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Monday, July 9, 2012
John Roberts Derangement Syndrome
Topic: WorldNetDaily

What explains Chief Justice Roberts’ conversion from one who had decided to strike down Obamacare to a justice who dishonestly twisted and perverted the law to uphold it as constitutional? Was it simply a desire, as some political and legal pundits have speculated, to allegedly “save” the institution of the court by caving in to the left – which in recent years had railed against the conservative majority – and kissing the derriere of President Obama himself? In this way was Chief Justice Roberts painting “his” court as the court for all people, be they left, right, black or white ? Or was it something more sinister? Given real-world realities, you have to ask whether Roberts was bribed or blackmailed into precipitously turning tail and casting his lot with the socialists.

Decades ago, no rational person would have even dared to think such a thought. But with each passing decade since the 1950s – which it now appears were the pinnacle in America’s post-war rise to power and greatness – the ethics, morals and honesty of our public officials in particular have decayed into the slimy free fall the nation now finds itself in. So why is this such a far-fetched proposition?

Was Chief Justice Roberts was bribed, blackmailed or just playing political games with his Obamacare change of heart? As the old proverb goes, “Where there is smoke there is usually fire.” Since judges and, in this case, justices should not be treated as royalty, and certainly are not above the law, is it not reasonable for Roberts to be thoroughly investigated over his lawless actions?

-- Larry Klayman, July 6 WorldNetDaily column

The lesson here for conservatives is one many do not want to face. The Roberts ruling upholding Obamacare was not based on principles found in the Constitution, and better constitutional arguments would not have changed his mind. Roberts’ decision is incoherent and contradictory if you try to follow his argument on constitutional grounds. The Roberts ruling can only be understood as a surrender of constitutional argument to political argument, and it is a political argument based on cultural status. No judge wants to be on the “wrong side of history.”

The lesson here is sobering, indeed alarming, for citizens who revere the Constitution and look to the Supreme Court as the ultimate safeguard against unchecked government power. That bulwark has never been perfect, but now it is in tatters.

When our “best and brightest” go over to the dark side, we are on a downward path Tocqueville’s “soft despotism” and maybe worse. Patriots now have no alternative but to consider new strategies and new weapons if liberty is to be preserved on this much wider battlefield.

-- Tom Tancredo, July 6 WND column

Posted by Terry K. at 9:28 PM EDT
MRC's Gainor Whines About 'Treason' Charge, Ignores His Boss Saying It
Topic: Media Research Center

Dan Gainor uses a July 5 MRC Business & Media Institute column to complain about liberals accusing Republican of intentionally sabotaging the economy to ensure it remains bad so President Obama will lose in November and for them calling that alleged behavior "treason."

First, Gainor never really disproves this theory, turning it around into more Obama-bashing:

The idea in all this is almost laughable. Democrats are so sure that they are right and righteous can find no other explanation for the continued economic downturn. Unemployment spent three and a half years at 5 percent or below under President George W. Bush. It has spent nearly an identical time under Obama above 8 percent. At the same time even the most supportive news outlets have been forced to cover the national cataclysm in household wealth where the median household lost 39 percent since 2007.

There is no way to spin those statistics except failure. So if Obama the All Knowing has failed, well it must be the fault of the GOP.

Second, Gainor takes pecuilar umbrage with the word "treason" being bandied about:

Political watchers would say conservatives, like Texas Gov. Rick Perry, have also used the term. That’s true. The difference is media types skewered him for it. Now it’s becoming commonplace for prominent Democrats and their supporters to claim any opposition to the president is “treason.” No, it’s called freedom. The people who declare all political opposition to be treason usually run third world dictatorships. 

You know who else called a decision that disagreed with his political philosophy treason? Gainor's boss, Brent Bozell.

As we noted, Bozell declared that Chief Justice John Roberts was a "traitor to his philosophy" for not ruling the way he wanted on the constitutionality of health care reform, later insisting that Roberts is "He is a traitor to strict constitutionalism, whether he folded to Obama or to his image-manufacturing bullies in the media."

Gainor won't take umbrage at that, of course. He knows which side his bread is buttered on, and who butters it.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:51 PM EDT
WND Race-Baiting Watch
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily's long, hot summer of race-baiting continues apace. This time around, WND brings us not one but two tirades from Colin Flaherty.

The first rants about "increasingly visible and brutish mayhem" from "black mobs" in "one of America’s 'whitest big cities'," Seattle.

The second is headlined "Black mob ... in the Hamptons?"

Maybe the 750 black people fighting early this morning in the Hamptons village of Riverhead, N. were upset at the light sentence handed out to the man who broke into rap mogul Sean “Diddy” Combs’ nearby home.

Or maybe they were exercising their right “peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

Or maybe that is just how they roll in Riverhead.

We may never know, because, except for the bare bones, the newspapers are not reporting it and the police are not saying.

Of course, we know how Flaherty and WND roll -- demonize black people in order to make their largely white readership afraid of them.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:42 AM EDT
CNS' Jeffrey Obsessively Counts Obama's Words Again
Topic: editor in chief Terry Jeffrey has a fixation on counting certain words President Obama uses, as we've documented. He even devoted an entire column to complaining that "President Obama used the first-person singular pronoun 'I' 34 times on Monday when he announced he was nationalizing General Motors. He used 'Congress' once and 'law' not at all."

Get used to this peculiar brand of Obama-hate, because Jeffrey goes all OCD on us  again in a July 6 "news" article:

Speaking in Sandusky, Ohio on July 5, President Barack Obama used the first-person pronouns “I” and “me” a combined 117 times in a speech that lasted about 25 minutes and 32 seconds.

Obama used “I” 98 times and “me” 19 times, according to a transcript of the speech posted by the White House. A videotape of the speech posted on YouTube shows that Obama spoke for about 25-and-a-half minutes.

During this speech, Obama used “I” or “me” approximately once every 13.09 seconds.

Yes, Jeffrey devoted an entire article to this, and he thinks it's "news." It's just more Obama-hate from Jeffrey, and he's obviously getting desperate if he's reviving the word-count stuff.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:17 AM EDT
Sunday, July 8, 2012
WND's Farah Forgets About His Own Teenage Right-Wing Phenom
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Joseph Farah spends his July 6 WorldNetDaily column dissing Jonathan Krohn, the teenager who has rejected the conservativsm he spouted at 13 at CPAC and is now a liberal-leaning college student-to-be:

According to the article, “Jonathan Krohn took the political world by storm at 2009′s Conservative Political Action Conference when, at just 13 years old, he delivered an impromptu rallying cry for conservatism that became a viral hit and had some pegging him as a future star of the Republican Party.”

Somehow I missed this memorable speech – or forgot it. He also wrote a book called “Defining Conservatism,” which is currently ranked 2,338,880 at Amazon – and not rising.

What is Krohn talking about today? The 17-year-old’s 15 minutes of fame is based on what he said and wrote when he was a 13-year-old conservative.

But wait -- didn't Farah and WND have their own teenager spouting conservative platitudes at one point? Yes, they did.

Kyle Williams started his WND column in 2001 at the tender age of 12. As we detailed at the time, Williams wasn't offering anything terribly original, just spouting right-wing talking points.Farah wasn't mocking his age or purported wisdom then, as this introductory article shows:

Williams’ column is called “Veritas,” and he focuses like a laser beam on the deeper truths he has discovered in his young life.

“Home-schooled in rural Oklahoma, Williams gives us faith that America really does have a bright future,” said Joseph Farah, editor and chief executive officer of WorldNetDaily. “I have every confidence that Williams’ writing will be as inspirational to WorldNetDaily readers – young and old – as I found them.”

Farah praised him further in a 2003 column:

He’s no one-trick-pony, this Kyle Williams. Week after week, he has turned in very professional work. He meets his deadlines. He writes provocatively and persuasively. I find him to be inspirational – redefining our expectations of just what young teen-agers are capable of doing.

If you aren’t already checking out his column on Saturdays in WorldNetDaily, I really urge you to do so. And drop young Kyle an encouraging e-mail if you agree with me he’s something special.

But that wasn't all:

Shortly after I founded a new book-publishing partnership with Thomas Nelson Publishers – WND Books – I twisted a few arms and secured the young Mr. Williams his first book contract.

Now, in addition to being America’s youngest weekly pundit, he may also be America’s youngest non-fiction author. Kyle Williams’ “Seen and Heard” is out. I want to ask you to consider buying the book by this gifted young prodigy and perhaps giving it to your son, daughter or grandchild to help raise their own expectations about what they can achieve if they simply put their mind to it.

That's right -- like Krohn, Williams wrote a book. According to Amazon, it's ranked right now at 4,256,981, a couple million titles below Krohn's book.

WND stopped carrying Williams' column in 2005, and he pretty much disappeared from the scene. The most recent information we could find on him was a series of columns he wrote in 2009 for the student newspaper at the University of Oklahoma, where he was "a history and classics sophomore" at the time. His ideology appears not to have changed much -- some of those columns served up conservative viewpoints.

Since being homeschooled was one of his original calling cards and he once bragged about giving up on public schooling after a single semester, Williams' going to a public university is presumably a huge disappointment to Farah, who sends his own kids to the far-right Christian, homeschooler-friendly Patrick Henry College.

Did Farah forget about the right-wing teen phenom he nurtured and published, or is Williams' going to a public school too much for the guy? Either way, mocking Krohn for being a conservative teen star who changed his views is rather petty -- and, given the existence of Kyle Williams, more than a little hypocritical.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:48 PM EDT
The MRC vs. 'Ted'
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center is very angry about the mere existence of a movie about a stuffed bear.

In a June 29 MRC Culture & Media Institute item, Lauren Thompson vents her rage at the Todd McFarlane film "Ted":

“Ted” is a living teddy bear that’s been John’s (Mark Wahlberg) best friend since he was little. John is now in his 30s, and the two share a bachelor pad. Ted’s tastes, according to the trailer, run to bong hits, cocaine, multiple hookers, humping inanimate objects, voyeurism and brawling.


So it’s pretty much “Family Guy” in theatrical release. McFarlane, a strident liberal, has never taken the high road with that cartoon.

Thompson is even more offended that other people like it:

The Kansas City Star thinks all that is just awesome. “There are feverishly inappropriate jokes that will live on in dorm-room bull sessions forever. When skirt-chasing Ted lands a job as a grocery clerk, he and a busty co-worker, make the stockroom their love nest. You may never look at parsnips again without snickering.” Wow. You can pay $10 (plus popcorn) for sex jokes involving parsnips.

The New York Times, perhaps mindful that its high-brow readers tend to approve of sex with root vegetables only when it occurs in art museums at taxpayer-expense, was more measured. “Sexual and flatulence-based gags are accompanied by the usual side dishes: warmed-over pop-cultural references and cheap-shot jabs at celebrities and ethnic minorities,” the Times warned. But, “There are some genuinely, wildly funny bits in the movie — a brutal motel-room fistfight between Ted and John; a cocaine-fueled talking binge; a few choice insults and smutty riffs.”

Thompson provided no evidence she has actually seen the film she's bashing.

Then again, neither has Brent Bozell, who devotes his July 6 column to "Ted"-bashing:

Seth MacFarlane, whose $100 million contract with Fox makes him the highest paid TV writer in history, is now trying to take over the cineplex, with the same old shtick. You could pluck his oeuvre out of the summer movie-preview articles without any difficulty. His was the one where the teddy bear comes to life and becomes a profane slacker who practically lives inside a bong and hires hookers in groups.

The movie's title is "Ted." It won its opening weekend with a $54 million gross at the box office. Clearly, MacFarlane's fans cannot consume enough of his pop-culture sewage.

Bozell hates the film (which it isn't clear he hasn't seen) so much, in fact, that he gives away the ending. Which tells us Bozell doesn't care about movies at all and simply wants to destroy the movie-going experience for any film he doesn't think other people should watch. Which is better known as censorship.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:28 AM EDT
Updated: Sunday, July 8, 2012 12:29 AM EDT
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

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