Do WND Columnists Want Return of Prohibition? Topic: WorldNetDaily
We noted earlier WorldNetDaily columnist Ellis Washington's citing of the repeal of Prohibition as a "progressive" idea that leads to the "promotion of excessive drinking," apparently another "progressive" idea. But strangely, Washington is not the only WND columnist who is apparently longing for the return of Prohibition.
Dave Welch uses his May 1 column to display that he learned the wrong lesson from Prohibition. He likened immigration laws to Prohibition, claiming both have been inadequately enforced:
Rewind the clock with me to 1923, Washington, D.C., at an event named the Citizenship Conference. The conference included delegates from Congress, federal law enforcement, national movement leaders and clergy. The topic: lack of enforcement of the 18th Amendment, otherwise known as Prohibition.
What we now know that they did not was that it was indeed soon to be repealed. Prohibition has been much maligned and the victim of historical revisionism, but that entirely aside, there are some fascinating principles we can learn from the speeches given at the conference. They were printed in a book titled, "Law vs. Lawlessness" (Fleming H. Revell Co., 1924).
Welch goes on to quote "federal prohibition commissioner" as saying, "The 18th Amendment was the result of a great moral and religious fervor. The spirit which actuated the sponsors of this law certainly must be kept alive after the law has been written into the statute."
It seems the only lesson Welch learned from Prohibition is that it would have been a success had it been totally enforced. Given the large numbers of Americans who violated Prohibition by consuming alcohol despite its illegality, total enforcement would have resulted in the creation of a police state. Because Prohibition didn't stop demand for alcohol, it led to the rise of organized crime and gangsters like Al Capone.
Welch then lectures: "The fundamental issue in the breakdown of law starts in the heart of the individual as we either conform to or reject the laws of God as given us through His creation and his revealed, written word." But Welch offers no evidence that Prohibition was divinely inspired; in fact, it can be argued that the opposite is true.
McCain, Ruddy Falsely Suggest Obama Will Let All Bush Tax Cuts Expire Topic: Newsmax
In an April 29 interview, Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy joined Sen. John McCain in falsely suggesting that President Obama will allow all of the Bush tax cuts to expire this year.
In the posted clip, Ruddy said that the expiration of the tax cuts means "an automatic rise in taxes for almost every bracket by about 10 percent," asking McCain if there is any hope in Congress of "keeping the Bush tax cuts, at least getting the Democrats to compromise and keep them for a while longer?" McCain responded that "it appears as if we are going to see dramatic increases in taxes on most of the, quote, Bush tax cuts."
In fact, Obama's proposed fiscal year 2011 budget keeps the Bush tax cuts for all except those making more than $250,000 a year.
McCain also baselessly asserted that "There's some $60 billion in new taxes on lower-income Americans just as a result of Obamacare." Neither the clip nor the accompanying article notes McCain providing any evidence to back up his claim.
Bozell's Movie Money Fallacy Topic: Media Research Center
Brent Bozell makes the mistake of equating a movie's popularity with its quality in his May 1 column trashing the film "Kick-Ass."
Bozell cites positive reviews of the film claiming it would be a hit, then adds:
The “shrewd” people took a super-beating. The shock merchants ended up shocked. On the first weekend, it finished barely ahead of the family cartoon “How to Train Your Dragon,” and then by the second weekend, it finished a distant fifth, behind the smash-hit dragon cartoon.
John Q. Public’s reaction? The movie is pure junk.
Bozell then mocks one review who claimed that despite the disappointing box office, "Kick-Ass" "was a 'genuine success story' because the movie was produced and financed independently when no studio would touch it, and it would eventually turn a profit. This is like predicting the Dodgers would win the World Series, and when they don’t, they’re still successful because they didn't finish in last place."
The problem is that a movie's quality has no relationship whatsoever to its box office take. As we pointed out when MRC NewsBuster P.J. Gladnick embraced the same fallacy, "Citizen Kane" did not make a profit on its initial release, and nobody's calling that film "pure junk."
In defending the new Arizona anti-immigration law in his April 29 Newsmax column, Lowell Ponte falsely claimed that the Hispanic group MEChA "advocates Mexico's re-conquest of the Southwest."
In fact, MEChA leaders have pointed out that the group has never advocated "a separate nation," and described the MEChA founding documents' reference to "Aztlan," mythical Aztec homeland, are a spiritual and not literal concept.
Ponte also goes on a weird attack of Los Angeles Catholic Bishop Roger Mahony:
The Roman Catholic Cardinal of Los Angeles Roger Mahony, whose flock is 70 percent Hispanic, denounced Arizona's law as a path to "German Nazi and Russian communist techniques" of police harassment.
A cynic might ask, If the millions of illegal aliens flooding across our borders were Protestants who threatened to change the balance of power in a majority-Catholic United States, would Cardinal Mahony passionately defend Protestant illegals with the same fervor?
Ponte concluded his column by ominously declaring, "We have entered the post-constitutional, Demo-repressionist Orwellian twilight of American history."
Ellis Washington's Strange Concept of 'Progressive' Ideas Topic: WorldNetDaily
Ellis Washington's May 1 column is a sequel to last week's column in which he bashed Franklin Roosevelt for, among other things, "turn[ing] legalized thievery into art form under the Marxist guise of 'redistribution of wealth,' fair-share egalitarianism and social justice. It's not surprising to see that Washington ups the crazy quotient by going far beyond labeling FDR a Marxist.
Washington begins by ranting that Americans must "Obama's fascist policies, which are designed to become FDR's welfare state, part 2." He goes on to list "the extremist ideas created or exploited by the progressive movement to create this welfare state":
1. The creation of racism offenses. (Jim Crow discrimination; President Woodrow Wilson used the State Department to purge all black people from federal government; NAACP, Al Sharpton, La Raza)
2. Continual change to create confusion. (Trotsky's "Perpetual Revolution"; Alinsky, Ayers, Obama's "Change We Can Believe In")
3. The teaching of sex and homosexuality to children. (Freud; Alfred Kinsey; the 1960s Sexual Revolution; The Stonewall Riots of 1969)
4. The undermining of schools' and teachers' authority. ("Separation of church and state")
5. Huge immigration to destroy identity. (GWB's amnesty policies of 2006; Obama's desire to give amnesty to 30 million illegal aliens)
6. The promotion of excessive drinking. (FDR's repeal of Prohibition)
7. Emptying of churches. (Marx called religion "the opiate of the masses"; LBJ's 501(c)3 churches)
8. An unreliable legal system with bias against victims of crime. (About 1900 Positive Law replaced Natural Law jurisprudence; Incorporation Doctrine; Living Constitution; "social justice" replaces "equal justice")
9. Dependency on the state or state benefits. (FDR's New Deal; LBJ's Great Society)
10. Control and dumbing down of education and media. (Progressives' creation of the public schools; advent of the state-controlled media)
11. Encouraging the breakdown of the family. (Progressivism, feminism, communism, no-fault divorce, countercultural revolution, gangs, drugs, abortion, pornography, pathology, etc.)
This is such a muddled mess we're not even sure where to begin. Regarding the first item: Is Washington saying that racism is progressive, or that laws against racism are? The examples he cites, of Jim Crow and the NAACP, are competely contradictory.
Identifying "Huge immigration to destroy identity" as a progressive concept is also contradictory, since the severe limits on immigration enacted in the 1920s -- which essentially barred immigration to the U.S. from anywhere but northern Europe -- was motivated in no small part by eugenics, which has also been described as a "progressive" idea.
"The promotion of excessive drinking," as exemplified by "FDR's repeal of Prohibition," is completely bizarre -- so much so we'll have more on this in a future post.
"Emptying of churches" is similarly bizarre, since nobody's forcibly blocking anyone from going to church, something neither Marx's calling religion "the opiate of the masses" or a federal law that costs churches their tax-exempt status for making political endorsements from the pulpit (which is what Washington's reference to "LBJ's 501(c)3 churches" is referring to) does.
Washington's illogic, however, doesn't keep him from engaging in the de rigeur wild smear of Obama:
Obama's mentor and likely author of his memoirs, the terrorist Bill Ayers, to this day brags about destroying America by any means necessary. As predicted, President Obama is quickly codifying Ayers' terrorism megalomania into public policy, which even many liberals are beginning to see is unsustainable on every level.
If "Continual change to create confusion" is a bad thing, then we can take comfort that Washington is reliably crazy, hateful and wrong.
NewsBusters Eager to Blame Obama for Oil Spill Topic: NewsBusters
NewsBusters is suspiciously eager to blame President Obama for the massive oil spill off Louisiana -- as opposed to, say, the oil company that operated the drilling rig that exploded.
In an April 30 post, Noel Sheppard repeated a claim by right-wing radio host Mark Levin that "it took the Obama administration eight days to do anything about this oil spill," adding, "why AREN'T so-called journalists asking WHY it took the Obama administration so long to respond to this environmental crisis?"
But Sheppard and Levin are lying. In fact, not only did federal officials, led by the Coast Guard, take a leading role in the initial emergency response to the explosion, as early as April 23 the Coast Guard was "focused on mitigating the impact of the product currently in the water." Complicating things was the fact that BP, the oil company that operated the rig, underplayed the extent of the spill -- due to "a self-policing system that trusted a commercial operator to take care of its own mishap even as it grew into a menace imperiling Gulf Coast nature and livelihoods from Florida to Texas" -- leading to an initial limited response to it by the government. Once the extent of the spill was clear, the feds moved in with full force.
Nevertheless, Sheppard -- eager to portray this as "Obama's Katrina" -- highlighted a New York Times editorial that was, in Sheppard's words, "pointing a finger straight at Barack Obama." Sheppard overlook the fact that the editorial also stated that BP "seems to have been slow to ask for help." That suggests to us that if the Obama administration had moved swiftly and taken control of the cleanup operation from BP early on, Sheppard would be portraying it as a socialist takeover of the oil company.
Sheppard went on to whine that Obama's weekly media address was about something other than the spill: "Wow! Our nation is facing possibly its worst oil-related disaster in history, and our President is concerned about campaign finances." Sheppard later sneered, 'Obama is currently speaking at a commencement address to the University of Michigan. Is that also more important than dealing with this crisis?"
In none of these posts does Sheppard address the culpability of BP in the spill.
Meanwhile, Rich Noyes also repeated the Times editorial, adding that "The last time a major disaster threatened the U.S. Gulf Coast, journalists dropped any pretense of objectivity and openly scorned what they saw as the ineffective response of the Bush administration to Hurricane Katrina." Noyes ignores that, unlike the oil spill, the impact of Katrina was immediately clear, and there wasn't an oil company trying to hid the full extent of the disaster from the government, hindering a full federal response.
WND Hides Facts on 'Riot Police' Incident Topic: WorldNetDaily
An April 29 WorldNetDaily article by Chelsea Schilling misleads about an incident in which "riot police" were called in to deal with protesters at a speech by President Obama in Quincy, Ill. Schilling writes:
After Obama's motorcade arrived, a Secret Service agent instructed protesters to move across the street. The crowd began singing "God Bless, America" and the National Anthem. Quincy Deputy Police Chief Ron Dreyer ordered police in full riot gear to march up the street and stand between the tea partiers and the civic center.
Snipers were also spotted on the rooftop of the building.
The tea partiers complied when they were told to move across the street, behind a sidewalk and into a parking lot.
Except that's not quite how it went down. From the local newspaper, the Quincy Herald-Whig, which was in a much better position to know the facts than Schilling (key section emphasized, via Dave Weigel):
There were a few tense moments when the crowd moved west down York toward Third Street after the president's motorcade arrived. A Secret Service agent asked the crowd to move back across the street to the north side.
When the crowd didn't move and began singing "God Bless, America" and the national anthem, Quincy Deputy Police Chief Ron Dreyer called for members of the Mobile Field Force to walk up the street.
The officers, mainly from Metro East departments near St. Louis and dressed in full body armor, marched from the east and stood on the south side of York facing the protesters.
Schilling falsely suggested that the protesters immediately complied with the police to move. In fact, they didn't, thus necessitating the show of force with the police in riot gear.
Of course, any public event involving the president involves a significant presence of law enforcement, whether or not the crowd is made up of, as the headline of Schilling's article states, "tea-party grandmas." After all, the makeup of a crowd can't be completely determined in advance.
Why doesn't WND want the president of the United States to have adequate security?
Tim Graham uses an April 30 NewsBusters post to do a little Heathering of not-conservative-enough-for-Graham MSNBC host Joe Scarborough, repeating Don Imus' venomous claims that Scarborough's radio show, currently on an announced hiatus, was actually canceled, and that Scarborough 's MSNBC ratings aren't any better than Imus' ratingss were when he occupied that time slot (though Graham curiously fails to mention why Imus is no longer with MSNBC). Graham also relays an attack on Scarborough by the right-wing blog Radio Equalizer.
But as Mediaite's Steve Krakauer reports, Scarborough has responded to Imus, Graham, and Radio Equalizer via Twitter:
Neither @newsbusters nor Imus can change these facts: We’ve already doubled Imus’s best ratings over a decade. Imus never beat CNN. We do.
Morning Joe gets 20 times the audience in the demo as does Imus. Our WABC radio show also beat Glenn Beck every month in every category.
Imus’s bitterness is misplaced. I was one of the few people who stood by him publicly. It’s a shame he’s so bitter about our success.
Krakauer adds that "Scarborough is correct in his breakdown of the ratings (the Beck comment relates only to the New York market)," while the jury is still out on the actual status of the radio show.
Interesting that Graham would uncritically regurgitate Imus' attacks without fact-checking them first. And no, citing another blog repeating the same attacks does not constitute fact-checking.
WND Keeps Up Whining Over WH Correspondents Dinner Snub Topic: WorldNetDaily
With the imminent arrival of the White House Correspondents Dinner on May 1, it appears that Joseph Farah's attempt to intimidate the White House Correspondents Association into giving it more seats has failed.
While WorldNetDaily's $10 million lawsuit against the WHCA over the snub -- which the WHCA, as a private organization, is well within its rights to do -- apparently continues, it appears to concede it will not get the seats it wanted, so an April 29 WND article is full of whining:
"Gadfly," a biography of WND White House correspondent Les Kinsolving, written by his daughter, Kathleen Kinsolving Willmann, was to debut at the White House Correspondents Dinner featuring Barack Obama May 1.
It still debuts May 1. However, the association sponsoring the dinner rebuffed a request for a table at the event from WorldNetDaily.com and Kinsolving, who has covered the White House since the Nixon administration, making him among the most senior correspondents in the association.
Are the three seats WND was granted not enough to launch what to all appearances be a fawning, uncritical bio of Kinsolving? (His daughter wrote the book.) Is WND implying that because it couldn't get more than three seats, it won't launch the book at all at the dinner? Isn't that a little unfair to Kinsolving, regardless of his reputation as the Jeff Gannon before Jeff Gannon?
The article quotes Farah repeating the falsehood that "We believe in the traditional watchdog role of the press" and trashing the White House press corps, which makes Farah's lawsuit look even more like a spiteful suicide mission. He calls them "this group of self-appointed media cops, these lapdogs for Big Government" -- never mind that Farah is a lapdog for the likes of Orly Taitz.
Farah went on to whine, ""This is an illustration of what some call the 'government-media complex' or the 'state-sponsored media.'" Is being in the thrall of a crappy lawye, as WND is, really an improvement?
UPDATE: Farah confirms his petulance in his May 1 WND column:
No one from WND will be attending this year – not me, not Les Kinsolving, a White House correspondent since the Nixon administration, none of our reporters, none of our guests.
Because the White House Correspondents Association, a group to which we belong as members, decided to shaft us for its own reasons.
That means WND won't be permitted to cover the event like other news organizations, even though we pay our dues like everyone else and had pre-paid for tables at the dinner before anyone else, even though we're the oldest of the Internet news organizations and even though we have never before been denied a table at the dinner.
Farah is lying when he says "WND won't be permitted to cover the event like other news organizations." WND was granted three seats to the dinner and is, in fact, not being blocked from attending. Farah has merely decided to take his ball and go home.
The only thing keeping Farah, Kinsolving and another guest from attending the dinner is Farah's hissy fit.
I know that some people are accusing Obama of being the anti-Christ, but inasmuch as I'm not a Christian, I wouldn't want to venture an opinion. While it's true I get a whiff of sulfur every time he opens his yap, I'm not sure it means anything. So far as I'm concerned, it's enough that he's an anti-Semite, an anti-capitalist and, judging by the speeches he's delivered when traveling abroad, an anti-American.
So far as I'm concerned, it has always seemed obvious that Obama is a virulent anti-Semite. Before you attack me for attacking him, ask yourself one simple question: Can you imagine sitting in Rev. Wright's church for 20 minutes, let alone 20 years, if you weren't a Jew hater?
Newsmax Embraces Questionable, Anonymous Attack on Health Reform Topic: Newsmax
An April 29 Newsmax article by John Rossomando treats as fact a dubious report that the Obama administration blocked the release of a report claiming that health care reform may increase health costs until after the reform package was voted on by Congress.
The report, citing anonymous sources at the Department of Health and Human Services, came from the right-wing American Spectator's Washington Prowler blog. But Rossomando failed to note questions about the veracity of the anonymous claim.
First, Richard Foster, the head of HHS' Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, which prepared the report, was already on record as saying that CMS would be unable to issue an updated analysis before the final House vote on the bill. Foster has since called the Spectator's report "completely inaccurate" -- which Rossomando curiously fails to tell his readers.
Second, the Prowler has a long history of hiding behind anonymous sources to forward dubious or entirely false claims.
Third, the Spectator has responded to criticism of its report by changing its story; it's now claiming that "The report never stated that it was submitted for approval" even though the original report stated exactly that.
Rossomando failed in his journalistic duty to fully inform his readers about the sketchy nature of the Spectator report. But then, Newsmax appears to have a high tolerance for that sort of thing.
Liberty U. Prez's Disputed Background Was Touted At WND Topic: WorldNetDaily
Richard Bartholomew has detailed how questions being raised about the background of Liberty University president Ergun Caner, who has claimed that he was "raised as a devout Sunni Muslim" and, reportedly, that that his first language was Arabic and he was trained in a madrassa in Turkey. It turns out that, apparently, Caner actually arrived in the U.S. at age 4, and custody of him was split between his Muslim father and Swedish mother, raising questions about just how "devout" he was.
It should come as no surprise that -- not unlike Walid Shoebat, a converted Christian whose tales of a previous life as a Palestinian terrorist have been similarly challenged -- Caner's story has been promoted at WorldNetDaily, mostly through columns by Liberty University founder Jerry Falwell and his son, Jonathan.
a February 2005 column by Jerry Falwell announcing Caner's appointment as dean of Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary highlighted how Caner is "a converted Sunni Muslim and son of an ulema (Muslim scholar)" and that he "immigrated with his family to America to build mosques in the Midwest." In an October 2008 column, Jonathan Falwell asserted that "Dr. Caner is a man who has felt the rejection of his family and been the target of ridicule and derision because of his faith in Christ."
Caner has also written op-eds for WND, one of which declared that President Bush "is our Lincoln" because he "has freed our people from oppression, slavery and injustice."
Further, a November 2006 WND article uncritically described Caner as "a Turkish immigrant who was raised as a devout Sunni Muslim."
WND has yet to tell its readers about the questions regarding Shoebat's background. Don't expect WND to tell its readers about Caner, either.
Fred Lucas writes in an April 29 CNSNews.com article:
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has considered introducing a comprehensive immigration reform bill that would establish what proponents call a “pathway to citizenship” for some 12 million illegal aliens. Opponents of the legislation call it “amnesty.”
Dick Morris uses his April 29 Newsmax column to falsely assert that the financial reform bill "guarantee[s] banks' survival by establishing a $50 billion rescue fund." In fact, the fund is designed to liquidate failing financial institutions, not "rescue" them.
Our president, Barack Hussein Obama, was bred by Marxists, raised by Marxists, schooled by Marxists and has chosen to associate with Marxists throughout his entire adult life and in his career. He has Marxists in his employ, in the form of Cabinet members and record number of czars – whose salaries are being paid by you and me. From the start, the goal of those who believe as Obama does has been one of tearing America down and rebuilding it in their image; what we see occurring right now is that very demolition.
Yet Americans, even many conservative commentators and politicians, are loath to brand such people, so stigmatized has the concept of making critical, authoritative statements become.
Well, there's too much at stake to play Mr. Nice Guy, so I'll say it: The power brokers in and behind the current administration and the congressional leadership are evil people. These aren't a bunch of stereotypical politicians who want to get rich and spend a few billion more on entitlements so that blacks or old folks will like them. They are a malevolent cabal who have conspired to subvert our laws, neutralize our personal liberties and undermine our economy, for the sole objective of attaining personal power and implementing a political system that has devastated or taken the lives of well over a billion people.
If they sound like comic-book villains, there's a good reason: That's the level at which they operate. All I can offer is, if the shoe fits …