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Sunday, August 22, 2010
AIM Decries Accuracy As Not 'Impartial'
Topic: Accuracy in Media

You know you're in the ConWeb rabbit hole when Accuracy in Media is attacking accuracy in media.

An Aug. 20 blog post by Don Irvine criticizes the Associated Press' efforts to no longer refer to the "Ground Zero mosque," since it is an Islamic community center, not solely a mosque, and it is located two blocks from Ground Zero, not at Ground Zero itself. "So much for the idea that the AP was an impartial wire service," Irvine writes.

And we thought being accurate was a sign of impartiality...

Posted by Terry K. at 7:59 PM EDT
Coulter, WND Ratchet Up War of Words
Topic: WorldNetDaily

The war of words between WorldNetDaily and Ann Coulter over WND dropping Coulter as a speaker at its "Taking America Back" conference, with Coulter denouncing WND on the Aug. 21 edition of Fox News' "Red Eye," calling them "fake Christians trying to get publicity."



Needless to say, WND's Joseph Farah didn't take this well:

In response, Farah issued the following statement: "Coulter called me a 'publicity whore' for my decision. But look who is on television talking about this – throwing mud, name-calling, smearing not only me but my entire staff. I will not engage in the kind of ad hominem attacks that have made Coulter so famous and that are making her even more of a media darling in this age of reckless anger and character assassination for the sake of entertainment. Every day, since we made this decision at WND, I thank God for giving me the clarity of mind and discernment to make the right choice."

As to Coulter's new accusation that she was never even booked for the conference, Farah had this to say: "Coulter agreed to speak. She was retained through her speakers bureau on the basis of a previous fee for an unfulfilled engagement. We promoted her appearance at the event for six months in a high-profile manner with no objections by Coulter. We were just about to pay the balance due on the remainder of the speaker's fee when this bombshell dropped about her keynoting the Homocon event in New York one week after our conference. If Coulter didn't consider herself booked, she had ample opportunity to tell me that during the last six months and during our e-mail conversations. Knowing how quick-witted she is, it would likely have been the first reaction she had, rather than one she had to think about for days. We haven't asked Coulter to refund the money we paid to her for a speech she will never deliver. But, if I were making the charge that I was never booked, I would be more than willing to refund the money I was paid by supposedly 'fake Christians,' 'swine' and 'publicity whores.'"

Farah's sudden disavowal of "the kind of ad hominem attacks that have made Coulter so famous" is laughable considering that Farah has engaged in them so frequently, particularly against critics of WND (as we know all too well). And Farah mentionednothing about ad hominem attacks when Coulter was first announced as a speaker for the WND conference; to the contrary, Farah said that "reading and listening to Ann is always informative, engaging and fun." Apparently, Coulter stopped being "fun" for Farah when he became her target.

WND continues:

Farah said he will deal only with the principles involved in the issues raised by Coulter's appearance at GOProud's Homocon event, the facts behind WND's decision to drop Coulter from the WND's Miami conference Sept. 16-18.

"I have no desire to extend this public debate with Coulter, for whom I have lost so much respect, and I certainly won't trade personal attacks," he said. "The issue for us remains clear: GOProud, a group that supports same-sex marriage and open homosexuality in the U.S. military ranks, should not be embraced or validated by people who accept the biblical and traditional definition of marriage and the understanding that armies and navies have one purpose – to defeat enemies. My position is that homosexual behavior is a sin that should not be affirmed, condoned, encouraged or laughed about."

If WND is so principled about hating gays, why did it hire Matt Sanchez, who once starred in several gay porn videos, to be an Iraq war correspondent? What "principles" were involved there?

Posted by Terry K. at 11:35 AM EDT
Updated: Sunday, August 22, 2010 12:23 PM EDT
WND Baselessly Blames 'Obamacare' for FDA's Shutdown of Climic
Topic: WorldNetDaily

An Aug. 16 WorldNetDaily article by Bob Unruh reads a lot like a press release for a Colorado clinic that was shut down by the Food and Drug Administration:

Obamacare has landed in Denver, where doctors at a pain-management clinic have been told they must stop treating patients with a successful process that extracts their own adult stem cells, cultivates them and then reinjects them to stimulate growth in damaged limbs.

The word of the dispute comes from Dr. Christopher Centeno of the Centeno Schultz clinic, whose Regenexx, or Regenerative Sciences Inc., has been successfully treating patients with the process for several years.

Centeno confirms his work provides a much less costly and significantly more convenient alternative to knee or hip joint replacement surgeries, which sometimes require a year or more of recuperation.

But the Food and Drug Administration, in the wake of the adoption of President Obama's plan to nationalize health-care decision making, has ordered the company to halt, because the federal agency views the process as making "drugs."

But Unruh offers no proof, beyond a company representative claiming it, that the shutdown of the clinic has anything whatsoever to do with "Obamacare." Indeed, Unruh contradicts the claim by noting that the FDA's action against the clinic began in 2008.

Unruh basically takes Regenerative Services' side, even repeating anonymous claims supplied by the company praising its treatment. By contrast, he pulls statements from an FDA press release regarding its most recent action, quotes from "a 2008 letter to the company" from the FDA, and a statement that "An FDA spokeswoman provided the announcement to WND but did not elaborate."

But five days before Unruh's article was published, the FDA's Law Blog went into detail about the agency's action against Regenerative Sciences, which Unruh made no mention of. Thus, Unruh fails to report one key element of the FDA's action: that "Regenerative manufactures a biological product (stem cells) that is adulterated because it is not manufactured according to current good manufacturing practices ('cGMP') while using components that are shipped in interstate commerce."

Further, while Unruh writes that "Centeno told WND his company will fight," the blog states that "Regenerative has agreed to discontinue production of the Regenexx Product while this case is pending."

Posted by Terry K. at 1:15 AM EDT
Saturday, August 21, 2010
Dick Morris' 'Truth' Isn't True
Topic: Newsmax

In an Aug. 20 interview with Newsmax, Dick Morris said regarding the Nevada Senate race between Harry Reid and Sharron Angle:

On primary day, Angle was about nine ahead when she got the nomination. Then Reid dumped a million dollars in negative media,lying about her record, taking a quote from her saying "I want to phase out Social Security and Medicare" and said, "See? She wants to eliminate Social Security and Medicare." Now, with that ad, she fell to nine -- seven behind. And you know what Churchill said, a lie can make it halfway around the world before the truth gets its shoes on in the morning. So what happened was after Reid had done that, I went out and was very active in raising money for an independent expenditure for Angle, and we raised $400,000, and we put on the facts, which was the full quote, which was, "I want to phase out Social Security and Medicare" and said, "See? I want to phase out Social Security and Medicare's method of financing, so the Democrats can't raid the money and use it for their budget deficit." So when people saw the truth of what Angle had dsaid, they turned against Reid, andnow Angle is three points ahead of Reid. The published polls have them tied, but my own poll has Angle ahead. So now we've answered -- and when you ask people who's telling the truth about Angle's position, Angle beats Reid by 20 points on that now. So now we can go over to the offense. First you deny the allegation, then you shoot the allegator.

Newsmax interviewer Ashley Martella sycophantically adds, "Dick Morris, the truth detector."

But Morris isn't telling the truth. As we noted the last time Morris told this lie, Angle did in fact flatly claim that she wants to phase out Social Security and Medicare without qualification. It was only after she won the primary that she modified her position to the one Morris is now pushing.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:53 PM EDT
Klayman Complains It's Too Hard to Remove A President He Hates
Topic: WorldNetDaily

The litigious Larry Klayman writes in his Aug. 20 WorldNetDaily column:

With a system of government that does not allow for a rapid transfer of power when justified, we are now stuck with someone who is by deed and word a terrorist sympathizer in the Ramadan Inn for at least the next two and one half years. Christians and Jews, not Muslims, are feeling a greater and greater sense of alienation, if not anger– and they are the overwhelming majority of our population. The economy appears to be taking a dive into an even greater abyss, and the American people are still suffering. Overseas, the Iranian mullahs – true believers in their Muslim faith – are on the verge of constructing nuclear bombs, and the rest of the world is going to hell in a hand basket.

And, what makes matters even worse, the opposition party – the Republicans – continue to just play games, only maneuvering for the fall elections. Even a turnover of the House of Representatives, or the Senate, will not be able to remove Obama and prevent more harm to our country and its values and heritage.

That's why however radical it may sound, we need a constitutional amendment, at a minimum, to create a legal mechanism other than impeachment that can peacefully and quickly remove a renegade president who has and is abusing his great powers at the expense of the nation and the world. This mechanism should not be based simply on the president having committed high crimes or misdemeanors, but based on him or her having desecrated the principles of our nation. Having played a role at Judicial Watch in the impeachment of Bill Clinton (who was never convicted), I am all too painfully aware of this having turned into a dog and pony show for Republicans to conduct a public-relations campaign designed only to wound the Democratic Party and Al Gore in time for the 2000 elections. It actually caused harm to the nation, since as Republicans played games on Capitol Hill, Osama bin Laden had other things in mind.

Ofcourse, the reason is so difficult to remove a president is to prevent  a litigious partisan like Klayman from trying to force a removal for elevating mere policy differences into so-called "desecrated principles."

Posted by Terry K. at 1:05 AM EDT
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

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