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Sunday, June 26, 2011
NewsBusters' Sheppard Can't Stop Making Meaningless Attacks on Jon Stewart
Topic: NewsBusters

NewsBusters' Noel Sheppard continues to beclown himself in attacking Jon Stewart.

We've noted the childish manner in which Sheppard accused Stewart of being "childish" in responding to accusations that he falsely claimed, in a "Fox News Sunday" interview with Chris Wallace, that Fox News were "misinformed" by pointing out the numerous false claims made on Fox News. But Sheppard's entire response to Stewart in defense of Fox News has been one of juvenalia.

a June 21 post by Sheppard claimed that Stewart "cherry-picked thirteen seconds out of a 24 minute interview to accuse 'Fox News Sunday' host Chris Wallace of claiming, 'We don't tell both sides of the story.'" Sheppard went on to huff:

Wallace didn't say, "We don't tell both sides of the story." He said, "We tell the other side of the story." That certainly doesn't preclude one from telling both sides.

The point Wallace was making was that outlets like NBC News only give the liberal viewpoint, and that Fox by comparison does tell the conservative side as well.

But Sheppard is accepting Wallace's premise that NBC "only give[s] the liberal viewpoint" -- and Fox News always tells both sides of the story -- without providing evidence that that is the case. Even Wallace has admitted he could have made that point a little better.

Sheppard also failed to note that Fox edited out of the broadcast version of the interview Stewart's reference to the most compelling piece of evidence that Fox News is not "fair and balanced": memos by Fox News executive Bill Sammon instructing his reporters and hosts on the political slant to include on news stories.

Sheppard also touted an interview Wallace did with Don Imus in which Wallace brushed off criticism of the editing job on the broadcast version of the interview without addressing the Sammon emails. Sheppard game him a pass for that, too.

Then, in another attack on Stewart, Sheppard asserted as fact in a June 23 post that "Jon Stewart earlier this month did a segment on "The Daily Show" wherein he impersonated Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain using an Amos and Andy voice." But the NewsBusters post Sheppard cites as evidence for this claim makes no mention of Amos and Andy -- Sheppard seems to have plucked that description from Imus' interview with Wallace.

As we've noted, NewsBusters' claim that Stewart's attempt to mock Cain over his blustery declaration that as president he wouldn't sign a bill longer than three pages (which he now, after the fact, is claiming was a joke) was racially motivated is an invented attack not based in reality, seemingly to distract attention from an actual racially motivated attack on President Obama by Fox Business host Eric Bolling.

Sheppard also seems unaware of the nonsensical nature of his smear of Stewart. If Stewart was going to deliberately mount a racial attack against Cain, why would he do it with an allusion no viewer under 60 would understand? That defeats the point of kind of pop culture-based comedy Stewart trades in.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:43 PM EDT
MRC's Graham: "New York Has Joined The 'Sodom And Gomorrah States' "
Topic: Media Research Center
As befits the Media Research Center's anti-gay agenda, MRC director of media analysis Tim Graham isn't taking New York's approval of gay marriage well. Media Matters notes that he tweeted: "So New York has joined the 'Sodom and Gomorrah states.' How proud."

Posted by Terry K. at 11:15 AM EDT
Your WND Birther Roundup
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily keeps up its deceitful birther ways in a spate of recent articles.

A June 21 WND article by Jerome Corsi makes a big deal out of how "The computer graphics expert Fox News relied upon to claim the birth certificate the White House released April 27 was legitimate insists that the network must retract the story, claiming it deliberately misquoted him." Corsi quotes Jean Claude Tremblay at length grumbling about Fox News. But as the Obama Conspiracy blog notes, Corsi also quotes Tremblay as saying:

"First, I never thought that what I saw in the Birth Certificate PDF was a proof of its authenticity," he wrote. "For me, what I have seen does not prove that it is legit, nor that it is a fake, nor that there has been any tampering whatsoever," he wrote. "The title of the blog does not represent my conclusion. It would be unprofessional and simplistic within my area of competence to come to a conclusion one way or the other."

Which means he's not calling the certificate a fraud, which is the thrust of most WND birther reporting these days.

Then, a June 23 article by Corsi presents the opinion of Gary Poyssick, whom Corsi presents as "an expert on Adobe Systems Inc. software" who "has written more than 50 titles about Adobe software, the printing industry, coding and programming, website development and workflow management," about the birth certificate. Through that description, Corsi implies that Poyssick is an expert on the PDF format created by Adobe, the form in which the long-form birth certificate was released to the public.

That would be false. A listing of Poyssick's books currently available on lists no titles involving PDF or Adobe Acrobat, the program historically used to create PDFs. The only Adobe programs Poyssick has apparently written about are Photoshop and Illustrator, the most recent of those titles appearing in 2006.

Of course, all of WND's obsessing over combing through every bit and pixel of the PDF is just meaningless birther masturbation -- it's not the paper certificate.

Meanwhile, Joseph Farah declared in his June 24 WND column that "every document expert WND has conferred with scoffs at the preposterous notion that the document is somehow valid on its face." That's easy since WND has apparently gone out of its way to make sure it talks only to people who will declare the certificate invalid. As we've noted, Corsi has studiously avoided talking to the Obama Conspiracy blog, which has compiled a detailed rebuttal to the rantings of Doug Vogt, to whom Corsi devoted a three-article series.

UPDATE: A ConWebWatch reader noticed that Corsi's article has been changed from its original. Corsi originally claimed, as noted in this copy-and-paste of the original article, that Poyssick was "an early employee" of Adobe and that he "was at the San Jose-based tech company when it counted no more than 14 employees." The reference to Poyssick being an "early employee" of Adobe has been removed, and the article now states that "Poyssick had a working relationship with the San Jose-based tech company when it counted no more than 14 employees." As per WND style, readers were not alerted to the change and no correction was issued.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:31 AM EDT
Updated: Sunday, June 26, 2011 7:40 PM EDT
Saturday, June 25, 2011
CNS Oil Industry Shilling Watch
Topic: keeps up its shilling for the oil industry with a June 23 article by Susan Jones that trumpets the "job creating" proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline between Canada and the U.S.

Jones writes that "Actor Danny Glover, a perennial protester, plans to march with other liberal activists outside the White House in the summer heat to protest a proposed oil pipeline that would bring crude oil from Canada to U.S. refineries in Texas, creating tens of thousands of jobs in the process."

Jones notes that "protesters mention oil leaks" -- then devotes three paragrapahs to how the pipeline's developer, TransCanada, responded to a leak on  another pipeline it operates, quoting a TransCanada press release on how "the integrity of Keystone is sound."

Posted by Terry K. at 11:05 PM EDT
Obama Derangement Syndrome Watch, Supersize WorldNetDaily Edition
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Let there be no doubt: The political philosophy of Michelle Obama and her husband is that of committed Marxists. It is up to us to identify them as such, because it's obvious the media have no interest in doing it for us.


I didn't make up these comments, and I didn't take them out of context. Carter and Clinton were what they were as presidents. But Michelle Obama is the very worst of what freedom in America allows one to become.

The problem is that she and her husband are committed to transforming America into that which not even our Founding Fathers could have imagined we would need protection from.

-- Mychal Massie, June 14 WorldNetDaily column

Speaking, as we were, of appearances, am I the only person who thinks that when you see Barack Obama these days, looking even more dour than usual, with those ears jutting away from his head, his resemblance to an angry bat is downright spooky?

-- Burt Prelutsky, June 15 WorldNetDaily column

The entire Congress, it would seem, as well as the judiciary, is unable to muster among itself even a trio of testicles to confront the fraud occupying the Oval Office.

Strike one: "The Supreme Court sends you its greetings this Inauguration Day, Mr. President elect! Due to the controversy that developed during the election campaign, prior to swearing you in as president, I will need to see an official copy of your long-form birth certificate, which shows you meet the minimum qualifications of office as a natural born citizen." – Chief Justice John Roberts on Inauguration Day.

Strike two: knock, knock, knock. "Good morning, Mr. Obama. We note that the document you posted regarding your birth itself disqualifies you from holding the office of president. You do not meet the minimum requirements, in that you are not a natural born citizen. You are under arrest for fraud, conducting illegal wars and spending public money without legal authorization. You will be held in the Capitol while Congress debates your fate." (That alone should take us well into the next century, and through the doctrine of benign neglect could easily revive the entire world's economy.)

Strike three: "The president stands guilty of violating the War Powers Act. All overseas military operations not operating under a congressional declaration of war are now in violation of the highest law of the land and their commanding officers will be turned over to any national or international tribunal desiring to prosecute them for war crimes. The office of president is de-funded. All Cabinet-level executive officials, so-called czars and their office staffs are hereby ordered to appear before Congress this afternoon, where they will testify under oath about their actions in support of this lawless administration. For many months. While they are housed in the Capitol. With the press corps, which will be blogging live to"

-- Craige McMillan, June 16 WorldNetDaily column

The problem is that because it's a certainty that Obama will obfuscate, lie and spin the truth thousands of times over the next 17 months – and unmercifully smear whoever his opponent may be – it is not hard to imagine him swinging enough voters over to his side to dramatically reduce the 47 percent figure (people who say they won't vote for him) and, in the process, win re-election.

And once out of campaign mode, you can be sure that Obama would go right back to putting the redistribution-of-wealth throttle on full thrust in an attempt to finish the job he was taught to do by his radical mother, his proud-to-be-a-communist father (whose teachings were related to him by his mother), his ideological mentor, Frank Marshall Davis, his spiritual mentor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, community-organizing guru Saul Alinsky, American-hating terrorist Bill Ayers, Frances Fox Piven (of "overwhelming the system" fame), et al. The list is endless, it's ugly, it's Marxist, and it's lethal.

Clearly, Republicans need a presidential nominee who is willing to be bold and aggressive in exposing the truth about Obama, his background, his allies, his ideology, his policies and his vision of America as a model collectivist state.

-- Robert Ringer, June 16 WorldNetDaily column

In his weekly address from the White House Saturday, President Barack Obama publicly repeated the nativity fraud on which he built his persona and his 2008 candidacy.

"I grew up without my father around," Obama said in the second sentence of his videotaped address. "He left when I was 2 years old," he said in his third.

This continues the fiction Obama spun in the first paragraph of an exclusive Father's Day essay for People magazine this past week. There, too, he claimed his father, Barack Obama Sr., "left when I was 2 years old."

In reality, Obama Sr. "left" Hawaii for Harvard well before Obama's first birthday. This did not much matter anyhow as Obama and his mom, Ann Dunham, were living in Seattle by the time Obama was 1-month-old.


Happy Father's Day, kids. Welcome to an America where the truth is whatever the media let you get away with.

-- Jack Cashill, June 20 WorldNetDaily column

Answer: Does a bear do dooty in the woods?

The other day, I heard a conservative talk-show host insist that, with the 2012 presidential election looming on the horizon, it would behoove Republicans to stop referring to Obama and his enablers in the House and Senate as socialists. Instead, he advised, we should focus on the fiscal policies that are leading the nation to the verge of bankruptcy. I, on the other hand, say if it walks like a duck, swims like a duck, quacks like a duck and pushes a socialist agenda, it's a socialist duck.

-- Burt Prelutsky, June 22 WorldNetDaily column

Then, there's the possibility that President Obama might actually be re-elected in 2012. As a Leninist ruler, Obama may not care about governance, but there are millions of Americans who don't even understand what governance is. If they did, there would be protesters filling the streets of every major U.S. city, 24 hours a day.

-- Erik Rush, June 23 WorldNetDaily column

Posted by Terry K. at 8:52 AM EDT
Friday, June 24, 2011
MRC Upset Networks Aren't Demonizing Manning As Gay
Topic: Media Research Center

Erin R. Brown explains her gay-bashing distress (in that not enough is happening) in a July 21 MRC Culture & Media Institute article:

In the wake of the largest security breach in U.S. military history, the mainstream media have struggled to report all the facts about Bradley Manning, the Iraq war soldier in the middle of the Wikileaks scandal. In an effort to pursue political correctness over truthful journalism, ABC, CBS and NBC ignored uncomfortable facts about Manning's sexual orientation and history of "emotional fragility," choosing instead to describe him as an "outcast who tried desperately to fit in."


CBS was the worst offender, offering the most stories about Manning (29) and completely disregarding the known fact that Bradley Manning is gay. ABC ran 14 stories between May 1, 2010, and May 1, 2011, about Manning, and every single story skipped what some consider a key fact in the case: that Manning is a homosexual. NBC was the only network to mention Manning's sexual orientation, but only in three out of 28 stories (10.7 percent).

Manning's homosexuality is a "key fact"? Is Brown saying that Manning would not have allegedly stolen the documents if he wasn't gay?

Brown doesn't explain who the "some" is that consider that a "key fact" -- or why his sexual orientation is important at all. Perhaps that's because they don't exist outside the walls of the MRC headquarters (and down the road a piece at Accuracy in Media, where Cliff Kincaid has been beating the same gays-are-evil drum).

Posted by Terry K. at 7:02 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, June 24, 2011 8:56 PM EDT
Newsmax's Root Falsely Blames Obama For High State Taxes
Topic: Newsmax

Wayne Allyn Root misapplies the lessons of Ayn Rand in his June 21 Newsmax column:

The central plot of "Atlas Shrugged" is that in response to being demonized, overtaxed, over-regulated, and punished for success, America’s business owners were disappearing and refusing to work 16-hour days to support those unwilling to put in the same blood, sweat, and tears. They were going on strike. Because of that, the original proposed title of "Atlas Shrugged" was “The Strike.”

They were going on strike to teach that civilization cannot survive when people are slaves to government. If you punish the wealthy, the risk-takers, and the innovators, you kill the goose that lays the golden eggs. In Obama’s America, fiction is becoming fact.

The lesson of "Atlas Shrugged" is that without the $100,000 earners paying into Social Security, there are no pensions for the poor and lower middle class.

Without the wealthy owners of million-dollar mansions paying $25,000 and $50,000 annual property tax bills, there is no funding for public schools. Without the wealthy paying into Medicare, there is no “free” healthcare for the elderly.

Without capitalists motivated by profit, there are no discoveries to eradicate polio or create miraculous cancer and AIDS drugs. Without capitalists motivated by profit, there are no jobs, period!

Ayn Rand was warning the looters that there are consequences to their overzealous actions. She was warning that if the productive classes felt used, demonized, ripped off, and taken for granted, they would go on strike.

The latest census proves Ayn Rand right. Under Obama the wealthy are striking, voting with their feet. They are moving to low-tax red states in droves, escaping from high-tax blue states where they are being demonized and punished by the millions.

The census proves that Obama’s tax and spend philosophy is a dismal failure, an economic disaster killing jobs.

But it's not Obama raising taxes in those "high-tax blue states" -- it's the states themselves. Obama has no control over state tax rates.

And moving to "low-tax red states" is hardly the same thing as the total work stoppage depicted in "Atlas Shrugged." Going to Florida or Texas is not "going Galt" if the person is otherwise employed.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:32 PM EDT
CNS Does Another Afghan Body Count -- Then Attacks Obama For Withdrawing Troops

This time around,'s Edwin Mora couldn't wait until the end of the month for his monthly body count of U.S. troops killed in Afghanistan. Presdient Obama's speech on withdrawing some troops from Afganistan spurred Mora to write a June 22 article declaring that "The average monthly casualty rate for U.S. military forces serving in Afghanistan has increased 5-fold since President Barack Obama was inaugurated on Jan. 20, 2009." For added insult, Mora also threw in a list of U.S. troops killed so far in June.

Unmentioned by Mora, of course, is the word "Iraq," since that would undercut his attack on Obama. As we've detailed, the U.S. casualty rate in Iraq at the peak of the Iraq war was much higher than it has ever been in Afghanistan.

Mora's story, however, was weirdly accompanied by another CNS article attacking Obama for doing things that would presumably lessen the casualty rate.

A June 23 article by Patrick Goodenough complains that Obama's withdrawal plan ran counter to that of Gen. David Petraeus, who wanted even more troops in Afghanistan:

With Petraeus’ support, McChrystal advocated an aggressive counterinsurgency plan in Afghanistan and sought an additional 40,000 troops when the administration was reviewing its options in late 2009. Obama that December announced the deployment of 30,000 extra troops, and indicated that a phased withdrawal would begin in July 2011.

When Obama announced the start of that drawdown on Wednesday night – 10,000 troops out by the end of this year, a total of 33,000 by September 2012 – Obama did not mention Petraeus by name.

But the president did imply that the counterinsurgency strategy designed by the outgoing ISAF commander was on the way out, as he stressed the Afghan government’s responsibility for “opening markets and schools” and for securing its people.

CNS can't simultaneously attack Obama for withdrawing troops from Afghanistan and allowing troops to get killed. Pick a petty, politically motivated talking point and stick with it, people!

Posted by Terry K. at 9:01 AM EDT
Updated: Sunday, July 3, 2011 9:26 PM EDT
WND Likens Obama to Hitler (Again)
Topic: WorldNetDaily

It's not enough for WorldNetDaily to liken President Obama to an Al-Qaeda terrorist -- after all, it's been a while since they likened him to Nazis.

WND editor Joseph Farah takes it upon himself to fill the void and go Godwin in his June 23 column:

The American political and media elite have determined, for whatever reason, that the Constitution's eligibility requirements for the presidency are not important.

That is the only conclusion one can draw from the misinformation, disinformation and disinterest they have shown to the serious questions swirling around not only the unique case of Barack Obama but also to the definition of "natural born citizen" in future presidential elections.

It's not unprecedented that failing republics dumb down eligibility requirements for the presidency. It's not unprecedented that failing republics ignore or obscure eligibility requirements for the presidency. It's not unprecedented that failing republics make tragic mistakes in permitting non-qualified candidates to serve in the presidency.

It happened in 1932 in Germany with a candidate named Adolf Hitler.

Needless to say, Farah doesn't want you to think he's linkening Obama to Hitler:

I can almost visualize the reaction to what I am saying here: "Farah is comparing Obama to Hitler!"

No, I am not.

Hitler is in a unique historical class of tyrants and fiends and mass murderers. There's Hitler and Josef Stalin and Mao Zedong. Together they are responsible for the deaths of more than 100 million people.

For perspective, Obama has merely contributed to the economic and moral degradation of the greatest country on earth.

I use the Hitler illustration only to demonstrate there are real-world consequences to bending the rules in constitutional republics for political expediency.

Indeed. Why else would WND feel the need to make such a comparison on such a depressingly regular basis?

Farah seems blissfully (or deliberately) ignorant of the fact that explaining away his comparison doesn't matter; he's discredited himself by making it at all.

UPDATE: Salon's Alex Pareene points out one little flaw in Farah's analogy: Hitler was never elected president of Germany.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:07 AM EDT
Updated: Friday, June 24, 2011 7:11 PM EDT
Thursday, June 23, 2011
Childish Noel Sheppard Criticizes Jon Stewart For Being Childish
Topic: NewsBusters

Noel Sheppard whines in a June 22 NewsBusters post:

Real men know how to apologize for their mistakes, especially when made on national television.

Apparently we can't put Jon Stewart in this category, for after acknowledging that the fact-checking organization PolitiFact found his statement to Chris Wallace concerning "misinformed" Fox viewers false, he proceeded to childishly spend three minutes listing all the times PF determined FNC's comments were likewise[.]


This is how a child admits a mistake, not a grown man, especially as Stewart chose not to address the error he made the previous evening when he falsely accused Wallace of saying Fox doesn't tell both sides of the story.

Instead, he chose to further belittle the organization that he twice inaccurately besmirched in so many days.

Noel Sheppard is lecturing Stewart on how to act like a man and not a child? The guy who went skulking around with Jesse Ventura to spin conspiracy theories?  The guy who has trouble using anything beyond juvenile language in his headlines? The guy who childishly purports to be shocked by things that are not shocking at all? The guy who has childishly refused to apologize for his lie that Al Gore is only into global warming activism for the money?

This is the guy who thinks he can pass judgment on the maturity of others? Really?

Posted by Terry K. at 10:06 PM EDT
CNS Selective Outrage Watch, Limbaugh Sexism Edition
Topic: tried to audition yet another attack on President Obama, which seems to have failed like so many others.

A June 14 CNS article by Fred Lucas highlighted Obama saying that Obama said Democratic National Committee chairman Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz  is "charming" and has a "cute smile."Of course, in full context, Obama also said that Wasserman Schultz is "tough as nails," adding, "Don’t mess with Debbie. We are so glad of her leadership."

Lucas followed that up three days later with an article claiming that "Conservative women’s groups see a double standard in the reaction--or lack of it--from the media and liberal feminists to President Barack Obama using terms such as “cute” to describe Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz" and that "the National Organization of Women has been mute on the matter."

Lucas and CNS, meanwhile, are exhibiting their own double standard. Just a week before Obama made the "cute" statement Lucas purports to be so offended by ,conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh was reminiscing about how his radio show used to screen, rate and catalog the pictures of women who called into his show.

And just today, Limbaugh called Hillary Clinton the "sex-retary of state."

Will Lucas be chatting up those same "conservative women's groups" to find out how they feel about Limbaugh's sexism? Given the history of his employer, the Media Research Center, of turning a blind eye to any comment Limbaugh makes, no matter how offensive, we're guessing the answer is no.

Posted by Terry K. at 7:03 PM EDT
Farah Launches Overblown, Misleading Attack on Anti-HIV Trial
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Joseph Farah's June 21 WorldNetDaily column was a massive tirade about a field trial of an anti-HIV-transmission gel in South Africa -- "a joint project of the British government, the U.S. government and population-reduction advocate Bill Gates" -- which he portrayed as a modern-day Tuskegee experiment. He rants:

Last year, the experts were boasting about the gel showing a 39 percent effectiveness rate. I want you to think about what that means.

A 39 percent effectiveness rate when you are dealing with the transmission of a deadly virus means a 61 percent failure rate. Worse yet, the control victims received a placebo gel – one that could not protect them from HIV at all, just like the Tuskegee victims, meaning 100 percent were told to have sex with their HIV-infected partners with no chance of protection.

Is an experiment a success when 61 percent of the healthy patients die as a result of following the advice of doctors funded by the U.S. government, the British government and Bill Gates? Should experiments like that even be permitted, let alone tax funded? Shouldn't people be going to jail for participating in experiments that would make Josef Mengele proud?

Knowing all we know about past efforts to use human beings as guinea pigs, how is it that experiments like this are once again receiving taxpayer funds, accolades from the scientific community and no scrutiny or criticism whatsoever – until the publication of this column?

Farah offered no evidence he read anything about this study beyond a newspaper article about it. They're not hard to find -- they're all right here, at the website for Caprisa, the Centre for the AIDS Programme of Research in South Africa. If he had, he might have educated himself a bit more.

The study itself explains the population among which the field trial was conducted:

CAPRISA 004, a two-arm, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial, was conducted from May 2007 to March 2010. Women were enrolled at an urban and a rural clinic in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, but the study was not designed to assess the effectiveness of tenofovir in each clinic separately. Urban women were enrolled at the CAPRISA eThekwini Research Clinic, adjacent to an STI clinic located in the Durban city centre. Rural women were enrolled at the CAPRISA Vulindlela Research Clinic, adjacent to a comprehensive primary health care clinic in Vulindlela, a rural community of approximately 90,000 people, about 150km north-west of Durban. Prior to the CAPRISA 004 trial, feasibility studies were conducted to assess HIV incidence and sexual behavior at both sites. Extrapolated HIV incidence rates from prevalence studies in the urban (19) and rural (20) sites were 15.6% and 11.2% respectively. Reported anal sex rates were substantially lower at these two sites than we had observed in previous microbicide trials (21) in female sex workers in this region. Data from these feasibility studies were used as the basis for selecting these sites for the trial as well as for the design and sample size calculations for the CAPRISA 004 trial.


A coitally-related dosing strategy was selected to achieve high adherence, based on in-depth consultations with the communities involved. Sexual behavior data showed that women in the key study population had infrequent high-risk sex with migrant partners. 

The study also stated:

The trial (NCT00441298) was approved by the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Biomedical Research Ethics Committee (E111/06), Family Health International’s Protection of Human Subjects Committee (#9946) and the South African Medicines Control Council (#20060835)

An accompanying Q&A explained more about the ethics and the subjects:

What approvals were required for this trial to get underway?

The trial underwent extensive and rigorous review, by South African regulatory authorities, the Medicines Control Council, and the ethics committees of the University of KwaZulu-Natal and FHI. In addition, both sites that conducted the trial had a local community advisory board to facilitate community involvement in the trial.
Did all women in the study provide informed consent?

Each woman was provided with detailed information on the study. The informed consent process ensured that the women understood (1) the study’s procedures as well as the risks and benefits of the study; (2) the need to practice safer sex behaviors regardless of which study group they were assigned to; (3) the importance of adherence to the study’s treatment regimen; and (4) the potential medical risks associated with participation. The women were under no obligation to participate and could leave the study, without consequence, at any time. Once a woman completed the study information session, she was asked to answer a comprehensive quiz about the key concepts of the trial. Women who answered all questions correctly were then asked to provide written informed consent prior to both screening and enrollment, using forms translated into isiZulu, where necessary.

Farah's ranting to the contrary, this field trial is nothing like the Tuskegee experiment. Unlike the Tuskegee victims -- who were never told they had syphillis and were allowed to die from it without receiving treatment, with the purported goal of finding out if syphillis affected blacks differently than whites -- those who took part in the Caprisa trial were fully informed about the study's risks and were instructed on the need to practice safe sex in addition to using the gel, with the goal of seeing if a gel designed to prevent HIV transmission works in real-world conditions. Farah doesn't mention that to his readers -- again, because he seems more interested in ranting than researching what he's ranting about.

The study also states that those who contracted HIV, whether on gel or placebo, engaged in more risky behavior such has not using condoms or sex with "migrant men" in a community that the study describes as the epicenter of South Africa's HIV epidemic. Farah didn't mention that, either.

Farah also claims that study participants "were told to have sex with their HIV-infected partners" by those who conducted the study -- something for which he has no evidence for, and something the study itself never claims. Does Farah really think that people in South Africa -- which HIV is spread mostly by heterosexual contact -- is knowingly having sex with HIV-positive people?

Farah offers no evidence that he attempted to contact anyone who took part in conducting the study to address his concerns. He's just hurling accusations without bothering to verify anything he wrote. That's the height of laziness.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:37 AM EDT
MRC Still Thinks Live Action Attack on Planned Parenthood Is Credible
Topic: Media Research Center

When the anti-abortion group Live Action released undercover videos intended to entrap Planned Parenthood employees in a fake sex trafficking scheme, the Media Research Center repeatedly promoted it, despite the whole entrapment angle and the fact that Planned Parenthood actually contacted the Justice Department immediately after the visits from the Live Action actors -- undercutting the entire scandal thing.

Well, the MRC certainly has no interest in letting the truth get in the way of its agenda, so it's still promoting this non-scandal as recently as the past month.

Catherine Maggio wrote in a June 2 MRC Culture & Media Institute article attacking celebrities for coming to Planned Parenthood's defense that "In February, the pro-life group Live Action released a hidden-camera video of a New Jersey Planned Parenthood employee giving advice to a man posing as a pimp about obtaining abortions and birth control for the underage foreign prostitutes he traffics." Maggio didn't mention that Planned Parenthood contacted the Justice Department immediately after those visits.

In bashing CNN's Eliot Spitzer for giving a supposedly softball interview to Planned Parenthood chief Cecile Richards, Matt Hadro wrote in a June 16 NewsBusters post: "He did not mention conservative activist group Live Action's report earlier this spring that documented multiple cases of clinics telling Live Action that they did not offer mammograms – despite claims to the contrary by Richards."

Hadro gets the smear wrong -- Live Action actually accused Planned Parenthood of not providing mammograms despite claiming that it does. That's nothing more than a silly semantics argument: Planned Parenthood provides mammograms by referring patients to outside organizations who actually conduct them.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:47 AM EDT
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
NEW ARTICLE: Aaron Klein's Guilt-By-Association Smears: A Case Study
Topic: WorldNetDaily
The WorldNetDaily reporter wants you to believe that a respected scholar who has received the Presidential Medal of Freedom is a radical Muslim who's working to undermine America. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 3:48 PM EDT
CNS Word Obsession Watch
Topic: apparently doesn't want to explain to its readers why its attack on Michelle Obama mysteriously disappeared, but it's more than happy to fall into its old pattern of obsessing over specific words President Obama says or doesn't say.

A June 20 CNS article by Jerad McHenry carries the headline "Obama Omits ‘Creator’ When Citing ‘Inalienable Rights’ of LGBTs":

In a statement released Friday, President Barack Obama declared that "LGBT persons are endowed with" what he called "inalienble rights," but ommited the word "Creator" from what clearly was an allusion to the famous language of the Declaration of Independence.

The president's June 17 statement was in response to a U.N. resolution on human rights, sexual orientation and gender identity.

“(T)his marks a significant milestone in the long struggle for equality, and the beginning of a universal recognition that LGBT persons are endowed with the same inalienable rights -- and entitled to the same protections -- as all human beings,” the statement said.

The Declaration of Independence reads: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” (Bolding added).

Yes, CNS this this omission is such an important issue that it has devoted an entire article to it. But CNS joins its Media Research Center bretheren at NewsBusters in its silence on Fox's editing of a "Fox News Sunday" interview with Jon Stewart to remove criticism of Fox News.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:10 AM EDT

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