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Tuesday, August 30, 2011
NEW ARTICLE: CNS' Revolving Door
Right-wing activists have used CNS as a way station to do "reporting" before moving on to more right-wing activism. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 3:22 PM EDT
Farah Can't Stop Misleading About 'Natural Born Citizen' Definition
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Joseph Farah writes in his Aug. 29 WorldNetDaily column:

Two candidates for the job are mentioned over and over again – two wonderful, charismatic public servants whose only problem is they are not constitutionally eligible to be president.

They are Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida and Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana.

Don't get me wrong. I like both of these guys. If I were eligible to vote in Florida or Louisiana, I would vote to re-elect them. I would support either one for almost any job in America. But there is one job for which they are, by chance of birth, 100 percent, totally and inarguably ineligible to hold office – and that is the presidency of the United States.


Because both are sons of parents who were not U.S. citizens when they were born.

It's just that simple. To be a natural born citizen means to be the offspring of U.S. citizen parents at the time of birth.

Farah is misleading. As he surely knows, the Constitution contains no definition of "natural born citizen," and and no U.S. court has explicitly defined the term as it applies to presidential eligibility.

Thus, Farah's claim that Rubio and Jindal -- and, by extension, Barack Obama -- are "totally and inarguably ineligible" because they are "sons of parents who were not U.S. citizens when they were born" is merely an opinion expressed by a non-lawyer, not the undisputed fact he portrays it as.

Which means WND is misinforming its readers again. Anyone surprised?

Posted by Terry K. at 1:40 PM EDT
WND Cites Philandering Adulterer To Attack Obama
Topic: WorldNetDaily

An Aug. 27 WorldNetDaily article by Bob Unruh cites "a former FBI special agent in Washington" to claim that "Infiltration of the federal government by members of the radical Muslim Brotherhood is worse than some have warned recently." But Unruh won't tell you that the agent's personal life has discredited him and cost him his job at the FBI.

Unruh writes:

Former FBI special agent John Guandolo says Obama's ties to agents for the Muslim Brotherhood are even more extensive.

"The level of penetration in the last three administrations is deep," he said. "For this president, it even goes back to his campaign with Muslim Brotherhood folks working with him then."

Equally alarming, the Brotherhood also has placed several operatives and sympathizers within key positions in Homeland Security and the U.S. military, notes Guandolo, a former Marine Corps officer.

The veteran federal agent says such infiltration threatens national security, because the U.S. leadership of the international Brotherhood has outlined a secret plan to "destroy" the U.S. and other Western governments "from within."

Note Unruh's credibility-building descriptors for Guandolo -- "former Marine Corps officer," "veteran federal agent." But Unruh doesn't mention why Guandolo is no longer with the FBI.

Talking Points Memo reported that the married Guandolo resigned from the FBI after superiors found a list he wrote of his sexual conquests with agents and a confidential source. Notably, Guandolo had an affair with a key witness in the corruption case of former Louisiana congressman William Jefferson while simultaneously soliciting a $75,000 donation from her to an anti-terrorism group. Even Guandolo admitted that he may have jeopardized the Jefferson investigation with his sexual behavior.

Given WND's long-documented hatred of deviant sexual behavior, why is it quoting a philandering adulterer as a trusted source?

The rest of Unruh's article is problematic as well. It carries the subheadline "FBI: Penetration by radical agents worse than thought," though Guandolo is no longer an FBI agent.

Unruh also repeats attacks by so-called "Muslim reformer" Tarek Fatah on Obama administration members Dalia Mogahed and Rashad Hussain. Unruh uncritically passed along Fatah's claim that Mogahed "writes (Obama's) speeches"; in fact, she's a researcher who was consulted on Obama's 2009 Cairo speech.

Unruh further wrote of Mogahed:

Also helping with the president's speeches and policies toward Muslims is Mogahed, whose pro-Islamist statements have been posted on the Muslim Brotherhood's website,

Obama appointed the hijab-wearing Mogahed to the President's Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. On a British television program, Islam Channel, Mogahed defended Shariah law, the barbaric Islamic legal code that treats women as second-class citizens.

Muslim women actually "associate gender justice or justice for women with Shariah compliance," she argued. "It is 'only a small fraction' that associate Shariah with 'oppression of women.'"

She added that Muslims should work to integrate Islamic law into public law.

In fact, in the interview Unruh is presumably referring to, Mogahed did not defend Sharia law; Mogahed said that she was "sure there are people out there" who believe that "the United States and Britain and other countries should be open to, the concept of, you know, integrating Sharia into laws in Muslim-majority societies," and she did not discuss what "a lot of Americans ... think" about Sharia law.

Unruh also claimed that Hussain (whom Unruh quotes Farah misidentifying as "Hassain") "has raised suspicions" because he once "defended Brotherhood leaders like Sami al-Arian." Unruh didn't mention that Hussain later stated that his statements about al-Arian were " ill-conceived or not well-formulated."

Unruh also portrays Hussain as a "devout Muslim" who "has told Afghans the antidote to Islamic violence 'is Islam itself,'" without mentioning Hussain's long record in opposing terrorism.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:21 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, August 30, 2011 1:45 PM EDT
CNS Falsely Attacks Obama Nominee Over VAT

Fred Lucas writes in an Aug. 29 article:

President Barack Obama’s nominee to chair the President’s Council of Economic Advisors has supported a European-style consumption tax that taxes every stage of production for a good or service, a policy generally called a Value Added Tax, or VAT.

Alan Krueger, a Princeton University economist, called for the Value Added Tax in a commentary for the New York Times in January 2009. The White House, however, has said that President Obama would not consider such a tax.

“Why not pass a 5 percent consumption tax to take effect two years from now? There are many different ways to implement a consumption tax, but for simplicity think about a national sales tax,” Krueger wrote in the Times piece published on Jan. 12, 2009, shortly before Obama took office.

The consumption tax differs from a “Fair Tax” proposal or national sales tax proposal that has been considered in recent years by U.S. politicians who want to replace the income tax. The VAT would be a levy that adds to the current tax structure.

In fact, as Media Matters details, Kruger didn't express support for a VAT in that Times article; he specifically stated that "I pose it only as a suggestion for serious discussion; I'm not sure it is the best way to go."

Lucas further messes up by stating that "The VAT would be a levy that adds to the current tax structure." Actually, Krueger stated that over time, "income taxes or corporate taxes could be reduced and the revenue replaced by the consumption tax."

Posted by Terry K. at 2:16 AM EDT
Monday, August 29, 2011
WND Misleads About Planned Parenthood Clinic Plans
Topic: WorldNetDaily

An Aug. 27 WorldNetDaily article by Bob Unruh repeatedly calls a proposed Planned Parenthood facility in Michigan an "abortion center" and "abortion business." Unruh also states that "Planned Parenthood of Mid and South Michigan bought the location and announced it planned to establish an abortion business."

Just one problem: Planned Parenthood has never stated that it plans to use the proposed facility to perform abortions.

The Oakland Press quoted a Planned Parenthood as saying in May that the organization has not decided what services will be provided in Auburn Hills yet: “We know our core services will be there, which is preventive health care like annual exams, cancer screenings and birth control. We don’t know what the other range of services will be yet.”

Unruh offers no evidence to back up his claim that Planned Parenthood intends to run an "abortion business" at the facility, nor does he mention the Planned Parenthood statement that it has not decided whether to offer abortions there. Indeed, Unruh makes no apparent effort to contact Planned Parenthood for their side of the story.

That's just sloppy reporting, the kind we've seen over and over again from Unruh.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:32 PM EDT
Newsmax's Patten Obscures True Political Affiliation of Pollsters
Topic: Newsmax

David Patten begins his Aug. 28 Newsmax article by claiming: "The economy is so dismal that President Barack Obama will have to re-write the political history books if he hopes to win re-election, political strategists say." But Patten then misleads about the political affiliations of those "political strategists" -- actually, two pollsters.

Patten describes Matt Towery as "CEO of the nonpartisan InsiderAdvantage polling company." But Towery's bio makes his political affiliation quite clear:

Matt Towery has served as campaign chairman for Newt Gingrich and chief strategist for numerous national political campaigns. He is known for his bipartisanship. Matt Towery became the first and only Republican to preside over the Democratically controlled Georgia House prior to leaving politics in 1997.

A steady Republican with bipartisan leanings does not a "nonpartisan" pollster make.

Patten then describes his other source, Doug Schoen, as a "Democratic pollster and Fox News contributor." The latter affilation is more important than the former. Schoen has a ,long record of trashing Obama -- and he's holding fundraisers for Republicans -- so he appears to be less of a loyal Democrat than Towery is a loyal Republcan.

Yet Schoen got the partisan label and Towery didn't. Funny how that works, isn't it?

Posted by Terry K. at 11:10 AM EDT
Updated: Monday, August 29, 2011 11:14 AM EDT
WND's Geller Attacks Islamic Charity WND Was Caught Falsely Attacking
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Pamela Geller's Aug. 23 WorldNetDaily column is one long tirade against the charity Islamic Relief, declaring "I equate 'Islamic Relief' with dhimmi pain," accusing it of guilt-by-association with terrorists, and calling it a "jihadist group."

Funny thing about that: WND had to retract a similar attack on Islamic Relief.

As we detailed, in December 2004, WND published an article by Aaron Klein claiming that Islamic Relief "is connected to several organizations that support terrorism," has taken money from "a front group for Al-Qaida," and suggesting that the orphans it claimed to be raising money for don't exist.

Six months later, after what can be presumed to be a threat of a libel lawsuit by Islamic Relief, WND deleted Klein's article and published a retraction:

WorldNetDaily hereby retracts its Dec. 3, 2004, article titled "College concert for terror-supporting charity," about a California-based charity organization, Islamic Relief. WorldNetDaily regrets any adverse consequences caused by this publication to Islamic Relief and its worldwide founder, Dr. Hanny [sic] Al Banna.

WND never explained what in the story was false -- which can only lead to the conclusion that so much was wrong with it that a simple correction would not suffice.

And that, of course, means that Geller's playing guilt-by-association with Islamic Relief and terrorist is highly suspect as well. After all, WND has already retracted essentially the same claim by one of its own reporters, so there's no reason to think Geller is any more accurate.

It seems that WND and Geller's anti-Muslim fanaticism have set themselves up for another battle with Islamic Relief.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:39 AM EDT
NewsBusters' Sheppard Repeats Discredited Claim to Attack Gore
Topic: NewsBusters

In order to rebut a claim by Al Gore that "scientists espousing a skeptical view of his money-making theory are exclusively doing so for their own financial benefit," Noel Sheppard writes in an Aug. 28 NewsBusters post:

As Sen. Jim Inhofe's (R-Ok.) former communications director Marc Morano reported in 2007:

Newsweek reporter Eve Conant was given the documentation showing that proponents of man-made global warming have been funded to the tune of $50 BILLION in the last decade or so, but the Magazine chose instead to focus on how skeptics have reportedly received a paltry $19 MILLION from ExxonMobil over the last two decades.

But as we detailed at the time, Morano's analysis manages to be both inaccurate and dishonest. Morano not only falsely portrayed ExxonMobil's $19 million as the only money that climate "skeptics" receive -- there are numerous other organizations that donate to, and promote, climate "skeptic" causes -- he also counted an overly broad array of items, such as alternative fuels, under "man-made global warming" funding.

Sheppard then claimed that "the Science and Public Policy Institute updated and confirmed these numbers." But the SPPI makes the same dishonest error that Morano did, comparing an overbroad "$79 billion since 1989 on policies related to climate change, including science and technology research, administration, education campaigns, foreign aid, and tax breaks" against the narrow amount donated by one company, ExxonMobil.

Sheppard has been an incredibly dishonest global warming "skeptic," but you knew that already.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:07 AM EDT
Sunday, August 28, 2011
Public School Derangement Syndrome Watch
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Libertarian critics want to get rid of public education entirely. These arguments have merit. Our Founding Fathers quite deliberately did NOT include public education as a responsibility of the federal government because they considered the education of children to be solely the responsibility of the parents … or at best, applicable at the state level via the 10th Amendment.

While I entirely agree with the libertarian argument, I recognize this isn't likely to happen any time soon. Thanks to 50 years of progressive control of schools, we have a bunch of texting monkeys unable to write a coherent sentence, solve a basic math problem, and who have never heard of John Winthrop (though most of them know precisely who Harvey Milk was). Deprived of a sound education but brainwashed into thinking they turned out just fine, thank you, these voters are not likely to disassemble the cancerous Department of Education that has invaded and dumbed down public schools.

And make no mistake, this dumbing down is deliberate. How else to explain punishing teachers for teaching the curriculum? Clearly determined to make sure children grow up as ignorant as possible, a teacher in Chicago is being charged with "weapons violations" for showing tools to a class of second-graders for a curriculum that required a discussion of tools. For having the temerity to actually (gasp) bring tools into the classroom (wrenches, pliers, screwdrivers, etc.), the teacher faces "disciplinary action and possible termination."

-- Patrice Lewis, Aug. 26 WorldNetDaily column

Posted by Terry K. at 8:33 PM EDT
Aaron Klein Anonymous Source (And Language Misuse) Watch
Topic: WorldNetDaily

An Aug. 27 WorldNetDaily article by Aaron Klein cites anonymous "Egyptian security officials" to claim that "The so-called popular uprising in Libya was supported and partially carried out by foreign mercenaries." Not only does Klein not explain why anyone should trust his "Egyptian security officials" -- possibly the same ones he relied on in his attempt to prop up the brutal Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak -- he doesn't explain why he doubts the extent to which Libyans support the rebellion against brutal dictator Moammar Gadhafi.

Klein also has a little problem with the English language:


The claim may bolster critics who question the composure of the rebels' National Transitional Council, which has been recognized by the United States and most of the international community as the country's de facto government.

We're pretty sure he means "composition" instead of "composure," but we could be wrong.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:02 AM EDT
Saturday, August 27, 2011
NewsBusters' Sheppard: Mennonites Hate America
Topic: NewsBusters

Noel Sheppard, in an Aug. 27 NewsBusters post, introduced a story about a Mennonite college banned the playing of the national anthem this way: "Just when you thought the America-hating in this nation couldn't go much further, a college campus decides to ban the national anthem at sporting events."

Yes, Sheppard just declared that Mennonites -- a Christian sect known for their pacifism, modest living, and conservative dress -- hate America. Good job, Noel!

Posted by Terry K. at 6:20 PM EDT
Updated: Saturday, August 27, 2011 6:21 PM EDT
WND's Erik Rush Doesn't Back Up His "Homofascist" Claims
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Erik Rush's Aug. 24 WorldNetDaily column is about an alleged campaign on Facebook "to target and harass those who oppose homosexuals dictating the moral agenda in America, as well as people with whom they associate":

Several pages on Facebook run by these homofascist operatives have compiled information on specific individuals. Their principals not only post scathing screeds about said "homophobes," but they have gone as far as to contact their friends, family members, employers and clients. They have disseminated information about these "offenders" on those pages, for the express purpose of making the lives of these people as unpleasant as possible. Some have even lost their jobs as a result of employer retaliation by bosses who are "sympathetic to the cause." It will probably not surprise that these militant homosexuals have a decidedly anti-Christian bent and that the majority of their targets are those of that faith. "Christer" is the salacious invective used on one page, usually with an even more insulting descriptor preceding.

Completely missing from Rush's column is any substantiation of the claims he's making -- no links, no screenshots, nothing but a couple of anonymous, unsubstantiated quotes complaining about the purported harrassment -- or any direct quotes of the comments that set off the supposed harrassment. Somehow, we suspect that those comments go well beyond the mere expression of "traditional values" who are "simply trying to enjoy a new medium of information exchange" that Rush claims.

Without any substantiation of his charges, it's hard to take Rush's gay-bashing seriously. After all, this is a guy who accused President Obama of "collectively sodomizing the American people in perpetuity."

Posted by Terry K. at 10:15 AM EDT
Updated: Saturday, August 27, 2011 12:00 PM EDT
Friday, August 26, 2011
Farah Roots for DC's Destruction, Then Claims He's Being Misquoted
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Joseph Farah appeared to be rooting for the destruction of Washington in his Aug. 23 WorldNetDaily column, in the wake of the earthquake that hit the East Coast:

Look, this earthquake turned out to be a warning only, without loss of life or serious property damage. But there will be a bigger one coming, as everyone should understand.

Your life can change dramatically in the blink of an eye.

I don't know what to expect from this hurricane on its way toward the East Coast. It could be devastating for some or nothing at all.

Nevertheless, it's always a good time to get right with God.


Washington, D.C., deserves more than the wallop it got today. It needs a much bigger shaking up than it got. And I have no doubts that it is coming – unless there is a real change of heart in the leadership of this country.

After all, if America doesn't face judgment soon, God will have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah. And God doesn't offer apologies.

Then again, God could just be sending a sign to Farah to stop using his website to peddle lies, distortions and birtherism and to become an honest journalist. Farah's probably too arrogant in his faith to have considered that interpretation, though.

The following day, Farah asserted that ABC had "deliberately misquoted" him from his column:

When I say "deliberately misquoted," I don't mean a reporter for ABC News interviewed me about my column and mischaracterized what I said. What I mean is that a reporter for ABC News read the column and pulled words out of context to suggest I was saying things I was not saying.

Which, of course, is not "deliberately misquoting" at all; it's taking something out of context -- something WND does on a regular basis.

Anyway, back to Farah:

But here's where I have a problem: "Farah went on to warn that 'there will be a bigger one coming' because 'Washington, D.C., deserves more than the wallop it got today. It needs a much bigger shaking than it got.'"

You will notice the partial quote "there will be a bigger one coming." You will notice the linking word "because." But if you read my column, as I'm sure this ABC reporter did, you will notice that these ideas of a "bigger one coming" and "Washington needing a wallop" are nowhere close to each other in the piece. They are not related ideas. They were purposely and inappropriately linked by the ABC reporter to suggest I was talking about a bigger quake coming to Washington, D.C. I never said that. I said the city needs one. I said the city deserves one. But I never said one was coming.

Actually, he kinda did. Here's the full context of that statement:

Look, this earthquake turned out to be a warning only, without loss of life or serious property damage. But there will be a bigger one coming, as everyone should understand.

Farah is very much talking about a bigger earthquake coming. Given that the entire column is about warning people to get right with God or worse things will happen, it's entirely reasonable to conclude that Farah is talking about a bigger earthquake coming -- and entirely hypocritical for Farah to complain about being taken out of context when at no point in either column he establishes what the proper context is for his claim that there will be "a bigger one coming."

Farah whining continued:

I think it's also worth pointing out that I never attributed any of this activity to "D.C. politics," as both the story and the headline of the ABC report contend.

I did say there needed to be a change of heart in the leadership of this country. But that is something very different than "D.C. politics."

When you are talking about Washington deserving to get hit by a bigger earthquake, you are indeed talking about "D.C. politics."

If Farah doesn't want to be as misinterpreted as he claims he is, perhaps he should have written more clearly in the first place.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:50 PM EDT
Updated: Saturday, August 27, 2011 5:01 PM EDT
MRC Declares That ABC Hidden-Camera Show Is 'Liberal'
Topic: NewsBusters

Gosh, you can't get anything past the liberal-bias detectors at the Media Research Center. Having already declared Twitter to have a liberal bias, the MRC has found yet another font of bias: ABC's hidden-camera show "What Would You Do?"

The headline on MRC employee Scott Whitlock's Aug. 25 NewsBusters post declares "What Would You Do?" to be a "Liberal Hidden Video Show." Whitlock doesn't use that word in the body of his post, but he offers examples of what he presumably means:

The ABC program uses a hidden camera to see how people react. On February 4, 2011, host John Quinones explained how the show hired an actor to play a security guard and pretend to harass Mexicans. The piece, billed as an investigation of Arizona's immigration law, featured the faux-security guard spewing, "...If they're not legal citizens, they shouldn't be here. They should be deported. They look Mexican."

 On March 4, 2011, Quinones and his TV crew constructed a hidden camera scenario that involved gay military veterans expressing physical affection for each other in a diner.

The journalist narrated, "They're holding hands, stroking each other's hair and caressing each other's legs...So what will happen if we throw in our actor Vince, posing as an irritated diner, who's had enough of this PDA."

PDA is "liberal"? We had no idea. Or is it only when gays do it?

We've previously detailed how Whitlock criticized the hidden-camera segments on "What Would You Do?" while praising the right-wing hidden-camera entrapment antics of Lila Rose.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:42 AM EDT
WND Ventures Into Racially Charged Territory By Implying That Obama Is Lazy
Topic: WorldNetDaily

The right-wing media have spent much of this month sniping at President Obama for taking a vacation. Now, some are taking the criticism up a notch, venturing into racially charged territory in the process.

In an August 22 column, WorldNetDaily founder and editor Joseph Farah wrote that “You won't hear me complain that Obama is taking his 17th vacation in the last two-and-half years,” adding: “We should be grateful the man has no work ethic. Just imagine the damage he would have done to the country if he did.” Farah also asserted that Obama “vacations more than any of his predecessors,” which is simply false.

Then, in his August 23 WND column, Burt Prelutsky took a break from hurling epithets like “loathsome” and “Chicago cockroach” at Obama to declare: “I wouldn't care if Obama was a Muslim if he weren't such an arrogant, lazy, snotty, lying socialist.”

That’s twice this week that WND columnists have portrayed Obama as lazy. The idea of the lazy black man is among the hoariest bits of stereotypical racial imagery out there, as Media Matters noted when Fox News’ Eric Bolling described Obama as “chugging 40s” and having “hoodlums in the hizzouse.”

It’s not the first time that the birther-obsessed WND branch of anti-Obama activism has ventured into this territory. Last year, the WND-affiliated Western Journalism Center published an article with the headline “Is Obama Stupid and Lazy?”

(Cross-posted at Media Matters.)

Posted by Terry K. at 12:39 AM EDT

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