Not Again! Another False Smear of Wallis by WND's Klein Topic: WorldNetDaily
We've already noted how WorldNetDaily's Aaron Klein made false and misleading claims in order to smear Jim Wallis. Well, it turns out Klein also falsely claimed that Wallis "labeled the U.S. 'the great captor and destroyer of human life.' " Media Matters has more.
The ConWeb Runs to Fox News' Defense Topic: Media Research Center
The ConWeb has long defended the existence of Fox News, despite its clear bias. When former New York Times editor Howell Raines penned an op-ed for the Washington Post criticizing his fellow journalists for allowing Fox News to "legitimize a style of journalism that is dishonest in its intellectual process, untrustworthy in its conclusions and biased in its gestalt," it was time for another rush to the ramparts.
Newsmax's Ronald Kessler responded not only by noting that "Raines is the same editor who presided over the Jayson Blair scandal," he resorted to his usualdefense of the network:
In contrast, Fox News practices journalism the way The New York Times practiced it decades ago, when it was the pinnacle of the profession. Aside from opinion shows, Fox News has a rule that, on any controversial issue, guests from opposing sides must appear.
Ailes keeps track of the statistics religiously to make sure the rule is enforced. What could be more fair and balanced than that?
Kessler has never provided an example of how this purported policy works in practice -- perhaps because it doesn't.
Kessler was followed by Brent Bozell, who devoted his March 17 column to bashing Raines, headlined "A Fraud Fights Fox News." Unmentioned by Bozell: His Media Research Center perpetrated a fraud against Raines, spending nine years insisting that a statement that Raines wrote in his memoir that Ronald Reagan "Reagan couldn't tie his shoelaces if his life depended on it" was an insult of Reagan's intelligence. In fact, Raines was writing about fly-fishing. Even after being called out on its lie, the MRC couldn't do a simple retraction; instead, it added a "clarification" to previous articles containing the quote with the note that "we regret the confusion."
Lying about Jim Wallis is not the only bit of misleading reporting WorldNetDaily's Aaron Klein has served up this week. A March 14 article hides behind anonymous sources to claim that "a member of the U.S. government" met with activists who are trying to establish a Jewish Temple on Jerusalem's Temple Mount, where an Islamic mosque currently is. "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," Klein writes.
As Richard Bartholomew points out, Klein provides a selective history of the Temple Mount "picked and chosen for the benefit of his American Christian Zionist target readership" and designed to prove that Muslims don't consider the site holy. Klein not only ignores "long-standing Muslim practice" toward the site, Bartholomew writes, he ignores "he full range of Jewish views on the Temple," which includes the fact that the Chief Rabbinate has posted a sign close to the site, in Hebrew and English, warning that "According to the Torah it is forbidden for any person to enter the area of the Temple Mount due to its sacredness." That conflicts with intentions of the far-right activists Klein so fawningly portrays to stage an ascent to the Temple Mount.
CNS Lies, Misleads About Jennings Topic: WorldNetDaily
Media Matters catches CNSNews.com's Fred Lucas making false and misleading claims about Kevin Jennings in a March 16 article. Lucas falsely claimed that Jennings "advis[ed] a 15-year-old to use a condom in a sexual affair with an older adult man," asserted that "a person came forward alleging he was [the student] and told news organizations that he was 16 at the time of his conversation with Jennings" -- actually, his identity and age were verified -- and misleadingly described Jennings' position as founder of the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network as having "promoted homosexual clubs in high schools.,"
There is a dangerous alchemy transpiring under the Obama administration that has not been seen since Roosevelt attempted to pack the Supreme Court in 1937. This perverse alchemy is about turning something special into something common. And we have Obama to thank for it.
Don't tell me that Obama doesn't have unmitigated contempt for what we as a country represent and what our Constitution provides. Nor am I buying the argument that he really loves America and is a man of convictions, but that his convictions are wrong. You don't consciously destroy that which you believe to be good or of value. And if Obama is such a brilliant man, as some contend, his actions wouldn't be just naïve inexperience, but intentionally calculated to affect certain outcomes. But that is exactly what this chain-smoking, minatory minstrel from Chicago is doing.
It seems almost inconceivable that a self-professed, pot-smoking, cocaine using boozer in college, with less experience than a shoe salesman, could occupy the office he does – yet it has happened.
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.