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Saturday, March 10, 2012
WND Desperately Trying to Prop Up Arpaio Birther Posse Probe
Topic: WorldNetDaily

As questions mount about the veracity and credibilty of Sheriff Joe Arpaio's "cold case posse" -- with its financial and personnel links to WorldNetDaily and the principal investigators, including WND's Jerome Corsi, are trying to profit off the "investigation" by publishing an e-book about it -- WND is feverishly trying to salvage whatever credibility it might have, albeit in the contradictory fashion of making increasingly outlandish claims.

A March 7 article by Bob Unruh features a claim by Mike Zullo, lead posse investigator and Corsi's fellow cashing-in partner, that "he was told by sources members of the media were threatened with federal investigations should they continue to report on the birth certificate issue." Unruh quotes Zullo as saying, "During our investigation, we actually were told [that media] had been threatened with FTC investigations. Commentators [had been] threatened with their jobs." Unruh and Zullo, of course, offer no actual evidence to back up this claim.

That's not surprising, because it appears bogus on its face. Why would the Federal Trade Commission investigate journalists? Not only does that agency have nothing to do with regulating journalism, nobody does.

Unruh also gives Zullo to defend co-writing a book, including paraphrasing Corsi -- oddly, Unruh never quotes Corsi directly, despite being a fellow WND employee -- as having "confirmed that Zullo was very reluctant to do the book," adding that "Corsi also said he was acutely aware of the financial sacrifice Zullo made over the last six months, having to devote much of his time to the investigation."

Unruh doesn't mention that reviewers have pointed out that large chunks of the book are simply copied-and-pasted from other sources, including Corsi's own birther book of last year. That raises the question of just how much actual investigating went on.

The next day, WND published an article focusing on one of the claims made in the press conference announcing the results of the posse "investigation," that "missing records" mean that it can't be confirmed that Barack Obama wasn't born in Kenya. The posse allegedly looked at Immigration and Naturalization Service records from August 1961 for flights landing in Honolulu because "if Barack Obama had been born in Kenya, or any other location outside the United States, there should be a passenger record of the airline flight on which she, a new mother, returned to Hawaii with her newly born infant son."

WND didn't mention that, as the Fogbow reported, examining only Honolulu arrivals was a useless exercise even if the records had been there:

Imigration control forms are filled out at the first USA airport where an overseas flight lands.

In 1961, the only foreign destinations reachable non-stop from east of Honolulu were Vancouver, Canada and a few small places in northern Mexico that would not have had air service to Hawaii. West of Honolulu, Pan-Am was flying non-stop from Tokyo to Honolulu; Quantas and Canadian Pacific were flying in from Sydney with a refueling stop in Fiji.

Flying from Kenya to Honolulu via Tokyo was possible but not practical as it required a number of Asian stops. A more typical trip from Kenya would be Nairobi to Cairo to London to NY or another East Coast city, then LA or San Francisco to Hawaii. It was a grueling multi-day trip. 

Then, in a March 9 article, Chelsea Schilling touts a column in, of all places, the Russian newspaper Pravda claiming that American media is “tame,” afraid to publish news and is “deliberately hiding the evidence published on the internet about [Obama's] defrauding of the American public and the deliberate evisceration of the Constitution of the United States.”

That's right -- WND is promoting work in a publication best known as the official voice of Soviet-era propaganda to back up its birther conspiracies.

That, perhaps more than anything, demonstrates the depths of intellectual dishonesty WND must descend to keep the birther story alive. It apparently doesn't matter to WND that it instantly discredits itself by doing so.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:29 PM EST
Updated: Sunday, March 11, 2012 12:09 AM EST
NewsBusters Hypocritically Criticizes Reporter's Alleged Bias
Topic: NewsBusters

In a March 7 NewsBusters post, Brian Sikma criticizes a reporter for a tiny newspaper in Wisconsin for continuing to cover politics even though "he was found on Facebook personally cheering on the efforts of Lori Compas, the woman who was leading the charge to recall incumbent state Sen. Scott Fitzgerald."

Just one little problem: NewsBusters sister "news" organization works pretty much the same way. reporters regularly spout their right-wing opinions on the subjects they cover. Most notoriously, Penny Starr portrayed Harry Reid as a baby-killer for supporting a health care reform bill that, as she misleadingly claimed, used federal money to pay for abortions, yet she reports on abortion-related issues for CNS.

If the MRC can't run its own "news" organization in a fair and balanced manner, how can it criticize others for failing to live up to that standard?

Answer: It can't. NewsBusters is just being hypocritical.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:05 PM EST
Updated: Saturday, March 10, 2012 11:31 PM EST
Man Who Inspired Limbaugh's Misogyny Against Sandra Fluke Criticizes Louis C.K.

For most people, serving as the inspiration for a massive misogynistic rant would give one pause about criticizing the alleged misogyny of others. But not CNSNews' Craig Bannister.

Bannister, CNS' director of communications, uses a March 9 blog post to repeat criticism from Fox News' Greta Van Susteren that the headliner at this year's Radio and Television Correspondents Dinner is comedian Louis C.K., who he calls "a foul-mouthed denigrater of women." (Louis C.K. has since withdrawn from speaking at the dinner.)

Mind you, Bannister is the man who declared Sandra Fluke to be a "sex-crazed co-ed" for talking about birth control in public, which gave Rush Limbaugh license to call Fluke a "slut" and a "prostitute" who is  "having so much sex, it's amazing she can still walk." Limbaugh added, "Who bought your condoms in junior high? Who bought your condoms in the sixth grade?" and asked, "did you ever think about maybe backing off the amount of sex that you have?"

Bannister has yet to publicly discuss the misogyny he inspired in Limbaugh, let alone criticize it. Yet he feels comfortable bashing Louis C.K. as a "denigrator of women"?

Talk about a double standard.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:54 AM EST
Friday, March 9, 2012
Joseph Farah's Gay-Bashing Streak
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Joseph Farah has been on an anti-gay tear the past few days.

In his March 7 WorldNetDaily column, Farah likened those to favor the legality of gay marriage to terrorists:

Same-sex marriage advocates no more care about the legality of same-sex marriage than Hamas cares about the creation of a Palestinian state.

Neither is interested in creating something new – something that has never been before. Instead, what same-sex marriage advocates and the terrorists of the Gaza Strip have in common is their desire to destroy something they find repulsive. In Gaza, it’s the Jewish state of Israel. Among homosexual activists, it’s the institution of marriage.

By making the bogus claim that marriage, as it has been known through the eons, is inherently unfair because some people don’t want to participate in it as it has always been defined, homosexual activists are able to establish for themselves what appears to be the political high ground of the victim. In exactly the same way, Arab terrorists are able to portray themselves as the victim by claiming they have been denied a state.

In his March 9 column, Farah declared that there was nothing wrong with Kirk Cameron asserting that homosexuality is "unnatural" and that same-sex marriage would be "detrimental" to society:

Let’s get real.

Cameron expressed no hate. He condemned no one. He succinctly and respectfully reflected the views of a majority of Americans and the vast majority of Bible-believing Christians.

That means the media, the entertainment industry and the homosexual lobby are no longer tolerant of mainstream American and Christian views being publicly espoused.

Think about that.

That’s where we are in America right now.


I want to thank Kirk Cameron for standing up so boldly to proclaim the truth. It takes guts. He probably didn’t realize how much flack he would get. But Jesus warned believers about the times we’re living in.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:29 PM EST
NewsBusters Dubiously Claims TV Station 'Prevented' Access of Obama Video to Breitbart
Topic: NewsBusters

Under the headline "Two Groups Trying to Prevent Breitbart Video Release Also Soros-Funded," Iris Somberg writes in a March 8 NewsBusters post that Boston public TV station WGBH "prevented" access by to a video  of Barack Obama in 1990 making a speech at Harvard Law School in favor of professor Derrick Bell getting tenure. This echoes a previous claim by Big Journalism editor Dana Loesch that "WGBH refused to give the video."

Somberg seems to have ignored that the Breitbart sites apparently didn't feel like paying for the video. As WGBH pointed out, the website Buzzfeed, which posted the entirety of what was available of Obama’s speech, paid WGBH for the footage it used. Breitbart apparently demanded the footage be given out for free.

It appears Breitbart was too cheap to pay for the footage it wanted. (WGBH has since posted the Obama-Bell footage in its entirety.)

Somberg also claimed this Obama-Bell footage "was hidden from the American public," which is utterly false. As WGBH noted, excerpts of the footage were used in a 2008 campaign special for the PBS show "Frontline."

Somberg goes on to irrelevently sacaremonger about George Soros, complaining that "more than $3.5 million was granted to WGBH and Harvard by Soros’s Open Society Foundations since 2000." Which, of course, has nothing to do with any of this.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:13 PM EST
Updated: Friday, March 9, 2012 3:25 PM EST
WND Columnist: Sandra Fluke Is An 'Apparent Slut'
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Phil Elmore uses his March 7 WorldNetDaily column to regurgitate Rush Limbaugh's slurs of Sandra Fluke:

Never mind that Sandra Fluke – who appeared at a press conference crafted by Democrats to resemble a congressional hearing – is a left-wing activist whose whining about the inordinate sum she pays for birth control has made her name a prurient punch line. Never mind that Fluke was originally misrepresented as a doe-eyed 20-something coed, when in fact the law student is a 30-year-old woman who ought to be able to buy her (presumably) many lovers’ cases of condoms. Never mind that libtalkers like Ed Schultz and Bill Maher have called prominent conservative women like Laura Ingraham and Sarah Palin names like “slut” (and worse). No, when Rush Limbaugh called this apparent slut a slut, his crime was immediately judged so heinous that sponsors started jumping ship without regard to the damage they might be doing themselves.

Elmore, of course, offers up no evidence whatsoever that discussing birth control in public, which is what Fluke did, automatically makes you an "apparent slut."

Perhaps Elmore ought to follow his idol by issuing a half-assed apology for his slur of Fluke. We don't expect him to be genuinely contrite, since Limbaugh wasn't either.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:27 AM EST
NEW ARTICLE: Brent Bozell's Profile in Cowardice
Topic: Media Research Center
Not only can't the Media Research Center president be bothered to issue but tepid criticism of Rush Limbaugh's sleazy attacks on a congressional witness, he effectively rewards Limbaugh's hate with an "I Stand With Rush" website. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 12:38 AM EST
Thursday, March 8, 2012
WND Repeats Anonynmous, Never-Proven Claims of 'Election Crimes'
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Andrea Shea King writes in a March 5 WorldNetDaily article:

The latest activity by Wikileaks dumped some 5 million emails and documents hacked from the database of Stratfor Intelligence. The emails reveal Democrats’ effort to steal the 2008 election.

Shocking revelations from a Wikileaks document dump show the Democrat Party committed a felony when it stuffed ballot boxes in Ohio and Philadelphia during the 2008 presidential election.

A memo further revealed that the so-called “Reverend” Jesse Jackson was paid a handsome figure to keep his mouth shut about candidate Obama, a man for whom he had little regard.

The same internal memo revealed that Obama’s campaign was taking Russian money surreptitiously.

In fact, those Stratfor emails revealed nothing of the sort. All they contained were anonymous, never-proven claims that even Stratfor did not consider worth publicizing.

As Talking Points Memo notes, the Stratfor emails mostly reveal the type of anti-Democratic rumor-mongering Stratfor traded in. TPM's Josh Marshall adds: "It confirms what every reporter on an intel beat (and a lot of other beats too) learns pretty quickly: the almost inexhaustible supply of show-boater, liars and sociopaths who will keep coming up with new made up stories to tell you to hold on to your attention."

Interestingly, WND had a partnership with Stratfor in 2001 and 2002, in which WND published daily items based on Stratfor work and promoted Stratfor memberships. Newsmax has also published Stratfor-sourced material.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:58 PM EST
Newsmax Still Not Enthused by Romney
Topic: Newsmax

Newsmax seems to have given up its quest to slant its website to push Newt Gingrich's presidential campaign, but that doesn't mean it (aside from Ronald Kessler, that is) has gotten on board the Mitt Romney presumtive-nomination train.

Here are some headlines from the pasdt couple of days in the wake of Super Tuesday's primaries:

Romney Rebuked as Santorum Scores Victories

Romney Falters Again, Can't Connect with Conservatives

Schoen: Romney’s Invincibility Claim ‘Shaken — Perhaps Irrevocably’

Sabato: Romney ‘Averted Disaster’ on Super Tuesday

Rasmussen: Conservative Voters 'Absolutely' Reluctant To Accept Romney

Not exactly a vote of conference there, is it?

Newsmax did make a half-hearted attempt to shill for Gingrich, though, under the headline "Palin: I Voted for Newt, 'The Cheerful One'."

And Newsmax did edge itself toward resigning to the Republican electoral fate with an article headlined "Gillespie to Newsmax: Social Conservatives Eventually Will Embrace Romney." Again, not exactly a vote of confidence, but it's a sign that Newsmax is moving into the acceptance phase of its Gingrich grief process.

UPDATE: Newsmax's Gingrich infatuation may be over for good. A new article by Martin Gould and Ashley Martella carries the headline "Santorum to Newsmax: I'd Consider Gingrich for VP."

Posted by Terry K. at 6:04 PM EST
Updated: Thursday, March 8, 2012 6:41 PM EST
CNS Tries to Distract From Limbaugh By Attacking Fluke
Topic: does not want its readers to think about Rush Limbaugh's sleazy attack on Georgetown law student for discussing birth control on Capitol Hill. It most certainly does not want its readers to know that its own director of communications, Craig Bannister, inspired Limbaugh's misogynistic rants by portraying Fluke as a "sex-crazed co-ed."

So, instead, CNS has decided to attack Fluke's credibility by focusing on a single claim she made: that birth control can cost a law student $3,000 over three years.

A March 5 article by Gregory Gwyn-Williams Jr. claims that "a Target store only 3 miles from the law school currently sells a month's supply of birth control pills for only $9 to people who do not have insurance plans covering contraceptives."

CNS tried to hammer home the talking point with two articles asking members of Congress about the claim.

At no point, however, does CNS indicate it ever tried to contact Fluke to ask her about where her figures came from. That's a basic reporting failure -- and demonstrates CNS' right-wing agenda.

CNS chose to smear Fluke without having all the facts beforehand. That's blatant bias.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:23 AM EST
Obama Derangement Syndrome Watch, Mychal Massie Edition
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Obama has called for blacks to rally in support of his re-election by launching “African-Americans for Obama.” This race-based call to assembly presses blacks to organize en masse in support of his re-election through volunteer community organizing work to get blacks registered and out to vote.

He used a video promo to tell blacks to pressure churches into supporting his administration by using the so-called faith community. He also instructed voters to become church “congregation captains.”

Cries and assertions that this was an overt act of racism by an overtly racist president – whose wife is the equivalent of Black Panther socialist Angela Davis, only with a taxpayer-paid no-limit credit card – were swift and plentiful.

But I see it a bit differently. I see it as emblematic of Obama’s grotesque narcissism and his eager willingness to elevate himself above God.


The one thing Obama has fought for is to provide more abortions for low-income women and low-income black women in particular. He has promoted debauchery and fear, and he is the primary reason for fuel prices that make it difficult to put cereal and buttered rice on the table.

-- Mychal Massie, March 5 WorldNetDaily column

Posted by Terry K. at 12:21 AM EST
Wednesday, March 7, 2012
MRC Ignored Cal Thomas' Slur of Rachel Maddow -- And His Apology, Too
Topic: Media Research Center

Brent Bozell's refusal to criticize Rush's Limbaugh's misogynistic attacks on Sandra Fluke in anything but the most tepid terms possible is not just a Limbaugh-centric issue.

At February's Conservative Political Action Conference, Cal Thomas declared that MSNBC's Rachel Maddow "is the best argument in favor of her parents using contraception." The MRC apparentlydidn't think that opinion was in any way controversial, for no mention of it whatsoever can be found on any of the MRC websites, including NewsBusters. (Granted, the MRC may have been too busy pulling out of CPAC in a snit over Bozell being denied the prime speaking slot he thought he deserved to notice.)

But the MRC managed to take this memory-hole approach to a surprising extreme.

Thomas penned a Feb. 16 column in which he offered a full, unequivocal and abject apology to Maddow, stating: "One of the principles in which I believe is not to engage in name-calling; which, to my shame, I did. ... I had embarrassed myself and was a bad example to those who read my column and expect better from me." In short, it was the kind of apology Bozell apparently thinks Limbaugh offered to Fluke but in reality has not.

NewsBusters carries an archive of Thomas' columns. His Feb. 16 column is curiously absent.

Why would the MRC want to flush this incident down the memory hole? After all, Thomas exhibited the model of how one apologizes for making ugly remarks in public -- a model Limbaugh has thus far chosen not to follow.

Does Bozell think it's weakness for conservatives to apologize when they've clearly done wrong? Given his refusal to speak out on Limbaugh and his utter silence on Thomas, apparently so.

This is just another example of Bozell's moral cowardice when it comes to his fellow conservatives.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:39 PM EST
Updated: Monday, March 12, 2012 10:36 PM EDT
Lawrence Sellin, AIM's Birther Columnist
Topic: Accuracy in Media

Lawrence Sellin has apparently become Accuracy in Media's official birther columnist.

We noted last month how Sellin promoted debunked birther conspiracies, including one over Obama's purported use of a fraudulent Social Security number (never mind that Sellin himself could be prosecuted for publicly releasing Obama's alleged Social Security number in public). AIM has published two more Sellin columns since then.

In a Feb. 28 column, Sellin touts the Obama-bashing claims of John Drew, whom he describes as " a contemporary of Obama at Occidental College." In fact,  as we've detailed, Drew graduated from Occidential the semester before Obama enrolled , and the two apparently met only twice at social occasions while Drew was making return visits to the schoool.

Sellin went on to suggest Obama never actually attended Columbia University, and that if he had, it didn't mean that much because it was the real Columbia:

In 1981, after two years at Occidental, Obama presumably transferred to the Columbia School of General Studies, one part of the Columbia University system that does not have rigorous Core Curriculum and transfer constraints as the elite Columbia College.

Sellin also delves into conspiracy-mongering about how Obama financed his college education: "It has never been clear, who paid for Obama’s Harvard education, but it is possible, if not probable, that the money came from Saudi Arabia."

Sellin also repeats his discredited claims about Obama's purportedly " forged Certificate of Live Birth, a forged Selective Service registration and the use of a Social Security Number (SSN) not issued to him."

In his March 5 column, Sellin promotes the results of the highly dubious Arpaio cold case posse "investigation" of Obama's "eligibility," touting how it "stated that Obama’s Selective Service card was most likely also a forgery." In fact, as Dr. Conspiracy has detailed, the posse's explanation for how this purportedly occured is an utterly impossible scenario.

Sellin goes on to lament that the media is trying to "discount the evidence of an Obama felony by discrediting Arpaio," but Sellin never disproves any of the criticism made against Arpaio. Nevertheless, Sellin is on a conspiratorial roll:

The Democrat and Republican establishments and the mainstream media will do anything within their power to bury the evidence because they have a clear vested interest in doing so.  Revealing the full truth about public figures would drive a stake into the heart of a hopelessly corrupt political system.

It would, furthermore, expose the American media for being little more than the propaganda arm of extreme left-wing Democrats promoting the goal of a de facto one-party state for the U.S., reminiscent of the role played by the Communist Party newspaper Pravda in propping up the dysfunctional Soviet Union.

Fully vetting our country’s top politicians will be a giant step in the right direction.

As would AIM not giving space to gullible birthers so they can spin their discredited conspiracies.

Posted by Terry K. at 7:59 PM EST
Noel Sheppard's Muddled Attack on Jon Stewart
Topic: Media Research Center

NewsBusters' Noel Sheppard has picked a particularly stupid way to rebut Jon Stewart.

In a March 6 post, Sheppard took offense to the "Daily Show" host for "hysterically claiming" that if having insurance cover the cost of contraception is paying for someone to have sex, as Rush Limbaugh contended, then so is paid maternity leave. Sheppard's big response: "unpaid maternity leave depending on how much a woman makes could cost her and her family tens of thousands of dollars." That really has nothing to do with the issue, but whatever.

But then Sheppard huffed:

But there’s potentially a larger point in Stewart’s attack on Limbaugh and Kelly: if Fluke were a conservative going to Congress and asking for her birth control to be covered, the Daily Show host and his crew would have savaged her.

Wrong -- Sheppard's MRC colleagues would have savaged her first before Stewart would have a chance.

Since free birth control is not a conservative position, Sheppard and the MRC boys would be adamantly deny that a woman who advocates it -- even if she meets all the other requirements of conservatism -- is a true conservative.

How do we know this? Because Sheppard's colleagues perform this same bit of party-line Heathering on conservatives they have deemed insufficiently conservative, from Kathleen Parker to David Brooks to David Frum to Joe Scarborough to Jennifer Rubin.

Indeed, the MRC prefers its conservative women to sound like Rush Limbaugh. A March 6 NewsBusters post by Ken Shepherd touts how Georgetown student Angela Morabito said that Fluke was really saying, "please pay for me to have all the sex I want!" Morabito added, "And I know that we are so, so much better than what Sandra Fluke would make us out to be."

Would Ken Shepherd treat Morabito the same if she changed her position on contraception? Absolutely not. She would cease being conservative in the dogmatic view of the MRC.

Noel Sheppard has forgotten that his employer is more ideologically rigid -- and picks its friends and enemies accordingly -- than Stewart will ever be.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:32 AM EST
Farah Rants That Media Covering Corsi Cashing In on Birther Posse
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Joseph Farah spends his March 5 WorldNetDaily column complaining that the media is covering a part of the "cold case posse's" so-called birther "investigation" that he would rather be ignored: The fact that a posse leader is collaborating with a WND reporter to cash in on the "investigation" by writing a quickie e-book about it:

Because Mike Zullo, the lead investigator for Arpaio’s Cold Case Posse, has, with the help of WND’s Jerome Corsi, put the findings of the investigation in an inexpensive e-book format for the public, the entire investigation is suspect.

The entire point of the e-book project was to go over the heads of the media, which have almost universally hidden and obfuscated the facts of Obama’s eligibility from the public. And, keep in mind, Zullo participated in the criminal investigation as a volunteer – getting involved reluctantly and skeptically and with no pre-conceived conclusions.

Farah (deliberately?) misses the point. Zullo and Corsi are trying to profit from an "investigation" conducted under the aegis of a nonprofit group that arguably should receive that money instead, a point Farah conveniently omits. This raises the question of whether profit motive -- including the money WND makes from birther and other anti-Obama operations -- is the only motive for WND in keeping the birther issue alive. There's also the question of how Corsi got such intimate access to the posse that he was able to crank out a book that was released the same day as the press conference.

It turns out that Zullo and Corsi's e-book is barely worth the pixels it's printed on. Large chunks of the book are simply copied-and-pasted from Corsi's earlier book,"Where's the Birth Certificiate?" As Dr. Conspiracy details, there is so little in the book that's genuinely new, and no apparent effort made to address holes in previous birther probes, that one must wonder if the posse did any actual investigating at all.

Farah also ignores the fact that WND -- through Jerome Corsi and also through raising money for the posse -- has apparently been inappropriately influencing the posse to reach a predetermined conclusion and deliberately ignoring evidence that contradicted that conclusion, such as the work of John Woodman. One might say that WND has engaged in a form of bribery, as well as having "almost universally hidden and obfuscated the facts" it doesn't want to hear about what Woodman has reported.

Until WND and the posse come clean about their financial entanglements and interpersonal relationships, this "investigation" is too tainted and biased to be taken seriously. Somehow, we doubt Zullo and Corsi's book will give us that answer.

Farah headlined his column "Media in full posterior-cover mode." Until Farah and WND can answer the many questions surrounding the posse "investigation," it's clear that the only person in "posterior-cover mode" here is Farah.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:44 AM EST

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