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Saturday, June 1, 2013
NewsBusters: Ex-Heritage Researcher Was 'Objectively Observing' That Hispanics Are Dumb
Topic: NewsBusters

Tom Blumer wrote in a May 27 NewsBusters post that Jason Richwine "recently resigned from the Heritage Foundation over objectively observing, in the words of a Fox News report, 'that Hispanics had a lower IQ than American whites, and that their descendants would too.'"

Really, Tom? It's an objective observation that Hispanics are dumber than whites?

Well, not so much. Think Progress summarizes the problems with Richwine's research:

If the dissertation was bad enough to get him fired from the Heritage Foundation, how did it earn him a degree from Harvard?

A popular answer among Richwine’s defenders is that, quite simply, it was exemplary work. Richwine’s dissertation committee was made up, by all accounts, of three eminent scholars, each widely respected in their respective fields. And it is Harvard.

But dozens of interviews with subject matter experts, Harvard graduates in Richwine’s program who overlapped with him, and members of the committee itself paint a somewhat more textured picture. Richwine’s dissertation was sloppy scholarship, relying on statistical sophistication to hide some serious conceptual errors. Yet internal accounts of Richwine’s time at Harvard suggests the august university, for the most part, let serious problems in Richwine’s research  fall through the cracks.


Jason Richwine received a PhD from Harvard University for sub-standard research, work that makes strong assertions on a charged topic based on poorly defined concepts, incomplete and misleading summaries of opposing arguments, and bald analytic overreaches.


And as for Richwine, the overwhelming sense you get from reading his work and speaking to his acquaintances is that he was, as odd as this sounds, a well-intentioned naïf. We’ve all met the type: someone so airily focused on their own passions and interests (in Richwine’s case, Murray-style hereditarian work on race and IQ) that they miss the broader social forest for the trees.

“I think what happened was that he tried to make an academic argument but did not foresee this [racism] problem,” his friend, Professor Tran, told me.

Whatever one thinks about Harvard or Richwine, the real lesson here goes beyond both of them.

Even if Richwine’s dissertation, despite all of its errors and omissions, was “good enough” to earn a passing mark, it’s emphatically not “good enough” to make a real contribution to our knowledge about the intersection between race and IQ. The scholarly errors in his research are too pervasive and severe.

Beyond the failure of craft, however, is the serious harm that can result from quasi-eugenic works masquerading as serious research.

So, not objective -- or even particularly good -- research happening on Richwine's part. But he generates the kind of results people like Blumer want to hear, so Blumer is more than happy to give Richwine a pass on the dubious racial aspects of his work.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:37 PM EDT
'The Obama Name, The IRS And Polygamy All In 1 Story'
Topic: WorldNetDaily

You can easily imagine -- if not actually hear -- the folks at WorldNetDaily having multiple orgasms over writing this email tease:

The article it's promoting, by Jerome Corsi, cites apparent fraudster Walid Shoebat to claim that "Funds contributed in the United States to a 501(c)3 foundation run by President Obama’s older half-brother, Abongo 'Roy' Malik Obama, have been diverted to support Malik’s multiple wives in Kenya."

Posted by Terry K. at 8:15 AM EDT
Friday, May 31, 2013
NewsBusters Misleads on Cross-Dressing Superhero Cartoon
Topic: NewsBusters

A May 29 NewsBusters post by Randy Hall carries thet headline "Transvestite Superhero Cartoon to Debut on Children’s Network The Hub." The cartoon in question is "SheZow," in which a boy gains superpowers by wearing a ring that transforms him into the title character, which is defined by a female-tailored costume.

Since the lead character doesn't derive much pleasure from having to wear the female outfit and has no interest in changing genders -- and indeed remains a boy while in the SheZow costume -- he's not a "transvestite," as Hall's headline claims. It's cross-dressing, which has been a comedy staple since forever. Bugs Bunny? Tootsie? Bosom Buddies? Apparently none of those ring a bell for Hall.

(Interestingly, the URL for the item indicates that Hall did originally, and correctly, use "cros-dressing" in the headline, but it was changed to "transvestite" somewhere along the line.)

Hall plays things mostly straight in trying to explain the show's premise, but he does get snarky at the end:

Despite the strange, bizarre premise, [Hub chief executive Margaret] Loesch is maintaining a positive attitude about the series, speculating that if “SheZow” is a hit, the channel and its toy partner Hasbro can start merchandising her white go-go boots and her ring.

“We'll see, won't we?” she asked.

No, we probably won't.

Said like someone who has never seen what he's criticizing.

As clueless as Hall is about the cartoon, perhaps we can thank the deity of our choice that the MRC's Culture & Media Institute, with its open hostility toward transgenders, did not handle this item.

Posted by Terry K. at 6:04 PM EDT
WND's Klein Trying to Boost Murderous Assad Regime in Syria
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Two years ago, WorldNetDaily's Aaron Klein served as a de facto spokesman for the dying Mubarak regime in Egypt, uncritically peddling the dictator's party line and even making sure members of Mubarak's regime got a copy of an Obama-bashing book Klein wrote.

In that same vein, Klein has been toying with promoting the views of another Middle East dictator embroiled by a popular revolt, Bashar al-Assad. He cranks that up in a May 30 WND article touting the missiles Assad says he bought from Russia:

The Syrian government already has received a first shipment of S-300 air defense missiles from Russia and is waiting for more, stated President Bashar al-Assad in a television interview today.

Assad told Hezbollah’s Al-Manar television station that Syria “has got the first batch of Russian S-300 missiles” and “the rest of the shipment will arrive soon.”

Citing Arab intelligence sources two weeks ago, WND was first to report that S-300 missile batteries had reached Syria.

Klein countered his credulous promotion of Assad's claimed weapons acquisition with only a single statement that "Israeli security sources said two weeks ago there was no information to support the Arab claim."

Meanwhile, even Fox News reports that according to "two senior U.S. officials privy to sensitive intelligence matters," Syria "does not yet have advanced surface-to-air missiles from Russia." It turns out that Klein was relying on a botched translation of Assad:

Although Assad was initially quoted as saying "Syria has received the first shipment of Russian anti-aircraft S-300 rockets," a subsequent transcript was inconclusive.

"There are many arms agreements between us and the Russians from a long time," the later transcript stated. "The Russians are committed to their agreements. All that was agreed with Russia will be implemented and part of it has been already done. We and the Russians are in agreement and we will continue to be like this."

We're not big fans of anonymous sources, but Fox's anonymous sources seem much more trustworthy than Klein's especially given Klein's long history of using anonymous sources to smear his political enemies and benefit his political friends, there's no reason to believe that Klein is doing anything here other than to try and help the Assad regime, despite its murderous record in the Syrian civil war.

In other words, Klein is putting his personal partisan agenda ahead of the truth. As if we expect any different from him and WND.

Posted by Terry K. at 4:35 PM EDT
Let Newsmax's Kerik Rehabilitation Project Resume
Topic: Newsmax

Now that Bernard Kerik has been released from prison, Newsmax appears to be taking that opportunity to kickstart its reputation rehabilitation project for him.

A May 28 Newsmax article by Paul Scicchitano informs us that Kerik was "the highly-decorated police commissioner of New York City during 9/11" and was "catapulted to national hero status for his service on September 11, 2001 along with his then-boss, 'America's Mayor' Rudy Giuliani."

It's not until the fourth paragraph -- after the above flattery -- that  Scicchitanogets around to noting the reason Kerik was in prison in the first place: "he pleaded guilty to tax fraud and lying to authorities over $250,000 worth of free renovations done to an apartment he owned in the Bronx, NY."

Then, it's back to Kerik-fluffing, with Scicchitano noting how the "street-smart" Kerik "bagged more than 100 awards, including one of the police department's highest awards, the Medal of Valor, a commendation from President Reagan himself, and an honorary appointment as commander of the British Empire from Queen Elizabeth II." Scicchitanoeven highlighted how "Kerik was planning to celebrate his first evening of freedom with his family and more than a dozen pals with a 'robust feast' of beef short ribs, shrimp scampi, fresh mozzarella, and brownies provided by Brownstone caterers, owned by Al Manzo and his wife Caroline of 'The Real Housewives of New Jersey.'"

Newsmax has long been an aggressive booster of Kerik, to the point of downplaying the corruption charges he faced and trying to build him into a credible spokesman on terror issues. That was rudely interrupted by Kerik's guilty plea, though that didn't stop Newsmax from portraying him as a victim.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:38 AM EDT
Joseph Farah Pretends WND Cares About The Truth
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Awww, how cute -- Joseph Farah uses his May 26 column to try to convince us that his WorldNetDaily cares about the truth:

It’s not about “fair and balanced.” It’s about seeking the truth.

The Internet lowered the cost of entry into the news game, and with it came other alternative media – like, the very first independent news-gathering organization to be formed specifically for the Internet.

We have been fearless seekers of the truth ever since – for more than 17 years. So I think I have more than a little knowledge in this area.

The WND team is a collection of journalistic refugees from the “mainstream media,” which abandoned their watchdog role and their mission to expose corruption, fraud, waste and abuse in government.

All of that is a bald-faced lie.

We've documented lie after lie after lie after lie at WND, some of those lies coming from Farah himself. WND and Farah have yet to correct or apologize for any of these.

If Farah and WND really cared about telling the truth, why do they tell so many lies?

And Farah's "journalistic refugees" are little more than right-wing hacks who could no longer handle telling the truth without fear or favor. For example, Bob Unruh may have once worked for the Associated Press, but the biased work he generates for WND fails even the AP's basic journalism standards. And since their boss is a documented liar, they certainly have no example to follow in telling the truth. Farah doesn't seem to understand that peddling lies about your political enemies does not equal being a "watchdog."

Indeed, Farah doesn't give a damn about the truth -- all he cares about is pushing his right-wing agenda and trying to destroy Obama. Funny thing is, all those lies he and his website have peddled in the pursuit of that agenda means nobody believes them anymore.

Posted by Terry K. at 7:54 AM EDT
Thursday, May 30, 2013
NewsBusters Crops Fox's Bolling, Portrays His Petulantly Hanging Up Mid-Interview As Noble
Topic: NewsBusters

Jack Coleman used a May 29 NewsBusters post to misleadingly portray Fox News' Eric Bolling as some kind of hero for petulantly hanging up on Geraldo Rivera's radio show after having his version of the Benghazi narrative challenged.

Coleman waves away Bolling's petulance by declaring, "Ever reach that point when you realize you're arguing with fools? Eric Bolling got there yesterday on Geraldo Rivera's radio show," and going on to portray Rivera as making an unreasonable, unfounded claim by saying that Bolling was portraying President Obama as a "damn murderer" because of the events in Benghazi.


But the audio clip accompanying Coleman's post chops off what transpired before Rivera accused Bolling of portraying the president as a "damn murderer," and Coleman makes no effort to explain. As the full clip posted at Mediaite reveals, Bolling did in fact claim that Obama and his administration deliberately "left four Americans to die":

BOLLING: For 237 years the motto, the U.S. Marine -- forget the Marines, the U.S. armed force motto is no one left behind, leave no one behind, leave no one under fire wanting or wondering if America was going to come back and help them. That’s what Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and the administration did on September 11 of 2012, they left four Americans to die because they said ‘Stand down! Don’t go help.’ And that is a problem.

Coleman also portrayed Bolling's assertion that the stand-down order cost American lives is accurate. But as Mediaite's Tommy Christopher pointed out, congressional testimony shows that the stand-down order came after the four Americans at the Benghazi compound were killed, so nobody was "left behind" as a result of it.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:06 PM EDT
WND Will Really Miss Michele Bachmann
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily is really, really going to miss Michele Bachmann.

Upon Bachmann's announcement that she will not seek re-election to her House seat, Garth Kant penned a May 29 tribute to Bachmann that's staggering in its monumental fealty. Much of it is a rehash of previous interviews Bachmann gave to WND -- indeed, Kant points out that "Bachmann has been a good friend of WND," which named her "woman of the year" last year.

Kant also accepts Bachmann's reasoning for leaving Congress -- that pending ethics investigations and the potential strength of a Democratic challenger in 2014 were not factors -- at face value. By contrast, actual political analysts pointed out that she was a weak candidate for whom scandals could not simply be written off with any degree of seriousness, winning her last election by just 4,296 votes in a solidly Republican district that Mitt Romney won by 15 percentage points. Further, Bachmann had already begun airing TV ads for her 2014 race prior to quitting.

Kant makes little effort whatsoever to quote anyone but Bachmann and his own bosses, WND's Joseph Farah and David Kupelian, slobbering all over her. The fact that Kant could not be moved to perform any actual journalism here is another sign of how badly Bachmann will be missed.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:55 PM EDT
Noel Sheppard: Some Actresses Are Too Pretty To Portray Hillary Clinton
Topic: NewsBusters

Are some actresses too beautiful to accurately portray Hillary Clinton in a film? Noel Sheppard thinks so.

Sheppard begins a May 26 NewsBusters post by asking, "When you see Hillary Clinton, do you think of Scarlett Johansson? Or Reese Witherspoon?" After noting that the two are being considered for the lead role in a biopic on Clinton's role in the Watergate hearings, Sheppard attaches photos of Johansson ("conceivably one of the most beautiful actresses in film today") and Witherspoon, followed by pictures of a young Clinton. Sheppard then sneers: "Oh yeah! And Brad Pitt's going to play me when my memoirs are published."

(Yeah, Sheppard really has no room to judge the beauty of others. Just look at the guy.) 

Sheppard concludes with a picture of another actress reportedly being considered for the role, Jessica Chastain, adding that it "isn't as far a stretch" and "I could see Chastain in the role" -- presumably because she isn't as conventionally beautiful as Johanssen or Witherspoon.

Sexism is still a thing at the Media Research Center -- remember that MRC staffers joined in Rush Limbaugh's three-day tirade of misogyny against Sandra Fluke, and MRC boss Brent Bozell offered only tepid criticism of Limbaugh's hate.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:08 PM EDT
NEW ARTICLE: David Kupelian's War On Obama
Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily's managing editor has no problem with peddling misleading claims and outright lies about the president if it forwards his anti-Obama agenda. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 8:18 AM EDT
Wednesday, May 29, 2013
MRC Gives Anti-Abortion Activist A Pass On Her History of Deception
Topic: Media Research Center

In a May 21 interview with anti-abortion activist Lila Rose, the Media Research Center's Katie Yoder lets Rose uncritically spout her anti-abortion rhetoric without asking her about her history of deceptive "stings" of abortion providers.

Rose's Live Action group has engaged in entrapment "stings" designed to slime abortion providers by manufacturing evidence that Planned Parenthood facilitates gender-based abortion -- despite the fact that it does not occur with any regularity in the United States, as the vast majority of abortions are performed before gender is detectable, and the gender birth ratio in America is close to even.

Rose's declared goal is to take down Planned Parenthood, and she's using lies and deception to do it -- really, just about everything short of violence, and even that may be in her future given how fanatical she is. Apparently, Yoder is OK with that.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:08 PM EDT
WND's Kinsolving Lies That Scouts Also Allows 'Coprophilia, Pedophilia, Bestiality'
Topic: WorldNetDaily

It wouldn't be Les Kinsolving if he wasn't being a vile homophobe, and he delivers in spades ion his May 27 WorldNetDaily column:

Something to offend everybody.

That is what 60 percent of 1,400 Boy Scouts of America did at their national meeting in Grapevine, Texas, on May 13.

This 60 percent actually approved a measure that said no youth may be denied membership in the Boy Scouts “on the basis of sexual orientation or preference alone.”

Can you believe this?

Believe it – and realize that this statement inevitably proclaims that the Boy Scouts will not reject any boy who has engaged in coprophilia, pedophilia, bestiality or any of the many other alternative sexual orientations.

Well, no, it doesn't, except in Kinsolving's twisted little brain. Not to mention the utter illogic of declaring an underage teen who has sex with another underage teen a "pedophile."

And how is that Kinsolving is so knowledgable on bestiality and coprophilia, anyway? He sure talks about it a lot.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:47 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, May 29, 2013 2:48 PM EDT
Newsmax-Trump Lovefest Watch
Topic: Newsmax

Ronald Kessler may be gone from Newsmax, but his dream of having Donald Trump as president lives on there.

Newsmax devotes an entire May 27 article by Audrey Hudson to how Trump "has spent $1 million for research to determine his political standing in specific states" as part of "testing the waters for a possible 2016 presidential run ."

Hudson makes sure to call Trump a "wildly successful business entrepreneur" and quote a Trump spokesman as saying that "what I would say is that he is exactly what this country needs.”

No mention, of course, of  Trump's rampant anti-Obama birtherism, or the fact that Trump burned Newsmax by bailing out on Republican presidential debate they planned to jointly host after most of the candidates refused to take part.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:59 AM EDT
Joseph Farah Is Claiming HOW MUCH As A Tax Deduction For Books?
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Joseph Farah has a hissy fit over the IRS in his May 27 WorldNetDaily column:

I’ve never been a tax protester, because I knew that because of my profile, the IRS would love to make an example of me. I’ve never tried to “cheat” the IRS out of a dime it claimed I owed. I decided long ago I would fight in the arena of public opinion rather than in a street fight with people better armed than I.

But I drew a line in the sand on the 2011 audit. I have refused to pay the money the IRS claims I owe. And I will continue to avoid paying it unless and until I am faced with jail or a firing squad. And here’s why …

Most of my deductions were for books I purchased as part of my professional work. Yes, I buy a lot of books. It’s just the nature of what I do as an author, as a speaker, as a commentator and as a journalist. I offered receipts for all of these purchases that included the dates each book was bought, the amount paid and the company (Amazon) I bought them from.

The one thing I omitted were the titles.

I didn’t think it was any of the IRS’ business what I read. I still don’t. But the IRS made it clear that without my providing this additional information, the deductions would be disallowed.

And that’s where the standoff remains today.

To me, it’s bad enough that the IRS has the power to see all my personal financial information. I just don’t think it legitimately has the power to force me to reveal what I read in the privacy of my own home. Does that make sense?

Unfortunately, it did not make sense to the politically motivated auditors at the IRS. Why should it? It was because of my opinions, my writings, my work as a publisher and author that I was targeted in the first place.

To me, it is a double outrage that I would be coerced by monetary penalty to reveal to the IRS the subject matter of what I read.

But, my personal plight just got even more complicated thanks to the Obama administration’s abuse of the IRS – and, I suspect, I am hardly alone given the growing list of victims.

Because of the revision of my 2009 return and the IRS claim that I owe an additional $8,000, the Virginia Department of Taxation just notified me that I owe my home state more, too.

Let's look at Farah's claim a little closer.

Because he could not deduct the cost of the books and other items he bought as a business expense, he says he was ordered to pay an additional $8,000 in federal taxes. Farah doesn't say how much, if any, of that is penalties, but just for the sake of argument let's say that half of it is. And since he said that "most" of those expenses were for books, let's say that three-fourths of it was for books.

That would mean $3,000 in taxes due. With an additional reasonable assumption that Farah is at least in the 25 percent tax bracket, that would mean Farah is claiming a whopping $12,000 in deductible book expenses in 2009. Did Farah really think that would not raise red flags at the IRS?

Given that, the IRS has a sound rationale for asking for the titles of the books Farah bought. After all, Farah might be trying to sneak some recreational reading in there to pad his deductions (fiction, crossword puzzles, etc.), or he may be buying multiple copies of a book he published or wrote for the sole purpose of goosing its sales numbers at Amazon. After all, he wouldn't have to purchase WND Books titles through Amazon since he owns the company and can presumably get them through other means.

It certainly looks like the IRS is acting reasonably by requesting the titles of the books Farah is claiming as business deductions. Given Farah's propensity for lying, there's no reason to take his word for anything.

(h/t reader L.C. for the theoretical numbers.)

Posted by Terry K. at 8:55 AM EDT
Tuesday, May 28, 2013
CNS Still Thinks Federal Money Spent on LGBT Issues Is A 'Waste'
Topic:'s unnatural obsession with the federal government spending money on LGBT issues continues with a May 23 article by Fred Lucas lamenting that "The National Institutes of Health issued a $536,526 grant to the University of Illinois, Chicago, for a two-year program ending in July to study the smoking cessation of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender population."

This reflects CNS' apparent view that any federal money spent on LGBT issues is a "waste."

Posted by Terry K. at 10:49 PM EDT

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