WND Portrays Clownish Muslim Cleric As a Real Threat Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily wants you to think Anjem Choudary isn't a clown.
A March 22 WND article by Michael Carl breathlessly repeats Choudary's baseless assertion that "al-Qaida and the Muslim Brotherhood have assets on the ground in Libya and are ready to take control if Moammar Gadhafi is removed from power." Carl pumps up Choudary so you will take his ravings seriously, insisting that he's a "top Muslim cleric" -- again, without any substantiation.
In the real world, Choudary is nothing more than a provocateur -- Salon called him "the Muslim analogue of Terry Jones, the obscure Florida preacher who created an international controversy last year with plans for a 'Burn the Quran Day.' He is a radical with minuscule public support, but one who can, given enough free airtime, do real-world damage." Choudary has appeared on Fox News in the same role that WND is putting him in: a crazy radical Muslim who is supposedly representative of all Muslims.
Still, Carl endeavors to construct a credible image for Choudary by invoking someone else endorsing his claims:
Florida Security Council President Tom Trento agrees.
"He is telling the truth, because North Africa from Cairo going West has deep penetration by the Muslim Brotherhood. We also know that Gadhafi is hated by and hates the Brotherhood and al-Qaida," Trento said.
"We also know that al-Qaida has their heart set on controlling petroleum. Libya is the No. 4 producer. There is no bigger prize in northern Africa than Libya right now," Trento said.
He said Choudary is in a position to know if the Brotherhood or al-Qaida is poised to move if Gadhafi is removed.
"Choudary has deep analytical connections to a variety of organizations. He is the sort of philosophical mind for al-Qaida. He is a confidante of Osama bin Laden," Trento said.
Trento is certain that these connections give Choudary inside information on whether al-Qaida is able to make such a power play if Gadhafi is gone from Libya.
At no point does Carl explain who Trento and the Florida Security Council are, let alone why they should be taken seriously. In fact, it's nothing more than a peration parroting the right-wing anti-Muslim line, even trying to fundraise off anti-Muslim fears.
The Florida Security Council has no demonstrated expertise on Muslim issues, as evidenced by its insistence on taking Choudary seriously; Trento states that he has "degrees in Law Enforcement, Theology and Philosophy."
Carl waits until the 19th paragraph before getting around to quoting anti-Muslim activist Robert Spencer calling Coudary's ravings "a bit fanciful." That Carl so buries the lead demonstrates WND's agenda to make Choudary as credibly scary as possible, even though it knows he's not.
NewsBusters' Sheppard Retracts Accusation of Anti-Semitism Topic: NewsBusters
NewsBusters' Noel Sheppard wrote a March 22 post accusing Mother Jones' David Corn of anti-Semitism for pointing out that "here’s a certain brand of evangelical Christians who believe in Revelations, that Armageddon is coming, and that will happen in Israel basically," and that "That’s why they want Israel to be strong. ... It’s not because they like Jews or Israelis."
As Mediate's Tommy Christopher notes, while what Corn said may be uncharitable to evangelical Christians, it's hardly anti-Semitic, and besides, "those non-believers can be forgiven for not appreciating a love that’s predicated on a belief that they will burn forever in a lake of fire if they don’t repent their non-believing ways. With friends like that, who needs enemies?"
Christopher also got a reaction from Corn: "I don’t follow the extrapolation. How does questioning the motives of right-wing evangelical fundamentalists regarding their support of Israel translate into bias against Jews? If you get an explanation from Newsbusters, please forward."
Rather than explain, Sheppard has decided to punt, deleting the substance of his original post and replacing it with a retraction:
After discussing with my colleagues the subject of this article, which claimed Mother Jones's David Corn and MSNBC's Chris Matthews engaged in an anti-Semitic conversation on Monday's "Hardball," I have decided that I do not stand by my allegation.
I apologize to Corn and Matthews for my misinterpretation.
As you might expect -- Christopher's claim that NewsBusters "make[s] an effort to be honest and transparent" notwithstanding -- NewsBusters is making no effort to call attention to Sheppard's retraction; no reference to it appears on its front page. Further, Sheppard has not mentioned his retraction on his Twitter feed, even as a tweet claiming that Corn "made an anti-Semitic remark"remains live.
More Anti-Gay (And Anti-Michelle Obama?) Snark From Tim Graham Topic: NewsBusters
Tim Graham gets in a little gay-bashing in his March 22 NewsBusters post, huffing that "Time magazine followed Newsweek in honoring gay sex columnist Dan Savage and offering him space to trash conservatives. The liberal media sets Savage up as an anti-bullying activist, then lets him push conservative faces in the dirt." Graham went on to complain that Time was honoring Savage's "It Gets Better" videos, which he complained were "affirming homosexual children."
Graham then portrayed Savage as saying that "conservatives don't care if homosexual children (or children who think they might be) commit suicide." That, of course, is a creative interpretation of what Savage actually said, which was that no one "on the right in the U.S. to even say, You're 14 and gay. Don't kill yourself," whereas British Conservative Party leader David Cameron did. Graham groused: "What Savage really wants is what David Cameron of Britain provided: a "Conservative" who's 100 percent in agreement with government celebrating homosexuality."
That kind of anti-gay snark is to be expected from Graham. But he also seemed to take offense at Savage referencing "the glamour supernova that is Michelle Obama. It's staggering how charismatic and beautiful she is. It takes a lot for a woman to ping onto my radar like that." He offered no comment on it, but he put the "glamour supernova" statement in his headline, suggesting that there's an issue.
Does Graham believe, like certain others on the right, that Michelle Obama is a "hot mess" who is ugly and dresses funny? He might want to explain himself.
WND's Massie Wants To Lynch Some (All?) Muslims Topic: WorldNetDaily
Mychal Massie's March 22 WorldNetDaily column is headlined, "Islam slips the noose again," and he begins it by asserting, "Once again, Islam slipped the noose of public exposure for what it truly is."
Really? Nothing like a little lynching metaphor to illustrage one's point, eh?
But Massie's not done -- he also appears to liken the proposed Islamic center near the Ground Zero site in New York to putting the KKK headquarters in Harlem:
If the Ku Klux Klan, complete in sheets and hoods, wanted to open a national headquarters building in the middle of Harlem, with its Grand Wizard saying it wasn't to antagonize blacks – rather, it was so they and blacks could overcome misunderstanding – who would believe them? Are Nazis and others who praise Hitler invited to the White House and encouraged in their subversion of American tradition? People cannot fly the confederate flag without a person somewhere going apoplectic.
NewsBusters' Double Standard on Judicial Conflicts of Interest Topic: NewsBusters
A March 22 NewsBusters post by Tom Blumer joins the right-wing attack on Maryann Sumi, the Wisconsin judge who has blocked implementation of a recently passed state law essentially banning collective bargaining for public employees, repeating complaints that the judge's son is a former union worker as "a pretty clear conflict of interest." Blumer added that if the son lives with his mother, that "would compound the level of conflicted interests."
By contrast, NewsBusters endeavored to excuse similar conflicts of interest regarding another judge -- Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.
After it was pointed out that Thomas' wife, Ginni, is a tea party activist whose activism should perhaps cause Thomas to recuse himself from some cases, Noel Sheppard scoffed at the idea in a Feb. 5 post: "So if a judge's wife writes an opinion on a controversial issue coming before his court, he should recuse himself? Doesn't make a lot of sense, does it?"
Referencing Ginni Thomas' previous affiliation with the tea party group Liberty Central in a July 2010 post, Sheppard wrote:
As such, despite Olbermann's blathering, the only potential conflict here would be if the Supreme Court heard a case involving a donor to Liberty Central. At that point, there are procedures in place to deal with it.
After all, in the many centuries we've had a Supreme Court, this isn't the first time a justice's spouse was involved in politics.
But as Sheppard also noted, Liberty Central has refused to make its donor list public, making it impossible to determine if a case Thomas decided involved a Liberty Central donor. Sheppard didn't comment on that contradiction.
In a March 2010 post, Matthew Balan touted legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin's claim that there's nothing illegal about Ginni Thomas' activism, as if that was the central issue.
It appears that the only judicial conflicts of interest that really matter to NewsBusters are those that can be used to attack a supposedly liberal judge.
A March 21 WorldNetDaily article by Joe Kovacs states how "Media giant Glenn Beck is warning that a "perfect storm" of problems in America and the world has begun, and he's urging people to turn to God to deal with it." Kovacs adds that Beck "often invokes God in his commentary."
Wait -- wasn't WND trashing Beck just last week for being a new age Antichrist? Yes, yes it was.
In a March 9 article, Kovacs highlighted a video by "Christian author and national speaker" Brannon House claiming that Beck is "a pagan, New Age 'anti-Christ' who is deluding many believers away from the Bible's teachings and leading them toward Eastern mysticism" whose latest book "is nothing less than a promotion of universalism, postmodernism and pagan spirituality, also known as the New Age movement." Howse continued:
"I hate to say it, but through testing Glenn's doctrinal fruit, he is not a Christian. In fact indeed, he is a false teacher. He is proclaiming another Jesus and another gospel. ... Nowhere in Beck's new book does he mention the biblical Gospel. In fact, what he mentions is anti-Christ. He's denying the exclusivity of Jesus Christ. What Glenn is promoting is the same lie promoted by Satan in Genesis 3, verses 1–5. And I'm fearful that the spiritual poison Beck is promoting is not seven wonders that will change your life, but in fact lies that will condemn the souls of millions for eternity."
This is just another example of WND's growing schizophrenia on Beck. WND editor Joseph Farah has previously lashed out at Beck for rejecting WND's rabid birtherism -- but also invoked Beck's embrace of Joel Richardson's book "The Islamic Antichrist" to promote sales of the WND-published book (as well as another book sold by WND, "The 5000 Year Leap").
If WND really believes Beck is evil, why is it co-opting him as a pitchman? That would seem to be a disincentive to buy the books he endorses.
NewsBusters' Blindered Attack On Biden's New Staffer Topic: NewsBusters
A March 18 NewsBusters post by Lachlan Markay declared that Washington Post reporter Shailagh Murray -- who just accepted a job as communications director for Vice President Joe Biden -- "penn[ed] a number of stories toeing the Democratic line on a variety of issues." Markay went on to assert, "The bias dossier on Murray is thinner than, say, Katie Couric's, but contains a number of telling items."
Markay lists exactly three "telling items." That doesn't exactly make his case.
As one might expect, Markay's treatment of Murray's "bias dossier" is one-sided and assumes that every reporter who doesn't display an obvious right-wing bias is automatically liberal. Thus, he utterly ignores the idea that Media Matters might have a "bias dossier" of its own on her.
And lo and behold, it does. Here's a few examples:
NEW ARTICLE: Newsmax Helps Another Florida Politician Topic: Newsmax
Why is Newsmax and its CEO, Christopher Ruddy, giving money and fawning "news" coverage to its third major Florida candidate in the past year? Read more >>
Bob Unruh writes in a March 20 WorldNetDaily article:
Not even one person in 10 believes Barack Obama has shown that he is eligible to be president of the United States, according to a stunning new scientific poll that also reveals political Independents have less tolerance than even Republicans for his efforts to obfuscate the issue.
"The shocking result in this survey is that just 9 percent said they believe Obama has met the requirements to prove he was born in the United States and is therefore qualified to be president," said Fritz Wenzel, chief of Wenzel Strategies, which conducted the assessment.
The problem with this "scientific poll"? Wenzel did not ask whether people "believe Obama has met the requirements to prove he was born in the United States and is therefore qualified to be president." Wenzel is extracting his claim from one response to the question, "What is your view of lingering questions about Obama's eligibility to be president?" and he is ignoring the 32 percent who said that the questions are not valid.
Here are the questions Wenzel did ask:
Are you aware of questions raised about Barack Obama's constitutional eligibility for the office of president?
What is your view of lingering questions about Obama's eligibility to be president?
President Obama has refused to release his educational records, which could prove or disprove whether or not he was born in the United States as required by the Constitution. What is your opinion of the fact Obama has not released his educational records?
Some states have drafted legislation requiring candidates for president to prove that they were born in the United States and also meet all other constitutional requirements to be qualified to serve as president of the United States. Do you support or oppose such state legislation?
By throwing in the claim that "President Obama has refused to release his educational records, which could prove or disprove whether or not he was born in the United States as required by the Constitution," Wenzel has arguably skewed his poll.
Tim Graham Anti-Gay Freakout Watch Topic: NewsBusters
Tim Graham's eagle eye for people insufficiently hateful of gays finds a new target in Chris Matthews. Graham writes in a March 18 NewsBusters post that Matthews "stepped away from any sense of neutrality by serving as Master of Ceremonies at the 19th Annual Dinner of the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, which has long agitated for a repeal of any limitations on open homosexuality in the U.S. military."
Because the presence of the right's chief bogeyman can't be ignored, Graham conspiratorially adds: "Naturally, sponsors include the Open Society Institute of George Soros." What does that have to do with anything? Nothing, of course.
Larry Klayman Derangement Syndrome Watch Topic: WorldNetDaily
On top of his current Obama derangement, Larry Klayman is a Clinton Derangement Syndrome sufferer from way back. That flared up again in his March 19 WorldNetDaily column, in which he rehashes the goofy yet hoary claim that the Clintons had dozens of people killed:
During the so-called "Clinton years," when I took the testimony of nearly everyone in the White House, it became well-known that Hillary Rodham Clinton was in effect the operational chief of the administration and its "hit man" – the evil point person for destroying adversaries – and head of the "War Room," which also comprised James Carville and George Stephanopoulos. Hubbie Bill was the "creative genius," not only with regard to foreign policy, but literally with regard to "domestic affairs." Just ask Monica Lewinsky and the cigar industry. But there is one statement I will always remember: "Hillary rules the school," testified to by Linda Tripp, the former assistant to mysteriously deceased Hillary law-firm partner and Clinton Deputy White House Counsel Vince Foster – giving a new meaning to the French expression "femme fatale." As also suggested during the testimony, Vince was the "love slave" who "watered Hillary's office plants" and may have died for being honest and not wanting to go along any longer in helping her execute evil deeds. Over 80 material witnesses and others "died" during the Clinton years, and poor Vince was only one of them.
This, of course, is followed by a bit of Obama derangement:
With this resumé, it's no wonder Barack Hussein Obama was fearful to have Clinton nominated as his vice presidential candidate in 2008. Hillary would only have been a stone's throw away from the Oval Office, and the "mullah in chief" obviously did not want to encourage his own "unfortunate accident." Instead, knowing that Hillary would always covet the presidency, Obama sought, European style, to co-opt her – that is, draw her into his inner circle to contain her by naming her secretary of state.
It seems Klayman actually believes Obama was born in Kenya, and he's counting on Hillary to prove it:
In 2011, it may be passé for Hillary to get rid of people by having them disappear. But with Obama there is an easier way that I suspect may, in this age of "civility," be the femme fatale's new modus operandi. I have come to conclude, through sources close to Hillary, that she herself may again be working on the so-called "birther" issue, which she first raised during her 2008 presidential campaign. For if Hillary can finally obtain proof positive that President Obama was born in Kenya, and not in Hawaii as he claims, then she will not have to send him on a day trip to Fort Marcy Park to retire him as president. What could be cleaner?
That's right -- Klayman just said that Hillary will try to prove Obama isn't constitutionally qualified to be president so she doesn't have to kill him.
Though Beck is a multi-faceted individual, his greatest talent is that he's a master teacher. His Fox News shows are like going to college, but learning things they don't teach at the most expensive campuses in the country.
And therein, I believe, lies the crux of the problem. Beck is too good of a teacher, something Will Durant warned about when he said, "Woe to him who teaches men faster than they can learn." Most Americans are not yet ready to accept the truths Beck teaches, so they find it easier to dismiss him as a doomsayer or conspiracy nut.
The bottom line for me is that Glenn Beck is still the most remarkable person on television, and I'm hoping he stays with Fox. But if the powers that be ever did insist that he put a more positive spin on his show (i.e., that he lie to his viewers), I believe his sense of honor would compel him to leave Fox. Beck is on a mission, and I think purity in thought, speech and action are nonnegotiable with him.