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Monday, December 20, 2010
Chuck Norris: Obama Wrong About Christmas
Topic: WorldNetDaily

If it's Chuck Norris, it's another anti-Obama freak-out. This time, in his Dec. 20 WorldNetDaily column, he's complaining that Obama is not mentioning God nearly enough for his taste and getting Christmas all wrong.

Regarding Obama's remarks at the lighting of the national Christmas tree that the message of Christmas is that "no matter who we are or where we are from, no matter the pain we endure or the wrongs we face, we are called to love one another as brothers and as sisters," Norris huffed, "I don't know what Bible the president is reading, but the Christmas message is not about civil rights or social justice and welfare." And when Obama later said the Christmas message is that "we are called to love each other as we love ourselves. We are our brother's keeper and our sister's keeper," Norris lost it:

President Obama, I hate to burst your community-coordinator caring bubble. But, while a critical part of Christ's adult message, 30 years later after his birth, was in fact "love one another," the story of Christmas is not about mutual or reciprocated love, but God's love for helpless sinners. Franklin Roosevelt even said in his Christmas Message, 1942: "I say that loving our neighbor as we love ourselves is not enough – that we as a nation and as individuals will please God best by showing regard for the laws of God."

Let me allow the angel, who spoke these words to Jesus' earthly father Joseph in a dream, explain it as he did 2,000 years ago: "Mary will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins." Or as the angel foretold to the shepherds in the field: "Today in the town of Bethlehem a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord."

Mr. President, with Christmas just a few days away, it's not too late to ante up and get it right. You might have the best opportunity in some years as your weekly address this week falls right on Christmas morning. In fact, I think I'll even put a pause on my family's reading of the biblical Christmas story in expectation that you'll set the mood by reading it!

Of course, Obama has an entire nation of people of many faiths to speak to. Norris only has a tiny audience of like-minded right-wing Christians. A president needs to be inclusionary; Norris does not. Too bad Norris doesn't see the difference.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:23 PM EST
MRC, WND Officials Sign On To Anti-Gay Campaign
Topic: Media Research Center

Right Wing Watch has published a list of signatories to the Family Research Council's "Start Debating/Stop Hating" campaign, which puts said signatories in league with groups -- among them the American Family Association and Liberty Counsel -- who support the outlawing of homosexuality, the criminal punishment of gays, and a purging of gays from public office.

The list of signatories reveals some names familiar to ConWebWatch readers. WorldNetDaily's Joseph Farah is a given, of course, considering his regular freak-outs over the issue. His birther compatriot Floyd Brown of the Farah-founded Western Journalism Center has signed as well.

The Media Reseach Center has a large contingent as well, and not just chief Brent Bozell: news analysts Kyle Drennen, Matthew Balan and Matt Hadro have also signed on.

Also signing is Washington Examiner editorial page editor Mark Tapscott.

Perhaps all of these signatories should be quizzed as to whether they endorse all of the Draconian anti-gay actions endorsed by the "pro-family" organizations they claim to supportby signing onto the "Start Debating/Stop Hating" campaign.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:39 AM EST
Is WND Happy Terrence Lakin's Life Is Ruined?
Topic: WorldNetDaily

In Terrence Lakin, Joseph Farah and WorldNetDaily now have their birther martyr.

Lakin's perceived martyrdom -- and that's exactly how Farah perceives it; as far as he's concerned, Lakin is "upholding the oath he took as a commissioned officer to support and defend the Constitution" -- is the inevitable result of WND's birther obsession, a falsehood-laden obsession that in all likelihood led Lakin on his odyssey.

Once Lakin signed onto the birther agenda, he became part of WND's machine -- a WND search turns up 55 articles referencing him. Farah was not shy about incorporating Lakin into his agenda; his status as, in Farah's words, "an Army doctor and Bronze Star recipient" served as a golden opportunity to bring some respectability to WND's obsessive cause.

WND was even setting Lakin up to be the birther martyr. WND managing editor David Kupelian wrote in October:

Meanwhile, we're about to witness the spectacle of a true patriot, a decorated military physician who wants nothing more than to save more lives and continue to serve his country, a man of admirable conscience and backbone, being court-martialed and sent to Fort Leavenworth prison as a sacrificial lamb because the "judge" – just like the establishment press and so many others for whom Obama is "too big to fail" – is fearful of "embarrassing" the president.

Of course, the inevitable happened: Lakin pleaded or was found guilty on all charges. He was sentenced to six months in military prision, will be dismissed from the Army, and will miss out on the full military pension he was two years away from earning.

In short, Lakin has ruined his life.

In the end, though, Lakin ultimately backed away from his view, admitting that "I chose the wrong path," adding, "I am extremely sorry for everything that has come of this. ... As a military member, I was wrong."

Will Farah and WND view this as cowardice or a deathbed conversion upon realizing the enormity of the extent his buying into the birther obsession has destroyed his life? That remains to be seen.

WND is also hiding the true nature of how things went down for Lakin. For example, the Associated Press noted that Lakin's defense attorney, Neal Puckett, called Lakin the "victim of an obsession," and that he was naive in trusting the poor advice of a previous civilian lawyer. 

You won't find that in WND's account of Lakin's sentencing, though. Instead, Brian Fitzpatrick reported that "Many observers were disappointed by the defense strategy of portraying Lakin as a victim of the so-called 'Birther' movement." Fitzpatrick did not explain what he defined as "many."

Of course, WND loved quoting that previous civilian lawyer, Paul Rolf Jensen -- his name comes up in 17 WND articles.

Meanwhile, CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin said:

Think about the implications if he [Lakin] was even allowed to raise this issue. The military operates under a system of discipline, of orders. If every military officer or enlisted person who got an order could question whether the president was really the president, discipline would disappear overnight. You have to have a system of discipline, and that is just simply -- can't be a question that's on the table that military officials or officers are allowed to raise.

WND has never addressed this question.

Nevertheless, Farah and WND now have their birther martyr. Of course, he's really a victim whose life has been ruined due to their obsessive hatred of President Obama.

Will Farah apologize to Lakin for destroying his life? Don't count on it -- he's too busy projecting.

As far as Farah is concerned, it's all Obama's fault. On Dec. 9, Farah wrote that Lakin could be a free man if only Obama would be a"compassionate humanitarian" and release his birth certificate. Of course, Farah embraces the conspiracies his website has promoted in doing so:

Obama has compassion for the worst kind of terrorists and murderers, but he can't find an ounce of compassion for Lt. Col. Terry Lakin. Does that make sense?

What are the secrets contained in that birth certificate? Was Obama an overweight child? Was he born prematurely? I mean, come on, this is a birth certificate!

More likely, the birth certificate contains information that would absolutely undermine and contradict Obama's entire life narrative as he defined it (or Bill Ayers did) in his celebrated book, "Dreams of My Father."

Maybe his parents weren't who he claimed them to be.

Of course, that wouldn't disqualify him for office. In fact, Obama would likely have a better case of proving eligibility if that were the case. But how could he explain that? It would mean Obama's compelling life story was all a work of fiction – not just most of it, as has already been established, but all of it. Even the title of his book would be a lie. Even his name would be a lie.

That would be pretty shocking.

But would a truly compassionate man let another good person go to prison to cover up his secret?

Or maybe, just maybe, Obama wasn't born in the U.S. at all. Maybe that laser-printed short-form "certification of live birth" is a fabrication, something Obama's parents or grandparents obtained to bestow "anchor baby"-style American birth rights upon the little boy.

In reality, Farah is the one who's not compassionate. Why would he want Lakin to be free? Lakin is worth more to him as a prisoner. After all, it feeds the birther conspiracy, and Farah makes more money.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:08 AM EST
Updated: Monday, December 20, 2010 11:31 AM EST
Sunday, December 19, 2010
WND Publishes Falsehood-Ridden Anti-Gay Screed
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily is calling in the big guns to bolster its anti-gay agenda -- the notorious gay-hater Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association. WND published a Dec. 18 column by Fischer full of false and misleading claims.

Fischer's column is an attack on the Southern Poverty Law Center for listing the AFA as a "hate group" for its anti-gay activism The column was originally published in a longer form elsewhere, and the WND version contains the same falsehoods as the longer version, which the SPLC has already debunked.

Fischer's column focuses on the SPLC's 10 myths about homosexuality spread by anti-gay organizations like the AFA and his shoddy attempts to debunk them. For instance:

The SPLC falsely claims that homosexuals do not molest children at higher rates than heterosexuals. But according to the Journal of Sex Research, they do. Roughly one-third of all sex offenses against children are carried out by homosexuals despite the fact they comprise just 3 percent of the population.

In fact, as the SPLC notes, the Journal of Sex Research article to which Fischer is referring actually concludes that homosexuals were not any more disposed to pedophilia than heterosexuals. Fischer presumes that every case of men molesting boys is committed by a "homosexual" man, even though most pedophiles have no sexual interest in adults of either gender, meaning that terms like "homosexual" and "heterosexual" don’t apply at all.

Fischer then writes:

The SPLC falsely claims that same-sex parents don't harm children. But according to an Australian sociologist, children raised by homosexual parents did worse in nine of 13 academic and social categories compared to children raised by heterosexual married couples. 

In fact, according to the SPLC, the Australian study Fischer is citing was described by one official as "a perfect example of almost everything that you can do wrong with methodology."

Fischer writes:

The SPLC falsely claims that homosexuals live just as long as heterosexuals. But the International Journal of Epidemiology says homosexual behavior knocks "8-20 years" off normal life expectancy, and a gay activist group in Canada, the Canadian Rainbow Health Coalition, declares that the "health issues affecting queer Canadians include lower life expectancy than the average Canadian."

As we detailed when WND's Molotov Mitchell cited it, the study published by the International Journal of Epidemiology is irrelevant to today; it examined data "obtained for a large Canadian urban centre from 1987 to 1992," and the life expectancy differential was specifically attributed to losses "due to HIV/AIDS," for which treatments were in their infancy and not widely available. The SPLC notes that the authors of the study updated it in 2001, pointing out that advances in treatment of HIV-AIDS even at that point had significantly improved the expected longevity of those infected, which would inevitably narrow any gap between gay and straight life spans caused by the disease. The authors also rejected the attempts of anti-gay organizations to construe the 1997 observations to justify denigration of gays.

Fischer writes:

The SPLC falsely claims that homosexuals had nothing to do with Nazism. But William Shirer, author of "The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich," said, "But (in) the brown-shirted S.A. … many of its top leaders, beginning with its chief, Roehm, were notorious homosexual perverts." Noted German historian Lothar Mochtan conclusively proves that Hitler was a homosexual himself, and says that he "allowed the persecution of gays in order to disguise his own true colors." Nazi hunter Elie Weisel said that homosexual pedophilia was common in the concentration camps, saying of Auschwitz, where he was imprisoned, "[T]here was considerable traffic in young children among homosexuals here." 

In fact, the idea that Nazis promoted homosexuality is discredited by the fact that gays were sent to concentration camps and Nazi Germany instituted a death penalty for homosexuality. Fischer convienently fails to mention that Hitler had Ernst Roehm and other members of the SA executed in part because of their homosexuality, during what is known as the Night of the Long Knives.

Fischer writes:

The SPLC falsely claims that hate-crime laws will not lead to the jailing of pastors and others who criticize homosexuality. Tell that the grandmother in Philadelphia who was thrown in jail and faced 47 years in prison for doing nothing more than standing on a public sidewalk and declaring the truth about homosexuality during a gay pride parade. 

As we've detailed, Arlene Elshinnawy, the "grandmother in Philadelphia" Fischer is referring to, never seriously faced "47 years in prison" -- even the prosecutor said they most they would get was a year's probation, and the charges were ultimately dropped. Further, Elshinnawy did much more than "stand on a public sidewalk"; she and the street preacher she was in thrall to, Michael Marcavage, tried to demonstrate in front of a stage performance at a gay festival and were arrested only after they refused to go to an area on the edge of the event.

We could go on, but Fischer has so utterly discredited himself we don't need to. WND has also disgraced itself -- and demonstrated just how anti-gay it is -- by publishing it. 

Will WND let the SPLC respond to the column on its commentary pages so its readers know the truth? We shall see.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:45 PM EST
CNS' Misleading Anti-Gay Gotcha

The overly long headline pretty much says it all on the Dec. 17 article by Dan Joseph: "Sen. Durbin Ducks Question of Whether He Accepts Judgment of Marine Commandant That Lifting the Ban on Homosexuals in Military Will Cost Marines' Lives."

Yep, it's another CNS gotcha question.

The question regards repeal of the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy, and CNS is referring to comments by Marine Commandant Gen. James Amos that “Mistakes and inattention or distractions cost Marines lives. That’s the currency of this fight. I don’t want to lose any Marines to the distraction. I don’t want to have any Marines that I’m visiting at Bethesda [National Naval Medical Center] with no legs be the result of any type of distraction."

In focusing only on Amos' comments, CNS takes it out of the context of the hundreds of other military and Pentagon officials that have endorsed repeal of DADT.

Plus, as's Alex Pareene points out, Amos is likely speaking more from his views as an evangelical Christian than his military experience in opposing gays in the military, plus the idea that Marines will lose legs as a result of DADT repeal is nonsensical: "That's what he thinks is going to happen, right? A Marine will just be so inattentive that he'll forget to keep his legs attached to himself? Because that interpretation is actually less insulting to the Marines than thinking that gay people will make them less effective in actual combat situations."

A Republican senator, meanwhile, gave the CNS-acceptable answer and got better treatment than Democrat Durbin.

Posted by Terry K. at 4:28 PM EST
Saturday, December 18, 2010
CNS Ignores Controversy Surrounding Ariz. Sheriff

Susan Jones devoted a Dec. 16 article to opining by Pinal County, Ariz., Sheriff Paul Babeu over the shooting death of a Border Patrol agent in Arizona and his complaining that federal officials are ignoring him. But Jones ignores that Babeu has faced criticism over his actions regarding one of his deputies who claims he was shot by drug smugglers.

As TPM documented, many questions have been raised about what happened to the deputy, Louie Puroll. While the case helped launched Babeu into national prominence, he has made questionable and exaggerated claims about the case, only some of which have been walked back.

Babeu had previously cleared Puroll after an internal investigation, but after Puroll allegedly threatened a reporter who has been looking into the shooting incident, Babeu suspended him earlier this month.

No original CNS article addresses the controversy surrounding the Puroll shooting. CNS editor in chief Terry Jeffrey wrote a column in May portraying the Puroll shooting as an example of how "President Obama and Congress are failing in their most fundamental duties." (He spells Babeu's name wrong in the process, but this was before Babeu became a favored CNS source). An Oct. 15 article by Penny Starr reference the shooting but not the controversy that had been raging over it. CNS did publish an Associated Press article on the reopening of the case in October, but it has yet to acknowledge the most recent twists in the case regarding Puroll's suspension.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:20 PM EST
Michael Reagan to America's Women: Get Back In the Kitchen!
Topic: Newsmax

In modern America, the feminists would take mom out of the kitchen and put her in the drive-thru lane at the local fast-food chain (ironically, that's verboten also). They have eulogized the nation's first lady for assuming the role of a food czar who instructs us on what chow is good for us and our children, who should cook it, and what foods should be kept off the national menu.

Mothers are looked at with withering stares should they teach their daughters how to cook, and fathers get the same treatment if they concern themselves with their daughters' future role as wives and mothers.

If mothers would once again start teaching their daughters the time-honored role of family chef, and fathers would make sure that their wives are honored and cherished for making the kitchen one of their principal domains, we'd be a lot better off.

Instead we have a first lady who sees her role as first mother not only to instruct us on what victuals we should eat, but warns us that the menu at the local fast-food emporium is the diet from hell.

She goes so far as to dig up patches of the White House lawn, formerly the site of the so-called Easter egg hunts, and plant the seeds of what she tells us are the staples of a healthy diet — a diet regimen in the White House kitchens one doubts includes whatever puny edibles grown on the lawn of the Executive Mansion.

If she and her fellow radical feminists would devote more time to praising and defending the produce that farmers and retailers bring us, and less time playing the role as diet dictators, meals would be family celebrations instead of burdensome chores for the moms who cook them.


A happy home is one in which moms teach their daughters how to cook tasty meals for their future families and dads teach their sons that one of their roles in family life is drying the dishes and otherwise doing chores around the house to lighten mom's burdens.

Finally, women should understand and act on the time-honored truth that the fastest route to a man's heart is through his stomach, and not always through the drive-in window at the nearest fast-food restaurant. That's one way we can begin to put the family — and America — back together.

Bon Appetit!

-- Michael Reagan, Dec. 17 Newsmax column

Posted by Terry K. at 12:56 AM EST
Friday, December 17, 2010
WND's Anti-DADT Freak-Out
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Joseph Farah cranks up the homophobia -- and calls for mass desertions from the military -- in his Dec. 17 WorldNetDaily column about the impending repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell:

So what's next if the U.S. military opens up its ranks to flaming homosexuals, transsexuals, transvestites, lesbians and other sexual deviants du jour?

According to the Pentagon's survey on the impact of the move, 265,000 military service people would leave earlier than planned as a result of just this move. That represents 12.6 percent of all personnel, and, I think, that's low-balling it.

Military analyst Bob Maginnis, a retired Army lieutenant colonel and senior fellow for national security at the Family Research Council, said the real number could exceed half a million.

"Twelve-point-six percent is just the people who said they would leave," Maginnis told WND. "If you add in the number who said they 'might' leave, you get 23.7 percent. That would be 528,000, when you count both active duty and reserves."

As much as I respect and admire the U.S. military as an institution, I would find myself actively encouraging men and women to leave – in droves.

If the U.S. military is going to be transformed into just another tool of twisted social engineering, rather than a force designed to defend America's national security interests, dedicated, brave and upstanding young men and women should no longer participate of their own free will. It's just that simple. Let the politicians cobble together a military of social deviants if they think they can.

After all, this is simply a plan being orchestrated by a regime that loathes the military and seeks to destroy it. Maybe it's time for America to recognize what that will mean to the future of the country.

WND columnist Alan Keyes also contributes to the gay-bashing, howling that DADT repeal is part of "the Obama faction's determined effort to destroy the American way of life." He manages to work in birtherism as well:

It is no wonder that on the same day the Obama faction Democrats in the House passed the legislation meant to inaugurate this new military culture, an unjust court-martial rendered its verdict against an honorable officer whose only crime was seeking reassurance that the Constitution of the United States has been respected in the disposition of the office of commander in chief. This is the harbinger of the sorry truth. If the Obama faction and its GOP fellow travelers like Scott Brown (and, by the way, Ron Paul who voted with the Obama faction in the House) impose their will, soon there will be no place in the military for those who treat their oath to defend the Constitution as a matter of conscience. The honorable tradition of true citizen service will altogether yield to the mercenary and ambitious mentality of those who seek above all to gratify their own pleasure and ambition.

With the election of Barack Obama, we saw the advent of the political leadership suited finally to destroy the American constitutional republic. Once the culture of law-imposed homosexuality takes hold of the military, Americans will live in the shadow of the military force that corresponds to it. God help us.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:19 PM EST
MRC Tries, Fails to Conflate Non-Equivalent Remarks
Topic: Media Research Center

A report that an unidentified Democratic member of Congress saying "f--- the president" has the Media Research Center all a-titter and determined to make false comparisons that even they admit are stretching things.

A Dec. 10 NewsBusters post by MRC researcher Scott Whitlock complained that "morning shows all ignored the report" while "many journalists professed outrage when Congressman Joe Wilson yelled 'You lie' at President Obama in 2009." Of course, the difference is that the Democrat made his remark during a closed-door meeting in which President Obama was not present and, by Whitlock's own admission, "mutter[ed]" it, while Wilson yelled his insult directly at the president during the middle of the State of the Union address.

Whitlock does concede the point, sort of: "Obviously there's a difference between an unidentified representative and a nationally televised embarrassing moment, but what if this mystery representative had been a Republican?"

Clay Waters tries to make the same baseless conflation in a Dec. 14 MRC TimesWatch item, complaining that New York Times reporter Carl Hulse wrote only that "Vulgar words were aimed at President Obama" while Hulse "dropped his previous concern for political decorum regarding attacks by congressmen on President Obama. He took offense when Republican Rep. Joe Miller shouted 'You lie!' during the State of the Union on September 9, 2009, after Obama had made a dubious claim about the status of health coverage for illegals under his health care proposal."

Like Whitlock, Waters concedes the comparison is mostly baseless: 

One could argue that the “You lie!” and “F** the President” incidents aren’t perfectly parallel -- a live presidential address to Congress compared with an unrecorded vulgarity in a less formal setting. Yet a similar exchange between then Vice President Dick Cheney and Democratic Sen. Pat Leahy received wide coverage in the Times and elsewhere.

Waters doesn't mention that the "less formal setting" Cheney chose to insult Leahy was the floor of the Senate.

MRC chief Brent Bozell tried to peddle the false conflation on the Dec. 16 edition of Fox News' Hannity, "All of those networks who went after Joe Wilson for saying simply, 'You lie,' not one of them has reported it, Sean." Neither Bozell nor Sean Hannity noted the difference between a private meeting at which the target was not present and the middle of a nationally televised State of the Union Address -- or that Bozell's own employees ultimately dismissed the idea of a direct comparison.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:42 PM EST
WND Falsely Smears Canadian Lawmakers
Topic: WorldNetDaily

The headline of a Dec. 16 WorldNetDaily article by Michael Carl reads, "Lawmakers OK with forced abortions" [italics theirs]. That, of course, is a complete lie.

Carl's article is about the failure of a bill in the Canadian House of Commons that would "make it illegal to coerce, threaten, or physically force a woman to have an abortion." Carl quotes no politician who said that they agreed with "forced abortions." Indeed, he quotes no Canadian politicians at all aside from the one who introduced the bill.

The headline embraces a logical fallacy: that a lawmaker who does not vote in favor of making something illegal endorses that behavior.

Carl, in a rare WND display of fairly telling both sides of the story, does report the truth behind the vote: He quotes an abortion-rights activist who points out that "the bill isn't necessary as threats and coercion are already illegal under our criminal code. So this bill simply was duplicating something. ... One of the biggest problems with the bill, of course, is that it was focusing on abortion only, when we know that women are also coerced into child birth."

Even more shockingly, Carl quotes no one shooting down this argument -- suggesting that, typical anti-abortion bluster aside, WND agrees that a bill that would make something illegal that was already illegal is redundant.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:13 AM EST
NewsBusters Falsely Suggests FCC Targeted Bristol Palin
Topic: NewsBusters

A Dec. 14 NewsBusters post by Tim Slagle carries the sinister headline, "FCC vs. Bristol Palin: More Proof Free Speech is the Enemy of the Left." Why, you'd think that a federal agency had declared jihad against ann innocent teenager, right?

Well, not so much. Amid all of Slagle's baseless attacks on censorious liberals, the only substance he serves up of any evil government plot is a Smoking Gun article noting that people had written to the FCC to complain about Palin's presence on "Dancing With the Stars," and the FCC ... did nothing.

That's it. That's all Slagle has. And even then he hides the full story.

Slagle presents all those who wrote to the FCC regarding Palin as "Leftists" who want the agency "to handle their dirty work against Bristol Palin." But the Smoking Gun notes that people complained that Palin was "encouraging and promoting teen pregnancy"-- which sounds more like a complaint from Slagle's side of the aisle.

Slagle also demonstrates a stunning lack of self-awareness about who he's writing for. He states that "For all the talk about the Right Wing being full of fascists, you never really hear the Right trying to censor the Left," even though his blog post was published by a right-wing organization that just did exactly that.

And who is has been responsible for the vast majority of FCC complaints in recent years? None other than the Parents Television Council, founded by -- you guessed it -- Brent Bozell, publisher of NewsBusters. The PTC has a long list of the FCC complaints it has filed, which arguably dwarf any Palin-related activity from "Leftists."

Such an ill-informed and misleading piece makes one wonder if NewsBusters has any real standards about who they let blog there.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:58 AM EST
Thursday, December 16, 2010
WND's Warped View of DADT: 'Expert Military Advice' vs. Lady Gaga
Topic: WorldNetDaily

A Dec. 15 WorldNetDaily article by Bob Unruh begins this way:

During World War II it was Iwo Jima, Guadalcanal, El Alamein and Okinawa. Then came Korea's Pusan, Inchon and Chosin. In Vietnam it was the Tet Offensive and Battle of Saigon. Thousands of battles followed in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Now members of Congress have the choice of following the expert military advice offered by the U.S. veterans who gave their life's blood, sweat and tears on those far-flung battlefields – or Lady Gaga.

The issue is attempts to repeal the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" operating policy for the U.S. military that allows homosexuals to serve if they do not choose to make their sexual lifestyle choices a public issue. Activists want the military to allow members to serve while openly living homosexual lifestyles.

Indeed, Unruh -- true to his biased legacy -- presents only "the expert advice of Lady Gaga, a pop star" as support for repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell.

Unruh, of course, is lying to you. In fact, the "expert military advice" in favor of DADT repeal includes more than 100 retired generals and admirals , Defense SecretaryRobert Gates, Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Mike Mullen, and former Vice President Dick Cheney. But Unruh apparently believes that they would lend too much credibility to the pro-repeal argument, so he chose to invoke Lady Gaga instead.

Unruh also uncritically repeats a comment by anti-repeal activist Elaine Donnelly that the repeal effort is ""in blatant disregard of the message that voters sent in November." In fact, poll after poll shows Americans overwhelmingly favor repeal.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:35 PM EST
Newsmax Ignores GOP Hypocrisy on Earmarks
Topic: Newsmax

In a Dec. 15 Newsmax article, David Patten features criticism by Republicans of "a massive spending bill laden with about 6,000 earmarks," quoting Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell as saying that the bill "repeats all the mistakes voters demanded that we put an end to on Election Day ... bigger government, 2,000-page bills jammed through on Christmas Eve, wasteful spending."

But Patten didn't mention McConnell's hypocrisy: as The Hill reported, the bill includes $109 million in earmarks requested by McConnell.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:27 PM EST
CNS Rewrites AP Headline to Bash College Students

Newsmax has a history of editing the headlines of wire-service articles to reflect its right-wing bias. Now has decided it wants in on some of that biased action.

A Dec. 15 Associated Press article on Tufts University providing therapy dogs to stressed-out students during final exams, was released with the headline "Tufts Uses Dogs To Ease Student Exam Stress." But that's not the headline CNS put on its copy of the article; it went with "Coddled Students Getting Quirky ‘Therapy’ to Ease Stress of Final Exams."

The article itself makes no mention of criticism of the therapy dogs, and nowhere does it attack students as "coddled." CNS has simply chosen to add bias to an article it didn't write by changing the headline to reflect its apparent view that students seeking to relieve stress during finals are worthless and weak.

Oh, and liberal too. Check out the comments left on the article by CNS readers:

  • The weakness exhibited by these students is appalling. I went to college and law school at night while working full time (to pay for it) and with a family to support. What will these poor little children do the first time the rent is due?
  • And just who is going to coddle these students when they get out into the workplace and find even more stress when faced with multiple responsibilities between the job and family?
  • Pressure? Liberal educational institutions do not like to address the pressures of life. They are more interested in promoting thier socialistic agenda. The students will be no more suited to realistic workloads and multitasking than they will be to run for president. Oh wait, never mind.
  • Probably paid by taxpayers money.

That last commenter got it wrong; Tufts is a private university.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:35 AM EST
NewsBusters' Petty Apologizing for Fox News
Topic: NewsBusters

Apparently, the Media Research Center has forbidden all direct references to Media Matters (disclosure: our employer). Indeed, we know of at least NewsBusters criticism of Media Matters that was deleted shortly after posting, presumably because it directly referenced the MRC's most prominent media-watchdog competition.

The MRC also has a mission of defending Fox News wherever and whenever. When these two directives collide, wackiness (or at least awkward writing) ensues.

When Media Matters released a leaked memo last week highlighting how Fox News Washington managing editor Bill Sammon directed Fox News personnel, during the debate over health care reform, to use the Republican-preferred terminology of "government option" to describe what was more commonly referred to as the public option, NewsBusters' Lachlan Markay was eager to serve as a Fox News apologist -- albeit without acknowledging where the story originated.

Markay's Dec. 9 post on the issue makes no mention of Media Matters and doesn't even link to the original Media Matters item. Instead, he huffs that the story is merely "the latest meme among the legions of lefty Fox-haters" and links to the first page of Memeorandum's politics section. Ooh, that'll totally show Media Matters!

After digressing into other ideological debates over terminology, Markay finally gets around to taking Fox News' side, asserting that "while Fox's replacement of the 'public option' label with 'government option' made the proposal sound less appealing, it also presented the issue more accurately and in far less vague (arguably propagandistic) terminology." Of course, Markay doesn't concede that "government option"is "arguably propagandistic" too -- indeed, Republican pollster Frank Luntz appeared on Fox News to advise Republicans to use "government option" because "if you call it a 'public option,' the American people are split," but that "if you call it the 'government option,' the public is overwhelmingly against it." Conservative host Sean Hannity enthusiastically agreed, saying, "it's a great point, and from now on, I'm going to call it the government option."

That's in the original Media Matters article. If Markay had bothered to link to it instead of playing hide-and-seek through Memeorandum, he would know that.

When Media Matters released another memo from Sammon telling Fox Newsers to "refrain from asserting that the planet has warmed (or cooled) in any given period without IMMEDIATELY pointing out that such theories are based upon data that critics have called into question," Markay pulled the same stunt -- blindly defended Fox News and studiously avoiding any mention of the source of the memo.

In his Dec. 15 NewsBusters post, Markay rants again about "far-left Fox News haters" and links again to Memeorandum -- the exact same page he linked to before. Markay appears not to understand that the content on Memeorandum pages changes constantly. Markay went on to note that Politico "reported on the leak" but didn't mention who leaked it.

Markay asserted: "So Sammon instructed staff to incorporate the most basic tenets of science and journalism - skepticism and political neutrality, respectively - into their reporting on contentious scientific issues with tremendous political implications. And this is a problem?"

Well, yes -- and, again, if Markay had put in the effort to link to the original Media Matters story, he would know that. The point is that Sammon issued his directive less than 15 minutes after Fox correspondent Wendell Goler accurately reported on-air that the United Nations' World Meteorological Organization announced that 2000-2009 was "on track to be the warmest [decade] on record." That was a demonstrable fact, and the arguments of skeptics served simply to provide an opinion in response to a fact.

So, Markay's defenses of Fox News are both disingenuous and petty. Apparently, that's how you get to be an MRC blogger.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:18 AM EST

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