Shapiro Misleads About Black Farmers' Settlement Topic: CNSNews.com
Ben Shapiro's July 29 syndicated column, published at CNSNews.com, attacks Shirley Sherrod as a "Marxist" as well as a "racial separatist and quasi-shakedown artist." He continues:
Along with her racist husband Charles Sherrod (“We must stop the white man and his Uncle Tom from stealing our elections”), Shirley founded New Communities, Inc. in 1969 with money from the Office of Economic Opportunity. New Communities was essentially a commune-style black farm that failed to turn any sort of profit. The USDA didn’t give it further loans. So, the Sherrods sued as part of the Pigford v. Glickman class action suit, an enormous lawsuit against the USDA by black farmers. The government settled the case for billions of dollars, awarding New Communities $13 million, including $150,000 each for Charles and Shirley for “pain and suffering.” It was the single largest payout in the settlement.
Pigford itself is, at least in large part, a scam. According to Rep. Steve King, who I interviewed on my radio show, the vast majority of payouts under Pigford are fraudulent. In excess of 80,000 “black farmers” have taken advantage of the Pigford settlement, despite the fact that during the period the lawsuit covers, there were only 16,000 black farmers in the entire country.
Shapiro misleads about the number of farmers involved. The 16,000 number is the number of black farmers that received money under the original Pigford settlement -- not the number of "black farmers in the entire country." But notification and communication errorskept some farmers from being included under that settlement, so earlier this year, the Obama administration announced a $1.25 billion settlement to cover those farmers.
Approximately 80,000 farmers have applied for money under this settlement, known as Pigford II -- where Shapiro is presumably getting his latter number from -- but Congress has yet to fund the appropriation, and even the head of the National Black Farmers Association has said that only about half of that 80,000 will receive money, presumably because claims will be investigated before money is paid out.
A company working on behalf of a Las Vegas newspaper has filed a spate of copyright-infringement lawsuits against as many as 80 individuals and publications since March, and now bloggers reveal the CEO may have crossed paths with Barack and Michelle Obama during their stints at a Chicago law firm.
According to Wired.com, copyright group Righthaven has filed more than 80 federal lawsuits against websites and bloggers who posted articles from the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
According to his online work profile, Steven A. Gibson, CEO of Righthaven, studied law at the Chicago-Kent University of Law and graduated with honors in 1990. The Godlike Productions blog noted Gibson worked as an associate at corporate law firm Sidley Austin LLP – the Chicago firm where Obama met his wife.
As WND reported, Michelle Obama was an associate at Sidley Austin from 1988 to 1991. Her specialty was marketing and intellectual property.
That's right -- WND is claiming that Gibson is doing the bidding of the Obama administration by enforcing copyrights -- an issue of intellectual property rights, not a political issue -- because he might have worked with one Obama or another 20 years ago.
Actors love to display their "range," but it might be sad for fans of HBO's John Adams miniseries to see Paul Giamatti go from Founding Father to Soviet dictator. Tom Hanks and his PlayTone Productions, who made the Adams project, are now preparing a film on Nikita Khruschev's 1959 trip to America.
And that's pretty much the point of Graham's post -- he's offended that an actor would play both John Adams and Khruschev.
Even the comment thread is largely confused by why this post exists.
Bozell Rushes to Fellow Libeler Breitbart's Defense Topic: Media Research Center
Media Research Center president Brent Bozell issued a statement following Shirley Sherrod's announcement that she will sue Andrew Breitbart for libel:
"Andrew Breitbart is going to be fine. He's done nothing wrong. I wonder if Ms. Sherrod, who is such a champion of transparency, will publicly disclose who is putting her up to this. And I also hope this champion of honesty will stop lying about Fox News. I'm also waiting for Ms. Sherrod to publicly apologize for accusing anyone opposed to nationalized healthcare of being racist. Last time I checked, that was more than half the country."
Of course Bozell is rushing to Breitbart's defense -- if Breitbart is guilty of libel, then Bozell is too. Plus, Bozell has a track record of getting sued for libel and paying seven-figure sums to settle such lawsuits.
Libelers need to stick together, and that's what Bozell is doing by bonding himself to Breitbart.
Obama (And 'The View') Derangement Syndrome Watch Topic: WorldNetDaily
One could forgive [Obama] for attending an urgent meeting with Hamid Karzai, his intelligence chiefs or even his pathetic economic team. Better still if he had scheduled a meeting with a cadre of experienced economists who actually know the difference between a government giveaway and an economic stimulus, who are smart enough – and honest enough – to have paid their taxes. Wow! That would be a momentous event worthy of his undivided attention – but no!
The Boy Scouts were dissed just so he could appear on "The View" with a group of vacuous airheads. Instead of encouraging a group of young, highly motivated achievers, Obama chose to discuss political issues on a program that is designed to appeal to welfare queens and other mentally challenged ne'er-do-wells, who park themselves on couches to watch the drivel on daytime television.
Media Matters highlights WorldNetDaily's latest desperate attempt to stop Elena Kagan from becoming a Supreme Court justice (and, not so coincidentially, continue to fleece its readers of $24.95 for mailing letters to senators): hauling out the laughable Larry Klayman to claim he's planning to get Kagan disbarred for allegedly having "altered an official scientific report used as evidence by the Supreme Court to persuade the justices to overturn bans on partial-birth abortion."
Of course she didn't. Nor did she "ban the U.S. military from recruiting on campus." Nor is she "anti-military."
In this silly little promotion of Klayman, WND once again breached journalistic ethic by failing to disclose that Klayman has done legal work for WND, most recently its crybaby lawsuit against the White House Correspondents Association for failing to give WND as many tables as it demanded for the correspondents dinner.
WND's Conspiratorial Freak-Out Over Compulsory Service Idea Topic: WorldNetDaily
Chelsea Schilling gets downright conspiratorial in a July 27 WorldNetDaily article claiming that Rep. Charles Rangel introduced a bill reinstating "compulsory military draft during wartime and require U.S. citizens not selected for military duty to perform a 'national-service obligation' – as defined by President Obama – for a minimum of two years."
Schilling's first response to the bill was to invoke a conspiracy website: She wrote how "Prison Planet writer Rob Dew" wrote, "This echoes the sentiment of President Obama who asked Congress in February 2009 to send him a bipartisan bill in the spirit of national service."
Prison Planet is the website of conspiracy theorist extrordinaire Alex Jones. And Dew said a lot more about the bill than what Schilling quoted:
But even Emanuel aims low looking at only 18 to 25 year olds for three months of compulsory service. Under this new legislation nearly all, able bodied Americans will be sentenced to two years of forced labor. The infrastructure is already in place for those unwilling to participate in mandatory service and now the army is looking to fill it’s ranks with Interment/Resettlement Specialists.
There are very few loopholes to opt of out national service, even CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTORS (SEC. 109) will be forced to choose the mandatory option of A. noncombatant service (as defined by the President) or B. national civilian service. It seems the congressional commission on civic service will no longer be needed thanks to the hard work of a suspected Congressional tax cheat from New York.
The slavery bill is currently in debate in the House Committee on Armed Services chaired by Rep Ike Skelton a democrat from Missouri. Those who oppose mandatory slavery should contact Rep. Skelton. Many bills die in committee and this bill should meet the same fate.
Schilling didn't link to Dew's post. We can't imagine why.
But Schilling -- who as we've detailed is not unfamiliar with quoting conspracy theorists -- wasn't done.
As first reported by WND during Obama's presidential campaign, Obama himself called for a "civilian national-security force" July 2, 2008, in Colorado Springs, Colo.
"We cannot continue to rely on our military in order to achieve the national-security objectives that we've set," he said. "We've got to have a civilian national-security force that's just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded."
This is in reference to a favorite bogus WND story -- that Obama wants to start his own private army. In fact, Obama was talking about beefing up the diplomatic corps so that it's "able to deploy teams that combine agricultural specialists and engineers and linguists and cultural specialists who are prepared to go into some of the most dangerous areas alongside our military."
New Article: A Libel Lawsuit Waiting to Happen Topic: Media Research Center
Media Research Center chief Brent Bozell acts recklessly by smearing Shirley Sherrod as a racist based only on Andrew Breitbart's misleadingly edited videos. Not only won't he apologize, the rest of the MRC is trying to change the subject. Read more >>
A July 27 WorldNetDaily article rehashes birther-related claims made in Aaron Klein's Obama hate book, "The Manchurian President." There are a couple things missing.
WND repeats Klein's contention that "Obama may not fit the constitutional eligibility requirement that stipulates only 'natural born' citizens can serve as U.S. president." But as we've detailed, Klein is merely repeating arguments made by birther lawyers promoted by WND, and he makes no mention whatsoever in his book of legal arguments that contradict his claim that Obama is not a "natural born citizen."
WND makes an omission of its own: As we've also detailed, Klein wrote in his book that he found "no convincing evidence that Obama was born in Kenya, nor that his birthplace was any place other than Hawaii, his declared state of birth." That statement is nowhere to be found in the WND article -- perhaps because it contradicts WND's own reporting.
The MRC vs. Pop Music Topic: Media Research Center
July has been I Hate Pop Music Month for the professional prudes at the MRC's Culture & Media Center.
A July 9 CMI article by Katie Bell criticized NBC's "Today" for allowing Lady Gaga to perform:
Gaga’s “Today” show performance would have been best suited for an evening concert in which the kiddos were left with grandparents or sitters. Many young children were present at the July 9 outdoor morning performance.
But “Today” did not seem to mind the tawdry costumes and suggestive dance moves.
Bell was further offended that Lady Gaga "still managed to squeeze in her gay agenda, and the family-friendly Today Show allowed it."
On July 15, Alana Goodman got offended by what she thinks she heard -- not what was actually there -- in an M.I.A. song:
A controversial new pop song might have young music fans unwittingly singing about burkas, the Taliban and, especially, loving Allah.
Pop singer phenomenon Maya Arulpragasam, also known as M.I.A., has released a new song called “Lovalot” that has raised eyebrows among music reviewers, some of whom say the lyrics show M.IA.’s sympathy for radical Muslim suicide bombers.
Probably one of the most controversial parts of the song is the chorus, where M.I.A. repeats the phrase “I really love a lot” in such a way that it undeniably sounds like “I really love Allah.”
It was back to more Gaga-bashing, with Sarah Knoploh excoriating Newsweek for committing the offense of saying something nice about her music videos. The writer, Knoploh huffed, "point out how inappropriate her music videos truly are."
The video for the song "Telephone," Knoploh declares, is "full of nudity and suggestive dancing" and "is so inappropriate that YouTube requires viewers to confirm they are 18 years old to view it." Knoploh seems not to understand that mature scenes are not necessarily synonymous with lack of quality.
Knoploh has a funny definition of "inappropriate," given that she considers condoning the deaths of abortion doctors to be entirely appropriate.
Newsmax Slow-Walked Gibson, Pounces on Stone Topic: Newsmax
We recently noted how it took Newsmax more than two weeks to report on Mel Gibson's latest hateful tirade -- and even then, James Hirsen was making excuses for him. Other celebrities don't get that kind of protection.
So when director Oliver Stone blamed a focus on the Holocaust on "Jewish domination of the media,” Newsmax was Johnny-on-the-spot with a July 26 article.
Hirsen was quick on the draw as well, mixing Stone with his latest apologetic Gibson coverage -- in fact, his item is built around Stone's prediction (which echoed Hirsen's own fervent desire) that Gibson's career hasn't been completely destroyed by his hateful rantings, which Stone agrees with. To his credit, Hirsen writes that Gibson is "a business associate and friend," disclosure he wasn't interested in making when he was playing defense for Gibson over "The Passion of the Christ" and his previous hateful rantings.
Hirsen actually doesn't mention the remarks that drew interest on Newsmax's news side but, rather, another comment that government should be in charge of health care and energy. "This is unabashed Marxism," Hirsen harrumphed. So this just may be extrordinarily bad timing on Hirsen's part -- Stone is probably the wrong guy to vouch for Stone this particular week.
WND Elevates Anonymous Comment to Headline Topic: WorldNetDaily
Here's the latest banal, biased White House press briefing question from Les Kinsolving, per a July 26 WorldNetDaily article:
Kinsolving asked, "What assurance has the president received from his secretary of state that in 2012 she will not run for president?"
"I am unaware of any assurance that this president needs about his secretary of state," responded Gibbs, declining even to mention Clinton's name.
Of course, Kinsolving didn't use Clinton's name either, so pointing out that Gibbs didn't use it is utterly irrelevant.
But here's the headline on this article: "Democrat says he'd pick Hillary, Satan before Obama." Surely it must have been an at least somewhat prominent Democrat making this statement, given that WND elevated it to headline status. Um, no:
Wrote one forum participant at the U.S. News & World Report magazine website, "If Hillary Clinton is not the Democratic nominee in 2012 I am voting for the Republican. I don't care if the Republican is Satan. Obama stole the nomination from Hillary Clinton in 2008. I once was a Democrat. I will never vote for another Democrat if they don't get it together."
That's right -- WND turned an anoymous comment in a comment thread into a headline. WND puts a lot of stock in anonymous sources, despite -- or perhaps because of -- editor Joseph Farah's statement that they are "usually quotes made up out of whole cloth to help make the story read better."
AIM Baselessly Defends Breitbart Topic: Accuracy in Media
A July 23 Accuracy inMedia article by Roger Aronoff runs to the defense of Andrew Breitbart, who is "now accused of starting this fire and fanning the flames" of the Shirley Sherrod story by the "mob mentality":
First, there is no evidence that Breitbart “heavily edited” the piece, as a number of sources have charged. And secondly, the larger point he was making is correct. The NAACP had made a decision a week earlier to brand the Tea Party Movement as racist, and in the final draft of a resolution at their annual convention, backtracked slightly to say that the Tea Party movement should repudiate the racist elements in its midst.
Aronoff goes on to approvingly quote National Review's Andy McCarthy whitewashing things: “Clearly, there were parts of the tape left on the cutting room floor that should have been considered in conjunction with the parts Andrew published—and knowing Andrew, he would have published them if he’d had them."
Whether Breitbart personally "heavily edited" the Sherrod video is beside the point -- he posted the misleading video knowing he did not have the full tape and likely knowing the story it told was false.
But Aronoff is not done sucking up:
Breitbart is a good man who has created a cutting edge New Journalism franchise. AIM honored him this year at CPAC, and here was his speech on the bias and corruption of the mainstream media upon accepting the award, primarily for his role in helping to expose ACORN as a corrupt organization. Watch this before judging him too harshly.
Aronoff doesn't mention that those ACORN videos were heavily edited too, in a way that distorted the truth -- law enforcement officials agree.
Apparently, Aronoff thinks it's OK to lie and deceive as long as the conservative agenda is advanced in doing so. After all, he does work under the same roof as Cliff Kincaid.
MRC Offended By Factual Description of ACORN Videos Topic: Media Research Center
In the midst of a July 26 MRC TimesWatch item taking umbrage at the New York Times for highlighting the media's "misleading coverage" of the Shirley Sherrod story (which he treats as yet another reason to bash the Times' purported liberal bias), Clay Waters complained that the Times described Andrew Breitbart's ACORN videos as "heavily edited tapes":
"Heavily edited tapes" seems to be the liberally approved phrase to place in front of mentions of the ACORN scandal these days. It's cropped up in several recent Times stories, including Stelter's.
For all his complaining, Waters doesn't deny the claim -- because he can't. The videos were indeed heavily edited, and Breitbart has so far refused to publicly release the unedited videos. Authorities in New York and California, in declining to press charges against ACORN, have pointed out that, in the words of one official, Breitbart, James O'Keefe and Hannah Giles "edited the tape to meet their agenda."
Waters is not the only MRC employee to take offense at accurate descriptions of Breitbart's ACORN tapes. A July 25 NewsBusters post by Tim Graham, responding to Rachel Maddow pointing out that "ACORN has been exonerated by prosecutors in New York City and by the attorney general of California and by the U.S. Government Accountability Office. Not that you've heard any of that reported on Fox," by trying to change the subject:
(Here's what you didn't hear reported on Maddow. Jerry Brown, the leftist Attorney General of California, denounced "partisan" media in his report on ACORN, but also "pointed out that ACORN probably violated state civil laws by disposing of thousands of pages containing confidential information about employees, members and other individuals in a trash bin, failing to file a 2007 state tax return and engaging in four instances of possible voter registration fraud in San Diego." That's hardly an "exoneration" you boast about.)
What you won't hear about from Graham is that Breitbart and Co. originally claimed that his crew's dumpster-diving uncovered evidence of "obstruction of justice" -- a charge ultimately not supported. Or that the Breitbart crew may well have broken the law by breaking into a caged dumpster to steal those ACORN documents.