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Tuesday, July 5, 2011
WND Posts Video Of Its Dog-And-Pony Show
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily has posted video (in five parts) of its dog-and-pony show from last week in which it presented its lawsuit against Esquire magazine and pushed birther conspiracy theories.

We haven't watched the whole thing to see if WND deleted anything embarrassing, like the long gaps of Mara Zebest fumbling around at the computer -- we're in no hurry to lose another hour and a half of our lives reliving this experience again -- but we do know that the end of part 5 does keep intact Joseph Farah refusing to answer our question about whether WND-affiliated attorneys supplied Tim Adams with the affidavit he signed (and WND later reported on) and shutting down the press conference instead.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:33 PM EDT
Public School Derangement Syndrome Watch
Topic: WorldNetDaily

have a confession to make. Until I was an adult – as in, until a few years ago – I never completely read the Declaration of Independence.

Oh sure, I was familiar with the basics. I knew what it said … sort of. But somehow I just never got around to reading it.

This isn't surprising. I am, after all, a public skool gradjuate. And public schools, as everyone knows, hardly go around emphasizing such things.

But now that I'm a homeschooling mom, I was darned if my kids were going to be as ignorant as I was.


When one nation takes over another, that second nation is considered "occupied." That's currently the situation of We the People. We are occupied by the Government of America. An efficient parasite weakens and sucks blood from its host, but doesn't quite kill it. The Government of America has become a parasite on the body of the People of America.

And so this is why a thoughtful study of our founding documents is actively discouraged in government schools. Studying these documents puts students in opposition with the occupying force. The Declaration is considered inflammatory because students might recognize that the whole purpose of it was to put limitations on the Government, not to feed the beast.

-- Patrice Lewis, July 2 WorldNetDaily column

Posted by Terry K. at 6:56 PM EDT
CNS Belatedly Decides Obama Videos Can Be Used As A Cudgel After All
Topic: is having a tryout for another attack on President Obama -- but this time it gave itself the added degree of difficulty of having declared it wasn't an issue first.

A June 29 article by Matt Cover breathlessly declared that "White House visitor logs reveal that President Obama’s political organization, Obama for America, filmed two campaign videos featuring the president--inside the White House." Cover waited until the second-to-last paragraph of the 12-paragraph article to undo all the hinting at illegalities he had been doing in the rest of the article, conceding that "the videos are not illegal" and that "presidents have often used the White House as a setting for political material."

Then, two days later, Cover apparently decided he didn't trust his legal analysis -- or, more likely, he or his bosses decided that this could be turned into a politically motivated wedge issue against the president. So he scared up a pair of right-wing activists who he presents as "election law experts" to declare that the videos are illegal after all.

Cover identifies Cleta Mitchell only as "a member of the American Bar Association’s election law committee"; in fact, she's a right-wing activist who we last saw serving as a contact for Dick Morris' Super PAC for America. Cover does offer some hint of the political slant his other "expert," Hans von Spakovsky, by noting that he's a "Heritage Foundation legal analyst," but he's much better known for obsessing over the largely nonexistent scourge of voter fraud.

But while Cover, in his June 29 article, noted that "President George W. Bush also filmed part of a campaign ad in the residential portion of the White House. President Bush also used a picture of himself in the Oval Office in a fundraising email from the RNC," he apparently did not ask Mitchell or von Spakovsky about the legality of those incidents, for he does not reference them in the new article. Nor does Cover mention that he had declared the videos to be legal just two days before.

Then again, it's not in Cover's interest to find out if Bush broke any election laws -- that's not what the Media Research Center is paying him to do. It doesn't matter to them that the flip-flop and the double standard is so blatant.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:49 AM EDT
Geller Isn't Bringing Her A-Game Crazy To WND Columnist Gig
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Pamela Geller never made sense as a Newsmax columnist. Her rabid anti-Muslim tirades and birther leanings conflicted with Newsmax's attempts to present itself as a moderate conservative voice -- and they demonsrated a more natural fit at WorldNetDaily. And lo and behold, a few weeks back that came to pass: Geller is a WND columnist.

Thus far, Geller has let her WND readers see only bits of her weapons-grade crazy. Her most high-profile controversies have yet to see the light of day at WND.

For instance, Geller has been defending accused Serbian war criminal Ratko Mladic by downplaying the number of Muslims killed in a massacre in Srebenica and by claiming that Mladic is actually being accused of "daring to fight back when Muslims attacked."

Most recently, Geller has been trying to figure out what to do about her steadfast support for the English Defence League, a far-right British anti-Muslim group long associated with violent attacks and long accused of having racist elements. After the head of the EDL's Jewish Division, Roberta Moore, resigned from the group complaining of "Nazis" in the EDL ranks, Geller first declared that she was withdrawing her support from the EDL, then flip-flopped the next day, insisting that "There is a struggle for the soul of the EDL" and that she still believes the EDL is "noble and true."

C'mon, Pam. If Ilana Mercer can use her WND perch to defend apartheid, certainly you should be able to hold forth at length on the virtuousness of Mladic and the EDL.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:09 AM EDT
NEW ARTICLE: All-Starr Bias
Topic: reporter Penny Starr's propensity for slanting stories covers many subjects beyond art and abortion. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 12:16 AM EDT
Monday, July 4, 2011
Tim Graham Has Another Anti-Gay Freakout
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center has spoken: The Washington Post is not allowed to write about gays on Sunday.

In the tradition of the MRC's history of dictating what can be covered and when, the increasingly homophobic Tim Graham complains in a July 3 NewsBusters post that the Post used "Sunday, the Lord’s Day," to publish an article about gay-themed art. Graham wrote in his headline that Post art critic Philip Kennicott is claiming that "'Overt Bigotry' in the Overwhelmingly Gay Art World Must Be Banned," but it's clear that what Graham wants banned is gay art itself.

Graham smears an exhibit of gay-themed art at the Smithsonian last fall as "tawdry" because it was "often pornographic, or at least nude." Graham repeated the MRC's contention that a video removed from that exhibit was "mocking Jesus," ignoring the fact that the artist himself said it wasn't. Graham also failed to discloses that it was his employer that manufactured the controversy that led to censoring that piece of art.

Graham is really offended, though, at the idea that gay artists have had influence in art history, and that Kennicott had the temerity to point that out and state that it is an "overt sin of omission" not to acknowledge such themes in art. Graham huffed: "See how the notion of 'sin' gets turned upside down?"

Graham then went nuts over Kennicott's claim that as a result of the manufactured controversy over the  Smithsonian exhibit resulted in an "emerging consensus" that "the acceptable level of anti-gay bigotry at an institution such as the Smithsonian is now zero." That prompted Graham to rant:

Translation: The “emerging consensus” is "Shut up, conservatives and Christians! You have no right to tell us what to do with your tax dollars!"

Kennicott, like many arts advocates and critics, believe that the art world is the educated avant-garde which forces progress on society. If the art world can’t yet banish “homophobia” to the ash heap of history, at least it ought to be drummed out of the art world.

Meanwhile, the emerging consensus is that the acceptable level of anti-gay bigotry at the MRC is 100 percent.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:00 AM EDT
Updated: Monday, July 4, 2011 9:34 PM EDT
Another WND Birther Attack Falls Apart On The Slightest Examination
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Bob Unruh dedicates a July 1 WorldNetDaily article to uncritically repeating a claim by Carl Gallups, "the senior pastor at Hickory Hammock Baptist Church for more than 24 years with a long history of community and law enforcement involvement," that since 2003 there has been an "organized strategy" to install Barack Obama in the presidency through attempts by members of Congress to explicitly define, or remove, the constitutional requirement that the president be a "natural born citizen" that was occurring "during the years Barack Obama was developing a power base and running for president."

Since Unruh is regurgitating instead of reporting, it comes as no surprise that any actual look into the claim shows how flimsy and fraudulent it is.

For instance, the first four efforts Unruh and Gallups cite occurred during the 2003-04 session of Congress, before Obama had even run for a U.S. Senate seat. Unruh also does some selective editing of the sponsors of those resolutions. For instance, the only sponsor Unruh lists for H.J. Res. 59 (which Unruh incorrectly identifies as "HJR 59") is Democratic Rep. Vic Snyder, failing to mention that another sponsor was Republican Rep. Darrell Issa -- hardly the kind of congressman who would be interested in paving the way for a Democrat to be president. Similarly, the only sponsor Unruh lists for S. 2128 (which Unruh incorrectly identifies as "S.B. 2128") is Republican Sen. Don Nickles, not mentioning that a co-sponsor was his fellow Oklahoma senator and notoriously right-wing James Inhofe.

Unruh makes no mention of what was going on in 2003 that was the actual motivation for such bills. It has more than a little to do with a certain famous actor who had just been elected California governor as a Republican. Snyder said during a October 2004 Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the proposals (retrieved from Nexis):

Finally, with regard to the 20 versus 35 years, I certainly will be supportive of a 20-year amendment if that's what comes to the floor of the House and what comes out of this Congress. There are some issues, does that get into discussions about personality. I personally think both Governor Granholm and Governor Schwarzenegger ought to be eligible to be president. Some people may decide that that would be better having a longer period of time so we eliminate individuals. But I applaud you for your efforts here today and appreciate the opportunity to testify.

Republican Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, who sponsored another related resolution, had this to say during the hearing:

And, of course, this hearing would not be complete unless the name of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger was not mentioned at least once. But, of course, he is just one famous example, as has been pointed out here today.

And so, another birther conspiracy completely implodes upon the slightest examination. The main goal of those bills was to elect a Republican -- not a Democrat -- who didn't current presidential standards.

And Joseph Farah wonders why WND is being ignored on the birther stuff. It couldn't possibly have anything to do with his repeatedly embarrassing himself by his insistence on publishing laughable tripe like this.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:23 AM EDT
Sunday, July 3, 2011
CNS Body Count Watch

It wasn't the end of the month when's Edwin Mora wrote a body-count article last week to attack President Obama's announcement of withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan, so Mora had to churn out another one to adhere to his monthly body-count mandate.

Check out the headlines on Mora's article from last week and this week:

  • Under Obama, U.S. Casualty Rate in Afghanistan Increased 5-Fold
  • 2011 On Pace to Match Deadliest Year in Afghanistan for U.S. Troops

Gotta love the faux-peacenik sentiments CNS is promoting here, eh?

Needless to say, the word "Iraq" is nowhere to be found, which means that Mora has failed yet to explain that the casualty rate in Iraq at the height of that war is more than double that of the current casualty rate in Afghanistan.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:25 PM EDT
Newsmax's Fond Farewell to Beck
Topic: Newsmax

David A. Patten, Newsmax's go-to guy for slavish adherence to right-wing talking points, serves up a fawning farewell tribute to Glenn Beck's Fox News show in a June 30 article.

Patten uncritically repeats Beck's claim that he wasn't fired from Fox News, and goes on to sycophantically tout Beck's accomplishments:

That Beck’s program accomplished what most critics considered impossible for a 5 p.m. cable talk show is virtually undeniable. Viewership for his program exceeded 3 million per night at one point, astounding most media analysts.

Indeed, his program typically attracted more viewers than CNN, CNBC, and MSNBC combined, and he had the third-most-watched program on cable news, with 2.2 million viewers, before announcing in April that he would be moving on to other ventures.

Beck was occasionally compared throughout his tenure with Howard Beale, the unhinged anchor Peter Finch played in the 1976 movie "Network," who urged viewers to go to fling open their windows and yell, “I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!”

But where the Beale character was irate, Beck proved himself to be one of the savviest stars in the media stratosphere in communicating with a devoted core audience.

In addition to his Fox program, Beck hosted the nation’s third-most-listened to radio programs in the nation and published a string of best-selling books, including "The Christmas Sweater," "Glenn Beck’s Common Sense," and "Arguing With Idiots." He also presented popular on-stage programs that toured from city to city.


Part of Beck’s magic with viewers was his tendency to eschew glitz in favor of talking in a personal, often emotional tone connected with viewers as if he were speaking with them one-on-one. And in that sense, Thursday’s farewell program was vintage Beck.

Patten claimed that "by some accounts" Beck's 8/28 "Restoring Honor" rally "attracted more than half a million people." In fact, that "some accounts" are largely that of Beck himself; professional crowd-counters estimated that between 78,000 and 96,000 attended.

Patten went on to noted that Beck "unveiled a list of names written on his iconic chalk board, speaking from a now-barren set and sharing the credit for the program’s remarkable accomplishments with all those who helped him to produce it" without mentioning that Beck misspelled the name of his own production company on the blackboard.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:57 AM EDT
Updated: Sunday, July 3, 2011 1:02 AM EDT
Saturday, July 2, 2011
Bozell Falsely Claims Chris Matthews Would Never Insult Hillary
Topic: Media Research Center

During his complaining about Chris Matthews' criticism of Michelle Bachmann, Media Research Center chief Brent Bozell said on the July 1 edition of "Fox & Friends": "He would do that to Hillary Clinton. He would never in a million years wage that kind of insulting attack on Hillary Clinton."

Of course, Matthews has insultingly attacked Hillary Clinton -- which Bozell would have known if he had read his own website.

A January 2008 NewsBusters post by Geoffrey Dickens notes that "Matthews spent the first five minutes of Thursday night’s 'Hardball' personally apologizing to Hillary Clinton for insinuating that she owed her political success to sympathy derived from having endured Bill Clinton’s unfaithfulness." And a November 2008 post by P.J. Gladnick highlighted how Matthews, during a train trip, complained about President Obamaselecting Clinton as his secretary of state: "Why would he pick her? I thought we were done with the Clintons. She'll just use it to build her power base. It's Machiavellian. And then we'll have Bill Clinton, too. I thought Obama didn't want drama. ... She's just a soap opera. If he doesn't pick her, everyone will say she's been dissed again, we'll have to live through that again."

Bozell's false statement about Matthews, needless to say, wasn't noted in the NewsBusters post about Bozell's appearance. Then again, given that he hates Hillary even more than Matthews, maybe Bozell didn't consider Matthews' remarks to be insulting.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:20 AM EDT
Obama Derangement Syndrome Watch, Joseph Farah Edition
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Joseph Farah rants in his July 1 WorldNetDaily column:

Think about what I am saying here: The White House has issued a phony, bogus image it claims represents an accurate representation of Obama's birth certificate. That's the conclusion of the experts. But no one in the entire media establishment outside of WND will even take a second look.

A nation with political and cultural institutions in such a state of denial and decay is surely on the verge of some kind of judgment. That's the only conclusion I can make.


Isn't this a scandal bigger than Watergate? Isn't this bigger than the Teapot Dome?

Where are the calls for congressional investigations?

Why aren't subpoenas being issued?

Why hasn't a single story (outside of WND) been written or broadcast about what appears to be the biggest political scandal in American history?

Well, let's see ... because it's not? Because WND has no credibility? Because WND hates Obama so much that its work can't be trusted? Because WND is ignoring the evidence of experts who say the PDF isn't fake? Because WND is looking at an electronic file and not the physical certificate?

That about covers it.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:45 AM EDT
Friday, July 1, 2011
MRC Seems Fine With Calling Obama A Dick (But Can't Spell It Out)
Topic: Media Research Center

Writers for the Media Research Center has said a lot of things about Mark Halperin calling President Obama "kind of a dick" on the June 30 edition of MSNBC's "Morning Joe." None of them criticized Halperin for doing so, and all of them were unable to spell out the word "dick."

In the first NewsBusters post on the incident, Mark Finkelstein -- who spelled it "d--k" -- appeared to react to Halperin's insult the way he attributed to "Morning Joe" hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski: "shocked amusement."

In a follow-up NewsBusters post noting that Halperin had been suspended from MSNBC over the remark, Tim Graham went the euphemism route, substituting "[Short for Richard]" and "[male appendage]" for "dick."

The MRC then went the usual equivocation route, with Geoffrey Dickens complaining that nobody on MSNBC was suspended for "particularly distasteful things to say about a then sitting President George W. Bush." But Dickens joined his MRC in colleagues in censoring Halperin's word, this time as "d-ck," while did not censor any of the "particularly distasteful things" he claimed were said about Bush.

Noel Sheppard, meanwhile, completely avoided any sort of direct quote, saying only that Halperin made "an intemperate remark."Then he ranted that MSNBC is "the leading television propaganda outlet for this White House" and that "MSNBC was making it quite clear that until Election Day has passed, MSNBC personalities and contributors better be very careful what they say about the current White House resident."


If the MRC can't even fully enunciate what Halperin said because they think it's so distasteful, doesn't that definitively demonstrate the offensive nature of the remark and justify Halperin's suspension? Apparently not -- after all, the MRC won't criticize Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter over their long records of offensive statements.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:06 PM EDT
CNS Falsely Claims Durbin Supports 'Amnesty'

A June 29 article by Penny Starr carries the headline "'Thou Shalt Not Steal': Durbin Concedes 10 Commandments is Perfect Law--In Push for Amnesty." But Starr does not quote Durbin using the word "amnesty" -- in fact, that word appears nowhere in Starr's article.

What Durbin is discussing is the DREAM act, which, in Starr's words, "would allow an illegal alien to gain legal status if he came to the United States with his parents at age 15 or younger; if he has been in America for at least five years prior to the bill’s enactment; and if he meets certain education or military service requirements." Because the DREAM Act imposes certain conditions on acquiring citizenship through it -- and it imposes further conditions that Starr did not identify -- it cannot by definition be "amnesty," as we've documented, and CNS is perpetuating a falsehood by doing so.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:54 AM EDT
Les Kinsolving's Stupid Question
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Les Kinsolving's June 28 WorldNetDaily column was devoted to recounting a pair of "senior-citizen sex scandals" -- a professor a New Jersey's Fairleigh Dickinson University (which Kinsolving misspells) who was allegedly running a prostitution ring in New Mexico, and a former president of the University of New Mexico who was arrested as part of the prostitution sting. Kinsolving concluded by stating, "This begs the question: How much in federal funding goes to Farleigh-Dickinson University and to the University of New Mexico? And will either of these institutions lose any such money because of their professor's and their former president's involvement in prostitution?"

But Kinsolving doesn't explain why either university should lose any federal funding, which he seems to be rooting for. He provides no evidence that either man used university resources in their alleged prostitution ring, or that university officials had any knowledge whatsoever of the men's alleged activitites. Given the apparent absence of both, the only logical answer to Kinsolving's question is no.

Kinsolving, of course, would have known this had he bothered to do even the most basic research into answering the question he raised.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:47 AM EDT
MRC Insists That Obama Apologized For America
Topic: Media Research Center

President Obama went on an apology tour, and nobody's going to tell Matt Philbin any differently.

In a June 28 MRC Culture & Media Institute article ostensibly about how the "liberal media" is just not that into American exceptionalism, Philbin asserted that "resident Obama has shown ambivalence toward the notion that America is exceptional" and "is as comfortable apologizing for its sins as touting its virtues," then scoffed at the idea that Obama wasn't apologizing for America because he never used any form of the word "apology":

In February in his "Fact Checker" column, Sargent's Post colleague Glenn Kessler wrote, "it is an article of faith among top Republicans that President Obama has repeatedly apologized for the United States and its behavior. Even more, the argument goes, he does not believe in American strength and greatness. The assertion," Kessler wrote darkly, "feeds into a subterranean narrative that Obama, with his exotic, mixed-race background, is not really American in the first place."

What Kessler was fact-checking was "Obama's Apology Tour," when in his first overseas visits he showed undue deference to other powers and talked too much about American "arrogance." Kesler quibbled over whether Obama had actually used the word "apology" and spun most of the President's suspect remarks as "trying to draw a rhetorical distinction between his policies and that of President Bush."

That may be so, but the President and the first lady have a history of actions, statements and acquaintances that make it hard to give him the benefit of the doubt. There was his pastor of 20 years who was given to saying "God damn America" and characterized 9/11 as "America's chickens coming home to roost." There was his friend Bill Ayers, who had bombed the Pentagon and maintained in 2001 that he wished he's done more bombing.

Senator Obama ostentatiously refused to wear a flag pin on his lapel because "it became a substitute for, I think, true patriotism," he said, which he defined as opposing the invasion of Iraq. On the campaign trail, Mrs. Obama said that "for the first time in my adult life I am proud of my country because it feels like hope is finally making a comeback." She also found America "just downright mean."

If you want to run a nation, is it too much to ask that you pretend to like it?

What's this attack on the president doing in what's supposed to be a critique of the media? Isn't that a violation of the MRC's nonprofit tax status as a 501(c)3 organization? Somebody might want to check into that.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:20 AM EDT

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