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Saturday, May 9, 2009
Newsmax's 'Shocking' Announcement
Topic: Newsmax

Remember when Newsmax's Christopher Ruddy promised that during his May 7 Obama-bashing webinar that he "will be making an announcement that will absolutely shock you into action . . . I promise it"? Well, the webinar has come and gone, he has made his announcement, and it's ...

... a stock portfolio?


From a post-webinar email:

What would you do if I walked up and handed you a check for a million dollars?

Instantly giving you a 7-figure financial cushion.

You could blow it on exotic cars . . . a mansion . . . or maybe on some worthless extravagance.

Or you could take steps to turn that million into an even larger pile of cash?

The kind of money that will help protect you, your family, and the generations that follow.

From the coming Obama inflation nightmare.

Today you can take steps to begin to make your million-dollar daydream become a reality. Today your financial future is once again in your own hands and not those of Wall Street or Washington.

Today, you can take back your piece of the American Dream.

I believe so strongly in this mission -- this may shock you -- I’m going to put $1 million dollars of my own money “on the line” to do it!


And here’s what I will do for you: you will be given the opportunity to grow your own wealth -- as I grow mine.

And, I’m going to be 100% upfront and transparent about how I do it.

First, the idea of creating a fund whose holdings and trades are publicly disclosed isn't that new -- Jim Cramer has been doing it for years. In Ruddy's case, he plans to "implementing a proprietary investment strategy my Chief Financial Analyst has developed over the last 22 years to grow this $1 million safely . . . easily . . . and most importantly -- MASSIVELY!" Ruddy adds that he's "aiming for a 50% to 70% return in the next 12 months!"

Second, it's not quite "his" money. Note that the check is made out on the account of Newsmax Media, not Ruddy's personal account. Ruddy may be majority owner of Newsmax, but Richard Mellon Scaife owns the rest. That means he'sputting his partner's money into this venture as well.

Despite the populist, anti-Obama tone of the email, it's ultimately a business proposition -- Ruddy wants to sell you the stock picks he's using in his million-dollar portfolio. Only those who pay Ruddy's "charter membership fee" of $1,295 (which, of course, he claims is a discount off the "regular membership rate" and a steal for the value of the package he's offering, which he claims to be worth $6,818) will get access to them.

The fact that Ruddy has a million bucks he can afford to lose on this seems to demonstrate just how lucrative the ConWeb can be.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:02 PM EDT
Updated: Saturday, May 9, 2009 12:04 PM EDT
Heathering Spreads to WND
Topic: WorldNetDaily

The boys at NewsBusters aren't the only ones engaged in Heathering those who fail to strictly toe the right-wing line. In her May 8 WorldNetDaily column, unsubtly headlined "A cow is born," Ilana Mercer takes aim at the "cow" in question -- Meghan McCain:

Just as you thought American pop-politics could go no lower, a woman with real curb appeal appears on the political scene. Meghan McCain might just be the greatest ditz to date to emerge from that big tent Republicans keep touting. 


Meghan is like a dripping tap. If you've read the first few lines of a blog post, you've read all two diarrheic pages of it.

Ms. McCain's favorite, young Republican candidate is some "hottie" who believes in "the capital system," appeals to minorities and is wise to the use of the paparazzi (an absolute must).


As hopeless, Republicans have failed to make the only valid case against Meghan, and that is that she is really really stupid. (Laura Ingraham practically apologized for lampooning the girl's unmistakable moronity.) It is no accident that the woman studs her conversation with mind-numbing commonplaces and humbugs.

Ann Coulter could have easily dispatched of the ding-dong, as she did Keith Olbermann. A couple of masterful syllogisms mixed in with a few devastating facts, and that would be it. Alas, by denying Ms. McCain the satisfaction, Annie Orkin has left us with a pest-control problem.

Did I mention that the cerebrally challenged Ms. McCain hopes to unseat Ms. Coulter as the new, improved conservative Queen Bee? She writes: "I hope viewers understand Ann Coulter is not the woman we Republicans need representing us right now." The implication being, dot, dot, dot.


Clearly, Meghan McCain is not working with much ─ and is eminently qualified to dim debate in the Age of the Idiot.

A familial predisposition, it would seem. John McCain finished 894th out of 899 at the Naval Academy and lost five jets. As IQ ace Steve Sailer once quipped, "To lose one plane over Vietnam may be regarded as a heroic tragedy; to lose five planes here and there looks like carelessness."

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Mercer is not the first WND columnist to name-check Sailer, best known for his support of eugenics and who wrote of blacks stranded in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina: "The plain fact is that they tend to possess poorer native judgment than members of better-educated groups. Thus they need stricter moral guidance from society."

Posted by Terry K. at 12:59 AM EDT
Friday, May 8, 2009
Newsmax Ignores Disclaimer on Torture Briefing Docs
Topic: Newsmax

A May 7 Newsmax article asserted that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi "lied" when she said she wasn't briefed about how waterboarding was used about specific detainees, claiming that a recently released report from the National Intelligence Director's office "refutes in considerable detail Pelosi’s statement last month that she was never told about the use of waterboarding or other special interrogation tactics."

But Newsmax fails to note that a letter from CIA head Leon Panetta accompanied the report as submitted to the Senate Intelligence Committee stating that the report is based on, in part, "notes that summarized the best recollections of those individuals" who did the briefings, and that the committee "will have to determine whether this information is an accurate summary of what actually happened."

In other words, even the CIA won't vouch for the reliability of the report. But Newsmax won't tell you that.

UPDATE: A May 8 Newsmax article by Chris Gonsalves repeats Republican Rep. Pete Hoekstra's call "for the release of more CIA documents, and perhaps even congressional hearings, to determine what fellow lawmakers such as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi knew about CIA interrogation methods like waterboarding." At no point does Golsalves mention the cover letter from Panetta raising questions about  the report's reliability, or the fact that, as Greg Sargent noted, Hoekstra himself has a copy of it.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:55 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, May 8, 2009 5:54 PM EDT
Obama Derangement Syndrome Watch
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Some Catholic members of the Obama administration were invited to attend the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast. According to the Washington Times, those invited included Joe Biden, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan and DHS Chief Janet Napolitano.

Since Obama wasn't going to be there, none of them knew who they should pray to anyway. So they just skipped the event and stayed at the White House where they could pray to, er, with, their boss.

-- Hal Lindsey, May 8 WorldNetDaily column

Posted by Terry K. at 11:21 AM EDT
WND Still Perpetuating Hate-Crimes Lies
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily seems to be backing away from the outright lie by uncritically declaring that the hate-crimes bill "would provide special protections for pedophiles." One would hope it's because they know it's a lie and they're dishonoring God by telling falsehoods, but we doubt it.

A May 8 WND article by Bob Unruh tempers things a bit, stating that the bill "has been dubbed the 'Pedophile Protection Act.'" But Unruh is still behaving unethically by repeating purported evidence that the bill protects pedophiles -- as we've detailed, a false claim -- but refusing to allow anyone to refute the claim by telling the truth. Unruh also uncritically repeats Matt Barber's false claim that Matthew Shepard "was killed during a robbery for drug money gone awry" while failing to note that one of Shepard's killers used a gay-panic defenseduring their murder trial.

How can a "news" organization that so blatantly lies to its readers be taken seriously? 

Posted by Terry K. at 11:10 AM EDT
Updated: Monday, May 11, 2009 12:03 AM EDT
Selective Outrage at the WJC
Topic: Western Journalism Center

The latest winner of the Claude Rains Memorial Gambling Awareness Award is the Western Journalism Center's Caleb Heimlich, who in a May 5 WJC blog post is shocked -- shocked! -- that people in the Obama administration watch MSNBC:

Today Kareem Dale, Obama’s special assistant to the president for arts and culture and a key White House advisor on disability policy stated that “at the white house, we always like to say we love MSNBC…” 

That is quite a shocking development. The White House watches the network that shills for them on a daily basis.


I am comforted to know that the President is watching the channel that parrots everything he says.

Was Heimlich -- or Floyd Brown or anyone else at the WJC -- similarly shocked (or comforted) to learn that the Bush administration kept its TVs tuned to Fox News, which shilled for him on a daily basis? Or that a Fox News host served in the Bush administration?Or that Vice President Dick Cheney demanded on out-of-town trips that all TVs in his hotel suite be pre-tuned to Fox News?

Somehow we suspect that neither Heimlich nor Brown were able to get themselves terribly worked up about that. Which, of course, nullifies what Heimlich has to say now.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:44 AM EDT
More Obama (And Souter) Smears From Ellis Washington
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Ellis Washington has toned down his Obama smears of late (gosh, you think we had something to do with that?), focusing recent columns on another bit of craziness, the purported need to abolish the exclusionary rule (something even libertarians oppose doing).

But Washington clearly can't restrain himself for long -- in his May 6 WorldNetDaily column, he references "Chairman Maobama" and calls Obama a "sophist and Manchurian Candidate."

Obama's not the target of this column, though; that would be Justice David Souter, whom Washington describes, along with Arlen Specter, as "two well-known traitors of the Republican Party; two proud enemies against America's most sacred and enduring principles like truth, loyalty, justice, godliness and respect for the original intent of the Constitution's framers." But Washington was just getting warmed up:

I am one of the few writers today to openly speculate that Souter's cloistered, monastic existence with mother dearest ostensibly gave this man a bitter resentment toward the American people, which impaired his ability to rightly judge on the weighty issues that hundreds of millions of people would be compelled by law to follow.


When Obama referred to Souter as "a fair-minded, independent judge who defied labels," that is a big lie. Souter is a liberal activist judge who believes that the Constitution is a "living document" that can be manipulated at-will to fit a radical, secular, socialist agenda. As far as relying on the constitutional text for judicial guidance is concerned, Souter's 19-year legacy on the Court showed him to be a modern-day Benedict Arnold.

There is not one judicial opinion that I've read of the hundreds Souter authored, concurred in, or dissented that is in any manner respectful of the original intent of the Constitution's framers.


For almost 20 years, Souter reveled and delighted in ramming his radical liberal activist opinions down the throats of the conservatives, the Christian right and the majority of American citizens who still believed that a judge's only legitimate duty is to interpret the Constitution according to the original intent of the Constitution's framers, not to show "empathy" and legislate from the bench as Souter has done.

Justice Souter's entire judicial legacy on the Supreme Court amounts to the cold, duplicitous kiss of a Judas.

And that's why I spell traitor S-O-U-T-E-R.

I think what we have here is a case of Souter Derangement Syndrome.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:21 AM EDT
Matt Barber, Liar

In his May 7 column, professional gay-basher Matt Barber asserts that the federal hate-crimes bill "would grant special federal resources and preferred minority status to pedophiles, homosexuals, cross-dressers and... a host of other APA recognized “sexual orientations” (i.e., deviant sexual fetishes and perversions). 

As we've pointed out, that is a lie. Pedophilia or any of the other "deviant sexual fetishes and perversions" are not considered sexual orientations, disabilities or gender identities under federal law, nor are they defined as such under the hate-crimes bill, so they are not protected.

Barber repeats another related lie: that "the most famous supposed 'hate crimes' victim of all, Matthew Shepard ... was killed during a robbery for drug money gone awry." Barber, in perpetrating a false revisionism, has chosen to take the word of a known liar and convicted murderer over that of authorities who know that the killers mounted a gay-panic defense at trial. Funny that Barber overlooks that little fact.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:23 AM EDT
Thursday, May 7, 2009
Topic: WorldNetDaily

We've repeatedly documented WorldNetDaily's regular violations of journalistic ethics by refusing to disclose its personal and financial interests in the topics and people it covers, so it's only fair to highlight them when then they do properly disclose such things.

A May 7 WND column by Jerome Corsi bashing Chris Christie, a Republican candidate for New Jersey governor, for his involvement in "a plea bargain with the operator of a Honduran sex-slave ring" begins with an unusual (for WND) disclaimer:

Editor's note: Jerome Corsi is a consultant for the Freedoms Defense Fund, a PAC that opposes Christie in the Republican primary and has funded his opponent, Steve Lonegan.

You may remember that Corsi was slow to disclose as he was bashing Ted Strickland in 2006 that he wrote a book with Strickland's opponent for Ohio governor, Ken Blackwell.

Good job, Jerome Corsi and WND. Now, can y'all get around to telling your readers about the relationship between WND and Orly Taitz?

Posted by Terry K. at 9:21 PM EDT
Newsmax Headline Watch
Topic: Newsmax

A May 6 Newsmax article carries the false headline, "Obama: No Prayer in the White House."

At no point does the article claim that President Obama has banned prayer in the White House. Rather, it's about how Obama has issued a proclamation marking today's National Day of Prayer "but not hold any public events with religious leaders as President George W. Bush did." The article even goes on to note that the Obama administration "has asked a judge to dismiss a lawsuit filed by the Freedom From Religion Foundation, which claims the day violates the separation of church and state."

Posted by Terry K. at 12:52 PM EDT
New Article: Brad O'Leary Has A Cow
Topic: WorldNetDaily
The WorldNetDaily author buys misleading Zogby polls to push his anti-Obama agenda. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 11:04 AM EDT
WND's Double Standard on Secret Meetings
Topic: WorldNetDaily

A May 5 WorldNetDaily article highlights a "secret meeting" by the Bilderberg Group, "an elite invitation-only conference of influential members of the business, media and political community." The article adds: "Attendees of the Bilderberg conference are not allowed to speak a word of what was discussed in the meeting outside of the group. The group has no website and no minutes are kept of the meetings to ensure secrecy."

As we've detailed, WND editor Joseph Farah is also a member of a secretive group that bars news coverage that it can't orchestrate and forbids its member to talk about what was discussed behind closed doors: the Council for National Policy. For all of WND's fulimations about secret meetings -- it even sells books that purport to blow the lid off such secretive groups -- it has remained silent about Farah's participation in clandestine CNP confabs.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:16 AM EDT
Meet Molotov Mitchell
Topic: WorldNetDaily

In a May 6 "For the Record" video posted at WorldNetDaily attacking the DHS "right-wing extremism" report, Molotov Michell states: "Did you know that Hilter wasn't right-wing? He was actually a socialist. That's what Nazi means -- national socialist. He had a lot more in common with Obama than he did with Reagan or Bush or Bush Jr."

This is just the latest in a long string of such smears at WND.

Mitchell also includes the following image to accompany his words:


Mitchell also repeats the right-wing talking point that "the Ku Klux Klan wasn't a bunch of Republicans in those bedsheet ... the KKK was actually founded by and comprised of racist, inbred Democrats." This falsely implies that the Democratic Party carries the same policies on race it did in the 1800s (or even the 1950s). Surely a "for the record" dude like Michell knows that's false. Perhaps Mitchell can do a video on why white segregationists like Jesse Helms and Strom Thurmond switched their affiliation from Democratic to Republican in the 1960s after Democratic leaders expressed support for civil-rights legislation, or why Richard Nixon's "Southern strategy" was so successful in helping Republicans win elections.

In listing a number of people who purportedly fall under the DHS report's description of "right-wing extremist," Mitchell showed a picture of the Dalai Lama, with the caption "Anti-gay bigot":

In fact, here's what the Dalai Lama has had to say on the subject:

In a 1997 interview, the Dalai Lama (the leader of Tibetan Buddhism and a widely-respected spiritual figure) was asked about homosexuality. He did not offer any strong answer either way, but noted that all monks are expected to refrain from sex. For laypeople, he commented that the purpose of sex in general is for procreation, so homosexual acts do seem a bit unnatural. He said that sexual desires in themselves are natural, perhaps including homosexual desires, but that one should not try to increase those desires or indulge them without self-control.

In a 1993 talk given in Seattle, the Dalai Lama said:

nature arranged male and female organs "in such a manner that is very suitable... Same-sex organs cannot manage well." But he stopped short of condemning homosexual relationships altogether, saying if two people agree to enter a relationship that is not sexually abusive, "then I don't know. It's difficult to say." 

The Dalai Lama was more specific in a meeting with Buddhist leaders and human rights activists in San Francisco in 1997, where he commented that all forms of sex other than penile-vaginal sex are prohibited for Buddhists, whether between heterosexuals or homosexuals. At a press conference the day before the meeting, he said, "From a Buddhist point of view, [gay sex] is generally considered sexual misconduct." But he did note that this rule is for Buddhists, and from society's viewpoint, homosexual relationships can be "of mutual benefit, enjoyable, and harmless."

The Dalai Lama is well known for his activism for human rights, and this specifically includes equal rights for gays. According to an Office of Tibet spokeman, "His Holiness opposes violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation. He urges respect, tolerance, compassion, and the full recognition of human rights for all."

If Mitchell really believes in doing stuff "for the record," he should stick that "anti-gay bigot" caption where it much more accurately belongs: under a picture of Joseph Farah.

More about Molotov Mitchell: His real name is Jason, he has produced a number of inaccurate, smear-laden anti-Obama videos (including an embrace of the Obama birth certificate conspiracy), and  he's a part of something called the Zealot Movement, an extremist Christian movement built on the straight-edge punk lifestyle that, according to Mitchell, "avoid[s] the pitfalls of American, effeminised Christianity" and embraces "sexual purity through the practice of abstinence until marriage and the abolition of homosexuality."

"Abolition of homosexuality"? Interesting wording, that.

That would seem to fit in with his declared philosophy of embracing "the lost value of extremism." Too bad he's not all that worried about the lost value of accuracy. Then again, the willingness to smear Obama with extreme prejudice (and extreme inaccuracy) is obviously why Joseph Farah loves him so -- WND has been promoting Mitchell's videos since February.

UPDATE: Richard Bartholomew delves deeper into Molotov.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:00 AM EDT
Updated: Friday, May 8, 2009 2:49 AM EDT
Kinsolving Repeats Bogus Standing-For-Obama Meme
Topic: WorldNetDaily

A May 5 WorldNetDaily article reports the question he would have asked in the daily White House briefing had he been called on to ask it: "The Drudge Report has shown videos of President George W. Bush entering this press room with none of the press reporters standing up for him, and then President Obama entering this room at which all reporters stood up. Question, was President Obama proud of this? Or did he regret it in consideration of his presidential predecessor?"

But that video is misleading and out of context. As Slate's John Dickerson reported:

It's a distorted picture, though. We stood all the time for President Bush. Reporters customarily do so to show respect for the office of the presidency. In the East Room of the White House, we stood not only when the president came in but to ask questions. Some reporters said thank you to the president even before asking their questions. This practice continues under President Obama.

There are different rules for the briefing room, though, which is the place both events on the video took place. It's more informal. (CBS's Mark Knoller talked to Bush press secretary Ari Fleischer, who confirmed that no offense was taken when the press didn't stand in the briefing room.) It's not that there is a no-standing policy, exactly, but more that the question is unresolved. The press didn't stand for Bush in February but did when the president visited the briefing room for the last time. When he held press conferences in the Eisenhower Old Executive Office Building, the press did stand. Same with the Rose Garden.


Why, then, didn't the members of the press stay in their seats when Obama walked in last Friday? Unlike the Bush planned press conference in February, Obama's visit was a complete surprise (you hear fewer clicks because not every photographer is there), which meant the natural instinct to stand when a president enters the room may have kicked in as it did with Bush's last visit. As you can see from the video, they also ruined the shot, which means standing not only invited grief from conservatives but from their colleagues, too.

CBS reporter Mark Knoller reports further:

When some reporters stood up for President Obama last Friday, they forgot about the needs of their colleagues in the back of the room as well as the less formal atmosphere of the briefing room. Certainly it was a sign of respect for the president, but not one of disrespect for his predecessor.

It was President Obama’s first time at the briefing room lectern since taking office and for some new members of the White House Press, it was their first time seeing a president enter the room as well. 

Tim Graham at NewsBusters also made a big deal about this, but has since failed to tell the full story.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:30 AM EDT
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Farah's Paranoid Defense of Savage
Topic: WorldNetDaily

A dose of paranoia, courtesy of Joseph Farah in his May 6 WorldNetDaily column:

I believe with near 100 percent certainty, though I admit I can't prove it, that the initiative for this symbolic effort to ban Michael Savage from a country he had no intention of visiting came not from London, but from Washington.

Savage commands the third-largest audience of all talk shows in the country. He is also the most critical of Obama and the Democrat-dominated Congress. He is the edgiest. He pushes the envelope. He has been falsely accused of being a "hater" and engaging in "hate speech" plenty of times.

That's why he was the perfect target for a pre-emptive and insidious attack on his character.

Actually, accusations of "hate speech" by Savage are far from false -- they are quite credible, as merely listening to Savage's words amply demonstrates.

Posted by Terry K. at 7:11 PM EDT

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