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Tuesday, September 25, 2012
Newsmax's Ruddy Back in the Romney Fold
Topic: Newsmax

It was just a month or so that Newsmax editor was praising President Obama's foreign policy, thus undermining one of the purposes of a conservative, which is to boost Mitt Romney's campaign. He followed that up with a column criticizing the way Romney's campaign was being run.

Ruddy, it seems, has seen the error of his bipartisan ways, for he's back to toeing the pro-Romney party line. Last week, Ruddy endorsed Romney, and now, in a Sept. 24 column, he's spinning Romney's bad poll numbers into peddling "game-changing ideas" on how he can defeat Obama:

What a day!

I took a look at Real Clear Politics and saw Obama now dominating every swing state with wide margins. He's even opened clear leads in North Carolina, Colorado, Iowa and Nevada!

Is there a silver lining here?  Can Mitt Romney still win come election day? The answer is YES and YES.

Rudgy goes on to advise Romney to "go negative," "stop 'splanin'" and to "do one nationally televised address each week for four weeks before election day on a key topic, giving specifics on how he will fix the problem" just like Ronald Reagan did.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:28 PM EDT
Aaron Klein's Obama Video Fail
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily's Aaron Klein has been desperately trying to climb aboard the bandwagon of old leaked videos of President Obama saying things that sound vaguely controversial. But they're not, no matter how much Klein tries to tart them up.

Klein first gave it a try in a Sept. 17 WND article:

A 1995 video depicts Barack Obama calling for “democracy with a small ‘d,’” while pushing a society based on collectivism and “common good.”

In the video unearthed by KleinOnline, Obama hails unions and collective bargaining as encapsulating the societal “common good” of which he speaks.

It's kinda cute how Klein suggests that KleinOnline -- the website WND created for him -- isn't actually his.

But "common good" is hardly a controversial concept. Klein labors to make something out of nothing by extrapolating Obama's reference to the "notion that we collectively can decide on our fate" into a reference to "the collective" comes across as a desperate attempt at language manipulation.

But nobody bit on Klein's video -- presumably because only obsessive Obama-haters and word-twisters like Klein can see anything sinister in what Obama said -- so he gave it another shot in a Sept. 23 article featuring a separate interview in which Obama basically said the same thing. But the lameness of Klein's lead paragraph demonstrates even more clearly how much Klein is trying to make a mountain of a molehill:

In a 1995 video interview, Barack Obama advocated using an economic agenda to achieve a “common ground” that would be “good for all people.”

While Obama does not define what he means by “common ground” during that one interview, in another video interview from the same year, first exposed by WND last week, Obama specifically defined “common ground” as a society built on collectivism, including unions and collective bargaining.

All Klein has is that Obama discussed the idea of "common ground" 18 years ago. That's it.This is even emptier than Klein's usual M.O. of guilt by association.

That's how desperate Klein is to smear Obama.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:38 PM EDT
NewsBusters Heathering Watch
Topic: NewsBusters

NewsBusters regularly engages in what we call Heathering -- sniping at media conservatives for even the slightest deviation from the right-wing party line, which demand absolute fealty to the case and tolerates no criticism whatsoever.

Jeffrey Meyer provides a fine example of Heathering in a Sept. 20 NewsBusters post, snarking at MSNBC's Joe Scarborough for calling himself a conservative, adding, "well at least the sort of 'conservative' that MSNBC can stomach to sign to a multi-million dollar contract."

What was the source of Meyer's hostility? Scarborough had the temerity to point out that "Republicans spent us into debt when they were in charge of Washington over the past ten years," which Meyer sniffed was a "typical MSNBC talking point." Meyer doesn't disprove Scarborough's assertion, presumably because there is a sizable amount of truth to it.

Meyer also dismissed Scarborough's criticism of Mitt Romney's performance as a candidate as nothing but an "anti-Republican rant," then demonstrated the proper way to spin facts to demonstrate total loyalty (while also engaging in more Heathering):

Conservatives would readily agree that Romney is no Reagan or Thatcher, but that he is the alternative in this election to a president whose spending binge would make FDR and LBJ blush with shame. Scarborough's too-cool-for-school bad-mouthing of the GOP only proves he prefers self-righteous smugness over being a strong conservative voice on an otherwise liberal network yelling STOP! at the Obama agenda.

So, to sum up: Meyer thinks Scarborough shouldn't tell the truth and should suck it up and defend Romney no matter what while portraying Obama as nothing but evil.

You know, the kind of blind loyalty to ideology Brent Bozell is paying Meyer to spout.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:41 AM EDT
WND's Washington Call On His Imaginary Socrates Again
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Ellis Washington invokes his imaginary, non-reality-based Socrates once again in his Sept. 21 WorldNetDaily column:

And now the most famous art museum in the world, the Louvre, after spending a decade and over $130 million dollars has just opened up a Muslim wing. If Socrates were alive today to see the last pathetic shreds of Western civilization his beloved Athens birthed 2,500 years ago blow in the wind like chaff, I like to think he would ask the following dialectical questions:

  • France, do you think that closing 20 embassies in the Middle East and closing every French school in Africa in fear of Muslim reprisals over a cartoon mocking Muhammad will save your servile nation, or will your cowardice only embolden Islamic radicals to even more acts of international savagery?
  • France, do you think that spending $130 million dollars on a Muslim wing to the famous Louvre Museum will turn the hearts of religious fanatics toward France, when Muslims are commanded by their scriptures in the Quran to “kill the infidels where you find them”?
  • President Obama, why do you continuously and falsely blame a movie trailer allegedly mocking the prophet Muhammad for the vicious attacks on America’s embassies throughout the world when you knew these attacks were pre-planned by al-Qaida and the Muslim Brotherhood to coincide with America’s commemorations of mourning on 9/11?
  • America, why do you continue to pay tens of billions of dollars to Muslim countries who only hate and despise you as a weak and decadent nation of infidels?
  • America, why does your president use communist campaign slogans on his official campaign flag?
  • Why does Obama constantly promote Marxist policies and appeasement to Muslims, yet not one of the 535 members of Congress has the stones to consistently call President Obama a Marxist, a socialist and a Muslim sympathizer?
  • Does freedom of expression for Muslims exceed that of 320 million Americans?

Given that the real Socrates was not -- unlike Washington -- a right-wing nutjob, it's highly unlikely that he would have used his formidable intellectual and philosophical skills in an attempt to score cheap political points and engage in hateful trash-talking.

Washington has never explained what, if any, evidence exists to support his contention that a modern-day Socrates would be a far-right ranter and hater just like him.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:28 AM EDT
Monday, September 24, 2012
Shorter Noel Sheppard: Do As I Say, Not As I Do
Topic: NewsBusters

The lack of self-awareness NewsBusters associate editor Noel Sheppard has is nothing short of comical.

Sheppard devotes a Sept. 17 post to lamenting how the media have been "misrepresenting" Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's remark that "The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president" and touting how the Washington Post's Bob Woodward "proved that the media have been misrepresenting this quote since it was made."

But just eight days earlier, Sheppard himself was misrepresenting a statement by Al Gore, falsely claiming that Gore said he "invented the internet."

Why is OK for Sheppard to misrepresent the words of other people, but not anyone else? He doesn't explain.

It seems that Sheppard would have us do as he says, not as he does.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:28 PM EDT
Another Dishonest WND 'News' Article
Topic: WorldNetDaily

A Sept. 21 WorldNetDaily article by Jack Minor portrays Democrats as hostile to religion because, he claims, "a Democratic candidate for state office in Colorado worked to exclude a member of the clergy from moderating a local debate because his supporters were 'uncomfortable' with a church leader asking questions."

But Minor's article is incredibly dishonest.

Minor presented only the side of the pastor and the Republican candidate in the Colorado state house race, and makes no effort to contact any Democratic officials for their side of the story. It seems Minor is hiding something -- and he is.

As Richard Bartholomew details, Minor failed to tell his readers that the churchoperated by the pastor in question, Steve Grant, sells a book on its website, written by the pastor's brother -- who also pastors at the church -- arguing that President Obama is the Antichrist.

Further, Bartholomew also notes that Minor regularly quotes Grant for his articles on a right-wing website called the Greeley Gazette. For instance, here's an article by Minor featuring Grant opining on the Vatican calling for "the establishment of a 'global public authority' and 'central world bank' to preside over all financial institutions."

As one would suspect given the fact that he's writing for WND, Minor is also a rabid birther; here's a video of him interviewing none other than Jerome Corsi.

Minor also engages in some sniping at his local competition because the pastor was replaced at the debate by an editor at the real local paper, the Greeley Tribune:

The paper has come out in support of same-sex marriage and written a scathing editorial during the court martial of Lt. Col. Terrence Lakin, the Army doctor who was dismissed from the military and sentenced to prison after he refused to deploy because he questioned Barack Obama’s eligibility for office.

Lakin, who is from Greeley, was compared by the paper to another local resident who murdered transvestite Angie Zapata. The editorial board also recently criticized the Colorado secretary of state for looking into allegations of voter fraud, saying it “wasn’t an issue.”

Minor provides no links or relevant direct quotes to back up his attacks on a business rival.

Needless to say, Minor did not disclose his relationship with Grant or his status as a writer for a competitor to the Tribune -- this violating journalistic ethics regarding conflicts of interest.

In other words, Jack Minor is a sad joke as a reporter. And since WND published his article without fact-checking his claims or ensuring that he provided a fair treatement of the issue, that make WND a sad joke as well.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:44 PM EDT
MRC's Research Laziness, 'Redistribution' Edition
Topic: Media Research Center

We've detailed how the Media Research Center is not particularly interested in doing research, especially when it conflicts with its right-wing, pro-Romney agenda. The MRC does it again with attacking President Obama over taped comments, ignoring their full context and bashing anyone who tries to point that context out.

A Sept. 19 NewsBusters post by Jeffrey Meyer highlighted "audio of  then-State Senator Barack Obama (D-Ill.) speaking at Loyola University talking about his support for wealth redistribution, complaining that MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell wouldn't play the tape becuase it hadn't been "authenticated."

That caution was justified. The full version of the 1998 Obama video -- the edited version of which had been promoted by the Drudge Report in a clear attempt to distract from a leaked video of Mitt Romney denigrating the 47 percent of Americans who Obama supporters as freeloaders -- shows that Obama was referring to "redistribution" as a way to "decentralize delivery systems in ways that both foster competition, can work in the marketplace, and can foster innovation at the local level and can be tailored to particular communities." In other words, Obama was not talking about advocating socialism at all.

Nevertheless, the MRC continued to push Obama's "redistribution" comment while not lifting a finger to verify, let alone mention, its proper context:

  • Brent Baker referenced "video of Barack Obama in 1998 advocating redistribution of wealth," calling it a "display of Obama’s far-left economic philosophy."
  • Clay Waters complained that a New York Times writer "took pains to point out that the old Obama segment was 'carefully clipped,' implying it was misleading." Which, of course, was entirely true.
  • Geoffrey Dickens huffed that "when tape emerged of Barack Obama stating he was in favor of “redistribution” of wealth," the Bit Three networks (no mention of Fox News, of course) devoted "just six and a half minutes" to it, compared with 88 minutes to the Romney tape.  
  • In his weekly appearance on Fox News' "Hannity," MRC chief Brent Bozell ranted that Obama's comment "confirms ... that he's a socialist who believes in the redistribution of wealth."
  • Matt Hadro grumbled that "NBC failed to press Obama adviser David Axelrod over the President's remarks about redistribution" but "did find time, however, to cover the 'Honey Boo Boo' nickname generator."
  • In an MRC press release, Bozell touted how "the Romney campaign exposed a 1998 video showing then-State Sen. Barack Obama espousing his far-left philosophy of wealth redistribution." Bozell also referred to when "Obama disparaged small business" -- which the MRC also deliberately took out of context.

When Washington Post political fact-checker Glenn Kessler dared to put Obama's words in their proper context, the MRC attacked him -- never mind that no Bozell employee could be bothered to do so.

In a Sept. 21 Newsbusters post, Ryan Robertson began by ranting about how Obama and Vice President Biden "are given the benefit of the doubt by the supposedly non-partisan media" because "we're told by liberal media 'fact checkers' that Republicans end up using them out of proper 'context.'" Of course, Robertson is really whining that conservatives get busted taking their opponents' words out of context on such a regular basis that he must regurgitate the right-wing attack line of trying to discredit all fact-checking.

Robertson went on to claim that Kessler "furiously spun" Obama' statement and that the edited clip has just "one missing sentence, one that somehow redeems Obama for his previous statement." Robertson then nit-picked that Kessler's Pinocchio rating was too severe:

By excluding the last sentence, Kessler thought this was a "whopper" of a lie. Yet according to his own scale, this doesn't make any sense. "One Pinnocchio" statements are marked by "some shading of the facts and selective telling of the truth. Some omissions and exaggerations, but no outright falsehoods." Two Pinocchio-defined statements are said to be "significant omissions and/or exaggerations. Some factual error may be involved, but not necessarily." Three Pinocchios, as Kessler notes, are merited when there is "significant factual error and/or obvious contradictions."

By his own rating system, at worst this only deserved  two. What's more, keep in mind that this has not yet been made into a campaign ad, and yet Kessler and his staff eagerly set to excoriating the Romney camp, giving them the worst-possible score on their Pinocchio scale.

At no point does Robertson explain why the full context doesn't redeem Obama. And he falsely claims that Kessler did not "quote anything Romney or a Romney surrogate said about it per se." But Kessler did:

Nevertheless, the Romney campaign had seized on the remark as evidence of Obama’s apparently socialist tendencies. “You know, President Obama said he believes in redistribution,” GOP vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan said Tuesday. “Mitt Romney and I are not running to redistribute the wealth. Mitt Romney and I are running to help Americans create wealth.”

Apparently, if we are to believe Robertson, Paul Ryan is not part of Romney's campaign.

That's the level of self-deception the MRC must practice in order to justify its laziness in trading what little "research" it actually does for mindlessly repeating anti-Obama partisan attacks.

Bozell claimed in his press release: "Like an overeager Labrador retriever, the liberal media will do anything to please their master, even if it means biting his opponent every day between now and the election." And Bozell is desperate to please his master, Mitt Romney, by using his multimillion-dollar organization to dishonestly attack Obama. 

Posted by Terry K. at 9:25 AM EDT
A Real Journalist Asks The Question About Joel Gilbert's Funding That WND Won't
Topic: WorldNetDaily

We've noted how WorldNetDaily's Jerome Corsi was too lazy and/or incompetent to ask Joel Gilbert who was paying him to mail millions of copies of his factually suspicious anti-Obama film "Dreams From My Real Father" to voters in swing states. Well, an actual journalist did ask Gilbert the question, and he arrogantly responded that it was nobody's damn business.

From Buzzfeed:

Gilbert declined to say how much his company, Highway 61 Entertainment, is spending to distribute the film for free, but said that the film was making a profit through online orders. He also wouldn't say how the company is funded and how they come up with the money to distribute so many free disks.

"We’re a private media company, a journalistic company that’s privately held and we don’t disclose the nature or makeup of our finances," he said.

He said "We’ve made 12 successful films and we are also making current revenue on the current film" and compared the company to Citizens United, but said that it wasn't a political group and didn't have donors.

Such a simple question, and Corsi couldn't be bothered to ask. Then again, since Corsi hates Obama as much as Gilbert does, they have a vested interest in working together to make sure the source of their funding stays concealed, and Corsi may have been just playing dumb -- which is an unethical things for him to do as a self-proclaimed journalist.

Meanwhile, Josh Marshall uncovers Gilbert's obsession with Bob Dylan:

The guy who made the documentary is named Joel Gilbert and aside from a couple other whacky rightwing docs what he mainly does is churn out an endless series of documentaries about Bob Dylan. And hagiographic would be something of an understatement.

In fact, he has his own Dylan tribute band and seems to model his hair-care to emulate mid-1970s Dylan.


We did a write up when the ‘Dreams From My Real Father’ was released. And afterwards some legal letters were exchanged over a short excerpt of the movie we published with the story. So one night I’m sitting here at my desk at home reviewing where we are in the dispute and deciding what we’re going to do when I think … Joel Gilbert. I know that name. And then, ‘Holy Crap, this is the guy who does those weird Dylan docs!!!’ It can’t be the same guy. But it is the same guy!

It took me a second to sort out the worlds collide moment. Because if you’re a big fan of an artist at some level you imagine (baselessly) that you’re a kindred spirit somehow with everyone else who is. And yet here I am (or there I was) realizing that I’m on the verge of a lawsuit with this dude over his completely loopy documentary about how Obama is some sort of Afro-Marxist Manchurian candidate.

Now, how these two things fit together I really have no idea. Dylan’s politics are largely inscrutable. As a devotee of Dylan’s lyrics I would suggest there’s an undernoted strain of cultural conservatism lurking in some of their recesses. And yet, well, c’mon, I got no idea.

But there you go, that’s the Dylan chapter of the Birther Conspiracy World.

Indeed, WND is selling one of Gilbert's Dylan videos, which it touts as "an insiders view into Bob Dylan's "Born Again" transformation, and its affect [sic] on his life and music."

Posted by Terry K. at 12:46 AM EDT
Sunday, September 23, 2012
CNS Touts Poll On How Nobody Trusts The Media -- Of Which CNS Is A Part

It seems that Terry Jeffrey couldn't be prouder that nobody trusts the "news" website he runs.

A Sept. 21 CNS article by Jeffrey touts how "Only 8 percent of Americans say they have a 'great deal' of trust in the news media, according to a new Gallup poll," which is "a record low for the 40 years that Gallup has been polling on the question."

While the Gallup poll question Jeffrey features "the mass media--such as newspapers, T.V. and radio," a significant share of news consumption takes place on the Internet. CNS proclaims itself to be "a news source," which means it's part of the "news media" being rejected as untrustworthy. 

In other words, Jeffrey is touting now few people trust his own "news" organization. That's a strange thing for the head of a "news" organization to be proud of; if Jeffrey wasn't, he wouldn't have taken the time from whatever other duties he has as the editor in chief of CNS to summarize these poll findings.

Not only that, Jeffrey's article was promoted at the top of CNS' front page for much of this past weekend with a huge accompanying photo (albeit irrelevant since NBC is not referenced in his story):

Jeffrey clearly wants everyone to know that nobody trusts his "news" organization. Very peculiar.

Posted by Terry K. at 7:13 PM EDT
WND's Kupelian, Disinformation Specialist, Decries Disinformation
Topic: WorldNetDaily

David Kupelian begins his Sept. 16 WorldNetDaily column:

“Disinformation.” Just the crazy sound of the word evokes the shadowy machinations of the KGB, of propaganda campaigns and assassinations, of pinch-faced communist operatives rewriting history as in Orwell’s “1984,” and all the rest of the cloak-and-dagger intrigue of the Cold War era.

But this story is not about the past. It’s about here and now, in America, where a never-ending stream of hardcore disinformation continues to flow, poisoning our national dialogue, our culture and our very identity as a country and a people.

That's quite funny, because WND is one of America's biggest purveyors of disinformation, and Kupelian, as WND's managing editor, is responsible for it.

Take, for instance, WND's obsession with pushing the myth that President Obama's birth certificate is fake. It promotes the claims of so-called "experts" who claim the PDF is fraudulent while hiding their anti-Obama animus -- Mara Zebest, for instance, is a self-proclaimed "PUMA" who supported Hillary Clinton and opposed Obama's election -- while deliberately ignoring all evidence that discredits the birther narrative. Jerome Corsi won't report on the fact that Sheriff Joe Arpaio's birther posse, of which he is a de facto member, completely botched its examination of birth certificate codes, and is trying to distract from it by obsessing over Obama's sex life.

Like Corsi, Kupelian is trying to distract attention from WND's horrible record of journalism by bashing other journalists for "sell[ing] their souls for “access” to those at the pinnacle of power." But WND has done that too, publishing flattering stories about Arpaio in order to suck up to him and influence the birther posse. It worked, of course -- the posse mostly cribbed from Corsi and WND for its birther "investigation."

In other words, WND is the lie launderer that Kupelian is denouncing -- not that he'll admit it, of course.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:54 AM EDT
Saturday, September 22, 2012
MRC Falsely Attacks Rachel Carson As A Killer of 'Millions'
Topic: Media Research Center

Liz Thatcher uses a Sept. 20 Media Research Center Business & Media Institute article to portray enviromentalist Rachel Carson as a heartless killer, complaining that a children's books about her "teach children to idolize Carson and how to become liberal activists, but without telling them the lives that could have been saved by DDT."

Thatcher laments that if Carson hadn't written her book "Silent Spring," "DDT could have been used to help prevent millions of people from dying a miserable death from malaria." Thatcher then repeats attacks on Carson from her fellow right-wingers:

Henry Miller, scholar at Stanford University’s Hoover Institute, argued in a Sept. 5 op-ed for called “Rachel Carson’s Deadly Fantasies” that Carson’s real legacy lie in her disingenuous claims that stopped a useful life saver around the world.

“DDT was used with dramatic effect to shorten and prevent typhus epidemics during and after WWII when people were dusted with large amounts of it but suffered no ill effects, which is perhaps the most persuasive evidence that the chemical is harmless to humans,” Miller wrote.

Another expert, Dennis Avery, a senior fellow for the Hudson Institute, said Carson is indirectly responsible for millions of preventable deaths noting “The absence of DDT had led to the needless deaths of at least 30 million people from malaria and yellow fever in the tropics … Most of them were helpless African children.”

Just one problem with Thatcher's Carson-bashing: Carson never actually advocated banning DDT. William Souder writes at Slate:

Rachel Carson never called for the banning of pesticides. She made this clear in every public pronouncement, repeated it in an hourlong television documentary about Silent Spring, and even testified to that effect before the U.S. Senate. Carson never denied that there were beneficial uses of pesticides, notably in combatting human diseases transmitted by insects, where she said they had not only been proven effective but were morally “necessary.”

“It is not my contention,” Carson wrote in Silent Spring, “that chemical insecticides must never be used. I do contend that we have put poisonous and biologically potent chemicals indiscriminately into the hands of persons largely or wholly ignorant of their potentials for harm. We have subjected enormous numbers of people to contact with these poisons, without their consent and often without their knowledge.”


Carson did not seek to end the use of pesticides—only their heedless overuse at a time when it was all but impossible to escape exposure to them. Aerial insecticide spraying campaigns over forests, cities, and suburbs; the routine application of insecticides to crops by farmers at concentrations far above what was considered “safe;” and the residential use of insecticides in everything from shelf paper to aerosol “bombs” had contaminated the landscape in exactly the same manner as the fallout from the then-pervasive testing of nuclear weapons—a connection Carson made explicit in Silent Spring.

Thatcher's portrayal of DDT as the only possible way to eradicate malaria overlooks the facts that 1) it had been so overused that mosquitos had developed a resistance to it, reducing its effectiveness; 2) the U.S. ban on DDT didn't apply to the rest of the world, and 3) DDT is undenably destructive to the environment. Souder continues:

DDT had been effective against malaria in Europe, in Northern Africa, in parts of India and southern Asia, and even in the southern United States, where the disease was already being routed by other means. But these were mostly developed areas. Using DDT in places like sub-Saharan Africa, with its remote and hard-to-reach villages, had long been considered problematic. It was an old story and one still repeated: Africa was everybody’s lowest priority.

And in any case, the World Health Organization had begun to question its malaria-eradication program even before Silent Spring was published. One object lesson was that the heavy use of DDT in many parts of the world was producing new strains of mosquitoes resistant to the insecticide. Much as it can happen with antibiotics, the use of an environmental poison clears susceptible organisms from the ecosystem and allows those with immunity to take over. The WHO also faced declining interest in the disease among scientists and sharp reductions in funding from the international community.

When the recently created Environmental Protection Agency banned DDT for most domestic uses in 1972, this ruling had no force in other parts of the world and the insecticide remained part of the international anti-malaria arsenal. The United States continued to manufacture and export DDT until the mid-1980s, and it has always been available from pesticide makers in other countries.

One result is that DDT is still with us—globally adrift in the atmosphere from spraying operations in various parts of the world, and also from its continuing volatilization from soils in which it has lain dormant for decades. The threat of DDT to wildlife—as a deadly neurotoxin in many species and a destroyer of reproductive capabilities in others—has never been in doubt. Carson’s claims in Silent Spring about DDT’s connection to human cancer and other disorders have not been completely resolved. The National Toxicology Program lists DDT as “reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen.” The same holds for two of its common break-down products, DDD and DDE, which are also suspected of causing developmental problems in humans.

Funny that Thatcher doesn't blames those who indiscriminately overused DDT for causing "millions of deaths."

Posted by Terry K. at 9:30 AM EDT
WND's Corsi Still Covering Up for Birther Posse
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Jerome Corsi's Sept. 18 article on "cold case posse" leader Mike Zullo's "second trip to Hawaii" where he allegedly found "additional evidence the state’s Department of Health is maintaining a cover-up of Obama’s 1961 birth records," is more noteworthy for what it doesn't contain than what it does.

The most conspicuous thing missing is any reference to the posse's botched coding conspiracy -- using a 1968 coding system to evaluate the handwritten notations on a 1961 birth certificate. The silence on that fiasco is deafening, and each day Corsi and Zullo refuse to address it is another day that no sentient human has any reason to take them seriously. (Well, there are many reasons not to take them seriously; that's just the most glaring one.)

Corsi is also mum about one particular misadventure Zullo had in Hawaii. The Phoenix New Times reports that police  were called to a Hawaii nursing home after spending hours trying to badger Verna K. Lee, a 95-year-old woman who worked at the Hawaiian registrar's office many years ago, into talking to him. The fact that wasn't able to, of course, only added to the conspiracy, according to New Times: "Zullo insists someone must have scared this 95-year-old woman out of talking to him. (Our guess is that his name is Mike Zullo.)"

Corsi and Zullo never seem to understand that a discredited messenger destroys the credibility of the message. Or perhaps they understand all too well, which is why they must hide anything that contradicts the grand birthe conspiracy.

As long as Corsi continues to refuse to report the full truth about how birtherism has been debunked, people will continue to see him as a dishonest Obama-bashing obsessive. He will remain an Obama-bashing obsessive no matter what, but he might be seen as slightly less dishonest if he stops acting dishonest.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:43 AM EDT
Friday, September 21, 2012
CNS' Jeffrey Flip-Flops on Women in the Workforce

Terry Jefrey writes in his Sept. 19 column:

In November 1968, however, only 41.8 percent of American women 16 or older worked. By November 2008, that had grown to 59.4 percent.

By contrast, in November 1968, 77.6 percent of American men 16 or older worked. By November 2008, that had dropped to 67.3 percent.

As of August, only 64 percent of American men were working.

What happened? Why did the percentage of American women working climb while percentage of men declined?

Liberals might point to this as a sign of societal progress, the success of women's liberation.

A better explanation may be this: Women are being driven into the American workforce — and men are being offered a way out — by the demise of the traditional family and the rise of paternalistic government.

So you'd think that Jeffrey would approve of women leaving the workforce, right? Wrong.

Jeffrey wrote in a June 1 CNS article:

The number of American women who are unemployed was 766,000 individuals greater in May 2012 than in January 2009, when President Barack Obama took office, according to data released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

In January 2009, there were approximately 5,005,000 unemployed women in the United States, according to BLS. In May 2012, there were 5,771,000.


When Obama took office in January 2009, the female civilian non-institutional population was 121,166,000. In May 2012, it hit 125,788,000—an increase of 4,622,000 since January 2012.

Three months ago, Jeffrey thought women leaving the workforce was a bad thing because he could blame it on Obama (despite the fact that the number of women not in the workforce has been steadily increasing for more than a decade). Now, Jeffrey is upset that women are working at all because it harms the "traditional family."

This sort of embarrassing flip-flopping is what happens when you change your opinions based on who your political enemy is on a given day. Which tells us that Jeffrey is not quite the principled, moral person he portrays himself as.

Posted by Terry K. at 7:33 PM EDT
WND's Lame Attack on Obama's Economic Record
Topic: WorldNetDaily

A Sept. 20 WorldNetDaily attack on President Obama's economic record carries no byline, which suggests that someone thought better of taking credit for it after it was determined that it would be presented as "news" and not opinion.

That rare show of apparent shame from a WND writer is entirely justified -- it's based on a dishonest premise.

The anonymous WND writer opines:

Twenty years ago, when Democrats tried to oust an incumbent Republican president from office, they questioned his economic stewardship. Vice presidential candidate Al Gore famously bellowed: “Everything that ought to be down is up, and everything that should be up is down!”

The argument seems more relevant today than it was in late 1992.


Applying Gore’s test to Obama’s economic record produces far worse results.

The anonymous writer then compares current economic numbers with those of January 2009.

Why is this dishonest? Because the economy was still in free fall in early 2009, and no Obama economic policy would take effect for months, making it disingenuous to blame Obama for the state of the early 2009 economy.

Had WND compared the current situation to the depth of the recession, Obama's numbers would look much better. But making Obama look good is not Obama's job. For instance, comparing the January  2009 unemployment rate of 7.8% to the current rate of 8.1% -- which WND's anonymous writer portrays as an example of "everything that ought to be down is up," ignores the fact that  unemployment peaked at 10.0% in October 2009.

The anonymous writer also makes a big deal out of how "the National Bureau of Economic Research says it actually ended in June 2009 – just five months into Obama’s term." But WND's own Jerome Corsi, in a January 2010 column responding to criticism of his isolationist book "America For Sale" by the Cato Institute's Daniel Griswold, denounced NBER's declaration of how the start of the recession was described as starting in December 2007: 

He insists the National Bureau of Economic Research, “the accepted authority on the U.S. business cycle,” puts the start of the recession at December 2007.

The National Bureau of Economic Research is a private, nonprofit research organization that is not part of the federal government and has never been appointed by the federal government to make official declarations of when recessions begin or end.

Pushing the start of the current recession back to December 2007 is a subjective determination that serves political purposes, allowing organizations like CNN to push blame for the economic downturn into the Bush administration, suggesting President Bush was responsible for the housing bubble that caused the recession.

I chose instead to use the more conventional and objective standard defined by economic statistician Julius Shiskin in the 1970s and commonly used by economists since then that a recession officially begins after two consecutive quarters of negative growth in GDP; this definition would set the start of the recession to December 2008.

So if, by Corsi's defintion, the recession started a year later than WND's anonymous writer claims, doesn't it mean it ended a year later as well? Or is WND simply engaging in the same "subjective determination that serves political purposes" that Corsi accused NBER of doing?

We're going with the latter -- this is WND, after all. 

This shoddy, cherry-picked article can even be true to WND's own internal logic. No wonder the author doesn't want his name associated with it.

Posted by Terry K. at 6:19 PM EDT
MRC Won't Fact-Check Romney, But Will Fact-Check A Kanye West Song
Topic: Media Research Center

We've documented how the Media Research Center is too lazy and/or biased to fact-check anything Mitt Romney says. It has found time, however, to fact-check -- and grammar-check -- a Kanye West song.

Paul Wilson whines in a Sept. 14 MRC Culture & Media Institute post:

Celebrities have certainly been doing their part to get their beloved President Obama elected – including parroting wild speculations from Democratic politicians about Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s taxes.

Hip-hop artist Kanye West took a shot at Mitt Romney in “To the World,” a song on his new album Cruel Summer. West referenced a speculation by some on the left that Romney is a tax dodger saying: “I’m just trying to protect my stacks / Mitt Romney don’t pay no tax.”

West’s line echoed the wild speculations of Democrats such as Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev.,  who infamously claimed that a Bain Capital investor told him Romney paid no taxes. Reid’s claim was completely “unsubstantiated,” even according to media outlets like ABC. But that didn’t stop the Obama campaign from running with it.

Aside from being grammatically flawed (the double negative suggests Romney does pay tax), West’s claim is factually untrue. He has released his tax returns for 2010 and 2011, both of which show him paying taxes to the federal government. Romney’s returns revealed that he paid effective tax rates of 13.9 percent in 2010 and 15.3 percent in 2011 respectively.

West is also hardly a model for fiscal transparency. Forbes recently estimated that West, who walked through an Occupy encampment wearing gold chains, made an annual income of $35 million. And according to Fox News, in 2010, West’s own charity [the Kanye West Foundation] spent more than a half-million dollars while donating no money to actual charitable grants and contributions. Perhaps West should be concerned with his own tax returns, instead of rapping false rumors about Romney.

Perhaps Wilson should be more concerned about the veracity of a presidential candidate than nit-picking the lyrics of a song he doesn't like.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:46 AM EDT

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