his smear-job-in-progress on Obama. Since it's all about softballs, Jamie Glazov asks Ziegler questions like "Why do you think the media is so much infiltrated and dominated by the Left?"

Of course, Glazov makes no mention of Ziegler's treatment of interviewers who aren't as sycophantic as Glazov, let alone the factually questionable, agenda-driven questions in the Zogby poll he commissioned with the goal of portraying Obama voters as idiots.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:04 AM EST
Monday, December 1, 2008
Kessler's Bush-Fluffing Ignores Reality
Topic: Newsmax

Ronald Kessler's Nov. 26 Newsmax column was yet another slice of Bush-fluffing centered around the idea that "On Thanksgiving, he deserves our appreciation." Among Kessler's claims:

Granted, the economy has taken a tremendous dive, and the stock market is scary, but the truth is, Bush did not have a lot to do with the combination of factors that came together to make the economy implode.

Almost since taking office, Bush did warn about the need to bring Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac under control. He introduced legislation to do so. Each time, Democrats and Republicans in Congress rejected the measures. Ultimately, he took bold action to help fix the financial meltdown.

Er, not so much:

The Bush administration backed off proposed crackdowns on no-money-down, interest-only mortgages years before the economy collapsed, buckling to pressure from some of the same banks that have now failed. It ignored remarkably prescient warnings that foretold the financial meltdown, according to an Associated Press review of regulatory documents.


Bowing to aggressive lobbying _ along with assurances from banks that the troubled mortgages were OK _ regulators delayed action for nearly one year. By the time new rules were released late in 2006, the toughest of the proposed provisions were gone and the meltdown was under way.


The administration's blind eye to the impending crisis is emblematic of a philosophy that trusted market forces and discounted the need for government intervention in the economy. Its belief ironically has ushered in the most massive government intervention since the 1930s.

Any chance Kessler will tell his readers about this important information that runs counter to his fawning narrative? Don't count on it.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:30 PM EST
Updated: Monday, December 1, 2008 10:47 PM EST
Sheppard's Double Standard on Obama-Linked Economic News
Topic: NewsBusters

As we've noted, NewsBusters' Noel Sheppard was quick to blame Barack Obama's victory for a stock market drop immediately following the Nov. 4 election -- "there's no question this represented Wall Street's vote of no confidence in Obama's economic plans for the future" -- and refusing to acknowledge that there was economic news that even the Fox Business Channel agrees played a decisive factor in the decline.

So when ABC's George Stephanopoulos credited last week's increase in the Dow to Obama's pick of Tim Geithner as treasury secretaryand announcing other members of his economic team, what does Sheppard do? That's right -- spend a Nov. 30 NewsBusters item detailing the economic data that purportedly better explains the increase, something he couldn't be bothered to do in blaming Obama for a market drop:

What also eluded Stephanopoulos were other key events that happened last week which were likely more the cause of the rally continuing. For instance, the announcement Monday morning that ailing Citicorp was going to get more funds from the government as well as guarantees on all their troubled loans sparked a huge rally in financial stocks which provided much-needed confidence that the banking system wasn't in imminent danger of a total collapse.

Beyond this, mortgage rates plummeted last week suggesting that the credit markets are finally beginning to ease, and that financial institutions, after almost three months of inactivity, were more interested in lending. The impact such a thawing could have on all industries is huge, and was a big factor in last week's stock explosion.

Lest we not forget that the shares of GM and Ford more than doubled last week as investors became more confident there would be some federal moneys going to the ailing auto makers.

But the market is still down from where it was on election day, and that, according to Sheppard, can only be Obama's fault:

None of this was addressed by Stephanopoulos Sunday, nor was the fact that the market is still down eleven percent since Election Day. The worst post-presidential election performance (through the end of the same calendar year) since 1900 is down 15.8 percent in 1920; the average since 1900 is a 2.7 percent gain.

Again, Sheppard fails to note the immediate post-election economic data that non-biased economic analysts have acknowledged are responsible for that drop.

Sheppard concludes with his funhouse-mirror interpretation of things:

Sadly, you better get used to this kind of nonsense, for it seems a metaphysical certitude that anything good that happens anywhere in the world once Obama is inaugurated will be somehow connected to him just as anything bad that happened anywhere in the world during the past eight years was blamed on President Bush.

Sheppard, needless to say, will be doing precisely the opposite. Funny how that works, isn't it?

UPDATE: Michael M. Bates follows in Sheppard's footsteps, calling USA Today's noting that Obama's actions perked up the stock market one of the "mainstream media-manufactured verities" and claiming the immediate post-election drop was Obama's fault while not citing the economic data behind that drop.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:23 AM EST
Updated: Monday, December 1, 2008 2:46 PM EST
New Article: WorldNetDaily's Sour (And Immature) Grapes
Topic: WorldNetDaily
WND writers take the sore-loser approach to Barack Obama's victory by claiming that those who voted for him are immature. But isn't such petulant whining a sign of a lack of maturity as well? Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 1:02 AM EST
Huston Falsely Accuses Columnist of Lying About Palin
Topic: NewsBusters

A Nov. 30 NewsBusters post by Warner Todd Huston accuses syndicated columnist Froma Harrop of writing a column "filled with every lie about Governor [Sarah] Palin she could jam into one column." But the things Harrop wrote that Huston claims are lies ... aren't.

Huston claims, "Harrop starts with the canard that Palin was the one that bought the $150,000 wardrobe during the campaign. This is an outright lie as not one single reputable report laid the spending on Palin herself." But at no point in the column did Harrop claim that Palin "bought the $150,000 wardrobe"; in fact, Harrop specifically writes that "Many Republicans were understandably irked by this use of their campaign contributions."

Huston continues:

Then we get the next straight out lie promulgated by Harrop's hate-filled rant.

The depth of that deficit became clear in the "reports" of a John McCain adviser complaining that she didn't know Africa was a continent. Though obviously no Palin fan, even I question such an extraordinary charge, especially attached to unnamed sources.

This fake charge was originally made by one Martin Eisenstadt, a supposed Republican strategist. But by November 12, it was revealed that Martin Eisenstadt doesn't even exist and that it was a made up persona meant to hoax the newsertainment industry.

In fact, as we've noted, Eisenstadt was never credited with making the original Africa claim; rather, he made an appearance on MSNBC to take false credit for it. As the Associated Press has reported: "While Palin has denied that she mistook Africa for a country, the veracity of that report was not put in question by the revelation that Eisenstadt is a phony."

Nevertheless, Huston ranted that "Froma Harrop committed journalistic malpractice of a gross nature with this lie-filled, uniformed rant ... she regurgitates lies here that have been thoroughly debunked weeks ago." He concluded: "Like those of the rest of her profession, Froma Harrop has a visceral hatred of Palin and a nearly pathological need to destroy her. Facts don't matter. Truth is unnecessary. Decorum and objectivity are disdained. They just want Palin destroyed and they will do anything to get that job done."

Substitute "Froma Harrop" for "Warner Todd Huston" and "Palin" for "Froma Harrop and anyone who tells the truth about Palin" in that little rant and you'd be much closer to the truth.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:11 AM EST

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