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Sunday, February 20, 2011
Newsmax Keeps Up Fossella Rehabilitation Project
Topic: Newsmax

Newsmax, it seems, is still plugging away at its attempt to rehabilitate former Rep. Vito Fossella.

A Feb. 16 Newsmax article by Jim Meyers and Ashley Martella features an interview with Fossella, whom they described only as having "served 12 years in the House as the only Republican congressman from New York City, leaving office in 2009."

What Meyers and Martella don't tell you about Fossella: He left office in disgrace after a DUI arrest led to the revelation that Fossella had a mistress in Washington and fathered a child with her. It was only after that became public that Fossella decided not to seek re-election.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:45 PM EST
Saturday, February 19, 2011
MRC's Coddled Baker Thinks 7 Percent Pay Cut Is 'Slight'
Topic: NewsBusters

NewsBusters sure has a way with numbers.

A Feb. 18 NewsBusters post by Brent Baker on the ublic worker protests in Wisconsin claimed that "Governor Scott Walker is merely asking the coddled workers for a slight increase, from six to twelve percent, in the portion of the generous health coverage they must pay."

A 100 percent increase in the workers' health care contribution -- which results in an effective 7 percent pay cut for these workers, which Baker later notes but doesn't challenge -- is "slight"? Perhaps Baker makes so much of that Scaife-Koch money that he wouldn't miss 7 percent of it.

Baker also offered no evidence to support his claim that the Wisconsin state workers are "coddled"; perhaps it's just a right-wing axiom that all public sector workers, by definition, are "coddled."

Posted by Terry K. at 11:06 PM EST
Friday, February 18, 2011
WND Cherry-Picks Media Matters To Fluff Joel Richardson
Topic: WorldNetDaily

You thought Aaron Klein was an expert cherry-picker of misleading information? His fellow WorldNetDaily employees are no slouch either.

A Feb. 17 WND article by Bob Unruh is a transparent attempt to cash in on Joel Richardson's appearance on Glenn Beck's TV show by promoting Richardson's WND-published book "The Islamic Antichrist." As part of his promotion of Richardson, Unruh writes:

Media Matters for America launched an immediate response, called, "Who is Joel Richardson, Beck's End Times Prophet?"

It noted that Beck's website has published writings by Richardson, and the author also appears in a new video by Beck that talks about the threat of a nuclear Iran to the U.S. and Israel.

In fact, the Media Matters article in question (which we co-authored) is a compilation of Richardson's most outrageous statements, many of which were published by WND. The article's noting of Richardson's ties to Beck are, in context, evidence of how much Beck has tied himself to Richardson's loony views about Obama and Islam.

Talk about a selective reading. Is this kind of deceitful cherry-picking something that WND writers take special training to do?

P.S. Of course, like Klein, Unruh didn't link to the Media Matters item he quotes from, lest his extreme cherry-picking be exposed.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:19 PM EST
Updated: Friday, February 18, 2011 2:56 PM EST
Newsmax Takes Sides on Lawsuit Against Lawyer, Hides Its Own Involvement
Topic: Newsmax

A Feb. 15 Newsmax article by David Patten takes a couple stabs at balance in reporting on legal actions against the lawyer for Rifqa Bary, the teen who ran away from home claiming that her Muslim parents planned to kill her for converting to Christianity, but it's clear where Patten's sympathy lies, starting with the headline: "Rifqa Barry [sic] Attorney Stemberger Fights $10 Million Suit for Defending Christian Rights."

Well, no. John Stemberger faces the lawsuit for allegedly defaming the lawyer for Bary's parents, Omar Tarazi, by claiming that he was mosque that had ties to terrorists and that he was being paid by the Council on American-Islamic Relations to represent the parents.But Patten tried to downplay the claim, describing it as stemming "from the last 30 seconds of an appearance [Stemberger] made on Fox & Friends" and playing up Stemberger's claims that the remarks were "fairly harmless" and that Tarazi is "paraphrasing and he’s interpreting, instead of quoting me."

Patten also uncritically describes Stemberger as "a well-respected Orlando attorney," adding, "Although he never sought nor received compensation for the case, its aftermath threatens to have devastating consequences for him, and possibly for his professional livelihood." Patten includes two boldface links to Stemberger's defense fund.

Further, Patten curiously leaves Stemberger's co-defendant in the defamation lawsuit unnamed, identifying the person only as a "blogger." In fact, that "blogger" is former Newsmax columnist Pamela Geller (identified in the lawsuit as Pamela Oshry, the name she went by before a recent divorce), who appears to have written some actionable statements about Tarazi in her work for Newsmax:

  • In a March 1, 2010, column, Geller asserted that Tarazi was a "attorney chosen by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)."
  • On March 11, Geller called Tarazi "her parents’ aggressive and manipulative attorney" and again claimed that he "was chosen for the Barys by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a group under suspicion of funding the terrorist group Hamas."

You'd think Patten would have known that. Either he's too dumb to do basic research, or he's deliberately hiding this from his readers, for reasons known only to him.

Patten also notes that Stemberger also faces disciplinary action from the Florida Bar for his actions in the Bary case, but he offers few details beyond an allegation that "Stemberger presented himself as Bary’s attorney when he no longer represented her," a charge that, of course, Patten gave Stemberger the opportunity to deny. The Orlando Sentinel, meanwhile, serves up much more detail:

According to a complaint mailed to the Florida Supreme Court on Monday, that action would have ended Stemberger's representation of Bary.

But Stemberger went on Fox News on four separate occasions and said or implied during the ongoing dependency case in Ohio that he remained Bary's attorney, the complaint said.

Stemberger also accused Omar Tarazi, the attorney for Bary's parents, of being paid by terrorist-associated organizations.

At the time, Tarazi was under a gag order in the Ohio case and couldn't refute the accusations, the Bar's complaint said.

Tarazi, in his complaint to The Florida Bar, accused Stemberger of making false and damaging statements about him.

Tarazi also filed a $10 million defamation lawsuit against Stemberger in Ohio federal court.

The Bar's complaint said Stemberger posted confidential documents on his law firm's website.

According to the complaint, Stemberger also posted a letter to the editor, which appeared in the Orlando Sentinel, on his website.

The description that appeared in the Sentinel referred to Stemberger as an attorney who represented the teen. But the complaint said Stemberger titled the editorial on his site as "attorney for" Bary.

"After Mr. Tarazi filed a complaint with the bar, [Stemberger] changed the title to state he was the former attorney for the minor child," the document said.

Stemberger violated several Bar rules, the complaint said, including improperly revealing information about a former client. The Florida Bar's complaint asks the state Supreme Court to be "appropriately disciplined."

But since the point of Patten's article was to serve as a free ad for Stemberger's defense fund -- as evidenced by the boldface links to it in his article -- Newsmax really doesn't want you to know the full truth.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:44 AM EST
Corsi Mines The Darkest Corners Of Obama Derangement
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Jerome Corsi unleashes a fit of high-grade Obama derangement in a Feb. 17 WorldNetDaily column that purports to be a review of WND columnist Jack Cashill's new WND-published book "Deconstucting Obama."

Unsurprisingly, Corsi loves Cashill's book, which he claims "has established a solid case that Weather Underground radical bomber Bill Ayers, not Barack Obama, is the author of the president's autobiography, 'Dreams from My Father.'" He goes on to declare what the "truth" is that "Ayers tries to mask with the soaring prose of 'Dreams from My Father'":
  • Obama is a relatively inexperienced Chicago-style corrupt political hack who was trained by communists, including his mentor Frank Marshall Davis;
  • in his formative years, Obama read angry black revolutionary authors and proceeded through two colleges with mediocre grades at best, submerged in a haze of marijuana smoke peppered by cocaine use; and
  • Obama, with the active promotion of an uncritical mainstream media, emerged to be president of the United States, even though he cannot yet seem to locate his long-form, hospital-generated birth certificate.

From there, Corsi shifts into full-blown Obama derangement:

Cashill's book is required reading for anyone who wants to understand how far myth-making propagandists such as Obama advisers David Axelrod and David Plouffe have gone to advance principles of political propaganda first developed by Edward Bernays into techniques capable of transforming relatively pedestrian political hacks into the legendary stuff of rap-lyric rhapsodized "Yes, we can" chimeras.


As Cashill argues convincingly, beyond the Obama myth-making there is a disappointing Obama reality.

Barack Hussein Obama (or is it Barry Soetoro?) was selected by Ayers, Axelrod and Plouffe to preside over a post-modern era in which the United States slides into second place behind China.

Corsi also goes on a weird digression of gay-bashing intertwined with his hatred of Obama's former pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright:

Ayers, Axelrod and Plouffe would go to any length, including lying, to hide the reality that Black Liberation Theology is a Marxist-derived revolutionary religion predicated on racist prejudices.

The reader could never know that Rev. Wright and Trinity United Church of Christ championed Muslims like Louis Farrakhan and welcomed into its ranks homosexuals such as choirmaster David Young.

Equally toxic was the mystery that Young was one of three Trinity United Church openly professed homosexuals brutally killed in yet-unsolved murders that occurred within a 40-day time span between November and December 2007, as Obama's handlers were preparing to take his presidential campaign to the national stage.

What Corsi appears to be alluding to is the fringe claim promoted by the likes of the discredited Wayne Madsen that Obama had an affair with Young -- echoing the claims made by the discredited Larry Sinclair. If you'll recall, WND wallowed in Sinclair's claim, happily reporting it while making no effort to verify it, eventually abandoning it when it wouldn't gain traction (that and the fact that Sinclair has proven to be utterly untrustworthy).

Corsi apparently believe this fringe claim, even though he won't come right out and say it. That makes Corsi a gutless swine. If he truly believes Obama has been operating on the down-low, he should say so instead of dropping dark, homophobic hints.

Of course, Corsi has been more than willing to demonstrate his desperateness to take down Obama by any means necessary, including telling lies and peddling bogus documents. Why wouldn't he treat each and every Obama smear at face value?

Posted by Terry K. at 12:53 AM EST
Thursday, February 17, 2011
Who Is Joel Richardson?
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily author and occasionaly columnist Joel Richardson was on Glenn Beck's Fox News show tonight talking about his favorite subject -- why the Muslim Mahdi is the Antichrist. We're pretty sure Richardson didn't want to talk about why he thinks Islam is the "primary vehicle" of Satan or what President Obama and the Antichrist have in common (as he wrote in a WND column).

We';ve compiled Richardson's greatest hits over at Media Matters.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:03 PM EST
Updated: Thursday, February 17, 2011 8:05 PM EST
WND's Klein Cherry-Picks Another Think Tank Report
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily's Aaron Klein and his "Manchurian Presdident" co-author and researcher, Brenda J. Elliott, are two of the most shamelessly dishonest reporters ever.

Just a week after deliberately cherry-picking a report issued by a George Soros-funded think tank to falsely distort its conclusions and recommendations, Klein and Elliott do it again. From a Feb. 15 WND article by Klein, with "research" by Elliott:

An international "crisis management" group led by billionaire George Soros long has petitioned for the Algerian government to cease "excessive" military activities against al-Qaida-linked groups and to allow organizations seeking to create an Islamic state to participate in the Algerian government.

The organization, the International Crisis Group, also is tied strongly to the Egyptian opposition movement whose protests led to the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak.


In a July 2004 ICG report obtained by WND, the ICG calls on the Algerian government to curb military action against al-Qaida-affiliated organizations, particularly the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat, GSPC, which, like the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, aims to establish an Islamic state within Algeria, and an armed Islamic terrorist group known as Houmat Daawa Salafia, or HDS.

Soros' ICG names the two Islamic groups in its recommendations to the Algerian government.

"Give top priority to ending the remaining armed movements, mainly the GSPC and HDS, through a political, security, legal and diplomatic strategy," states the ICG report.

"Avoid excessive reliance on military means and do not allow these movements' purported links to al-Qaida to rule out a negotiated end to their campaigns," continued the ICG's recommendation to the Algerian government.

As before, Klein refuses to link to the ICG report in his article, even though it's easily avabilable. And as before, his apparent reason for that basic journalistic failure is because he's pulling statements out of context.

Klein didn't mention that the ICG report also stated that the main "Islamist" parties in Algeria have rejected violent fundamentalism:

While these persistent difficulties may suggest little real change over the last decade, Algerian Islamists have revised their outlook and discourse in important respects. Islamic political activism has abandoned its brief but intense flirtation with revolution and reverted to essentially reformist strategies. The Islamist parties now accept the nation-state and have either tacitly abandoned the ideal of an Islamic state or reconciled it with democratic principles. They no longer advocate fundamentalist positions on Islamic law and have begun to accept equality of the sexes, including women's right to work outside the home and participate in public life. These changes represent a partial recovery of the outlook of the "Islamic modernism" movement of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. True fundamentalism -- hostile to democracy and the national idea, resistant to innovative thinking, conservative on the status of women -- is today confined to the Salafiyya current from which Islamist parties now explicitly dissociate themselves.
The armed rebellion is now reduced to the Salafiyya's jihadi wing. Its initial scale owed much to the involvement of a variety of ideological currents, including movements derived from or at least partly inspired by Algeria's nationalist and populist traditions. But today only groups derived from the Salafi current remain active and they have no representation in the party-political sphere. As the armed movements' political and social bases have contracted, their connections with local "mafias" involved in illicit economic activities, notably smuggling, have become more pronounced. Links to al-Qaeda underline the narrowness of their domestic constituency and reliance on external sources of legitimation.
Abandonment of fundamentalism by mainstream Islamist parties means the two oppositions that structured party-politics in the early 1990s, polarising and paralysing debate -- Islamism versus secularism and Islamism versus the nation-state -- have been largely overcome. Inclusive, constructive debate on reform between the main political tendencies -- including Islamists -- should now be possible.

For good measure, Klein repeats his previous false distortion about the ICG's recommendation that "pave the way for the regularization of the Muslim Brothers' participation in political life" without mentioning that the ICG also recommended that the Muslim Brotherhood moderate some of its more extreme views as well.

This isn't just bad reporting -- it's dishonest reporting. But do we expect anything else from Klein and Elliott?

Posted by Terry K. at 4:48 PM EST
Kessler's Non-Scoop: U.S. Will Be Attacked ... Eventually
Topic: Newsmax

The headline on Ronald Kessler's Feb. 14 Newsmax column is certainly a grabber: "FBI: 100 Percent Chance of WMD Attack." But when Kessler reveals the details of the claim, it's much less scarier than the headline makes it seem:

The probability that the U.S. will be hit with a weapons of mass destruction attack at some point is 100 percent, Dr. Vahid Majidi, the FBI’s assistant director in charge of the FBI’s Weapons of Mass Destruction Directorate, tells Newsmax.

Such an attack could be launched by foreign terrorists, lone wolves who are terrorists, or even by criminal elements, Majidi says. It would most likely employ chemical, biological, or radiological weapons rather than a nuclear device.

In other words, we are definitely going to be attacked. By somebody. Eventually.

What a sad bit of scaremongering.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:47 AM EST
Shorter Les Kinsolving: Get Off My Lawn!
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Les Kinsolving's Feb. 15 WorldNetDaily column is one long fit of old-guy grumbling about the Super Bowl. Among Kinsolving's complaints:

  • Nobody played any Sousa marches.
  • NFL players have "an aversion to barber shops." 
  • They also have tattoos.
  • "This begs another question: What would the National Football League do if one of its players were an American-Indian who lingered in the locker room long enough to adorn himself with full, face-covering war paint?"
  • The commercials sucked.
  • "I heard both 'America the Beautiful' and our national anthem musically mauled."
  • Then, a couple days later, some newspaper columnist criticized Francis Scott Key for writing such crappy lyrics.
  • By contrast, the Army-Navy game had marching bands that played Sousa marches, and their players aren't overpaid like those NFL guys are.

Also: "I confess that I avoided halftime, because I needed to eat dinner and halftime featured such 'highlights' as the Black Eyed Peas and Flash."

Posted by Terry K. at 8:52 AM EST
NEW ARTICLE: Newsmax's Dubious Doctor
Topic: Newsmax
Dr. Russell Blaylock, whose health newsletter Newsmax publishes, preaches questionable medical advice like railing against vaccines and declaring that NutraSweet and MSG cause brain damage. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 12:11 AM EST
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Caruba Pushes Discredited Claims Pulled From Chain Email
Topic: Accuracy in Media

In a Feb. 14 Accuracy in Media column ranting against multiculturalism in general and immigration in particular, Alan Caruba writes:

In 2008 Los Angeles County, population 10.2 million, was where 42% of workers were paid cash and did not pay taxes; 90% of warrants for murder in Los Angeles were for illegal aliens; more than two-thirds of all births were to illegal aliens; nearly 40% of all inmates in California were Mexican nationals who were there illegally; and, nationally, while less than 2% of illegal aliens were picking crops, 37% were on welfare.

Most of Caruba's of these statistics are falsely portrayed and apparently pulled out of chain emails, with a few of the numbers inflated for dramatic impact. As Snopes details:

  • That high percentage of murder warrants for "illegal aliens" are outstanding warrants, not all warrants issued.
  • The birth statistic is for all Hispanics, not just "illegal aliens."
  • The percentage of inmates in California detention centers apparently applies to all deportable aliens, not just "Mexican nationals."
  • Illegal immigrants are not generally eligible to collect welfare benefits, those some may receive some forms of aid on behalf of children born in the U.S., who are by definition U.S. citizens.

It's pretty sad for Caruba to be pulling his lame attacks out of discredited chain emails.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:44 PM EST
WND Inadvertently Tells Truth About 'Eligibility' Film
Topic: WorldNetDaily

A Feb. 15 WorldNetDaily article is promoting a special deal on the WND-produced "documentary" "A Question of Eligibility," with a headline declaring it to be the "Most radioactive film of the decade."

The film is radioactive, but not for the reason WND thinks it is. As we detailed, "A Question of Eligibility" is riddled with discredited conspiracy theories and apparent violations of copyright law, as you might expect any film starring Jerome Corsi, Alan Keyes, Orly Taitz and Janet Porter to be.

There's a reason the filmmakers' names "are being withheld at the request of the filmmakers," and it ain't because of the stated claim that "They fear reprisals from their government" -- they are much more likely to be embarrassed about their participation in such a slapdash, factually challenged production.

Posted by Terry K. at 7:26 PM EST
WND Joins Freak-Out Over Gay Valentines
Topic: WorldNetDaily

We've previously noted how an NPR story on gay valentine cards sent the MRC's Tim Graham into a fit of anti-gay apoplexy. Now the gay-bashers at WorldNetDaily have taken that apoplexy to the next level.

A Feb. 15 article by Drew Zahn grumbles: "This Valentine's Day, National Public Radio chose two curious ways to celebrate the holiday: It thanked President Obama for proposing an increase in its federal funding, then it used its taxpayer money to promote greeting cards for the homosexual lifestyle."

Zahn then details the federal government's funding of NPR, suggesting that its doing this story is a reason to defund it. Um, isn't that censorship?

Posted by Terry K. at 3:23 PM EST
NewsBusters Goes On One More Anti-Gay Freak-Out Over Gay Art Exhibit
Topic: NewsBusters

Ken Shepherd complains in a Feb. 11 NewsBusters post that "The Washington Post Style section mounted its latest favorite hobby horse again this morning with yet another article devoted to the controversial 'Hide/Seek' Smithsonian exhibit," but he mounts the MRC's favorite manufactured controversy hobby horse by denouncing the exhibit yet again.

Shepherd does at least acknowledge the MRC's role in manufacturing the controversy over the exhibit by noting that "NewsBusters sister organization broke the story in late November that sparked the controversy." Shepherd then asserts that a video in the exhibit that the MRC's manufactured outrage caused to be removed was "offensive" -- as if that was an indisuputable fact and a universal view -- but he, like many of his MRC colleagues, do not explain the artist's intent with the video's imagery, which would place it in must eyes in a different light than the one the MRC has labored to paint it.

Shepherd complained that "The decision to remove the video was decried as censorship by liberal critics, a criticism magnified by the Post's Style section coverage of the row," concluding, "Of course, no one disputes the right of artists to free expression. The issue at hand is taxpayer sponsorship of offensive art, particularly art that is offensive to millions of religious Americans."

Well, actually, the MRC is very much attacking the idea of free expression. The MRC has a not-so-hidden anti-gay agenda, and its attack on the Smithsonian exhibit -- a collection of gay-themed portraiture -- is very much an attempt at censorship, something it actually accomplished by forcing the removal of the supposedly "offensive" video. The MRC is less offended by a single video than it is that gay-themed art was allowed to appear in public -- which statements by MRC chief Brent Bozell and other MRC officials have made all too clear. Shepherd should just admit it.

Further, Shepherd falsely claims that the art in question received "taxpayer sponsorship." In fact, the exhibit was assembled using private funds.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:57 AM EST
Farah Lies Yet Again That WND Never Claimed Obama Wasn't Born in U.S.
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Joseph Farah's notorious thin skin about criticism of him and his website shows up yet again in his Feb. 15 WorldNetDaily column -- as if his childish opening reference to the Wall Street Journal as the "Wall Street Urinal" wasn't a clue.

This time Farah has his undies in a bunch about WSJ columnist James Taranto's claim that WND publishes "demonstrable falsehoods about Barack Obama's birthplace," specifically "claim[ing] falsely that Obama was born outside the U.S." Cue Farah in freak-out mode:

I immediately challenged Taranto to provide just one example of WND ever claiming Obama was born outside the country. I have not heard from him with such an example, nor do I expect to hear from him – for the simple reason it has never happened.

Be my guest – search for the accusation in WND's free public archives. You will not find any such accusation or characterization by WND or any of its staff writers, columnists or even letter writers. I invite the George Soros-sponsored Media Matters organization to assist Taranto in his futile search. They won't find any such assertion in the hundreds of stories WND has published seeking the truth about Obama's still mysterious origins.

By the way, it would not be a lie to say Obama was born in a foreign country. It would just be an unsubstantiated assertion. However, it is a lie to say WND has made such an assertion.

Well, I work for Media Matters, so that may be close enough for Farah's purposes. It's an indisputable fact that WND -- including Farah himself -- has characterized Obama as being born outside the U.S. Here are just a few examples:

  • "The only living person who claims publicly to have been present at Obama's birth is his paternal grandmother, Sarah Obama, who says the birth took place in Mombassa, Kenya."-- Farah, July 23, 2009
  • "Of course, the only living person in the world who claims to have been present for Obama's birth is his paternal grandmother, Sarah Obama, who says it took place in Mombasa, Kenya." -- Farah, July 15, 2009
  • "California attorney Orly Taitz, who has filed a number of lawsuits demanding proof of Barack Obama's eligibility to serve as president, has released a copy of what purports to be a Kenyan certification of birth and has filed a new motion in U.S. District Court for its authentication. ... WND was able to obtain other birth certificates from Kenya for purposes of comparison, and the form of the documents appear to be identical." -- WND, Aug. 2, 2009

(Of course, the claim attributed to Obama's grandmother has been discredited, and the "Kenyan birth certificate" was ultimately found to be a fake, but not before WND published it without bothering to verify it first.)

We can keep going if Farah wants. For example, here's a Nov. 23 column by Jim Fletcher calling Obama "the Man from Kenya" (something he does again in columns on July 19 and Sept. 14).

That pretty much destroys Farah's claim that there is no "such accusation or characterization by WND or any of its staff writers, columnists or even letter writers" that Obama was born outside the U.S. 

Farah frequently claims that he and WND have never claimed or suggested that Obama wasn't born in the U.S. He's lying every single time he does so.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:23 AM EST

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