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Saturday, July 7, 2012
WND's Farah Ramps Up the Paranoia
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah is getting more paranoid by the day, and he picked the perfect outlet to express it: the radio show of conspiracy theorist Alex Jones.

A July 5 WND article by Chelsea Schilling kicks off with some primo paranoia from Farah:

His private property was scouted by a drone that sounded “like a lawnmower buzzing over my head,” WND Editor and CEO Joseph Farah revealed on the July 5 Alex Jones Show.

“I’m taking my dog for a walk and guess what I see right over the tree line right above my head is a drone,” he said. “I don’t live in the city, I don’t live in a populated area, I live in one of the most rural places you could possibly live in Northern Virginia and there could only be one thing that this drone was spying on and that would be me, that would be my property because there’s just nothing else around except woods and deer.”

Farah joked that the drone might have been spying on him because he qualifies as a “terrorist” in a new Department of Homeland Security report that defines “extreme right-wing” terrorists as Americans who are “reverent of individual liberty.” 

As we documented, Farah is simply lying about the conclusions of that report.

But Farah wasn't done freaking out:

“We’ve got our work cut out for us. More and more, I realize that the liberty lovers out there really have to stick together,” he urged. “Fundamentally, we’ve got to stick together, or we’re going to hang together, as our founders said.

“Look – this is the first term – if he’s re-elected it’s going to be war – they will be at war – we will be hunted down like dogs, keep that in mind, that’s what the stakes are,” warned Farah.

Farah continued, peddling the discredited conspiracy theory that the Fast & Furious gun-walking scandal was designed to undermine gun rights in the U.S.:

Then, near the 19:00 mark, Farah called “Fast & Furious” one of “the biggest government scandals I’ve ever witnessed in my lifetime.”

President Obama is guilty of “treason of the highest order” for his role in the scandal, Farah declared.

“It seems more and more clear every day that this was a government operation with the motivation behind it to disarm Americans and to make the case against individual ownership of firearms for Americans,” he explained. “And the sneaky way they did that was to show how nasty these guns are because they’re too available in America, and we let them go over the border to Mexico, and they wind up in the hands of drug cartels and people get murdered. The scenario worked out just the way they planned it, except for the fact that it blew up in their face, to a certain extent, because the American people found out about it.”

Farah exclaimed, “You talk about impeachable offenses? This is beyond impeachable! This is treason of the highest order. … This goes right to the very top.”

The crazier Farah gets, the more he discredits himself and his website. Fortunately for the rest of us, he doesn't seem to have realized that.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:24 PM EDT
CNS Quotes Romney Calling Mandate A Tax, Ignores His Campaign's Conflict

We've detailed how has been attacking non-conservatives for insisting that the individual mandate in President Obama's health care reform is a penalty and not a tax, as declared by Chief Justice John Roberts -- even though Mitt Romney adviser Eric Fehrnstrom has said that "the governor has consistently described the mandate in Massachusetts as a penalty."

Now, a July 6 CNS article by Melanie Hunter quotes  Romney himself calling it a tax -- again, without mentioning Fehrnstrom and the conflict within Romney's own campaign.

Why is CNS protecting Romney? It's obvious -- it's biased, much more so than the media outlets its parent, the Media Research Center, loves to criticize.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:49 AM EDT
Friday, July 6, 2012
NewsBusters' Double Standard on Reflexive Bashing
Topic: NewsBusters

Tim Graham's July 6 NewsBusters post carries the headline "Obama, Top Aide Jarrett Reflexively Bash Fox News," touting how "President Obama drew “Turn Off Fox News” headlines on the Drudge Report" and how "Drudge also highlighted that top Obama aide Valerie Jarrett blamed Fox News for the impression that’s developed that Team Obama is waging a class war on the wealthy" (an accusation, by the way, that's entirely backed up by facts).

It's hilarious that Graham would looking down on "reflexive bashing," because that's what he and the rest of the MRC crew do all the time. So much so, in fact, that they invoke the same tropes.

For instance, a July 5 NewsBusters post by MRC researcher Matt Hadro dismisses Vanity Fair as a "liberal rag." The same day, Graham denounced the Guardian newspaper as a "leftist U.K. rag."

That's the epitome of reflexive bashing. But Graham is apparently so self-unaware that he attacks others for doing exactly what he does.

Posted by Terry K. at 4:31 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, July 6, 2012 4:33 PM EDT
Race-Baiting: WND Hypes More 'Black People Intent on Violence'
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily's long, hot summer of race-baiting continues with another article by Colin Flaherty:

While most Americans were commemorating the nation’s birthday, racial violence, lawlessness and animosity marred Independence Day celebrations in Georgia, Florida, Ohio, California and Illinois.

Chris Rock started the day off with a bang: “Happy white peoples Independence Day,” he tweeted. “The slaves weren’t free but I’m sure they enjoyed fireworks.”

In Chicago, Ill., some were enjoying the celebration until they were set upon by a mob of dozens of black people intent on violence. One man was taken to the hospital, where he remains in good condition. Eleven black people were arrested and charged with assault.

As is often the case, the mainstream media did not report the mob was black. Witnesses and others took to the Internet to set the record straight.

Flaherty and WND seem unusually desperate to portray blacks as violent and murderous. Perhaps they should explain why.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:00 PM EDT
MRC Is Sad Media No Longer Using 'Illegals' Slur
Topic: Media Research Center

Lauren Thompson has a sad in a June 27 MRC Culture and Media Institute item:

In a span of six years major networks stopped using the terms “illegal alien” and “illegals.” The liberal media’s agenda is clear, and the word "illegal" is now considered a racial slur. In 2006, major networks CBS and ABC used the terms “illegals” and “illegal aliens” in their stories (NBC did not). Today, those terms have all but disappeared from network immigration reporting.

The change is clear evidence that pressure from activist groups is succeeding in eroding and altering the terms of debate. Sadly, the most influential of those activist groups may be the Society of Professional Journalists – the professional body that proclaims its mission as “improving and protecting journalism.” In 2011 SPJ decided to encourage newsrooms to discontinue using the terms “illegal alien” and “illegal immigrant” because it is “offensive” to Hispanics and immigrants.

Thompson goes on to rail against the "SPJ’s dishonest terminology." But at no point does she explain why not using "illegals" is "dishonest," nor does she explain why some news organizations consider it to be offensive, let alone rebut the idea. As Poynter has detailed, some believe the word "illegal" presumes criminality, though being in the U.S. without documentation is a civil, not a criminal, offense, and that it oversimplifies the issue of illegal immigration.

Thompson can take heart, though: The right-wing-beloved Fox News still clings to "illegals."

Posted by Terry K. at 12:29 AM EDT
Thursday, July 5, 2012
AIM Mad Wash. Post Political Fact-Checker Won't Do Another Person's Job
Topic: Accuracy in Media

Don Irvine spends a July 3 Accuracy in Media post whining that Washington Post political fact-checker Glenn Kessler won't do anything but political fact-checking:

Glenn Kessler, aka The Washington Post Fact Checker, informed readers that even though the Obama campaign had misinterpreted a recent Washington Post story on Bain Capital and outsourcing, he would not award any Pinocchios (his rating system for accuracy) to the Post for the actual story, since it was the interpretation of the Post story, and not the story itself, that was wrong.


So the lesson is that the Obama campaign is free to twist the information from any future Post article however they like, and though Kessler may comment on it he won’t rate its level of dishonesty. That way he can protect both the paper and his relationships with other Post employees.

Irvine conveniently ignores the fact that fact-checking the newspaper is not Kessler's job -- it's clear that he only fact-checks claims by political candidates.

The Post has an ombudsman that handles what is published by the Post itself, Patrick Pexton. In his June 29 column, Pexton addressed the Post story in question, pointing out that the article was correct in its facts but that some quibbling could be done on interpretation.

Irvine didn't mention Pexton's column in bashing Kessler for not doing something that's not his job.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:29 PM EDT
CNS Still Attacking People For Doing What Romney Campaign Is Doing
Topic: is still clinging to its misguided editorial policy of attacking anyone -- well, any non-conservative -- for claiming that the individual mandate in President Obama's health care reform law isn't a tax.

In a July 2 article, Patrick Burke goes back all the way to January 2011 to bash then-White House Council of Economic Advisers chairman Austan Goolsbee for claiming it's not a tax.

In a July 3 blog post, Eric Scheiner asserts that calling the mandate a penalty and not a tax is a "Jedi mind trick."

But as we've noted, Romney adviser Eric Fehrnstrom has pointed out that "the governor has consistently described the mandate in Massachusetts as a penalty" -- and went on to defend that description. Of course, neither Burke nor Scheiner -- like the other CNS writers making the same attack -- mentioned that inconvenient fact.

CNS has noted the debate in Romney's campaign over the issue -- but not in an original article. It's mentioned only in a July 4 Associated Press item.

Posted by Terry K. at 4:30 PM EDT
WND Promotes Misleadingly Edited Video About Christian-Muslim Conflict in Dearborn
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Chelsea Schilling began her June 28 WorldNetDaily article dramatically:

It happened in an American city: Hundreds of angry Muslim children and adults rioted against Christians, throwing chunks of concrete and eggs at their heads, spraying them with urine and cursing at them – while police stood by and threatened the victims with “disorderly conduct.”

The city of Dearborn, Mich., hosted its annual 2012 Arab International festival on Father’s Day weekend. As can be seen in a video of the attack, a group of people professing to be Christians holding signs was viciously assaulted by an angry mob of Arabs – as the crowd chanted “Allahu Akbar!” – Arabic for “God is the greatest!”

Schilling went on to claim that "police are nowhere to be seen."

Knowing Schilling's record of factual inaccuracies, it's a given that this isn't the full story about this incident. And it isn't.

The Christ and Pop Culture blog (h/t Bartholomew) has the full story that Schilling overlooks, and it appears these Christians weren't as "passive" as Schilling portrays them. According to the blog, the Christian group, led by street preacher Ruben Israel, was carrying a pig head on a pole -- as Israel explained to police, that's because Muslims are “petrified” of pigs and so it “keeps them at bay.” The Christian group was also shouting at the Muslims that they are going to hell and their religion is a lie.

Schilling does mention that "WND later learned that the Christian crowd had been carrying a pole with a pig’s head attached to the top and that "Christian street preachers shout, 'God is good, and God is not Allah!'"But an unedited video of the incident -- as opposed to the one Schilling used as the basis of her article --shows that Israel mocked the Muslims, and other preachers claimed that all they think about are violence and murder and hate.

But that's hardly a fully accurate representation of the provocation the Christians engaged in; Schilling is more interested in portraying Muslims as inherently violent.

Schilling's claim that police did little or nothing to protect the Christian provocateurs from the consequences of the behavior they incited is even more false. As Christ and PopCulture reports, the unedited video shows that not only did the police try to intervene several times, a Muslim man also tried to keep angry Muslims away from the Christians.

In short: These so-called Christians incited the Muslims, and now they're crying persecution. And Schilling is happy to regurgitate the misleading spin of a combative street preacher.

We've previously noted how WND has promoted Israel while hiding is virulently anti-gay views.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:21 AM EDT
NEW ARTICLE: The MRC's Brent Bozell Problem
Topic: Media Research Center
The head of the Media Research Center is spouting increasingly hateful and unhinged rhetoric. How does that reflect on the organization he founded? All too well, given the incivility spreading throughout the MRC. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 12:27 AM EDT
Wednesday, July 4, 2012
Obama Derangement Syndrome Watch, Erik Rush Edition
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Erik Rush uses his June 27 WorldNetDaily column to go swimming in the same Obama-sleaze cesspool that Jerome Corsi wallows in:

On the bizarre side, there have been reports claiming Obama held membership in a gay men’s club in Chicago in years past. On the heels of this was the mother of slain Trinity United Church of Christ’s choir director Donald Young claiming that her gay son was killed (execution style in 2007) to protect Obama politically by erasing the trail of his alleged homosexual dalliances. 

Rush doesn't tell us where these "reports" came from -- perhaps because if he did, he would have no credibility. Nevertheless, Rush continues to mainline the Obama-hate:

Several of my colleagues, as well as I and some credentialed experts, have postulated previously that psychological imbalance and perhaps even chemical dependency on Obama’s part may be among the many things being cloaked by the administration. Indeed, there is no manner by which that could be proven at this juncture, but it is possible that only those closest to the president would be privy to such things. Psychotics and junkies often have a singular talent for hiding their afflictions, even from family members.

Tell us again how someone who peddles such hateful fringe theories -- which also include his belief that Malcolm X is Obama's real father -- got to be the "Vice President of Administration and Strategic Alliances" for Pink Pagoda Girls USA? Doesn't Pagoda Girls founder Jim Garrow worry abouthow the credibility of his organization is harmed with Rush in such a prominent position?

Posted by Terry K. at 4:08 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, July 4, 2012 4:51 PM EDT
CNS Afghan Body Count Watch

It's a new month, and you know what that means: a new article by Edwin Mora blaming President Obama for U.S. troop deaths in Afghanistan:

Of the 1,912 U.S. military personnel who have died in the now nearly 11-year-long war in Afghanistan, 1,343 have died since President Barack Obama was inaugurated on Jan. 20, 2009.

Seventy percent of the Afghan War casualties have happened on Obama's watch.

As is Mora's practice, the words "Bush" and "Iraq" appear nowhere in his article even though, as we've documented, the troop death rate in Iraq at the height of that war was much greater than it has ever been in Iraq and more than twice as many U.S. troops were killed in Iraq than have been so far in Afghanistan.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:59 AM EDT
Tuesday, July 3, 2012
Farah Picks Extremist Boykin As Romney's Preferred VP
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Joseph Farah's July 1 column is all about "the kind of vice-presidential candidate Mitt Romney should consider if he is serious about winning the election and setting up the party with a viable successor in 2016 or 2020." Before listing his "safe, politically pragmatic choices that would be good for the country and for the future of the Republican Party" -- Scott Walker and Rand Paul -- Farah lists the "completely different list of personalities" he'd pick "if it were up to me to select the presidential nominee or vice-presidential nominee."

And who is at the top of Farah's list, ahead of even Michelle Bachmann, Jim DeMint and Allen West?  Jerry Boykin. Farah elaborates:

I don’t know why America isn’t clamoring to get a man like this in the White House. He’s genuine hero – a spiritual man of vision who loves America and would always do what’s right for the country. He would make us all proud to be Americans, again.

What Farah doesn't tell you, which explains why America isn’t clamoring to get a man like this in the White House: Boykin is a far-right, anti-Muslim extremist who's prone to conspiracy theories.Right Wing Watch lists a few examples:

  • Boykin: President Obama has created a Hitler-style Brownshirt army to force Marxism on America
  • Boykin: Islam not protected under the First Amendment
  • Boykin: No mosques in America
  • Boykin: There can be no interfaith dialogue between Muslims and Christians because Islam is not an Abrahamic faith and has nothing in common with Christianity
  • Boykin: Christians must go on the offensive against Islam
  • Boykin: George Soros and Council on Foreign Relations members are working to create a Marxist, global government

As if to prove Boykin's extremism -- which is obvious, it seems, to everyone but Farah and his WND subordinates -- a July 2 WND article by Drew Zahn touts Boykin's new "video warning that Barack Obama is following in the footsteps of Fidel Castro, Joseph Stalin and others who have led communist revolutions in their nations." Because likening your political opponents to Castro and Stalin is a sure sign of vice-presidential timber.

Zahn fawningly describes Boykin as "a former senior Pentagon official who has battled Marxism around the globe." He also uncriticially repeats Boykin's bogus claim that Obama's reference to a "civilian national security force" is "the model that has been used when societies have moved to Marxism." WND has fearmongered about this for years, obscuring the fact that Obama was talking about an expansion of the foreign service.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:59 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, July 4, 2012 5:23 PM EDT
MRC Curiously Silent About Right-Winger's Anti-Catholic Attack
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center loves to defend the Catholic Church against any perceived slight -- after all, MRC chief Brent Bozell is on the board of advisers for the right-wing Catholic League.

But there's one nasty anti-Catholic attack the MRC has remained utterly silent about: Last week, Iowa radio host Jan Mickelson asked a congressman whether he had "any power to pull the Nuns on the Bus over and pistol whip them."

Pistol-whipping nuns seems like the very thing Bozell and crew should be offended by. But, sadly, don't expect to  see them come to these nuns' defense -- effectively condoning this threat of violence.

First,  the MRC has been railing against the Nuns on the Bus tour -- designed to promote federal spending on social issues -- as nothing but a bunch of "lefty" nuns who are, in the words of Matt Hadro, causing "doctrinal chaos" and, thus, "needs reform."Similarly, Mike Bates dismissed them as "liberals attacking modest GOP efforts to control Federal spending."

MRC research director Tim Graham, meanwhile, was quick to take the side of the Vatican hierachy over Simone Campbell, who's leading the Nuns on the Bus tour:

It’s an “understatement” that the church has a “messaging” problem. Cloud does not acknowledge that the Vatican is facing a hostile media that wants to distort and poison its image inside and outside the church walls – including Time magazine. It's easy for Sister Simone to "outflank the church hierarchy" by manipulating the radical feminists and secular leftists of the news media.

The second reason you won't hear the MRC denounce Mickelson is because he's a right-wing radio host -- and, as it just so happens, one of the judges for last year's annual MRC liberal-bashing awards. And the ones in 2010 and 2007 and for numerous other years all the way back to 1998.

In other words, Mickelson is a frind of the MRC. And the MRC is too cowardly to criticize its friends in public.

As we saw with Rush Limbaugh's three days of misogyny against Sandra Fluke, the MRC simply does not, and will not, hold its fellow ideologues for the same behavior it excoriates in non-conservatives. It's another gutless, hypocritical performance for Bozell and Co.

So Jan Mickelson is free to pistol-whip away at those nuns, and Bozell won't lift a finger to stop him. Way to set an example, Brent.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:38 PM EDT
WND Distorts Terrorism Study To Portray Right-Wing Extremists As Victims
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Jack Minor's July 2 worldNetDaily article appears to be written to deliberately distort a federally funded report on terrorism.

Minor writes:

The government is once again promoting the idea of “those who are reverent of individual liberty” being terrorists with a new study funded by the Department of Homeland Security.

The study and related data were recently produced by the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism, or START, at the University of Maryland. START was launched with a $12 million grant from DHS and is recognized by the organization as one of its “Centers for Excellence.” In December, DHS announced it was renewing START’s funding with another $3.6 million.


However, examples of what START considers to be “right-wing” include “groups that believe that one’s personal and/or national ‘way of life’ is under attack and is either already lost or that the threat is imminent.” The report also goes on to describe right-wing “terrorists” as those who are reverent of individual liberty and suspicious of centralized federal authority.

Under such a definition, the Founding Fathers might have been considered right-wing terrorists.

Curiously, Minor fails to quote the full statement from the report regarding "extreme right-wing" terrorism:

Extreme Right-Wing: groups that believe that one’s personal and/or national “way of life” is under attack and is either already lost or that the threat is imminent (for some the threat is from a specific ethnic, racial, or religious group), and believe in the need to be prepared for an attack either by participating in paramilitary preparations and training or survivalism. Groups may also be fiercely nationalistic (as opposed to universal and international in orientation), anti-global, suspicious of centralized federal authority, reverent of individual liberty, and believe in conspiracy theories that involve grave threat to national sovereignty and/or personal liberty.

As the full quote in context illustrates, the report describes right-wing terrorists as paramilitary or survivalists before they are "reverent of individual liberty." At no point does the report describe being "reverent of individual liberty" as the sole evidence of terroristic behavior.

Minor's apparent intent to deceive is further illustrated by the fact that he also fails to mention that the report highlights paramilitary or survivalism as a key component of right-wing terrorism.

Minor also distorts previous findings on right-wing extremism. He claims that "the DHS had previously issued another report listing returning veterans and Christians who believed in end-time prophesies as dangerous right-wing extremists." In fact, the report did not describe all returning  veterans as "dangerous right-wing extremists": it pointed out that "Rightwing extremists will attempt to recruit and radicalize returning veterans in order to exploit their skills and knowledge derived from military training and combat." It further stated that "Antigovernment conspiracy theories and 'end times' prophecies could motivate extremist individuals and groups to stockpile food, ammunition, and weapons. These teachings also have been linked with the radicalization of domestic extremist individuals and groups in the past, such as violent Christian Identity organizations and extremist members of the militia movement."

Minor also wrote: "A report issued by the Missouri Information Analysis Center warned law enforcement agencies to watch for individuals with bumper stickers for third-party political candidates including Ron Paul, Bob Barr and Chuck Baldwin. It also defined radical ideologies as opposing immigration, abortion and federal taxes." In fact, the MIAC report specifically focused on the militia movement; at no point did it state that "opposing immigration, abortion and federal taxes" by themselves made one a "radical."

Posted by Terry K. at 10:07 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, July 5, 2012 10:04 AM EDT
CNS Attacks Obama, Pelosi For Doing What Romney Is Doing
Topic: has invented a new attack on the Obama administration, based on last week's ruling finding President Obama's health care reform constitituional.

Matt Cover describes it in a June 29 article:

The White House said Friday that the Obamacare insurance mandate tax is a penalty for not having insurance – a statement that directly contradicts what the Supreme Court ruled Thursday.

Susan Jones targeted Nancy Pelosi with that attack in a July 2 article:

On Thursday, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld Obamacare’s individual mandate as a tax, but on Sunday, Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) refused to use that word, insisting that the mandate is a really a penalty.

Just one problem with that line of attack: A Romney campaign official is doing the exact same thing.

Romney adviser Eric Fehrnstrom has pointed out that "the governor has consistently described the mandate in Massachusetts as a penalty" -- and went on to defent that description.

Certainly we can look forward to Jones or Cover cranking out a story any day now about how the Romney campaign is calling the individual mandate a penalty when the majority of the Supreme Court calld it a tax, right?


Posted by Terry K. at 12:43 AM EDT

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