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Monday, June 8, 2009
Examiner Doubles Down on Right-Wing Bias
Topic: Washington Examiner

Media Bistro reports that the Washington Examiner is adding even more conservative activists to its staff.

David Freddoso -- who penned a misinformation-riddled attack book on Barack Obama during the 2008 presidential campaign -- will be an investigative writer for the commentary section. Apparently he can't be trusted to report fairly, which means his work is banned from appearing in the regular news section.

Also joining as commentary managing editor is J.P. Freire, who formerly worked for the American Spectator. Last year, Freire was caught in a bit of hypocrisy, railing against the New York Times report that stafferson John McCain's campaign were concerned that the candidate was too close to lobbyist Vicki Iseman when the Spectator has a long history of reporting salacious rumors about Bill Clinton.

As we've detailed, the Examiner has pretty much outlawed non-conservative opinion on its editorial pages, a hardline stance that appears to be bleeding over into its news copy.

Posted by Terry K. at 4:23 PM EDT
Newsmax Kerik Rehabilitation Watch
Topic: Newsmax
As part of its continuing rehabilitation of Bernard Kerik, Newsmax published a June 7 column by Kerik weighing in on President Obama's speech in Cairo -- even though Kerik has demonstrated no known expertise in Middle East politics.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:31 PM EDT
Floyd Brown Misleads on His Obama Smear
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Floyd and Mary Beth Brown's June 5 WorldNetDaily column essentially demands a apology from people who criticized Floyd Brown's smear ad of Barack Obama during the 2008 presidential campaign, which asked if Obama was a Muslim. The Browns claim that Obama's "coming out to the Muslim world" has proven them right.

But Brown's ad was very disingenuous. As the Huffington Post's Sam Stein reported at the time:

There is much context left to fill. For starters, the school Obama attended at the time was Catholic -- a spokesman for Indonesia's Ministry of Religious Affairs said as much. And while someone did list Obama as a Muslim (the religion of his step father) on a document that required students to list religious affiliations, the campaign has insisted that it was a mistake.


Moreover, Brown's own ad concludes that the issue is inconsequential. "Maybe it doesn't matter if Obama were a Muslim back then," the spot goes, before questioning why he won't tell the truth now.

What may be more telling than the smear ad is the reaction that it engenders. Brown has a history of using barely discreet racist messaging to drive political discussion. So it is hardly a surprise to see him meddling in the Obama-is-a-Muslim affairs.

Further, at no point does Brown concede -- then or now -- that Obama is a Christian. He's too wedded to the Muslim smear.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:31 PM EDT
CNS Likes to Count Things

Obama used 'Invest' or 'Investment' 18 Times in Press Conference to Describe Government Deficit Spending

--March 25 article by Terry Jeffrey

Obama Again Uses the Word 'Investment' to Describe the Deficit Spending He Plans

-- April 30 CNS article by Terry Jeffrey

Obama's national Day of Prayer Proclamation Mentions God Only Once

-- May 7 CNS article by Penny Starr

President Obama used the first-person singular pronoun "I" 34 times on Monday when he announced he was nationalizing General Motors. He used “Congress” once and “law” not at all.

-- June 3 CNS column by Terry Jeffrey

Posted by Terry K. at 11:27 AM EDT
WND's Latest Lie on Obama Birth Certificate
Topic: WorldNetDaily

One has to almost admire the sheer balls WorldNetDaily exhibits in outright lying to its readers.

WND does it again in a June 7 article hyperbolically claiming that "The Hawaiian certification of live birth Barack Obama posted on his campaign website and distributed to select news organizations as proof he was a 'natural born citizen' would not be accepted as a 'birth certificate' even for some Hawaiian state government eligibility issues" -- though WND names exactly one issue for which that is the case, the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands. At no point does WND explain what the program does: lease lands to those of "native Hawaiian" ancestry. That is, "any descendant of not less than one-half part of the blood of the races inhabiting the Hawaiian Islands previous to 1778."

That is not a program Obama would be applying for, since we know his ancestry is not native Hawaiian, so whether his birth certificate is sufficient to apply for the program is irrelevant.

But that's not the lie. This is:

Obama's "citizenship" was never the question raised during the campaign or after the election. The issue raised by WND has consistently been that Obama failed to prove he was actually born in Hawaii and thus constitutionally qualified to become president as a "natural born citizen" – which requires that the birth took place in the United States.

Bull, bull, bull. If you're questioning whether Obama is a "natural born citizen," you're questioning his citizenship. And let's look in the WND archive to see how much WND is unconcerned with "citizenship":

Indeed, a search for "Obama citizenship" in the WND database returns 304 entries. Does that sound like citizenship "was never the question" for WND?

Such mendaciousness is emblematic of how WND has conducted itself regarding Obama and his birth certificate.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:19 AM EDT
Updated: Monday, June 8, 2009 9:39 AM EDT
Newsmax's Hirsen Mum on Mel Gibson's Divorce
Topic: Newsmax

Newsmax's James Hirsen has made something of a career out of bashing Hollywood -- he once claimed that "you want to make it in Hollywood these days, guess you have to be prepared to take the Hypocritic Oath."

There's no shortage of hypocrisy in Hollywood, of course, from political causes to self-proclaimed family men who jettison their wives for newer models -- like, say, Mel Gibson (who, as a bonus, has gotten said newer model pregnant out of wedlock). Given that Gibson is a Catholic so devout that he created his own splinter sect that rejects the Vatican II church reforms of the 1960s, and that Catholicism generally rejects the very idea of divorce, Gibson is a perfect hypocrisy target for the likes of Hirsen.

At least, he would be if Hirsen wasn't involved with Gibson and his sect.

As we've detailed, Hirsen heads something called the World Faith Foundation, which owns a tract of land in western Pennsylvania purchased for the purpose of permitting Gibson's father, Hutton Gibson, to found a branch of Gibson's ultraconservative splinter sect.

Not only has Hirsen failed to tell his readers about his relationship with Gibson even as performed PR duty by fluffing Gibson's movies and assailing Gibson's critics, he has completely ignored the story of Gibson's divorce.

That may be a bigger hypocrisy than anything found in Hollywood.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:34 AM EDT
Updated: Monday, June 8, 2009 1:34 AM EDT
Sunday, June 7, 2009
Boone Takes Obama Out of Context, Makes Up Quotes
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Pat Boone's June 6 column, published at WorldNetDaily, begins with a series of out-of-context and manufactured quotes of President Obama in an effort to smear him as "a president without a country."

For instance, Boone quotes Obama as saying, "We're no longer a Christian nation," which he later responds to by writing, "America is emphatically a Christian nation, and has been from its inception!" In fact, Boone hides the full context of Obama's statement, which highlights the diversity of America:

Whatever we once were, we are no longer a Christian nation – at least, not just. We are also a Jewish nation, a Muslim nation, a Buddhist nation, and a Hindu nation, and a nation of nonbelievers. 

Boone also quotes Obama as saying, "America has been arrogant," suggesting he got the idea "during the 20 years you were a member of the Trinity United Church of Christ under your pastor, Jeremiah Wright." But there's no evidence Obama said that exact quote. Boone appears to be referring to Obama's speech in Strasbourg, France, in which he said that "here have been times where America has shown arrogance and been dismissive, even derisive." ButBoone ignores what Obama said immediately after that:

But in Europe, there is an anti-Americanism that is at once casual but can also be insidious. Instead of recognizing the good that America so often does in the world, there have been times where Europeans choose to blame America for much of what's bad.

On both sides of the Atlantic, these attitudes have become all too common. They are not wise. They do not represent the truth. They threaten to widen the divide across the Atlantic and leave us both more isolated. They fail to acknowledge the fundamental truth that America cannot confront the challenges of this century alone, but that Europe cannot confront them without America.

Boone served up another purported Obama quote: "After 9/11, America didn't always live up to her ideals." But like the previous statement, that's a paraphrase. It appears to be taken from Obama's recent speech in Cairo, and again, it's taken out of context:

And finally, just as America can never tolerate violence by extremists, we must never alter our principles. 9/11 was an enormous trauma to our country. The fear and anger that it provoked was understandable, but in some cases, it led us to act contrary to our ideals. We are taking concrete actions to change course. I have unequivocally prohibited the use of torture by the United States, and I have ordered the prison at Guantanamo Bay closed by early next year.

So America will defend itself respectful of the sovereignty of nations and the rule of law. And we will do so in partnership with Muslim communities which are also threatened. The sooner the extremists are isolated and unwelcome in Muslim communities, the sooner we will all be safer.

One wonders what country Boone belongs to that allows him to think he can misquote and distort Obama's words and get away with it.

UPDATE: Newsmax published Boone's misleading column as well.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:05 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, June 9, 2009 1:04 AM EDT
CNS Reports Claim NY Times Retracted

A June 5 article by Fred Lucas asserts that "one in seven" detainees released from the Guantanamo Bay detention facility "were confirmed as having re-engaged in terrorist activity" or "suspected of doing so."

Unfortunately for Lucas and CNS, the New York Times just retracted a significant portion of that very same claim.

In an editor's note appended to its original May 21 article on the report, the Times stated:

The article said that the Pentagon had found about one in seven of former Guantánamo prisoners had "returned to terrorism or other militant activity," or as the headline put it, had "rejoined jihad."

Those phrases accepted a premise of the report that all the former prisoners had been engaged in terrorism before their detention. Because that premise remains unproved, the day the article appeared in the newspaper, editors changed the headline and the first paragraph on the Times Web site to refer to prisoners the report said had engaged in terrorism or militant activity since their release.

The article and headline also conflated two categories of former prisoners. In the Pentagon report, 27 former Guantánamo prisoners were described as having been confirmed as engaging in terrorism, with another 47 suspected of doing so without substantiation. The article should have distinguished between the two categories, to say that about one in 20 of former Guantánamo prisoners described in the Pentagon report were now said to be engaging in terrorism. (The larger share — about one in seven —applies to the total number described in the report as confirmed or suspected of engaging in terrorism.)

While Lucas does specifically state that his "one in seven" number includes those both "confirmed" and "suspected" of engaging in terrorism, the headline on his article -- "DOD Report: One in Seven Released Gitmo Detainees Returns to Terrorism" -- does not. And Lucas accepts the Pentagon's unproven premise that the released Gitmo detainees engaged in "terrorist activity" prior to their detention. Without that knowledge, Lucas' statement the released detainees in question had "re-engaged" in "terrorist activity" is unproven as well.

Lucas also fails to state one important and obvious fact about those detainee releases: they occurred under the Bush administration. Indeed, President Bush is not mentioned anywhere in his article.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:25 AM EDT
Saturday, June 6, 2009
NewsBusters Embraces Dubious Global Warming Item
Topic: NewsBusters

The Boston Phoenix highlights a June 5 NewsBusters post by P.J. Gladnick repeating a Daily Tech report by Michael Andrews asserting that NASA, in a "new" study, has concluded that the sun, not man, is the cause of global warming.

Only, not so much. According to the Phoenix:

But when Andrews writes of a "new research report," he's a bit off, seeing as A) it's not new, and B) there's no report.

What seems to have happened is that in May 2008, a NASA guy wrote a general interest article, relying on NASA materials and quoting NASA researchers, about solar variability and climate change. It ran on Science Daily's site on May 12, 2008. The article is about how climate-change researchers are working to understand the relationship between solar variability and earth's atmosphere, in order to more accurately measure and predict the real global warming problem happening now, being caused by man-made emissions. (Andrews concedes that the "NASA study" blames current global warming on human behavior, but writes that this was where the study "went badly off the tracks.")

Andrews appears to have just stumbled across the article, didn't notice the old date, mistook it to be refering to a new study, completely misinterpreted the actual substance of the article, and -- voila! -- hot news item!

Posted by Terry K. at 10:29 AM EDT
Lowell Ponte's New Obama Conspiracy
Topic: Newsmax

Democrat Derangement Syndrome sufferer Lowell Ponte invents a new Obama conspiracy in his June 5 Newsmax column:

Obama deliberately arranged to meet his wife, Michelle, in Paris later in his trip. The apparent reason: Muslim fundamentalists would expect a woman in the presence of the Saudi ruler to wear a veil.

Ponte offers no evidence to support the "apparent"-ness of this claim.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:46 AM EDT
Friday, June 5, 2009
Matthew Vadum, Sucky Researcher
Topic: Capital Research Center

From a June 5 Capital Research Center blog post:

I just found out that the Center for Independent Media and George Soros’s professional character assassins at Media Matters for America (headed by admitted liar David Brock) are bosom buddies.

Not only are they political allies that receive money from some of the same funders, they also share the same office space.

If he had bothered to check, you know, the organizations' respective websites and not relied on old information that hasn't been updated in a good two years, he would learn that CIM and Media Matters reside at completely different locations.

Oh, and George Soros has not donated to Media Matters -- a lie that Vadum just can't stop telling.

UPDATE: Vadum's claim is similarly smacked down at the Minnesota Independent, a CIM operation whose temerity to take on Vadum earlier in that thread prompted Vadum to do his sad little bit of research.

UPDATE 2: Vadum appears to have spent his Friday trying to prove us wrong by citing a lot of old information to claim that CIM and Media Matters still share office space. There's a clue in that previous sentence if Vadum is bright enough to figure it out.

We have a suggestion for ol' Matt: Give the CIM folks a jingle on Monday morning and ask 'em where they're located. Or bstter yet, since it doesn't appear to be too far from the CRC offices, just walk down there and check, just to see what happens. He just might learn something.

Posted by Terry K. at 6:23 PM EDT
Updated: Saturday, June 6, 2009 12:21 AM EDT
Your WND Hate-Crimes Lie of the Day
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Bob Unruh apparently can't help himself. His June 4 WorldNetDaily article continues to peddle the lie that the federal hate-crimes bill would protect pedophiles.

Unruh also uncritically repeats the suggestion that the bill does not define "sexual orientation" and thus protects all sexual procivities including pedophilia. In fact, "sexual orientation" is already defined by federal statute as applying only to "consensual homosexuality or heterosexuality," so it cannot be defined as anything else.

Remember: Every time WND calls this bill the "Pedophile Protection Act," it is lying to its readers.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:41 PM EDT
Shocker: Newsmax Publishes Non-Slanted Story On Kerik
Topic: Newsmax

Newsmax stunned its readership (well, us, anyway) by publishing a June 4 article that fully and fairly describes the numerous charges against Bernard Kerik -- a story that runs counter to Newsmax's rehabilitation campaign for Kerik.

Ah, but there's a catch: Despite the Newsmax tagline at the endimplying that it's an original Newsmax product, it's actually an Associated Press article.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:31 AM EDT
WND's Klein Channels Far-Right Israeli Fear of Arabs
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily's Aaron Klein lets his far-right sympathies show in a June 4 critique of President Obama's speech in Cairo. While he uncharacteristically praises some things Obama said, he engages in his usual attacks on other parts of the speech. One attack in particular stands out:

Obama also took the occasion to legitimize an "Arab Peace Initiative," which calls on Israel to make near suicidal territorial concessions and accept millions of foreign Arabs into its population (thus destroying Israel by population genocide) in exchange for "normalized" relations with the Arab world.

The expulsion of Arabs from Israel, or some other similar separation of Jews and Arabs, is a concept endorsed by far-right political political parties, such as Yisrael Beiteinu and the outlawed Kahane Chai. By expressing the (arguably racist) fear that Arabs in Israel would "destroy[] Israel by population genocide," Klein appears to endorse this view as well.

As we've detailed, Klein has long demonstrated sympathies for Kahanists, regularly whitewashing their backgrounds to make them appear more mainstream than they are.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:16 AM EDT
Media Misinformer Congressman Heads 'Media Fairness Caucus'
Topic: Newsmax

Ronald Kessler reported in a June 3 column how Republican Rep. Lamar Smith has created the House "Media Fairness Caucus," which "will point out unfair stories, meet with members of the media, and write op-eds and letters to the editor to highlight media bias." Kessler also quoted Smith as claiming that media bias is the "greatest threat to our democracy today."

This is all about so-called liberal media bias, of course; as we've noted, Kessler doesn't appear to believe there is such a thing as conservative media bias, even though he is employed by one of the biggest generators of conservative media bias.

The Media Research Center has embraced Smith's crusade, highlighting it in a June 4 NewsBusters post by Brent Baker that repeated parts of Kessler's article.

Just one little problem: Smith isn't much of a media fact-checker.

As we've detailed, Smith was essentially acting as a member of John McCain's campaign by making overblown claims of purported media bias. For instance, in an example published at Accuracy in Media, Smith asserted that the New York Times was falsely smearing McCain campaign manager Rick Davis by claiming that mortgage firm Freddie Mac paid Davis' consulting firm for consulting servicesand, thus, "clearly suggested wrongdoing on the part of Davis and, by extension, Sen. McCain."

But the Times never claimed Davis himself was paid by Freddie Mac; rather, the article stated that Davis' firm was contracted to receive the money and, despite not directly working for his consulting firm during the campaign, remained a partner and equity holder in it and thus benefited from the firm's income. Further, in claiming that "Davis was never a lobbyist for Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae," Smith ignored the fact that Davis was, as the Times article noted, the head of an advocacy group funded by Fannie and Freddie with the purpose of opposing regulation of the entities, which Smith seemed to think was not the same thing as "lobbying."

Smith's "Media Fairness Caucus" appears to be about little more than regurgitating what he reads at AIM and the Media Research Center. Smith could save himself some effort and hypocrisy by simply putting Cliff Kincaid and Tim Graham on his staff. (Which wouldn't be the first time an MRC employee jumped to Capitol Hill; Sen. James Inhofe hired Marc Morano straight from

Posted by Terry K. at 1:53 AM EDT

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