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Tuesday, April 13, 2010
New Article: Not-So-Special Reports, CMI Division
Topic: Media Research Center
The MRC's Culture & Media Institute follows its parent in issuing reports using skewed evidence and that make questionable conclusions. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 3:10 PM EDT
WND Continues to Prove Farah A Liar
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily seems to be extremely determined to prove its own editor a liar.

We noted that editor Joseph Farah's assertion that "no one at WND to my knowledge has ever said Obama wasn't born in the U.S. or suggested he was born in Kenya" has been discredited (further, anyway) by WND's focus on media references claiming or suggesting Obama was born in Kenya.

WND has since published two more articles on the subject. At no point does writer Drew Zahn investigate the veracity of those making the claim. Nor does WND mention its own previous embrace of fake Kenyan birth certificates.Nor does Zahn report that claims that Obama was born in Kenya have been repeatedly discredited.

We'd call this shockingly dishonest behavior on Zahn's and WND's part, but sadly there's nothing shocking about it at all. Dishonsest behavior, especially on matters involving Obama, is WND's stock in trade.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:46 PM EDT
Another Stealth Geller Column At Newsmax
Topic: Newsmax

Newsmax is still publishing Pamela Geller's hateful screeds, though it still refuses to promote them on its front page. Geller's April 12 column keeps up her anti-Obama hate:

And so today anti-Semitism rises again in Europe, courtesy the Muslims. Same jihad, different day.

Did six million die for nothing? Could it be possible they died in vain? And once again will the American Jewish Diaspora fail their brethren, in a horrible repeat of history?

I’m sick of it. And sick of the liberal American Jews who sell their souls and their children just so that they can get on with the barbarians.

With Barack Hussein Obama in the White House, things will go from bad to terrible in short order.

Again we ask: If Newsmax is ashamed to publicize Geller's column, why publish it at all?

Posted by Terry K. at 10:37 AM EDT
WND Petition Milestone Remains Murky
Topic: WorldNetDaily

An April 10 WorldNetDaily article makes a big deal over WND's petition "demanding proof" Barack Obama is eligible to be president receiving more than 500,000 signatures. But WND's dishonesty on the issue makes it less big.

First, WND has offered no evidence that the signatures are genuine. As we've previously detailed, the signatures have been kept secret, and there's no apparent verification mechanism to prevent people from signing it more than once or the use of fictitious names. Further, signers apparently not screened for being of legal voting age, proof of voter registration, or even U.S. citizenship. Most importantly, there's no independent evidence provided to back up WND's claim about the number of signatures on the petition.

Second, the petition has been flirting with this milestone for months. A Novmeber, 29, 2009, WND article stated that the petition had "more than 480,000 signatures." Which means it took WND four months to gather (or invent) 20,000 signatures. That's not much of an achievement.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:05 AM EDT
NewsBusters 'Editor's Pick' Is From Anti-Semitic Website
Topic: NewsBusters

Among the "Editor's Picks" of outside article on the front page of NewsBusters is this story from a website called the European Union Times, which repeats a bizarre alleged claim by French President Nicolas Sarkozy that President Obama is going insane.

The boys at NewsBusters apparently didn't check out the EU Times before linking to it. As the Village Voice points out, the website is littered with anti-Semitic rantings and is reportedly registered to the wife of a racist skinhead gang member who was involved in a stabbing incident.

Of course, NewsBusters wasn't the only right-wing outlet to pounce on the story without checking out the website (or even investigating whether the claim is anywhere close to being correct). Other conservative blogs and even Fox Nation blindly went over the cliff with NewsBusters.

Look for NewsBusters to quickly make this link disappear without an explanation of why they found an unsupported claim newsworthy in the first place, let alone an explanation of its embrace of an anti-Semitic website.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:50 AM EDT
Monday, April 12, 2010
Obama Derangement Syndrome Watch
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Usually, the nightmare is so bad that the sleeper wakes up – realizing with relief that it was a dream.

I wish that were the case now. It isn't.

The nightmare that has ensued with the election of Barack Obama gets worse daily, and we're awake, watching the growing destruction of our country.

Whether or not you "like" the United States, it's the country that gives you the freedom to hate and destroy it. It also gives those who love the country the right to resist and make certain you don't win this critical battle.

It is a battle. Those who want to maintain the stature and freedoms of this country will not give up – ever.

"Better red than dead" is not in their lexicon. It wasn't 40 years ago, and still isn't.

What you haters haven't learned is that when you finally get what the Obamites have in store, you will not be free. You won't even have the rights you now take for granted, and you will be a slave, no less than slaves in the antebellum South.

-- Barbara Simpson, April 12 WorldNetdaily column

Posted by Terry K. at 2:44 PM EDT
NewsBusters' Sheppard Promotes Idea Obama is Anti-Semitic
Topic: NewsBusters

NewsBusters' Noel Sheppard used an April 11 post to descend into far-right conspiracy territory by endorsing the idea that President Obama is anti-Semitic.

The post highlights a "Saturday Night Live" skit in which the person playing Obama highlights alleged questions in the census, one of which was, "Do you feel that Jews have too much influence on Wall Street and the media?" In context, of course, that's a joke, playing on the fears of some far-right extremists. Sheppard, of course, didn't see it that way: "Honestly, what kind of question was that? Wouldn't a lot of people find that anti-Semitic, or is my sense of humor lacking at the moment?"

Sheppard then updated the post to add a commenter's observation: "I think Armisen's Obama impression portrayed what Obama truly feels about Jews and about Israel and was not intended to be Armisen or SNL itself being anti-Semitic." Sheppard then asked: "Is he right? Was this a slam at Obama and not Jews?"

Sheppard obviously thinks so -- concurrently, Sheppard used his Twitter feed to affirmatively state what he suggested at NewsBusters: "Was Saturday Night Live actually mocking Obama's anti-Semitism with this sketch?"

We expect far-right outlets like WorldNetDaily to spread such hateful conspiracy theories. Should NewsBusters really be trying to get into that same credibility-destroying business?

Posted by Terry K. at 1:00 PM EDT
Newsmax Repeats Flawed Study Attacking Stimulus
Topic: Newsmax

An April 12 Newsmax "Insider Report" item touts a study claiming that "congressional districts represented by a Democrat have received significantly more money from the $787 billion stimulus bill than those with a Republican representative":

The study by Veronique de Rugy, senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center, found that on average Democratic districts got 1 1/2 times as many awards as Republican districts in the fourth quarter of 2009.

Those Democratic districts received about 2 1/2 times more stimulus dollars than Republican districts, $122 billion to $46 billion.

And Democratic districts also received larger awards on average than did Republican districts — $471 million for a Democratic district and $260 million for one represented by a Republican, de Rugy points out in an article for National Review.

But Nate Silver at points out that de Rugy's study is flawed because it ignores that many of the districts receiving the most funding contain state capitals, which tend to lean Democratic: "A lot of stimulus funds are distributed to state agencies, which are then responsible for allocating and administering the funds to the presumed benefit of citizens throughout the state. These state agencies, of course, are usually located in or near the state capital."

In a later post as part of an exchange with de Rugy, Silver also points out that de Rugy baselessly suggests the stimulus was deliberately designed to disproportionally benefit Democratic districts.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:01 AM EDT
Dave Welch's Anti-Gay America
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Dave Welch has a long record of demonsrating hatred for gays, which he continues in his April 10 WorldNetDaily column.

First, Welch bizarrely asserts that efforts to give gays legal protection under hate-crimes laws are "Marxist-driven." He sneeringly continues:

For example, it came as a surprise to many citizens in Houston (it should not have) that city and county taxpayers' dollars have been and are being used to promote a program called "My Gay Houston" as part of the Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau. Other major cities are doing the same. Lesbian Mayor Annise Parker has gone above and beyond to now extend protection through executive orders to "gender identity" and "gender expression."

Keep your wives and daughters out of Houston city restrooms.


The evil of moral perversion is currently having a free reign through our choice of Barack Hussein Obama as president, liberal Democrats and weak Republicans in Congress, and lesbians like Annise Parker as mayor of Houston. We clearly do not have the latitude to withdraw from the battle and focus solely on rebuilding the biblical foundations of moral virtue in the church.

The then offers a"brief quiz" on "Which of the following two lists more closely reflect the overall condition of America today?"

OPTION 1 – sexual immorality, impurity of mind, sensuality, worship of false gods, witchcraft, hatred, quarreling, jealousy, bad temper, rivalry, factions, party-spirit, envy, drunkenness, orgies and things like that.

OPTION 2 – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, fidelity, tolerance and self-control.

Welch is highly reflective of the hatred, rivalry, factions, and envy parts of the first option.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:27 AM EDT
NewsBusters Obscures Real Issue in Va. Confederate Proclamation
Topic: NewsBusters

An April 7 NewsBusters post by Candance Moore was generally offended that "The national media are outraged this week by an announcement from Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell to observe April as Confederate History Month, and more specifically that "most energetic complaints came from the Washington Post, which published more than half a dozen pieces in the same day."

Moore tried to whitewash the situation by uncritically repeating McDonnell's defense that he was trying to "shore up Virginia's economy by emphasizing its historical significance," but at no point did she address the crux of the controversy: McDonnell's proclamation did not mention slavery.

Despite Moore's framing of the issue as part of the Post's purported vendetta against governor, McDonnell's omission was pretty much universally condemned across the political spectrum. Indeed, conservative writers took to the post to criticize it. Ramesh Ponnuru:

On this issue, I'm with the editors of the Post: Virginia governor Robert McDonnell was wrong to proclaim Confederate History Month without acknowledging the evil of slavery with which the Confederacy was inextricably bound. To urge "all Virginians. . . to understand the sacrifices of the Confederate leaders, soldiers and citizens during the period of the Civil War," again without referring to the sacrifices forced upon the slaves who lived in the commonwealth, compounds the offense.

I very much doubt it was Gov. McDonnell's intention to cause any offense, and the proclamation mostly consists of platitudes about the importance of studying history. But the failure to mention slavery was a moral and historical mistake; it is also, I think, a political one. Gov. McDonnell has been widely hailed--and I've been one of the hailers--as showing Republicans the way toward rebuilding a national majority. One of his accomplishments during the campaign was to show that blacks are welcome, indeed sought after, in his coalition. This move undercuts that effort, which damages Republicans and conservatives not only among blacks but among non-black voters as well.

Michael Gerson:

Americans can appreciate these things, and do. But when a public official celebrates Confederate history without mentioning slavery, there is a problem.

The historical context of secession was the defense of slavery -- what Confederate Vice President Alexander Stephens called the "cornerstone" of the Southern cause. Playing down this context, as McDonnell initially did before later amending his proclamation, was a sin of omission. When a Virginia governor speaks of the Civil War, he has a positive duty to disavow the racist sentiments that find refuge in Confederate nostalgia. Context matters.

Will Moore criticize Ponnuru and Gerson as well?

Posted by Terry K. at 12:37 AM EDT
Sunday, April 11, 2010
WND's Lamb Falsely Scaremongers About 'Obama's Private Army'
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Henry Lamb scaremongers in his April 10 WorldNetDaily column:

Who knew that Obamacare provides for a "Regular Corps" and a "Ready-Reserve Corps" of officers and individuals who are appointed by the president? Commissioned officers are subject to active duty at the call of the surgeon general. The new law provides $17.5 million in each of the first four years to recruit and train these reserves.

During his campaign, Obama said: "We cannot continue to rely only on our military. … We've got to have a civilian security force just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded. We cannot continue to rely only on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives we've set."


What, exactly, will the Ready Reserve Corps do in the event of a national emergency or public health crisis that the National Guard is not already doing? If more people are required, simply increase the recruiting goals. There is no need to create a new branch of service with its attendant bureaucracy and officer corps.

This is exceedingly dangerous ground. The Constitution does not give the federal government any police power. In fact, the Constitution requires the federal government to stay out of the states' business except in the very limited ways expressly authorized by the Constitution.

Obama has already expressed his contempt for the idea that the Constitution limits the power of the federal government. 

In fact, as we detailed the last time WND fearmongered about this, even the conservative website Hot Air calls it baseless. The statute creating this reserve corps was first implemented in 1944, and the only significant thingthe health care reform did to it is increase its funding.

Lamb is being irresponsible. But he works for an irresponsible "news" outlet, so it's fitting.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:28 PM EDT
Sheppard Endorses Sen. Coburn's Whining About Maddow
Topic: NewsBusters

In an April 8 NewsBusters post, Noel Sheppard uncritically repeated a claim by Republican Sen. Tom Coburn in a Daily Caller interview that cited MSBC's Rachel Maddow as an example of how liberals "demonize people": "Look at Rachel Maddow. She comes at me on the basis of emotion. She demonizes me. I don't want conservatives to win on the basis of emotion. If we lower ourselves to the level they operate on, we hurt ourselves and our arguments."

Sheppard adds: "Tough to argue with that. In fact, this is very much what we see from liberal media members these days: attack the messenger NOT the message."

This is rather hilarious, since 1) neither Coburn nor Sheppard offer examples of how Maddow has "demonized" Coburn, thus engaging in the baseless demonization they accuse Maddow of perpetrating, and 2) Maddow has a reputation of being among the more intellectual commentators around and  less than likely to argue "on the basis of emotion."

Sheppard rather hilariously concludes: "Maybe what this country needs is a more thoughtful, courteous approach to the debate over the direction of our nation without all the invective." You first, Noel.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:48 PM EDT
WND Touts Anti-Gay Pediatricians Group
Topic: WorldNetDaily

An April 8 WorldNetDaily article by Bob Unruh touted "letters to thousands of school superintendents across the United States" sent by the American College of Pediatricians "with a warning that promoting – or 'affirming' – the homosexual lifestyle to young children can damage them." Unruh benignly described the ACP as "A professional organization for pediatricians" and "a nonprofit organization funded by members and donors," but Unruh made no effort to explain the anti-gay stance of the group.

The ACP was created in 2002 by a small group of anti-gay pediatricians upset with a policy statement by the mainstream, much larger American Academy of Pediatrics supporting adoptions by lesbian and gay parents.

Unruh goes on to promote ACP's "Facts About Youth" website, uncritically repeating the ACP's claim that it is a "non-political, non-religious channel." Unruh also uncritically repeated some of the website's claims about homosexuality -- including advocacy of therapy for "adolescents experiencing same-sex attraction" -- making no effort to contact anyone for a contrary view.

In fact, the Facts About Youth website contains numerous false and misleading claims that Unruh fails to identify. Warren Throckmorton reports:

The website purports to offer current research in a non-political channel. However, the reference list on the homosexuality page negates that claim. The first two references come from the NARTH (National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality) website and are not studies but summaries of studies and the third is from NARTH board member George Rekers, published in a book by Julie Hamilton, NARTH president. Whatever one thinks of NARTH, one must concede that the organization is most certainly not impartial on the subject.

The list of additional resources is anything but current. There are 13 references listed, all but two of them were published prior to 2001. Those older references have been updated by newer work but you wouldn’t know it by reading here. The most current facts are not here, nor are they referenced here.

Thropckmorton goes on to note that ACP misrepresents one researcher on the subject of change therapy, who states that his words "have been juxtaposed in a way that suggests a somewhat different conclusion that I intended."

Alvin McEuen at Pam's House Blend details even more misleading claims, including its reproduction of a Canadian study about the life spans of gays. As we noted when Molotov Mitchell cited it, that study's research took place from 1987 to 1992, before HIV treatments became widely available. McEuen points out a letter written by the study's researchers noting that anti-gay groups who highlight the study "appear more interested in restricting the human rights of gay and bisexuals rather than promoting their health and well being" and that "if we were to repeat this analysis today the life expectancy of gay and bisexual men would be greatly improved."

We've documented Unruh's sloppy, biased and incomplete reporting, as well as WND's anti-gay agenda. Which makes it sadly unsurprising that Unruh has no interest in acting like a real reporter -- even though he was one for the Associated Press at one time -- and tell both sides of the story.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:35 AM EDT
Saturday, April 10, 2010
WND Columnist Hides White Supremacist's History of Violence (And His White Supremacism, Too)
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Ilana Mercer's April 9 WorldNetDaily column is dedicated to lionizing South African white supremacist Eugene Terreblanche, who was killed by two black farmhands. Mercer describes Terreblache's death as part of "the black onslaught against white South African farmers," lamenting "The dehumanization of the victim" and complaining that "Based on hearsay – and their abiding sympathy for savages – news media across the West are insisting that the motive for the murder was a 'labor dispute.'"

Mercer, meanwhile, is utterly silent on who Terreblanche was, other than a "farmer" and "leader of the Afrikaner Resistance Movement (AWB) that seeks the establishment of a homeland for the Afrikaners of South Africa." The AWB is a militant, right-wing, white supremacist group perhaps most notorious for invading the South African black homeland of Bophuthatswana, reportedly killing at least 37 people. The AWB logo resembles the Nazi swastika. As we've previously detailed (along with other examples of AWB violence), former WND columnist Anthony LoBaido was an AWB sympathizer.

Mercer makes no mention of the white supremacism of Terreblanche and the AWB. Terreblanche short prison sentence for attempted murder for beating a black security guard into a coma, leaving him with permanent brain damage.

Historical racial tensions in South Africa aside, Terreblanche reaped what he sowed; he led a violent life destined to end in a violent death. But Mercer doesn't want you to know anything about that.

That whitewashing puts Mercer in league with her fellow far-right terrorist sympathizer at WND, Aaron Klein.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:06 AM EDT
Flashback: WND's Brief Dalliance With Westboro Baptist
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Dual WorldNetDaily columns by Ann Coulter and Chrissy Satterfield denouncing the soldier-funeral-picketing haters at the Westboro Baptist Church got us to recalling a time when WND wasn't quite as down on Fred Phelps and his crew.

As we detailed in 2006, WND positively portrayed a Fox News appearance by Westboro protester Shirley Phelps-Roper in which she argued with host Julie Banderas. WND dispassionately described her as "who believes America's sinful behavior has resulted in God's cursings rather than blessings" and her church as an "anti-homosexual church" before mentioning the funeral protests. It seems that WND was attracted by Westboro's anti-gay behavior -- WND, after all, is anti-gay too.

This apparent trial balloon went over like a lead-filled one with WND's readers. As we noted, the lead answer on a WND opt-in poll about the on-air altercation was "Julie's comments were over the top, but the protests at funerals of dead U.S soldiers are even more disturbing," and the three letters WND ran about the story were all critical of Phelps-Roper, calling her "a disgrace and a psychopath," a "cult leader" and a "self-righteous, hateful, name-calling woman."

It wasn't until two years later, when the Westboro folks picketed the funeral of Bush White House press secretary Tony Snow that anyone at WND felt moved to condemn the group. That's right -- it took a prominent conservative being targeted by the church for WND to screw up the courage to denouce it as "infamous."

It took way too long for WND to come around, but it has at last joined the voices from across the political spectrum who agree (publicly, anyway) that the Westboro clan is a bunch of odious haters.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:43 AM EDT

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