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Friday, August 20, 2010
WND's Even-More-Anti-Gay-Than-Usual Week
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Joseph Farah's arrogant lecture of Ann Coulter on how "homosexuality literally destroys societies" is not the only entry in today's edition of WorldNetDaily's even-more-anti-gay-than-usual week. Alan Keyes also joins in the gay-bashing fun:

As I understand it that old expression refers to the maxim that, though the Great Deceiver can appear in many alluring human disguises, the discerning can see through them because he must always have a place to hide his tail. It's his "tell," as the poker players might say. I was reminded of that when I read of Joseph Farah's reason for dropping Ann Coulter from the list of speakers at WND's Taking America Back National Conference. Of course, it also came to my mind as I read of Glenn Beck's careless belittling of the "gay marriage" issue during an interview on Bill O'Reilly's show. (By the way, O'Reilly's "tell" is his so called "pro-choice" position on the unalienable right to life.) For Coulter, Beck and other acclaimed so-called conservatives, the gay agenda is their political "tell."

As I pointed out in a recent blog post, "It is no accident that the elite forces seeking to overturn government of by and for the people are using issues like homosexual marriage and abortion to challenge and overturn the American people's assertion of the God-endowed right to sovereignty over the Constitution. These are issues that involve the assumption that a right is an arbitrary exercise of freedom which in no way depends for its existence on respect for God or the natural law arising from His will as our Creator." (On my blog I have written extensively on the corrosive effect the acceptance of "gay marriage" must have on the foundations of America's constitutional, democratic republic. I have collected these writings in the series "Free to be Slaves" for the benefit of readers who want to explore the subject further.)


One last observation: Beck's display of contempt for the "gay marriage" issue is clear evidence that he has no respect for the political authority of God. Is it just a coincidence that it comes shortly before an event meant to promote him as a pious and principled advocate of the Constitution? The "Restoring Honor Rally" is clearly meant to cement his MSM-scripted role as the spokesman for that majority of tea-party patriots, who sincerely revere God's place as the author of all unalienable right. The MSM will undoubtedly tout attendance at the event as evidence of support for his patently false view that promotion of "gay marriage" poses no threat to our Constitution, sovereignty and liberty; that the majority of Americans are willing to allow the legal abandonment of the natural family and a redefinition of rights that makes them figments of government power rather than authoritative assertions of God's will for justice.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:07 PM EDT
MRC Back to Hating Supermarket Tabloids Again
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's latest love affair with supermarket tabloids is apparently over.

In an Aug. 20 NewsBusters post (and TimesWatch item), Tim Graham huffed that it was "shocking" to see the New York Times "spreading the latest headlines from the Globe supermarket tabloid" in a story about misperceptions that President Obama is a Muslim:

This must be more publicity for a Globe tabloid concoction than you'd see out of Fox News or the Rush Limbaugh program. But it's used to illustrate how the president is bedeviled by lies. Stolberg didn't seem to consider that the Globe and other supermarket tabloids also published stories about Laura Bush divorcing President Bush, of Bush is "back on the bottle," and so on. But that didn't seem to outrage the New York Times.

This is a change from two years ago, when the various MRC operations were touting tabloids for exposing John Edwards' extramarital affair; Graham himself complained back then that the media was "ignoring the National Enquirer’s tale of John Edwards visiting what the tabloid claims is his mistress and the mother of his child."

The ConWeb, including the MRC, has flip-flopped on tabloids for years, promoting them when they attack liberals and denouncing them when they stop being useful by highlighting conservative scandals.

Further, as Media Matters' Jamison Foser notes, Graham's complaint that the media didn't express concern about tabloids that "published stories about Laura Bush divorcing President Bush" ignores the fact that the media repeated similar tabloid stories about the Clintons. Foser adds: "Would [Graham] be happy if the Times had responded to Globe reports of a coming Bush divorce by devoting 2,000 words to tallying up the number of nights the couple spent apart? Of course not: He’d have denounced it as evidence of “liberal bias,” and he’d still be doing so for years to come."

Posted by Terry K. at 2:08 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, August 20, 2010 2:11 PM EDT
Farah: I'm Just Doing Anti-Gay Outreach
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Joseph Farah uses his August 20 WorldNetDaily column to take another stab at bashing Ann Coulter for daring to talk to gay people and, of course, promoting his anti-gay agenda.

Farah writes:

She expressed anger that WND had quoted from an e-mail exchange between the two of us.

"He's a swine for using my private e-mails politely answering him," she wrote. "Why would he do such a despicable thing … for PUBLICITY."

The evidence that I am a "publicity whore," according to Coulter, is that my "promotion of the birther nonsense (long ago disproved by my newspaper, Human Events, also Sweetness & Light, American Spectator and National Review, etc., etc., etc.) He's the only allegedly serious conservative pushing the birther thing. For ONE reason: to get his hits on his website."

There's more angry vitriol, which you can read for yourself, if you like.

Actually, Coulter's evidence -- as Farah just quoted -- is that Farah put Coulter's private emails in a WND story without her knowledge or permission. Farah doesn't respond to that claim, instead insisting that WND's birther obsession "has cost WND dearly." The only evidence Farah provides of that? "I have not appeared on even one television news show for the last 15 months as a direct result of my commitment to this issue." Really? That's it?

Farah then reprinted his letter to Coulter urging her to withdraw from her speech at Homocon, sponsored by the gay conservative group GOProud, in which he reveals not only his hatred of gays but also his arrogance, prefacing it by claiming he sent the sameletter to "a personality more famous and popular than Coulter," who "immediately saw the light and made a correction":

Homosexuality is a sin, according to the Bible. God calls it an abomination. Paul (Romans 1:18-32) calls it a judgment on societies that turn away from God. I'm sure it has not escaped your attention that America is now one of those societies. Meanwhile, we have people – homosexual and heterosexual – who take pleasure in the increase of this abomination and its acceptance, just as Paul said.

This is how homosexuality literally destroys societies.

I know you don't want to see America destroyed. I've read all your books, and I'm a fan of your columns. I know you want what's best for our country – and I believe you're a sincere Christian.

Whether you believe it or not, or whether or not it is your intent, your acceptance of this speaking engagement is affirming GOProud, which is, I'm sure you've noticed, winning the hearts and minds in the conservative movement – with CPAC, Grover Norquist and others who don't necessarily bring a Judeo-Christian worldview to the party. GOProud is having a field day marketing you and legitimizing itself further in the conservative movement through its association with you.


Speaking to this group is not the same as speaking to a group of college students anywhere. Presumably, you speak to them not just for money, but to change their minds. The only way you might change some minds and hearts at Homocon is to confront them with their sin. I don't get the impression that is what you are being paid to do. These are folks who are being sheltered from the consequences of their sin. By giving a standard conservative rah-rah speech to them, you are embracing them as part of the conservative movement.

GOProud truly represents a blight on the conservative movement. The more the movement embraces them and accepts them, the more it will render the conservative movement useless and irrelevant.

Farah, by the way, spent yesterday's column complaining that "I can't even count how many times I've written in books and columns about why I am not a 'conservative.'" Why is he now declaring himself as the arbiter of what the conservative movement should do? He can't have it both ways.

Farah claimed: "It's important to know that my communications with Ann prior to our decision was part of a broader effort to reach out to several media celebrities who seemed to be compromising on a critical moral issue." He has arrogantly set himself up as a moral arbiter who possesses the One True Way.

But will Farah have the true courage of his convictions and ultimately ban Coulter from WND, which he has thus far refused to do?  Or does Farah love the traffic (and related revenue) Coulter drives to WND too much to make that leap?

Posted by Terry K. at 1:27 PM EDT
NewsBusters Heathering Watch
Topic: NewsBusters

An Aug. 19 NewsBusters post by Tim Graham goes on a fit of Heathering against Joe Scarborough for being, in the words of a GQ profile of him, "the conservative liberals suddenly think is swell." Graham snarked:

GQ isn't really paying attention if they think Scarborough is a calm voice of civility when earlier this week, he denounced Newt Gingrich for hours as a "political pyromaniac" over the Ground Zero mosque fight. He was coming unglued. He sounded like he was hitting the boss, Steve Capus, on speed-dial during the commercial breaks: "How'd you like that! Another breakthrough in civility!"

A puff piece in GQ is only the latest piece of evidence that Joe Scarborough is seeking to please the liberal media elite.

Graham -- speaking as a member of the conservative media elite -- has thus decreed that any real conservative can't possibly be liked by liberals.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:29 AM EDT
Was Fox Really Unaware Newsmax Was Using O’Reilly to Sell Financial Schemes?
Topic: Newsmax

The New York Times’ Media Decoder blog reports on a CBS Moneywatch post highlighting Newsmax’s use of Bill O’Reilly for its latest financial scheme, this time a report instructing how to receive generous tax-free “IRS payouts” of $1,196 or more. Turns out it’s not as exciting as it sounds -- it’s about investing in municipal bonds, which Moneywatch calls “the dowager of the investment world.” Municipal bonds are tax-free, but their interest rates are low; to receive that promised $1,196 payout, according to Moneywatch, you have to purchase $2 million worth of municipal bonds. According to Moneywatch:

The faux news show (linked here) starts with an anchorman sitting at a desk in front of a glowing “Economic Crisis Summit” video screen. The anchor welcomes O’Reilly and gets him talking about Obama and taxes — O’Reilly’s normal bailiwick. Then he asks: “How can you invest in this treacherous environment?” O’Reilly suggests buying depressed stocks that pay dividends, which plays right into the anchor’s hand.

As soon as O’Reilly leaves, the next “guest” is a smarmy-looking “accountant” named Bill Spetrino, who purports to agree with O’Reilly and offers a newsletter called “The Dividend Machine.” But he adds that he has “something even better.” Spetrino maintains that he’s written a report about a “forgotten, seven-state Constitutional Clause” that guarantees generous tax-free “IRS payouts” of $1,196 or more. And, he’s agreed to provide this report “free” to viewers of the show produced by Newsmax.

Moneywatch updated its post to note that after it went up, Newsmax scrubbed O’Reilly from the newsletter. The Times reported that, according to Fox News, the interview O’Reilly gave was used by Newsmax for its financial scheme without his knowledge. “They took an interview that Bill did and used it for other purposes,” said Bill Shine, a Fox News executive vice president, adding that “we’re all disappointed in this.”

It’s highly unlikely that O’Reilly and Fox News were not aware that Newsmax was using O’Reilly to sell financial products until Moneywatch wrote about it. After all, Newsmax has been doing so for two months.

We (here and at Media Matters) documented in June how Newsmax was portraying O’Reilly as teaming up with Dick Morris -- a Fox News contributor and frequent O’Reilly guest -- for something called the “Economic Crisis Summit,” using anti-Obama fearmongering to, yes, promote another financial product, this one a $1,495 "hot commodities insider membership." Media Matters also reported on how Newsmax used O’Reilly in the video promoting the financial scheme. In that video, the Newsmax host says that O'Reilly was not "here to endorse anyone's point of view or to endorse product or financial service.” As he did in the video referenced by Moneywatch, O’Reilly promotes the purchase of depressed stocks. Also as in the video referenced by Moneywatch, after O’Reilly left, Newsmax began shilling for its financial product.

Given how often O’Reilly snipes at Media Matters, it can be assumed he reads the website on a regular basis. How did he miss those reports on Newsmax’s usage of him?

Newsmax may have scrubbed O’Reilly from from parts of its current promotion, but it is still running ads promoting O’Reilly’s participation in its “Economic Crisis Summit.” Here’s a screenshot of the front page of from earlier on Aug. 19:


It links to a webpage detailing Newsmax’s commodities package in which O’Reilly is not mentioned.

Given how long Newsmax has been making use of O’Reilly -- and given that fellow Fox News employee Morris has been shilling for Newsmax’s schemes for years -- does anyone really believe Fox News and O’Reilly weren’t aware of this until now?

(Cross-posted at Media Matters.)

Posted by Terry K. at 2:19 AM EDT
Thursday, August 19, 2010
WND Ratchets Up the Gay-Bashing
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily's ratcheted-up gay-bashing is not just a one-day deal -- WND has featured attacks on gays every day this week (and that's not counting its war with Ann Coulter for not hatinggays enough).

We already noted Tuesday's barrage of gay attacks by Joseph Farah, David Kupelian and Les Kinsolving. But there's been much more:

  • On Monday, there was a column by Nancy Pearcey asserting that homosexuality is a "denigration of physical anatomy."
  • On Wednesday, the officiant at Rush Limbaugh's latest wedding, Ken Hutcherson, declared that homosexuality "inarguably kills its participants," adding, "Oh, by the way, God wants His rainbow back!"
  • Today, Kupelian checks in again, claiming that the agenda of the gay conservative group GOProud -- Coulter's speech before which is the bone of contention between her and WND -- "sounds an awful lot like a mainline homosexual-rights organization pretending to be 'traditional conservative' and fooling Republicans." And Farah once again criticizes conservatives for not being as anti-gay as he is.

WND has always hated gays. It's just the theme of the week this time.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:00 PM EDT
NewsBusters' Sheppard Hides Facts About Rauf's Statements
Topic: NewsBusters

In an Aug. 19 NewsBusters post, Noel Sheppard issues a one-sided attack on Imam Feisel Abdul Rauf,who wants to build an Islamic community center near Ground Zero in New York. Sheppard quotes Rauf's statements on a post-9/11 edition of "60 Minutes" as evidence that Rauf is not "the moderate cleric so many in the media have been claiming he is," but he doesn't tell the full story.

Rauf's statement that "the United States policies were an accessory to the crime that happened" is a view also held by the 9/11 Commission and Glenn Beck, thus making it somewhat less than radical. As for Rauf's statement that "in the most direct sense, Osama bin Laden is made in the USA," Sheppard failed to highlight that "60 Minutes'" Ed Bradley backed up that assertion immediately after Rauf made the statement. From the "60 Minutes" link that Sheppard himself provides:

BRADLEY: Bin Laden and his supporters were in fact recruited and paid nearly $4 billion by the CIA and the government of Saudi Arabia in the 1980s to fight against the mujahadeen rebels against thte former Soviet Union, which had invaded Afghanistan. After the Soviets pulled out, the Saudis, our best friends in the Arab world, our staunchest ally during the Gulf War, poured hundreds of millions of dollars into the newly formed Taliban regime until 1999, when the Saudi government feared that bin Laden and the Taliban were out of control.

It seems that Rauf is doing a better job of telling the truth than Sheppard is.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:36 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, August 19, 2010 12:36 PM EDT
Coutler Fires Back At WND
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily's dumping of Ann Coulter from its "Taking America Back" conference brought a stinging rebuke by Coulter. The Daily Caller reports:

Conservative pundit Ann Coulter responded today to the announcement that WorldNetDaily was dropping her as a speaker for one of their events, calling WorldNetDaily Editor Joseph Farah a “publicity whore” and a “swine.”

Coulter was bumped from the speakers list of WND’s September “Taking America Back National Conference” after it was announced that she had accepted a speaking gig at a New York City party hosted by GOProud, a Washington-based group that represents gay conservatives.

“[F]arah is doing this for PUBLICITY and publicity alone,” Coulter wrote in an email to The Daily Caller on Wednesday afternoon.

WND posted an email exchange between Coulter and Farah in their public announcement that she would be removed from the list of speakers. Coulter expressed anger that he quoted her from their private emails on the issue.

“[T]his was an email exchange [between] friends and even though I didn’t expressly say “OFF THE RECORD” and I believe everything I said, he’s a swine for using my private emails politely answering him.” Coulter wrote in the email to TheDC. “[W]hy would he do such a despicable thing? …  for PUBLICITY.”

The conservative pundit said that WND is well known for making decisions just to get attention, citing the conspiracist site’s regular articles about President Obama’s birth certificate.

“I will say that [Farah] could give less than two sh-ts about the conservative movement — as demonstrated by his promotion of the birther nonsense  (long ago disproved by my newspaper, human events, also sweetness & light, american spectator and national review etc, etc etc).  He’s the only allegedly serious conservative pushing the birther thing.  for ONE reason: to get hits on his website.”

(She mentioned in the email that she had typed it in a rush.)

Coulter added that she would not be losing anything from the dropped speaking engagement since WND had not been able to come up with the money to pay her anyway.

WND is responding to Coulter in a mmostly surprising way: ratcheting down the rhetoric. From an Aug. 18 WND article:

Farah responded to Coulter's remarks, saying, "Ann is angry. I hope she calms down and there can be some restoration, repentance and forgiveness. She said some mean things about me, but I can sleep at night knowing I did the right thing in God's economy."

David Kupelian, WND's long-time managing editor, added, "Ann Coulter's a hero to many, but her angry accusation that we were motivated by publicity couldn't be more off-base. This wasn't Farah's sole decision; our executive team, including me, discussed this at length in a serious and thoughtful manner, and in the end, we went with what we considered to be the principled decision."

The response is surprising only in tone; the contents are still suspect. Farah doesn't respond to Coulter's claim that her statements to him were off-the-record and not meant for publication. And Kupelian's claim that WND made a "principled decision" that wasn't "motivated by publicity" is laughable considering WND's lack of principles and historic embrace of attention-getting stunts. And if WND wasn't trying to milk the controversy for publicity purposes, why did it devote an entire article to reactions to the kerfuffle?

WND repeated its statement of the disingenous double standard that Coulter would continue as a WND columnist -- which may be another reason why Farah and Kupelian are reacting with relative restraint (and more evidence that WND has no principles). If WND truly cared about principle, it would stand by its anti-gay agenda and dump her as a columnist as well.

Also repeated is Farah's statement that WND has "the broadest ideological forum of commentators in any news or opinion publication or website anywhere on the planet," which, as we noted, is also a disingenuous claim.

As we've previously noted, this is all about money and -- WND's protestations to the contrary -- publicity. The question now is whether Coulter will now speak the truth about WND to such an extent that it will finally drop her column.

(P.S. While WND quotes Coulter's response in its article, it edits out the part where she said WND couldn't afford to pay her.)

Posted by Terry K. at 11:25 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, August 19, 2010 11:28 AM EDT
Newsmax Becomes Safe Haven for Dr. Laura
Topic: Newsmax

When "Dr." Laura Schlessinger announced on Aug. 17 that she was quitting her radio show in the wake of her N-word rant, she said that "I want to be able to say what's on my mind and in my heart, and what I think is helpful and useful, without somebody getting angry, some special interest group deciding this is the time to silence a voice of dissent and attack affiliates and attack sponsors." In her search for an outlet that wouldn't ask her any pesky questions, she knew exactly where to go: Newsmax.

IN an "exclusive Newsmax interview" with David Patten -- Newsmax's resident master of sycophantic profiiles of right-wingers --  Dr. Laura spouted off on the circumstances of her resignation with no danger whatsoever of being questioned about things like her pecuiliar view of the Constitution. She claims that criticism of her offensive comments by others means that "my First Amendment rights don't exist. ... I want my First Amendment rights back. I can't have them while I'm on radio."

Patten fawningly notes that Schlessinger "was recently nominated for a Marconi award and was named one of the top seven radio hosts in radio history," as well as a "best-selling author and syndicated Newsmax columnist."

Nope, no pesky, probing questions here -- just Patten serving up softballs.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:06 AM EDT
NewsBusters: Strippers Don't Kill People, Muslims Do
Topic: NewsBusters

In an Aug. 17 NewsBusters post, Lachlan Markay takes offense at the idea forwarded in a Time magazine article that the area surrounding Ground Zero isn't exactly "hallowed ground" because it contains, among other things, a strip club:

Gee, could it have anything to do with the fact that pole dancers didn't fly planes into the twin towers? For some, the right to build a mosque and the move's moral implications are two distinct issues, and $10 lap dances have exactly nothing to do with either.


Surely Gray forgot to add that this particular "private house of worship" is devoted to the same religion in whose name those 2,700 Americans were killed, built where landing gear from one of the planes that hit the towers fell, scheduled to be opened on September 11 of next year, and named after the Islamic Caliphate who conquered much of Medieval (Christian) Spain.

I say he must have forgotten to add those details since they would accurately frame the argument against the Ground Zero mosque, and surely he was not trying to intentionally distort that argument.

Of course if he were, he would also have to explain why strip clubs have any bearing whatsoever on the sanctity of an historic or prestigious location. There are three strip clubs within a few blocks of the White House. Is Gray suggesting that the White House is not a sacred location?

Of course, nobody is claiming that the area "within a few blocks of the White House" is sacred ground. And Markay misses the point -- that the proposed Islamic center location is obviously not "hallowed ground" because a similar distance away is a strip club that nobody is declaring to be similar "hallowed ground."

Posted by Terry K. at 1:43 AM EDT
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
MRC's CMI Baselessly Attacks Mosque Imam
Topic: Media Research Center

In an Aug. 16 MRC Culture & Media Institute article on the "questionable ties" of the organizer of the so-called "Ground Zero mosque," Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, Alana Goodman writes:

Rauf has also made comments that some have called radical, and associated with individuals involved in extremist organizations. Critics say that his background and statements make him a poor candidate to build a mosque in such a sensitive location.

“I wouldn’t say that the United States deserved [the Sept. 11 attacks], but the United States policies were an accessory to the crime that happened,” said Rauf on CBS “60 Minutes” on Sept. 30, 2001. “[W]e have been an accessory to a lot of – of innocent lives dying in the world. In fact, it – in the most direct sense, Osama bin Laden is made in the USA.”

Goodman fails to mention that the view that U.S. policy played a role in inflaming radical Islamists to commit 9/11 is also shared not only by the 9/11 Commission but also Glenn Beck. That strongly suggests this statement is not as "radical" as Goodman would have you believe.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:50 PM EDT
WND's Unprincipled Half-Dumping of Coulter
Topic: WorldNetDaily

An Aug. 17 WorldNetDaily article announces that "Conservative superstar Ann Coulter today was dropped as a keynote speaker for WND's "Taking America Back National Conference" next month because of her plan to address an event titled "HOMOCON" sponsored by the homosexual Republican group GOProud that promotes same-sex marriage and military service for open homosexuals." WND describes the opposing principles involved:

Asked by Farah why she was speaking to GOProud, Coulter said: "They hired me to give a speech, so I'm giving a speech. I do it all the time."

Farah then asked: "Do you not understand you are legitimizing a group that is fighting for same-sex marriage and open homosexuality in the military – not to mention the idea that sodomy is just an alternate lifestyle?"

Coulter responded: "That's silly, I speak to a lot of groups and do not endorse them. I speak at Harvard and I certainly don't endorse their views. I've spoken to Democratic groups and liberal Republican groups that loooove abortion. The main thing I do is speak on college campuses, which is about the equivalent of speaking at an al-Qaida conference. I'm sure I agree with GOProud more than I do with at least half of my college audiences. But in any event, giving a speech is not an endorsement of every position held by the people I'm speaking to. I was going to speak for you guys, I think you're nuts on the birther thing (though I like you otherwise!)."

But Farah sees this speech to GOProud in a very different light than does Coulter.

"Earlier this year, GOProud was permitted to sponsor the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, the biggest event of its kind," said Farah. "This bad decision resulted in consistently conservative groups dropping sponsorship and withdrawing from participation – much to their credit. GOProud is about infiltration of the conservative movement and dividing it from within with twisted and dangerous ideas way out of the mainstream of American public opinion. Ann Coulter is, I'm afraid, validating this effort for money. I support her speaking to people with whom she disagrees on college campuses. That's a good idea. I do it, too. But if you see the way GOProud is exploiting its coup in getting Ann Coulter to speak to its HOMOCON event, you begin to understand what a mistake this is for a conservative icon like Coulter."

Then the hypocrisy kicks in:

Joseph Farah, editor and chief executive officer of WND, said the decision was a gut-wrenching one for his team because of their fondness for Coulter as both a person and writer-speaker.

"Ultimately, as a matter of principle, it would not make sense for us to have Ann speak to a conference about 'taking America back' when she clearly does not recognize that the ideals to be espoused there simply do not include the radical and very 'unconservative' agenda represented by GOProud," said Farah. "The drift of the conservative movement to a brand of materialistic libertarianism is one of the main reasons we planned this conference from the beginning."


Coulter will remain a weekly columnist for WND.

"There's a different standard for columnists and speakers at our conference," Farah explained. "We boast the broadest ideological forum of commentators in any news or opinion publication or website anywhere on the planet – and we will continue to do that. We think people should hear all points of view discussed openly and honestly. However, this conference is a serious event designed to provide some real leadership for those who are serious about changing the direction of this country. There is simply no room there for compromisers or for people who accept money from those determined to destroy the moral fabric required for self-governance and liberty."

First, Farah's claim that dumping Coulter for being too nice to gays is laughable. WND has a virulently anti-gay agenda, and that same day published no less than three gay-bashing columns, including one by Farah himself.

Second, Farah's claim that WND has "the broadest ideological forum of commentators in any news or opinion publication or website anywhere on the planet" is disingenuous. As we've previously noted, the only actual liberals on WND's roster of 50 or so regular columnists are Bill Press and Ellen Ratner; the rest are conservative, conservative Christian, libertarian, or some combination thereof. On any given day, liberal opinions on WND's commentary page are outnumbered at least 7-to-1 by right-wing opinions. And we can't recall the last time, if ever, that WND presented an unfiltered pro-gay view -- after all, it refused to tell its readers that warblogger Matt Sanchez, who wrote for WND for several months, used to make gay porn.

Third, Farah proves he doesn't really have the courage of his principles by keeping Coulter on as a columnist. Since WND is one of the outlets allowed to publish Coulter's column a few hours before its official release, it likely draws a significant amount of traffic to WND. If Coulter goes away, so does that traffic.

In other words, it's about money. Just as Coulter indicated that she will speak before any group that pays her, Farah knows that Coulter brings in readers and revenue to WND. Dumping Coulter as a speaker is an extremely low-risk move; canceling her column is not. The one real principle they share is raking in the cash.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:19 PM EDT
MRC's Spin Fails Again on News Corp.'s RGA Donation
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's attempt to spin away News Corp.'s $1 million contribution to the Republican Governors Association gets another failed turn by Tim Graham, who uses an Aug. 18 NewsBusters post complaining that the Washington Post's article on the donation is "ruined by reality" because the Post also noted that "Until now, the News Corp./Fox political action committee had given 54 percent of its donations to Democrats and 46 percent to Republicans, according to the Center for Responsive Politics."

But as Ben Demiro of Media Matters points out, Graham ignores the key words "Until now" and the obvious implication that such a balance in News Corp.'s political contributions no longer exists due to the $1 million donation.

Like fellow MRC employee Dan Gainor before him, Graham can't point to a similar cash donation made by a news organization to a liberal political group, which would also seem to undermine his premist.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:38 AM EDT
A Tale of Two Retractions
Topic: WorldNetDaily

For most of Aug. 17, the above-the-nameplate story on WorldNetDaily's website was a piece by Bob Unruh on CNN's Jeffrey Toobin retracting a suggestion that Terry Lakin, the Army officer throwing away his career to promote birther fantasies, was racist.

Needless to say, WND does not treat its own retractions that way.

As we've detailed, WND makes its retractions as quietly as possible. One false story was simply deleted from WND's website without explanation; another was replaced with a completely different story with a note at the top that downplays the extent of the changes made.

And rather than the public shame WND tries to impose on Toobin and CNN, WND treats its falsehood promoters with great respect -- just a week after executive news editor Joe Kovacs wrote the story that had to be completely replaced, WND did a puff piece on his WND-published book.

WND has no publicly disclosed policy for dealing with corrections -- which is strange considering all the falsehoods that make it into print.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:42 AM EDT
Newsmax's Walsh Smears Unemployed As Lazy, Greedy
Topic: Newsmax

Apparently, all the people James Walsh hangs out with on his "Florida barrier island" are as reactionary as he is. From Walsh's Aug. 16 Newsmax column:

I purchase gas and some lottery tickets. Mom looks bewildered and says, “The lottery? You aren’t the type.” I reply, “As my eldest son says, it is a tax on the stupid, but I see it as a donation to the state. I would rather the state have it, than have Mr. Obama redistribute it.”

Mom’s eyes light up, “Can you imagine Obama and Congress passing 99 weeks of workers compensation for those lazy bums? Like clockwork at noon every day, they start filing in for 6 packs and 12 packs of beer and bottles of wine. At 6 or thereabouts, they wander over to the bar and stay for hours, even until dawn. I have found them sleeping on our gas islands. They couldn’t make it across the street.

"They joke about living off workers comp and welfare and their girlfriends’ paychecks. They say they will not work for peanuts and that the government owes them a living. These bums just expect handouts. What is Congress thinking? There are some legitimate unemployed but, these people never work.”

Mom sighs, “I get up at 5 every morning and start cleaning the area by 5:30. While our young people are fighting in Iraq, these loafers just demand more and more handouts. The bleeding hearts in Washington give it to them.”

Heading for the door, I say, “They vote and that is what the pols count on.” Mom’s parting words are, “They are too lazy to vote, unless they are paid. I saw it in Chicago and Milwaukee.”

Walsh continues:

Next I head for the supermarket. Gathering my groceries, I choose the checkout line manned by a retired businessman, who is working for the health benefits. His business in the Midwest employed 150 workers, but he sold it when the labor union problems began to intensify. He notes that, although his employees made more than he did, Obama would classify him as “the rich.”

He laments the class warfare mentality of the president and most Democrats but admits to being a lifelong Democrat. Current Democrats, he says, lack the stature of Harry Truman, Scoop Jackson, and Jack Kennedy.
Today he has something to show me — a lengthy supermarket receipt for items including steaks, shrimp, and crab-meat purchased using a food stamps credit card.

The remaining balance on the card is in excess of $2,000.

“Wow,” I comment. “That is some card, some money, some good deal. Was it a local or a tourist?” He says it was a person who spoke very little English but managed to question the amount of the purchases.

The teenage bagger, hearing the conversation says, “I never saw $2,000 in my life. Some people get it all.”

A 60-something man behind me in line laughs, “What do you expect from the redistribution of wealth — Obama economics. It ain’t his money, and what’s ours is now everyone’s. You wanted change, and you are getting it. The Democrats have the greatest scam going — a sucker is born every minute.”

Walsh doesn't explain how the supermarket manager obtained a copy of the receipt or is able to speak so knowledgably about how much was purportedly on the "food stamps credit card."

Posted by Terry K. at 2:49 AM EDT

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