Richard Bartholomew notes that Hal Lindsey's Dec. 12 WorldNetDaily column informs us that belief in global warming is a sign of the End Times.
Friday, December 12, 2008
Examiner Misleads on Clinton, Travel Office
Topic: Washington Examiner
Conservatives just can't let go of the Clinton Travel Office non-scandal.
In an effort to claim that a quick confirmation of Hillary Clinton as secretary of state would be a"gross dereliction of duty," a Dec. 12 Washington Examiner editorial states: "And let’s not forget that she was cited by the Independent Counsel for giving false testimony in her role as First Lady in the infamous White House travel office firings."
But it's the Examiner that has forgotten a few important things. As we've detailed, independent counsel Robert Ray also stated:
The evidence, however, is insufficient to show that Mrs. Clinton knowingly intended to influence the Travel Office decision or was aware that she had such influence at this early stage of the Administration. To a real degree, her interest in the matter was first generated by [Harry] Thomason's intervention, and then overstated by him to others. Thus, absent persuasive, corroborated, and admissible evidence to the contrary, there is insufficient evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Mrs. Clinton's statements to this Office or to Congress were knowingly false.Further, the Examiner fails to note another important conclusion of Ray's report: "The decision to fire the Travel Office employees was a lawful one. The Travel Office employees served at the pleasure of President Bill Clinton, and they were subject to discharge without cause."
Can't the Examiner invent some new Clinton non-scandals to repeat ad nauseam?
Shocker: Kessler Defends -- And Praises! -- Obama
After his months-long smear campaign during the presidential race, the last thing we thought we'd see was Newsmax's Ronald Kessler coming to Barack Obama's defense -- and even praising the guy. But Kessler has done just that, albeit in something of a backhanded way.
In a Dec. 8 column, Kessler shoots down the conspiratorial assertion from the likes of WorldNetDaily that Obama is not a native-born American:
Kessler adds regarding lawsuits on the issue from folks like Philip Berg:
Instead, Berg has stayed within the comfy confines of WND and right-wing readio for his interviews, where he knows he won't face any tough -- or even mildly skeptical -- questions.
Of course, that's just common sense. The real shocker is Kessler's Dec. 11 column, in which he states that "Barack Obama is getting high marks from the intelligence community for the way he responds to daily intelligence briefings." He adds:
This appears to contradict Kessler's own pre-election assertions, in which he promoted claims (albeit by someone whom Kessler fails to identify as a McCain campaign official) that Obama's election "will endanger the country by making us more vulnerable to terrorist attacks."
On the other hand, Kessler manages to work in his love of waterboarding once more:
In fact, as we noted the last time Kessler made this claim, the waterboarding of Zubaydah reportedly produced a stream of statements of such dubious quality, according to journalist Ron Suskind, that intelligence officials now believe any evidence gleaned from Zubaydah to be worthless. Further, waterboarding produced "debatable results" from Mohammed.
Still, Kessler laments: "Since terrorists are now aware that they will not be drowned, the technique has become useless."
Graham's Lame Evidence of David Gregory's Bias
Topic: Media Research Center
In the tradition of its attacks on Katie Couric, the Media Research Center has greeted David Gregory's appointment as host of NBC's "Meet the Press" with dubious claims of liberal bias.
A Dec. 8 "Media Reality Check" by Tim Graham features as its key piece of evidence that Gregory was "an arrogant question-yeller at Bush White House press conferences" the following:
Graham doesn't bother to tell his reader the context of that conversation. Gregory had earlier noted that, in contrast to McClellan's 2003 statement that Karl Rove had assured McClellan that he was not involved in leaking Valerie Plame's identity to reporters. Rove had in fact done so, and McClellan was evading giving a direct answer about whether he still stood by his 2003 statements.Immediately prior to the "This is ridiculous" statement Graham exerpted, Gregory had asked McClellan:
And immediately after Gregory said, "“No, you're not finishing! You're not saying anything!” the questioning continued:
Rather than expressing arrogance, Gregory was simply pointing out the fact when he accused McClellan of not answering the question at hand. Yet to Graham, to do that is to express liberal bias.
And because there isn't a whole lot of diversity of thought at the MRC, Seton Motley copies-and-pastes Graham's claim in a Dec. 9 Human Events article (reprinted at NewsBusters) as among the purported "examples aplenty" of Graham's liberal bias.
Sadly, this is apparently the best Graham and Motley can come up with.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Media Matters points out that Dick Morris, in his Dec. 11 Newsmax column, repeats the discredited claim that Bill Clinton fired all the U.S. attorneys upon taking office in 1993 to cover that he was targeting one specific attorney who was investigation the Whitewater. In fact, that attorney resisted investigating the Whitewater matter in 1992, in defiance of pressure from officials in then-President George H.W. Bush's administration, who was apparently trying to find a way to bash Clinton during the campaign.
Horowitz Debunks Blaming CRA for Crisis, But His Writers Promoted It
We've previously noted David Horowitz's attempt to talk some sense into conservatives by pointing out the unassailable fact that the Community Reinvestment Act did not cause the current financial crisis. So why did Horowitz's FrontPageMag publish writers who claimed it was?
-- Jacob Laksin, Oct. 17
-- Thomas Sowell, Nov. 7
-- Interview of Thomas Sowell by Bill Steigerwald, Feb. 4
Meanwhile, Horowitz is still strugging mightily to impose reason on those birth-certificate-obsessed right-wingers:
And judging by the comments, it's going about as well as his previous attempts.
Aaron Klein Anti-Obama Agenda Watch
What does a report about Barack Obama's plans to give a speech in an Islamic capital have to do with an Egyptian Islamic cleric's purported exhortation for Obama to convert to Islam?
Nothing -- except in Aaron Klein's fevered brain.
In a Dec. 10 WorldNetDaily article, Klein reports on Obama's interest in giving that speech, then adds: "Obama's comments come days after WND reported an Egyptian cleric broadcast on state-funded television a plea urging Obama to convert to Islam while claiming the president-elect has roots in Islam."
Apparently oblivious to the fact that one has nothing to do with the other, Klein spends the next 35 paragraphs rehashing yet again Obama's purported dalliances with Islam as a child, presumably just copied-and-pasted from previous articles.
The stench of Obama-hate emanating from Klein's articles is well nigh suffocating.
Newsmax Flip-Flops on Patrick Fitzgerald
A Nov. 10 Newsmax article by David A. Patten claimed that "Barack Obama will face a severe 'trial by fire' over whether to fire U.S. Attorney Patrick J. Fitzgerald and other U.S. attorneys, following Democratic Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s arrest Tuesday for allegedly offering to sell Obama’s vacated Senate seat to the highest bidder," adding that "any move to fire Fitzgerald would be highly controversial as a possible conflict of interest." Patten goes on to note that "That Fitzgerald suddenly sees Republicans lining up to defend him is profoundly ironic, given that both prominent Republicans and Democrats have found themselves in his investigatory crosshairs over the years," adding:
Patten fails to mention that Newsmax has a prominent role in that twist of irony, having felt less than "delicious" about Fitzgerald's prosecution of of the Plame leak.
As we detailed at the time, Newsmax didn't even wait until Fitzgerald's October 2005 indictment of Libby before smearing him as a partisan, nitpicking crony:
After Fitzgerald issued his indictment, Newsmax followed up by putting words in Fitzgerald's mouth and misstating what he had said about the Plame case to make it appear that he said that Plame was not covert.
Isn't it ironic, doncha think?
More Obama Lies from Jerome Corsi
A Dec. 9 WorldNetDaily article by Jerome Corsi repeats a claim by a former bank employee that he was fired for objecting to land appraisals regarding the deal in which Barack Obama bought a Chicago house. But Corsi can't even be bothered to get the basic facts correct about it.
1) It was not a "multi-million-dollar home"; it was listed at $1.95 million, and the Obamas purchased it for $1.65 million.
2) Corsi has apparently never heard of negotiating for a price on a house or even of purchasing a house for less than the listed price, a very common practice in the real estate industry. In fact, the sellers of the house have said they did not cut their asking price because Rezko bought the adjacent lot, and the Obama's offer for the house was the best one received.
3) Rezko's wife did not purchase "a strip of land adjacent to the Obamas for the full asking price then sold it to the Obamas for $300,000 less." Rezko's wife purchased an adjoining lot, then sold a 10-foot-wide strip land, comprising one-sixth of the lot, to the Obamas, who paid one-sixth of what Rezko paid for the full lot.
Is it any wonder that Corsi's anti-Obama book was dismissed as untrustworthy?
P.S. Corsi still hasn't answered questions about -- let alone retract -- the bogus documents from Kenya he used to falsely smear Obama before the election.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Gainor Misleads on Unemployment Rates Under Clinton
Topic: Media Research Center
In a Dec. 8 CNSNews.com column, the MRC Business & Media Institute's Dan Gainor writes:
What Gainor doesn't tell you: Clinton inherited this high level of unemployment from his predecessor, George H.W. Bush. According the Bureau of Labor Statistics, that 7.1 percent peak occurred at the beginning of Clinton's presidency, in February, April and May 1993. Nor does Gainor mention what the unemployment rate was in the last full month of Clinton's presidency -- 3.9 percent.
And yet, Gainor has the chutzpah to complain about how "[j]ournalists manipulate statistics."
Gainor further fails to mention that unemployment was on a largely uninterrupted decline during the eight years of Clinton's presidency, from the aforementioned 7.1 percent to 3.9 percent.
Gainor goes on to write, "Journalists rarely point out that total unemployment isn’t even as high as it was during Clinton’s term (and when they do, the Clinton name is conspicuously absent.)" But he fails to note that the vast majority of the actual job losses that resulted under his prececessor.
Indeed, George H.W. Bush's name is, to coin a phrase, conspicuously absent from Gainor's article.
MRC-Fox News Appearance Watch
Topic: Media Research Center
A Dec. 10 appearance by the MRC Business & Media Institute's Dan Gainor on Fox News appears to follow the template: Gainor appeared solo, and there's no evidence in the clip posted that Gainor or the MRC were identified as conservative.
A Dec. 9 appearance by the MRC's Seton Motley on "Fox & Friends" similarly follows the template: He appears solo and is not identified as a conservative.
UPDATE: A Dec. 10 appearance on Fox News' "Your World With Neil Cavuto" not only follows the template but also enthusiastically buys into the MRC's talking points of the day about media reports allegedly not identifying Rod Blagojevich as a Democrat.
Judicial Watch, Klayman Suddenly Relevant Again to ConWeb
As we've detailed, the ConWeb served as a willing conduit for Judicial Watch in the go-go Clinton-suing years of the late '90s, but when Judicial Watch expanded its scope to examine the Bush administration, that coverage dropped off precipitously.
WorldNetDaily actually hadn't slacked down its coverage as much -- Joseph Farah even endorsed Larry Klayman's futile bid for the Republican nomination for Florida Senate in 2004 (he came in seventh out of eight candidates), with Farah slobbering, "Larry Klayman is an American hero." So it was first in line to promote Klayman's newest anti-Democrat crusade.
In the interim, Klayman left Judicial Watch and is now running a newly founded group called Freedom Watch. That website points out that Klayman has sued current Judicial Watch chief Tom Fitton, claiming he "has misused the organization for his own ends, improperly dissipating and squandering donor monies and turning the group into a very bad joke, which mostly boasts of the appeals it is forced to take following a string of defeats since I left." Klayman as a goal to "retake control of this once great organization." A separate website further tells Klayman's side of the story.
With an incoming Democratic administration, guess who's back in favor again?
A Nov. 20 article by Bob Unruh described Klayman as claiming that "American voters have been 'defrauded' by President-elect Barack Obama." Unruh also gives Klayman space to make various unsubstantiated claims about various Obama appointees.
With the scandal engulfing Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, it was time for Klayman's former employer to get into the act.
A Dec. 9 WND article by Unruh rehashes a Judicial Watch press release in which Judicial Watch's Fitton claims (and fervently wishes) that the Blagojevich scandal "is a burgeoning crisis for Obama that should shake his presidency to its core."
WND wasn't alone: Newsmax similarly rehashed Fitton's press release.
During the anti-Clinton years, Judicial Watch received millions of dollars from the likes of Richard Mellon Scaife. This time around, will Klayman and Fitton tell us where their money is coming from? We already know the ConWeb won't bother to find out.
Is Janet Porter Misusing Faith2Action Resources For Her Personal Anti-Obama Crusade?
As we've detailed, Faith2Action's Janet Folger Porter has been waging a personal, dishonest jihad against Barack Obama through her WorldNetDaily columns, particularly over the birth certificate issue. But is she misusing Faith2Action resources in the process?
The tagline on Porter's column has been altered in the course of Porter's recent rantings. The statement that Porter is "president of Faith2Action" is now followed by an asterisk, which leads to a note at the end stating, "*Title and affiliation for identification purposes only." That's misleading and meaningless, since Porter is using the Faith2Action website for her Obama-hate crusade as well as her other right-wing political activism that is Faith2Action's ostensible purpose. There are links on the front page to Porter's column (with the headline "Obama Is an Immigrant") as well as links to other politically related items that are presumably outside Faith2Action's stated mission of "help[ing] provide an overview of what the different branches of the cultural war are doing before you choose to enlist":
Further, a Dec. 9 "Hot Battle Action Steps" item (PDF) states the following:
Further, the Yes to Democracy blog notes that last month, Faith2Action issued a press release about a planned ad on the birth certificate issue in the Washington Times, but that the ad itself does not carry Faith2Action' does not seem to appear on it, rather the address is the law firm of Philip Berg, whose lawsuit over the birth certificate has garnered much right-wing attention. Further, "on 17 November, Berg's website takes responsibility for the ad - with no mention of Faith2Action."
It's unclear exactly what tax status Faith2Action holds -- none is listed on the Faith2Action website, and the its donation page states that donations made via that particular link "not tax-deductible and will be used to win the cultural war through lobbying and legislative efforts," adding: "To make a donation that is tax deductible, make your check payable to 'Faith2Action 4 Education' and send it to P.O. Box 633, Dania Beach, FL 33004."
The "Hot Battle Action Steps" prominently begins by begging for money: "For several months, Faith2Action has been operating on very low funds. If you can help us in any way, it would be greatly appreciated."
The fact that Porter and WND felt the need to go the asterisk route to suggest that Porter's columns don't represent Faith2Action tells us that there is some tax-exempt status that is threatened by Porter's Obama-hate.
But Porter's status as president of Faith2Action is not for "identification purposes only" if Porter is using Faith2Action resources to further her Obama-hate crusade -- possibly in violation of any tax-exempt status F2A holds.
Perhaps Porter should share with her readers and F2A donors how exactly Faith2Action donations are being spent and how her anti-Obama activism, and her use of F2A resources in pursuing it, fulfills F2A's mission.
Kincaid Cribs Column Idea from Aaron Klein
Topic: Accuracy in Media
How far-right is WorldNetDaily's Aaron Klein? Cliff Kincaid is apparently getting column ideas from him.
A few days after Klein mined a blog post by a former Weatherman member to baselessly present speculation-as-fact that Obama "is 'feigning' a centrist position on some issues so he can ultimately push through a radical agenda" (as we noted), Kincaid does the same thing in a Dec. 9 Accuracy in Media article, quoting the most of the same people Klein did and comes to the same baseless guilt-by-association conclusion: that this is "proof that the President-elect is pursuing a political strategy designed to confuse people about his revolutionary agenda."
Newsmax Attacks Lies About Automakers, Adds New One
A Dec. 8 Newsmax article by Dan Weil purporting to expose "four big lies about the Big Three automakers" perpetuates another lie in the process.
In fact, as we've noted, autoworkers do not take home "$70 per hour" in wages and benefits; that number includes pensions and health care paid to retirees.
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