Media Matters has been doing a fine job of decimating Dick Morris' latest rantings, as also posted at Newsmax.
First, Morris' apparent inability to grasp the concept of fiscal year deficits, as expressed in his Feb. 2 column, is exposed.Then, in his Feb. 5 column, Morris seriously overstates the amount of TARP money that has been repaid -- Morris claimed $500 billion has when, in fact, the amount is closer to $165 billion.
NewsBusters Pretends There Isn't A Link Between Tea Partiers, Birthers Topic: NewsBusters
Lamenting MSNBC's alleged "quest to link conservatives with the birther movement," Scott Whitlock complained in a Feb. 5 NewsBusters post that Norah O'Donnell said that "Presidenet Obama sends a message to those who question his citizenship, this as the tea party movement gets ready for its first big convention." Whitlock added, "At no point did O'Donnell explain or justify the connection, other than her apparent assumption that tea partiers equal birthers."
A Feb. 4 WorldNetDaily article begins by falsely framing President Obama's statement at the National Prayer Breakfast referencing his "citizenship" as a demand, rather than the plea for civility fpr public discourse it actually is.
The headline of the article reads, "Obama's prayer: 'Don't question my citizenship'" -- putting words in his mouth by falsely portraying it as a quote he never said. The first paragraph states, "President Obama today at the National Prayer Breakfast raised the issue of his own eligibility for office – saying that people shouldn't be questioning his 'citizenship.'"
It's not until the second paragraph that the article reveals that Obama puts the quote in context and note that he was talking about "civility."
The remainder of the article is mostly WND's boilerplate attacks on Obama's citizenship, devoid of exculpatory information and, indeed, basic facts on the issue, such as the shoddy lawyering by birther attorney Orly Taitz that WND has long covered up.
How could this president salute the ideal of adhering to our common values by defying the strong advice of more than 1,100 of our armed forces' generals and admirals?
These leaders, of armed forces in which Barack Obama has never served – until he became our civilian commander in chief – are well aware of the disastrous effect of subjecting entire barracks full of young male recruits to the command (including after hours) of Sodom's sergeants, as well as officers who are self-identified homosexual militants.
The effect would be as sexually disastrous as assigning female trainees to the same barracks rooms, latrines and shower rooms as large numbers of heterosexual males. It would cause an enormous drop in recruiting. Moreover, how can Obama rationally contend that our "common values" should allow the nation's largest spreader of AIDS and syphilis to come into armed forces barracks and ships without equal reception of all other alternative sexual orientations who want to enlist?
Should our armed forces be ordered to open their ranks to practicing polygamists and polyandrists? If not, why not?
Surely these sexual orientations have nothing of the AIDS and syphilis rates of homosexuality.
Neither do other sexual orientations, including coprophiliacs, practitioners of incest, necrophiliacs, pedophiles, sado-masochists, urophiliacs and zoophiliacs (bestiality), among the many other alternative sexual orientations.
But Obama has not (yet) advocated enlistment of any of these other organizations – only the enlistment of the nation's largest AIDS- and syphilis-spreaders.
By the way, we don't know what Kinsolving is talking about when he claims that Arkansas Sen. Blanche Lincoln "faces a comparatively unknown homosexual militant in the primary." We could find no evidence that she has any primary opponent at this point, though is an effort to draft Lt. Gov. Bill Halter to run. His opposition to an Arkansas initiative to ban gay and lesbian couples from being able to adopt hardly makes him a "homosexual militant."
NewsBusters Joins the Obama-Toyota Conspiracy Topic: NewsBusters
NewsBusters' Tom Blumer was among the chief promoters of the bogus conspiracy theory that the Obama administration was deliberately terminating the franchises of Chrysler dealers who donated to Republicans. Now Blumer has found a new bogus conspiracy to latch onto.
In a Feb. 4 NewsBusters post, Blumer joins WorldNetDaily and the MRC's Business & Media Center in claiming that the Obama administration is deliberating targeting Toyota for recalls in order to boost sales at bailed-out General Motors and Chrysler:
To the extent the government is leaning hard on the company, somebody in the press should be questioning whether the motivations are purely related to safety or whether they also involve generating as much negative publicity as possible about the principal foreign-based competitor of government-controlled General Motors and Chrysler.
In fact, as we've detailed over at Media Matters, complaints about sudden acceleration in Toyota vehicles date back more than a decade -- Toyota has merely been forced to deal with it now. Apparently, Blumer doesn't think the 19 fatalities and 815 vehicle crashes since 1999 linked to Toyota vehicles merit mention.
Blumer also suggests that the Associated Press is "looking over its shoulder to avoid getting White House pressure as Reuters experienced when it pulled Terri Cullen's tax column earlier this week. Cullen had the nerve to point out that there are some middle-class tax hits in President Obama's budget."
Ooh, awkward! Blumer seems to be unaware that yesterday, NewsBusters was forced to remove a post falsely claiming that the Reuters article was deleted "without explanation" -- in fact, the explanation is that the claim that "there are some middle-class tax hits in President Obama's budget" is completely false. Even the conservative American Enterprise Institute agrees.
So, can we look forward to another NewsBusters post getting disappeared without explanation? It appears so.
WND Is STILL Lying About Hate-Crimes Bill Topic: WorldNetDaily
In a Feb. 2 WorldNetDaily article about a lawsuit filed by right-wing pastors against expanding hate-crimes protection to gays, Bob Unruh throws in this line:
The Hate Crimes Act was dubbed by its critics as the "Pedophile Protection Act," after an amendment to explicitly prohibit pedophiles from being protected by the act was defeated by majority Democrats. In fact, during congressional debate, supporters argued that all "philias," or alternative sexual lifestyles, should be protected.
As we've repeatedly detailed whenever WND makes this assertion, the law does not protect pedophilia, since such protection is already banned under federal law.
But Unruh is not interested in truth, nor is he interested in fair reporting -- he permits no one to respond to the right-wing lawsuit.
Now we know how D.J. Dolce got the prestigious gig of insulting President Obama (and others) in Molotov Mitchell's videos: she's his wife. An alert ConWebWatch reader caught a promotion for an early pre-WND Molotov production noting that fact.
Which may or may not explain why she's so willing to say stuff like this on camera:
President Obama recently shocked Americans when he said that voters elected Scott Brown because they were mad at ... George Bush? He then went on to blame George Bush for eating the last of the sweet potato pie, forgetting to pick up the girls from school and using the last of the toilet paper.
Sweet potato pie? Really? We sense a little racial antagonism toward our president there on the part of Molotov and D.J.
Jeffrey's Obama-Bashing Overtaken By Events Topic: CNSNews.com
Terry Jeffrey's Feb. 3 CNSNews.com column was the kindofattack on President Obama we've come to expect from his news organization. This time he asserted that Obama is hiding "the facts about who decided what and when" regarding the arrest and questioning of accused underwear bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab and that he either "acted with gross negligence or with gross stupidity" in allowing Abdulmutallab to be Mirandized, after "the FBI had only been able to question Abdulmutallab for 50 minutes."
Then Jeffrey's attack ran into a dose of reality: The Washington Post reported that Abdulmutallab "has been providing FBI interrogators with useful intelligence about his training and contacts since last week."
Oops! Even Jeffrey had to concede that this pretty much undermined the premise of his attack -- to the point that he added an "editor's note" to the top of the column noting the Post article, een the part about how investigators getting members of Abdulmutallab's family involved in the process "have proved vital in getting Abdulmutallab to talk ... indicating that it would have been counterproductive to interrogate him under military rules, as some have suggested."
We'd suggest that Jeffrey and CNS ease up on the Obama-bashing since it tends to be counterfactual, but unfortunately, being counterfactual isn't exactly a deterrent to them.
There sure is something different about President Obama. Usually, the State of the Union address is a laundry list of proposals spiced with sycophantic applause and dipped in an admixture of boredom and bravado. It is rarely a statement of basic philosophy. Not for President Obama.
President Obama’s State of the Union address was the greatest American rhetorical embrace of fascist trope since the days of Woodrow Wilson. I am not suggesting Obama is a Nazi; he isn’t. I am not suggesting that he is a jackbooted thug; he isn’t (even if we could be forgiven for mistaking Rahm Emanuel for one).
President Obama is, however, a man who embodies all the personal characteristics of a fascist leader, right down to the arrogant chin-up head tilt he utilizes when waiting for applause. He sees democracy as a filthy process that can be cured only by the centralized power of bureaucrats. He sees his presidency as a Hegelian synthesis marking the end of political conflict. He sees himself as embodiment of the collective will. No president should speak in these terms—not in a representative republic. Obama does it habitually.
It would be pointless to discuss at length the dictatorial, demagogic nature of much of Obama’s address—the attacks on the banking system; the unprecedented personal assault on the Supreme Court justices; the dictatorial demands (“I want a jobs bill on my desk without delay”); the scornful looks and high-handed put-downs directed at his political opponents. It would be even more pointless to discuss the incomprehensible stupidity of Obama’s policy proposals. (Export more of our goods? Why didn’t anyone else think of that?)
It is worth examining, however, the deeper philosophy evident from Obama’s address. From the outset, his speech was an ode to himself.
We are not he. The American spirit is not the Obama spirit. America is not defined by our collective desire to bring about political utopia through abdication of representative democracy to a body of “wise pragmatists.” America is defined by Americans—individuals fighting to support their families, to preserve their values and their freedoms. And that Americanism stands in direct opposition not only to the Obama agenda, but also to Obama’s vision of himself.
Horribly Misguided NewsBusters Post Disappears Without Explanation Topic: NewsBusters
In a Feb. 3 NewsBusters post, David Lanza wrote:
Yesterday, The Drudge Report linked to a Reuters story that referred to the Obama administration's plan to impose "backdoor tax increases that will result in a bigger tax bill for middle-class families." Reuters described the rate hikes that will take effect if previous tax cuts are allowed to expire:
While the Reuters' report is fair enough despite the ominous content, the problem arose when Reuters pulled the story later in the day without explanation. (see screencap above at right). Those who browse to the old link find only a brief notice stating that the article was removed and will be replaced later in the week. (The story was reprinted later that day by Power Line blog, which provides the source for the above quoted portion.)
A major wire story detailing large tax increases on the middle class during an election year would seem to be big news. Yet scarcely an eye was batted when this story disappeared. The administration can ill afford to be seen as raising taxes on the middle class during a recession when the President's Congressional majority is already imperilled. Reuters should be made to explain why this story disappeared.
As Media Matters detailed, Reuters did explain why it pulled the story -- because it's false. Its claim that the Obama would not extend the Bush tax credits for those making under $250,000 is not true. A Reuters sppokesman is quoted as saying, "It definitely was not up to our standards. It had significant errors of fact." Even the conservative American Enterprise Institute pointed out the article's "appalling inaccuracies."
How did NewsBusters react to Lanza's post getting shot down in such a definitive fashion? It deleted the post entirely -- it's been replaced by an "Access denied" alert. But never fear, here's a copy of it as it appeared at the OutLoudOpinion site:
Despite the post being live for several hours, NewsBusters has not posted an explanation of why it was removed or apologized for the errors in it.
To put it another way: NewsBusters did to Lanza's post what Lanza (falsely) accused Reuters of doing. Shouldn't NewsBusters follow Reuters' example and explain to its readers why it deleted Lanza's post?
New Article: WorldNetDaily's Totally Positive Tea Party Topic: WorldNetDaily
Despite numerous controversies regarding it, WND is not going to report anything negative about the tea party convention at which editor Joseph Farah just happens to be speaking. Read more >>
Newsmax's Patten Rushes to Beck's Defense Topic: Newsmax
Newsmax managing editor David Patten has thrown himself into defending Glenn Beck from Arianna Huffington -- and getting numerous facts wrong in the process.
In a Feb. 1 article, Patten uncritically repeated Fox News president Roger Ailes' response to Huffington's criticism of Beck's inflammatory rhetoric -- specifically referending Beck's statement that "They are taking you to a place to be slaughtered" -- that "Beck was referring to massacres by Hitler and Stalin." In fact, Beck is clearly referring to the Obama administration.
Patten also asserted that Ailes "rattled off several examples of aspersions that Huffington had published about Ailes on her blog." In fact, Huffington did not make those statements herself, as Patten suggests; they were made by other bloggers at Huffington Post, and there's no evidence that Huffington played any role in approving them -- highly unlikely given the hundreds of posts that are made every day by HuffPo's numerous unpaid bloggers.
Patten followed up with a Feb. 2 article asserting that Beck and Huffington were "accusing the other of distorting the truth." But Patten does his own share of distortion as well by uncritically repeating Beck's assertion that Huffington is claming that Beck was speaking literally when he said "They are taking you to a place to be slaughtered" and that he was merely referring to the economy.
Patten ignores that Beck has offered ever-shifting explanations for his "slaughtering" remark -- at one point even denying he said it -- and Huffington has said that the point of her criticism is Beck's language is inflammatory whether or not it's a metaphor.
A Feb. 1 WorldNetDaily article by Art Moore declared the "Muslim Mafia" case "The First Amendment case the media refuse to cover," asserting that a lawsuit filed by the Council on American-Islamic Relations against WND-published "Muslim Mafia" co-author David Gaubatz, whose son apparently violated confidentiality agreements by acting as a mole inside CAIR to pilfer documents "has been virtually ignored by mainstream media." dutifully quoting lawyer for the defense Daniel Horowitz as claiming that CAIR's lawsuit "has no chance of producing damages, but it is damaging simply as it chills the First Amendment rights of defendants."
Hmmmm... where have we heard this before? Oh, yes, now we remember.
A November 2006 WND article by Bob Unruh declared that the national media was "ignoring" a "$165 million lawsuit filed against WND and two freelance writers who wrote a comprehensive series exposing Al Gore's record of corruption in Tennessee during the 2000 presidential campaign," which "would smash any judgment that has ever held up in such a court proceeding." Unruh followed up with a February 2008 article quoting WND's attorney, Larry Parrish, as stating, "If what WorldNetDaily did is subject to being the basis for a libel judgment, investigative reporting will just come to a complete halt."WND editor Joseph Farah is quoted as saying that "the largest defamation case in the history of the United States has not been reported anywhere outside of the news agency involved."
Eight days after that last article, WND -- after fighting the libel and defamation lawsuit filed by Clark Jones for seven years -- abruptly settled the suit shortly before it was to go to trial by admitting that "no witness verifies the truth of what the witnesses are reported by authors to have stated" about Jones, and that "no document has been discovered that provides any verification that the statements written were true."
Given WND's legal history, plus the fact that Gaubatz's defense against the CAIR lawsuit is centered around proving that the confidentiality agreement signed by Gaubatz's son as part of working at CAIR -- which Horowitz has refused to explicitly deny -- is meaningless because CAIR changed its legal name at one point, we're not exactly rushing to give WND the benefit of the doubt here.
Is Newsmax Now Rehabilitating Fossella? Topic: Newsmax
Has Newsmax found another subject for its yet-to-be-proven conservative reputation rehabilitation program?
A Feb. 1 Newsmax article (and accompanying video) is dedicated to the views of former Republican Rep. Vito Fossella on. The article describes Fossella as "A popular congressman who served five terms," and in the video, anchor Ashley Martella describes him as "the only Republican in Congress from New York City" who "had very high scores for his votes from the American Conservative Union," and even touts rumors that he might run again.
What Newsmax and Martella don't mention is the scandal that forced Fossella from office in the first place (and explains Fossella's eagerness to shoot down Martella's suggestion he would run again anytime soon).
In May 2008, Fossella was picked up for drunken driving outside Washington. This ultimately led to the revelation that Fossella had a mistress in Washington (who picked him up from jail after the DUI arrest) and fathered a child with her. It was only after that became public that Fossella decided not to seek re-election. Fossella ultimately served two weekends in jail on the DUI charge.
Newsmax failed miserably with its attempted rehab of Bernard Kerik, and its rehab experiment on Ralph Reed is unproven. Is Newsmax really ready to take on the task of sprucing up another disgraced conservative?
NewsBusters has been on a roll of stupidity lately.
A Feb. 2 post by Tim Graham takes Arianna Huffington to task for taking Fox News to task for Glenn Beck's inflammatory rhetoric. In response, Graham cites his little report on inflammatory rhetoric at HuffPo, which, as we've detailed, could come with only 19 out of the thousands upon thousands of blog posts there as examples.
Also, an unpaid blogger is different from a TV host with a multi-million-dollar contract, as Eric Boehlert put it: "Newsbusters thinks Arianna Huffington personally approves every one of the thousands of blog posts that get published on her site? Somebody please explain blogging to Tim Graham."
(On a related subject, Jeff Poor falsely portrays HuffPo blogger Bill Mann, author of one unflattering statement about Fox News, as "Huffington Post's TV-Radio critic." In fact, he writes for another website, and his HuffPo blogging, like that of nearly every other blogger at HuffPo (including us), is unpaid.
Meanwhile, Jamison Foser points out Brent Baker's lack of comprehension in his Feb. 1 portrayal of NBC's and ABC's reporting CBO budget projections as the "presumptions" of NBC and ABC. As Foser states, Baker demonstrates an "inability to understand the difference between assuming something and reporting someone else's assumptions."