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Monday, January 7, 2013
MRC Misleads on Cost of Fiscal Cliff Deal
Topic: Media Research Center

Julia Seymour wrote in a Jan. 3 Media Research Center Business & Media Institute item:

To the chagrin of many conservatives, a deal that would result in tax hikes and lacked spending cuts was passed on New Year’s Day, hours after the the fiscal cliff deadline had passed.

Because it didn’t include spending cuts, the Congressional Budget Office estimated that it would cost $4 trillion over the next 10 years.

Actually, as Media Matters detailed, the CBO described the $4 trillion figure as lost revenue in comparison to what would have been collected if all the Bush tax cuts expired. Politico reported of the CBO estimate: "CBO begins its analysis from its March current law baseline that assumes all of Bush-era tax cuts would expire at New Year's Day, and therefore gives no deficit-reduction credit for the fact that the deal begins to raise rates for the wealthiest Americans." Politico added that the CBO attributed much of that figure to "lost revenues or payments on refundable tax credits."

But getting the story correct wasn't Seymour's job in the post -- it was to complain that "5 out of 6 morning and evening news programs on ABC, CBS and NBC" didn't mention her defective interpretation of the deal.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:49 PM EST
Birther Paul Irey Is Ready to Run to WND With More Birther Stuff
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Dr. Conspiracy reports on how upset Paul Irey -- one of the so-called "experts" whom WorldNetDaily has proclaimed as having provided "irrefutable proof" that Barack Obama's birth certificate is a forgery -- was at the prospect of having only 15 minutes to present his birther claims to a judge in yet another lawsuit spearheaded by Orly Taitz. So upset, in fact, that he claimed hewould hand over his presentation to WND:

15 minutes is not nearly enough … nor is it worth flying across the country and back for 15 minutes total time to testify.  You probably have 2 hours and the attorneys are going to spent that time objecting to the hearing … simply because they don’t want the evidence presented. Why can’t you stop them?  That’s what they did the last time.

I spent over a week preparing for 15 minutes???  Sure … the less testimony the better … for the criminals avoiding conviction.  I’m going to run everything that I can’t testify to on WND and say so.  Judge did not want to hear it.  Obama’s attorneys do not want to hear it.  I was ready to prove the forgery about 15 different ways  … but now we can say that the courts run us out before we can present the testimony … then the press censors it and the congress does nothing.

I am getting out of this country where Mickey Mouse can run for president because there are no laws against it … and no one has “standing” to challenge treason.

Turns out Irey didn't get to testify at all -- the judge had set aside that time for oral argument only, not witnesses. And Taitz ended up demonstrating that she not only improperly served the defendant (Obama) with notice of the hearing, the president apparently wasn't served with the papers until the day after the hearing.

Certainly WND will make note of that in its upcoming report on Irey's presentation.

Posted by Terry K. at 7:37 PM EST
CNS' Jeffrey Complains About Obama Corporate Donations, Ignores That Bush Did Same Thing

Terry Jeffrey writes in a Jan. 5 article:

President Barack Obama’s inaugural committee on late Friday released a list of individuals and corporations contributing money to fund events surrounding the president’s Jan. 20 inauguration but did not reveal how much they contributed, the Sunlight Foundation Reporting Group reported on Friday evening.

What Jeffrey didn't report: the Bush administration also accepted corporate donations for his 2005 inauguration.

The Wall Street Journal reported that "For his 2005 inaugural, former President George W. Bush placed no ban on corporate money and took in $42 million." The New Standard reported shortly before the 2005 inauguration:

Nearly half of the $40 million fundraising goal set by President Bush's private inaugural committee has been met, paid for almost entirely by US corporations. According to a new analysis by the government watchdog group Public Citizen, 96 percent of the $17.8 million raised is from corporations or their chairpersons, CEOs, or presidents.

By failing to explain that Obama isn't doing anything all that different from Republican presidents, Jeffrey is failing his duty as a journalist, as well as violating CNS' mission statement to "fairly present all legitimate sides of a story." 

Posted by Terry K. at 12:56 PM EST
WND Still Touting 'Trustworthy' Designation, Ignores Child-Sex Charges Against Minister Linked To It
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily must really love that no-name website that proclaimed it "trustworthy" -- it has devoted another story to it. But it's not telling the full truth about the website that gave WND that silly little award.

This time around, WND proclaims how the editor of the Discerning Times at, Tim Williams, said he "actually considered placing WorldNetDaily at the top of the list and the Drudge Report second."

As before, WND identifies the Discerning Times at only as an "independent news organization." In fact, and its Discerning Times print product are operated by something called the Sound Doctrine Church of Enumclaw, Wash.

The church has been accused of being a cult. The church's response to this is to claim that all real churches are accused of being cults.

Also unmentioned in both WND articles: The church's associate pastor, Malcolm Fraser, has been charged with first-degree rape of a child. WND clearly knows about this because it published a Dec. 13 article by Bob Unruh on the case. Unruh takes Fraser's side in promoting the idea that he is an innocent victim of “disgruntled ex-members” of the church. Unruh also identifies as a "church publication," which means WND knows full well that it's not an "independent news organization."

Williams did not disclose what role this sympathetic article playing in him  placing WND so high on his list of "trustworthy" news sources, though surely it must have played some role. Indeed, Williams promoted the article on the church's website.

Meanwhile, devotes a significant portion of its content to proclaiming Fraser's innocence,  and the Discerning Times began publication only in August 2012 -- just four months after Fraser was charged -- raising questions about whether it exists solely to defend Fraser and attack the church's critics (which the November edition of the paper is mostly devoted to).

Similarly, WND did not note its story on Fraser in its articles touting its "trustworthy" award. Wouldn't a truly trustworthy news organization have disclosed those conflicts of interest?

The same goes for Williams' so-called "news" organization as well. As we pointed out, Williams could not have read WND and found it to be engaging in "top-notch journalistic practice."

If WND really wants to be considered a trustworthy news organization -- which, Williams aside, it isn't -- it should stop its constant promotion of a bogus award by a biased group nobody has heard of and start reporting facts, starting with the truth about how the birther conspiracy has been discredited.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:14 AM EST
Updated: Saturday, February 2, 2013 11:14 AM EST
Sunday, January 6, 2013
AIM's Kincaid Freaks Out Over Al Jazeera's Purchase of Current
Topic: Accuracy in Media

That sound you heard when Current TV announced it was being sold to Al Jazeera was Cliff Kincaid's head exploding.

The Accuracy in Media writer has been a longtime advocate of censoring Al Jazeera, and the Current deal gives the channel what Kincaid has fought against: a space on many cable TV systems. So it's no surprise that the deal has launched Kincaid into another censorious AIM rant:

Al-Jazeera, once considered the voice of Osama bin-Laden and known for anti-American and anti-Semitic rhetoric, has announced the purchase of Al Gore’s low-rated cable channel, Current TV, in a transparent attempt to buy access to the U.S. media market for operatives of the pro-terrorist Muslim Brotherhood. Gore has reportedly made $100 million from the $500 million deal.

Kincaid also complains that "Al-Jazeera promoted conspiracy theories that Muslim terrorists were not really behind the 9/11 terrorist attacks," ignoring his own promotion of discredited anti-Obama conspiracy theories and his touting of racists as credible sources.

Posted by Terry K. at 7:48 PM EST
What Stories Did WND Ignore in 2012?
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily has posted its annual "Operation Spike" list of "the most underreported or unreported news events of the year." As per usual, the list is really just the current obsessions of right-wingers like pretty much every WND employee. And the items on the list is more a reflection of what WND didn't cover than what the actual media did.

First on the list is purported voter fraud, declaring that "while no single instance or aspect of fraud likely was enough to give Obama the election, the aggregate of corrupt activities may well have tipped the vote." but as we've documented, many of the "voter fraud" claims WND has have have been discredited -- none of which WND has reported to its readers.

In second place is "The findings of Sheriff Joe’s Cold Case Posse" on President Obama's birth certificate. Again, WND has failed to tell its readers the truth: The posse's findings have been discredited. WND also perpetuates the false notion that the birther posse "went into it with an open mind." That's an utter lie, as demonstrated by WND birther extraordinare Jerome Corsi being a de facto member of the posse and the reported refusal of the posse to examine the findings of John Woodman, who wrote a book disproving birther conspiracies.

Those are just some of the many things WND has refused to report to its readers about its beloved birther conspiracy.

Next is "Obama’s real agenda for the next four years," which is nothing more than a plug for Aaron Klein's speculative anti-Obama attack book.

Also on the list is "Black attacks on whites," citing the work of Colin Flaherty and declaring, "WND has featured the reports to counterbalance the virtual blackout by the rest of the media due to their concern that reporting such incidents would be inflammatory or even racist." But since Flaherty paints such a broad brush that it appears to him that any random group of black people is a "mob" and all blacks are violent thugs out to murder all white people, this is nothing but race-baiting.

WND also throws in its "Whistleblower of the Year," John Cruz, who it credits with breaking HSBC's "massive fraud and support for terrorists and the drug cartel." But as we've detailed, other news outlets were covering this story before WND got its mitts on it, and there's little evidence that Cruz brought anything of value to the investigation. 

Then there's "The real unemployment numbers." Of course, there is only one "real unemployment number": the U-3 rate. Other numbers include things like underemployed people that make it, by definition, not a "real unemployment number."

That WND put such stories on its list demonstrates how pathetic and biased its own so-called journalism is.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:04 AM EST
Saturday, January 5, 2013
Noel Sheppard Takes Just 28 Minutes to Flip-Flop
Topic: NewsBusters

In a NewsBusters item posted on Jan. 4 at 9:00 a.m., Noel Sheppard heartily approved of Jay Leno insulting Harry Reid by saying of John Boehner telling Reid to "go fuck himself": "Doesn't he look like a guy who heard that a lot in high school? Usually followed by a wedgie then getting stuffed in a locker?” Sheppard added that "it's nice to see someone in the media go after Reid."

But just 28 minutes later -- 28 minutes! -- Sheppard was upset that Arnold Schwarzenegger "took a cheap shot at New Jersey Governor Chris Christie" by saying that "Chris Christie does not have a weight problem. He has a water retention problem." Sheppard huffed: "Yeah, those fat jokes never get old when tossed at a Republican - especially if they come from a Republican In Name Only."

Is Sheppard really that un-self-aware, or is he really that blatantly partisan?

Posted by Terry K. at 9:56 PM EST
WND Columnists Continue to Lie About 'Natural Born Citizen' Requirements
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Larry Klayman keeps up his toxic blend of Obama derangement and legal falsehoods in his Jan. 1 WorldNetDaily column:

Barack Hussein Obama is “eligible” for only one thing: to deceive the American people and the world community into believing he is a legitimate president of the United States. In practice, that is according to all of the judges who thus far have ruled in lawsuits concerning his lack of legal status under the U.S. Constitution as a “natural born citizen.”

As you know, to qualify for the office of president, the law, plain and simple, requires that a person be born in the United States or one of its territories, to two American citizen parents.

As we've pointed out, even WND has admitted that there is no legal definition of "natural born citizen" in the Constitution or any other federal law, so Klayman is simply lying when he says "the law" backs his preferred definition.

In his Jan. 2 WND column, Craige McMillan writes an open letter to Chief Justice John Roberts begging him not to swear in Obama over the same issue:

ow that Mr. Obama has been re-elected and is preparing to serve a second term of office, there can be no doubt regarding his qualifications. This is because by Mr. Obama’s own admission, his father was of Kenyan nationality and perhaps holding British citizenship as well.

In addition to the nationality of Mr. Obama Sr. listed on Barack Obama’s birth certificate, we know that Obama Sr. was not an American citizen because of correspondence surrounding his stay in this country.

Because Obama Sr. lacked American citizenship, Barack Obama is not a natural born citizen, as required by our Constitution. He is not natural born, and can never be natural born, because of his father. Therefore, Barack Obama is not qualified to be president and never will be qualified. This would still be true, even if he received every vote cast.


Your own oath of office, sworn before God and the American people, requires you to uphold the Constitution. (If not you, then who?) If you now administer the oath of office for the presidency to a man who by his own admission fails to meet the natural born citizen requirement imposed by that Constitution, you have violated your own oath of office and are rightly subject to impeachment by any House of Representatives, at any time, now or in the future.

McMillan fails to mention that no court has seen fit to affirm his definition of "natural born citizen" as an unassailable legal standard, even after years of birther lawsuits. Which makes McMillan a liar as well.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:48 AM EST
Friday, January 4, 2013
CNS Rehashes Bogus Attacks on Judicial Nominee

A Jan. 3 article by Fred Lucas rehashes dubious attacks on judicial nominee Caitlin Halligan, who President Obama re-nominated to a federal appellate court after Congress failed to act on her original nomination.

Lucas cites "conservatives criticism [sic] over her anti-gun views," bu he fails to explain that in the cases Halligan worked on, she was acting as New York's solicitor general and not expressing her personal views, and he failed to report that Halligan has testified that she supports Second Amendment rights.

Lucas also cited Halligan's "legal argument that pro-life protesters were guilty of extortion," but again failed to explain that the amicus brief she filed was as New York solicitor general, not as a private attorney.

In fact, Lucas does not permit any defense whatsoever of Halligan to the attacks on her that he devoted nine of his article's 12 paragraphs to. That would seem to violate CNS' mission statement to "fairly present all legitimate sides of a story." 

Posted by Terry K. at 10:01 PM EST
Updated: Friday, January 4, 2013 10:04 PM EST
WND's Kinsolving Obsesses Over Jefferson-Hemings Again
Topic: WorldNetDaily

At the end of 2011, WorldNetDaily's Les Kinsolving had a major freakout over the idea that Thomas Jefferson might have fathered a child with black slave Sally Hemings, declaring it "one of the most outrageous libels in American history" and an "unconscionable smear of the third president of our country and author of our Declaration of Independence."

Kinsolving returns to the subject in his Jan. 1 WND column, asserting that Jefferson's "very deep grief" at the death of his wife, "as well as his decision to remain a widower for the rest of his life, surely demonstrates the malicious foolishness of claims that the author of the Declaration of Independence and twice-elected president of the United States would ever have had sex with, and fathered any children with, a slave.

Kinsolving then takes issue with a New York Times op-ed on the subject, responding that "there is simply no genetic proof that Thomas Jefferson ever seduced or raped slaves." But the words "rape" and "seduce" appear nowhere in the op-ed.

Further, surely Kinsolving knows that definitive "genetic proof" is impossible given that the question is alleged liaisons that occurred 200 years ago. But there is an undeniable likelihood that Jefferson fathered at least one child with Hemings.

At the end of Kinsolving's column is a link to purchase David Barton's book "The Jefferson Lies" from WND's online store, despite the fact that the book has been withdrawn from sale by its publisher for apparent falsehoods. The WND store page on the book makes no mention of the controversy, nor does it explain why WND continues to sell a book its publisher does not consider fit for sale.

Posted by Terry K. at 5:16 PM EST
Newsmax Cherry-Picks Data To Downplay Gun Violence
Topic: Newsmax

A Jan. 3 Newsmax article by Stephen Feller regurgitates a Breitbart post claiming that "more people in the U.S. were killed with hammers and clubs, or with hands and fists, than with rifles" in the past seven years.

Of course, that's an absurd bit of cherry-picked data. In fact, as the Washington Post reports, guns are the leading cause of violence-related death (homicide and suicide) for most age groups, as well as all age groups above the age of 15.

But when you're regurgitating the work of others as your own "news," as Feller is, further research isn't exactly high on the priority list.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:29 AM EST
WND Touts Meaningless Opt-In Poll
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily loves touting meaningless opt-in polls that affirm its political agenda, even though they are not a reflection of reality because they are easily manipulated by committed activists.

WND does so again in a Jan. 2 article that echoes its hatred of House Speaker John Boehner, reporting that "participants in an unscientific poll on the Drudge Report were rejecting Boehner as a future speaker of the House by a more than 6-1 margin. There were 269,001 votes against him and 40,516 in favor, an 85 percent to 15 percent margin."

The article doesn't mention that the only people who actually voted on who would be House speaker are members of the House, making any sort of poll on the issue, scientific or otherwise, utterly meaningless. WND also fails to examine what the Drudge Report's tone has been toward Boehner, which could have slanted its readers' preferences.

WND's article carried no byline. We wouldn't want our names on such an article either.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:14 AM EST
Thursday, January 3, 2013
CNS' Big Boehner Scoop Goes Bust

Ron Meyer ("press secretary and spokesman for American Majority Action") dropped a bombshell in a Jan. 2 blog post:

I have confirmed with a group of Congressmen that House Speaker John Boehner will not be reelected Speaker tomorrow.

He will either resign or be forced out tomorrow.

Only 17 members are needed to block Speaker Boehner's election tomorrow. A Speaker needs an absolute majority of all votes cast for a specific person.

If no one has a majority, the House is speakerless. I've confirmed these rules with the House Parliamentarian.

So much fail here. Let's start with his version of the election process. It's unclear where he gets the idea that "Only 17 members are needed to block Speaker Boehner's election," since all members of the House vote on the speaker. And it's simply false that the House would remain "speakerless" if no one gets a majority -- if Wikipedia is to be believed, votes are held repeatedly until one candidate has a majority.

If that wasn't enough, Meyer's post got overtaken by events. Boehner won on the first ballot, with three votes more than he needed to reach a majority.

If Meyer or CNS had any sense of shame -- or journalism -- corrections would be issued.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:00 PM EST
Aaron Klein Anonymous Source Watch
Topic: WorldNetDaily

A Jan. 1 WorldNetDaily article by Aaron cites "knowledgeable PA sources" to claim that "Leftist U.S. Jewish groups working with the far-left Israeli Meretz party were behind a recommendation that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas publicly threaten to dismantle the PA."

Given that Klein regularly attacks the PA -- it's sarcastically called a "peace partner" when Klein is outlining the PA's alleged links to terrorism -- it's unlikely that he has any genuine contacts within the PA, unless he's still counting on his ideological enemies to be so stupid as to not realize he's using their words against them.

However, since Klein is invoking his usual practice of untraceable, unconfirmed anonymous sources, we'll never know for sure. Indeed, Klein's article is so sketchily sourced that he can't even identify the "leftist U.S. Jewish groups" that are purportedly working with the purportedly "far-left" Israeli party.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:26 PM EST
NewsBusters Unhappy That News Is Presented As News
Topic: NewsBusters

The Media Research Center's anti-gay agenda rears its ugly head again in a Jan. 2 NewsBusters post by Ken Shepherd complaining that gay marriage becoming legal in Maryland was treated as the major news that it is by the Washington Post, which includes much of Maryland in its circulation area:

Most of the January 2 front page for The Washington Post was devoted to the resolution of the so-called fiscal cliff, but editors made sure to leave space for a gauzy 33-paragraph story entitled "History at the altar: Maryland sees wave of same-sex weddings as law takes effect."

By contrast, an uplifting story involving a non-controversial religious tradition in African-American churches was shuffled to the bottom of page A2, despite the tremendous historical significance of the 2012 New Year's Eve "watch night" celebrations marking the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation.

Shepherd seems to have missed that the Emancipation Proclamation happened 150 years ago, while legalization of gay marriage is a breaking news event. But Shepherd still wants to lecture us on how breaking news should be ignored if it doesn't jibe with his religious views:

The African-American church tradition of "watch night" is a thoroughly patriotic celebration that can be appreciated by  non-Christian Americans even though at its heart, the service is a religious one.

Rather than bringing all Post readers together to ring in the new year with front-page real estate devoted to the intersection of American history with the African-American spiritual traditions, the paper's editors elected to highlight same-sex unions which are still opposed by most religious faiths, including a great number of observant African-American Christians.

Apparently, the expansion of civil rights is not "thoroughly patriotic" as far as Shepherd is concerned. Or some people's civil rights are more newsworthy than others.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:07 AM EST

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