Simple Answers to Simple Questions Topic: NewsBusters
Media Matters' Simon Maloy asks the important question, "Is Tim Graham really this stupid?"
Given that the issue involved is Graham is scowling in a NewsBusters post about Michelle Obama liking a Washington restaurant despite the fact that Bill Ayers appeared there once -- as if a person's presence in the restaurant somehow bespoils the food being served -- the answer is, apparently, yes.
For the last year, Fox News host Glenn Beck has used his mega-platform to warn that our president is deeply tied to and backed by a fringe, anti-American extremist nexus.
For his groundbreaking work, Beck has been called a liar, conspiracy theorist, fear-mongerer, hater, racist and even just plain nuts.
"I defy those who doubt Beck's central thesis to read my new book, 'The Manchurian President: Barack Obama's ties to communists, socialists and other anti-American extremists,'" says Aaron Klein, the book's author.
With nearly 900 footnotes, "The Manchurian President" factually proves in black and white that Beck has been right all along, says Klein.
"I believe this book is crucial to Americans from across the political spectrum," says author Aaron Klein, "including mainstream Democrats who should be alarmed that their party has been hijacked by an extreme-left fringe bent on permanently changing the party to fit its radical agenda.
"Meanwhile, those who criticized Beck for his arguments owe the television and radio personality a resounding apology," Klein said.
Of course Klein would suck up to Beck -- Beck’s commentary has often echoed Klein’s reporting.
In his book, Klein and co-author Brenda J. Elliott take much of the credit for exposing the “radical” connections of Van Jones that were later “picked up” by Beck:
In April 2009, Aaron Klein reported at WorldNetDaily that Jones was a founder and leader of the communist revolutionary organization STORM -- Standing Together to Organize a Revolutionary Movement.
The mainstream media predictably ignored the Jones revelations -- right up until the moment of his resignation on September 5, 2009. Much of the investigation into Jones had been conducted over the Internet, including reporting by Aaron Klein, Brenda J. Elliott, and Trevor Loudon, a New Zealand blogger. Fox News Channel’s Glenn Beck picked up the reports and released new information for weeks, until Jones was forced to step down. [Pages 153-154]
Klein’s boss, WND editor Joseph Farah, was a little less shy, declaring that Klein “broke the first major story on Jones who was identified as a self-described radical communist and ‘rowdy black nationalist’ who said his environmental activism was actually a means to fight for racial and class ‘justice.’ "
What’s going on here is a bit of circular logic -- Klein is claiming that his book proves Beck right, even though Beck’s attacks are based in part on Klein’s own reporting.
Klein seems to like this kind of circular logic, since he uses it elsewhere in "The Manchurian President." As we’ve noted, Klein uncritically promotes the conspiracy theory that Bill Ayers “may have ghost-written” President Obama’s book Dreams From My Father. The two sources Klein bases this claim on are WND columnist Jack Cashill and biographer Christopher Andersen. But Andersen was basing his claim in part on Cashill’s conspiracy theories, something Klein does not acknowledge in his book. (Nor does Klein acknowledge that Andersen walked back the claim in a CNN interview, stating that "I definitely do not say [Ayers] wrote Barack Obama's book.")
Klein’s fawning over Beck may have an ulterior purpose -- to get Beck to acknowledge Klein’s book or, even better, to invite Klein on his show to discuss it.
Klein is certainly not afraid to suck up when it suits him. When Klein was criticized in 2006 for falsely implying that Fox News paid a $2 million ransom for the release of two Fox News journalists who had been kidnapped in Gaza -- Fox News chief Roger Ailes told the Drudge Report, “The story is absolutely 100% false” -- Klein was quick to insert some serious sucking up to an attempt to defend himself: “I cannot stand idly by while others misrepresent and falsify my words to wrongly smear America's best cable news network.” Klein made sure to add, “I have enormous respect for Ailes.”
Since then, Klein hasmadeseveralappearances on Fox News and Fox Business. It seems Klein is hoping to work the same magic with Beck -- and sell a few more books in the process.
Terry Jeffrey starts his May 26 CNSNews.com column by claiming, "Dr. Donald Berwick of the Harvard Medical School does not like free enterprise, but he does like rationing."
But Jeffery offers no evlidence that Berwick "like[s] rationing." Rather, he's merely echoing CNS' previous attacks on Berwick, which take Berwick out of context and ignore the fact that insurance companies are already rationing health care.
Ruddy: 'Gold Has Become An Enemy of The State' Topic: Newsmax
Christopher Ruddy runs to the defense of Glenn Beck and Goldline in his May 26 Newsmax column:
Congressman Anthony Weiner’s inane attacks on Glenn Beck and the gold coin dealer Goldline make me think there is some other agenda at work.
Though Weiner has named Beck and the company he endorses, Goldline, he has also made clear that Goldline is just one of several gold coin companies overcharging customers. He argues that, if investors were able to smelt their gold coins, the actual value of the pure gold metal itself would be far less than the cost of the coins — sometimes as much as half the cost companies like Goldline charge.
Weiner’s view is naïve and ignores the fact that many of these coins have intrinsic value as a collectible, just as an antique would.
Those who own such gold coins — I am one — recognize the value of the coin is not just in the gold. Imagine saying an antique car that sells for $250,000 is really worth about $500 — because that’s the actual value of the metals that make up the car if it were ever junked.
First, that's a misleading attack on Weiner's report. The melt value is only one aspect Weiner examined; his report also pointed out that Goldline's retail prices on coins are as much as 102 percent above those of competitors for the exact same coins.
Second, Ruddy fails to disclose that Goldline is a Newsmax advertiser, most prominent as the sponsor of the commodities ticker on its MoneyNews front page.
Ruddy goes on to mount a larger defense of gold as an investment, despite its status as an "unproductive asset":
Why the worry over gold coins?
Just turn on the TV and listen to the flood of ads selling such coins. Tune in to the radio and hear the same. Upscale malls now have kiosks for individuals to cash in gold. Gold is all the rage — and its price of around $1,200 an ounce is hitting new highs.
Gold has become an enemy of the state.
It is an enemy because it is an ancient store of value. It even can act like a currency. In fact, as currencies lose confidence, as we have seen with the dollar and the euro, investors often buy gold.
But unlike many other investments, gold is an unproductive asset. It sits in your home, in a bank vault, maybe buried in your backyard. Meanwhile, even cash in the bank is not idle, as banks lend against your deposit.
Economic activity is spurred, unlike a stagnant gold investment.
The surge in the price of gold is a bad omen for the U.S. economy. It is also a vote of no confidence in President Obama by the investor class.
Gold purchases undermine the strategy of Obama and the Fed, both of whom are trying to inflate the currency. But, as Milton Friedman so artfully explained, simply printing money does not cause inflation. Inflation is caused when too much money actually goes into circulation and is used in the economy over a period of time. This is called the “velocity” of money.
And, like any good fearmongering gold hawker, Ruddy makes sure to mention that Franklin Roosevelt "confiscated almost all privately owned gold, including gold coins."
Ruddy and Newsmax have a long history of hyping gold to fearmonger people into buying their financial products.
MRC Touts Misleading Attack on Judicial Nominee Topic: Media Research Center
A video highlighted at NewsBusters, hosted by MRC's Eyeblast video site, and promoted by MRC chief Brent Bozell as a "MUST WATCH" is an attack on Obama appeals court nominee Robert Chatigny, whom the video -- created by Naked Emperor News -- falsely portrays as having "empathy" for serial rapist and killer Michael Ross by granting motions delaying the killer's execution.
The video selectively cites facts, includes Ross' sexually charged testimony for inflammatory purposes, and downplays the fact that Chatigny believed that Ross' mental competency had not been addressed, particularly by Ross' defense attorney.
The video -- and the MRC -- also ignored the fact that a review panel of the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals, which included future Bush attorney general Michael Mukasey, cleared Chatigny of misconduct charges, calling Chatigny's action, while "unusual," reasonable under the circumstances.
Shouldn't the MRC be ashamed to be promoting such a biased and factually deficient attack? We think so.
A May 25 WorldNetDaily article by Drew Zahn uncritically promotes Dick Morris' agreement with Sean Hannity that it was an "impeachable offense" for the Obama administration to allegedly offer a job to Joe Sestak in exchange for dropping out of a Pennsylvania Senate primary race agaisnt Arlen Specter:
If a Democratic member of Congress is to be believed, there's someone in the Obama administration who has committed a crime – and if the president knew about it, analysts say it could be grounds for impeachment.
At no point does Zahn explain that not only is this not unusual -- not only has Karl Rove bargained with candidates to move them out of races to clear the way for the Bush White House's preferred candidates, the Reagan administration reportedly offered a job to a California senator in exchange for not seeking re-election -- legal experts (of which Morris is not one) have explained that the alleged behavior regarding Sestak is not illegal, let alone an "impeachable offense."
But reporting the truth is not WorldNetDaily's purpose -- destroying Obama at any cost is.
The press routinely flogged itself in the Bill Clinton years for being too quick to acknowledge when women suggested they'd had affairs or been harassed by Clinton. They would have been extremely slow to relay a cheating allegation with no details or proof. So why are national media outlets repeating an unproven adultery allegation....and against a woman? When the guy has a domestic violence record?
Because she's a Republican? In Mark Sanford's South Carolina? Sarah Palin-endorsed South Carolina gubernatorial candidate Nikki Haley has seen an unsubstantiated adultery charge spread by the Associated Press, The Washington Post, Newsday, and CNN, whose Wolf Blitzer ran to the evidence-free story on The Situation Room Monday[.]
Graham discounts the one piece of evidence that there is -- the person who is making claims of an affair is the one who says he had an affair with her.
Of course, claiming rumors of a candidate's affair shouldn't be reported because the only evidence is the person the candidate had an affair with says so runs completely counter to the MRC's history, which eagerly reported claims by Paula Jones and Gennifer Flowers of affairs with Bill Clinton when there was no other evidence.
For 9instance, a November 1994 MRC MediaWatch laments that "the national media" won't dig into "the questions surrounding Clinton's personal life": "The stories of Gennifer Flowers or the state troopers on Clinton's personal security detail have been downplayed, as have the sexual harassment claims of Paula Jones."
Since Graham's post appeared, the man who claimed to have an affair with Haley has released a series of text messages on the issue. Is that enough evidence for Graham?
The MASH television spectacle of Corporal Klinger wearing women’s dresses to get out of the military may now give way to the Pentagon actually permitting transgendered male soldiers to openly wear women’s military uniforms. This is what repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” could mean.
While some might scoff at the idea of transgendered soldiers ever serving in the Armed Forces, the transgendered are an essential component of the so-called LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered) community pushing repeal of the military’s homosexual exclusion policy.
Don’t forget that the Obama Administration has already claimed credit for the first openly transgendered appointee to the federal bureaucracy–a man/woman at the Commerce Department named Mitchell/Amanda Simpson.
Kincaid also repeats his hateful disease-ridden-gay meme:
One major problem is not in any sense comical. And that is that, since male homosexuals are currently prohibited from donating blood, their entry into the Armed Forces could mean disease and death for those who come into contact with their blood and bodily fluids on the battlefields of the world. Male homosexuals have been prohibited from donating blood because they carry life-threatening and deadly diseases such as HIV/AIDS.
Here’s what our media will carefully omit from their coverage of this matter: a decision to repeal the policy known as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT) would mean that gay soldiers could be put in the position of donating infected blood to other soldiers in desperate need of blood transfusions. So a solder desperate for life-giving blood could die as a result of the transfusion from a gay soldier.
By the same token, a profusely bleeding gay soldier could threaten those caring for him on the battlefield, ultimately taking the lives of his fellow soldiers.
Consider that the U.S. Government has already spent $200 billion on HIV/AIDS and no cure or vaccine has been found. Meanwhile, gays flaunt their lifestyle, engaging in dangerous sexual practices like bare-backing, a form of anal intercourse in which one partner is HIV positive and the other is not and neither uses any form of protection at all. Despite the risks and the stakes–life and death–the experts say unsafe sexual practices are on the rise among male homosexuals.
It stands to reason that admitting open and active homosexuals would increase the number of troops coming down with HIV/AIDS, thus increasing the problems for the military and costing taxpayers billions of more dollars.
Kincaid concludes: "My foreign policy non-profit America’s Survival, Inc, has produced a new video on the dangers of gay soldiers and gay blood. You won’t find this information in the media." Apparently, we won't find it at America's Survival either -- as of this writing, the link Kincaid supplies returns a "page cannot be found" error, and it appears not to be anywhere else on the America's Survival website.
Glenn Beck Cribs From WND Columnist Topic: WorldNetDaily
Glenn Beck went on a tear about "global governance" on his May 25 Fox News show, starting with a series of quotes on the subject he appears to have lifted form a May 22 WorldNetDaily column by Henry Lamb.
A May 24 WorldNetDaily article quotes Brian Sussman, author of the WND-published book "Climategate," attacking Al Gore for saying the Gulf of Mexico oil leak was "spilling out the equivalent of one Exxon Valdez oil spill every four days":
"The Gulf leak is oozing roughly 5,000 barrels of oil per day," countered Sussman. "The 1989 Exxon Valdez spill in the Alaska poured 250,000 barrels of oil into Prince William Sound. At the current rate of 5,000 barrels per day, it will take the Gulf leak 50 days to total the Exxon Valdez."
Gore may be wrong, but so is Sussman. As we detailed when S.E. Cupp made a similar claim, experts peg the spill at around 70,000 barrels a day. Further, BP -- from whom the 5,000-barrels-a-day figure first emanated -- has essentially conceded that the spill is a lot larger than that.
In a May 25 post on her blog (warning: her blog tends to get infected with malware, so click at your own risk), Taitz speculates about WND's sudden embrace of the angle of allegedly multiple Social Security numbers used by Barack Obama -- and spills some interesting details about how birthers make use of WND's mailing list, and how WND profits from it:
WHY WND DIDN’T WRITE ABOUT OBAMA SS FRAUD FOR A YEAR AND A HALF, THAT I HAVE BEEN WRITING ABOUT IT? Posted on | May 25, 2010 | No Comments Svetlana Submitted on 2010/05/24 at 9:58pm
I just don’t understand why WND didn’t run with the SSN story long time ago ???
Answer from Orly: I can’t tell for sure. I have been outspoken about SS fraud for a year and a half now. For the first time that I remember speaking about it publicly, was a press conference at the National Press Club December 12, 2008. It was shown on C-span. I included this info in all the pleadings. When my site was hacked and erroneous messages of malware were posted by Google, some were blaming me, now of course, anyone who writes about Obama’s SS fraud, experiences hacking of his web site and malware warnings from Google.
I sought mass e-mailing through WND, however it can be done in 2 ways only: either by splitting donations in half, and I don’t have a set up for this. Pay pal told me that they can’t do it, they can’t split donation in half, or it can be done by paying their fee, which is high. WND charges $9,000 for one round of mass e-mails to 300,000 of their readers. Other conservative publications charge $12,000-$18,000 for one round of e-mails. For example, when Gary Kreep sends his monthly appeals for donation, he splits donations in half with WND or pays a fixed fee of $9,000 for one time use of their 300,000 e-mail addresses of their readers, who might donate. If he sends his mass e-mail through Newsmax, he pays $12,000-$18,000 to Newsmax every time he sends a mass e-mail. Same is with the Republican pack. It was just too expensive for me to push.
Recently I took out a full page ad in Wash times, which is a competitor of WND. They charged me $1,200 for the ad. It was much more affordable. Wash Times writer John Spokes has written a lengthy article about it on his own blog. When WND writer Jerome Corsi saw my pleadings and Wash Times ad and the article by John Spokes, he decided to copy it and write an article in WND and went on Jeff Kuhner show in DC and spoke about it. Too bad, that when he went to this Jeff Kuhner show, he didn’t mention that the material came from my pleadings. O, well, that’s life.
So, I don’t know, why exactly they didn’t advertise this issue that much for a year and a half that I’ve been speaking and writing about it. Maybe, the reason is in the fact that Gary Kreep was paying a lot in advertising dollars and I wasn’t, so they wanted to promote him more, that is why people were getting a lot of e-mails asking for donations for United States Justice Foundation- which is Gary Kreep. That why most donations went to Kreep and WND, while I got very little in terms of donations, even though I brought most of legal actions, traveled all over the nation to popularise the issue and currently spent a fortune on my campaign for CA sec of state, to clean up elections in my capacity as a secretary of state. WND still have written about me, as it was news and promoted the paper, and it’s standing in ratings, it brought advertisers to them, but all the targeted appeals for donations went to Gary Kreep because of the financial deal made by Gary Kreep with WND.
At this point the most important thing is to bring Obama to justice. Let the bygons be bygons. It will help me though, if people spread the word and help with me with donations to my campaign and legal actions.
If Taitz is to be believed, this is interesting stuff. WND is being more accomodating to Kreep than it is to Taitz and is even willing to split the donation money raised. This raises questions about ethics, since it's yet more evidence that WND directly profits from its birther activism. Further, Kreep has had a relationship with WND as far back as 2002 -- a relationship it frequently fails to disclose when reporting on Kreep's birther-related activities, which is yet another ethical breach -- so this has been quite lucrative for Kreep as well.
Also of note is the relative bargain price for use of WND's mailing list compared to use of Newsmax's mailing list. That may be a reflection of Newsmax's efforts to appeal to a more affluent demographic. (Newsmax, by the way, has its own ethical issues in its relationship with Dick Morris.)
WND's lack of ethical behavior is just one more reason it can't be trusted on anything it reports.
Jerome Corsi goes into a laughable spasm of fearmongering in a May 24 WorldNetDaily article:
If President Obama repeals the Bush tax cuts and imposes a 20 percent value added tax, or VAT, on the U.S., Americans may be facing tax rates where more than half of everything earned is confiscated by the federal government in the form of income taxes, Jerome Corsi's Red Alert reports.
Add Social Security taxes and the tax burden quickly advances to more than 60 percent.
"Adding state property and income taxes to the burden, the amount government confiscates could be in the 75 percent range before Americans have a chance to vote Obama out of office in 2012," Corsi wrote. "Are Americans willing to be taxed 75 percent of every dollar earned?"
"In a five-day work week, will Americans be willing to work four days for the government?" Corsi asked.
Let's see, how many ways is Corsi wrong here?
1) Obama has never said he would "repeal" all the Bush tax cuts -- indeed, there is no "repeal" at all, since the cuts will expire by law. Obama's 2010 budget would retain the tax cuts for everyone except those making over $250,000.
2) No proposal has been formally introduced to add a VAT, let alone a VAT of 20 percent -- indeed, it's not even being considered. Corsi also baselessly assumes that should a VAT be instituted, other federal taxes would not go down. This is just straight-up fearmongering.
3) Federal income taxes are marginal -- higher tax rates apply to income above certain amounts, not the entire income. So Corsi's claim that Americans will be "taxed 75 percent of every dollar earned" is a flat-out lie because no American would ever be taxed 75 percent on all income.
4) Income over $106,800 is not subject to Social Security taxes; Corsi is making another misleading suggestion that all income is subject to the tax.
But then, Corsi is a sucky economist, so it's no surprise he would get basic taxation wrong too.
In a May 17 NewsBusters post, Geoffrey Dickens was offended that one of the viral videos NBC's Meredith Vieira cited to mark YouTube's fifth anniversary was the 2006 clip of George Allen, then a Republican candidate for a Virginia Senate seat, calling a staffer for opponent James Webb who was videotaping Allen's campaign appearance "macaca." Dickens huffed that Vieira's highlighting of the video and noting that it "sunk" Allen was an "unexpected cheap shot," adding: "Vieira failed to point out what really drove the hits to the Allen video were the Democratic Party of Virginia and all of its enablers in the liberal media like NBC, CBS, ABC, CNN, MSNBC and of course the Washington Post."
Kyle Drennen, while not as huffy as his MRC colleague Dickens, documented in a May 24 post that the "Macaca moment" also appeared in YouTube anniversary pieces by CBS' Katie Couric and CNN's Howard Kurtz.
Um, guys? It's been nearly four years now. Time to suck up that macaca and move on.
When Mr. Obama speaks, my heart fills with anger instead of the pride I used to feel with past presidents. To me, this man can't possibly be the president of the United States. Presidents defend their nations; they don't attack them.
Our attorney general is no better. When I see him squirm and obfuscate when answering simple questions, I sense a great void of justice filled with "hate America" spin. The lawyer of the American people prefers to make excuses for foreigners who break the laws he has sworn to uphold and enforce.
And when Janet Napolitano addressed failed terrorist attacks and the potential for further attacks, I felt a lack of security, not an enhancement thereof. She instills fear with her lack of understanding, and yet she is tasked to keep the nation safe? Her disregard of the seriousness of the threats against us is bone chilling.
We have come to a point in America where those of us who love this country shutter each time the president takes the podium, knowing somehow during his remarks he will reveal his deep animosity toward this nation. As much as he appears to dislike America, why in the world would he want to be her leader?
I join the growing group of Americans that is embarrassed by Mr. Obama and his goons.
When the House is returned to competent, sane hands in November and Nancy and Harry are sent to their rooms without dessert, Congress will resume the role of keeping the executive branch accountable. Congress will stand up and defend our nation against the seething attacks of Obama. Fiscal sanity will also return as our representatives listen to the people and not the polls.
And within a decade our ship will be sailing for smoother waters. It'll be a ship less burdened with bureaucrats and waste – a ship that has thrown all the liberals overboard where they belong.
CNS Takes Berwick Out of Context Topic: CNSNews.com
A May 24 CNSNews.com article by Fred Lucas takes the words of Donald Berwick, President Obama’s nominee to head the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, out of context to claim that -- through uncritically quoting Republican Sen. Pat Roberts -- the Obama administration is "implicitly admitting" that health care reform will lead to rationing of health care.
In fact, Berwick has pointed out that insurance companies also ration health care, and that is the context in which Berwick was speaking.
It's not until the fifth paragraph that Lucas quotes a White House official as saying, "The fact is, rationing is rampant in the system today, as insurers make arbitrary decisions about who can get the care they need. Don Berwick wants to see a system in which those decisions are transparent – and that the people who make them are held accountable."
Lucas also quotes Roberts as saying, "I am opposed to rationing whether it is done by the government or by an insurance company," but no evidence is offered that Roberts has done anything to address health care rationing by insurance companies.
Further, Lucas highlights Berwick's comment that "Any health care funding plan that is just, equitable, civilized, and humane must – must – redistribute wealth from the richer among us to the poorer and less fortunate" without noting that programs such as Medicare and Medicaid are inherently redistributive, or that even right-wing radio host Laura Ingrham has said on Bill O'Reilly's Fox News show that Berwick is right: "[O]f course, every safety net, Bill, and you and I are both in favor of there being a safety net where people don't go untreated, where people who need help get help. Obviously to pay for those people, it's obviously going to involve taxes and taxes come from people who make a living and make income. So that part is right."
Finally, Lucas fails to allow anyone in the Obama administration or any Berwick supporter to respond to Roberts' attacks on Berwick so readers would have a fair and balanced examination of Berwick's views.