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Thursday, November 1, 2012
Newsmax's Ponte: Wild Weather Is 'Normal'
Topic: Newsmax

Lowell Ponte offers up a, shall we say, novel explanation of Hurricane SAndy in his Oct. 29 Newsmax column:

In our new book "The Great Debasement: The 100-Year Dying of the Dollar and How to Get America's Money Back," economic expert Craig R. Smith and I devote an entire chapter to evidence that recent devastating weather has happened because America's climate is returning to "normal."
Normal meant that pioneers on the Oregon Trail in the 1850s described Nebraska as America's "Inland Desert" and saw it as a land of buffalo grass and cactus, not cornstalks.
As Ken Burns will show in his PBS documentary "The Dust Bowl" in mid-November, government encouraged farmers to settle and plow the Great Plains, semi-arid lands where drought comes often and the land could easily become an "American Sahara" without irrigation.
The continuing drought that ravaged crops last summer was by some measures the worst since the Dust Bowl of the 1930s.
The Dust Bowl was actually four different droughts packed into a few years, scientists now know, and the continuing drought that began last summer has been more severe than any one of those four Dust Bowl droughts.


Most of us grew up during the 20th Century, which enjoyed the balmiest, friendliest weather of the past 1,000 years. Now, however, our weather and climate appear to be reverting to their more erratic normal, with wilder extremes of hot and cold, wet and dry.

Ponte does not offer any evidence to back up his claim, nor does offer himself to be any sort of expert on climatology. And that's not surprising, considering that he goes on to suggest that the drought of earlier this year was because America had lost favor with God:

"When drought and other weather disasters struck ancient China," Craig Smith and I write in The Great Debasement, "some people took this as evidence that their Emperor had lost divine favor, that he had 'lost the Mandate of Heaven' and should be replaced to restore harmony between heaven and earth, between humankind and nature, and to bring back divine blessing to the land."
"The Bible likewise comprehends a link between virtue and the blessing of good weather," we wrote, quoting two Biblical passages as examples.
Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack last July told reporters who were asking him about the drought that "I get on my knees every day, and I'm saying an extra prayer right now. If I had a rain prayer or a rain dance I could do, I would do it."
President Obama's own secretary of Agriculture apparently believes that God influences our weather, and that human behavior can affect this.
Our modern scientific culture teaches that devastating weather can be caused by human transgression — by the sin of polluting the environment.
Modern sophisticates would scoff at all ancient beliefs that strange and destructive weather events may be omens that our leaders have lost the mandate of Heaven and should be replaced.

In other words, Ponte is not the guy you want doing your weather report.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:09 PM EDT
WND Freaks Out Over Timberwolves' Whiteness Being Highlighted
Topic: WorldNetDaily

For some reason, Joe Kovacs devotes an Oct. 31 WorldNetDaily article to hyperventiliating about a newspaper piece on how the NBA's Minnesota Timberwolves have the fewest black players of any team in the league and far below the NBA's historical racial percentages. Kovacs has interpreted this as the writers claiming that the team is "not black enough" -- a phrase that appears nowhere in that article. The headline of Kovacs' article even put "not black enough" in quotes even though the only person who says that phrase is Kovacs.

Of course, if the Timberwolves had any more black players, it would qualify as a "black mob," and since basketball players commit fouls, that certainly qualifies as "black mob violence." And then, Colin Flaherty would have to write about it.

Posted by Terry K. at 7:03 PM EDT
Your Ronald Kessler Romney-Fluffing Update
Topic: Newsmax

As expected, Newsmax's Ronald Kessler has been reliably shilling for Mitt Romney all month, but he takes it to a new, journalistically dishonest level in an Oct. 29 article.

In it, he lets Romney adviser Bay Buchanan blather on and on about how well Romney is purportedly doing:

Republican intensity supporting Mitt Romney is now equal to Ronald Reagan’s during his first campaign, Bay Buchanan, a senior adviser to Romney and Reagan’s Treasury secretary, tells Newsmax.
“The intensity level is remarkable,” says Buchanan, who was also the treasurer of Reagan’s presidential primary campaigns in 1976 and 1980 and national treasurer of Reagan’s general election presidential campaigns in 1980 and in 1984.

“It’s not only showing up in the polls, but if you go out in the states as I have, in Florida and in Wisconsin, the excitement level is something that I haven't seen since Reagan,” she says.

At a rally in Colorado, “The forum sat 10,000 people and 10,000 people packed in there and they had to turn people away,” Buchanan says. “In Leesburg, Va., there were 8,000 people in the line to get in, and it was a mile long down into the main part of town.”
Buchanan says Romney’s campaign has become a movement.

Kessler makes no effort to verify anything Buchanan says, nor does he quote anyone else.

Of course, Buchanan is serving up nothing but pure, unadulterated campaign spin, and Kessler is all too eager to regurgitate it in the service of his favorite candidate.

Kessler is not the only journalist treating "Romney fauxmentum" spin as news, but his commitment to the cause is noteworthy. Remember, Kessler has a pedigree as a real reporter for the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal.

But Kessler has basically pissed all of that journalistic credibility away since joining Newsmax in 2006, between his embarrassing fawning over Donald Trump and -- in 2007 and now -- his slobbering over Romney. 

Is Kessler happy with the trade-off, or is he now such a committed ideologue that he doesn't care about what's left of his journalistic reputation? We wonder.

Posted by Terry K. at 5:26 PM EDT
Discredited Joel Gilbert Now Claims He Was Hacked (No Evidence, Of Course)
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily has been serving as the press agent for anti-Obama filmmaker Joel Gilbert, repeating every ranting he makes even as "Dreams From My Real Father" -- which he is using mysterious funds to mail to voters in swing states -- becomes increasingly discredited.

WND serves as Gilbert's PR agent again in an Oct. 29 article by Drew Zahn, in which Gilbert claims that "a journalist has been investigating the movie using information that could only have been obtained by hacking into his company’s bank account." Gilbert claims Seth Rosenfeld, who is "listed as a correspondent with the Center for Investigative Reporting, an organization funded in part by left-wing activist and billionaire George Soros."

Zahn uncritically repeats Gilbert's claims, demonstrating no evidence that he made any effort whatsover to verify them -- indeed, Gilbert is the only person quoted in Zahn's article. Zahn waits until the 16th paragraph of his article to note, "WND contacted Rosenfeld for comment, but received no reply." Of course, there's no proof of that, either: Zahn's article is largely cribbed from a Gilbert press release.

Meanwhile, Gilbert himself provides no evidence that any of the things he says happened did, in fact, happen. Given Gilbert's track record of promoting discredited claims, there's no reason for anyone to take what he's saying here at face value. Zahn, however, is being paid by WND to do exactly that.

Of course, if Gilbert has nothing to hide, he should be forthcoming about where his money is coming from to fund the mass distribution of a discredited piece of propaganda.

Zahn writes that Gilbert "anticipated legitimate critical examination of the film," ignoring the fact that Gilbert has refused to respond in any substantive way to a legitimate critical examination in the form of Loren Collins' debunking of the film's claims and of Gilbert's credibility as a filmmaker. We have found no evidence that Gilbert has ever directly address Collin's deconstruction; all he has done so far is obliquely denounce a "liberal blogger" (Collins is actually a libertarian) for making a "factually flawed attack on the film."

If Gilbert is so certain about his research as presented in his film, why won't he rebut Collins directly? What is he afraid of?

And what is WND afraid of that it keeps protecting Gilbert and lets him hide behind his veil of lies?

Posted by Terry K. at 1:22 PM EDT
Meanwhile ...

Wonkette has been bringing the ridicule lately to a pair of columnists.

First, Doktor Zoom serves up a deserved mocking of Rev. Michael P. Orsi's insistence that "There are three dirty words that are being used to subvert traditional morality in Western society: tolerance, diversity and welcoming." Zoom concludes: "Orsi isn’t looking for 'tolerance.' He’s looking for 'agreement.' And frankly, we like our dirty words a lot better than his."

Then, Zoom pretty much destroys Matt Barber's ludicrous claim (also posted at WorldNetDaily) that, in Zoom's words, "all sex education is based on the research of “sexual psychopath” Alfred Kinsey, and therefore all sex ed is aimed at 'grooming' children to become sex perverts." And we're not just saying that because Zoom sent a few clicks our way by linking to our background article on Barber's source for his crackpot theory, Judith Reisman (whom Barber presents as "Dr. Judith Reisman, a visiting law professor at Liberty University School of Law" despite the fact that her doctorate is in communications, not law). Zoom notes: "We truly fear that Mr. Barber may soon be literally pummelled to death by a giant man made entirely out of straw."

Heh. Enjoy.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:33 AM EDT
Wednesday, October 31, 2012
WND Mixes Race-Baiting, Obama-Hate
Topic: WorldNetDaily

The promo email WorldNetDaily sent out for an Oct. 27 article was a conspiratorial affair:

The 20th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution clearly says: "The terms of the President and Vice President shall end at noon on the 20th day of January".

But if Barack Obama loses his bid for a second term, he won't be vacating the executive mansion on Jan. 20. And he has precedent on his side.

Here's why ...

Despite WND's implication, Obama will not be defying authority by refusing to leave the White House if he loses. The actual article is much more tame on that front: It points out that due to the Martin Luther King holiday, inauguration day will fall on Jan. 21.

There is nothing nefarious going on -- but that doesn't keep WND from pretending that there is. And that's where the race-baiting comes in.

(And you know how WND loves its race-baiting.)

WND notes that "Obama, the first black president, was sworn in on the traditional Inaugural date of Jan. 20 – the day before the holiday," and then gets all paranoid, quickly moving from suggesting that District of Columbia officials will be violent to recounting purported threats of violence by "Obama supporters":

But will civility rule on Jan. 21?

Protests are already being planned. No matter who the victor is Nov. 6, local District of Columbia officials have already announced they will be out along the parade route demonstrating over Washington’s lack of budgetary and representative autonomy. Even Mayor Vince Gray will be among the protestors.

“While we don’t have concrete plans at this stage, we all very cognizant of the opportunity we have in front of us,” he said.

Meanwhile, the social media have been abuzz with threats by Obama supporters to riot if Romney wins.


Not content with threats to riot if Romney wins in November, some Obama supporters have announced on Twitter they intend to vandalize and burn down the White House if the GOP candidate is victorious, Twitchy reports.

“If Romney wins I’m blowing up the White House (sic),” tweeted “Davis.” The tweet was later deleted, but not before being captured by Twitchy.

“Romney gets on my nerves. If he wins I’m throwing black paint on the white house (sic),” added “Octoburr 30th.”

Twitter user “Panther Biddness” threatened to assault the White House with a contingent of Black Panthers, while another threatened to defecate on the White House lawn.

Several threatened to burn the White House down and one individual said he would shoot the presidential residence.

“[I]f romney wins, i will set the white house on fire and make it look like an accident (sic),” another grammatically-challenged individual wrote.

So who is going to be providing security for the Inauguration Jan. 21, 2013?

WND fails to provide any evidence -- links or screenshots -- of the actual existence of any of these alleged "social media" posts.

Presumably, this article filled with paranoia and hate will generate yet another column by WND editor Joseph Farah wondering why nobody pays attention to his website.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:11 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, October 31, 2012 11:05 PM EDT
Richard Viguerie Does A Revisionist History of Evangelical Movement
Topic: Newsmax

Richard Viguerie writes in his Oct. 26 Newsmax column:

As one surveys today’s political scene, it is impossible not to compare the effect of Obama’s gratuitous attack on freedom of conscience at Catholic institutions — through the Obamacare abortion coverage mandate — with Jimmy Carter’s attack on evangelical Christian schools during the late 1970s.
When Carter’s IRS administrator issued an order stating that any religious school founded after the 1952 Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court school integration ruling was presumed to be created to circumvent the ruling, and integration, the response from religious educators of all faiths was swift opposition — but it set off what amounted to an atomic bomb in the middle of the hitherto apolitical evangelical community.
Jimmy Carter’s unprovoked attack on evangelicals brought millions of new conservative Christian voters into the Republican Party. It helped propel Ronald Reagan to victory in two national elections, led to the near-destruction of the Democrats as a national party in the Bible Belt and made Carter a one-term president.

Viguerie is misleading here, and not just because he has gotten the year of the Brown v. Board of Education decision wrong (it was in 1954.) That tells us the rest of what he has written is bogus as well.

As it turns out, it is. Randall Balmer -- a professor of religion at Barnard College, Columbia University and contributing editor to Christianity Today -- points out that the supposed Carter administration action against "religious educators" Viguerieis, in fact, actions taken against Bob Jones University, which definitely was racist in that it banned interracial. Further, the IRS action against Bob Jones U. actually predated Carter's presidency. From Balmer's book "Thy Kingdom Come," discussing a presentation by right-wing activist Paul Weyrich:

Weyrich tried to make a point to his Religious Right brethren (no women attended the conference, as I recall). Let's remember, he said animatedly, that the Religious Right did not come together in response to the Roe decision. No, Weyrich insisted, what got us going as a political movement was the attempt on the part of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to rescind the tax-exempt status of Bob Jones University because of its racially discriminatory policies.

Bob Jones University was one target of a broader attempt by the federal government to enforce the provisions of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Several agencies, including the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, had sought to penalize schools for failure to abide by antisegregation provisions. A court case in 1972, Green v. Connally, produced a ruling that any institution that practiced segregation was not, by definition, a charitable institution and, therefore, no longer qualified for tax-exempt standing.

The IRS sought to revoke the tax-exempt status of Bob Jones University in 1975 because the school's regulations forbade interracial dating; African Americans, in fact, had been denied admission altogether until 1971, and it took another four years before unmarried African Americans were allowed to enroll. The university filed suit to retain its tax-exempt status, although that suit would not reach the Supreme Court until 1983 (at which time, the Reagan administration argued in favor of Bob Jones University).


For his part, Weyrich saw the evangelical discontent over the Bob Jones case as the opening he was looking for to start a new conservative movement using evangelicals as foot soldiers. Although both the Green decision of 1972 and the IRS action against Bob Jones University in 1975 predated Jimmy Carter's presidency, Weyrich succeeded in blaming Carter for efforts to revoke the taxexempt status of segregated Christian schools. He recruited James Dobson and Jerry Falwell to the cause, the latter of whom complained, "In some states it's easier to open a massage parlor than to open a Christian school."

Viguerie doesn't explain why he apparently thinks it's permissible for Christian schools to discriminate on the basis of race -- which is what the implication of his touting of the founding of the evangelical movement ultimately means.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:55 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, October 31, 2012 9:10 PM EDT
Flaherty Plays Dumb, Pretends His Race-Baiting Isn't Appreciated By 'White Nationalists'
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Is anybody at WorldNetDaily capable of mounting an intellectually and morally honest defense of themselves? It seems not.

First, it was Joel Gilbert. Now it's WND's resident race-baiter, Colin Flaherty, who can't be honest with, or about, his critics.

Flaherty's Oct. 26 WND column is headline "The psychos from Salon" -- a phrase he repeats in his opening paragraph -- so you know  he has immediately ceded any moral high ground to any argument he makes.He goes onto claim that "Salon has ganged up with the Guardians of the Liberal Universe known as the Southern Poverty Law Center to say that I am peddling White Nationalism."

In fact, all Salon did is reprint an SPLC article about Flaherty, which notes that Flaherty went on a "white nationalist" radio show to promote his work and that "Several articles from his WND series have been picked up by American Renaissance, a white nationalist hate group that promotes pseudo-scientific studies and research that purport to show the inferiority of blacks to whites."

Flaherty insists he's not a racist nor  a "white nationalist," insisting that "Their only evidence of me peddling 'White Nationalist propaganda' is me saying I was not a White Nationalist." But he doesn't explain his obsession with "black mob violence" or express any concern that his work has found an audience in the "white nationalist" circles he purports to abhor.

Flaherty also fails to  mention that the SPLC has debunked his and WND's assertion that so-called "black mob violence" is being ignored by the media (the subtitle of Flaherty's self-published book):

As it happens, the “liberal media” has had much to say about the subject of violent “flash mobs” consisting of mostly black youths – particularly after several members of a such a group were arrested for attacking white people at 2011’s Wisconsin State Fair in Milwaukee.

The New York Times, which WND frequently holds up as a leading light of the “liberal media” conspiracy, has repeatedly covered (for instance, here and here) violent flash mobs consisting of black youths whose targets were primarily white people and their property.

So has The Root, a blog owned by the Washington Post­ that examines news “from an African-American perspective.” There, columnist Nsenga Burton wrote approvingly of a message delivered by Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, who is black and who said the mostly black teens who formed a series of mobs that wrought havoc on his city in 2010 and 2011 were “damaging the race.”

In June, We Are Respectable Negroes, a left-leaning blog that specializes in tackling sensitive racial issues, published two pieces on the issue of “black youth mob violence” (here and here) and the tricky politics of addressing it in writing. So, for that matter, did Hatewatch’s own Robert Steinback, in a blog post published a week after the attack in Milwaukee.

Flaherty concludes:

So here I stand. Willing to be judged by what I have written and said. Not who heard it. Not what it appears to mean.

What it is.

What I cannot figure out from Salon and SPLC is this: Are they unhappy with me for being wrong?

If so, show me. It should be simple.
Or are they mad at me for being right?

How about being mad at Flaherty for his strategic obtuseness in pretending that his fearmongering about "black mob violence" doesn't find an audience in "white nationalist" circles?

Posted by Terry K. at 4:38 PM EDT
CNS Doesn't Understand Social Media Or Terrorism

Media Research Center employee Eric Scheiner writes in an Oct. 29 article:

The government doesn’t treat all social media the same.

Claims of responsibility for the September 11th attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi by Ansar al-Sharia on Twitter and Facebook are still being investigated by officials. However, an anti-Islamic video posted on You Tube was blamed for stirring unrest almost immediately.

The anti-Islamic YouTube video made in the U.S. was linked to stirring Mid-East violence and criticized by the Obama Administration multiple times in the days following the attack. Even as late as Sept. 25th, President Barack Obama condemned the video is his address to the United Nations saying, “a crude and disgusting video sparked outrage throughout the Muslim world.”

Evidently, Facebook claims are investigated at a slower pace. Even though e-mails sent from a State Department address on Sept. 11th say the Islamic militant group Ansar al-Sharia claimed responsibility for the attack on Facebook and Twitter, administration officials are still investigating.


Perhaps the makers of the anti-Islamic video that was posted on You Tube should have loaded it on to Facebook instead? Then perhaps, they wouldn’t have been so quickly blamed.

Apparently Scheiner knows nothing about social media or terrorism.

A YouTube video is self-evident -- either the video is there or it's not -- and the video was undeniably being used to inflame passions across the Middle East.

On the other hand, a claim of responsibility for a terrorist attack -- whether or not it was on Facebook -- cannot be taken at face value. There is a length history of groups falsely claiming credit for such attacks in order to enhance their own terrorist cred. Former CIA military analyst Tara Maller states:

Claims such as these need to be corroborated. Sometimes multiple groups claim responsibility after attacks; obviously claims of responsibility are often false. It's also possible that the attackers had ties to multiple groups, or had different motives. Expecting policymakers to publicly examine and go through every conflicting piece of intelligence collected in the hours before and after an attack would be unreasonable and potentially even damaging to national security.

Further, as Mother Jones' Adam Serwer points out, the email Scheiner reference stating that Ansar al-Sharia claimed responsibility for the Behghazi attack on Facebook turns out to have been wrong. The group expressed its approval of the incident, but didn't actually take credit for it, although the group did imply some of its members might have been involved.

Which is why Secretary of State Hilllary Clinton said -- as Scheiner himself notes -- that  “Posting something on Facebook is not in and of itself evidence, and I think it just underscores how fluid the reporting was at the time and continued for some time to be.”

If Scheiner can't tell the difference between Facebook and YouTube -- as it appears he can't through his remark that the anti-Muslim video should've been posted on Facebook to avoid blame -- what is he even doing on the Internet?

Posted by Terry K. at 12:21 PM EDT
NEW ARTICLE: Nobody Believes WorldNetDaily
Topic: WorldNetDaily
Joseph Farah frets that his website is being ignored -- but WND has so beclowned itself with promoting birtherism and conspiracy theories that the American public has no choice but to dismiss what it reads there. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 6:38 AM EDT
Tuesday, October 30, 2012
Newsmax Fearmongering About Economy to Boost Romney
Topic: Newsmax

Newsmax's Moneynews website has also been following the corporate line of working to get Mitt Romney elected.

An Oct. 23 article touted a claim by Robert Wiedemer that "Stocks could take a plunge if President Barack Obama is re-elected on Nov. 6; however, they could surge if GOP challenger Mitt Romney takes the White House."

You might recall that a couple years back, Newsmax built one of its money-making schemes around Wiedemer's book "Aftershock."

Moneynews is also fearmongering about the economy. An Oct. 26 article states that "A combination of rising taxes and cuts to government spending coupled with continued murkiness out of Europe could send the U.S. economy into a recession in the first quarter of next year, said Laurence Fink, CEO of asset management giant BlackRock.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:14 PM EDT
WND Abets Joel Gilbert's Dishonest Defense Of His Anti-Obama Film
Topic: WorldNetDaily

You already know that Joel Gilbert and WorldNetDaily can't defend Gilbert's anti-Obama film, "Dreams From My Real Father," in an honest manner.

An Oct. 26 WorldNetDaily article notes the "strong reaction from establishment media" to Gilbert's film, but it ignores the substantive criticisms lodged against it.

For instance:

Barack Obama’s official website issued a response to Gilbert’s film Tuesday, charging it “peddles ridiculous conspiracy theories about President Obama.”

Gilbert told WND the campaign website falsely claimed Ann Dunham, the president’s mother, was only 15 years old in the nude photos, “copying a liberal blogger’s factually flawed attack on the film.”

In fact, this is what the Obama campaign actually said about the film:

Gilbert makes disgusting and false claims about graphic photos he says depict the President’s mother; they do not. In fact, the photos were published before she ever moved to Hawaii when she would have been only 15 years old.

See the difference? The campaign never acknowledged the pictures Gilbert used are of Obama's mother; it points out that that the only way Gilbert's claim could be true is if Ann Dunham was 15 years old when the pictures were taken and had arrived in Hawaii two years earlier than she did. And if you've seen the pictures, it's clear that the woman is much older than 15.

The campaign also links to the Orlando Sentinel article featuring Loren Collins pointing out that the pictures were published in fetish magazies two years before Gilbert claimed Frank Marshall Davis purportedly took them.

Gilbert offers no evidence to back up his claim that Collins' claim is "factually flawed" -- or even that Collins is a "liberal blogger." In the Sentinel article, Collins describes himself as "a conservative libertarian who does not support Obama politically."

Indeed, it seems that at this point, given Collins' detailed debunking, the onus is on Gilbert to prove Collins wrong, not just whine that he's getting fact-checked.

WND also states:

Gilbert granted an extensive interview and provided a DVD to The Daily Beast at the request of reporter Michelle Goldberg.

“I was amazed that in her article she had the audacity to call the president’s mother a ‘whore,’” Gilbert said.

Gilbert said he presented to the reporter personal photos of Obama’s mother at Frank Marshall Davis’ house to establish the possibility of an intimate relationship.

“The photos are covered up with black bars to be respectful,” Gilbert said. “I respect the right of women to choose to pose for personal photos, I would not judge someone in a sexist way as Michelle Goldberg has done in the Daily Beast.”

In fact, Goldberg did not  call Obama's mother a whore -- she was describing how Gilbert and otherswere describing her. From Goldberg's article:

After four years of invective, four years during which the right has called President Obama a traitor, a communist, a fraud, an affirmative-action case, a terrorist-sympathizer, and a tyrant, its shrillest voices have been reduced to the most primal insult of all. They are calling Obama’s mother a whore.

WND makes no effort to correct Gilbert's false depictions of what others have said about him. This makes WND a full partner in Gilbert's dishonesty.

Amid all this dishonesty, WND quotes Gilbert laughably talking journalists to task for ignoring his sleazy, dishonest film:

Gilbert noted that he challenged journalists in a speech at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., on July 19 with a reading from the “The Journalist Creed,” a code of ethics for reporters.

The creed requires journalists to be unbiased public trustees, accurate and fair, and maintain a single standard of truth.

“Unfortunately, I have experienced first hand what we all knew – the media has collapsed as a public watchdog, and only propagates misinformation,” he said.

“How is this different than Pravda’s reporting in Soviet Russia?” he asked.

How indeed. With WND, Gilbert has his own personal Pravda.And he certainly doesn't expect WND to abide by "The Journalist's Creed," since doing so would further discredit him.

Posted by Terry K. at 7:23 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, October 31, 2012 11:02 PM EDT
Pot, Kettle, Black
Topic: Media Research Center

The headline on an Oct. 26 NewsBusters post recounting MRC chief Brent Bozell's latest appearance on Sean Hannity's Fox News show reads, "Bozell: After 'Delusional' Rantings, It's Pretty Clear Chris Matthews Is 'Bully' and 'Unmitigated Liar'."

Really? The guy who called President Obama a "skinny ghetto crackhead," tried to sic Congress on Comcast because NBC did something he didn't like, and is inventing a "lie" that Obama purportedly told is calling someone else a bully and a liar?

My goodness.

Posted by Terry K. at 4:56 PM EDT
WND's Klein Tries to Commit Identity Fraud As Anti-Obama Stunt
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily's Aaron Klein is getting some serious Drudge attention for his Oct. 29 article claiming to have made a donation to President Obama's re-election campaign under the name "Osama bin Laden" using " a Pakistani Internet Protocol and proxy server, a disposable credit card and a fake address."

In addition to being late to the game -- RedState's Erick Erickson tried this same stunt a few weeks ago -- Klein, or the "WND staff" member he claims actually did the deed (perhaps Joshua Klein, who is credited with "additional research"), is admitting to identity fraud. Isn't that illegal?

Klein also exhibits a fundamental misunderstanding of how credit card verification works. As Media Matters points out, the Obama campaign has explained that it has anti-fraud protections in place to stop fake or illegal donations and that just because a fraudulent donation "may initially appear to a donor to have been accepted," such a donation will soon be rejected.

So, what we have here is Klein (or his lackey) committing identity fraud for the purpose of trying (and failing) to embarrass Obama on the eve of an election and, it seems, to get a Drudge link. Klein can ultimately take heart in the fact that most people are too preoccupied with the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy to pay much attention to his failed stunt.

UPDATE: Remember that a couple years ago, WND was so unconcerned about online security that anybody could -- and did -- pad WND's  anti-Obama birther petition. And it has yet to release the names of those 500,000-plus signatories it claims signed it, or subject the petition's counting methods to any sort of outside auditing.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:43 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, October 30, 2012 7:32 PM EDT
NewsBusters Falsely Smears Maddow As 'Baghdad Bob' to Defend Romney
Topic: NewsBusters

An Oct. 29 NewsBusters post by Jack Coleman unleashes a torrent of hate against MSNBC's Rachel Maddow, under the headline "It's Official: Rachel Maddow Completes Conversion to Baghdad Bob":

"The Rachel Maddow Show" really shouldn't air weeknights on MSNBC. It is much better suited for Saturday mornings, you know, along with the other cartoons.

Maddow is so deep in the tank for the Obama administration at this point that she no longer cares how ludicrous she appears in her melodramatic inveighing against the staggering mendacity of one Willard Mitt Romney, a man who clearly haunts her fitful dreams and restless nights.

What did Maddow do that made Coleman so mad? She caught Romney in a lie -- his statement that "I saw a story today that one of the great manufacturers in this state, Jeep, now owned by the Italians, is thinking of moving all production to China." In fact, as Maddow pointed out, Chrysler is adding workers at U.S. plants that make Jeeps, and that production in China would be to serve that market, not shift production out of the U.S. Romney apparently got a right-wing blog's distorted view of a Bloomberg story stating that Chrysler owner Fiat "may eventually make all of its models" in China. Coleman then writes:

Still unclear to me where Romney lied about this. Chrysler is majority-owned by Fiat and hence it is within Fiat's power to move Jeep production wherever it wants. Since the company "may eventually" make all its Jeeps in China, as Bloomberg reported, citing a company executive as its source, one can only conclude that Romney's lying about this, as far as Maddow is concerned, stems from him not actually reading a story about it as he claimed, but getting his information elsewhere.

But Coleman overlooks a statement in the Bloomberg story, made by Mike Manley, chief operating officer of Fiat and Chrysler in Asia: "Manley referred to adding Jeep production sites rather than shifting output from North America to China."

Meanwhile, Chrysler itself has stated:

Let’s set the record straight: Jeep has no intention of shifting production of its Jeep models out of North America to China. It’s simply reviewing the opportunities to return Jeep output to China for the world’s largest auto market. U.S. Jeep assembly lines will continue to stay in operation. A careful and unbiased reading of the Bloomberg take would have saved unnecessary fantasies and extravagant comments.

In other words, Maddow is correct to say that Fiat "wants to build Jeeps for China -- in China," and Romney is wrong.

So who's Baghdad Bob now? Hint: It's not Maddow.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:01 PM EDT

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