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Thursday, October 8, 2009
WND Touts Error-Ridden Impeachment Call, Hides Conflict of Interest
Topic: WorldNetDaily

An Oct. 8 WorldNetDaily article by Bob Unruh touts Floyd Brown's call to impeach President Obama. But Unruh failed to disclose his employer's connection to Brown.

Brown is the current head of the Western Journalism Center, which was co-founded by WND editor Joseph Farah. Further, WND began as a division of the WJC and later spun off from it as a for-profit operation. WJC's share of WND has been gradually transferred over the years to Farah, and it's unclear whether WJC still retains an ownership stake.

Unruh, however, fails to mention the WJC at all, let alone WND's connection to it.  Instead, Unruh describes Brown only as a "political activist who was behind the famous Willie Horton advertisement that left Gov. Michael Dukakis' candidacy for president floundering and was among the first to sound the alarm on the need for Bill Clinton's impeachment says the United States."

Unruh also uncritically repeats Brown's evidence for impeachment, even though much of it is, speculative, misleading or discredited:

-- "Vindictively fired Inspector General Gerald Walpin, who investigated Kevin Johnson, a buddy of the president, for misuse of funds from an AmeriCorps grant." In fact, as ABC reported, Walpin had a history ofbeing "an ambitious and aggressive inspector general whose actions repeatedly offended officials fo the US Attorney's office, to the point that the Republican-appointee in the US Attorney's office filed an official complain[t] against the Republican-appointed inspector general." Further, Obama was acting on a unanimous request from the AmeriCorps board of directors that Walpin be fired due to questions about "his capacity to serve."

-- "When Obama said America is not a Christian nation." That's taken out of context; in fact, obama has said that "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."

-- "When, in his book, Obama wrote of Muslims, 'I will stand with them should the political winds shift in an ugly direction.'" That's also out of context. Obama wrote in his book "The Audacity of Hope" that "my meetings with Arab and Pakistani Americans" have shown him that "they need specific assurances that their citizenship really means something, that America has learned the right lessons from the Japanese internments during World War II, and that I will stand with them should the political winds shift in an ugly direction."

-- "When the White House insisted the name of Jesus be covered before Obama could speak at Georgetown University." In fact, as we detailed, the White House requested only that Georgetown "cover up all signs and symbols" on the stage. There is no evidence that the Obama administration specifically "insisted the name of Jesus be covered."

Brown also shows himself to be unclear on the concept of democratic elections, asserting that "We're now in the middle of a bloodless coup." Unruh lets that one go by uncritically as well.

Now that Brown has once again demonstrated himself to be so utterly dishonest in his treatment of facts, how can he and his WJC -- which is embracing far-right conspiracy theories about Obama, just as it did under Farah when Clinton was the target -- possibly be taken seriously?

Posted by Terry K. at 3:23 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, October 8, 2009 3:58 PM EDT
NewsBusters Bash Media For Promoting Birthers, Ignores WND
Topic: NewsBusters

An Oct. 7 NewsBusters post by Jeff Poor carries the headline, "Bachmann Makes It Clear Who Is Driving the 'Birther' Train: The Media." But Poor makes no mention of the media outlet that has done more than any other to drive that birther train: WorldNetDaily.

But then, WND is a conservative outlet, and the MRC is generally loath to criticize their fellow conservatives (unless they're not acting conservative enough).

Poor was apparently referring to James Carville trying to get a straight answer out of Rep. Michele Bachmann regarding her views on Obama's eligibility. But Poor doesn't mention Bachmann's ambiguous history on the subject. For instance, Bachmann halted a vote on a House resolution stating that Obama was born in Hawaii, only to vote for it later. Why shouldn't Bachmann be definitively put on record on the issue?

On a related subject, Tim Graham complains that the Washington Post published a profile of lead birther Orly Taitz as part of "its ongoing effort to embarrass conservatives," while "the Post offered no profile of the architects of the petition at, or their most prominent supporter, on-and-off leftist congresswoman Cynthia McKinney."

Funny, we don't recall Graham or anyone else at the MRC making any concerted effort to confront the birthers. In fact, the MRC has largely ignored the issue, except when its targets in the mainstream media mention it.

If the MRC is going to be so involved in the conservative movement to run purity tests on its fellow conservatives, shouldn't it also be working to discredit and unplug movements detrimental to its interests, which Graham appears to consider the birthers to be?

Posted by Terry K. at 9:30 AM EDT
Klein Blames Obama for Palestinian Unrest
Topic: WorldNetDaily

For Aaron Klein -- king of manufacturing Obama guilt-by-association -- it seems there's nothing that can't be blamed on President Obama.

In an Oct. 6 WND "news analysis" -- also published by the Jerusalem Post -- Klein purported to "offer some context for clashes that have been taking place on the Temple Mount and at scattered sites throughout the eastern sections of Jerusalem." That "context" was little more than an excuse to engage in more Obama-bashing:

The riots actually began two weeks ago, immediately following a three-way meeting between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Obama and the PA's Abbas. Obama had hoped the meeting would initiate Israeli-Palestinian negotiations aimed at creating a Palestinian state within two years.

During his speech to the U.N. General Assembly days before the Mount riots, Obama used strongly worded language to call for the creation of a "viable, independent Palestinian state with contiguous territory that ends the occupation that began in 1967."

The term "occupation" routinely is used by the Palestinians as well as some countries hostile to the Jewish state in reference to Israel's presence in the West Bank and Jerusalem. It is unusual for U.S. presidents to use the term, although former President Jimmy Carter once famously called Israel's presence in the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem "illegal."

"Occupation that began in 1967" is a specific reference to the lands Israel retained after the Six-Day War of that year, particularly the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem, including the Temple Mount.

It seems the PA, emboldened by Obama's speech, may be using the riots as a pressure tactic to send a clear message to Israel: If negotiations do not create a state in the near future, expect another intifada. The PA under Arafat was notorious for negotiations on the one hand while leading a violent campaign against Israel on the other.

But that's a correlation-equals-causation fallacy. Klein offers no evidence to tie the two.

Klein even resorts to his anonyous-source crutch, citing unnamed "Israeli security officials" to back up one claim.

Klein has long endeavored to hang the big, bad, violent Palestinians around the neck of Obama and portray him as an enemy of Israel. This so-called "analysis" is no different.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:06 AM EDT
Barber Smears GLSEN, Cites Irrelevant Study

In an Oct. 7 column, Matt Barber smears the Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network, claiming that GLSEN members "promote sexual anarchy and tacitly work to normalize the criminal practice of pederasty." Barber goes on to assert: "GLSEN's primary purpose is to push dangerous and even deadly homosexual and cross-dressing behaviors in our government schools on children as young as five."

Barber also cites an outdated study to further attack gays:

Multiple studies have established, for instance, that homosexual conduct, especially among males, is considerably more hazardous to one's health than a lifetime of chain smoking.

One such study -- conducted by pro-"gay" researchers in Canada -- was published in the International Journal of Epidemiology (IJE) in 1997.

While the medical consensus is that smoking knocks from two to 10 years off an individual's life expectancy, the IJE study found that homosexual conduct shortens the lifespan of "gays" by an astounding "8 to 20 years" - more than twice that of smoking.

Barber doesn't mention that this study is irrelevant to gay behavior today. As we've detailed, the study examined data "obtained for a large Canadian urban centre from 1987 to 1992," and the life expectancy differential was specifically attributed to deaths "due to HIV/AIDS." But the first antiretroviral drug to treat HIV was not introduced until 1987, was only partly effective and, thus, arguably had no significant 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.

Claiming that mortality rates among gays 20 years ago, when there were no effective HIV drugs, are reflective of gay behavior today is misleading and deceptive. But Barber seems to hate gays more than he respects the truth.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:09 AM EDT
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
It's Never Enough: AIM Likens Van Jones to Nazis
Topic: Accuracy in Media

It wasn't enough that right-wingers got Van Jones kicked out of his job. Now they feel the need to depict him as a Nazi as well.

No, really. In a Oct. 5 Accuracy in Media "AIM Report," Mark Musser asserts that Jones "mixes his black socialism/communism with ecological views that can be traced directly back to the labyrinth of Nazi Germany of the 1930's":

Nazi racism was in fact often couched in biological and ecological terms. Race and nature were also the two primary differences that distinguished Nazism from Communism. They were otherwise close cousins.

Adolf Hitler himself pointed out that "National Socialism is what Marxism might have been if it could have broken its absurd and artificial ties with a democratic order."

Thus, when Van Jones, the very man who was selected by Obama to help run America's green economy, makes such racist environmental statements, the whiff of the Nazi cadaver is unmistakable, no matter what color of skin we are talking about.

AIM clearly revels in such specious smears; the end-of-column commentary by Cliff Kincaid touts how Musser "wrote our July-A AIM Report, 'The Green Nazi Hell and America's Future?'" As we noted at the time, Musser does indeed paint all environmentalists as Nazis.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:13 PM EDT
Obama Derangement Syndrome Watch
Topic: Newsmax

If I had to sum up the current situation of the United States, I would not hesitate to call it horrendous for only one reason: the presidency and the arrogant fool now occupying that office.

Even the most dispassionate observer has to conclude that the election of an untested, inexperienced ward heeler of one of the most corrupt political machines in the United States is proving to be one of the most massive mistakes the American electorate ever made. The man is totally unfit to occupy the presidency of the world's most powerful nation.

-- Phil Brennan, Oct. 6 Newsmax column

Posted by Terry K. at 9:26 AM EDT
Blumer Repeats Discredited Right-Wing Chrysler Conspiracies
Topic: NewsBusters

In an Oct. 6 NewsBusters post, serial misleader Tom Blumer blames Chrysler's sluggish performance in part on "its apparently politicized and possibly reverse discrimination-driven decisions about which dealers it would keep after emerging from bankruptcy." But those claims have been long ago debunked.

The link Blumer supplies for "apparently politicized" suggests that Democratic-leaning dealers were allowed to keep their Chrysler franchises while Republican-leaning dealers were not, citing in particular the case of former Clinton administration official Mack McLarty, who is a partner in several Chrysler dealerships that styed in business. But as we detailed, McLarty's family has long been in the auto business, and one of McLarty's partners in his current venture is Steve Landers, who previously operated what was for several years the world's largest Chrysler dealer. (Also, Landers appears to be a Republican.)

Blumer's link to "possibly reverse discrimination-driven decisions" links to a previous post by him suggesting that. In that post, Blumer discredited his own claim by citing a report showing that the percentage of minority-owned Chrysler dealers was almost exactly the same before and after bankruptcy, so naturally Blumer ignored it to assert that because minority-owned dealers allegedly aren't as strong as others, "the minority-owned dealer termination rate should have been higher."

Posted by Terry K. at 9:15 AM EDT
New Article: Our Newsmax Problem
Topic: Newsmax
John L. Perry's column advocating a military coup against President Obama is just the latest and most extreme example of Newsmax's anti-Obama rhetoric and activism. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 2:08 AM EDT
WND Smears, Libels Teacher
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Based on the testimony of one parent, WorldNetDaily has smeared and quite possibly libeled a Virginia high school teacher.

An Oct. 5 article by Chelsea Schilling uncriticially repeats claims by the parent, who claims that "English teacher Kathleen Renard provided her personal copy of a book called 'Perks of Being a Wallflower' by Stephen Chbosky to one of her English students, and it was passed to his son." The bookwas available as part of marking the American Library Association's "Banned Book Week." Schilling provides a long list of bullet points of the book's purportedly offensive content -- "sex acts between teenagers," "suicide," and "attempted sex between a boy and a dog" among them -- butSchilling makes no attempt to place them in context, indicating that she has not read the book she's reporting on.

Schilling goes on to smear the teacher by suggesting she intends to molest her students, writing that the parent "mentioned WND's big list of teachers who have sexual relationships with minor students and said he is concerned that a teacher who provides sexually explicit reading material to her students could have ulterior motives." Such an obviously false, malicious statement could very well be considered libel, giving the teacher grounds to sue WND.

We've previously documented WND's creepy, possibly prurient obsession with female teachers -- not male ones -- who have sex swith their students.

WND has already gone through one major libel suit, which didn't end so well. Is it really that eager for another?

Posted by Terry K. at 1:13 AM EDT
Terry Jeffrey Wants Obama to Fail

In case it wasn't clear that editor in chief Terry Jeffrey is not interested in fair and balanced reporting about President Obama on the website he heads, Jeffrey made his views more articulate in an Oct. 5 appearance on MSNBC's "Hardball."

Responding to Chris Matthews' question about whether the right is "will cheer" if Obama fails at everything like Rush Limbaugh said, Jeffrey responded:

JEFFREY: Look, after this happened, President Obama took over General Motors. He offered a health care plan that had a public option where the government would be running a health care program that Michael Moore said would drive private health insurance companies out of business. Rush had specific agenda items that President Obama was forwarding. He said he was against them. He hoped they failed. I'm with Rush 100 percent on this one.


JEFFREY: On the domestic front, I think conservatives are opposed to just about everything President Obama is trying to do because he's trying to augment the power of government over our lives and diminish our individual freedom. So to the degree that his ability to leverage the Democrats in Congress to attain his agenda is diminished, that's a good thing for the Unted States.

An Oct. 5 NewsBusters item by Geoffrey Dickens, which includes much of the transcript of Jeffrey's appearance, curiously omits the above sections. What is the MRC afraid of? That Jeffrey's bias, and how it's reflected at CNS, will become clear to readers?

Posted by Terry K. at 12:03 AM EDT
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

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