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Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Molotov Peddles Shepard Revisionism
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Molotov Mitchell is peddling revisionist history on the Matthew Shepard case in his latest WorldNetDaily video:

First of all, like Harvey Milk, Matthew Shepard was not killed for being gay. After being robbed and beaten to death, his killer went on to try the exact same thing only on a straight guy 20 minutes later. The only reason he survived was because he had a bat and a friend with him. The liberals aren't interested in those facts. They didn't even care when Shepard's killers told ABC News that his murder had nothing to do with his lifestyle. And why would the killers lie? They had nothing to gain.

In fact, as we detailed, one of the killers, Aaron McKinney, mounted a "gay panic" defense at his trial -- which would seem to contradict the story Mitchell wants to hear -- and has changed his story multiple times. As the Matthew Shepard Foundation has stated, the ABC report omitted the contents of McKinney's in-custody interview a few days after Shepard's death. That transcript shows "an un-rehearsed and unemotional anti-gay account of the events before, during, and after leaving Matt tied to the fence," according to the foundation.

Further, as retired Laramie Police Chief Dave O'Malley told a Laramie newspaper: "Only three people know what really happened that night ... One of them is dead and the other two are known liars and convicted felons -- murderers."

Why would the killers lie, Mitchell asks? Because they're convicted murderers and known liars. And what do they have to gain? Sympathy from anti-gay activists like Mitchell.

Mitchell then goes into full anti-gay freak-out mode that the name of lynching victim James Byrd joined Shepard's in the name of the bill that added federal hate-crime protection to gays. The crimes that resulted in Byrd's death was "for real," Mitchell insists, "not some made-up Laramie Project stunt for political gain." Crank up that faux outrage, Molotov:

To exploit a modern-day lynching to score points with the gay lobby, to equate the true horror of Byrd's murder to their phony gay passion play, is unforgivable. Gay activists, how dare you cheapen his sacrifice? For that alone, you are unnatural. For that alone, you are deviant. For James Byrd alone, you are an abomination.

Oh, and he also sneeringly refers to President Obama as a "weak-kneed metrosexual."

This is merely the first of a two-part video, by the way. Can't wait 'til next week...

Posted by Terry K. at 8:40 PM EST
Updated: Wednesday, December 2, 2009 8:42 PM EST
Conservatives Aren't Fact-Checked At the MRC
Topic: NewsBusters

One thing conservative media figures can count on: The Media Research Center will never hold them accountable for their factual errors or misrepresentations. Agenda, after all, comes before accuracy.

Noel Sheppard, in a Nov. 29 NewsBusters post, highlighted an appearance by George Will on ABC's "This Week" in which he promoted the so-called "Climategate" kerfuffle over stolen emails, regurgitating Will's claim that "the release of these e-mail messages raises a serious question about why America should 'wager trillions of dollars and substantially curtail freedom on climate models that are imperfect and unproven.'" Sheppard failed to mention Will's false distortions of the purloined emails.

Sheppard struck again in a Nov. 30 post touting how Fox News' Brit Hume "said the growing ClimateGate scandal suggests manmade global warming may be a fraud." That was good enough for Sheppard, giving him license to ignore Hume's falsehoods -- not only did Hume falsely claim that "[t]here's been no apparent increase in global temperatures over the past 11 years," he repeated the misleading claim that "the original raw data used to create these models has been destroyed or otherwise disposed of." In fact, most of the raw data still exists, and only the data that had become unreliable due to discontinuities or urbanization at the monitoring stations was thrown out.

The important thing, as far as Sheppard is concerned, is that Will and Hume parroted the conservatively correct talking points. The truth is secondary.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:19 PM EST
WND Wants You (And the U.N.) To Think It's Not An Advocacy Organization
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Round two of WorldNetDaily's press credential battle with the United Nations is highlighted in a Nov. 30 article, which states that the U.N. has turned down WND application to cover the climate-change convention in Copenhagen. Of course, WND fudges facts along the way.

In response to the U.N.'s statement that "advocacy publications of nongovernmental or nonprofit organizations do not qualify for media accreditation," WND chief Joseph Farah starts off by being petulant (big surprise there), with the article paraphrasing him as saying that "the U.N. is grasping at straws for grounds to deny the news organization admittance to the convention – including completely bogus information about WND's structure":

In a personal response to Wuestenhagen, Farah wrote: "Time is short, so I am responding directly as the founder and chief executive officer of WorldNetDaily to your complete misrepresentations as to WorldNetDaily's structure and independence as a news organization.

"WorldNetDaily is NOT, as you mistakenly assert, a for-profit subsidiary of the Western Journalism Center. Neither is it an advocacy organization, though, like all news organizations, it does publish a broad spectrum of opinion – we believe, in fact, the broadest ideological spectrum of any news organization in the world," he continued. "Neither has WorldNetDaily ever been a subsidiary of Western Journalism Center or any other organization."

Farah continued: "The website began as a project of the Western Journalism Center in 1997. In 1999, the website was spun off as a completely independent for-profit corporation with no legal connection to its former parent. That was 10 years ago. I speak authoritatively on this subject as the founder of BOTH organizations, though I, like my company, WorldNetDaily, have no connection to the Western Journalism Center today."

It's unclear to us how something that started as "a project of the Western Journalism Center" could not be considered a "subsidiary" of it. And since Farah is so secretive about WND's finances and ownership structure, it's impossible to know how much to trust Farah when he says the WJC and WND are no longer connected. Back in 2002, we did manage to badger Farah into admitting that the WJC did own part of WND at the time of the spinoff, though he refuses to name the other investors in WND (we figured out a few of them).

Farah's claim that WND is not an "advocacy organization," however, is just laughable. Just because WND is a for-profit operation doesn't mean it doesn't advocate -- it does. More to the point, WND advocates against the very organization from which it demands press credentials. Death to the U.N., anyone?

At no point does Farah explain why he wants press credentials from a organization whose legitimacy he questions and which he wants to see destroyed. Instead, he descends into smears and crazy talk:

"I vow that we will pursue all legal options to ensure that the free press is respected by these unaccountable global institutions," said Farah.

Farah said WND is the largest independent English-language Internet news organization in the world.

"If WND is not permitted to cover a global event of this magnitude, the rights of all news organizations are threatened in the New World Order organizers hope to establish in Copenhagen," Farah said.

Apparently, Farah doesn't want the U.N. to die just yet -- at least not until he can browbeat and threaten them into giving him a press credential.

UPDATE: Farah repeats many of the same claims in his Dec. 2 column, but he again fails to explain why he's demanding press credentials from an organization he wants to destroy. He also laughably suggests that WND is an "impartial witness" to the U.N.'s "shenannigans."

Posted by Terry K. at 6:55 AM EST
Updated: Wednesday, December 2, 2009 12:04 PM EST
Newsmax Flip-Flops Once More on Huckabee and Clemency
Topic: Newsmax

Newsmax just can't figure out where it stands on Mike Huckabee's use of clemency while governor of Arkansas.

As we detailed, Newsmax ran to Huckabee's defense in 2002 regarding his efforts to give clemency to Wayne Dumond, who was later arrested and convicted of murder. But in 2007, Newsmax citedthe Dumond case in discussing Huckabee's "liberal policy of criminal pardons." Then, a week later, Newsmax published an fawning article about Huckabee that failed to address the question of Huckabee's clemency record in general or Dumond in particular.

Now, the question arises again with the case of Maurice Clemmons, who earlier this week shot and killed four police officers in Washington state. Clemmons was granted clemency by Huckabee in 2000.

Newsmax's response to the Clemmons case is to provide a forum for Huckabee to spin the story. And spin he does in a Nov. 30 column, claiming to "take full responsibility for my actions of nine years ago" yet blaming the Arkansas Post Prison Transfer Board for actually setting the guy free.

Huckabee also misleads by claiming that Clemmons "was 16 years old when he was charged with burglary and robbery. He was sentenced to a total of 108 years based on the way in which the sentences were stacked." But it wasn't a first-time case for a youthful offender, as Huckabee seems to suggest; the sentence total is the result of five separate sentencings in 1989 and 1990, not just for "burglary and robbery" but also aggravated robbery, theft of property, probation revocation and firearms possession.

Huckabee is also disingenous about other efforts to keep Clemmons in prison: "When he violated terms of his parole by participating in additional crimes, he was returned to prison and should have stayed there. For reasons only the prosecutor can explain, charges were not brought forth in a timely way and the prosecutor ended up dropping the charges, allowing him to leave prison and return to supervised parole."

In fact, the prosecutor in question, Larry Jegley, said the charges were dropped because the warrant wasn't served in a timely manner and because there was trouble locating witnesses to the 2001 robbery. Further, Jegley's office opposed Clemmons' parole in 2000 and 2004, adding that Huckabee created a flaw in the Arkansas justice system by freeing the number of prisoners he did. "My word to Mr. Huckabee is man up and own what you did," Jegley said.

A Dec. 1 follow-up Newsmax article by David Patten starts off by continuing to be kind to Huckabee, giving him the opportunity to address "the many incorrect reports and rumors swirling around his decision to reduce Clemmons' sentence."

But then, later in the article, Patten references not only Dumond but also states that "Huckabee's critics have compared the incident to the controversial Willie Horton furlough that derailed the 1988 candidacy of Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis, the Democratic presidential nominee." Patten does try to spin that away, however, claiming that "Political historians say, however, that what actually torpedoed Dukakis wasn't the clemency issue, but rather his dispassionate response during a debate to a hypothetical question about whether he would favor capital punishment if his wife were raped."

Posted by Terry K. at 12:33 AM EST
Tim Graham, All Class
Topic: NewsBusters

John McCormack of The Weekly Standard has posted more embarrassing pictures of Katie Couric's dirty dancing after her first night of anchoring at CBS[.]


They suggest why Rich Noyes would joke that if Al Gore is the "Godfather of Green" (as Couric called him), she could be "Queen of the Cougars."

-- Tim Graham, Dec. 1 NewsBusters post

Posted by Terry K. at 12:03 AM EST
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
WND Can't Stop Smearing Rosenthal (Or Obama)
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Joseph Farah's Dec. 1 WorldNetdaily column demonstrates all to clearly the danger of relying solely on WND as a source of information, as Farah apparently does.

In it, Farah rants that State Department anti-Semitism czar nominee Hannah Rosenthal actually "spread[s]" anti-Semitism and "blames Israel," citing a quote by Rosenthal from a JTA interview that his reporter Aaron Klein took out of context (as we pointed out).

Not content with spreading lies about an Obama appointee, Farah went on a wild-eyed rant about Obama himself, asserting that he "publicly supports ethnic cleansing in the Middle East against Jews," apparently because Obama has opposed expansion of Jewish settlements in the West Bank (which Farah insists on labeling Judea and Samaria) and East Jerusalem.

Farah references the Obama administration's opposition to Jewish housing construction in the Gilo area of Jerusalem, which Farah describes only as a "southern Jerusalem neighborhood" (and which Klein has previously described as "a neighborhood of 40,000 Jews within the municipal boundaries of Jerusalem"). It appears to be Gilo to which Farah is referring when he references "solidly Jewish neighborhoods of the capital of the Jewish state never before placed on the table for negotiations with the Jew-haters who demand a 'Palestinian state' free of all Jews."

Only, not so much. As the UK Guardian points out, Gilo is "on the Palestinian side of the 1967 Green Line, the border before that year's war," adding that "Israel claims it is not on the West Bank so is not a settlement." Thus, Jewish construction in Gilo is hardly the non-provocation Farah suggests it is.

Nevertheless, Farah smears Obama by claiming this is somehow part of "a vicious anti-Israeli, pro-Arab agenda," adding, "Remember, I make this accusation as an Arab-American." 

Wrong. Farah is making his accusation as a hateful far-right activist.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:09 PM EST
Obama Derangement Syndrome Watch
Topic: WorldNetDaily

So make no mistake about it. You have a body in the Oval Office, but not a leader. What we do have is a man who will throw his grandmother, pastor, friends and past presidents under the bus to avoid responsibility. He's a man who chooses to vote "present" so as not to be on record for taking a stand and a man who even blames his own country.

We have no president in America. We have no leader in the Oval Office. We are, in essence, rudderless in a world of very turbulent waters.

-- Craig R. Smith, Nov. 30 WorldNetDaily column

Posted by Terry K. at 11:29 AM EST
Newsmax Uncritically Repeats Rove's Complaint About Friday News Dumps
Topic: Newsmax

A Nov. 29 Newsmax "Insider Report" item repeated Karl Rove's claim that the "Obama administration has shown a pattern of seeking to mute reaction to policy announcements by issuing them late on Friday."

No mention, of course, on the extent to which Rove and the Bush White House relied on Friday news dumps.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:30 AM EST
New Article: WorldNetDaily Lies About Obama Nominees
Topic: WorldNetDaily
WND continues its pattern of lying about President Obama by promoting falsehoods about people Obama has named to government posts. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 6:47 AM EST
Klein Spreads More Lies About J Street
Topic: WorldNetDaily

In a Nov. 29 WorldNetDaily article following up on his previous J Street-smearing attack regarding State department nominee Hannah Rosenthal, Klein falsely claimed that J Street is "pro-Hamas."

In fact, as Media Matters notes, J Street merely supports talks between the Israeli government and Hamas. At no point does Klein explain how that makes the group "pro-Hamas."

Posted by Terry K. at 12:24 AM EST
Monday, November 30, 2009
Newsmax Chief Defends Palin Over Criticism for Reading Newsmax
Topic: Newsmax

In his Nov. 30 column, Newsmax president and CEO Christopher Ruddy declared that the "mainstream media" is" simply out of touch with ordinary Americans" and that "the major media establishment lives in a bubble." Ruddy's evidence for this: The media criticized Sarah Palin for reading Newsmax.

Ruddy touts the popularity of Newsmax's website, claiming it "has reached close to 4 million unique visitors monthly." He also promotes Newsmax's magazine, asserting that it has "a monthly readership of more than 800,000." But note that he said "readership," not paid circulation, which is the standard accepted metric for measuring a magazine's reach. Newsmax has previously indicated that it believes the magazine is read by four people for every copy sold, which is apparently where it gets that inflated "readership" number.

Ruddy writes: "The bottom line is this: Those who live in the Big Media Bubble can't comprehend the appeal of Newsmax -- or Sarah Palin." He's got us there. We have trouble grasping the appeal of a website that has published columns advocating a military coup against President Obama, calling for a "tenting" of the White House, blaming the Holocaust Museum shooting on Obama, and embracing the birther conspiracy.

Ruddy also touted how Palin's book "shot to the top of the best-seller lists, reportedly selling 700,000 copies in the first week after its Nov. 17 release." He fails to mention that a not-insignificant amount of those copies are the likely result of below-cost loss-leader deals from online retailers -- including Newsmax's own $4.97 deal for the book.

Posted by Terry K. at 7:38 PM EST
Klein Stays Silent on GOP-Khalidi Link
Topic: WorldNetDaily

A Nov. 29 WorldNetdaily article by Aaron Klein stated that "the Virginia couple who allegedly crashed a White House state dinner is tied to Rashid Khalidi, a pro-Palestinian professor who excuses terrorism and has been a close associate to President Obama."

But, as he did repeatedly during 2008 election coverage, Klein failed to mention that Khalidi also has ties to Republican John McCain: The McCain-chaired International Republican Institute has given more than a half-million dollars to a Khalidi-headed group.

Why is Klein so afraid to tell the full truth to his readers about Khalidi's links to Republicans?

Posted by Terry K. at 11:44 AM EST
WND Threatens to Sue U.N. Over Press Credentials
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily may well be the most petulant news organization on the planet (with Joseph Farah leading by example).

A Nov. 25 article declares that WND plans to sue the United Nations "for its refusal, thus far, to issue press credentials for coverage of the global climate-change convention next month in Copenhagen." Farah added, "It takes time to make arrangements to travel to Copenhagen for an extended period, and I began to believe the U.N. was stalling."

Read that again: It's not because WND has been refused press credentials. It's because the U.N. is not moving fast enough for WND's credentials to WND's satisfaction.

Of course, the U.N. may not be terribly thrilled about granting credentials to a "news" organization whose editor has declared "Death to the U.N.!" and called it "a global criminal enterprise determined to shift power away from individuals and sovereign nation-states to a small band of unaccountable international elites." And the person to whom those press credentials will be issued, Jerome Corsi, isn't exactly a friendly reporter, having already attacked the U.N. for being among the "globalist" organizations plotting to destroy American soverignty.

Given that WND's coverage of the Copenhagen summit is pretty much guaranteed to be hostile, why should the U.N. give press credentials to Corsi? Indeed, WND has threatened to provide "substantial negative press coverage" over the press credentials incident -- never mind that WND's coverage would be just as negative were those credentials to be granted. At no point is any evidence offered that the U.N. is obligated to issue press credentials to all comers.

Also of note is that WND's lawyer in this threatened lawsuit is Gary Kreep of the U.S. Justice Foundation. Kreep, of course, is among the birther lawyers WND has touted -- without, of course, noting the conflict of interest in promoting the work of a lawyer who also represents WND.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:09 AM EST
The MRC's Anti-Gay Freak-Out
Topic: Media Research Center

WorldNetDaily isn't the only ConWeb component to have issues with gays. The Media Research Center exhibits it as well.

A Nov. 25 Culture & Media Institute article by Colleen Raezler declares that it's "selfish" for gays to come out of the closet during the holidays because it's "possibly ruining" those holidays for other members of the family. Raezler also takes jokes by a comedian seriously, taking Kevin Meaney (who name is misspelled throughout as "Meany") to task for claiming that "he came out by descending a staircase in a Speedo singing, 'I am what I am, I am my own special creation' while 'the in-laws are going, ‘lamb of God, take away the sins of the world'" and that he "joked about the ultimate selfishness when he told the panel his tale of trying to save his marriage by asking his wife to 'have a sex change operation.'"

Posted by Terry K. at 12:27 AM EST
Sunday, November 29, 2009
WND Falsely Smears Another Obama Nominee
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily's Aaron Klein is keeping up the false smears against Obama administration appointees, having found a new victim to attack.

A Nov. 26 article by Klein carried the headline "Obama appoints anti-Israel lobbyist to anti-Semitism post," referring to Hannah Rosenthal, nominated by the State Department as anti-Semitism envoy. The headline has since been changed (without letting readers know about the change), but the Google cache of the original is here, and a screenshot of the original is at the end of this post.

The smear is an apparent reference to Rosenthal's affiliation with the advocacy group J Street. But J Street isn't "anti-Israel"; in fact, as Media Matters details, J Street describes itself as "the political arm of the pro-Israel, pro-peace movement" and states that it "represents Americans, primarily but not exclusively Jewish, who support Israel and its desire for security as the Jewish homeland, as well as the right of the Palestinians to a sovereign state of their own - two states living side-by-side in peace and security."  The group has also been praised by such Israeli leaders as Shimon Peres and Tzipi Livni.

Which, of course, is precisely Klein's problem. As a far-right Jewish activist who's sympathetic to Kahanist extremists, Klein doesn't like anyone who's even remotely liberal (like Peres and Livni). Klein has previously smeared J Street as "a far-leftist Mideast activist organization," and he claims here, as he has before, that the group has been "accused of working against the Jewish state" (omitting, of course, that those accusations come from right-wingers).

Klein also claimed that Rosenthal's "writings suggest Israel's policies are to blame for anti-Semitism,"  specifically citing comments attributed to Rosenthal in a 2002 Jewish Telegraphic Agency article. In fact, in context, as Media Matters points out, the comments do not imply that.

Further, while Klein referenced an open letter from Anti-Defamation League national director Abe Foxman to Rosenthal disagreeing with an op-ed Rosenthal had writtendescribing a pro-Israel rally being "dominated by narrow, ultraconservative views of what it means to be pro-Israel" (remember, Klein is an ultraconservative), he failed to note that Foxman has endorsed Rosenthal's nomination.

This is sloppy, biased writing, even by Klein's standards. Don't expect a correction because WND doesn't do corrections unless they're threatened with a lawsuit (or lose one).

Posted by Terry K. at 10:05 PM EST

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