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Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Topic: NewsBusters

Media Matters' Simon Maloy catches Clay Waters making the claim, in a July 27 NewsBusters post and TimesWatch item, that the New York Times had dismissed the birthers as conspiracy theorists, but couldn't bring themselves to do the same for the 9/11 Truthers, to whom the paper showed "respect," citing a 2006 Times article in which the writer "not once ... dismiss the 9-11 Truthers bizarre charge as a "conspiracy theory," as the Times article on the birthers did. Waters somehow overlooked the word "conspiracy" in the headline of that truther article, or that its overall tone was hardly "respectful."

UPDATE: Media Matters' Jamison Foser catches MRC director of communicaions Seton Motley, in a July 28 NewsBusters post, responding to New York Times columnist Paul Krugman's assertion that a new auto plant in Canada won't result in additional costs to the government under its nationalized health care system by asserting, "Really?  Adding workers brought in from outside Canada to the government rolls won't increase government spending?" Yes, really, since nobody said anything about bringing in workers "from outside Canada."

Posted by Terry K. at 5:45 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, July 29, 2009 12:18 AM EDT
WND Letter to Obama Contains Falsehood
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily just can't stop lying about President Obama's birth certificate.

WND is now offering its readers the chance to send "personalized letters to Obama demanding the birth certificate and other pertinent documents" that WND will then send to the White House -- for the low, low price of just $6.95 (you didn't think that WND wouldn't try to shake down its readers again, did you?). But even the text of that letter contains a lie:

The problem with the short-form certification is that it could easily be obtained for a birth that took place out of the state or out of the country. All it would take is the word of one parent.

In fact, as the Joseph Farah-founded Western Journalism Center pointed out, there is no evidence that Hawaii issues birth certificates "for a birth that took place out of the state or out of the country" that claim the person was born in Hawaii.

If  WND can't prove that this happens -- and it hasn't so far -- this issue is irrelevant, and the letter is irrelevant ... and this is just another lie from WorldNetDaily.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:50 PM EDT
WJC Peddles More Birther Lies, Distortions
Topic: Western Journalism Center

A July 27 email by the Western Journalism Center, sent to the WorldNetDaily mailing list, contains a whole new crop of distortions and falsehoods.

The email asserts that "no amount of ridicule will change the fact that close a a half-million people have signed petitions calling on Barack Hussein Obama to release his birth certificate." Actually, the WJC has no way of knowing that this is a "fact." As we've detailed, WorldNetDaily -- whose petition the WJC is presumably referring to -- has never released the signatures of the signees, making it impossible to verify the number of valid signatures (WND's count at this writing, by the way, is a lot closer to 400,000 than "a half-million"). Further, WND has no apparent mechanism to prevent multiple signatures by the same person, making that count even more unreliable.

The email also claimed that "no amount of name-calling can change the fact that 58% of respondents to an AOL on-line poll said that Obama should produce his actual birth certificate." True, perhaps, but irrelevant -- online opt-in polls are not a reliable indicator of public opinion. The email adds that "49.3% of the respondents to a scientific Wenzel poll found the question to be legitimate." But as we've noted, WorldNetDaily commissioned that poll -- the questions for which were skewed to get the answers WND wanted -- and Wenzel Strategies, headed by a former conservative newspaper columnist who later worked for a Republican congresswoman, has a clear bias.

The email goes on to assert that "Obama's paternal grandmother said, she was present at Obama's birth, which took place in Mombasa in what is now Kenya." That's false -- WJC is relying on a translation error to make that claim.

The email also asserts, "Obama's mother was only 19-years old when Obama was born... she was much too young to bestow her citizenship on him for the purpose of satisfying Article 2, Section 1 of the Constitution." Also false. As we've detailed, if Obama was born in Hawaii -- WJC offers no credible evidence to the contrary -- that's irrelevant. Further, according to the Chicago Tribune, the timetable at the time Obama was born for a parent to confer U.S. citizenship upon a child born outside of the U.S. (again, which WJC has not proven about Obama) was being a citizen for 10 years including five years past the age of 14; Stanley Ann Dunham was three months short of her 19th birthday when Obama was born (not exactly "much too young"). But federal law shortened that time period to two year after the age of 14 and made it retroactive to 1952. That makes Obama doubly covered.

The WJC also makes a big deal out of how "the State of Hawaii does not accept the Certification of Live Birth as singular proof that an individual was actually born in Hawaii" for the Home Lands program. Again, true but irrelevant. The Home Lands is exclusively for those of "native Hawaiian" ancestry, which Obama has never claimed to be, so it wouldn't matter if he failed to meet the birth requirement for that program.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:36 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, July 28, 2009 1:04 PM EDT
Farah: WND The Only 'Free Press' Left In America
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Joseph Farah howls in a July 27 WorldNetDaily column about the mainstream media coverage of the Obama birth certificate conspiracy:

We don't have a free press left in America – aside from the one you're reading. What we have is an official press – one that doesn't want any rogue journalists rocking the boat, challenging authority and watchdogging government at all levels.

This story isn't dead at all.

And that's what scares the management of CNN, the New York Times, the Associated Press and other Big Media who only recently were forced to cover this story at all through the sheer tenacity of WND, which has chronicled it tirelessly for 11 months.

So WND is the only "free press" left in America because it's promoting the birthers? Please.

Telling lies about Obama and portraying discredited claims as fact are not the same thing as "watchdogging government." Farah was never as concerned about George W. Bush's National Guard record as it is about the Obama birth certificate -- indeed, WND appears to care about government watchdogging only during Democratic administrations.

Hiding the truth from its readers because it conflicts with your political agenda is not the act of a "free press" -- it's an act of disrespect and dishonor to readers and dishonesty in journalism.

The only reason the story isn't "dead" in Farah's eyes is because he and WND peddle lies to keep it alive.

Farah also asserts of the "Big Media": "They're losing what little credibility they had left." But what credibility does WND have? None that we can tell, given that it's so determined to hound Obama from office that the truth no longer matters, if it ever did.

Farah concludes by whining: "It's not the story that's dead. Instead, what you're hearing is the sound of the Big Media watching their own funeral." Yeah, keep telling yourself that, Joe, as more of the public catches on to the lies you and WND have been spewing. Then we'll see which media outlet will be six feet under.

Hint: It won't be the "Big Media."

Posted by Terry K. at 9:24 AM EDT
New Article: WorldNetDaily's Obama Birth Certificate Lies
Topic: WorldNetDaily
Numerous claims have been discredited, but WND pretends they never were, deceiving its readers and making a mockery of journalism. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 1:00 AM EDT
Will WND Treat Coulter Like Gates?
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Since the incident involving Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates and local police -- and, specifically, after President Obama commented on it -- WorldNetDaily's Aaron Klein has engaged in a near-constant effort to smear and discredit Gates as an extremist and tie him around Obama's neck.

Klein has written no fewer than five articles on Gates, tying him to "radical black activists" and even denigrating pioneering black scholar W.E.B. Du Bois, whose namesake institute at Harvard Gates heads, as little more than "an avowed communist and also a socialist sympathizer." Klein even dredges up a 1996 speech in which Gates "uses the N-word."

Such smear jobs are what WorldNetDaily does to people who run afoul of its far-right, anti-Obama ideology.

By contrast, right-wing pundit (and WND columnist) Ann Coulter ran afoul of WND's ideology as well by declaring CNN's Lou Dobbs to be "wrong on this issue" on Obama's birth, pointed out "every conservative publication ... dealt with this" a year ago "and said there's nothing to it," and, even more shockingly, that the birth certificate conspiracy is an issue only to "a few cranks out there" -- and is not receiving the same treatment being meted out to Gates.

WND offers only an outside link to Coulter's comments, no transcription of them, and a poll that couches criticism of Coulter in an unsually (for WND) respectful way. The current top answer is "I usually agree with Coulter, but she is dead wrong on this issue."

Therefore, we call on Aaron Klein or anyone else at WND to start smearing Coulter like they are Gates. It's only fair, after all.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:06 AM EDT
Monday, July 27, 2009
Obama Derangement Syndrome Watch
Topic: Newsmax

Even to allow Obama’s socialist programs a mere toe in the water could prove to be too late. These programs are like flypaper or unspeakable social disease. The elevator to the hell of a Marxist society goes in only one direction – ever higher into costs taken from appropriations of individuals’ earned incomes.


It won’t be enough for Republicans just to be “the party of no” and stop there. They will also have to propose national alternatives that begin all over again where Barack Obama first seduced America into his leftward-spiraling, all-consuming maelstrom of latter-day Marxism.

If they fail, this nation will be down on its hands and knees for decades, scouring floors in an Augean stable where no one-time sluice will suffice to eradicate the bacilli of socialism from forever attempting a comeback.

-- John L. Perry, July 27 Newsmax column

Posted by Terry K. at 8:56 PM EDT
Cliff Kincaid's Conspiracy Du Jour
Topic: Accuracy in Media

The headline on Cliff Kincaid's July 23 Accuracy in Media column pretty much says it all: "The Chavez-Obama U.N. Plot Against Honduras."

Yep, Kincaid has found another consipracy to latch onto.

Kincaid claims there is an "Chavez-Obama axis" and suggests that "Obama Administration is, in effect, acting as an agent of Venezuela (and Iran) in Honduras." His main source for this conspiracy? Tom Hayden -- or, as Kincaid describes him, "former Marxist SDS radical Tom Hayden."

Kincaid has suddenly found a left-winger's words to be trustworthy. And we thought commies couldn't be trusted.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:46 PM EDT
Newsmax Deletes Columnist's Criticism of Morris
Topic: Newsmax

In the Washington Times version of his column, Arnaud de Borchgrave criticizes wild attacks on President Obama:

President Obama is now a card-carrying socialist or borderline Marxist. He is the Manchurian Candidate. He was not born in the United States. He never produced a birth certificate. And now this closet neo-Marxist is plotting the revenge of those defeated in the Cold War. Therefore, he should be impeached and removed from office because his plan is to place America in a government-owned straitjacket.

It's vicious stuff. One of the vociferous voices is that of Dick Morris, who moved from the liberal camp under President Clinton to the hard right with his new book, "Catastrophe," which is what Mr. Obama has wrought for America.

In the version of de Borchgrave's column that appears at Newsmax -- a huge promoter of Morris that is currently giving away copies of "Catastrophe" with new subscriptions to its magazine -- that entire paragraph on Morris has been removed.

Newsmax did leave in a later statement by de Borchgrave quoting Morris. But it's not as explicitly judgmental as the one Newsmax excised.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:27 PM EDT
WND's Klein Tries to Gin Up Non-Existent Obama Conspiracy
Topic: WorldNetDaily

How desperate is Aaron Klein to smear Obama? The latest example: trying to create another bogus conspiracy.

In a July 26 WorldNetDaily article, Klein insists that "speculation abounds over the genesis of the press conference inquiry last week by Lynn Sweet of the Chicago Sun-Times, whose question about Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. prompted a national race scandal involving President Obama." Despire asserting that "several blogs" Klein names only two -- something called "The Real Barack Obama," whose credibilty Klein does not establish, and right-wing radio host John Batchelor.

But this is an echo chamber: Batchelor cites "The Real Barack Obama." So really, "several" is more like one blog quoted by another blog. Further, Klein fails to disclose his relationship with Batchelor; not only has made numerous appearances on Batchelor's radio show enough so that he considers Batchelor a "friend," he tweeted that he was appearing on the show the very same day this article was published.

The Real Barack Obama has also promoted Klein and prominently touts Batchelor's show, so the echo chamber appears to be even smaller than we thought.

For all this mutual back-scratching, Klein presents no actual evidence that, as he claims, "the White House may have coordinated the question" with Sweet.Here's what he tries to pass off as evidence:

  • "This was the first time Sweet was granted a question from Obama at any of his presidential press conferences."
  • "Asking a question about Gates at an event focused on health care seems remote to some. "
  • "Her question was read from a piece of paper."

Apparently, Klein has never written down questions before asking them in a interview.

Klein couldn't be bothered to note Sweet's denial of the charge until the 16th paragraph, after getting some of that baseless speculation out of the way. But a flat denial was not enough for Klein:

Her explanation, however, has only generated more unanswered questions for the bloggers' speculation. If she had never written about the Gates incident, for example, why did she use her one question to Obama on the matter?

Klein then insisted: "In another twist in the plot, the White House's Gibbs refused an opportunity to deny Sweet's question was not preplanned with the White House." But  the excerpt Klein provides shows that Gibbs was not asked whether Sweet's question was "preplanned with the White House"; he was asked whether the Gates matter was discussed in preparation for the press conference, which is not the same thing.

Klein, in trying to smear both Obama and Sweet, demonstrates himself to be as dishonest a reporter as ever. After all, he's still peddling the discredited lie that Obama could not have visited Pakistan on a U.S. passport.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:17 AM EDT
The Week In Ellis Washington
Topic: WorldNetDaily

What has our old friend Ellis Washington been up to this past week?

First, he arrogantly portrays himself as having the wisdom fo Socrates, pounding out another bizarre pseudo-Socratic dialectic, this time pitting himself -- er, Socrates against President Obama, Teddy Kennedy, "Sen. RINO" and "We the People (mute part)."

This provides the spectacle, convincing only to someone who knows nothing at all about Socratic dialogue, of "Socrates" berating "Obama" as "incapable of answering a simple historical question about socialism in light of your proposed health care system," attacking Kennedy for his "long, shameful legacy in America, the capstone of which is universal health care," making Nazi smears, and quoting Winston Churchill and "the words for the ages of that great conservative British parliamentarian Sir Edmund Burke."

For Washington to portray Socrates as engaging in right-wing screeds that are nothing more than Washington himself spouting off -- i.e., "We know that Democrats have long ago sold their souls to the devil on all issues of life" -- is not very, well, Socratic.

Speaking of right-wing screeds, Washington follows up with one against the NAACP, approvingly quoting Rush Limbaugh calling the group "NAALCP – National Association for the Advancement of LIBERAL Colored People."Washington denounces the group as "one of the most radical socialist organizations in America," thanks his lucky stars the the group declined to hire him as a young man ("Thank you, God, for shutting some doors in my life"), and concludes: "And that is why I wish you an UnHappy 100th birthday, NAALCP!"

Posted by Terry K. at 1:21 AM EDT
Gladnick Unable To Comprehend Basic Scientific Logic on Global Warming
Topic: NewsBusters

One almost has to admire the Blumer-esque cluelessness of P.J. Gladnick.

In a July 26 NewsBusters post, Gladnick berates the Discovery Channel for making the utterly uncontroversial claim that recent colder-than-normal temperatures in the Bering Sea don't disprove global warming because the sea operates on its own cycle of warming and cooling and that existence of global warming "doesn't mean every spot on the globe gets warmer every year":

Huh? So they admit the temperatures are cyclical but hold stubbornly to the global warming theory for which no evidence is presented. See, if it is getting warmer that is evidence for global warming. However, if the temperatures are getting colder, that is also proof of global warming according to this bizarre reasoning.

My suggestion to the Discovery Channel is to do what they are supposed to do. Discover the science behind global warming instead of blindly accepting it as established fact.

But the idea that not every location on the planet is undergoing a warming trend even as the planet as a whole is undergoing one is not "bizarre reasoning" at all: As we've noted, even global warming "skeptic" Patrick Michaels has warned against portraying short-term extreme weather in a given location as indicative of the existence (or not) of global warming. That presumably also applies to weather cycles in specific locales like the Bering Sea.

Is Gladnick really that impervious to logic? It seems so.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:17 AM EDT
Sunday, July 26, 2009
Obama Derangement Syndrome Watch
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Obama has been angling for a way to expand government's influence over children since taking office. I believe his message to the NAACP was intended to tell his followers that he has found a way. As I have repeatedly said, Hitler knew, Stalin/Lenin knew, and Mao darn sure knew, that the first step in successfully taking over a country is to take over the education (read indoctrination) of your children.

-- Mychal Massie, July 21 WorldNetDaily column

Posted by Terry K. at 11:10 PM EDT
Legal Group Lies About Obama Birth Certificate
Topic: Newsmax

A July 25 fund-raising email sent out on Newsmax's email list by the right-wing United States Justice Foundation -- which has represented Alan Keyes in a lawsuit in one of the many right-wing lawsuits regarding Barack Obama's birth certificate -- is littered with falsehoods about Obama and the certificate.

The USJF, "from the desk of Gary J. Kreep," asserts that "the available evidence shows that he was born in Africa." The only "evidence" USJF offers is a reference to "a taped phone conversation with Mr. Obama's step-grandmother in Kenya, who claims that she was present at his birth... in what is now called Kenya!" But as we've detailed, that claim is false.

USJF also calls the birth certificate released by the Obama campaign "phony" and is being "purported to be genuine." In fact, nobody has claimed that certificate to the "genuine" original birth certificate; it is, however, an official and authentic document issued by the state of Hawaii, which USJF does not appear to contest beyond falsely smearing it as "phony."

Posted by Terry K. at 10:22 PM EDT
WND Repeats McCaughey's False Claims
Topic: WorldNetDaily

A July 22 WorldNetDaily article by Bob Unruh uncritically repeats claims by anti-health care reform activist Betsy McCaughey, made on a radio show, that the House health care reform bill "would make it mandatory absolutely that every five years people in Medicare have a required counseling session" about end-of-life care, in which they will be told "to do what's in society's best interests, and cut your life short."

In fact, as Media Matters details, not only is such counseling not mandatory, numerous medical organizations have endorsed such counseling.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:08 AM EDT

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