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Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Aaron Klein Responds -- And Admits His Kahanist Sympathies
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Aaron Klein used his April 11 WABC radio show to respond to our article (as published at Huffington Post) detailing his affinity for right-wing extremism. Sadly, Klein selectively quotes from the article to paint himself as a victim and mislead about what we wrote.

Klein begins by whining, "I have been under assault by the liberal media in the United States," going on to call our article "a perfect example of how the left llies and distorts and smears whenever they are threatened by someone." But Klein identifies no lies or distortions by us; indeed, Klein himself distorts what we wrote.

Klein claims that we wrote that he is "somehow associated with the Kahane Chai movement," adding, "Do they have me, like say, launching my journalist career in the living room of a Kahane Chai leader, sort of like Barack Obama, who is associated with real extremists, launched his political career, remember, in the living room of Weatherman terrorist Bill Ayers, who of course sought the downfall of the U.S. government? ... Do they have me being hired for my first job by a Kahane Chai leader, like Obama was actually hired for his first position, which would be at the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, an education reform organization. He was hired by the chairman of that group, the CAC, Bill Ayers. ... Do they have me sitting on the board of a nonprofit organization as a paid director with Kahane Chai leaders like Obama served on the board as a paid director of the Woods Fund with Bill Ayers? ...There better at least be a suggestion that Kahane Chai leaders ghost-wrote my previous books, like a lot of people have strongly suggested that Bill Ayers may have ghostwritten Obama's book 'Dreams of My Father.'"

Of course, we didn't say anything quite like that. We merely pointed out the fact that Klein has repeatedly used his reporting to whitewash the violent extremism of Kahane Chai sympathizers. But rather than directly address that, Klein distorted what we wrote by selectively quoting.

(And Klein is lying about much of the above -- Ayers didn't hire Obama for the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, and even the biographer who noted that Ayers provided "help" and served as an "informal editing service” on Obama book made sure to add, "I definitely do not say he [Ayers] wrote Barack Obama's book.")

"The basis is they say that in 2006 and 2008 I interviewed and quoted Kahane Chai leaders in articles." Klein then addressed our complaint that Klein quoted Kahane Chai sympathizer David Ha'ivri without noting his sympathy for the movement's violent elements by claiming that the New York Times and other outlets have similarly quoted Ha'ivri without noting his Kahanist leanings.

Klein did not discuss his whitewashing of Mike Guzofsky/Yekutel Ben Yaacov or his portrayal of Kahane Chai fellow traveler Eden Natan Zada has having been "murdered" after shooting four people to death on a bus while not describing Zada's victims that way.

Klein then makes an astonishing admission: "Just for the record, I personally do agree with some of the sentiments of Rabbi Meir Kahane. I think he was right about certain things, wrong about other things, but I have absolutely nothing, no association whatsoever with Kahane Chai leaders. Further, I actually -- I believe that some of these leaders of Kahane Chai in Israel are extremists, and more than that, they're absolute embarrassments to the religious national community in israel. And I think that unfortunatly, the media is using the Kahane extremists to basically paint all the Jews in the West Bank as extremists. So, bottom line, I have absolutely nothing to do with these Kahane Chai extremists."

Given that the Kahane Chai movement has been outlawed in Israel for its extremism and violence, Klein can't exactly say that Kahane "was right about certain things" while simultaneously trying to separate himself from the "extremists" in the movement -- especially if you're on record as whitewashing that very same extremism. As Klein himself noted during his show, Kahane supported the expulsion of Arabs from Israel. Does Klein support that as well? He doesn't say. Klein needs to be clear about what Kahanist beliefs he supports and which ones he rejects.

Klein also addressed our claim that he had not explain the circumstances under which he and radio host John Batchelor interviewed a Hamas official in 2008 who offered an "endorsement" of Obama or if the spokesman knew that he was servicing Klein's anti-Obama agenda. After ranting that the claim was "scandalous" and "maybe legally actionable," Klein claimed that the official, "without any prompting on our part, he starts to go off on how excited he is about this new presidential candidate Barack Obama, and he said that he hoped that Obama is elected and he compared Obama to JFK."

That still doesn't answer our question, though, about whether the Hamas official he was interviewing was aware of Klein's anti-Obama bias or that Klein would use the official's comments against him to further inflame anti-Obama sentiment in the U.S.

Klein goes on to state that the article was written by "an individual who also works as an editor for the George Soros-funded Media Matters" -- though we won't identify us or ConWebWatch by name -- and calls Soros "affiliated with far-left extremists." He also uses our noting of his upcoming anti-Obama book as the reason we are "suddenly smearing him" and as evidence that the White House is "concerned" about the book. Klein insists the book is "thoroughly researched" and "none of it is my opinon," but in our article, we documented numerous errors and misleading claims made by Klein about Obama officials (which he didn't address).

Klein concluded by claiming that our article as an example of "what the left does to any independent journalist who begins to investigate their precious president of the United States, Barack Obama."

Klein's dishonest response to our article belies his show's intro, which describes him as "a reporter you can trust to bring you the news." About the only thing you can trust Klein to do is lie and distort -- you know, what he falsely accused us of doing.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:13 PM EDT
WND Still Lying About Calif. Anti-Discrimination Laws
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Bob Unruh keeps up his shoddy journalism by quoting only a single highly biased source as information of anti-discrimination efforts in California schools in an April 10 WorldNetDaily article.

Not surprisingly, when you quote only a single source on the issue -- in this case, anti-gay activist Randy Thomasson -- things are wrong. Specifically, Thomasson apparently reaffirms WND's anti-gay bias. For instance, Unruh writes:

In 2007, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed SB 777 prohibiting any public school instruction or activity that "promotes" a discriminatory bias. The law now requires positive depictions of transsexuality, bisexuality and homosexuality at all levels in school.

Impacted by the law are classroom instruction materials, textbooks, guest speakers, videos, drama, music, school assemblies and sports teams.

Unruh is lying. The bill does not "require positive depictions of transsexuality, bisexuality and homosexuality"; as we detailed when WND mislead about it while the bill was being considered, it prohibits school activities and materials from "reflecting adversely" on homosexuality. That does not equate to a "positive depiction."

Unruh goes on to repeat his previous touting of the factually inaccurate claims by the anti-gay American College of Pediatricians who are, in Unruh's words, "warning educators not to promote being 'gay.'"

There's no balance and no facts. But that's what we've come to expect from Unruh.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:43 PM EDT
Then and Now
Topic: WorldNetDaily

"[N]o one at WND to my knowledge has ever said Obama wasn't born in the U.S. or suggested he was born in Kenya." -- Joseph Farah, Nov. 22.

"Now that it is plainly evident even prominent officials in Kenya believe Barack Obama is foreign born, it becomes a matter of historical accuracy and constitutional integrity that his life story be fully documented." -- Joseph Farah, April 14.

The transformation is complete: The hack Joseph Farah fully embraces his dishonesty.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:51 AM EDT
Bozell Twists Words to Defend Pope
Topic: Media Research Center

Brent Bozell uses an April 12 Media Research Center press release to run to the defense of Pope Benedict XVI and the Catholic Church, even though defense of Catholics is not exactly part of the MRC's mission statement. Bozell declared "declared the intentional disparaging and false reporting" on the issue of sexual abuse of children by priests to be an "atrocity" and adds:

Last week dozens of news outlets – including the Associated Press, Reuters, Washington Post, New York Times, CBS, MSNBC – reported that the abuse scandal is 'widening.' That is absolutely and unequivocally false. The scandal isn't growing.  As Catholic League President Bill Donohue aptly noted, citing evidence from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, abuse is shrinking in the United States, with an even more rapid decline over the last five years.

Any credible journalist would have done his or her research before reporting a fallacy of this magnitude. And any other religious institution that was targeted in this unconscionable fashion would have been rescued by the same liberal media that claims to be objective.

Bozell is deliberately twisting the meaning of the word "widening." None of the articles Bozell cited use the word to describe recent cases of abuse, as Bozell claims. Rather, they refer to revelations about old cases of abuse and what the pope, in his previous role as head of the Vatican's office of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, did or didn't do in regard to priests accused of abuse.

In touting the John Jay study as promoted by the Catholic League's Donohue, Bozell ignores the fact that Donohue has been misusing the study to falsely claim that most victims of sexual abuse by priests were "post-adolescent," which allows Donohue to blame the scandal on homosexual priests. In fact, one of the researchers on the John Jay study points out that same-sex abuse of children does not equal homosexual behavior.

So Donohue is not exactly the most "credible" defender. And neither is Bozell, who fails to disclose that he's on the Catholic League's board of advisors.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:01 AM EDT
NewsReal Calls Obama's Mom A 'Hippy Sleazebag'
Topic: Horowitz

An April 13 NewsReal post by some coward hiding behind the pseudonym "Van Helsing" (really? How unoriginal) describes Barack Obama's mother as a "hippy sleazebag."

That post links to a fuller one by the cowardly author at Right Wing News, where the  words "hippy sleazebag" link to a website purporting to have nude pictures of her.

The coward is a sleazebag as well. David Horowitz must be so proud.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:08 AM EDT
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

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