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Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Meanwhile ...
Topic: WorldNetDaily
Media Matters highlights how WorldNetDaily's Joseph Farah wrote in his Oct. 6 column, as part of WND's anti-gay attack on Obama administration official Chai Feldblum, that Obama appointees are found at "" and that "the entire federal government is going to have to be fumigated some day when these deviants and degenerates are finally sent packing."

Posted by Terry K. at 9:51 PM EDT
NewsBusters Heathering Watch
Topic: NewsBusters

There's been a heapin' helpin' of Heathering at NewsBusters of late:

  • Tim Graham allows Mark Levin to bash "pseudo-Republican consultant" Mark McKinnon as having "the political integrity of a Sham-Wow salesman." McKinnon had previously criticized Levin's "hate langauage," and Graham permitted Levin to prove McKinnon right.
  • Graham is still ticked off that former Republican congressman (and current MSNBC host) Joe Scarborough was criticial of Republicans in 2006, and is further annoyed that "Strike-a-Pose Joe" wrote "one of those look-at-me articles distancing himself from other conservatives: I’m so much less partisan! Our country is weakened by bitter partisanship, and I will not participate!"
  • Noel Sheppard touts how CNBC's Joe Kernen questioned David Brooks' conservative credentials.
  • P.J. Gladnick posits that if Brooks was a real conservative, he wouldn't be criticizing Rush Limbaugh.
We thought the Media Research Center was about, you know, media research, not running purity tests on conservatives.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:48 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, October 6, 2009 12:50 PM EDT
WND Ignores Evidence Ahmadinejad Isn't A Jew
Topic: WorldNetDaily

An Oct. 3 WorldNetDaily article by Drew Zahn rehashes a UK Telegraph report that Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has "Jewish roots." It was followed by an Oct. 5 WND article repeating the claim, only this time citing the British intelligence service MI6 as a source.

Missing was any evidence questioning that view.

The Telegraph report makes a big deal out of how, as Zahn wrote, "Ahmadinejad's original family name – prior to their conversion to Islam – was Sabourjian, a Jewish name meaning 'cloth weaver.'" But the UK Guardian offers an alternative explanation:

Professor David Yeroshalmi, author of The Jews of Iran in the 19th century and an expert on Iranian Jewish communities, disputes the validity of this argument. "There is no such meaning for the word 'sabour' in any of the Persian Jewish dialects, nor does it mean Jewish prayer shawl in Persian. Also, the name Sabourjian is not a well-known Jewish name," he stated in a recent interview. In fact, Iranian Jews use the Hebrew word "tzitzit" to describe the Jewish prayer shawl. Yeroshalmi, a scholar at Tel Aviv University's Center for Iranian Studies, also went on to dispute the article's findings that the "-jian" ending to the name specifically showed the family had been practising Jews. "This ending is in no way sufficient to judge whether someone has a Jewish background. Many Muslim surnames have the same ending," he stated.

Upon closer inspection, a completely different interpretation of "Sabourjian" emerges. According to Robert Tait, a Guardian correspondent who travelled to Ahmadinejad's native village in 2005, the name "derives from thread painter – sabor in Farsi – a once common and humble occupation in the carpet industry in Semnan province, where Aradan is situated". This is confirmed by Kasra Naji, who also wrote a biography of Ahmadinejad and met his family in his native village. Carpet weaving or colouring carpet threads are not professions associated with Jews in Iran.

According to both Naji and Tait, Ahmadinejad's father Ahmad was in fact a religious Shia, who taught the Quran before and after Ahmadinejad's birth and their move to Tehran. 


The reason that Ahmadinejad's father changed his surname has more to do with the class struggle in Iran. When it became mandatory to adopt surnames, many people from rural areas chose names that represented their professions or that of their ancestors. This made them easily identifiable as townfolk. In many cases they changed their surnames upon moving to Tehran, in order to avoid snobbery and discrimination from residents of the capital.

The Sabourjians were one of many such families. Their surname was related to carpet-making, an industry that conjures up images of sweatshops. They changed it to Ahmadinejad in order to help them fit in. The new name was also chosen because it means from the race of Ahmad, one of the names given to Muhammad.

Will WND report this information? Don't count on it.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:28 AM EDT
AIM Tries to Change the Subject
Topic: Accuracy in Media

In an Oct. 5 Accuracy in Media post, Don Irvine response to criticism of Republicans cheering the failure of Chicago to win the 2016 Olympics by trying to change the subject: "Now that someone dares to criticize the president for making an unprecendented pitch for the Olympics while major parts of his legilsative agenda wallow at home or the fact that the unemployment report continues to hit 26 -year old lows that's un-American?"

But the question is not whether Obama should be criticized for traveling to Copenhagen to lobby for Chicago's bid. It's whether Irvine's fellow conservatives look unseemly in celebrating the bid's demise, or, in the words of his headling, "rooting against America."

Irvine has nothing to say about that core accusation -- which makes us wonder if he's celebrating it as well.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:29 AM EDT
WND's Simpson Roots Against America
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Barbara Simpson joins the right-wing crowd rooting against America and gloating that Chicago lost its bid for the 2016 Olympics in her Oct. 5 WorldNetDaily column:

The Obama dream team – Chicago version – crashed and burned in Copenhagen last Friday when Chicago was eliminated in the first round of voting for the 2016 Olympic games.

It couldn't have happened to a nicer bunch.

Stay classy, Barb.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:15 AM EDT
WND Still Whitewashing Orly Taitz
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily still doesn't want its readers to know the truth about Orly Taitz.

An Oct. 2 article by Chelsea Schilling downplays Taitz's involvement in a birther-related lawsuit in favor of elevating fellow birther lawyer Gary Kreep of the United States Justice Foundation. Schilling fails to report that Kreep's clients, Wiley Drake and Markham Robinson, used to be represented by Taitz, but dropped her after determining she was "in over her head." Schilling also didn't report that Taitz for a while refused to sign papers transferring Drake and Markham's representation from her to Kreep, then filed papers stating Drake and Robinson's desire to be removed from the lawsuit.

(And, needless to say, Schilling made sure not to report that Drake has prayed for Obama's death, which makes him a less-than-objective plaintiff.)

Schilling benignly wrote that "Taitz and Kreep have expressed significant differences of opinion in how the case should be handled"; in fact, Taitz has been feuding with Kreep.

An Oct. 5 follow-up article by Bob Unruh largely repeated Schilling's claims without offering the full truth -- which, in this case, according to the OC Weekly, meant more specious and bizarre arguments:

Carter seemed genuinely perplexed by the issue of standing. A plaintiff claiming harm must prove that that harm is not "speculative and hypothetical." Again and again, he asked Taitz and Kreep to explain why that wasn't the case for their plaintiffs. After returning from a twenty minute recess, Taitz was armed with a compelling answer: Because she came from the USSR!

Taitz's question to the court: "Have you ever heard of a lawyer being able to challenge Stalin?" She then launched into the story of how her great uncle was sent to a labor camp in Siberia, and lawyers weren't able to free him. Her great aunt, stricken with grief, slit her own wrists but was rescued by a neighbor. After years and years in Siberia, Taitz's uncle returned to his family, only to die soon after. The moral of the story? "That's what happens when citizens don't have the power to enforce their constitutional rights given by God and given by the Constitution."

It was the biggest applause line of the day. 

Since WND is still protecting its readers from tales of Taitz's increasing legal incompetence,  there's no mention at all at WND of how, in a separate case, Taitz is accusing the judge of secretly meeting with Attorney General Eric Holder.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:07 AM EDT
NewsBusters Defends Beck, Misleads on Reporting About Him
Topic: NewsBusters

In an Oct. 5 NewsBusters post, Jeff Poor uncritically repeated Glenn Beck's "impassioned plea to stop looking into his past" and his complaint that the media has "looked into Glenn Beck's past - and not corruption in government." But isn't a demand by someone that the media stop examining them de facto evidence that said person has something to hide and that, in fact, his past should continue to be dug into?

Poor went on to state that "the McClatchy-owned The News Tribune of Tacoma, Wash. and the left-leaning ran stories questioning whether or not Glenn Beck's mother, Mary Beck committed suicide. It was later propagated by the left-wing storefronts." But Poor is buying into Beck's framing of things. The issue is not whether Beck's mother committed suicide; it's whether Beck is insisting she did when the official evidence is at best inconclusive.

Instead of regurgitating what Beck says, shouldn't Poor be asking why Beck is suddenly getting squeamish about media attention?

Poor's link on "left-wing storefronts," by the way, goes to Media Matters. But isn't NewsBusters, not to mention the rest of the Media Research Center, a right-wing storefront?

Posted by Terry K. at 12:22 AM EDT
Monday, October 5, 2009
Meanwhile ...
Topic: Newsmax
Joe Conason at Salon details the resurgence of the "vast right-wing conspiracy," with special emphasis on Newsmax. He even links to ConWebWatch.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:36 PM EDT
NewsBusters Falsely Claims Consumer Reports Endorses "ObamaCare"
Topic: NewsBusters

An Oct. 5 NewsBusters post by P.J. Gladnick asserts that in a new TV ad and website statement, Consumer Reports has "now come out in support of ObamaCare." Gladnick insists that Consumers Union, the nonprofit publisher of Consumer Reports, is abandoning "any claim of political neutrality" and endorsing "endorsing a highly unpopular Democrat health care bill that will be costly to the taxpayers."

In fact, Consumers Union is endorsing no specific plan and doesn't even mention Obama by name -- as the CU statement Gladnick quotes makes clear:

You may wonder why we are injecting ourselves so publicly into a heated debate that has generated an enormous amount of concern and confusion. We believe that so much attention has been focused on the politics of health care that we're losing sight of the core problems. Health costs are skyrocketing, which affects all of us, and if you get seriously sick, having insurance is no guarantee that you'll get the care you need.

We are in the business of providing information and advice that helps consumers. We don't make campaign contributions. We don't endorse candidates. And we don't care who gets the credit for fixing the problems with health care—we just need them fixed. Doing nothing about health care is not a solution.

Too many Americans are just one pink slip away—or one major illness away—from losing their health coverage. That's why policymakers need to find a solution this year.

At no point does CU endorse "ObamaCare" -- just reform that fixes "the problems with health care." Is Gladnick incapable of basic reading comprehension?

Posted by Terry K. at 1:33 PM EDT
Obama-Nazi Smear of the Day
Topic: WorldNetDaily

While, of course, weaselly denying that he's making any such connection:

Don't you dare point out in polite company that socialized medicine in Germany provided the mechanism for the Holocaust.

Don't do it.

Even though it's undeniably true from a historical standpoint, Barack Obama, the Democratic Party and their accomplices in the Big Media will vilify you, ridicule you and accuse you of minimizing the tragedy of the Holocaust.

But I don't really care if they play that card with me. They've already played the race card. They've already played the Nazi card. They've already played the "extremist" card. Consider me inoculated from the venomous poison of these vipers.


Am I suggesting that socialized medicine of the kind being promoted in America today leads inevitably to holocaust and mass murder?


But I am saying it is a necessary prerequisite for government-directed holocaust and mass murder to occur.

It's also clear that the kind of state-enforced medical rationing and the politicization of medicine observed in Germany before and during Hitler's reign of terror would not be possible without that first step of nationalized health care.

This does not mean Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid are little Hitlers in the making. I am not calling them Nazis, though they share some common values and common friends with the German national socialists. I am saying their statist work in the area of so-called "health-care reform" can make it possible for some future American version of Hitler to carry out his most diabolical plans.

-- Joseph Farah, Oct. 5 WorldNetDaily column

Posted by Terry K. at 11:58 AM EDT
WND Attacks Oprah
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily's book division is publishing a new title, "O God," by Josh McDowell and Dave Sterrett, which purports to demonstrate that Oprah Winfrey is not, well, a right-wing evangelical Christian.

McDowell and Sterrett -- who set up their evangelical credentials as "Christian apologists who believe that salvation is by God's grace alone, through faith alone, and in Christ alone" -- set up their attack as "a fictional conversation – or series of conversations – between two female graduate students, both seeking spiritual truth." Because nothing says authenticity more than two adult males passing themselves off as female graduate students.

WND dismisses Oprah's spirituality as nothing more than "casual New Age proclamations," adding:

It is Oprah's compassion that lures millions to her TV show and her magazine and the persona that has become an industry. Yet, McDowell and Sterrett explore the possibility that misguided compassion, based on human emotions rather than divine revelation and God's law, can lead people in dangerous directions.

So evangelicals aren't big on compassion? Or is compassion only for people who agree with them?

We'd like to read the book, but somehow we suspect that the chances that WND will send us a review copy are negligible at best.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:18 AM EDT
Does Silence Equal Assent?
Topic: NewsBusters

An Oct. 3 NewsBusters post by Tim Graham complains that a Time magazine columnist "joked that it’s time for an Obama dictatorship," further complaing that "The problem with all this joking is it becomes a little difficult to discern just to what degree Stein is joking and to what degree he is seriously dreaming."

By contrast, Graham -- along with everyone else at the Media Research Center -- has yet to express an opinion about a Newsmax columnist calling for a military coup against Obama. Does silence equal assent?

Posted by Terry K. at 1:28 AM EDT
More Name-Calling From Ellis Washington
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Ellis Washington devotes his Oct. 3 WorldNetdaily column to attacking two "doyens of liberalism," Gore Vidal and Garrison Keillor.

Washington describes Vidal as "a petite Leni Riefenstahl," and makes a big deal out of noting that Vidal's first book, "The City and the Pillar," was "a sexual tome that infuriated mainstream critics in that this was one of the first major American novels to feature conspicuous homosexuality." He goes on to call Keillor "a petite Walter Duranty."

Washington concludes by declaring: "Indeed, Mr. Gore Vidal, Mr. Garrison Keillor and President Barack Obama, your replacements have arrived and they are – God, America's Founding Fathers and We the People."

Posted by Terry K. at 1:19 AM EDT
Sunday, October 4, 2009
Shocker: Someone In the ConWeb Finally Denounces Newsmax's Coup-Advocating Column
Topic: Horowitz

It took a while, but someone has broken the ConWeb silence on John L. Perry's Newsmax column advocating a military coup against President Obama.

David Forsmark criticizes the column in an oct. 2 NewsReal post, though it was curiously done so as backhanded praise for the hated Keith Olbermann highlighting it (along with Chris Hayes of "the Marxist magazine The Nation"):

In fact, I would argue they gave Newsmax too much credit.  There is no statement denouncing the piece to be found on the site, or to be obtained by calling Newsmax’s office– which is the minimum requirement if they are going to maintain that they hold to some kind of journalistic standard.  When I asked the person who took my call if they were “just going to take it down and pretend it never happened,” she chuckled and said, “That’s about right.”  My emailed request for a response or a statement has been ignored for over a day.

Perry’s initial response was that he was not calling for a coup, just examining a lurking possibility—and the column is couched as reporting—but that’s not a defense.  That’s worse.  It’s a slander on the only military in the world that has NEVER turned its guns on its own citizenry.  It’s a slander generally reserved for liberal novelists and screenwriters and the Seven Days in May scenarios that Olbermann and Hayes indulge in toward the end of this segment.

Forsmark then curiously claims that "Newsmax is also probably single-handedly keeping the 'birther' farce alive, with staff 'reporting' and commentary on the issue, which are sent out to their huge email list." In fact, while Newsmax did go birther in Christopher Ruddy's advocacy of it and publishing the factually challenged rantings of Pam Geller, it pales in comparison to the all-birther-all-the-time rabidness -- and out-and-out lies -- of WorldNetDaily.

Forsmark is correct in noting that Newsmax has refused to acknowledge the controversy over Perry's column on its website, let alone apologize to its readers for posting it.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:27 AM EDT
Hirsen's Hypocrisy
Topic: Newsmax

James Hirsen uses an Oct. 1 Newsmax column to rant against Hollywood types who signed a petition demanding the release of Roman Polanski, who was arrested in Switzerland on a 30-year-old arrest warrant after he fled the country before sentencing on a charge of having sex with a 13-year-old girl:

These people are truly certifiable. They will forgive the likes of Polanski, the rapist, seek clemency for Tookie Williams, the murderer, but will never forgive Elia Kazan, the truth teller.

Of course, as we've detailed, Hirsen has been an apologist for his buddy -- and foundation funder -- Mel Gibson, a relationship Hirsen has not disclosed to his readers. Hirsen has declared Gibson no longer needs to apologize for his drunken anti-Semitic rantings, and he has remained silent on Gibson's extramarital escapades.

Seems to us that Hirsen is a bit on the certifiable side, too.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:40 AM EDT

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