ConWebBlog: The Weblog of ConWebWatch

your New Media watchdog

ConWebWatch: home | archive/search | about | primer | shop

Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Molotov's Anti-Gay Rant
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Factually challenged slur-tosser Molotov Mitchell runs through a host of negative gay stereotypes and misleading claims in his June 24 WorldNetDaily video.

Mitchell wears a "Homosexuals Are So Gay" T-shirt through the video, which he delcares is "hate crimes compatible." He then rants about homosexuals stealing the word "gay":

Originally, the word "gay" meant happy or joyful. So naturally, liberals hated it. Homosexuals took the word and redefined it so that it would mean homosexual intercourse. I guess they were trying to get people to associate that with flying a kite or something. Now, when somebody says, "The movie was totally gay," they don't mean that it was happy or homosexual -- they mean it was lame.

Mitchell thus takes the side of former Washington Times managing editor (and white supremacist) Francis Coombs, who claimed that the Times' former ban on "gay" was based on "preservation of the language."

Mitchell then claims: Look, if you want to understand the gay community, heart and soul, don't watch 'Will and Grace'; Go to a gay parade. And don't bring the kids." If that's true, then it can be reasonably argued in response that if you want to understand the birther movement, heart and soul, don't read WorldNetDaily (or watch Molotov Mitchell); check out James von Brunn. And don't bring the kids.

Mitchell concludes, amid on-screen text stating, "Has gay culture earned our respect?": "People have to earn respect, no matter who they are. And breaking the records for drug abuse, infidelity and suicide won't make you popular. Getting the government to punish people who don't like you doesn't help either. The people I respect are the ones who left the gay lifestyle. By leaving that demographic, you may not be protected by hate-crimes legislation, but your life expectancy just jumped by 20 years."

Mitchell sourced the life expectancy claim to the International Journal of Epidemiology, but it's outdated. The study was published in 1997 and examined data "obtained for a large Canadian urban centre from 1987 to 1992," and the life expetcancy differential was specifically attributed to losses "due to HIV/AIDS." But the first antiretroviral drung to treat HIV was introduced only in 1987 and was only partly effective and thus can be argued to have nosignificant effect on mortality rates during the time period of the study. It was not until the mid-1990s -- well outside the window of the study -- that more effective treatments became available.

In other words, Mitchell is trying to convince you that data from 20 years ago can support a claim made today. He's wrong.

Mitchell also scattered negative stereotypical images of gays throughout his video:

Again, by Mitchell's own logic, we can claim that he and James von Brunn are exactly the same. Or he and Scott Roeder.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:56 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, June 24, 2009 1:58 PM EDT
Graham: Focus on Sanford's Disappearance A Media Conspiracy
Topic: NewsBusters

A June 24 NewsBusters post by Tim Graham complained that a Washington Post article on the mysterious disappearance of South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford "insist[ed] that Sanford was a laughingstock, a man who went missing because he was strange and unpopular for resisting the appeal of the Obama 'stimulus.'" Graham added: "It’s quite transparent that the Washington Post would like nothing better than to turn the potential Republican field against Obama in 2012 into a pack of laughingstocks and insure that their hero faces only nominal opposition in his bid for re-election."

Really? Does Graham really think that any media criticism of Sanford is part of a conspiracy to dash Sanford's presidential aspirations? Does he not think that a sitting governor who disappears for days without letting anyone know where he went (Argentina?) should be criticized for his actions?Does Graham really think that the media is following the same template as the 1972 Nixon campaign in creating a preferred opponent for Obama, even though the 2012 election is well over three years away? Is Graham really that paranoid?

Would Graham still feel the same way were Sanford not a Republican? We suspect not. Therefore, Graham's complaints can be dismissed as partisan bias and paranoia.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:03 AM EDT
Does WND Have Guts to Tell the Truth About Walpin?
Topic: WorldNetDaily

In a June 22 WorldNetDaily article, headlined "Does Congress have guts to investigate 'Walpingate'?" Drew Zahn highlights more claims by fired AmeriCorps inspector general Gerald Walpin, most taken from a June 22 article. But like CNS, Zahn neglects to mention one key piece of evidence that contradicts Walpin's accusations: a letter by acting U.S. Attorney Lawrence Brown that accused Walpin of withholding exculpatory evidence from in in an investigation of a recipient of AmeriCorps funding , that Walpin made pronouncements to the media before discussing them with the attorney's office, and that Walpin's "actions were hindering our investigation and handling of this matter."

We already know that WND lacks the guts to tell its readers the truth about Orly Taitz. It seems that WND is also incapable of telling the truth about Walpin as well.

In other Walpin-related news, a June 23 NewsBusters post by Mark Finkelstein complained that CBS' Harry Smith, during an interview of Obama, didn't ask about "PBO's firing of the inspector general who was too diligent in his duty of discovering corruption in AmeriCorps, PBO's pet project."Apparently, Finkelstein believes that withholding evidence from prosecutors and grandstanding before the media is the same thing as being "too diligent in his duty." Needless to say, Finkelstein doesn't mention Brown's letter either.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:05 AM EDT
New Article: The Bernard Kerik Rehabilitation Project
Topic: Newsmax
Newsmax is putting a lot of effort into rebuilding the disgraced former New York police chief into a credible spokesman on terrorism issues and whitewashing the corruption charges he still faces.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:23 AM EDT
CNS Complains About Obama's Golf Outings

CNS does seem to be looking for any excuse to attack President Obama these days (as Terry Jeffrey's eaterness to take Obama out of context illustrates all too well). A June 22 CNS article by Penny Starr complains:

Despite ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, ongoing violence in Iran, and an economy that Obama has described as the worst since the Great Depression, the president has golfed multiple times in the past several weeks--on April 26, May 16, May 25, May 31, June 7, June 9, June 14 and June 21.

Obama’s golf outings have generated favorable reports from the media, in contrast to his predecessor, George W. Bush. 

So when can we expect CNS to follow  the right-wing blogs in complaining that Obama took his daughters for ice cream during a time of international turmoil?

Posted by Terry K. at 9:06 AM EDT
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
WND Promotes Taitz Again, Silent On Her Shoddy Legal Record
Topic: WorldNetDaily

For the first time since May 9, a WorldNetDaily article is promoting an initiative by Orly Taitz regarding the dishonest quest for Barack Obama's birth certificate. The June 22 article by Bob Unruh reports on the latest case "challenging Barack Obama's eligibility to be president in which the plaintiffs' attorney, Orly Taitz, says the commander-in-chief is in default." Unruh defines himself here more by what he fails to report.

There's no mention of the complaint filed against her in the California bar citing numerous ethical violations.

There's no mention of the lawsuit filed against her by fellow birther lawyer Philip Berg citing harassment and false accusations -- which has already generated a default judgment against her because of documents she filed improperly and after deadline.

While Unruh is among the defendants Taitz is representing, he fails to mention that Drake is on record as praying for Obama's death.

Unruh does mention, however, that Taitz "was born in the Republic of Moldova which used to be part of the Soviet Union," and as a result of living "life under a communist regime," she "is determined to do her part to stop America from following in the all-too-familiar footsteps of her former homeland." That's straight out of WND's slobbering profile of Taitz.

Thus, Unruh and WND reward incompetence and hatred in the service of their right-wing anti-Obama agenda.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:09 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, June 23, 2009 1:39 PM EDT
Topic: NewsBusters

Media Matters' Jamison Foser demolishes Noel Sheppard's June 21 NewsBusters post, in which he claims that because a CBS/New York Times poll sample included 48 percent who said they voted for Obama and 25 percent who said they voted for John McCain, the poll 'WAY oversampled people who voted for Obama," adding, "What this means is this poll surveyed 66 percent Obama supporters versus 34 percent McCain." As Foser put it:

Uh ... no. What this means is that 48 percent of respondents say they voted for Obama, and 25 percent say they voted for McCain, and 27 percent either say they didn't vote, say they voted for someone else, or refuse to say for whom they voted. You can't just wish away those 27 percent and pretend that the poll "surveyed 66 percent Obama supporters versus 34 percent McCain."

Sheppard went on to lament: "Honestly, stuff like this should be illegal and any news organization found doing it should be significantly fined. ... Why are so-called news outlets allowed to get away with such obvious deceit with total impunity?" Foser responds:

Actually, that pretty nicely sums up the conservative media critics' view of journalism: They think it should be illegal for news organizations to do things they don't like (even when their unhappiness is based on a complete lack of understanding of polling and basic math) and the journalists involved should be fined.

In other words, conservative media critics like Sheppard don't believe in independent media. They don't believe in freedom of the press. So why on earth should any journalist ever take anything they say seriously?

Indeed, we've caught Sheppard engaging in numerous acts of bamboozlement and deceit. How much will Sheppard fine himself?

UPDATE: The Western Journalism Center regurgitates the same bogus claim as made by right-wing blogger Gateway Pundit.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:03 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, June 23, 2009 2:41 PM EDT
Obama Derangement Syndrome Watch
Topic: WorldNetDaily

America has, for all intents and purposes, a dictatorship. And when the professional joker Al Franken is seated as the junior senator from Minnesota, the dictatorial powers of this White House will be complete. To hope the blue dog Democrats will keep this power-hungry, arrogant narcissist in check is foolish.

This presidency is no longer about the will of the people. It is clearly the will of Obama. He has made it crystal clear that nothing and nobody is going to stop him. His concepts of spreading the wealth and putting chickens in every pot are right out the Marxist handbook. And given the media nor his own party will challenge any demand Obama makes, he will usher in an age of Marxism that will be the envy of Chavez and Mugabe.

Speaking of Robert Mugabe, he and our fearless leader have a lot in common.

-- Craig R. Smith, June 22 WorldNetDaily column

Maybe Obama's poll numbers will fall even more when doctors see an end to their freedom of conscience as this administration tries to turn them into executioners by forcing them to perform abortions or leave medicine. Maybe they'll drop even further when America waits in long lines for health care like they do government cheese.

-- Janet Porter, June 23 WorldNetDaily column

Posted by Terry K. at 11:28 AM EDT
Pat Boone Lies, Misleads About Obama
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Pat Boone's June 20 column, published by WorldNetDaily and Newsmax, carries the headline, "Washington, Clinton, Obama ... and truth," at WND. But Boone is not showing much interest in telling the "truth" about Obama.

Boone writes:

And the Christian president announced: "Whatever we once were, we are no longer a Christian nation," and we could even be deemed "one of the largest Muslim countries in the world." He said America had been "arrogant," and that after 9/11 this country had behaved "contrary to our ideals." 

As we've caught Boone doing previously, these quotes are taken out of context for maximum inflammatory effect.

Boone also writes: 'The president who, as a candidate, promised to veto any and all earmarks signed his first appropriations bill, a $410 billion dollar monstrosity, which contained 8,570 earmarks!" But Obama never promised to eliminate earmarks; he promised to reform the earmark process and cut wasteful spending.

Are such false and misleading assertsions the behavior of someone interested in the "truth"? We would have to say not.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:16 AM EDT
Kessler Finds Backup Jewish Leader to Bash Obama
Topic: Newsmax

We've detailed how Ronald Kessler's attempt last week to portray Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, as claiming that Jewish leaders are "deeply troubled" by President Obama went awry when Hoenlein claimed Kessler took him out of context, and the transcript of the interview Newsmax released in its defense showed that Kessler clearly went into the interview with an agenda of trying to get Hoenlein to say what Kessler portrayed him as saying.

This means that Kessler had to scrounge up a new Jewish leader who could be counted on to more reliably mouth the talking points he wants to get out. Kessler found such a reliable mouthpiece in Morton Klein, head of the right-wing Zionist Organization of America.

With Klein, Kessler didn't have to resort to the inferring he did with Hoenlein. In Kessler's June 22 interview, Klein comes right out and states that Obama "may become the most hostile president to Israel ever"and that "leaders in the organized Jewish world ... are deeply concerned about Obama’s actions and policies toward Israel, and now they’re rethinking their support for Obama during the campaign and the election."

Those were the remarks Kessler was trying to put in Hoenlein's mouth. While Hoenlein didn't say those exact words, he came close enough for Kessler's satisfaction, prompting Hoenlein's backtrack.

Interestingly, Kessler makes no reference to his Hoenlein interview in his article on Klein.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:58 AM EDT
Monday, June 22, 2009
CNS Reports on Walpin's Firing, Ignores U.S. Attorney's Report

A June 22 article by Fred Lucas fawns over Gerald Walpin, recently ousted as AmeriCorps inspector general, but Lucas fails to offer a complete accounting of evidence that lead to Walpin's firing.

After allowing Walpin to spin his version of the story, it's not until a short 22nd paragraph that Lucas gets around to mentioning one reason that Walpin was dismissed -- which Lucas then permits Walpin to respond to.

Nowhere in the article does Lucas mention, nor does he indicate he asked Walpin about, a letter by acting U.S. Attorney Lawrence Brown that accused Walpin of withholding exculpatory evidence from in in an investigation of a recipient of AmeriCorps funding , that Walpin made pronouncements to the media before discussing them with the attorney's office, and that Walpin's "actions were hindering our investigation and handling of this matter."

Shouldn't a discussion of the Walpin case address the full spectrum of allegations against him? Lucas and CNS apparently don't think so.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:00 PM EDT
Klein Still Making Claim He Can't Prove
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Does Aaron Klein think repeating a claim he can't prove will somehow make it true?

Last week, we detailed how Klein claimed that Jimmy Carter "passed a message to Hamas from the Obama administration," though he provides no evidence that the message even exists, let alone any details of its contents or even "whether the communication was written or oral."

Klein repeats the claim in a June 20 article. Again, he makes no effort to demonstrate the existence of any message.

Such is "journalism" at WorldNetDaily.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:07 PM EDT
Ruddy Misleads on Obama and Iran
Topic: Newsmax

A June 20 Newsmax column by Christopher Ruddy attacks President Obama for offering "very shallow support for democracy" in Iran for allegedly "tepid" original remarks regarding the situation there. Ruddy asserted: "Given the opportunity to simply support democracy, Obama decided to take a pass. The unanswered question is why Barack Obama has been determined to coddle this crazed regime in Tehran."

But Ruddy failed to mention Obama's June 20 statement on Iran, even though it appeared several hours before Ruddy's column was published. In it, Obama said: "We call on the Iranian government to stop all violent and unjust actions against its own people. The universal rights to assembly and free speech must be respected, and the United States stands with all who seek to exercise those rights."

By ignoring Obama's more forceful statement, Ruddy is attacking Obama under false pretenses.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:07 AM EDT
Who Is WND's New Pollster?
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Alex Koppleman at Salon delves into the WorldNetDaily poll asserting that Americans "are not only aware of questions about Barack Obama's constitutional eligibility for office, but almmost half are either 'troubled' by the questions or believe he should release all relevant documents including his long-form birth certificate." Koppleman notes:

Getting a result that favored WND's position on the issue of whether Obama should release a long-form birth certificate (despite the fact that he's already released a copy of his birth certificate and Hawaiian officials have said he was born there) involved a little sleight of hand.

The result trumpeted by WND is that 41.5 percent of respondents said "Obama should release all records, including long-form birth certificate," essentially the "yes" answer WND was looking for. An additional 7.8 percent said they "are troubled by these questions," which the site has been lumping in with the yes answer. The "no" answer, though, they split up into five different responses -- "I am not concerned," "questions not valid," "Obama has met requirements," "Obama has answered all questions" and "requirements outdated -- should be ignored."

It's a neat trick, and a fairly common one; by doing that, you can avoid providing a real reflection of the size of your opposition. In this case, the total of those five answers adds up to a majority of respondents, 50.6 percent.

It's also worth noting that WND's pollster, Wenzel Strategies, appears to have a bit of a bias.WND quotes company chief Fritz Wenzel as saying, "Our polling shows that the questions surrounding Barack Obama's eligibility to serve as president clearly strike a nerve across America, probably because it is a problem that everybody understands. Every American citizen has a birth certificate, and once in a while we all have to produce them to get a drivers license or gain entrance to school .... And while Obama did get in to the White House, nearly half the country's adults -- 49 percent -- are troubled by this issue and still want him to produce his official long-form birth certificate." Such a statement furthers Koppelman's suggestion that Wenzel, like Zogby, likes to adjust questions to get the answers their clients are seeking.

There's more evidence of Wenzel's bias. He is a former political columnist for the Toledo Blade who quit his job to work as a paid media consultant for Ohio Republican congresswoman Jean Schmidt; he was accused of working for Schmidt while still at the Blade, a clear conflict of interest (not that WND thinks there's anything wrong with that). Some have also accused Wenzel of keeping quiet on evidence of alleged financial misdeeds involving involving Tom Noe, a Republican activist in Ohio with whom Wenzel had a personal relationship. The Blade eventually did break the story of Noe's investment of $50 million in state money in coin speculation and how he could not account for a significant portion of that money (speculated to have been laundered into political donations to Republicans, including the 2004 Bush-Cheney campaign), though without Wenzel's help.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:13 AM EDT
Newsmax Embraces Unverified Claim
Topic: Newsmax

A June 21 Newsmax article repeats a claim from "foreign policy expert" Michael Ledeen about "a letter reportedly from the office of Mir Hossein Mousavi, in which the Iranian opposition leader criticizes President Barack Obama for saying Mousavi and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadenijad are 'two of a kind.'"

That "reportedly" is the only word of caution that Newsmax offers; in fact, Ledeen himself is refusing to vouch for the authenticity of the letter. While Ledeen writes that "the person who sent this to me is undoubtedly in touch with the Mousavi people on the ground, that much is certain. His information has been proven reliable throughout this period," he also states: "Like everyone else covering the revolution, I get a lot of material that can’t be authenticated, and one must always take such material with a healthy dose of skepticism."

Newsmax fails to note that Ledeen has a dubious history on such matters; he has been accused of involvement in Italian documents purporting to document that Iraq attempted to buy yellowcake uranium from Niger, documents later found to be forgeries. 

Further, though there's no on-the-record verification whatsoever of the "two of a kind" remark attributed to Obama, Newsmax treats it as authentic. Then again, it wouldn't be the first time that Newsmax has put words in Obama's mouth.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:18 AM EDT

Newer | Latest | Older

Bookmark and Share

Get the WorldNetDaily Lies sticker!

Find more neat stuff at the ConWebWatch store!

Buy through this Amazon link and support ConWebWatch!

Support This Site

« June 2009 »
1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30

Bloggers' Rights at EFF
Support Bloggers' Rights!

News Media Blog Network

Add to Google