WND's Klein Botches Attack on Wallis Topic: WorldNetDaily
In yet another one of his desperate guilt-by-association attacks, Aaron Klein targets Rev. Jim Wallis in a March 15 WorldNetDaily hit piece. But Klein's article is marred by falsehoods and distortions, not the least of which is dishonestly putting words in Wallis' mouth by claiming that the official "statement of faith" of Wallis' group, Sojourners, urges readers to "refuse to accept [capitalist] structures and assumptions that normalize poverty and segregate the world by class." In fact, the words "capitalist" or "capitalism" appears nowhere in the actual statement.
Meanwhile... Topic: Media Research Center
Media Matters' Ben Dimeiro demolishes a March 15 Media Research Center "Media Reality Check" by Rich Noyes purporting to detail "A Year of Spin for Liberal ObamaCare" in the media. Among other things, Noyes portrayed an ABC reporter relating the indisputable fact that the U.S. spends more than any other industrialized country on health care as 'champion[ing] the liberal side" and criticizes MSNBC's Keith Olbermann for "equating ObamaCare foes to suicide bombers" while ignoring that conservatives have used the exact same term against liberals in the health care fight.
Obama Too Hip for WND's Smith Topic: WorldNetDaily
Back in 2008, Craig R. Smith berated Barack Obama for the prospect of being 'our first hip-hop president":
I can only imagine how the world will embrace the leader of the free world when he introduces other foreign leaders with, "give it up for my man Vladimir." Giving "props" for joining us in a treaty. Or the first lady Michelle talking about "my man" the "daddy of my babies" when referring to the president. That should go over well everywhere from 10 Downing Street right on down to the streets of the Middle East.
The use of ghetto slang during the primaries and even today may be a clear indication just how the Obamas intend to "roll" if given the privileged seat in the Oval Office. Of course, having no sense of decorum and awe is nothing new to Democrats. Bill Clinton did a masterful job of disgracing the office, and I expect no less from Obama if given the chance.
But he will be so fly!
I can see it now. Air Force One decked out with "22s" and spinners. Maybe even a set of hydraulics. Watching the hip-hop president in the Oval Office with his baseball cap on backward coping a gansta lean in the big chair. Should be really pimp, don't you think?
Even though Obama has never spoken like that in public, Smith still wants you to think he has. So Smith's March 15 WorldNetDaily column is devoted to whining about every minor deviation from the King's English Obama has made:
It has become rather embarrassing to watch Mr. Obama make a mockery of the office of the president of the United States. It has nothing to do with his deaf ear to the American people on health care or any other outlandish policy he is promoting. It is simply his demeanor and behavior, making him a running joke.
Each time Mr. Obama gives a speech, the opening lines consist of, "I want to give a shout out to …" or he acknowledges someone who is "in the house." What way is this for the leader of the free world to act?
I can see that type of behavior coming from a celebrity or an entertainer, but the president of the United States? Has basic presidential decorum been cast aside for a hipper, cooler, more modern leader?
I sure hope not. The office deserves more respect than that.
He also insists that "there may have been more truth in that  column than I thought at the time." Uh, no -- if the worst example of ghetto slang Smith can come up with that actually came from Obama's mouth is "in the house," he hasn't proven anything.
New Article: The League of Newsmax Columnists Topic: Newsmax
Three Newsmax writers are working either for or with The League of American Voters -- but Newsmax has been loath to tell its readers about that even as it promotes the anti-Obama group's attacks. Read more >>
NewsBusters Falsely Claims CRA Contributed to Financial Collapse Topic: NewsBusters
In a March 15 NewsBusters post, Anthony Kang criticized a "60 Minutes" report on the financial crisis because it "didn't mention the role of the 1977 Community Reinvestment Act in forcing banks to loan to high-risk credits."
In fact, experts have concluded that the CRA played no substantial role in the financial crisis.
WND Columnist Bashes Media Bias, Ignores WND's Topic: WorldNetDaily
Jim Fletcher writes in his March 15 WorldNetDaily column:
Yahoo News! Reported recently on the Sarah Palin stand-up appearance on whatever show Jay Leno is hosting now. One can YouTube the performance, and it appears to be a pretty funny routine by a media-savvy politician, Palin.
The reporter for Yahoo, however, no doubt is a left-leaning Democrat. Note the following statement, after some description of Palin's performance:
"Still, there are some who suspect that Jay Leno's staff 'added both applause and laughter in postproduction' to make the appearance look like more of a success."
You're ahead of me, I hope. You get it, don't you? The phrase "some who suspect" is probably as old in journalism as the first Sumerian cuneiform broadsheets. The phrase really means, "I'm making this part up to justify my criticism of this individual."
"Some who suspect" is a magic bullet, because those "anonymous" sources can't be tracked down to see in fact if anyone did this.
Palin goes from a fairly funny public figure to just another phony right-winger.
It's an effective tactic used by leftists in the media.
And it's still wrong.
Fletcher might have a point if the Yahoo! article was presented as a news story. But it wasn't -- it appears in a "week in review" post on Yahoo's Buzz Log blog. Unless Fletcher is holding blogs to the same standards as professional reporters, he has no point.
Further, the words "some who suspect" in the Yahoo! post are linked to a Seattle Weekly blog post in which an actual named person makes the allegation that the laugher for Palin was canned.
Also, Fletcher didn't have to go so far to find anonymous sources and "some say" claims: WND is infested with them. As we've detailed, WND reporter Aaron Klein -- whom Fletcher lionized just a couple weeks ago -- is a frequent user of anonymous sources, even granting anonymity to terrorists. Indeed, a March 14 article by Klein builds yet another claim around an anonymous source, that "a member of the U.S. government" met with Israeli activists who are agitating to build a Jewish temple on Jerusalem's Temple Mount, currently the site of an Muslim mosque. He writes: "The organizer talked on condition of anonymity and also on condition that WND kept confidential the name of the U.S. official who met with the Temple event planners."
Some people say it's not important where Barack Obama was born. Some think the Constitution is just an archaic old document – or worse, that it's a "living document," one that changes meaning over time.
Why do Klein and Farah get a pass when a blogger doesn't? After all,bogus anonymity is just as effective a tactic when used by the right-wingers at WND.
NewsReal Promotes Bogus Fishing Ban Claim Topic: Horowitz
A march 15 NewsReal blog post by Rhonda Robinson approvingly quotes a NewsReal commenter, whom she calls "entertaining and informative," making the claim that "the efforts to bring an end to sport fishing are neither rumor nor something that just popped up on the internet."
Actually, they're completely bogus. We'd cite Media Matters to back this up, but since NewsReal hates them, we'll have to go with no less a sporting authority than ESPN Outdoors, in which it essentially retracting a column that had forwarded the bogus claim:
ESPNOutdoors.com inadvertently contributed to a flare-up Tuesday when we posted the latest piece in a series of stories on President Barack Obama's newly created Ocean Policy Task Force, a column written by Robert Montgomery, a conservation writer for BASS since 1985. Regrettably, we made several errors in the editing and presentation of this installment. Though our series has included numerous news stories on the topic, this was not one of those -- it was an opinion piece, and should clearly have been labeled as commentary.
And while our series overall has examined several sides of this topic, this particular column was not properly balanced and failed to represent contrary points of view. We have reached out to people on every side of the issue and reported their points of view -- if they chose to respond -- throughout the series, but failed to do so in this specific column.
Is that good enough for Robinson and her favorite commenter? Probably not -- they probably would much rather promote anti-Obama conspiracies.
Newsmax Columnist: Health Care Reform Will Create More Slackers Topic: Newsmax
From a March 14 Newsmax column by Richard Grenell:
If President Barack Obama gets his trillion dollar healthcare bill passed this week by the Democrats in Congress, parents will be required to pay for their unmarried kids' healthcare coverage until the age of 26.
And Generation Y will be enticed to continue slacking, without a job, well past college graduation. While ski bums everywhere are cheering the news that the federal government will be forcing parents to pay for their health insurance through age 26, parents are questioning why the federal government is enticing a whole generation to stay unemployed.
America has always been a place where hard work is rewarded regardless of one's age, family status or educational background. If you have an idea you are committed to and make sacrifices to further the idea, you can be wildly successful in our capitalistic system.
In America, you can launch a multi-billion dollar computer company from your garage, you can grow up homeless and make it to Harvard and you can create a worldwide social networking movement while still in college.
But you can also be a slacker if you have the means to slack. Spending a year skiing, hanging out on the beach and surfing or traveling the world are options for the few lucky ones who have parents wealthy enough to pay for such endeavors.
But should the U.S. government encourage college kids to become slackers? Does Generation Y need any more encouragement to feel entitled? And should society guarantee a 5-year hiatus from responsibility after college graduation for millions of college kids?
While it is true that many college graduates today will be self-motivated to find a career, make their own money and contribute to society, Generation Y has been the most entitled generation in history. Should the American taxpayer tempt these kids further into believing that the American dream is easy to fulfill?
Obama's healthcare bill is being celebrated on the slopes of Colorado and the surf shacks of California but is a dangerous precedent for future generations.
David Patten's March 13 Newsmax article is little more than a love letter to Sarah Palin, in the ostensible guise of reporting on a speech she gave to Florida Republicans.
Patten fawned over the speech, gushing that it "reflected the conservative populism and homespun American fervor that are her hallmarks" and that she "she displayed a Reagan-esque wit that offset the well-honed rhetorical jabs she perfected as Arizona Sen. John McCain’s running mate on the campaign trail during the 2008 election." Patten also noted that her scripted jokes "drew a big laugh from the crowd," as if they wouldn't in a group of Republicans. He did concede, though, that Palin sounded "like a candidate honing her stump speech," though that could very well be more gushing in trying to get Palin to run for president in 2012.
After copiously quoting from Palin's speech, Patten wrote that "She concluded with a rousing defense of American exceptionalism, the view that the United States is a proud example of freedom and prosperity for the rest of the world to follow."
Patten, mind you, is Newsmax's managing editor. This is fawning drivel that's coming straight from the top.
A March 13 WorldNetDaily column by Dave Welch repeats a claim from the Heritage Foundation that "the Senate-passed Obamacare bill funds abortion in several ways, even creating an appropriation for Community Health Centers that contains no restriction on abortion subsidies." Welch asserted that this means "millions of taxpayers fund the taking of innocent life, escalating the rate and frequency of abortions and further enslaving women of all ages to the physical, emotional and spiritual trauma."
But claims that the Senate bill funds abortion have been debunked, as has the specific Heritage claim about community health centers. From Politics Daily's David Gibson:
Perhaps the most eye-catching claim by anti-abortion forces is that upwards of $7 billion designated in the Senate bill ($11 billion in the president's amended version) would be funneled directly to Community Health Centers (CHCs) which, as Yoest wrote, "include Planned Parenthood clinics that provide abortions." The National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) has made the same point, arguing that "There is no restriction in the current laws authorizing CHCs that prevents these centers from performing abortions."
This meme has become the unchallenged talking point for pro-life opponents of the health care reform bill. But it is mistaken on several points.
Most obviously, none of the 1,250 Federally Qualified Health Centers, or FQHCs, that would receive the billions in money through the reform bill offer abortion services. These federally regulated community health care centers were started as part of the War on Poverty in the 1960s to provide primary and preventative care to poor communities across the country. The Senate health care bill would provide money to allow them to serve an estimated 15 million more people who do not have adequate health care.
As the National Association of Community Health Centers said in a statement this week, none of the health centers receiving money under the Senate bill "provide abortions to any of their patients, and we are not aware of any that have ever done so." In addition, the statement said that "Health centers do not plan to, nor are they seeking to, become providers of abortion. On the contrary, last year health centers provided prenatal, perinatal, and post-natal/post-partum care to 1 of every 8 children born in the U.S."
The federal Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has also said that none of the health centers are abortion providers, and none of them are operated by Planned Parenthood.
Moreover, it is unlikely that Planned Parenthood or any other provider of reproductive health services could qualify as a Community Health Center because these centers by law have to provide all-around care for both men and women, and for children -- "from an earache and runny nose to high blood pressure and diabetes," Dan Hawkins, policy director of the National Association of Community Health Centers, told me. "It is acute and chronic care." Planned Parenthood clinics and the like are simply not equipped to do that. Besides, a majority of the board of each Community Health Center must be made up of current or registered patients, a standard no abortion clinic could meet.
And contrary to claims by many pro-life groups, any money from a new health care law would be subject to the same Hyde amendment restrictions as money from the Stupak version of the House bill (which allocates $12 billion to community health centers).
Any chance WND will tell the truth on this issue? Not likely.
NewsBusters Forwards Bogus Claim on Senate Bill, Abortion Topic: NewsBusters
In attempting to rebut Rachel Maddow's trueclaim that the Senate health care reform bill doesn't fund abortions, Jack Coleman writes in a March 14 NewsBusters post:
Count me as a fan of the cite-the-page-numbers trick as well. I'm especially enamored of what's in the section of the Senate health bill immediately preceding the one cited by Maddow (follow this link for the bill; see page 2,071) The section is titled as follows, with capitalized letters in the original -- "ABORTIONS FOR WHICH PUBLIC FUNDING IS ALLOWED".
As in, public funding for abortions. Once again, a la Maddow -- public funding for abortions. A third time, in case she still misses it -- P-U-B-L-I-C F-U-N-D-I-N-G F-O-R A-B-O-R-T-I-O-N-S.
Gee, where would Congressman Stupak get that impression?
But the "cite-the-page-numbers trick" fails Coleman if he doesn't read what the bill actually says and what it's referring to -- even though he includes a screenshot of the section in question. Under the heading "ABORTIONS FOR WHICH PUBLIC FUNDING IS ALLOWED," the bill states that it is "based on the law as in effect as of the date that is 6 months before the beginning of the plan year involved." The "law as in effect" is the Hyde amendment, which currently prohibits federal funding for abortions, except in cases of rape or incest or when the pregnancy endangers the life of the mother. The Hyde amendment has always permitted federal funding abortions under those conditions.
Maybe next time Coleman should go beyond quoting subsection headers and actually, you know, read the thing.
WND's Washington: Holder A 'Terrorist-Sympathizer' Topic: WorldNetDaily
In his March 13 column, Ellis Washington delves into the case of Department of Justice lawyers who allegedly at one point provided legal services to terrorism detainees the way he delves into pretty much everything else -- hurling smears and getting stuff wrong.
Washington smears Attorney General Eric Holder has a "terrorist-sympathizer." He also tries to reframe the issue all the way over into thought-crime territory, insisting: "The central question regarding the al-Qaida 7 is not whether it is permissible or even expedient for DOJ lawyers to represent the obviously guilty, because under our system of laws, criminals are entitled to counsel, but why did they do it?"
Washington then cites Ken Starr's statement that "You do not impute the causes of the client to the lawyer who is called upon to make sure that that client's rights are being protected," then irrelevantly adds: "Really, Dean Starr? Where is that idea found in the Constitution?"
Washington also asserts that "Giving constitutional rights to avowed Muslim terrorists is merely a means to Obama's diabolical ends to purposely destabilize American society, thus setting the pretext to eventually create a one-party oligarchy." Aside from Washington's anti-constitution portrayal of the detainees as being exempt from the presumption of innocence and his insertion of yet another Obama smear, constitutional rights aren't the only rights at issue, and those lawyers have received some court victories.
As Media Matters notes, two of the lawyers represented six Bosnian-Algerian detainees held at Guantanamo Bay, and a court found that the Bush administration had violated Guantánamo detainees' constitutional right to present habeas corpus petitions to civilian courts. Another lawyer represented a detainee in a case that went all the way to the Supreme Court, which found that the Bush administration had violated the Geneva Conventions in its handling of detainees.
Washington also rants against the 1963 Gideon case, in which the Supreme Court found that the government is required to pay for lawyers for defendants who cannot afford one:
For too long society has given self-aggrandizing lawyers and the American Bar Association the moral high ground to represent irredeemable characters of the vilest ilk in the name of the Constitution, but these new traditions, like the Sixth Amendment's guarantee of an attorney, did not include the right for "We the People" to provide an attorney for these unrepentant terrorists at taxpayers expense until 1963.
Gideon v. Wainwright (1963) is a landmark case in United States Supreme Court history. In this case, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled that state courts are required under the Sixth Amendment of the Constitution to provide counsel in criminal cases for defendants who are unable to afford their own attorneys. Allowing a defendant an attorney and paying for a defendant to have an attorney are two very different philosophies of jurisprudence.
Sounds like Washington really does want to eliminate the presumption of innocence.
CNS Still Promoting False Abortion Claim Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com is continuing to promote the counterfactual claim that the Senate health care bill will include federal funding for abortions. A March 11 article by Penny Starr is the latest to promote it, uncritically repeating a claim by Senate Republicans that the bill doesn't prohibit "federal (taxpayer) funds from being used to pay for abortions," going on to baselessly assert that the Senate bill "specifically allows for taxpayer-funding of certain health plans that cover abortion."
So the final verdict is that the Senate health care reform bill does not pay for or promote abortion, and it will arguably reduce abortions as well as providing good, affordable health care to millions of women and children who now go without -- and suffer for it.
"The bottom line is that health care reform is pro-life," [health care expert Timothy Stoltzfus] Jost said. "We're going to save an awful lot of lives with this bill ... I identify as a Christian, strongly, and I identify as someone who believes in the sacredness of life. I just think this is a pro-life bill. I'm really discouraged that people not only don't want it but also are spreading erroneous information about it. Because I don't think that's something that Christians should do."
Whether Jost's view, and the true story of the Senate bill's approach to abortion and health coverage, can shift the debate before the looming deadline for congressional action is one aspect of this argument that can't be decided by consulting a text. Those who have laid down a marker against the Senate bill have a lot invested in seeing it fail, or having it changed, if only to save face given all they have invested in portraying the bill as "pro-abortion."
Will CNS correct the record and tell its readers the Senate bill doesn't fund abortion? Don't count on it -- it has an agenda to push, and the truth does not supercede that.
Alan Keyes Trumped in Gay-Hate Topic: WorldNetDaily
It's hard to out-crazy Alan Keyes, but that happened on the subject of gays.
Keyes' March 12 WorldNetDaily column offers a relatively predictable right-wing take on it, complaining that "The normalization of homosexuality constitutes the cutting edge of this anti-Christian revisioning of right and wrong."
Meh. For the real crazy, skip down to David A. Noebel's take on gays in the military, starting by asserting that "It turns out that nearly all the major security risks (those who betrayed the United States to the Soviet Union, Communist China, etc.) also had homosexual connections. It seems that spies and homosexuality went together like Mary and her little lamb."
Noebel goes on to decry " the homosexual practice of colonization, in which "homosexuals would settle into a position and then use their position to hire fellow homosexuals into the same department or even move them into a higher position until the department was completely colonized." He also applies the term "flaming homosexual" to both Kevin Jennings and John Maynard Keynes.
Then Noebel really cranks up the crazy:
Now it's 2010, and President Obama, a man steeped in radical left-wing politics and a kind of Students-for-a-Democratic-Society-Commander-in-Chief, wants to allow "open" homosexuals in the United States military. Open homosexuality would have to include the GLBTQ gamut – gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer. Lambda Legal and the ACLU will insist on it. And Sen. Lieberman already proposed on March 8 a bill "legalizing bisexual behavior in the U.S. Military."
Allowing "gays in the military," therefore, is misleading. Once gays are openly recruited and accepted in the military, their "cousins" will follow suit (lesbian, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, intersexual, queer, etc.). Such a scenario would even make Julius Caesar, who was bisexual, blush. Among soldiers, he was known as "every woman's husband and every man's wife" (Taylor Caldwell, "A Pillar of Iron," p. 697).
The United Sates is currently involved in two wars. Is the president out to destroy our military? Can any thinking American wish to see an "open" cross-dressing homosexual Army general trying to gain the trust of his troops (or for that matter, the nation)? Have we as a nation fallen so far that we need to apologize to Sodom?
If the military becomes colonized as the State and Defense Departments were once colonized, homosexuals will indeed end up being generals and admirals. Just imagine a quota system in place that required 10 percent of officers be homosexual (similar to the demand that 10 percent of teachers and counselors in schools be gay to reflect the gay population – although the truth is that less than 2 percent of the population is gay).
Noebel closes by quoting Eurpides. Who does he think he is, Ellis Washington? Nah -- he's still not crazyenough.
WND's Porter Prays to Take Over the Media Topic: WorldNetDaily
Right Wing Watch reports on WorldNetDaily columnist Janet Porter's appearamce at the Generals International's "Convergence 2010: A Cry to Awaken A Nation" conference, where she prayed to God to take power and influence in the media of this country and of this globe from the unrighteous and give it to righteous people" like, presumably, herself:
Then, on Alan Colmes' radio show, Porter defended her prayer (though not before threatening to sue Right Wing Watch for posting it), as well as the rest of her extremist views, such as that America is cursed for having elected Barack Obama and anyone who voted for Obama is going to hell.