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Wednesday, July 25, 2012
CNS Pushes Myth That Planned Parenthood's Federal Funding Is 'Fungible'

A July 25 article by Fred Lucas repeats's longtime practice of falsely suggesting that federal money to Planned Parenthood pays for abortions, then goes a bit further by repeating another myth it has peddled before:

In fiscal year 2010, Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) got $487.4 million from the federal and state governments, up from $363.2 million the previous year, making taxpayer funding about one-third of the organization’s $1 billion in assets. According to its fact sheet, Planned Parenthood performed 329,445 abortions in 2010.

Though federal law prohibits tax dollars from directly funding abortions, Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.), chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations is conducting the investigation, said the money is fungible.

As we've noted the last time CNS invoked it, there's no evidence to support the claim. Plus, Stearns has declared that his intention is to defund Planned Parenthood no matter what, so he's hardly an unbiased source for anything regarding the group.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:16 PM EDT
WND Gets It Wrong on Chick-Fil-A Controversy
Topic: WorldNetDaily

How many errors and falsehoods can you spot in the headline and beginning of this July 23 WorldNetDaily article?

1) The Muppets aren't involved. The characters the Henson Co. had partnered with Chick-fil-A to feature were from the Jim Henson's Creature Shop line.

2) Not only weren't the Muppets involved, it was impossible for them to be involved. Contrary to WND's claim that The Jim Henson Co. is "owner of the widely promoted Muppets characters," the company sold the rights to the Muppets to the Walt Disney Co. in 2004. Disney was not involved in the Chick-fil-A deal.

3) There was no "bashing" going on. Despite WND's headline "Muppets Bash Chick-Fil-A Over Owner's Faith," not one does the Henson Co. "bash" the "owner's faith." Rather, it stated in a Facebook posting that  "we have notified Chick-Fil-A that we do not wish to partner with them on any future endeavors." The statement does not mention any Chick-fil-A owner directly, let alone "bash" them or their faith.

4) Only in WND's fevered anti-gay collective mind is GLAAD "a homosexual promotion organization." Being opposed to anti-gay discrimination is hardly "homosexual promotion."

WND repeats some of these lies in a July 24 article by Bob Unruh, headlined "Playing chicken: Same-sex Muppets vs. Chick-fil-A."

WND falsely claims that Muppets are not involved, while also falsely suggesting there is some sort of adversarial relationship between Henson and Chick-fil-A; in fact, Henson simply chose to end its business relationship with the company. For his part, Unruh accurately states that the Henson Co. "created the Muppets" but not that it no longer owns them.

Posted by Terry K. at 5:09 PM EDT
NewsBusters Promotes Discredited Attack on Obama That Gets The Internet Wrong
Topic: NewsBusters

In a July 24 NewsBusters post, Tom Blumer touts a Wall Street Journal column by Gordon Crovitz, who Blumer claimed was serving up "actual history" in asserting that the government didn't invent the Internet. Crovitz asserted that Xerox's PARC research center deserves "full credit" because it developed the Ethernet protocol. Blumer smugly asserted:
Yet another liberal and liberal media legend officially bites the dust."

Well, not so much. Turns out Crovitz didn't get his facts right.

Michael Hiltzik -- from whose book on Xerox PARC Crovitz extraopolated his claim that the lab invented the internet -- writes in the Los Angeles Times that "My book bolsters, not contradicts, the argument that the Internet had its roots in the ARPANet, a government project." Hiltzik continues:

But Crovitz confuses AN internet with THE Internet. [Former Pentagon official and ARPANet funder Robert] Taylor was citing a technical definition of "internet" in his statement. But I know Bob Taylor, Bob Taylor is a friend of mine, and I think I can say without fear of contradiction that he fully endorses the idea as a point of personal pride that the government-funded ARPANet was very much the precursor of the Internet as we know it today. Nor was ARPA's support "modest," as Crovitz contends. It was full-throated and total. Bob Taylor was the single most important figure in the history of the Internet, and he holds that stature because of his government role.

Crovitz then points out that TCP/IP, the fundamental communications protocol of the Internet, was invented by Vinton Cerf (though he fails to mention Cerf's partner, Robert Kahn). He points out that Tim Berners-Lee "gets credit for hyperlinks."

Lots of problems here. Cerf and Kahn did develop TCP/IP--on a government contract! And Berners-Lee doesn't get credit for hyperlinks--that belongs to Doug Engelbart of Stanford Research Institute, who showed them off in a legendary 1968 demo you can see here. Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web--and he did so at CERN, a European government consortium.


So the bottom line is that the Internet as we know it was indeed born as a government project. In fact, without ARPA and Bob Taylor, it could not have come into existence. Private enterprise had no interest in something so visionary and complex, with questionable commercial opportunities. Indeed, the private corporation that then owned monopoly control over America's communications network, AT&T, fought tooth and nail against the ARPANet. Luckily for us, a far-sighted government agency prevailed.

Further, Wired points out that Ethernet is not the Internet; it it's a network connection invented by Xerox PARC to connect computers and printers.

Yet another bit of right-wing "media research" at the MRC bites the dust.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:50 AM EDT
WND's Farah Baselessly Brags, Draws The Wrong Lesson
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Joseph Farah spends his July 23 WorldNetDaily column bragging about how WND was "the news agency that actually broke the news about HSBC’s money-laundering schemes," based on Jerome Corsi's reporting.

Farah is, of course, lying. While Corsi's first WND article on HSBC was published on Feb. 1, other news agencies were covering the scandal before that.

Bloomberg Businessweek reported on Jan. 25 that HSBC "will co-operate with a probe by the U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations and said it supports efforts to combat money laundering." Marketwatch reported a similar story the same day. The Wall Street Journal reported on it on Jan. 27. British papers the Telegraph and the Independent also reported on the story before WND did.

Corsi's contribution in his Feb. 1 article -- in which he acknowledged earlier reporting on the Senate probe of HSBC -- was detailing the claims of ex-HSBC employee John Cruz, who provided WND with "1,000 pages of evidence" of alleged HSBC wrongdoing. Corsi insisted that Cruz "came to WND ... before the committee’s investigation of HSBC was reported."

It's unclear, however, whether Cruz made any effort to cooperate with the Senate subcommittee investigating HSBC. You'd think that if Cruz was such a credible source, the Senate would be eager to talk to him, but the Senate's report on HSBC makes no mention of Cruz.

Farah went on to complain that "Corsi was fired by another investment firm for his investigative reports into HSBC."  As we noted at the time, this raises the issue of why Farah was apparently paying Corsi such a non-living wage that he had to seek another job in addition to his position as a WND "senior reporter." Further, much of Corsi's work at the time he also worked at the investment firm carried a disclaimer that "The views, opinions, positions or strategies expressed by the author are his alone and do not necessarily reflect Gilford Securities Incorporated's views, opinions, positions or strategies," so it wasn't like they were exactly proud to have Corsi in their employ.

Farah went on to declare that Corsi "was right about HSBC," adding:

Could it be these press outlets and government officials don’t want to mention Corsi’s role in the fall of HSBC because of his long-standing association with the Barack Obama identity story?

Where was the rest of the entire press establishment when Corsi, whom many of these entities demeaned as a “conspiracy theorist,” was presenting documented evidence of widespread banking fraud? 

Farah seems to have learned the wrong lesson here. It's not just that Corsi has been an unrepentant birther, he's been a birther who has repeatedly and deliberately refused to acknowledge any evidence that conflicts with his increasingly discredited birther conspiracy theories. To this day, WND and Corsi have yet to report on John Woodman's birther book and birther lawyer Phil Berg's claim that Obama is not using a fake Social Security number, among many other inconvenient facts.

Corsi's own track record of dishonest reporting means that intelligent people have no other choice than to look at anything he writes, birther or not, with a skeptical eye. He has so discredited himself that literally nothing he reports can be taken at face value, even when he's on the right track, as he was with the HSBC story.

Perhaps if Farah had insisted on Corsi living up to standard journalistic practices instead of allowing him to act like the right-wing hack he is, he and WND would have been taken more seriously. Instead, Farah has no one but himself to blame.

(h/t reader L.C.) 

Posted by Terry K. at 8:14 AM EDT
Tuesday, July 24, 2012
CNS Refuses to Blame Bush for Pilot Vetting Failures

We've detailed how's Edwin Mora has sought to erase any mention of U.S. troop casualties under President Bush in Iraq when he's pushing troop casualties in Afghanistan under President Obama. Well, Mora has found another way to protect Bush.

IN a July 19 CNS article, Mora highlights how Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano testified before the House Judiciary Committee that the Obama administration "finally 'took steps' in 2010 to vet foreign students applying to U.S. flight schools."

Mora doesn't ask why it took the Obama administration to enforce that vetting. Indeed, the word "Bush" appears nowhere in his article, despite his noting that "the rule set by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to have DHS screen foreign nationals who want flight training was authorized in 2004" and that "a portion of the 25,599 who had applied for Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) pilot licenses from January 2006 through September 2011 had not been vetted properly before taking flight training or receiving an FAA certificate."

It seems that, in Mora's mind, this apparent breach of national security is only the fault of the Obama administration, despite the fact that the Bush administration apparently spent a significant portion of its tenure not enforcing the rules it implemented.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:21 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, July 24, 2012 8:21 PM EDT
WND's Vox Day: Aurora Shootings May Be A 'False-Flag Operation'
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Unfortunately, with an administration that has openly claimed a legal right to assassinate Americans without trial and is known to have engaged in a similar, but much larger false flag operation in “Operation Fast and Furious,” you cannot rule out the possibility that this incident is more than a lucky break for the government. Potential echoes of “Fast and Furious” can be seen in Holmes’ purchase of the weaponry utilized; where did an unemployed graduate school dropout find the money to obtain a rifle that costs around $1,250 and an estimated $1,500 in ammunition? One can’t help but ask such questions in times like these.

If the shootings were a false-flag operation, the Obama administration appears to have badly misread the American people again. Instead of seeing it as an example of the need for more gun control, most Americans have interpreted it as a powerful indictment of gun-free zones and an example of the need for further liberalization of carry laws. It was probably fortunate, for the sake of American freedom, that 71-year-old Samuel Williams happened to use his .38 to shoot two armed teenage thugs at an Internet cafe only a week earlier, thus presenting Americans with the significant distinction between an armed citizenry and an unarmed one.

No doubt many will avert their eyes, turn off their minds and dismiss the possibility of government involvement in the shootings as “conspiracy theory.” But 10 years ago, in a column titled The secret lust for power, I showed how the conspiracy theory of history is the only one that holds up in light of centuries of documentary evidence. Argument from incredulity is a logical fallacy, and as the following quote from a 1,700-year-old conspiracy on the part of the heir to the imperial throne should suffice to illustrate, only the uneducated and the ignorant will simply assume the intrinsic impossibility of false-flag operations.


Were the Denver shootings a false flag operation? It will probably be years before anyone can say decisively one way or the other. But if Holmes commits suicide or otherwise dies in custody, that will be a strong indication that he is one more in a long and suspicious series of lone gunmen.

-- Vox Day, July 22 WorldNetDaily column

Posted by Terry K. at 6:41 PM EDT
NewsBusters' Sheffield Tries to Twist Obama Context Debate
Topic: NewsBusters

Having been caught taking President Obama's "If you've got a business, you didn't build that" statement out of context, it was time for the Media Research Center to scramble. Their ingenious solution? Declaring that context doesn't matter.

That's what Matthew Sheffield argues in a July 21 NewsBusters post, insisting that putting Obama's words in their proper context makes them equally offensive to the out-of-context version:

President Obama's “you didn't build that” remark about business entrepreneurs touched a nerve on the Right, and sent liberal journalists and bloggers scrambling to explain away his gaffe by asserting that, “in context,” his statements weren't bad at all.

While it is true that Obama's remarks are frequently referred to in a short-hand manner, in their full form, his comments are just as insulting, if not more so. And no amount of media spin can make them otherwise.


No, the liberal media's effort to defend the president by putting his remarks “in context” doesn't help Obama at all, because his “you didn't build that” statement was, in context, even worse than if read as a standalone sentence.

Sheffield's source for this responsiblity-evading claim is the Washington Examiner's Philip Klein. Sheffield omits Klein's pedantic observation that "Obama’s defenders argue the 'that' in 'you didn’t build that' refers to 'roads and bridges.' I’m not so sure we can make that assumption, given that 'business' is the noun that directly precedes the pronoun 'that.'  -- which tells you just how hard one must strain to make Obama's in-context arguments a bad thing.

On top of that, Klein's argument is debunked by, yes, putting Obama's words in their full context. David Weigel:

Watch (again, can't believe I'm saying this) the body language. Obama is gesticulating to count off the various ways people have been helped -- great teacher, American system. At 0:44, he says "somebody invested in roads and bridges," and gyrates his arms as if mapping out said roads and bridges. "If you've got a business," he says, making one more gyration, "that -- you didn't build that." The extra "that," a false start, is not captured in transcripts. It really looks like "that" refers to the stuff that business-builders utilized on the way up, not the businesses themselves. Obama switched up, mid-sentence. These things happen.

The fact that Sheffield is making the argument that context doesn't matter after days of the MRC taking Obama out of context is nothing more than an attempt to change the subject from the fact that context obviously does matter.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:36 AM EDT
WND's Klein Doesn't Challenge Zullo's Falsehoods
Topic: WorldNetDaily

On his July 22 WABC radio show, WorldNetDaily's Aaron Klein interviewed Mike Zullo on the subject of President Obama's birth certificate, during which he repeated his earlier claim about numbers written on the certificate. From a July 22 WND article summarizing Zullo's appearance:

The number 9 marked in the box containing Obama’s father’s race, however, presents a problem.

“The values were curious,” Zullo told Klein. “If you look at Mr. Obama Sr.’s race, the box says ‘African,’ and that’s always been a point of contention, because in the ’60s ‘African’ wasn’t a race designator. Next to it is the number 9. We learned the statistical codings in the 1960s for the federal government – and actually through the remainder of the decade – number 9 stands for unstated or information not supplied.”

Therefore, Zullo explained, when the number 9 shows up, there wouldn’t have been anything entered into the field, not “African” or “Black” or “Negro” – it would have been left blank.

That is false. As we've documented, Zullo is applying a 1968 coding system to Obama's 1961 certificate. The pre-1968 coding system defined the number 9 as "other nonwhite."

Klein failed to bring up this discrepancy during the interview, despite the fact that the issue of Zullo using the wrong coding system had been raised days earlier -- indeed, Dr. Conspiracy first wrote about the coding systems Hawaii used back in March.

Klein knew, or should have known, that Zullo used the wrong coding system -- which undermines his entire argument -- yet he didn't talk about it. That's either incompetence or deceit on Klein's part.

Klein and Zullo also rehashed another bogus birther claim, that a person can easily get a Hawaii birth certificate that could fraudulently claim a person was born in Hawaii when they weren't. Even the Joseph Farah-founded Western Journalism Center shot that down -- three years ago, by the way -- stating that such birth certificates would not claim a person was born in Hawaii if there was no proof of it.

Klein declared once again that "I personally also hired three independent forensic investigators. ... All three came back with the same conclusion, and that was there was modifications on the PDF file that they could not explain, that are not consistent with a normal scanned document." Klein never identified these so-called "forensic investigators," nor to our knowledge has he public released a full accounting of the conclusions they reached.

Basically, this was one hack interviewing another. Sad, isn't it?

Posted by Terry K. at 7:52 AM EDT
Monday, July 23, 2012
MRC's Funhouse Mirror: Fox's Right-Wing Bias Demonstrates Rest of Media's Liberal Bias
Topic: Media Research Center

It's logic that could only apply at the Media Research Center: Fox News' obsession with reporting only negative news about President Obama doesn't mean it has as right-wing bias, it means the rest of the media is liberal.

That's exactly what Clay Waters posits in a July 19 MRC TimesWatch post complaining that a New York Times article accurately pointed out Fox News chief Roger Ailes having "professed to be steering the network toward a 'course correction,' an acknowledgment that it had shifted too hard to the right." But in Waters' funhouse mirror, even Fox admitting its bias doesn't mean it's biased -- rather, it means that all non-Fox media has a liberal bias:

New York Times media reporter Jeremy Peters unwittingly revealed the widespread liberal bias of the media in Thursday's report on how the Fox News Channel has really gotten under President Obama's skin: "Jokes About Fox News Creep Into Obama's Comments as the Campaign Heats Up."


But whether he realizes it or not, Peters' analysis says more about the stark lack of Obama-scandal coverage in the liberal media than it does about slant at Fox News.

And what is the prime example of Waters serves up? "The Media Research Center documented that it took five days for the Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) networks to even notice Obama's remark from last Friday denigrating individual initiative: 'If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that; somebody else made that happen.'"

Needless to say, Waters is displaying his own bias by taking Obama's words out of context. Not that anyone at the MRC thinks that's a bad thing (when it comes to Obama, anyway).

Posted by Terry K. at 9:01 PM EDT
Pat Boone Peddles More Lies About Obama
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Clean-cut Pat Boone is not averse to spreading filthy lies about President Obama, and his July 20 WorldNetDaily article is not exception.

Boone writes, "In his first executive order in the White House he authorized $250 million to Planned Parenthood worldwide, becoming 'the abortion president.'" Not only is that not Obama's first executive order -- that involved reforming the procedures by which former presidents limit access to their public records -- we can't seem to find any executive order that "authorized $250 million to Planned Parenthood," let alone that any of that money paid for abortion.

Boone claimed that Obama "grant[ed] virtual amnesty to children of illegal-alien parents, specifically those in the U.S. age 16 to 24." In fact, Obama did not grant "virtual amnesty"; he permitted prosecutorial discretion in delaying legal action against certain undocumented immigrants.

Boone also went birther:

Though he promised “unprecedented transparency,” he has famously spent millions to keep his own early school, travel and passport records forever hidden from the citizens who elected him. Even the supposed “birth certificate” he presented has been proven by experts to be a photoshopped fraud, which in court would be ruled a crime worthy of impeachment.

First, these so-called "experts" have been discredited at every turn (for instance, here). Second, not even WND has proven that Obama "famously spent millions" to hide is records; his campaign paid a law firm money for legal services that included defending Obama in a birther lawsuit. Only the truly stupid and gullible can extrapolate "spending millions hiding records" from that.

And the parade of lies from Boone continues. Doesn't he realize he'll destroy his clean-cut reputation if this filth keeps spewing from his mouth?

Posted by Terry K. at 6:29 PM EDT
CNS Still Adding Right-Wing Bias to AP Headlines
Topic: is feeling the need to keep up its unprofessional history of adding right-wing bias to unbiased headlines from the Associated Press.

A July 19 AP article was sent out with the headline "In Florida, Obama criticizes Romney over Medicare."

Run that headline through CNS' bias machine, and it pops out with the words "Scaring the Elderly" appended to the beginning.

The AP article itself, it should be mention, contains no accusation of Obama "scaring the elderly."

CNS' use of AP articles is only a cover to obscure the massive right-wing bias the rest of the website has. But if it keeps rewriting AP headlines like this, isn't that a breach of contract? Shouldn't the AP pull CNS' membership?

Posted by Terry K. at 12:15 PM EDT
ConWeb Ignores Reality on Firing Back At Aurora Shooter
Topic: The ConWeb

Various ConWeb outlets have been pushing the idea that had someone with a gun been in the audience at the Aurora, Colo., theater where James Holmes allegedly killed 12 people and wounded dozens, they could have stopped Holmes before the carnage became too much:

  • A WorldNetDaily article by Chelsea Schilling highlights how the company that operates the theater where Holmes allegedly carried out his massacre bans all handguns. She quotes Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert as saying, “Well it does make me wonder, you know with all those people in the theater, was there nobody that was carrying that could’ve stopped this guy more quickly?”
  • Lowell Ponte wrote in a July 19 Newsmax column: "What the mainstream media will not speculate about is that this shooter could have been stopped immediately if most law-abiding Colorado citizens in that movie theater had themselves been armed."
  • Ron Meyer wrote in a July 21 blog post (boldface is his): I cannot help but think, if one person in that audience was carrying a gun with them, that person could have saved lives. Unfortunately - despite what some of the Left have said - this tragedy is an example of the importance of our Second Amendment Rights."

All of these people are ignoring the reality of the circumstances of the Aurora shooting. As Slate's David Weigel details:

[Holmes] wore a bulletproof vest, helmet, and gask mask, and entered a movie theater that was playing The Dark Knight Rises—so the room was dark and loud. He tossed a "gas canister" that went off and would have obscured the vision of anyone looking back at him.


You've got dark, panic, an enclosed space, and some kind of painful gas. No one's in any position to get the jump on the shooter. No one has a place to hide from him—he has a perfect vantage point of every seat. And he's wearing protective gear.

So, I think the answer for Gohmert is: No. No one was in an ideal position to pull a Dirty Harry on the man shooting at him/her in a panicked theater.

Any chance the ConWeb will acknowledge these factors in calling for wider firearms availability in theaters? Probably not.

Posted by Terry K. at 7:21 AM EDT
Sunday, July 22, 2012
CNS Commenters Smear DNC Chairman As 'Slut,' 'Bitch'

Terry Jeffrey has turned CNS into a honey trap for racists, homophobes, misogynists, and other just plain hateful readers who hang out in the website's comment forums.

That continues in a July 18 CNS article by Eric Scheiner in which he quotes Democratic National Committee chairman Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz telling a women's gathering that it should focus on electing women to Congress who will work for "ensuring access to birth control."

Scheiner's article brought out misogynistic readers who not only engaged in the usual sexist jokes about her looks, they called Wasserman Schultz a "bitch," a "slut," a "whore,' "heifer" and a "wench" who should be "moving to NY and turning tricks near the Holland Tunnel," "needs a bucket of fast drying cement poured down her throat," not to mention should have been aborted. One reader served up a more explicit death threat: "Let's drag her behind a car."

Some of these comments date back three days, which says that either CNS doesn't monitor its comments or nobody flagged them as offensive. Both possibilities raise questions about CNS and its readership.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:33 PM EDT
WND Sneers At Gays: 'Do These Khakis Make Me Look Kinky?'
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily has typically been hostile to gays, but it has apparently decided to ratchet up the hate.

On July 19, WND sent out an email to its readers promoting an article by Bob Unruh -- with the headline "Pentagon gets 'gayer' than ever" -- complaining that the Pentagon granted permission for gay members of the military  to wear their uniforms in a gay-pride parade. That email had this headline: "Do these khakis make me look kinky?"

What "kinky" khakis have to do with anything in Unruh's article, WND doesn't say -- indeed, the word "khakis" doesn't even appear in the article. It seems to be merely WND taking an opportunity to sneer at gays asserting their rights.

It's highly unprofessional, of course. But since when has birther-obsessed WND cared about acting in a professional manner?

Posted by Terry K. at 9:25 AM EDT
Updated: Sunday, July 22, 2012 9:40 AM EDT
Saturday, July 21, 2012
CNS Just Can't Stop Being Dishonest About Planned Parenthood
Topic:, it seems, is simply unable to stop falsely framing Planned Parenthood's federal funding.

In a July 19 CNS article, Elizabeth Harrington repeats CNS' boilerplate assertion that "Planned Parenthood received  $487.4 million in tax dollars; and according to its fact sheet, Planned Parenthood performed 329,445 abortions in 2010."

As we've repeatedly detailed,  the federal money Planned Parenthood receives cannot and does not pay for abortion services.

Why does CNS persist in this false framing? Surely they know it's dishonest. Or perhaps that's why they persist.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:51 PM EDT

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