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Thursday, February 19, 2009
A Pair of Rants At WND
Topic: WorldNetDaily

A pair of choice rants at WorldNetDaily:

Craige McMillan calls President Obama a "corrupt Chicago illegal alien," goes on to rant about "socialist public educational institutions," references "[t]he communist morons you've elected," and repeats the false right-wing talking point about "[t]he $4 billion stimulus to ACORN."

Erik Rush asserts that Obama "continues to be marketed like a Muppet" and is acting like a "pharaoh," and smears "Nancy Pelosi, whom I am beginning to suspect has some trouble walking and keeping her heart beating at the same time."

Posted by Terry K. at 3:00 PM EST
Topic: WorldNetDaily
County Fair notes that the Washington Times' Donald Lambro has identified WorldNetDaily's Jerome Corsi as a member of "the liberal blogosphere." Say what?

Posted by Terry K. at 2:37 PM EST
MRC Double Standard Watch
Topic: Media Research Center

A Feb. 18 NewsBusters post (and Feb. 19 MRC CyberAlert item) by Scott Whitlock criticized New Yorker writer Hendrik Hertzberg for likening the dynamic between President Obama and Rush Limbaugh to that between Martin Luther King and Bull Connor. Whitlock irrelevantly adds: "It should be pointed out that Bull Connor, the Alabama public safety commissioner in the '60s, was a Democrat, thus making Hertzberg's comparison even more faulty."

Funny, we don't recall any outrage on the part of the MRC when right-wing WorldNetDaily columnist Mychal Massie likened Sen. Harry Reid to Bull Connor and Orval Faubus, and also claimed that Democratic critics of then-Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice "are fully representative of Bull Connor and Orval Faubus" -- then hypocritically criticized Rep. Charles Rangel for saying that "George Bush is our Bull Connor."

Posted by Terry K. at 12:57 PM EST
Updated: Thursday, February 19, 2009 12:58 PM EST
From Morano's Mouth to Sheppard's Keyboard
Topic: NewsBusters

The Think Progress Wonk Room has gotten a hold of a contact list used by Marc Morano, the former CNS reporter now working for Sen. James Inhofe, to whom he sends out his misleading anti-global warming propaganda.

On the list, unsurprisingly, are a pair of NewsBusters staffers, Noel Sheppard and Matthew Sheffield, and Dan Gainor of the MRC Business & Media Institute. We've previously reported on Morano's misleading global warming claims, as well as Sheppard's slavish recitation of them.

Sheppard is, unsurprisingly, proud to regurgitate whatever spurious information Morano sends him: "I'm sure I speak for all my fellow jokers when I say that I am honored to be mentioned with these highly-respected climate realists."

Posted by Terry K. at 9:24 AM EST
Updated: Thursday, February 19, 2009 12:44 PM EST
New Article: Newsmax's Stimulus Falsehoods
Topic: Newsmax
The Clinton-bashing glory days of the 1990s are reprised at Newsmax, where the same treatment -- and lack of adherence to facts -- is now applied to President Obama. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 1:41 AM EST
Jerome Corsi, Badly Trained Economist
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Joseph Farah touts Jerome Corsi as a "trained economist" -- never mind that it's not true, like a lot of things one reads at WorldNetDaily. Let's take a look at one example why.

A Feb. 13 WND article by Corsi states:

The Obama administration economic stimulus package is going to force the Treasury to borrow approximately $2.5 trillion in 2009 and another $4 trillion in 2010, with the result of increasing the current $10 trillion national debt by 65 percent in just two years.

If the Obama administration increases the national debt by 65 percent every two years, the debt will be $16.5 trillion in 2010 and $27.225 trillion by 2012, the year of the next presidential election. 

According to who? Corsi doesn't say.

If Corsi derived these numbers on his own, how did come to this conclusion? Corsi doesn't show his work.

For all we know, Corsi pulled them out of a certain bodily orifice.

But who cares about facts and documentation when Corsi's actual purpose in writing this article is to throw out bizarre, scary analogies:

Earth's home galaxy, the Milky Way, is estimated to contain about 200 billion stars. So, if each star cost one dollar, one trillion dollars would buy five Milky Way galaxies full of stars.

One trillion seconds of ordinary clock time equals 31,546 years. So, spending money at the rate of one dollar every second, or $86,400 every day, would still take nearly 32,000 years to spend $1 trillion.

If someone were to build city blocks that contained 10 homes valued at $100,000 per home, you would end up with ten houses to a block, ten blocks to a mile and a hundred blocks per square mile. It would take 10,000 square miles to reach $1 trillion in value.

Why would a "trained economist" indulge himself in peddling such trivial crap? Again, no answer is forthcoming beyond Corsi's own amply demonstrated Obama Derangement Syndrome.

Yet, WND treats Corsi's article as "news," not the unsubstantiated opinion it is. And Farah apparently defers to Corsi on all things economic -- which tells you much of what you need to know about WND.

This is not the first time Corsi has told lies about the stimulus -- he's already on record as making the false claim that Obama wants "cut the Pentagon budget for fiscal year 2010 by $55 billion, more than 10 percent of last year's $512 billion defense budget." In fact, Obama wants to increase the Pentagon's budget by $14 billion; the reported cut is from a budget proposal.

Further, Corsi's Feb. 13 article references "Craig Smith, founder and CEO of Swiss America" without disclosing that Smith is a WND columnist and that Swiss America is a longtime WND advertiser -- a disclosure problem WND has long had.

If Corsi is a "trained economist" -- and as we've noted, the evidence is that he's not -- you wouldn't know it from reading this. A trained right-wing smear artist, perhaps.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:38 AM EST
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Another Lie From David Patten
Topic: Newsmax

Remember David Patten's parade of right-wing lies in his Feb. 14 Newsmax article about the stimulus bill? There's one more we overlooked.

Patten asserted that the "actual figure" the bill will cost "is now closer to $3.27 trillion." Patten added: "That stems from the $744 billion it will take to pay for the additional debt the legislation will create, and $2.527 trillion in increased spending from the new and expanded programs the bill will spawn over the next decade."

That's wrong too. As Media Matters details, more than half of that $3.2 trillion figure comes from the cost of permanently extending more than 20 provisions in the recovery bill -- which the bill does not do.

Patten is discrediting himself by the day -- and Newsmax is apparently happy with that.

Posted by Terry K. at 7:12 PM EST
Blumer Falsely Suggests Bush Didn't Pre-Pick Questions
Topic: NewsBusters

In a Feb. 17 NewsBusters post, Tom Blumer purports to be offended that President Obama's "team" was preselecting who "be allowed to submit a question to His Excellency," adding: "What would the press be saying if Bush had employed these crutches?"

As we pointed out when fellow NewsBuster Warner Todd Huston made the same claim, Bush did, in fact, employ that cruch, relying on lists of pre-selected reporters during press conferences.

Posted by Terry K. at 4:40 PM EST
Farah vs. Schlussel
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Joseph Farah spends his Feb. 18 column bashing "an Internet pundit out there in the blogosphere whose name I will not utter" over her attacks on WND's Aaron Klein, accusing him of stealing story ideas from her blog.

Since Farah won't utter her name, we will: Debbie Schlussel, who is, ironically, a former WND columnist -- which Farah curiously fails to mention. We've detailed Schlussel's special brand of crazy in her work for WND in the early 2000s.

We're not going to get into the particulars of Schlussel's accusations against Klein or Farah's response to them (other than to note that Klein has a history of gleaning anti-Obama story ideas from right-wing blogs, including Schlussel's). Some of Farah's peripheral claims defending Klein, however, deserve attention. For instance, Farah wrote:


She attempted to defame Klein by alleging that he "had to retract a story he made up, claiming that Fox News paid ransom to Palestinian terrorists for Fox News personnel's release."

This statement is a total fabrication. The article was never retracted! Actually we defended it! And it remains posted permanently in the WND archives for anyone to view – even an investigative sleuth like the blogger in question.

The truth is somewhere in the middle. While Klein did not explicitly claim that Fox News "paid ransom to Palestinian terrorists for Fox News personnel's release," the tone of Klein's article heavily implied that it did. It was only afterwards that Klein and WND walked things back a bit and definitively stated that Fox News didn't pay the ransom (but also misleadingly insisting that the article did as well).

Farah also wrote:

But even those lies were not sufficient for said blogger. She continued to target the Middle East's most courageous reporter, Aaron Klein, who risks his life interviewing some of the most dangerous people in the world, by writing: "Muslims in Gaza he claims to have interviewed never heard of the guy."

It must be easy hurling those kinds of libelous insults from the safe confines of her easy chair in the United States. However, Aaron Klein doesn't use anonymous sources when he quotes senior terrorist leaders in Gaza and many of the most prominent Islamists in the world. He names names. He records many of his interviews.

That's not exactly true either. We've noted numerous instances of Klein attributing claims to anonymous sources, including terrorist leaders in Gaza. Indeed, a Feb. 16 article by Klein quotes "a top PA [Palestinian Authority] negotiator" who was "speaking on condition of anonymity" making a claim about Obamathat is not subtantiated anywhere in the article. A Feb. 2 article by Klein similarly quotes "top PA officials... speaking on condition their names be withheld" making similar unsubstantiated claims about Obama. That's part and parcel of Klein's guilt-by-association smear campaign against Obama.

The topper, though, is Farah's claim that the unnamed Schlussel is making "reckless, irresponsible accusations."That's WND's job -- from publishing false claims about a supporter of Al Gore to peddling bogus documents and repeated lies about Obama, WND is the very definition of reckless and irresponsible.

Will Farah ever hold his own website to the same standards he hold Schlussel? Don't count on it.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:21 PM EST
Moore Repeats Stimulus Lies
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Roy Moore writes of the stimulus plan in his Feb. 18 WorldNetDaily column:

More than $3 billion goes to ACORN, a community organization already under federal investigation for voter registration practices. Thirty million dollars goes to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's district in the San Francisco area to restore wetlands and in part to protect the endangered salt marsh harvest mouse.

False, and false.

There seems to be a pattern developing here of Moore believing that he can lie and mislead about Obama with impunity. Given that he's a lawbreaker himself -- and lost his position as Alabama Supreme Court chief justice because of it -- it's not that surprising, and he counters the suggestion forwarded in the name of his column that he's genuinely interested in a "moral foundation."

Posted by Terry K. at 1:33 AM EST
Poetry Corner
Topic: NewsBusters

Of all the things we've written about NewsBusters' P.J. Gladnick, the only one that motivated a response was ... when we questioned his taste in poetry.

Three weeks after the fact, Gladnick responded in a Feb. 17 post -- which, for some strange reason, was removed shortly after its posting.

We read it before it went off into the ether. If we remember correctly, Gladnick provided an (lengthy) example of a poet he did like (whose name we do not remember). It wasn't our cup of tea, but we're not going to ridicule Gladnick's choice because we understand the whole different-strokes-for-sifferent-folks thing, but also because ridicule is exactly the same treatment Gladnick dished out to President Obama's choice of a poet, Elizabeth Alexander, by likening her work to that of a crazy woman.

Which is why we highlighted Gladnick's post in the first place. Gladnick (and Brent Bozell, who similary ridiculed Alexander's poetry) was interested only in scoring a cheap shot against Obama, both arguably could care less about poetry. Alexander's not exactly our cup of tea either, but there's no need to bash Obama over it. It certainly has nothing to do with the "liberal bias" they are supposed to be going after.

(P.S. We're rather fond of Yeats and Kenji Miyazawa.)

Posted by Terry K. at 12:49 AM EST
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Aaron Klein's Obama-Smear Food Chain
Topic: Horowitz

Last May, we noted one particularly desperate guilt-by-association attack on Barack Obama by WorldNetDaily's Aaron Klein -- a claim that the new pastor at Obama's former church in Chicago paraphrased a line from a rap song that also included explicit lyrics, which the pastor did not reference.

You'd think that such a obviously desperate smear would disappear into the ether, right? Wrong.

The Discover the Networks profile of that pastor, Otis Moss, approvingly cites Klein's attack:

In another sermon, Moss quoted a song -- titled "Wrong N-gga to F--k With" -- by the rap artist Ice Cube. ("If I was Ice Cube," said Moss, "I would say it a little differently -- 'you picked the wrong folk to mess with.'") This song contains the following lyrics:

"Down wit the niggaz that I bail out
I'm platinum b-tch and I didn't have to sell out
F--- you Ice Cube, that's what the people say
F--- AmeriKKKa, still with the triple K
Cause you know when my nine goes buck
it'll bust your head like a watermelon dropped from 12 stories up
Now let's see who'll drop"

LIke Klein, at no point does Discover the Networks offer evidence that Moss citted the offensive lyrics.

Apparently, David Horowitz is just as desperate to smear Obama as Klein is.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:41 PM EST
Updated: Tuesday, February 17, 2009 3:43 PM EST
Kengor Regurgitates Misleading Obama Attack
Topic: Horowitz

In a Feb. 17 FrontPageMag column, Paul Kengor writes: "Before he was elected president, Senator Barack Obama was ranked the most liberal member of a very liberal U.S. Senate by the respected, non-partisan National Journal, which is famous for its rankings of members of Congress."

Kengor fails to mention that National Journal considered just 99 votes in its survey and that the publication admitted that its previous surveys' methodologies had been flawed. Moreover, a separate study that used all 388 non-unanimous Senate votes during 2007 produced a different result, placing Obama in a tie for the ranking of 10th most liberal senator. Further, National Journal similarly declared John Kerry the "most liberal senator" before the 2004 presidential election, only to acknowledge later that its methodology in doing so was flawed.

Kengor has also apparently decided that the election of Obama is evidence that Americans are stupid:

Can we trust the American public to vote rationally? That may seem harsh, even condescending, but it is an inescapable consideration given the data.

The data is particularly a jolt to Reagan Republicans. Ronald Reagan frequently declared that you can always trust the American people to make the right decisions. Of course, that assumes a knowledgeable, well-informed public—educated by schools and media that are genuinely balanced in exposing a wide variety of points of view. It also assumes a citizenry that votes according to ideas or ideology.

Apparently, for many Americans, those things did not happen on November 4, 2008.

That sounds a lot like how WorldNetDaily reacted to Obama's election, by declaring Obama voters to be immature. 

Posted by Terry K. at 2:20 PM EST
Corsi's A 'Trained Economist'?
Topic: WorldNetDaily

A Feb. 16 WorldNetDaily column by Joseph Farah cited purportedly alarming statistics about the stimulus plan, then added:

Let's consider the real meaning of these numbers, courtesy of WND senior staff reporter Jerome Corsi, a trained economist:

  • If you had gone into business on the day Jesus was born, and your business lost a million dollars a day, 365 days a year, it would take you until October 2737 to lose $1 trillion.
  • $1 trillion dollars divided by 300 million Americans comes out to $3,333 per person.
  • One trillion $1 bills stacked one on top of the other would reach nearly 68,000 miles into the sky, about a third of the way from the Earth to the moon.
  • Earth's home galaxy, the Milky Way, is estimated to contain about 200 billion stars. So, if each star cost $1, $1 trillion would buy five Milky Way galaxies full of stars.

First, Corsi is not a "trained economist" in any normal sense. As we've noted, Corsi's financial background is primarily in marketing, and he was a principal in a group that launched an investment venture in Poland in 1995 that eventually lost about $1.2 million (which Corsi won't talk about). Corsi's practical experience in dealing with matters of the economy is lacking, to say the least.

Second, would a genuine "trained economist" bother with such trivia as making analogies about dollar and stars and stacks of bill reaching to the moon? Indeed, that's the sign of someone who's not serious about the economy.

Third: Remember that Corsi is the guy who's following in Andy Martin's footsteps -- yet another reason to not take anything he says seriously. It's too bad that Farah does, because it means we shouldn't take seriously anything he says, either.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:15 AM EST
Monday, February 16, 2009
Meanwhile ...
Topic: NewsBusters
County Fair's Jamison Foser points out how little NewsBusters' Noel Sheppard knows about media criticism; in a Feb. 15 post, Sheppard equates fact-checking with being "defamatory."

Posted by Terry K. at 4:10 PM EST

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