Sheppard Approves of Gingrich Demanding That Romney Do Something Illegal Topic: NewsBusters
Noel Sheppard uses a Jan. 16 NewsBusters post to highlight Newt Gingrich's attack on Mitt Romney in which Gingrich claimed that "Mitt Romney's inability to control what a Super PAC supporting him says 'makes you wonder how much influence he’d have if he were President.'"
It's a strange thing for Sheppard to highlight, given that it would be illegal for a candidate to have any control over the super PAC supporting him. It's doubly strange because Gingrich has no control over his super PAC either -- to the point where he has to beg his super PAC to fix inaccurate claims in an anti-Romney video it released.
Why did Sheppard highlight this exchange without bothering to report all the relevant facts? Um, because he's incompetent?
Kessler Keeps Up the Romney-Fluffing Topic: Newsmax
Now that Newsmax has unleashed Ronald Kessler to do some Romney-fluffing, Kessler is rushing to take advantage of the opportunity.
For his second such article in three days, a Jan. 13 column by Kessler touts how one of Mitt Romney's co-founders in BainCapital presents the private equity firm's experience with office-supply retailer Staples as a "microcosm" of how the firm did business. Kessler does his best to embellish things further:
The Romney campaign has said that Bain helped create 100,000 jobs while Romney was at its helm. That is clearly a gross underestimate. Today, Staples alone employs 90,000 people and has 2,000 stores. Over the years, that means more than a million people have had jobs because of Staples alone.
Bain Capital went on to help launch or acquire more than 100 companies, including Domino’s Pizza, Sealy, Brookstone, The Sports Authority, Burger King, Burlington Coat Factory, Dunkin’ Donuts, and Toys "R" Us.
Kessler even throws in the bonus commentary from his buddy and fellow Romney-fluffer David Keene. If you'll recall, Kessler had penned a Romney-fluffing column featuring Keene when Newsmax was plugging its Donald Trump-hosted debate. When Romney declined to take part in the debate, Kessler's column mysteriously disappeared.
CNS' Jeffrey Slobbers All Over Mark Levin Topic: CNSNews.com
When an interviewee begins his interview with the words, "How are you, brother?" and the interviewer is not in a religious order, you know you're in for a huge chunk of softball.
That's exactly how radio host Mark Levin, who has a new book to promote, begins his interview with CNS editor in chief Terry Jeffrey. Clearly, Levin is not expecting to field any tough questions, and Jeffrey keeps the sofballs coming:
"And as I was reading your book--and it had been a while since I looked at The Communist Manifesto--I'm thinking: Well, am I reading the Democratic Party platform here or am I reading The Communist Manifesto? ... Compare modern liberals in America today to this vision that Marx and Engels had in The Communist Manifesto?"
"Mark, in 'Ameritopia' you write, let me quote you back to yourself, you say of John Locke, 'Early in the Second Treatise of Government, Locke introduces the notion that of an individual’s God-given and inalienable rights, in which all individuals are entitled and which provide the moral condition of a civil society.' ... What kind of impact did this kind of thinking have on the Founding Fathers, for our country?"
"You look at things that are happening in American government today. You have a House of Representatives that is occasionally supine in resisting the Executive Branch, or a Congress in general, that is. You have a president who just a week ago appointed a director to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, three members to the National Labor Relations Board, theoretically as a recess appointment, but under the plain terms of the Constitution the Congress was not in recess. Do we see an erosion in America today of the separation of powers, the systems of checks and balances that Montesquieu envisioned?"
"And do you believe we’re reaching an endgame here where we either have to choose to just go to the financial and freedom disaster of the welfare state or really roll the federal government back and move back to a free society?"
"On a few occasions Mark, when President Obama has alluded to the Declaration of Independence, he has very cleverly edited it--dropped out the Creator, nowhere our rights came from. Do you believe that Obama’s fundamental vision--with his talk about class war and victims and victimizers, and the way he frames the political debate--that his fundamental vision is basically Marxist, is basically similar to the sort of vision that Karl Marx and Engels were laying out?"
So, yeah. CNS is not about journalism -- it's about manufacturing right-wing talking points. Terry Jeffrey has seen to that.
A Jan. 15 WorldNetDaily article by Bob Unruh promotes a new "quo warranto" lawsuit over Barack Obama’s presidential eligibility, making a big deal of the status of the filer as a self-proclaimed "contender for the presidency."
Unruh pumps up the credentials of the filer, "former lawyer" Montgomery Blair Sibley, citing his "a colorful history, including a grandfather who was the last private owner of Blair House – now a government property – across from the White House." But Sibley's background is much more colorful that Unruhdescribed it, starting with the reason Sibley is a "former lawyer."
That's because Sibley has been disbarred first in Florida in 2008 and then in a reciprocal action in the District of Columbia. The D.C. disbarment ruling contains the background of the case.
Sibley failed to pay his ex-wife child support, in an amount that ultimately totaled $100,000 by the time Florida authorites found him in contempt and ordered him incarcerated. Meanwile, Sibley was sanctioned for filing "vexatious and meritless litigation" regarding his divorce. According to the Washington Post, Sibley once threatened his wife: "We will litigate until I am disbarred and bankrupt if necessary."
In 2006, the Florida Supreme Court appointed a referee to the Sibley case, finding that Sibley had willfully failed to pay child support and had initiated meritless litigation and recommended suspension of Sibley's law license, for which he must show fitness for reinstatement.
Unruh writes of Sibley's lawsuit that he states that "given his access to the Internet and mobile information technology, his support could rise quickly." That dramatically understates what Sibley actually said:
While this Court is doubtlessly paled by the implications that flow from this Petition for Writ of Quou Warranto reaching a jury, the impact and reach of the present day Internet and Mobile Information Technology platforms create a force multiplier effect which could benefit Sibley in his campaign which has known no like since Leonidas of Sparta chose the ground of Thermopylae to make his stand.
Sibley also repeatedly misspells Obama's name as "Barrack" throughout.
Unruh did mention that Sibley is a former attorney for "D.C. Madam" Deborah Jeane Palfrey, but not that, according to the Washington Post, federal prosecutors in Palfrey's case said that Sibley's filings are so ignorant of basic legal tenets that they are "almost incoherent."
Further, you may remember Sibley as the former lawyer for the utterly discredited (and WND-promoted) Larry Sinclair. Sibley showed up at an infamous press conference for Sinclair wearing a kilt, which he justified by talking about his genitalia.
Funny that Unruh didn't mention any of this. Can the birther case really be all that formidible if the best person WND can come with to defend it is a disbarred lawyer?
AIM Bashes CREW, Doesn't Disprove CREW's Criticism of Santorum Topic: Accuracy in Media
In a Jan. 9 Accuracy in Media column, Cliff Kincaid rants about Ron Paul used "Soros-funded research" in an attack ad target Republican rival Rick Santorum, clarifying: "The Soros organization alluded to by Santorum is the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW). It is the source of the corruption charge against Santorum in the Ron Paul ad."
At no point does Kincaid identify the corruption charges CREW leveled against Santorum -- let alone disprove any of them. Instead, Kincaid mindlessly repeated criticism of CREW from Santorum and other right-wingers accused of shady dealings by the group.
Since Kincaid won't acknowledge this, here are the allegations leveled against Santorum by CREW in 2006, which caused CREW to place Santorum on its list of most corrupt congressmen that year:
Even though Santorum and his family lived in Virginia, his children attended a cyber charter school based in Pennsylvania, at an estimated cost to local taxpayers of $72,000.
Santorum and his PAC received political donations from companies that Santorum-promoted legislation would benefit from.
Santorum received a special mortage that his financial records indicate he didn't qualify for.
As CREW has pointed out, Santorum has not responded to the substance of these charges. We suspect Kincaid won't either.
As a sidelight, Kincaid tacitly admitted that Fox News' coverage has a vindictive right-wing bias. After noting that CREW recently issued a press release "highlighting Rupert Murdoch, owner of News Corporation, parent of Fox News, as 'scoundrel of the year'," Kincaid added, "Perhaps this has something to do with Fox News running a story on CREW’s frivolous complaints against Republicans."
Yet somehow, in Kincaid's eyes, CREW is biased and Fox News is not. Go figure.
WND's Farah: Eligibility Questions (About People Other Than Obama) Are A Distraction Topic: WorldNetDaily
Joseph Farah is annoyed. The editor of WorldNetDaily and prominent birther has discovered that questioning the eligibility of a presidential candidate can be a distraction.
Here's how Farah begins his January 13 WND column:
How do these things get started?
No wonder people are so confused about the issues of the day.
I am literally deluged with emails from Americans insisting that Mitt Romney is not constitutionally eligible to be president.
It's not true.
Really? The man whose website is so obsessed with the eligibility of Barack Obama to be president that it ignores facts and descends into the realm of absurdity is wondering how such things "get started"?
Furthermore, while I remain a strong advocate of the position that Obama is not eligible for a variety of reasons, I have never made this assertion based on the fact that I detest everything for which he stands. That assertion is based on fact, on reality, on verifiable truth.
Given his willingness to overlook overwhelming evidence to the contrary, it's difficult to believe that Farah would be such a "strong advocate" of Obama's purported ineligibility if he did not "detest everything for which he stands." As for Farah's claim that his assertion "is based on fact, on reality, on verifiable truth," this ignores reality as well. For example, a new book debunks many birther claims, and one prominent birther, Philip Berg, has shot down the WND-promoted idea that Obama is using a fake Social Security number. Curiously, WND has yet to report on either of these things, and WND's Jerome Corsi has refused to debate the book's author about his conclusions.
Farah then complains again that questions about Romney's eligibility is becoming a distraction to "my team at WND":
So can you please stop writing to me and to my team at WND with suggestions that Mitt Romney fails the constitutional eligibility test? It's not true.
I don't think he gets a passing grade on understanding and interpreting the Constitution, but - unfortunately, from my perspective - he passes the litmus test for serving as president.
Can we move on to more substantive issues in this campaign?
Presumably, Farah and his WND team don't think eligibility questions about Obama are a distraction from "more substantive issues," even though no factual basis for them exists.
MRC's Graham Wants You To Believe Michelle Obama Is An 'Angry Black Woman' Topic: Media Research Center
If one needs evidence that Michelle Obama's complaint about media portrayals of her as an "angry black woman" are entirely justified, one needs look further than the Media Research Center.
A Jan. 15 NewsBusters post by MRC director of media analysis Tim Graham carries thte headline "Newsweek Slams Liberal Reporter For Ignoring Angry Michelle Obama's 'Grace, Charm, and Intellect'." It's accompanied by a picture (which curiously shows up only in summary form) of a particularly angry-looking Michelle:
In the post, Graham is contradictory, mocking Obama's concern about the image by stating that Jodi Cantor's book "somehow caused the First Lady to assert she was being painted as an angry black woman," then sneering, "Black women apparently never get angry -- it's too stereotypical to notice if they do."
Of course, the image of Michelle Obama as perpetually angry is one Graham is all to happy to perpetuate, no matter how far from reality it is. After all, like any good MRC employee, slavishly following right-wing talking points is more important than telling the truth.
Is WND Trying To Influence (Or Buy) Arpaio's Birther Investigation? Topic: WorldNetDaily
The way WorldNetDaily in general -- and Jerome Corsi in particular -- have been sucking up to Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio lately, you'd think that they were trying to influence the birther investigation being conducted by one of Arpaio's posses ... or maybe they know what the outcome will be.
Corsi has been particularly interested in Arpaio -- to the point where one must wonder if he's trying to make sure the posse investigation reflects his birther conspiracies. After all, we know that Corsi "spent 18 hours over a two-day period in Arizona briefing the Cold Case Posse on a wide range of evidence regarding Obama’s eligibility," but we have no idea whether the posse ever talked to anyone who wasn't a rabid birther. Since then, though, Corsi has been fawning over Arpaio to the point that one just wonder if he's trying to make sure the latter doesn't happen, thus skewing the posse investigation toward WND's predetermined conclusions.
On Dec. 8, Corsi played up the "death threats" Arpaio has supposedly received regarding the investigation -- while providing zero evidence of them. On Dec. 15, Corsi defended Arpaio's office against allegations of misconduct as well as gave space for Arpaio to defend himself.
When an effort began to remove the sheriff from office, Corsi made sure to discredit the effort and smear the person leading the campaign. On Jan. 3, Corsi asserted that the leader of the effort, Randy Parraz, is a "transplanted radical attorney-activist " who "has made his career applying Saul Alinsky-style community organizer tactics for radical leftist movements in the U.S. and Canada." The next day, Corsi claimed that Parraz "staged a poorly attended protest Wednesday morning at the sheriff’s downtown Phoenix office." On Jan. 9, Corsi claimed that "A protest against Arizona’s Sheriff Joe Arpaio and Gov. Jan Brewer organized by transplanted attorney-activist Randy Parraz yielded exactly one protestor."
Meanwhile, WND appears to be going the more direct bribery route by raising money to help fund the posse investigation. WND's online store offers a page where you can donate to "fund independent investigations of Obama's eligibility," adding: "A portion of all contributions will go to support WND’s efforts, with another portion going to Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s Cold Case Posse, set to issue its report in February 2012." WND has sent out at least three email solicitiations promoting this fund since the beginning of the year.
Of course, WND investigations of Obama's eligibility are politically motivated and anything but "independent," and there's little evidence that the Arpaio investigation has any independence either, given WND's enthusiasm for funding it. WND, notoriously secret about money, also provides no details on exactly what the funding split will be.
WND's efforts to suck up to Arpaio and fund his birther investigation smacks of outright influence of a public official. Perhaps when Arpaio is done investigating Obama's eligibility, it can investigate WND for attempted bribery.
UPDATE: A Dec. 26 column by Joseph Farah begs readers to donate to the fund, declaring it "probably America’s last chance to salvage the integrity of the Constitution for all time."Farah doesn't mention that WND is skimming off an unknown percentage of each donation for its own purposes.
AIM's Kincaid Repeats Bogus Attack Against Panetta Topic: Accuracy in Media
Cliff Kincaid just can't stop smearing Leon Panetta.
In a Jan. 11 Accuracy in Media column, Kincaid rants once again about "Panetta’s anti-defense views and his personal ties to radical left-wing forces and Communist Party member Hugh DeLacy." Except that's not true at all.
As Media Matters detailed (and as we noted the last time Kincaid did this), Panetta had no "personal ties" to DeLacy -- it was nothing more than correspondence between a constituent and his congressman, which is what Panetta was at the time.
We've previouslyhighlighted Ellis Washington's ridiculous "dialectics" in which he attempts to portray himself as Socrates by putting his right-wing opinions in the mouth of the great philosopher, opinions the real Socrates would never have said.
Washington is at it again in his Jan. 13 WorldNetDaily column. This time, Washington -- er, Socrates is in smackdown mode, trotting out authors he doesn't like, distorting their work in order to create a straw man for Washington to knock down.
For instance, here's the "dialectic" between "Socrates" and "Nietsche":
Nietzsche: It was I who began an atheistic revolution in my 1882 book “The Gay Science,” by boldly professing that “God is dead.” I refused to repent but elevated my narcissistic blasphemy as the fundamental theme of my greatest work, “Beyond Good and Evil” (1886). In that opus I argued that men are driven by an amoral “Will to Power” and that inevitably superior men will triumph over Christianity, over religiously inspired moral rules, which I judged as “slave morality” and as artificial as every other moral rule. Therefore, it is the primary concern of the Ubermenchen (Supermen) to force, to dictate all laws necessary to secure their domination of the world over the inferior nations and races in their midst.
Socrates: Nietzsche, your brilliant but insanely evil ideas would served as the blueprint a generation later for the apotheosis of Adolf Hitler and the Nazis who worshipped your philosophy and fanatically implemented your ideas on a genocidal scale, causing World War II, the Holocaust and the deaths of tens of millions of innocent people.
Gee, we didn't know that "Socrates" knew so much about Nietsche or the Nazis -- we thought it would be a little difficult given that he died thousands of years earlier.
And here's "Socrates" and "Karl Marx":
Karl Marx: I wrote “Das Kapital” in 1867. Engels, my benefactor, posthumously published volumes II (1885) and III (1894) from notes I left behind. “Das Kapital” forces the round peg of capitalism into the square hole of my atheistic, materialistic theory of history. To me capitalism was the most contemptible word in the human language because I believed that all capitalists inevitably and amorally exploit labor by paying the cheapest possible wages to the working class to reap the highest possible profits for themselves.
Socrates: When conservative Newt Gingrich can spend several millions of dollars on ads in South Carolina and Florida against “moderate” Mitt Romney for his role as head of Bain Capital by shamelessly speaking against capitalism as a demagogue, it is the triumph of Marxist ideas first promulgated in “Das Kapital.”
Washington's "Socrates" is even so up-to-date on current events that he mindlessly spews right-wing talking points, just like Washington himself:
Socrates: In February 2008, nine months before Election Day, when Barack Obama arrogantly declared, “We are the ones we’ve been waiting for,” in reality, he was proclaiming the triumph of Sartre’s existential philosophy over America’s Christian founding; a diabolical idea rooted in narcissism, Marxism and failed delusions.
Washington concludes: "At our next Symposium we will discuss the remaining five books that have caused the downfall of society and contributed to the damnation of ideas." Of course, deliberate mischaracterization of ideas and bastardizing one of the world's greatest philosophers for the sake of political attacks is far from a "symposium" as one can get -- and it sure as heck has nothing to do with anything the real Socrates did.
MRC Sees Political Motive in Obamas' Anniversary Wishes for 'Today' Show Topic: Media Research Center
How paranoid is the Media Research Center about so-called "liberal bias"? It thinks an innocuous message by President Obama and his wife marking the 60th anniversary of NBC's "Today" show is part of the president's political agenda.
After noting the Obamas' message , Kyle Drennen huffs in a Jan. 13 MRC item: "Given the broadcast's consistent left-wing slant over the years, and love for the Obamas more recently, it's no wonder why the President and First Lady would join the party."
Never mind the fact that any president, Democrat or Republican, would undoubtedly do what Obama did, and no political agenda is betrayed in the message. Here's the message, as transcribed by Drennen:
BARACK OBAMA: Good morning, everyone. And happy 60th anniversary to the Today show.
MICHELLE OBAMA: So many Americans start their day right here watching all of you as they're getting ready for work and sending their kids off to school.
BARACK OBAMA: Over decades and across generations the Today show has become part of American culture. A place where millions tune in to see how their world has changed overnight. That's why we're both so pleased to join all of you in celebrating this remarkable milestone.
MICHELLE OBAMA: And we know you'll have many more years of success. But first, this is Today on NBC.
BARACK OBAMA: I wanted to say that.
MICHELLE OBAMA: Sorry.
Drennen really thinks this is evidence of a left-wing agenda? He needs to get out of the MRC offices more.
WND's Mercer Still Lamenting the End of Apartheid Topic: WorldNetDaily
Ilana Mercer comes to the defense of poor Pat Buchanan in her Jan. 12 WorldNetDaily column, touting how Buchanan's view of face and multiculturalism dovetails with her own.
Then, as she is wont to do, Mercer once again laments the death of apartheid in her native South Africa:
America, as Mr. Buchanan observes, was eaten away by the acid of the 1960s revolution, “with its repudiation of Christian morality and embrace of secularism and egalitarian ideology.”
South Africa was relatively unaffected by that revolution. It was a staunchly traditional Christian country. Stores closed on Sundays. Television came late to the place but so did pornography and the gay-rights movement. In South Africa, the influence of Christianity receded after the 1994 democratic transition.
Whereas “Americans are no longer a people,” by contrast, the Afrikaners, as illustrated in “Into the Cannibal’s Pot,” still linger as a people, clinging to what Barack Obama would indubitably deride as their Bibles, their guns and their bigotries.
Dubbed the white tribe of Africa, this organic nation has, however, ceased to exist as a nation-state, dissolved by democratic decree. The sundering of state sovereignty has, in turn, exposed Afrikaners to ethnic cleansing, a familiar feature of democracy a la Africa.
Despite the Afrikaner’s superior military prowess, they simply “surrendered without defeat.” Ferocious though it was, the South African Defense Force (SADF) ceded to the African National Congress and its representatives.
“You, me and our men can take this country in an afternoon,” said former chief of the SADF Gen. Contand Viljoen, famously, to the reigning chief, Gen. George Meiring. He uttered this comment as President de Klerk prepared to cave into ANC demands, forgoing all checks and balances for South Africa’s Boer, British and Zulu minorities. Yet, the very same Afrikaner people, in the same spirit, went on to peacefully dismantle the six nuclear devices they had built at Pelindaba, west of the capital, Pretoria.
Why did the mighty SADF capitulate to Mandela’s ragtag ANC? Why did the tough descendants of the trek Boers, who have 350 years of history on the continent of Africa – as long as their American cousins have been in North America – give up their birthright for a mess of pottage?
Since it all makes so little sense, my conclusions are more philosophical than factual.
No mention, of course, of the inherent unfairness and virulent racism of the apartheid system the "mighty SADF" was defending.
Noel Sheppard Touts Sununu Attack, Ignores That He's A Romney Surrogate Topic: NewsBusters
In a Jan. 11 NewsBusters post, Noel Sheppard touts how John Sununu "scolded the media for falling in love with Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman," dismissing Huntsman as a "non-candidate."
Sheppard forgot to mention that Sununu has a motive for trashing Huntsman -- he's a supporter of one of Huntsman's rivals, Mitt Romney. Politico points out that Sununu "has been among Mitt Romney's most outspoken surrogates in recent weeks."
Leave to Sheppard to pretend that a politically motivated attack is really a cogent analysis of the media.
Aaron Klein Anonymous Source Watch Topic: WorldNetDaily
Aaron Klein cranks out another anonymously sourced special with a Jan. 11 WorldNetDaily article that cites only "a senior PA official" who was "speaking on condition his name be withheld" to claim that "The Obama administration asked the Palestinian Authority not to make any major demands until after the presidential election in November."
Given that Klein's boss, Joseph Farah, believes there is no such thing as a Palestinian people -- something it can be assumed Klein himself believes as well -- it's unlikely that Klein has any genuinely reliable source inside the Palestinian Authority.
Besides, Farah believes that anonymously sourced claims are "usually quotes made up out of whole cloth to help make the story read better." Klein offers no reason why that reasoning should not be applied to his reporting.
Newsmax's Kessler Returns to Trump-Fluffing Topic: Newsmax
Ronald Kessler may have resigned himself to shilling for Mitt Romney in this presidential race (for now, anyway), but that doesn't mean he won't indulge in a little Trump-fluffing on the side -- after all, Kessler helped create the Donald Trump presidential boomlet.
Kessler's Jan. 11 Newsmax column is quite the slice of Trump-fluffing -- amazing given how Trump burned Newsmax by bailing as host of Newsmax' planned Republican presidential debate, which then collapsed after only two candidates would commit to attending. Kessler tells the story -- via Trump's Florida lawyer, Paul Rampell -- of how Trump saved the 140-room Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach by turning it into a private club, which of course, allowed Kessler to revel in his own elbow-rubbing with Trump: "I remember how Trump — a Presbyterian of German descent — imitated the constricted, nasal tones of blue bloods condemning his club when my wife Pam and I were flying on his plane to spend a weekend with him at Mar-a-Lago for research on the book."
Kessler stays in suck-up mode by recounting Trump's largesse to friends and how Mar-a-Lago is worth many times more than the $5 million Trump paid for it, quoting Rampell describing how "Trump’s investment in Mar-a-Lago symbolizes the way he operates."
This comes off as a no-hard-feelings piece from Newsmax, demonstrating that it may still be willing to work with Trump, even after he essentially sabotaged their debate by pulling out.