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Monday, January 26, 2009
Bob Grant Botches Football History
Topic: Newsmax

In a Jan. 26 Newsmax column that takes a convoluted way through football and baseball to declare solidarity with Barack Obama as a fellow Chicago South Sider, Bob Grant messes up some football history, claiming that the NFL's Chicago Cardinals "moved to St. Louis in 1988."

Not quite. The Cards moved from Chicago to St. Louis in 1960; they moved from St. Louis to Arizona in 1988.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:33 PM EST
Updated: Monday, January 26, 2009 10:33 PM EST
The Poetry-Haters At the MRC
Topic: Media Research Center

Why does the Media Research Center hate poetry?

As we've noted, MRC chief Brent Bozell used his Jan. 15 column to slam the work of Elizabeth Alexander, who read a poem during President Obama's inauguration ceremonies, as having appeal "only for a snobbish elite," mostly because she once used the words "genitals" and "buttocks" in the same poem and "wrote that the Rodney King police-brutality case in 1991 was somehow akin to blacks in professional sports." Bozell apparently prefers the opposite to Alexander's poetry, which he described as "assembly-line verses crammed into a Hallmark card."

Another apparent Hallmark-card fan is P.J. Gladnick, who in a Jan. 25 NewsBusters post likens Alexander's poetry to that allegedly written by a "crazed woman passenger" accused of biting a bus driver. Gladnick then offers an alleged sample of the biter's poetry, followed by Alexander's inaugural poem, then adds: "Which poem is more unpoetic to qualify as an Obama inaugural poem? And has anybody spotted Elizabeth Alexander biting bus drivers recently?"

Perhaps Bozell and Gladnick can provide examples of poetry they do like (if there are any) so we can judge how snobbishly anti-elitist their tastes are. 

Posted by Terry K. at 1:11 PM EST
Feder's Clueless Anti-NYT Ranting Continues
Topic: Accuracy in Media

Another day, another piece of clueless ranting at the New York Times by Accuracy in Media's Don Feder.

Feder's target in a Jan. 21 article at his AIM "Boycott the New York Times" website is Times columnist Maureen Dowd, whom he calls the "Queen of Liberal Mean." This overlooks the fact that Dowd kowtowed to Feder's agenda in the 1990s by being a Clinton-hater (which she continued against Hillary Clinton in the 2008 Democratic presidential primaries).

Beyond that, Feder's rant is very thin gruel: bashing Dowd for writing a travel-section article on spending "several days spent at a swank Miami Beach resort getting massages and detoxifying body-wraps, while quaffing expensive vintages." Feder whines that Dowd's piece took place "within days of The Times ordering its newsroom staff to hold the line on expenses," adding: "How does lefty, feel-your-pain Dowd justify such extravagance? That’s easy. She told readers she was there to find out if the rich were experiencing 'spa-guilt' during a recession."

Despite having nothing to offer in his rant, Feder continues anyway: "The New York Times is the citadel of liberal hypocrisy and Dowd is the chatelaine. Wouldn’t it be fun if Maureen released her tax returns so we could see how much she gives to charity each year?" Wouldn't it be even more fun if Feder would release his tax returns so we can see how much of his income comes from the tax-exempt largesse of Scaife-funded groups like AIM?

Meanwhile, Feder is still repeating right-wing falsehoods elsewhere on his little website. In a Jan. 14 article, Feder asserted, "President Bill Clinton passed up at least two opportunities to nab Osama bin Laden in 1996, when the Sudan offered to give him to us on a silver platter." In fact, In fact, the bipartisan 9-11 Commission found "no reliable evidence to support" the claim that Sudan offered bin Laden to the United States.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:34 PM EST
Battle of the Childish Blog Posts
Topic: NewsBusters

A Jan. 21 NewsBusters post by P.J. Gladnick takes offense at an exhibition of "incredibly childish BDS (Bush Derangement Syndrome)" in a post at Democratic Underground. Gladnick uses "childish" three more times to describe the post.

For a comparison of "childish" posts, let's look at a post by a conservative blog endorsed by NewsBusters through its placement at the very top of its blogroll, Ace of Spaces HQ. From a Jan. 20 Ace post on Michelle Obama's wardrobe (h/t Sadly, No!)

President Obama Strolls Down Pennsylvania Avenue Wearing Smart Engish-Cut Suit; Michelle, Meanwhile, Wears Ceremonial T'k'arnanth Klingon Battledress

Hey, nice dress. Who shot the curtains?

I didn't realize Lt. Worf was so "hippy." The Dodge Viper looks up to her for having a wide rear wheelbase.

Hey, is this mean? Here's my response to that: Go fuck yourself sideways with a hot brick from a pizza oven.

First Lady Bush -- and her daughters -- were savaged, as was Sarah Palin.

Michelle Obama is not a good-looking woman, unless you like them "fierce" in the literal, rather than gay-fashion-lingo, sense. Last time I saw a mouth like that it had a hook in it was in Predator.

I don't want to be bitchy, but Michelle Obama looks like she just got a full-body bukake from 30 horny couches.

She looks like she just got raped by the cast of Joseph and the Amazing Monocolor Dreamcoat.

I'm not saying she's bulky, but is she wearing a coat, or is that the jibsail from a gay pirate ship?

I don't want to say she looks immense in that gold circus-costume, but Auric Goldfinger just had a stroke-inducing orgasm.

Oops, he had another one. And another one. Once is happenstance; twice is coincidence; the third time it's a fashion nightmare.

Chewbacca just called. He wants his wife's housecoat back.

Any less "childish"? Didn't think so. Will Gladnick urge his superiors to pull his blog of the NewsBusters blogroll because it is so "childish"? Don't count on it. Only liberals are "childish" in Gladnick's eyes, it seems, and there's no such thing as Obama Derangement Syndrome (even though Gladnick is a sufferer).

Posted by Terry K. at 1:14 AM EST
We're On!
Topic: Newsmax

A Jan. 5 article on the reappearance of a chain email purporting to detail "unreported stats about the 2008 election" cites a 2004 ConWebWatch article noting the false meme's appearance at Newsmax after the 2000 presidential election as evidence of its early origins.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:25 AM EST
Sunday, January 25, 2009
Meanwhile ...
Topic: WorldNetDaily
Richard Bartholomew notes that Jerome Corsi, in a Jan. 23 WorldNetDaily article, makes the baseless and unsupported claims that the discovery of a natural gas field in in the Mediterranean Sea off Israel "lends support to the abiotic theory of the origin of oil that holds oil is created naturally within the mantle of the earth, not by biological origins" -- Corsi co-wrote a WND-published book a few years ago promoting the theory -- as well as that it's "significant for those who believe the Bible indicates Israel is sitting on a massive oil reserve that would reshape the geopolitical structure of the Middle East."

Posted by Terry K. at 10:48 AM EST
WND Chooses to Believe A Murderer -- Again
Topic: WorldNetDaily

We've detailed how WorldNetDaily has chosen to trust convicted murderers with a history of lying when they make statements that play into its right-wing agenda.

WND's Bob Unruh has found a new convicted killer to trust in Ted Bundy. In a Jan. 24 WND article, Unruh rehashed an interview Fox News' Glenn Beck did with Focus on the Family's James Dobson regarding Dobson's interview with Bundy prior to his 1989 execution. In that interview, Bundy "talked about the role pornography had played in his life." Unruh uncritically repeated Dobson's talking points that Bundy claimed that porn "played a major role" in his becoming a serial killer.

Absent from Unruh's article is any mention of Bundy's history of lies and deception as well as his interview with Dobson, as recounted by true-crime author Ann Rule in her book on Bundy, "The Stranger Beside Me" (as we've noted when did the same thing):

I don't think pornography caused Ted Bundy to kill thirty-six or one hundred or three hundred women. I think he because addicted to the power his crimes gave him. And I think he wanted to leave us talking about him, debating the wisdom of his words. In that, he succeeded magnificently.

The blunt fact is that Ted Bundy was a liar. He lied most of his life, and I think he lied at the end.

Rule also wrote regarding Dobson's interview:

Ted Bundy's interview with James Dobson accomplished one thing that troubled me. During the weeks after Ted was executed, I heard from a number of young women. Sensitive, intelligent, kind young women wrote or called me to say that they were deeply depressed because Ted was dead. One college student had watched the Dobson tape on television and felt moved to send flowers to the funeral parlor where Ted's body had been taken. "He wouldn't have hurt me," she said. "All he needed was some kindness. I know he wouldn't have hurt me ..."


Even in death, Ted damages women. They have sent for the Dobson tape, paying the $29.95 fee, and watch it over and over. They see compassion and sadness in his eyes. And they feel guilty and bereft. To get well, they must realize that they were conned by the master conman. They are grieving for a shadow man that never existed.

Why is WND so eager to trust discredited killers?

Posted by Terry K. at 12:24 AM EST
Saturday, January 24, 2009
CNS Labeling Bias Watch
Topic: 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."

Posted by Terry K. at 10:11 AM EST
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.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:07 AM EST
Friday, January 23, 2009
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.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:40 PM EST
Newsmax's 'Dirty Dozen' Contains Filthy Lies
Topic: Newsmax

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.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:20 PM EST
Updated: Friday, January 23, 2009 2:20 PM EST
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."

Posted by Terry K. at 12:00 PM EST
CNS Learns Taking Obama Out of Context Is a Non-Story

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.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:23 AM EST
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).

Posted by Terry K. at 1:18 AM EST
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Kessler Still Loves Waterboarding
Topic: Newsmax

Newsmax's Ronald Kessler is still defending waterboarding, as he has several times before. From a Jan. 21 column:

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.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:47 PM EST
Updated: Thursday, January 22, 2009 1:50 PM EST

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