Meanwhile ... Topic: WorldNetDaily
Over at Media Matters, we examine how WorldNetDaily columnist Jill Stanek has gotten blogging gigs at NewsBusters and Andrew Breitbart's Big Journalism despite 1) admitting she knows little about media analysis and 2) her long history of misleading and inflammatory statements (like essentially condoning the murder of George Tiller).
A Feb. 14 Accuracy in Media blog post by Don Irvine highlights Obama White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennan's pointing out that the recidivism rate for released detainees from Guantanamo is lower than that of those released from U.S. prisons. He adds, "So exactly what is a bad recidivism rate for terrorists that want to blow up planes and kill Americans?"
We don't recall Irvine being upset when Bush secretary of state Condoleezza Rice similarly compared the rates of recidivism among enemy combatants with those of American criminals back in 2005.
Imagine radical Islam with a nuclear weapon operating in a post-American world.
Most importantly — what a time for America to have such a weakling in the White House.
But his weakness is waking people up. Remember the movie “Awakenings”? Oliver Sacks, played by Robin Williams and semi-fictionalized as Malcolm Sayer in the movie, discovers the amazing effects of the drug L-dopa. It awakened people who had been catatonic for decades.
Watching the tea party convention, reviewing the latest polls, and being fortunate enough to have witnessed the Scott Brown win and the gubernatorial Democratic losses a couple of months back, it dawned on me that Obama is to the American people what L-dopa was to Oliver Sacks’ patients.
Obama, with all his jihad-enabling, is waking up the American people. President L-dopa.
WND Slowly Backing Away From Vaccine-Autism Link Topic: WorldNetDaily
We've detailed how WorldNetDaily has long promoted the idea of a link between vaccines and autism. It's now ever-so-slowly creeping away from the claim as it becomes increasingly discredited.
When the medical journal Lancet retracted a couple weeks ago a study it had published in 1998 linking the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine to autism, WND didn't report on it in one of its own articles but linked to another website's story on it. That was surprisingly followed up by a Feb. 11 column by Phil Elmore that's an all-out assault on the false link:
There exists in our society the pervasive myth that childhood vaccinations can somehow visit autism on your child. The very notion is upsetting and disturbing. It is, however, entirely and fundamentally without merit – misinformation that is breathtaking in its falsehood and outrageous in its audacity. "Big Pharma" has become a scapegoat for legions of distraught parents who, quite understandably, want some external, even malevolent force to blame for an affliction we still do not understand very well.
The purpose of vaccines is to encourage a "herd immunity" that creates a hostile climate for a given disease. Releasing into a vaccinated population a sub-population of unvaccinated individuals helps those diseases take root once more. Once established, they are more likely to mutate, endangering the entire community.
The irresponsible parents who harm their own children – and their neighbors' kids – through this negligence will continue to do so regardless of the truth. We must conclude they care more about their opinions than they do about facts.
This was followed by a letter to the editor (which disappear after a week) criticizing Elmore for noting the truth:
Phil Elmore's article on vaccines having no relation to autism is not convincing.
He seems to elate in ridicule while conceding an argument, as if he were actually winning it. For example, he concedes the entire point when he agrees that "vaccines have risks."
The fact is that it may not be moral to take risks in order to avoid other risks. It is a bit like playing God. I suspect this fact won't move Mr. Elmore, but it will probably move most WND readers, who probably prefer Christianity over Technolatry.
To be more empirical, the risk of pertussis is to me far less frightening than the risk of filling my babies with pharmaceutical junk, including but not limited to Thimerosal. I'm no expert on medicine, but I know enough about the modern medical climate (abortion, homosexual agenda, embryonic harvesting, contraception, fertility excesses) to realize that they have no moral compass.
No, Phil, I will not risk my kids' health anymore by taking vaccines. Or, let me put it this way: I'll take the natural risks rather than the unnatural risks.
Does WND have the guts to fully confront the issue by doing an original article on the Lancet retraction and not spin it as about deniers trying to explain it away? We shall see.
We've long expected that WorldNetDaily would not report any negative information about Orly Taitz unless it could figure out a way to spin it in her favor -- after all, she has ordered WND not to be mean to her.
Bob Unruh figured out a way to do it in regarding a couple piece of negative information, a $20,000 fine levied against her and the possibility of sanctions against her in the California bar. In a Feb. 13 article, Unruh portrays Taitz as the victim , uncritically repeating her claims that the fine and possible sanctions create a "hardship" for her.
In order to portray Taitz as the victim, Unruh has to omit certain facts -- like why she faces the fine and possible sanctions. Again, Unruh uncritically portrays Taitz's version of events, that "she's facing a $20,000 penalty imposed by Judge Clay D. Land in the Rhodes case and possible action by the California Bar Association, to which Land forwarded his highly critical order" -- but never explains what that criticism was, even though he had done so to a certain extent in an article last October.
To refresh Unruh's memory: Land stated that Taitz had repeatedly exhibited unprofessional behavior, from forcing her birther agenda in court to filing frivolous motions to making personal attacks against opposing parties, as well as Land.
Unruh also omits the fact that Taitz has had at least twoother complaints filed against her in the California bar. Nor does he mention the accusations that she attempted to suborn perjury in a separate case.
For good measure, Unruh also peddles a lie by referencing "the estimated $1.7 million Obama has spent on court cases to prevent any of the documentation of his life to be revealed to the public." In fact, as we've previously noted, while that money was paid to a law firm through Obama for America, WND has never provided any evidence that all of the money was "spent on court cases to prevent any of the documentation of his life to be revealed to the public."
Graham Still Can't Get Over Pentagon Papers Release Topic: NewsBusters
It's been nearly 40 years gone, but it appears Tim Graham has not gotten over the release of the Pentagon Papers.
In a Feb. 13 NewsBusters post, Graham reacted to a Washington Post preview of a documentary of Pentagon Papers leaker Daniel Ellsberg by ranting about Ellsberg, denouncing him as an "America-bashing radical leftist whistleblower" and miffed that "the Post never described him with any ideological label, or described the Vietnamese enemy as communists."
Farah Tries, Fails to Divide Citizenship, Eligibility Wings of Birtherism Topic: WorldNetDaily
Is Joseph Farah conceding that Barack Obama is an American citizen?
That's one interpretation of his recent attempts to decouple questions about Obama's citizenship from questions about eligibility -- even though Obama's citizenship status is at the heart of the birther issue.
Last week, Farah insisted that it's a "lie " to claim that birthers are questioning Obama's citizenship. Now, Farah's Feb. 15 column is a letter to Newsweek demanding a retraction for its "blatantly defamatory" listing of Farah as among those who say Obama "wasn't born in the good old US of A, hence isn't a natural-born citizen and therefore cannot legally be president":
While I have written tens of thousands of words about the subject of Barack Obama's eligibility and talked for dozens of hours on the public airwaves and given hundreds of interviews on this subject, never have I stated that Obama was not born in the United States.
Therefore, I demand an immediate apology and retraction.
Farah is trying to bamboozle Newsweek (and you). Farah may or may not be on record as saying those exact words, Farah, by himself and via his WND subordinates, have certainly promoted the idea that Obama is not a citizen.
As we've previously noted, Farah has on at least two occasions repeated the claim that Obama's grandmother has said that Obama was born in Kenya. (A claim, by the way, which is completelyfalse, and which WND has yet to correct.) That is making the claim by implication that Obama is not a citizen.
As recently as Feb. 4, WND reporters were referencing "the growing ranks of officials and prominent commentators who say they are unsure of whether President Barack Obama is a U.S. citizen."
And if Farah wasn't questioning whether Obama is a citizen, it wouldn't have published a supposed "Kenyan birth certificate" without first trying to verify if it was authentic (it wasn't).
Farah's effort to decouple citizenship from eligibility is bizarre and futile. The only issue being raised regarding Obama's eligibility to be president is the citizenship issue. If Farah is not questioning Obama's citizenship, he has no case to challenge his eligibility.
So, Mr. Farah, will you concede that Obama is a citizen? Because that's exactly what you're doing in claiming that citizenship is not an issue. Or is birtherism too big a business for you to forthrightly state the truth?
Newsmax Still Rewarding Humes For His Obama Smear Topic: Newsmax
How come John L. Perry lost his Newsmax column, while James Humes has not?
Perry was the columnist who essentially advocated a military coup against President Obama -- and has not written for Newsmax since. Humes viciously and falsely smeared Obama by inventing words to put in Obama's mouth, and all he was required to do was alter his column to walk things back a little. At no point was he made to apologize for his lie.
And yet, Humes has been rewarded for his perfidy, not only with a speaking slot on the upcoming Newsmax cruise, he's still writing a column. His latest takes a look at Abraham Lincoln and George Washington. Humes writes of them: "About the only thing they had in common was their height and their honesty."
We don't know how tall Humes is, but he has already demonstrated he does not have honesty in common with the men he's writing about. The same goes for Newsmax.
It seems that Marxist President Obama is taking a lesson from Vladimir Lenin, leader of the Russian Bolsheviks who took over Russia in October 1917 and began imposing communist policies over the economy, which then led to widespread famine.
Fearing a counter-revolution, Lenin decided to make some small concessions to the capitalist and free-market instincts of the peasants and petty bourgeoisie by enacting a New Economic Policy. It was necessary to take that one step back in order to later take two steps forward.
Lenin's New Economic Policy restored some positive economic activity, which was later halted by Stalin who proceeded to take two giant steps forward in communizing the entire economy. Lenin had said: "A wise communist will not be afraid of learning from a capitalist." And Stalin continued to learn from capitalists on how to run a totalitarian dictatorship with their help.
Therefore, it ought not to surprise anyone that Communist China has learned to adopt capitalist economic policies while still maintaining total communist control. It is a master of the "one step back, two steps forward" strategy, which keeps it in power.
Of course, the United States is neither Russia nor China, nor is this 1921. But there is no doubt that the present ruler in the White House and his associates came into office determined to impose a totalitarian socialist government over the United States.
-- Samuel L. Blumenfeld, Feb. 15 WorldNetDaily column
Same Cliff Kincaid Anti-Gay Freak-Out, Different Day Topic: Accuracy in Media
Another day, another gay-bashing Accuracy in Media column by Cliff Kincaid disingenuously endorsing the proposed anti-gay law in Uganda.
Does Kincaid admit that the billwould allow the death penalty merely for homosexual behavior? Nope. Does Kincaid admit that most HIV in Uganda is spread via heterosexual contact? Nope. Does Kincaid once again baselessly present the opinions of two people as somehow being representative of the whole of Uganda? Yup.
This Is The Media Cheering? Topic: Media Research Center
Ina Feb. 9 MRC Culture & Media Institute item, Sarah Knoploh invokes the Depiction-Equals-Approval Fallacy by claiming that actress Anne Hathaway's decision to leave the Catholic Church was met by "media cheers." How so? "USA Today, New York magazine and The Huffington Post used the public break as an opportunity to scold the Church."
Knoploh's definition of "scolding," it seems, is as skewed as declaring short blurbs in three unrelated media outlets to be "cheers." There's no "scolding" going on; all these outlets did is report what Hathaway has said on the issue. All three outlets reported Hathway statement that "Why should I support an organization that has a limited view of my beloved brother?"
Knoploh also took offense at references to the Catholic church's "intolerant views on homosexuality," but she doesn't dispute the accuracy of the characterization.
Kolploh also appears to scoff at the idea that Hathaway once thought as a child about becoming a nun. Speaking from experience, it's not uncommon for a Catholic child to consider the priesthood or sisterhood at some point in their childhoods, however fleetingly.
Knoploh's wildly inaccurate confusion of reporting and opinion is apparently encouraged at CMI; Carolyn Plocher, in a Feb. 11 CMI post, referenced how Hathaway "recently announced to a cheering media" she was leaving the church.
NewsBusters' False Claim About Weather Exploded Topic: NewsBusters
There's a lot of global warming bamboozlement going on at NewsBusters right now in the wake of the back-to-back snowstorms that hit the East Coast, but the most egregious example has to be Mark Finkelstein's denial of the basic meterological fact that the warmer air is, the more moisture it can hold. Media Matters and Sadly, No! both demolished this claim.
NewsBusters in general, and Noel Sheppard in particalar, is a teeminghive of global warming bamboozlement.
Tancredo's Tea Party Remarks Finally Noticed At WND -- In Tancredo's Column Topic: WorldNetDaily
The good news: More than a week after they were first made, WorldNetDaily finally got around to noting Tom Tancredo's remarks at the National Tea Party Convention insulting Obama voters and calling for a "civics literacy test" before being allowed to vote (despite WND having a reporter covering events there). The bad news: they were noted by Tancredo himself in his column, and he's trying to defend them.
Tancredo's Feb. 13 WND column provides a disingenuous and misleading defense:
I did not say in Nashville that all 67 million Obama voters are illiterate rabble who would fail a civics literacy test. What I did suggest and what I believe is that in the 2008 presidential election, the margin of victory for Obama was provided by people who would not be at the polls if we had meaningful civics literacy requirements for voting.
That statement provoked a stream of angry e-mail messages from outraged Obama voters, many of whom proudly proclaimed their advanced degrees in art history, Egyptology and political science. The message was as consistent as it was strident: What an ignoramus I must be to question the educational level of Obama voters!
My tea-party remarks had nothing to do with educational credentials or even IQ. We are all painfully aware that Barack Obama, like Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton before him, got more votes from college professors than his Republican opponent.
And then, something really odd happened, mostly because I think that we do not have a civics literacy test before people can vote in this country. People who could not even spell the word "vote," or say it in English, put a committed socialist idealogue in the White House, name is Barack Hussein Obama.
He said nothing about "margin of victory," and has remarks as stated can only be described as a general insult against all Obama voters. (Oh, and Tancredo fails to quote his own exact words in his defense.)
My remarks were aimed at the electorate's lack of civics literacy, which is quite different. Literacy in civics and American history is not necessarily enhanced by additional years of higher education devoted to increasingly specialized expertise in some field.
I have often suggested that new voters should be required to pass the civics literacy test already given to immigrants who want to become naturalized citizens. Yet, my suggestion was twisted into the idea that I want to see a return to "Jim Crow laws" that were used to keep blacks from voting.
This distortion of my proposal requires two acts of self-deception. First, it requires you to believe that minorities will fail any civics test, an idea that is highly insulting to all minorities. Secondly, it requires a willful disregard of the real history of Jim Crow laws. Blacks were not kept from voting by the laws themselves but the blatant discriminatory way they were administered by local officials. It is absurd to claim that any civics literacy test will be discriminatory, yet that is how my proposal was described by leftist bloggers and liberal journalists like E.J. Dionne.
Tancredo misses the point. Literacy tests have been outlawed precisely because of their potential for abuse to keep "undesirables" from voting, as happened in the Jim Crow South. And Tancredo himself expresses a discriminatory motive in favoring their reinstatement: to prevent "undesirables" -- that is, people who think differently from himself -- from voting.
Discrimination is discrimination, whether it's racial or ideological. Too bad Tancredo doesn't see the difference.
Meanwhile ... Topic: The ConWeb
We wrote this week's Media Matters weekly summary, where we pay special attention to Dana Perino's role as the factually challenged press secretary in exile at Fox News. Read it.