Annals of Poorly Written Headlines Topic: CNSNews.com
A Feb. 5 CNSNews.com article by Terry Jeffrey carries this overly long headline: "Yale Gets $3.9-Million Federal Grant to Develop ‘Avatar’ Video Game to Teach ‘Sex, Drug and Alcohol Negotiation and Refusal Skills’ to 9-to-14 Year Olds."
If you're getting the impression that this game is somehow tied to the movie "Avatar," you're wrong. As Jeffrey later writes, "will feature 'virtual characters or avatars' that are guided by the children playing the game to make decisions about whether to engage in behaviors that put them at risk of being infected with HIV."
The alarmism Jeffrey's article is presumably trying to forward -- with its frequent references to “vaginal or anal intercourse" as stated in the grant literature -- is undercut by a headline that suggests a link to a popular movie that doesn't exist. That, and CNS' nonsensical auto-censoring in the comments that replaces "sex" with asterisks. How are commenters supposed to discuss an article on the subject of sex if they're aren't allowed to use the word?
UPDATE: CNS has now changed the headline to "U.S. Gives Yale Researcher $3.9-Million in Tax Dollars to Develop ‘Avatar’ Sex-Ed Video Game for Kids." It makes the headline shorter, but not only does it not address the fundamental problem of falsely linking the game to the movie, it introduces a new error by falsely describing the game as a "Sex-Ed Video Game for Kids." Teaching "teach “sex, drug and alcohol negotiation and refusal skills," which is what the article states the game does, is not "sex education."
WND Tea Party Convention Coverage: Stenography, Not Actual News Topic: WorldNetDaily
As expected, WorldNetDaily's status as one of the very few outlets permitted to cover the National Tea Party Convention -- chosen for their sympathy for the tea partiers' right-wing agenda -- has resulted in sycophantic coverage led by Chelsea Schilling, who provides near-stenographic summaries of speeches by her boss, Joseph Farah, as well as WND columnist Roy Moore and professional global warming denier Steve Milloy.
However, Schilling couldn't be bothered to report the one bit of actual news from the convention thus far -- Tom Tancredo's insult of Obama voters as so stupid they "could not spell the word 'vote' or say it in English." WND offers a link to a Fox News blog post for that, but even Fox News didn't mention Tancredo's subsequent call for a "civics literacy test" before being allowed to vote, which smacks of the now-outlawed literacy tests used in the Jim Crow South to keep blacks from voting.
UPDATE: The Washington Independent's Dave Weigel details how Schilling asked Andrew Breitbart about his criticism of birtherism, and how Farah joined the argument. Will this -- or any criticism of birtherism -- make it onto the pages of WND? We shall see.
The way some of you have gone after this bill, you'd think this was some ... Bolshevik plot.
-- President Obama, Jan. 29, 2010, to GOP members of the House
Now, why on earth might people suspect someone who's been immersed in Marxist ideology since he came out of the chute of masterminding a Bolshevik-style plot? Actually, I'm glad Obama brought it up; he saved me the trouble. Regular readers of this column are aware that I've made this claim regarding nearly everything Obama has done, from his involvement in mortgage-securities politics (even before he became president) to health-care legislation.
The "Bolshevik plot" statement itself, according to a professional I consulted in the area of psychological pathology (yes, I do that, because I don't pretend to be a psychologist), might be a variant of psychological projection (sometimes called Freudian Projection). You know, like the guy who says to his wife, "Jeez, honey -- it's not like I'm cheating on you," when in fact, he is. He's trying to allay her suspicions whilst gauging them at the same time. Judging from the materials I've read by psychologists and lay people on Obama's alleged mental twists, I can only come to the conclusion that the signs thereof are pretty apparent.
But all of this borders on the irrelevant. The current economic crisis was orchestrated. Health-care reform, Obama's past spending and his new budget all have the same objective: manipulation of the economy toward consolidation of unprecedented power. Obama could possess any number of dangerous psychological maladies; for now, he's still the president, and his ideology presents far more peril than the mind that harbors it.
Whatever the case, if he mentions the film "Soylent Green" once, I'm heading for the hills.
Previously in Technocracy, we called Barack Hussein Obama "our technology dictator," in recognition of his initially shrewd and subsequently overexposed use of multiple media to inflict his visage on us. Obama's omnipresence on every flickering screen and in every possible venue competed only with his steadfast refusal to give up his personal data device, flouting years of White House security tradition and forcing the people who take care of such things to provide him with a specially prepared PDA hardened against hacking. Obama has, from the first days of his presidency, displayed a distinct technological savvy – which has, in his every word and deed, quickly manifested itself as a desire to control every technological venue in which Americans might conceivably find utility, entertainment or employment.
Mr. Obama has wasted no time implementing this destructive, invasive, oppressive worldview where the Internet is concerned. He is, after all, the man who previously sought the power of a collective "off" switch for the Web – in the form of a Senate bill that would give the White House "the power to disconnect private-sector computers from the Internet."
I fully realize that even some of my fellow conservatives keep insisting that Barack Obama is a great orator. It strikes me that, along with Hillary Clinton's alleged brilliance, this is a case of something being repeated so often that large numbers of people finally come to believe it.
I suspect that some people will assume that I refuse to acknowledge Obama's oratorical skills simply because I hate his radical agenda. That doesn't happen to be the case. I know this because I am able to acknowledge that George Clooney, Ed Harris and Alec Baldwin are good actors even though I am convinced they've got nothing between their ears but hot air and cotton candy.
I will acknowledge that Obama has an excellent speaking voice – mellow and with good timbre – but if that's all it takes to be a great orator, he could be replaced by any number of radio announcers. And, for my part, it can't happen soon enough.
BHO is a true believer. By his own admission, when he was in college, he hung out with radicals, Chicanos and Marxist professors because he didn't want to be seen as a "sellout." Thus, left-wing poison is deeply imbedded in his psyche, which is why you can count on him to follow, to the bitter end, the Saul Alinsky model for taking control of America. He will double-down, triple-down and keep pushing until he either gets his way or is voted out of office.
Though millions of us knew from the start that BHO was a fraud, few imagined that, once in office, he would arrogantly thumb his nose at the American electorate. BHO has great difficulty hiding his disdain for the tea-party people, Fox News and anyone else who opposes his policies.
I don't know how many Democrats will have the courage to stand up to BHO, but you can be sure that he will threaten and punish those who do not fall into line. In his eyes, he was not elected president of the U.S.; he was anointed monarch. He has absolutely no interest in what the electorate thinks.
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.