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Thursday, August 16, 2012
NewsBusters Bashes Huffington Post For Reporting A Fact
Topic: NewsBusters

In an Aug. 15 NewsBusters post, Paul Wilson complains that a Huffington Post blogger referended "Family Research Council, which the Southern Poverty Law Center deems a hate group." To Wilson, this was an "attack" and a "slam" on the FRC, "whose members were targeted by a gunman less than three hours earlier" before the Huffington Post made the post live; Wilson went on to smear the SPLC as "left-wing hacks."

But the Huffington Post blogger was simply stating a fact -- the SPLC did call the FRC a "hate group." That's not something that's open to debate, nor is it an "attack." You can dispute whether the FRC actually is a hate group, but it's unambiguously true that the SPLC called them that.

This is just another example of the MRC being opposed to telling the truth when that truth makes conservatives look bad.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:22 PM EDT
It's Discredited Sources Week At WND
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily seems to have devoted this week to promoting claims from less-than-credible sources.

An Aug. 13 article by Art Moore touts an attack on Huma Abedin: "a manifesto commissioned by the ruling Saudi Arabian monarchy effectively places the work of an institute that employed Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s deputy chief of staff at the forefront of a grand plan to mobilize U.S. Muslim minorities to transform America into a Saudi-style Islamic state." Moore's source? Walid Shoebat, "a Palestinian American author and critic of radical Islam who has done extensive research on the Abedin family’s connections to the Muslim Brotherhod and its Wahhabist affiliations."

Moore's boss, Joseph Farah, echoed the attack in his Aug. 14 column, calling Shoebat an "intrepid ex-terrorist turned Christian."

In fact, as we've detailed, numerous questions have been raised about Shoebat's self-proclaimed  ex-terrorist background, as well as the finances of the charity Shoebat operates. WND has denounced an attempt by CNN to find out the truth about Shoebat as "gotcha" reporting.

Then, in an Aug. 15 article, Jerome Corsi repeats a claim by John Drew that after a 1980 encounter with Obama, "his strong impression at the time was that Obama and the wealthy Pakistani roommate who accompanied him were homosexual lovers."

But as we've also detailed, Drew -- who has cited his encounters with Obama to claim that he was, as Corsi wrote, a "Marxist revolutionar[y]" -- met Obama only twice in social occasions, making it highly unlikely that he could have made such sweeping conclusions of Obama's purported nature based on brief, casual encounters.Further, some of Drew's details about Obama have been discredited by actual college friends of Obama.

Corsi makes no apparent effort to fact-check anything Drew says. 

It seems Drew is nothing more than an Obama-hater who's embellishing his brief, long-ago encounters to curry favor with fellow Obama-haters. Why? Presumably to sell some books -- he's supposedly working on one. And Corsi is swallowing every word he says.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:15 PM EDT
NewsBusters' Double Standard on Policies That 'Kill'
Topic: NewsBusters

In an Aug. 13 NewsBusters post, Matt Hadro expressed outrage at the New York Times' Paul Krugman saying last year that Paul Ryan's proposed budget "would kill people, no question." Hadro called it "egregious" and a "disgusting liberal smear" and bashed CNN's Gloria Borger for airing the Krugman clip in a montage while saying "nothing critical of Krugman's outrageous remark."

Yesterday, Fox News host Eric Bolling declared that "Obamacare literally may kill you." By Hadro's standard, that's an egregious, disgusting smear, and none of his conservative co-hosts on "The Five" said anything critical about Bolling's remark.

Will Hadro hold Bolling to the same standard as Krugman? Or will he acquiesce to the right-wing standard -- established by the Media Research Center's tacit endorsement of Rush Limbaugh's three-day misogynistic tirade against Sandra Fluke -- that conservatives don't hold other conservatives accountable for their words? We won't hold our breath for the former.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:14 PM EDT
Ellis Washington's Imaginary Socrates Really Hates Obama
Topic: WorldNetDaily

It's been a while, so it must be time for another one of Ellis Washington's so-called Socratic "dialectics" in which Socrates sounds nothing like the actual Greek philosopher and a lot like Ellis Washington.

And Washington's August 10 WND column delivers, with a "dialectic" that's really nothing more than Washington -- er, Socrates haranguing a straw-man version of President Obama for purportedly being a Marxist, complete with the decidedly un-Socratic tactic of taking Obama out of context:

Socrates: President Obama, you are playing semantic games just like the politicians and sophists of my day who manipulated words and ideas, ruining people’s lives and destroying the world’s first republic. Now, 2,500 years later, here you come following a long line of sophistic pols and demagogues called the Democrat Socialist Party and you hide behind deceptive words and Marxist slogans – liberal, Democrat, progressive, spread the wealth, the rich must pay their fair share, forward, change – to hide your true identity: Marxism.

Socrates: Why were you propagating Marxism in your July 2012 speech in Roanoke, Va.? If you’ve got a business – you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen. …”

Having soundly defeated his straw man, Washington -- er, Socrates delivers is

Socrates: In conclusion, Obama’s treacherous promise to Soviet Russia that, “After my election I’ll have more flexibility,” demonstrates to all but the most willfully ignorant of Obama’s venal and enduring hatred of America: the country you swore a Bible oath to protect and defend against all enemies foreign and domestic. Obama’s draconian military cuts will further degrade her military forces to 1940 levels even as trillions will go to pay for Marxist health care called “Obamacare.” Israel will be alone to defend herself against Iran and Russia.

Indeed, President Obama is a Marxist whose policies are doctrinaire utterances and policy positions of every major tenant of Marxism, socialism and communism. If the Obama regime seizes a second term of power in November 2012, Congress and SCOTUS will be rendered irrelevant, America will go completely Marxist and history will record your epitaph the USSA – United Socialist States of America. R.I.P.

God help Washington should he ever find himself in an actual Socratic dialectic, one where he isn't allowed to create straw men and is forced to rely on logic instead of right-wing talking points.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:48 AM EDT
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
NEW ARTICLE: Damn the Context, Full Speed Ahead!
Topic: Media Research Center
NewsBusters and the Media Research Center get all huffy when conservatives are taken out of context -- but they have no problem doing the same thing to President Obama. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 3:22 PM EDT
Huh? WND Quotes Jesus Criticizing America
Topic: WorldNetDaily

An Aug. 12 WorldNetDaily article by Michael Carl carries the headline "Jesus to America: 'Why do you persecute me?'"

Yes, that's in quotes. Yes, WND is claiming to directly quote Jesus talking about America -- highly unlikely since Jesus died a couple thousand years ago, well before the establishment of America.

In the article itself --which does not quote Jesus -- Carl essentially defends brutal dictatorships in Syria and Egypt because they supposedly did not persecute Christians. That's a specious argument, which presumes that non-Christians are less than human and, thus, more expendable under dictatorships.

Carl is not the only WND writer with an affinity for brutal Middle East dictators; Aaron Klein has sided with both Egypt's Hosni Mubarak and Syria's Bashar al-Assad.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:08 PM EDT
CNS Quotes Anti-Gay Hate Group Leader to Attack Transgenders

Reporting on how "The District of Columbia Office of Human Rights announced on Aug. 7 plans to launch a government-sponsored ad campaign to combat transgender discrimination in Washington, D.C.," an Aug. 10 article by Patrick Burke gives a platform to a gay-basher:

Peter LaBarbera, president of Americans for Truth About Homosexuality, said these types of ads promote “gender confusion” to the general public, and often go beyond their original purpose of combating discrimination.

“A lot of times these ad campaigns go well beyond discouraging abuse to promoting abhorrent behaviors,” LaBarbera told

“Basically, this is a market campaign for gender confusion in the name of human rights, and made all the worse by the fact that it’s taxpayer funded,” he said.

LaBarbera added that government agencies often become vehicles for the “radical left agenda,” in this case “sexual and gender experimentation.”

“What’s happened is that this whole agenda is an agenda of the left,” he said.  “Something that sounds so innocuous -- ‘The Office of Human Rights,’ how could you be against that? -- is used to promote a radical left agenda, and sexual and gender experimentation.”

“They [the left] create these agencies with noble sounding names that really do nothing but have a leftist social vision, in this case promoting incredible abhorrent gender confusion and putting a smiley face on it and using taxpayer dollars to promote the radical transgender agenda now to the public. And I think that’s wrong,” he said.

LaBarbera's AFTAH is listed as a "hate group" by the Southern Poverty Law Center for its "often vicious" anti-gay activism. Burke did not inform readers of AFTAH's status as a hate group, nor did he permit anyone to respond to LaBarbera's attacks.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:00 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, August 15, 2012 12:02 PM EDT
Roger Hedgecock Still Lying About DHS Analysis of Extremists
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Back in 2009, WorldNetDaily columnist and right-wing radio host Roger Hedgecock leaked an internal Department of Homeland Security report on right-wing extremism, insisting that it portrayed any and every critic of President Obama as a potential terrorist. That's simply a lie; it came to pretty much the same conclusions about the motivations of right-wing extremists and their interest in disgruntled military veterans as a similar assessment conducted during the Bush administration.

Now that the DHS report seems to have been proven prescient, Hedgecock is back to repeat his lies.

In his Aug. 12 WND column, Hedgecock concedes that "The assessment warned of the rise of 'Neo-Nazis' and 'militias,' a warning that some see as valid today in light of the Sikh temple massacre in Wisconsin. But the language went way beyond warning about violent hate groups." But then he goes back to lying about what the report said:

The secret assessment also branded political opponents of the policies of the new Obama administration as “rightwing extremists,” defined as any American “antagonistic toward the new presidential administration and its perceived stance on a range of issues, including immigration and citizenship, the expansion of social programs to minorities, and restrictions on firearms and use.”

The assessment advised “intense scrutiny” by “our state and local [law enforcement] partners” of anyone who disagreed with Obama on amnesty for illegals, greater dependency on federal welfare programs or gun control.

In fact, the report never claims that all opponents of Obama are "rightwing extremists," as Hedgecock suggests. From the report:

The DHS/Office of Intelligence and Analysis (I&A) has no specific information that domestic rightwing* terrorists are currently planning acts of violence, but rightwing extremists may be gaining new recruits by playing on their fears about several emergent issues. The economic downturn and the election of the first African American president present unique drivers for rightwing radicalization and recruitment.

— (U//LES) Threats from white supremacist and violent antigovernment groups during 2009 have been largely rhetorical and have not indicated plans to carry out violent acts. Nevertheless, the consequences of a prolonged economic downturn—including real estate foreclosures, unemployment, and an inability to obtain credit—could create a fertile recruiting environment for rightwing extremists and even result in confrontations between such groups and government authorities similar to those in the past.

— (U//LES) Rightwing extremists have capitalized on the election of the first African American president, and are focusing their efforts to recruit new members, mobilize existing supporters, and broaden their scope and appeal through propaganda, but they have not yet turned to attack planning.


DHS/I&A assesses that a number of economic and political factors are driving a resurgence in rightwing extremist recruitment and radicalization activity. Despite similarities to the climate of the 1990s, the threat posed by lone wolves and small terrorist cells is more pronounced than in past years. In addition, the historical election of an African American president and the prospect of policy changes are proving to be a driving force for rightwing extremist recruitment and radicalization.

Hedgecock also claimed: "Worse, the assessment targeted all our returning war veteran heroes as potential terrorists, potential Timothy McVeighs, even though military training does not include making fertilizer bombs." But the report didn't do that either, stating that only "a small percentage of military personnel" might be attracted to extremist groups:

DHS/I&A assesses 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. These skills and knowledge have the potential to boost the capabilities of extremists—including lone wolves or small terrorist cells—to carry out violence. The willingness of a small percentage of military personnel to join extremist groups during the 1990s because they were disgruntled, disillusioned, or suffering from the psychological effects of war is being replicated today.

— (U) After Operation Desert Shield/Storm in 1990-1991, some returning military veterans—including Timothy McVeigh—joined or associated with rightwing extremist groups.

— (U) A prominent civil rights organization reported in 2006 that “large numbers of potentially violent neo-Nazis, skinheads, and other white supremacists are now learning the art of warfare in the [U.S.] armed forces.”

— (U//LES) The FBI noted in a 2008 report on the white supremacist movement that some returning military veterans from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have joined extremist groups.

Meanwhile, Hedgecock seems to have gottten his desired result by leaking the study. After the right-wing outrage toward DHS that Hedgecock's leak provoked, the person who wrote the DHS analysis, Daryl Johnson, had his research team broken up, and he now claims that DHS devotes few resources to examining far-right extremism.

Now that Johnson has been proven correct, Hedgecock doesn't want to hear it -- he only wants to fearmonger some more in order to push his anti-Obama agenda.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:24 AM EDT
Tuesday, August 14, 2012
Newsmax Doesn't Bother to Prove That Debate Moderators Are 'Liberal'
Topic: Newsmax

The headline of David Patten's Aug. 13 Newsmax article reads "Liberal Dream Team to Host Presidential Debates," but Patten doesn't prove the claim -- even when he's quoting the Media Research Center's Brent Bozell.

Patten  uncritically quotes Bozell claiming that one debate moderation, PBS' Jim Lehrer, "tilts strongly to the left," but no evidence is provided to back it up.Similary, Patten quotes Bozell saying that CNN's Candy Crowley will be "drinking from the CNN Kool-Aid, and they’re the ones who are going to prepare the questions for her," but again, no evidence backs up the claim.

Patten himself grouses that CBS' Bob Schieffer "has a habit of asking questions on Face the Nation that suggest a point of view" -- but the evidence he provides is Schieffer asking Rep. Michele Bachmann, "Has the tea party made compromise a dirty word, and is that why Congress can't seem to get anything done?" Given that polls have suggested that tea party activists do not want congressional Republicans to compromise with Democrats, that's an entirely reasonable question to ask.

Despite not proving that any "liberal" journalists were named as moderators, Patten groused, "No conservative journalists were named." He then quoted Bozell complaining that nobody from Fox News was named to take part:

“They’re no longer step-children,” Bozell said of Fox. “They’re major players in this. Why don’t I see Bret Baier, why don’t I see Shephard Smith, and a number of people who are not doctrinaire conservatives by any step of the imagination — why don’t we see them?

“What about Britt Hume?” he added. “…Where’s somebody from the Washington Examiner, the Washington Times, or Newsmax? It’s not like the left has a monopoly of talent.”

We know Shepard Smith is a straight shooter, but is Bozell really suggesting that Baier doesn't have a right-wing bias? That simply isn't true.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:16 PM EDT
WND's Corsi Would Rather Write About Gays Than His Birther Failure
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily has made it clear that it will hide the truth about the rapidly collapsing birther conspiracy from its readers. That goes doubly true for WND's Jerome Corsi, a de facto member of Joe Arpaio's birther posse.

Sure, Corsi could be a honest reporter and explain how he and Mike Zullo used the wrong coding system to examine Barack Obama's birth certificate. But he's not, so he won't.

Instead, Corsi has decided he'll write about gays.

First, Corsi set the stage for harrassment of gays by publishing a list of "more than 250 openly LGBT (Lesbian-”Gay”-Bisexual-Transgender) professionals appointed by the Obama administration to federal government policy jobs," meaning that "the Obama administration has set a record for appointing more openly LGBT individuals to the federal government than all previous administrations combined." Corsi seems to think this is a bad thing, but he doesn't explain why.

Then, Corsi grumbled that "LGBT (Lesbian, “Gay,” Bisexual, and Transgender) advocacy groups have declared war on Wisconsin Republican Rep. Paul Ryan, targeting him as a villain." Corsi claims that "by doing so, LGBT activists risk putting a spotlight on controversial issues high on the cultural agenda of the political left, including same-sex marriage and open LGBT behavior in the military, issues that might not fly as high in some less-liberal regions of the nation, including some swing states."

Note the awkward placement of scare quotes around "gay" in both articles. That's a ridiculous, spiteful WND stylebook mandate.

And thus, the blackout continues.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:16 PM EDT
AIM's Kincaid Touts Andy McCarthy's Discredited Book
Topic: Accuracy in Media

Cliff Kincaid uses an Aug. 9 Accuracy in Media column to tout Andrew McCarthy's "virtual indictment of top State Department official Huma Abedin as a security risk." Kincaid cites no direct evidence from McCarthy to back up his claim.

Nevertheless, Kincaid talks up McCarthy's supposed credentials: "In addition to prosecuting terrorists, McCarthy wrote a book, The Grand Jihad, the title of which is taken from a Muslim Brotherhood document obtained by the FBI and which identifies front groups and collaborators in the U.S."

In fact, as we've documented, McCarthy devotes a chapter of "The Grand Jihad" to claiming that Barack Obama, during a 2006 visit to Kenya, campaigned for presidential candidate Raila Odinga. In fact, he did no such thing: PolitiFact agreed that there is "no evidence to indicate that Obama 'openly supported' Odinga." Indeed, much of the book is dedicated to peddling the conspiratorial idea that Obama is an "Islamist."

OF course, the facts don't really matter to Kincaid -- after all, McCarthy is reliably anti-Obama, and that's all that matters to Kincaid's anti-Obama agenda.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:45 PM EDT
WND Race-Baiting Watch: Colin Flaherty Gets Busted
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Colin Flaherty is back at WorldNetDaily to fearmonger some more about alleged "racial violence," this time to suggest that because violent crime is not always reported to police, "racial violence" may be even much worse.

Of course, Flaherty offers no evidence tha all -- or even any -- of the crime supposedly not reported is "racial"; instead, he serves up only anecdotal examples.

Meanwhile, Flaherty's long, hot summer of race-baiting has gotten the attention of Salon's Alex Pareene, who portrays it as "the story of how and why the right suddenly became very, very frightened of black people":

I’ve never been entirely clear on the definition of the right-wing epithet “race hustler” (it usually seems to mean “a black person who talks about racism”), but I’d figure a person writing a silly book designed solely to scare white people would qualify.

So here’s the thing: If you look for every example of crimes committed by black people in every American city over the last three to five years, you’ll find enough examples to make it sound like a lot of crime, because America is a violent country with a lot of crime, a lot of poverty and a lot of impoverished minority neighborhoods located conveniently close to much wealthier white neighborhoods (and business districts where everything is also owned by white people).

Pareene also catches Flaherty in exaggerations and false claims:

In addition to having decided to make racial fear-mongering his profession, Flaherty’s also a sloppy aggregator. He gets wrong the simple details of the stories he’s abusing to make his argument, and he also seems to invent facts from thin air. Some examples from his column on a series of random incidents in Minneapolis, which became a chapter of his silly book: A woman who was badly beaten by a group of teenage girls is said to have been attacked by “a gang of 20 black women.” The number of attackers appears nowhere in the linked story. (He also seems to intentionally elide the stated motive for the attack, which wasn’t anti-white animus but a missing pair of sunglasses.) “In September of 2011, a crowd of 1,000 black people rioted through downtown fighting, stealing, destroying property,” he writes. There’s no way of knowing how many people were in the crowd, but it doesn’t look to me like 1,000. In the book he seems to have changed number to 800, though he still has no possible way of counting. (The person who uploaded video of the crowd’s brief marauding wrote of “a few hundred.”) Flaherty says “a group of black people attacked a mobile alcoholic beverage cart in Minneapolis,” but there’s no such thing as “mobile alcoholic beverage carts” in Minneapolis. The thing attacked was a bunch of people on one of those stupid group bicycles with a beer keg. This is all pretty basic stuff, and my folks always taught me that if you’re going to use a bunch of random incidents to try to convince people of the existence of a secret nationwide pandemic of racial violence, it’s best to get the details right.

Will WND make Flaherty correct his work -- and, more important, if it does, will it let readers know that corrections have been made? We shall see.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:54 AM EDT
Monday, August 13, 2012
MRC Still Defending Taking Obama Out of Context
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center has long defended taking President Obama's "you didn't build that" comments out of context. The latest excuse: grammar.

In an Aug. 10 MRC TimesWatch post, Clay Waters berates a New York Times writer for accurately pointing out that Obama "was talking about roads and bridges, a point that was ignored" by his right-wing critics. Waters responded: "Really? If Obama really was talking about 'roads and bridges,' a plural phrase, why did he follow up with the word 'that,' which is singular?"

That's right -- Waters has to nitpick on grammar to justify distorting Obama's remarks. Never mind the fact that Obama made his point clearer immediately after saying those words: "The point is, is that when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together."

Posted by Terry K. at 3:10 PM EDT
WND Still Censoring Facts About Birther 'Investigation'
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Just how far in denial is WorldNetDailiy about the fact that its highly touted cold case posse "investigation" of Barack Obama's "eligibility" to be president completely botched the facts?

In his Aug. 9 column, WND editor Joseph Farah continued to insist that Obama's birth certificate was "found to be fraudulent by the only law enforcement investigation to examine it."

In fact, that biased "investigation" was caught rehashing previously discredited WND birther conspiracies and, most recently, cold case posse leader Mike Zullo (and de facto posse member completely screwed the pooch by using the wrong coding system to examine Obama's birth certificate.

Farah and WND have continued their blackout on Zullo's screw-up -- or any other factual criticism of the "investigation." It seems that WND's credibility is tanking along with the posse's (as well as Joe Arpaio, who WND manipulated into doing an investigation in the first place).

Posted by Terry K. at 2:07 PM EDT
Noel Sheppard Roots For Censorship, Proud He Encouraged Gay-Bashing
Topic: NewsBusters

Noel Sheppard is quite a piece of work.

Sheppard wrote an Aug. 12 post headlined "National Review's Rich Lowry Destroys MSNBC's Rachel Maddow on Meet the Press." In fact, all Lowry did is argue with Maddow over her accurate point that Paul Ryan's proposed budget has the same $700 million in cuts to Medicare that was in President Obama's health care reform plan.

Sheppard followed that with a post proudly noting that his post was reposted on the Drudge Report, followed by Maddow tweeting that this will result in an "onslaught of ALL CAPS swearing misspelled tweets & emails informing me that I am gay." Rather than fret that he encouraged gay-bashing, he's proud of it: "Well, maybe if she had answered Lowry's simple question concerning whether or not she supports the $700 billion of Medicare cuts in ObamaCare she could look forward to praise for her appearance."

But Sheppard wasn't done: He wrote another post rooting for censorship.

In that post, he noted that CNN's Howard Kurtz asked "libtalker" Stephanie Miller if she was worried that she and "some of the few liberal national voices on talk radio be drowned out in this election" but right-wing radio hosts. Sheppard called it "a question that most right-thinking Americans pray the answer is 'Yes,'" adding: "you can rest assured millions of Americans across the fruited plain hope the fallacious propaganda being spread by the likes of Miller and Schultz will indeed be drowned out. I'm not sure based on the question that would make Kurtz happy, but count me amongst them."

Remember, the Media Research Center employs Sheppard as NewsBusters' associate editor. Is rooting for censorship and encouraging gay-bashing really appropriate behavior from someone on the MRC payroll?

Posted by Terry K. at 9:36 AM EDT

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