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Thursday, March 1, 2012
Birther Bribery Works: Arpaio's Birther Posse Channels WND
Topic: WorldNetDaily

We've documented WorldNetDaily's close relationship with Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio -- WND publishes fawning articles about Arpaio and raises money for the "cold case posse" that's investigating President Obama's "eligibility," a investigation prompted by a presentation from WND's Jerome Corsi.

WND's birther bribery has paid off -- it got the results it wanted from the posse.

Arpaio and his posse announced the investigation's results at a press conference today, and darn it if doesn't sound like they've read nothing but WND articles in doing their research.

The posse also apparently worked so close with WND that not only did Corsi speak during the press conference, WND published an article in the investigation's results at the same time the press conference started -- proving it got special access to the investigation. Here's a snippet:

An investigative “Cold Case Posse” launched six months ago by “America’s toughest sheriff” – Joe Arpaio of Arizona’s Maricopa County – has concluded there is probable cause that the document released by the White House last year as President Obama’s birth certificate is a computer-generated forgery.

Arpaio, at a news conference in Phoenix live-streamed by WND TV that began at 3 p.m. Eastern time, has elevated the investigation to a criminal probe that will make the resources of his Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office available to his volunteer posse.

The posse says it has identified at least one person of interest in the alleged forgery of Obama’s birth certificate.

During the press conference, Corsi admitted he worked closely with the posse, so much so that, according to a posse representative, he looked through microfilm of immigration records for proof that Obama's mother traveled to Africa around the time of his birth. Corsi then laughably contended that he was able to do so and maintain his journalistic integrity. This from a guy whose idea of "jornalistic integrity" is to bring back forged documents from Kenya as supposed "evidence" of Obama's purported cooperation with Kenyan politician Raila Odinga.

The posse's close relationship with WND -- which has promoted conspiracy theories about Obama's birth certificate as a major part of its falsehood-laden anti-Obama agenda  -- should raise red flags about the posse's credibility. No evidence was provided during the press conference that the posse had any dealings with people who were not rabid birthers like Corsi (who spent 18 hours testifying before the posse). WND is clearly interested in having the posse return results favorable to its agenda, and it was willing to do whatever it could to have its conspiracies endorsed by putting a patina of official credibility on them through the posse.

Similarly, WND has not provided details to its readers about its relationship with the posse, or if the fawning articles it publishes about Arpaio are part of the deal in which it is granted special access to Arpaio and the posse, or how much money it has raised and donated to the posse.

Despite repeated assertions by Arpaio and a posse representative, there is no evidence that the posse acted in an independent manner, as demonstrated by its closeness to Corsi and WND. Given that, there is no reason to treat the posse's results any more seriously that one would your average WND article.

In short: WND's birther bribery worked.

Posted by Terry K. at 5:08 PM EST
Updated: Thursday, March 1, 2012 5:25 PM EST
MRC's Double Standard On The 'Slut' Insult
Topic: Media Research Center

When Ed Schultz called right-wing radio host Laura Ingraham a "right-wing slut," the Media Reserch Center threw a fit, complained that it wasn't reported enough, cheered his suspension for the remark, then complained that Schultz's apology wasn't all-encompassing enough.

Yesterday, Rush Limbaugh called law student Sandra Fluke a"slut" and a "prostitute" for testifying about the financial hardships of contraception.

The MRC's response so far? Silence.

But then, the MRC has always given Limbaugh a free pass for his behavior, no matter how offensive or how much it violated the MRC's previously established standards. There's no reason to think it will suddenly start holding Limbaugh accountable for his behavior now.

Plus, the MRC has endeavored to smear and slime Fluke for her testimony, so we can assume that silence equals approval.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:13 AM EST
WND Zombie Lie Watch
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily articles on Feb. 22 and Feb. 28 repeat the same boilerplate falsehoods about President Obama and Kenya's Raila Odinga:

WND reported the existence of a strategy document developed by Obama and Odinga during Obama’s 2006 senatorial “fact-finding” trip to Kenya. It called for Odinga’s Orange Democratic Movement to exploit tribal tensions should Odinga lose the 2007 presidential challenge, as a means of keeping alive his aspiration to be Kenyan head of state.

During the 2006 trip, Obama campaigned so openly for Odinga that Kenyan government spokesman Alfred Mutua went on Kenyan television on behalf of Kenyan President Kibaki to object that Obama was meddling inappropriately in Kenyan politics, as WND reported.

WND further reported documentary evidence that Obama contributed nearly $1 million to the ODM in support of Odinga’s 2007 presidential campaign. An ODM campaign accounting document that listed the contribution as coming from “Friends of Senator BO.”

As we've documented, found "no evidence to indicate that Obama 'openly supported' Odinga" during his 2006 trip to Kenya – in fact, Obama made a point of saying that he tried to “meet with all parties” during his visit, including Odinga’s opponent, Mwai Kibaki. While Odinga clearly wanted to associate himself with Obama by attending some of Obama’s events during the visit, PolitiFact wrote, Obama “remained neutral in Kenyan politics, and did not support Odinga during his trip.”

Further, the idea that Obama contributed $1 million to Odinga's campaign was discredited six months before Jerome Corsi first wrote about it in 2008.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:08 AM EST
Noel Sheppard's Dishonest, Desperate Switcheroo
Topic: NewsBusters

Noel Sheppard surely deserves some kind of award for the amount of desperate spinning he's doing to defend his beloved Fox News when they've been caught red-handed engaging in the kind of bias he and his NewsBusters colleagues are supposed to deplore.

In a Feb. 29 post, Sheppard discusses a "Daily Show" segment in which host Jon Stewart points out that Fox News appear to be following the instructions of a Republican National Committee memo advising sympathetic pundits to distract from news of an improving economy by talking about debt, unemployment, and gas prices -- to the point that Fox's Steve Doocy actually reads from the memo on the air, then immediately follows its advice. This is the sort of thing that, when so-called liberal media outlets do it in much less blatant form (like reporting things that diverge from the right-wing agenda), NewsBusters describe as "talking points."

Sheppard responds by completely ignoring the fact that Fox News was busted quite literally reading Republican talking points and desperately trying to play a switcheroo saying that Fox News using Republican talking points somehow shows that the "liberal media" uses Democratic talking points, or something:

“You can’t do that,” Stewart exclaimed. “You just gave the game away.”

Actually, it was Stewart that gave the game away, as he exposed that much like virtually every liberal media member in the country, he is and has been rooting for Barack Obama since 2008.

It's not odd that news organizations would report the national debt, stubbornly high unemployment, and soaring gas prices.

What's odd is that for over three years, virtually every news outlet besides Fox downplayed budget deficits and the poor condition of the labor markets - and/or blamed both on former President George W. Bush - and are currently underreporting gas prices and/or making the case they're not Obama's fault.

Stewart is clearly displeased that Fox is going against this dishonest grain and actually telling its viewers the truth about these negative economic factors that threaten to derail any recovery that might now be taking root.

To Stewart, reports that undermines the President he loves should be ignored, at least until after the elections, and any outlet going against this tenet must clearly be in bed with the RNC.

It curiously doesn't bother Stewart that by withholding such information from the public virtually every other media organization including his is in bed with the DNC.

Got that? Democratic talking points are just talking points, while Republican talking points are the truth. We think.

It's not often you see someone like Sheppard making such a blatantly dishonest argument that is so desperately determined to deny reality. But, apparently, that's why he makes the big bucks as the associate editor of NewsBusters.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:25 AM EST
Wednesday, February 29, 2012
CNS Is Still Putting Words In Obama's Mouth

Here's hot Matt Cover begins a Feb. 28 article:

President Obama – in a speech to the United Auto Workers union – said that “trying to climb to the very top” was not what America is “about,” saying that it was “greed” and that in reality “we’re all in it together.”

Count all of the separate quotes in that paragraph tht Cover has cobbled together to paint a distorted, cherry-picked version of what Obama said. Here's what Obama actually said in the relevant section of his speech, with the words Cover cherry-picked for his lead paragraph in bold:

OBAMA: I was telling you I visited Chrysler’s Jefferson North Plant in Detroit about a year and a half ago.  Now, the day I visited, some of the employees had won the lottery.  Not kidding.  They had won the lottery.  Now, you might think that after that they’d all be kicking back and retiring.  (Laughter.)  And no one would fault them for that.  Building cars is tough work.  But that’s not what they did.  The guy who bought --

AUDIENCE MEMBER: What did they do?

OBAMA:  Funny you ask. The guy who bought the winning ticket, he was a proud UAW member who worked on the line.  So he used some of his winnings to buy his wife the car that he builds because he’s really proud of his work. Then he bought brand new American flags for his hometown because he’s proud of his country.  (Applause.)  And he and the other winners are still clocking in at that plant today, because they’re proud of the part they and their coworkers play in America’s comeback.

See, that’s what America is about. America is not just looking out for yourself.  It’s not just about greed. It’s not just about trying to climb to the very top and keep everybody else down. When our assembly lines grind to a halt, we work together and we get them going again.  When somebody else falters, we try to give them a hand up, because we know we’re all in it together.

In other words, Cover is misleading about what Obama said. CNS does this sort of thing with disturbing frequency.

In the same vein,  the headline of a Feb. 28 CNS article by Fred Lucas reads, "Holder: 1st Amendment Allows Gov't to Force Catholics to Buy Sterilization-Contraception-Abortion Insurance." Of course, Attorney General Eric Holder never said the government would "force Catholics" to by "abortion insurance."

Apparently, accurately quoting what people say isn't enough for CNS. It is committing journalistic malpractice by twisting and misquoting the words Obama and Holder say for the sole purpose of villainizing them for its right-wing audience.

Posted by Terry K. at 5:15 PM EST
Updated: Wednesday, February 29, 2012 5:16 PM EST
Mychal Massie Just Can't Stop Lying About Michelle Obama
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Mychal Massie is so wrapped up in his sputtering, raging hatred of all things Obama that he is desperately clinging to the sleazy lies he apparently feels he must tell about them in order to feel better about himself.

Massie writes in his Feb. 27 WorldNetDaily column:

Then again, maybe she was exhausted from her personal $50,000 underwear shopping spree with the queen of Qatar, at Agent Provocateur, the store that bills itself as selling “the most erotic lingerie in the world.” Realizing that you’re responsible for closing down Madison Avenue can be tiring, and watching staff carry all those bags back to her limousines … whew! – that would sure wear me out.

As we pointed out the last time Massie wrote about this, it's a discredited lie. Massie presumably knows this, yet he repeats it anyway.

Mychal Massie is a sad, pathetic man who cannot stop telling lies. Any other media organization would fire him for his mendacity, but he writes for WND, where lying about Obama is tolerated and, it seems, even encouraged.

Similarly, the National Center for Public Policy Research -- where Massie heads up its Project 21 group of black conservatives -- is also apparently unconcerned by Massie's mendacity. Does the NCPPR also approve of lying in public about Obama?

Posted by Terry K. at 12:40 PM EST
NewsBusters' Silly Freakout Over Hybrids in HOV Lanes
Topic: NewsBusters

Tom Blumer spends a Feb. 26 NewsBusters post in freakout mode over the idea that California is allowing certain Chevy Volt models to use high-occupancy vehicle, or HOV, lanes without having to meet the passenger requirement:

Silly me. I thought "HOV" when used in connection with expressway traffic meant "High Occupancy Vehicle." Apparently not, now that California is allowing a 2012 version of the Chevy Volt to use HOV lanes, even by drivers who have no passengers. Maybe the acronym really stands for "Haughty Obama Vehicles." Or "Hapless Odd Vehicles." Or "Have-to Offload (these slow-selling) Vehicles." I'm sure readers can do better.


One upside: At least the drivers sitting stalled in the slow lanes won't have to worry about having a nearby Volt catching fire and having it spread to them.

In fact, California -- along with several other states -- has allowed hybrid vehicles to use HOV lanes with solo drivers since 2005, when a federal transportation law containing the provision was signed by ... President Bush. Blumer somehow forgot to mention that.

In other words, Blumer's freakout is competely silly and driven by a bizarre hatred for a car.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:45 AM EST
NEW ARTICLE: CNS' Obama-Bashing Body Count Obsession
Topic: is eager to tell you how many American soldiers have died in Afghanistan under President Obama -- and decidedly less eager to remind you of how many more died in Iraq under President Bush. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 12:38 AM EST
Tuesday, February 28, 2012
Birther Bribery: WND Tries to Build Up Anticipation for Arpaio Posse News
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily's campaign of sucking up to Joe Arpaio with this breathless preview of the "investigation" of Arpaio's "cold case posse" -- so important, in fact, that the article is unbylined:

A challenge to Barack Obama’s occupancy of the Oval Office was thrown out because “the voters ruled” on his eligibility in the 2008 election. Another was tossed when Obama didn’t even bother to show up to refute the evidence. And cases have been rejected by the U.S. Supreme Court because the justices are “avoiding” the issue.

But this week, for the first time, the results of a formal law enforcement investigation into Obama’s eligibility will be released.

WND TV will live-stream the news conference scheduled by Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County, Ariz., Thursday at 1 p.m. Mountain Time in Phoenix, or 3 p.m. Eastern. Arpaio previously has indicated there might be a “shock” in the report.

As before, WND offers no evidence that anyone other than birther conspiracists like Jerome Corsi ever talked to the posse. And as before, WND solicits donations for the posse.

P.S. While we're on the subject, an edited version of our piece detailing WND's birther bribery is up at Huffington Post.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:47 PM EST
NewsBusters Strains to Defend Santorum's Anti-College Attack
Topic: NewsBusters

NewsBusters' Ken Shepherd is in a snit because, in his words, MSNBC's Alex Wagner portrayed Rick Santorum as "anti-college, believing the acquisition of higher education to be a mark of snobbery." Shepherd retorted in a Feb. 27 NewsBusters post:

Far from saying that being college-educated is form of snobbery, what the former Republican senator said at an Americans for Prosperity event on Saturday -- and Wagner's producers aired earlier in the segment -- was as follows (emphases mine):

SANTORUM, first clip: President Obama once said he wants everybody in America to go to college. What a snob!

SANTORUM, second clip: There are good, decent men and women who go out and work hard everyday and put their skills to test that aren't taught by some liberal college professor that [is] trying to indoctrinate them.

Shepherd curiously fails to mention that the premise of Santorum's attack is false -- Obama never said that "everybody in America"should go to a four-year college where they are in danger of encountering "some liberal college professor." Obama said in a February 2009 speech (via

And so tonight, I ask every American to commit to at least one year or more of higher education or career training. This can be community college or a four-year school; vocational training or an apprenticeship. But whatever the training may be, every American will need to get more than a high school diploma. And dropping out of high school is no longer an option.

FactCheck also points out that Santorum's 2006 website stated that he is "equally committed to ensuring the every Pennsylvanian has access to higher education" -- the same position he's bashing Obama for promoting.

Santorum is twisting Obama's words. Will Shepherd call him out for that?

Posted by Terry K. at 1:11 PM EST
Obama Derangement Syndrome Watch, Terry Jeffrey Edition

Here is a simple question with an obvious answer: Is President Barack Obama more deferential to the religious sensibilities of Afghan Muslims or the religious freedom of American Catholics?

The answer: Obama is more deferential to the religious sensibilities of Muslims in Afghanistan than to the religious freedom of Catholics in the United States.


It is plain as day: Obama is more deferential to the religious sensibilities of Muslims in Afghanistan than he is to the constitutionally protected religious liberty of Catholics in the United States of America.

-- Terry Jeffrey, Feb. 24 column

Posted by Terry K. at 9:26 AM EST
WND Ignores Ex-Congressman's Conflict of Interest
Topic: WorldNetDaily

A Feb. 25 WorldNetDaily article by Jack Minor quotes Todd Tiahrt, "a former congressman from Kansas who now runs an aerospace and aviation consulting company," attacking President Obama over the Air Force awarding a contract for a new light attack aircraft to a Brazil-based company, Embraer, over the American competitor competing for the contract, Hawker Beechcraft.

Minor failed to mention, however, that Hawker Beechcraft is a client of Tiahrt's "aerospace and aviation consulting company."

Minor is so bereft of basic journalistic priniciples that not only did he refuse to report this clear conflict of interest -- granted, WND has a longtime problem with failing to disclose its own conflicts of interest in the stories it publishes -- he only tells one side of the story, that of Tiahrt and Hawker Beechcraft, making numerous unsupported claims along the way about the Beechcraft plane's purported superiority over the Embraer model. At no point does Minor contact Embraer or its American partner, SNC, for a response to Tiahrt's charges.

Of course, if Minor had done so, he would have had to deal with the idea that there is more than one side to the story, and he and WND are clearly not interested in fair and balanced journalism.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:25 AM EST
Monday, February 27, 2012
NewsBusters Misses the Point on Ultrasound Law
Topic: NewsBusters

Ina Feb. 23 NewsBusters post, Ken Shepherd complained that a MSNBC segment on a proposed Virginia law that required women seeking an abortion to undergo an ultrasound before the procedure failed to mention that "Planned Parenthood abortionists already perform ultrasounds before abortions."

Shepherd did the same thing in a Feb. 24 post highlighting a Washington Post article on the proposed law, responding that the article did not note that "abortionists in the Old Dominion who are affiliated with Planned Parenthood already do ultrasounds prior to conducting abortions."

Clay Waters echoed this talking point in a Feb. 22 MRC TimesWatch item, complaining that a New York Times article failed to mention that "the Virginia League of Planned Parenthood conducts ultrasounds before they perform abortions."

That's beside the point. The point is that an abdominal ultrasound is unlikely to produce an image when performed early in the pregnancy -- one-third of abortions are performed at six weeks or less. To obtain a usable ultrasound image that early requires that an instrument be placed inside the woman's vagina.

Does Shepherd think that the government should have the power to mandate that something be shoved inside a woman's vagina? Apparently so.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:36 PM EST
Stenography: CNS Echoes Republican Attack on Obama Over Gas Prices

As we've detailed, is treating Republican talking points as "news," to the point of simply rewriting Republican National Committee press releases. This happens again in a Feb. 24 article by Patrick Burke which begins:

The average price for one gallon of unleaded gasoline has increased nearly every month since Barack Obama was inaugurated in January 2009. At that time, when George W. Bush was leaving office, the price was $1.78 per gallon. Today, three years and one month later, the average price is $3.64.

As it so happened, the RNC released an anti-Obama ad making this exact point the day before Burke's article appeared.

Needless to say, Burke fails to mention that the low gas prices in 2009 were driven by a massive worldwide recession, a condition Burke probably doesn't want to return to (unless he can blame it on Obama, anyway). Burke also offers no evidence that Obama or his policies are to blame for the current increase in gas prices

Posted by Terry K. at 2:46 PM EST
AIM Falsely Portrays Garrison Keillor As NPR Employee
Topic: Accuracy in Media

In a Feb. 21 Accuracy in Media blog post, Logan Churchwell disapproves of radio host Garrison Keillor hosting a fundraiser for the Obama campaign. After rehashing Keillor's donations to Democratic causes, Churchwell writes:

The list goes on and on. Lisa Simeone and Michele Norris were both removed from their respective posts for violating NPR’s code of ethics in 2011 after disclosing involvement with political groups. Though Keillor is not on NPR’s news staff, this is further confirmation of NPR’s political leaning. How National Public Radio will weather these challenges to their objectivity in the face of potential federal funding bans remains to be seen.

Not only is Keillor not a member of "NPR’s news staff" -- he is an entertainer, after all -- he's not even an NPR employee. Keillor's show, "A Prairie Home Companion," is produced by Prairie Home Productions, and distributed nationwide by American Public Media.

So much for the "accuracy" part of Accuracy in Media.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:48 AM EST

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