CNSNews.com continues its history of biased, inaccurate terminology regarding abortion in a Jan. 23 article by Penny Starr. Starr repeating described President Obama as "pro-abortion" or as supporting "pro-abortion policies" despite the inaccuracy of that term.
Similarly, Starr fails to describe abortion opponents as "anti-abortion"; rather, she uses the preferred right-wing term "pro-life."
Starr also fails to mention Obama's statement expressing his support for Roe v. Wade, in which he also expressed his support for efforts to "prevent unintended pregnancies, reduce the need for abortion, and support women and families in the choices they make." Thus, we don't get to hear how wanting to "reduce the need for abortion" is somehow a "pro-abortion stance."
Baehr Misleads on Oscar Nominees' Box Office Take Topic: WorldNetDaily
In his Jan. 23 WorldNetDaily column complaining that "the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has ignored the most popular movies of the year in favor of R-rated box office wimps as their nominees for Best Picture," Ted Baehr writes:
Only "The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button" slipped in under the bar with a PG-13 rating. Accordingly, it's made more money than all the others combined, even though it was only released on Christmas Day.
At the close of business in 2008, the Best Picture nominees ranked as follows:
"The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button" (38th) "Slumdog Millionaire" (103rd) "Milk" (128th) "Frost/Nixon" (179th) "The Reader" (205th)
Aside from making the fallacious assumption that a movie's box office take is directly proportional to its quality, Baehr is making an apples-and-oranges comparison between the Oscar-nominated films.
Yes, "Benjamin Button" "made more money than all the others combined," but that's because, according to Box Office Mojo, it received a wide opening-weekend release, on 2,988 screens. By contrast, here are the widest 2008 weekend release numbers for the remaining contenders:
Baehr also smears most of these films; "Milk" and "Frost/Nixon" are denigrated as "obligatory R-rated panderings to the radical left" (with "MIlk" being further called a "gay propaganda film" -- yeah, watching a gay man get shot to death is a useful recruiting tool) while "The Reader" is summarized as being "a pornographic tale about an escaped, female Nazi war criminal seducing a 15-year-old boy!" Baehr seems to have missed the point of all of those movies. "Slumdog Millionaire," though, seems to have escaped Baehr's offhand, uninformed denigration beyond its rating.
David Limbaugh Still Repeating Discredited Clinton Vandalism Lie Topic: WorldNetDaily
In his Jan. 23 syndicated column, which was published at WorldNetDaily and Newsmax, David Limbaugh repeated the discredited claim that President Clinton's staff "literally trashed the White House like juvenile delinquents" upon leaving office in 2001.
In fact, as we've noted, the General Accounting Office investigation into the charges found that many of the vandalism allegations were never substantiated and that the condition the Clinton administration left the White House was not much different than the condition the previous George H.W. Bush administration left it.
A Jan. 23 Newsmax article by David Patten describes the so-called "Dirty Dozen" things President Obama plans to do. But Patten doesn't come clean by telling the truth about them.
For instance, Patten claims that Obama will "hike taxes," about which he adds: "Obama promised to cut taxes for 95 percent of Americans -- quite a feat, considering that only about 60 percent of Americans earn enough to pay taxes in the first place." In fact, Obama has said that his tax credits will go to "working Americans"; further, Patten seems to have forgotten that "working Americans" also pay FICA taxes for Social Security and Medicare, as well as federal excise taxes.
Patten also asserts that the Employee Free Choice Act "seeks to take away workers’ free choice," adding: "The act would eliminate the confidential balloting in which workers now determine whether they want to be unionized." In fact, as we've noted, the EFCA does not eliminate secret balloting.
Patten's article rates each of these so-called "dirty dozen" things by several criteria, including "Likelihood that the measure soon will be implemented," "Potential impact on the country, once the measure is enacted," "Future political impact on the GOP and its supporters," and a "GOP Misery Index" that's an average of the three measures. But at no point does Patten explain how these numbers were calculated, suggesting that he just made them up.
WND's Mercer: Blacks Don't Have Appealing Values Topic: WorldNetDaily
In her Jan. 23 WorldNetDaily column, Ilana Mercer argues that the qualities that make Barack Obama so appealing have nothing to do with the black part of his heritage:
Ironically, Barack the boy was raised by his white maternal grandparents; his Kenyan father abandoned him.
The qualities Americans appeared to find universally appealing in the ambitious, affable Obama – his confidence and calm, and his commitment to community and kin, education and excellence – these came from Kansas, not Kenya.
Mercer also insists that "the election of Barack Obama is proof positive of how fair-minded Americans are, not how far honky has come," adding, "For the first time in a long time, the black community has put forward a candidate of caliber, a candidate the American people were only too willing to consider for the highest office in the land."
CNS Learns Taking Obama Out of Context Is a Non-Story Topic: CNSNews.com
CNS' Terry Jeffrey plucked a line from Barack Obama's inauguration speech out of context to falsely accuse him of being overly fond of "nonbelievers." Apparently, Jeffrey then tried to launch his false meme in the conservative community by having one of his reporters do a story on it.
How'd that work out? Not so well (for Jeffrey, anyway).
The Jan. 22 article by Pete Winn stuck to what Obama said, not what Jeffrey said Obama said, accurately stating that Obama merely "mentioned 'non-believers' in his inaugural speech"and putting Obama's full in-context statement at the top: "We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus - and non-believers."
Further, the "conservative religious leaders" Winn interviewed weren't taking the bait. Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention is quoted as saying, "It struck me as accurate. ... We are a nation of Christians and Jews, and Muslims and Hindus, and Baha’i and agnostics and atheists – although proportionally the vast majority of Americans claim some kind of affiliation with a Christian faith."
Rev. Robert Sirico, president of the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty, is quoted as saying: “I think he’s acknowledging the reality that America is a very diverse culture that is not defined by a doctrinal creed. ... I take no offense at that. The Second Vatican Council acknowledge the reality of unbelievers. In fact, Catholics, every Good Friday, have a whole litany for – to use the phrase that we use -- 'those who have not yet come to believe.'"
Still, with this story fizzling, there's no explanation for why Jeffrey is so offended by Obama's inclusive language.
Examiner Invokes Peter Paul Topic: Washington Examiner
The Washington Examiner exhibits a flare-up of Clinton Derangement Syndrome in a Jan. 22 editorial. Citing reasons to oppose the nomination of Hillary Clinton as secretary of state, the Examiner asserts:
After all, even the liberal New York Observer editorialized a few years ago that Clinton was “unfit for elective office." Does nobody in the Senate care that she was tied to sleazy Hollywood fund-raising on her behalf by multiple-felon Peter Paul? Was it not even worth reviewing the 1995 deposition in which an independent counsel cited her for false statements under oath?
Paul, of course, is the same guy who's hurling various charges against the Clintons in a bid to keep his own felonious butt out of jail for unrelated sleaziness. Of course, Paul wasn't a felon at the time of his Clinton fundraising. We have to wonder, though: Is the Examiner following in WorldNetDaily's footsteps in believing every accusation Paul makes about the Clintons even though he is a "multiple-felon"?
And the "false statements under oath" is an apparent reference to Travelgate. The Examiner conveniently forgets to mention what the independent counsel also said about those statements: "[A]bsent 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."
Travelgate, by the way, is among the more bogus of the supposed Clinton scandals, since the Travel Office employees worked at the pleasure of the president, who could fire them at will, and there was, in fact, evidence of financial mismanagement in the office (even if Billy Dale was acquitted).
Aside from the legalities, the CIA does not believe outright torture produces reliable results and has never used it. Scaring prisoners with waterboarding is another matter. Waterboarding led to a takedown of key al-Qaida operatives when they were planning more attacks. If waterboarding really were torture, the military would not use it on its own special forces as part of their training in case they are waterboarded after being captured.
Many well-intentioned people, including Sen. John McCain, have described waterboarding as torture. But as defined by the dictionary, torture is infliction of pain. As used by the CIA, waterboarding entailed placing a cloth over the face of the subject and pouring water over the cloth. The technique creates the sensation of drowning and therefore fear, but it is painless. The individual awakes the next morning feeling just fine.
In fact, as we've noted, contrary to Kessler's claim that waterboarding victims are "just fine" afterwards, there is evidence that waterboarding does result in lasting physical or psychological damage.
Media Matters catches Brent Bozell peddling a false comparison of inauguration costs in his Jan. 21 column: "For the record, the 'lavish'  Bush inaugural cost $43 million. Final tallies are not complete, but according to some sources, like the Guardian newspaper, the Obama inaugural will cost more than $150 million." In fact, the Obama costs include security, transportation, and other expenses incurred by federal, state, and local governments, while the Bush number does not.
As we noted, Bozell made the same false comparison in an appearance on "Fox & Friends."
Brennan Again Likens Obama to Nazis Topic: Newsmax
Prior to the election, Newsmax's Phil Brennan likened Barack Obama to Nazis (as we noted). Brennan does so again in his Jan. 20 Newsmax column.
After noting Obama's "highly touted scheme to put out-of-job Americans to work by rebuilding the infrastructure — billions upon billions for roads, bridges, tunnels, and buildings in need of refurbishing," Brennan adds: "To begin with, it's not a new idea. Adolf Hitler created a similar plan to put people to work."
Brennan also cited Obama's "reliance on giving tax reductions to vast numbers of people using so-called income tax rebates to people who don't pay a dime in federal income taxes." Brennan fails to note that even if some people do not pay federal income taxes, they do pay other federal taxes, such as federal excise taxes on gasoline and the FICA tax to find Medicare and Social Security.
CNS' Jeffrey Takes Obama Out of Context Topic: CNSNews.com
Terry Jeffrey takes cues from WorldNetDaily's Aaron Klein by taking President Obama out of context in his Jan. 21 CNSNews.com column, claiming that Obama made a "declaration" in his inauguration speech that "We are a nation of … non-believers." Jeffrey also referred to "the 'non-believers' to whom Obama paid tribute in the heart of his speech."
Jeffrey fails to offer to his readers the full context of Obama's remark: "We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus, and nonbelivers. We are shaped by every language and culture, drawn from every end of this Earth."
Like Klein, Jeffrey does not explain why he finds it offensive that Obama is acknowledging the simple, undeniable that there are people other than Christians who hold American citizenship.
NewsBusters Still Sneering At Obama Topic: NewsBusters
From an anonymous Jan. 21 NewsBusters post credited only to "NB Staff":
Possible talking point: Have all your problems gone away now that Obama is President?
Have your mortgage and monthly bills been mysteriously paid for? Did you wake up thinner, taller, fitter, healthier, and sexier? Did your boss give you a raise today completely out of the blue? Are your kids suddenly better behaved, and saying "Yes, sir/ma'am" to all your commands? Did your spouse give you an affectionate greeting this morning like you haven't received since your honeymoon?
Does the sky and the sun look brighter today? Were those strange noises in your car's engine suddenly gone when you drove to work this morning? Is there a new vigor in your step, and a sudden lust for life you've never felt before? Did your neighbors all wave to you as you drove down your street?
Please share with your fellow NBers how everything was better this morning as a result of yesterday's coron...er...inauguration. Inquiring minds want to know.
As if Newsmax's editorial denouncing the Bush legacy wasn't surprising enough, it follows up with part 2, which manages to be even harsher:
As Barack Obama assumes the mantle of the presidency and duties of the office, he has inherited from his predecessor a federal government that has a staggering national debt of over $10 trillion, a ballooning federal deficit this year estimated at $438 billion – and a government that recently assumed responsibility for some $5 trillion of the nation’s consumer debt.
The irony is that George W. Bush, who billed himself as a conservative in the mold of Ronald Reagan, leaves a legacy of profligate federal spending, record debt and an economy in shambles.
A broad range of conservative thinkers, surveying the political and economic fallout of the two Bush terms, are openly voicing their concerns that it may take years for the Republican party and the nation to repair the damage Bush policies have inflicted.
Wowser. Conservatives don't usually say this stuff in public about one of their own.
WND's Klein Trashes Obama's Inauguration Speech Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily's Aaron Klein oozed contempt for Barack Obama yet again in a Jan. 20 article on Obama's inauguration speech.
Attacking the inclusive language Obama used, Klein repeatedly took out of context a previous Obama comment that America is "no longer a Christian nation" to assert that Obama plans "to reorient the U.S. away from its traditional Judeo-Christian values." But Klein himself contradicts this claim later in the article by finally noting Obama's words in full context: "Whatever we once were, we're no longer a Christian nation. At least not just. We are also a Jewish nation, a Muslim nation, and a Buddhist nation, and a Hindu nation, and a nation of nonbelievers."
Klein does not explain why it's somehow offensive to him for Obama to acknowledge the simple, undeniable fact that there are Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims and atheists who are also American citizens.