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Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Vote For Us!
Topic: The ConWeb

The 2009 Weblog Awards

We would like to beg you, our readers, to nominate ConWebBlog in the 2009 Weblog Awards. Since there isn't a media category per se and we're not quite poltical, we're going to aim for the Best Large Blog, defined as having a Technorati authority rating of between 301 and 500 (we're at 440).

ConWebWatch is listed in the comments as a nominee (which is where the shameless self-promotion comes in), so what you need to do is click on the "+" icon in that particular comment to indicate your preference.

The nomination phase ends Nov. 20, so act quickly! We appreciate your support.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:10 PM EST
Updated: Wednesday, November 18, 2009 8:12 PM EST
Newsmax Parrots Palin Defender's Misleading Claims
Topic: Newsmax

We already know that Sarah Palin's memoir is filled with falsehoods and distortions, so it's not a surprise to see that it appears a Palin defender is resorting to the same tactics.

A Nov. 18 Newsmax article by Dan Weil features Matthew Continetti's "The Persecution of Sarah Palin," about which he writes:

Continetti said the mainstream political media spread one falsehood after another about Palin including that she:

  • Had been a member of the separatist Alaskan Independence Party (New York Times)
  • Had been a supporter of Pat Buchanan (MSNBC)
  • Faked giving birth to Trig Palin, who was supposedly her grandson (Atlantic Monthly)

Well, let's see:

  • The Times' source for the claim that Sarah Palin belonged to the Alaskan Independence Party was the head of the party. The Times issued a correction after the party chief changed her story.
  • MSNBC's source for Palin being a supporter of Pat Buchanan was ... Pat Buchanan.

So these claims were not invented out of thin air, as Continetti and Newsmax suggest.

As for the claim about Trig Palin, that's largely the work of Atlantic blogger Andrew Sullivan, not the entire Atlantic Monthly. And as Sullivan points out, he never actually disputed Trig's parentage, but merely "asked her and the campaign to provide easily available proof that she indeed was the biological mother of Trig after her bizarre and incredible stories about her pregnancy and labor. She has failed to produce any such evidence. And she clearly never will."

That's rather ironic given that Newsmax has signed on to demanding that Barack Obama release further proof of his birth.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:41 PM EST
WND Misleads on Pink Slip Campaign
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily offers unsurprisingly positive coverage of its own press conference in which it and Faith2Action's Janet Porter manage to get a few Republican members of Congress to endorse their "pink slip" campaign (and overlook WND's conspiracy-laden website). That means, of course, WND won't tell you the full truth.

The "pink slip" campaign, as we've detailed, features factually inaccurate right-wing talking points sent to all 535 members of Congress.

The WND article touts how the number of pink slips sent "have surged past 5 million," paraphrasing one congressman as saying the number is "staggering, because they weren't from people who were answering a telephone poll and participating in a survey," and that "There is a person behind each one of the slips." But that's misleading too. Divide 5 million by 535, and you get 9,345 -- the number of people who have paid WND $29.95 to do this. That's a far less impressive number than 5 million, so don't expect WND to bring it up.

WND chief Joseph Farah, meanwhile, is still pretending he's really not an activist by promoting the campaign:

"One of the questions I get from colleagues is why a news agency would involve itself in a political advocacy campaign like the 'pink slips' effort. The answer is that I am an American first and a newsman second. I don't want to see the foundations that made this country great and that made the notion of a free press possible destroyed. And that's why we got behind this campaign," he said.

Of course, the more logical -- and more truthful -- answer is that WND has never been a news organization and has always been a political advocacy group, as its eagerness to lie about President Obama amply demonstrates. Further, if WND were an actual news organization that cared about facts, it would not have issued a "pink slip" with such obvious factual errors.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:37 PM EST
Obama Derangement Syndrome Watch
Topic: Newsmax

President Obama is dropping another O-bomb on America with the decision to try the masterminds of the shocking attack of Sept. 11, 2001, in a New York courtroom.

That’s right: Obama is trying to reduce the Sept. 11 act of war to a law enforcement issue. So our wartime enemy is going to face a civilian trial in New York City. It’s another O-bomb on American leadership.


America going on a witch hunt and prosecuting those who kept this country safe from people like Khalid Shiekh Mohammed, as Obama has announced he intends to do, sets back our moral authority. America turning her back on the jihad against women, Christian, Jews, and non-believers has set back America’s moral authority. America electing a radical for a President has set back America’s moral authority.

America electing an America-hater for president vanquished our moral authority.


This is yet another vile chapter in the Obama presidency. As long as he is president, the man will never stop punishing America for being so foolish as to elect him.

-- Pamela Geller, Nov. 17 Newsmax column

Posted by Terry K. at 11:44 AM EST
CNS Ignores Sessions' Filibuster Flip-Flop

A Nov. 17 article by Christopher Neefus details how "epublican Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), the ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, said Monday he plans to filibuster President Obama’s first judicial pick, Judge David F. Hamilton."

At no point did Neefus note that Sessions' position is a reversal from the one he held in 2003, in which he said of filibustering judicial nominees: "People on both sides of the aisle have understood it to be wrong. They have understood it to be in violation of the Constitution. . . . Mr. President, these nominees are entitled to an up-and-down vote. If a Member does not like them, he or she can vote against them. But it is time to move these nominees."

Neefus made no apparent attempt to contact supporters of Hamilton to respond to Sessions' criticism. Instead, Neefus' article is nothing more than right-wing anti-Hamilton talking points, right down to stating that Hamllton "began his career, as a fundraiser for the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN)" without mentioning that it was only for a month right after he graduated college.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:01 AM EST
Does Joseph Farah Apply Psalm 109:9 to Obama Too?
Topic: WorldNetDaily

In a Nov. 17 WorldNetDaily column asserting America is getting what it deserves with the election of Barack Obama, Joseph Farah invokes Psalm 109:8: "Let his days be few; and let another take his office."

We have to wonder: Does Farah support the verses of Psalm 109 immediately following verse 8 as a desire of the fate he would like Obama to see?

(9) May his children be fatherless and his wife a widow.

(10) May his children be wandering beggars; may they be driven from their ruined homes.

(11) May a creditor seize all he has; may strangers plunder the fruits of his labor.

(12) May no one extend kindness to him or take pity on his fatherless children.

(13) May his descendants be cut off, their names blotted out from the next generation.

(14) May the iniquity of his fathers be remembered before the LORD; may the sin of his mother never be blotted out.

(15) May their sins always remain before the LORD, that he may cut off the memory of them from the earth.

Is Farah wishing death upon Obama, just like his birther buddy Wiley Drake?

And, this being Joseph Farah, part of the problem is you're not sending him enough money:

I wrote a book years ago anticipating just where America would be in 2009. It was called "Taking America Back: A Radical Plan to Revive Freedom, Morality and Justice." The bad news is that, to date, only about 75,000 Americans have read it. The good news is that most of those have purchased it in the last two years – as they were finally awakened to the reality of the predictions I made in that book.

The man's not modest, is he? Nor, it seems, is he equipped with a sense of shame.

UPDATE: The Christian Science Monitor has more.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:05 AM EST
Updated: Wednesday, November 18, 2009 11:40 AM EST
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Why Does WND Care That Homeschoolers Allegedly Being Denied Flu Vaccine?
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily has long fearmongered about flu vaccines. So why does it care that homeschooled students are allegedly being denied a vaccine?

A Nov. 13 WND article uncritically rewrites a press release by the Home School Legal Defense Association that officials in "two locations in Virginia" -- not specifically identified beyond their general location in the state, even though the HSLDA identifies one of the communities involved -- allegedly denied homeschooled children flu vaccines in line with being "target group identified by the federal government." WND made no apparent attempt to contact Virginia health officials, or any other officials the HSLDA claims it contacted, to corroborate the HSLDA story.

Supporting vaccinations is not only contradictory to previous WND policy, it's apparently out of line for the HSLDA as well, as indicated by the statement at the end of its press release: "Many parents have good reasons to not vaccinate their children. But for those who want it, they can now expect their children, as members of a target group, to have equitable access when the vaccine is available at public health departments." Indeed, HSLDA's Congressional Action Program lists as part of its "impressive track record" lobbying for a 1993 "Defeat of Mandatory National Vaccination Initiative."

But WND's flip on the issue is more interesting -- maybe it understands that vaccines do, in fact, save lives. But this kind of common sense is unusual for WND. Look for a big scary article in the near fugure to make up for it.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:51 PM EST
NewsReal Ignores How Stewart Busted Fox News
Topic: Horowitz

A Nov. 16 NewsReal post by Paul Cooper bashes outgoing White House communications director for noting that "Jon Stewart of the Daily Show on Comedy Central…That’s where you are getting fact-checking, investigative journalism these days," asserting that this statement means "Dunn actually believes The Daily Show is more legitimate journalism than FoxNews." Curiously absent from Cooper's post is any mention of the incident that prompted Dunn to make that claim.

From the Bloomberg interview of Dunn that Cooper references:

DUNN: I'll give you one fact -- actually fun fact from this week, is that the, you know, a opinion show on a certain news network was using edited footage to make it appear that a rally last week in political opposition to the president was much larger than it appeared. Some of you may have heard about this, that the people who went in and did the fact-checking on that and actually exposed this, this kind of spliced, edited video that was designed to make it appear that more people oppose the president than really do, the people who exposed this -- Jon Stewart on "The Daily Show" on Comedy Central, OK? Well, that's where you are getting, you know, fact-checking, investigative journalism these days, folks.

It is a different media environment. And the reality is that, you know, let's face it,  we're under no illusions about what the political agenda of certain news networks are.

Cooper also avoids repeating more inconvenient criticism of Fox, stating that Dunn "defends" MSNBC in the interview without noting that Dunn also pointed out that Fox News contributor Karl Rove "declared war on [NBC] during the previous administration, and you may recall that Fox actually applauded Karl for doing that."

Posted by Terry K. at 1:28 PM EST
Morris Falsely Claims Obama Opposes Fort Hood Probe
Topic: Newsmax

In a Nov. 16 Newsmax column -- also published at FrontPageMag -- Dick Morris falsely claims that "President Obama told the media in Alaska that he opposes a congressional investigation into the Fort Hood massacre."

In fact, Obama has said there "should" be a congressional investigation, but has also noted that he has ordered a military and intelligence investigation of the massacre and that "all of us should resist the temptation to turn this tragic event into the political theater that sometimes dominates the discussion here in Washington."

Posted by Terry K. at 11:54 AM EST
WND Highlights Gay Papers' Closing, Silent on Wash. Times Turmoil
Topic: WorldNetDaily

A Nov. 16 WorldNetDaily article highlights the closing of Windows Media, publisher of several "homosexual newspapers," leading to a discussion of how newspapers are "struggling to retain readership and advertising returns lost to Internet-based publications."

While WND has devoted an article to publications its readership would not be caught dead in close proximity of a copy of -- remember its anti-gay agenda -- WND has been essentially silent on the turmoil at what is arguably the most prominent conservative paper in America, the Washington Times.

As Talking Points Memo has detailed, a family feud among the heirs of Rev. Sun Myung Moon, whose Unification Church owns the paper, led to the removal of three top executives at the paper and the resignation of editor John Solomon.

A search of WND's archives shows no original articles on the Times's curent situation, even though more of its readers would be much more interested in it than the fate of a group of "homosexual newspapers." The archive does include a link to a Nov. 11 TPM article examining whether the turmoil would result in the Times going out of business.

WND has had a previous business relationship with the Times and related publications, as we've detailed, including a content-sharing agreement with now-defunct newsmagazine Insight and the appearance of Joseph Farah's column in the Times' weekly national edition. WND columnist Les Kinsolving even defended the paper by asserting "the fact that the Washington Times was founded by ex-convict and cult leader Sun Myung Moon should not detract from the fact that this daily newspaper has become one of this nation's most influential, and on Capitol Hill, most widely read daily newspapers."

Farah did at one point work up the courage to bite the hand that feeds him by criticizing Moon's "coronation ceremony" in a Senate office building, but that enmity quickly dissapated as WND penned a fawning tribute to the Times on its 25th anniversary.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:20 AM EST
Incoherent Analysis from Dick Morris
Topic: Newsmax

Dick Morris writes in his Nov. 14 Newsmax column:

President Barack Obama's decision to put Khalid Sheikh Mohammed on trial in New York City along with four others accused of helping destroy the World Trade Center and attack the Pentagon on 9/11 paints a bulls-eye for terrorists right on New York City, their favorite target. Now Obama has identified where the terrorists should focus their energies — on New York City.

But, as Jamison Foser points out, if New York is already the terrorists' "favorite target," why do they need a bulls-eye painted on it?

Responding to Morris' statement that "President Obama is affording the terrorists exactly what they wanted in the first place -- a global stage right near New York's theater district," Foser adds: "Really? The terrorists were that concerned about their proximity to New York's theater district?"

Posted by Terry K. at 1:04 AM EST
Monday, November 16, 2009
Newsmax Falsely Claims No President Had Bowed to Foreign Leader Before Obama
Topic: Newsmax

A Nov. 15 Newsmax article by Daniel Ruddy asserts that "No president of the United States in the more than 230 years since the country was founded in 1776 had ever bowed to a member of royalty. That was until Barack Obama’s presidency." The headline of Ruddy's article went further "No American President Ever Bowed to a Foreign Leader — Until Now."

Both claims are wrong.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:20 PM EST
Updated: Monday, November 16, 2009 2:35 PM EST
NewsReal Tries to Change the Subject on Carrie Prejean
Topic: Horowitz

Ben Johnson is furiously trying to spin bad news about Carrie Prejean.

A Nov. 12 NewsReal post tries to change the subject away from news about a solo sex tape Prejean made that allegedly, when California pageant officials informed Prejean about their knowledge of itsexistence, caused Prejean to quickly settle her lawsuit against them without receiving the million dollars in damages she sought. Johnson attempted to engage in speculation, baselessly suggesting that pageant officials were distributing a "underage pornographic video to smear Carrie Prejean."

First, Johnson offers no evidence that pageant officials were distributing the video. Second, Prejean may not have been underage at the time: TMZ reports that the ex-boyfriend to whom Prejean originally sent the video claims she was 20 at the time, not 17 as she claimed.

Johnson engages in more subject-changing in another Nov. 12 NewsReal post:

Some readers have asked if — with the release of topless photos and now a solo sex tape — conservatives, or Christians, or conservative Christians, should consider former Miss California Carrie Prejean a role model. The question strikes me as off-base, a hybrid of the cult of hero worship and the 24/7 media’s information overload.

The underlying issue in the Prejean case is not — or at least, it has never been for me — one of the pageant (near-)winner’s character or admirability. It’s a simple matter of the Left’s aggressive politicization of every aspect of life, including beauty pageants and football.


Does Carrie Prejean deserve such a status? The deeper question is: Who cares? The existence of topless photos, a solo sex tape, or a secret home altar to Baal are irrelevant to Prejean’s underlying story: as a contestant in a beauty contest, she was sabotaged by a bigoted hysteric and almost certainly lost the national crown on the basis of politics. From that moment, pageant officials seemed to try to find every conceivable way to revoke her Miss California title. Now, a string of sexually explicit photos and a video have hit the news — all because she gave an apologetic endorsement of a 5,000-year-old institution that happens to be the bedrock of civilization.

The issue is not whether Carrie Prejean is a model Christian, conservative role model, or a good spokesmodel. The issue is the unconscionable behavior of pageant officials and the media, and the Left’s insatiable desire to feast on the blood of its enemies. 


The fact that Prejean made a solo sex tape puts her in the company of approximately 100 percent of her fellow models. 

That strong breeze you feel is merely Johnson desperately trying to spin away the right-wing fetish for Prejean.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:17 PM EST
New Article -- Ellis Washington: Flamboyantly Wrong
Topic: WorldNetDaily
The WorldNetDaily columnist keeps up his record of overheated literary allusions, insults of President Obama, and general inability to get stuff correct. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 11:20 AM EST
Aaron Klein Still Smearing Chas Freeman
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Chas Freeman withdrew his nomination to serve on the National Intelligence Council months ago, yet Aaron Klein can't stop smearing him.

Klein's Nov. 15 WorldNetDaily article repeats the false suggestion that Freeman is linked to Osama bin Laden because "he has financial ties to the infamous bin Laden family," failing to note that, as we have detailed, Osama bin Laden is not linked to the family business interests and that the bin Laden family member heading those business interests renounced Osama in 1994.

Klein also repeated a claim that "Freeman once peddled a Saudi-funded book to U.S. public schools that falsely claims Muslims inhabited North America far before European explorers." But as we noted, all Klein has offered in the way of evidence is that the organization Fredman heads, the Middle East Policy Council, once promoted it -- not Freeman personally, as he claims.

The ostensible news peg for Klein's article (read: excuse to rehash false smears) is that Freeman said in a recent speech that "Israel has long assassinated peace-loving Palestinian leaders." Klein offers no evidence to contradict Freeman. Klein also acquiesces to the Israeli government line by referring to Israel's "alleged nuclear weapons program," even though its existence is not in dispute, Israel's refusal to confirm it notwithstanding.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:19 AM EST

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