The latest effort is a Dec. 31 article by Sandy Fitzgerald that largely rehashes a New York Daily News item about how Kerik plans to sue his defense attorney for allegedly working with prosecutors to send him to prison. There are a couple token paragraphs noting the attorney's side of the story, but much of Fitzgerald's article is dedicated to supporting Kerik's claims.
In case Newsmax's intent wasn't clear, the b ottom of thet article links to a 2009 puff piece headlined "Bernie Kerik, The Trial of an American Hero." As we documented at the time, the article hides facts in order to portray Kerik as the victim of "overzealous federal prosecutors."
Jerome Corsi cranks up the luridness in a Jan. 1 WorldNetDaily article:
Atrocities by Syrian jihadist rebels have reached sensational new levels, according to a revered nun working with persecuted Christians and an explosive new video report.
Sister Hatune Dogan told WND in a Skype interview that members of the Syrian opposition are draining the blood of Christians they behead and selling vials to Islamic radicals for $100,000 a piece.
The Syrian Orthodox nun explained that the blood is used in a ritual washing of hands in the belief the act atones for sins and provides privileged access to heaven.
The Christians, she said, are beheaded in ceremonies in which they are forced to kneel, with their hands and feet bound, as the Muslim radicals read a death sentence imposed because the victim refuses to renounce Christianity and embrace Islam.
She detailed how the head of the victim is brutally severed with knives. The blood spurting from their necks is captured in basins and then bottled.
“The Muslims sever the necks and collect the blood in vessels to sell the blood. The Muslims believe that if they kill a Christian and wash their hands in the blood of the Christian, they will go to heaven,” she explained.
She said the sale of the Christian blood “is a big business.”
This being Corsi, he makes no apparent effort to fact-check Dogan's claims, which, given the luridness of the claims, he would want to. As Richard Bartholomew points out, there are many unanswered questions:
However, this story is so extraordinary it is reasonable to ask a few questions: who exactly is this man whom the nun met, and why has he not been punished for his confessed crimes? How has a “big business” trafficking bottles of Christian blood into Saudi Arabia managed to develop without any evidence coming to light? Also, while it’s of course possible that a terrorist financier might want to vicariously participate in a killing in this way, there’s no precedent for this “big business” in Islamic history, and Wahhabi fanatics reject religious practices that amount to “innovation”.
Another red flag is that the story is being promoted by anti-Muslim activist Walid Shoebat, who has his own credibility problems. Corsi notes that Shoebat is "accepting contributions" for the nun "through a foundation he created for Hatune, RescueChristians.org" -- but Bartholomew notes that Shoebat has not claimed credit for this foundation.
But hey, since when has a complete lack of veracity kept WND from publishing anything?
WND editor Joseph Farah, meanwhile, demonstrates his disregard for journalism by using his Jan. 1 column to not only swallow Dogan's story whole but also repeat another unsubstantiated claim by Shoebat, then turn it all into an attack on the president he hates so much: "It’s time for American Christians to get on their knees in repentance for what we have done. Our own sins are responsible for Obama."
Farah, of course, is responsible for WND's many journalistic sins, but we've never seen Farah on his knees repenting. He has no moral authority whatsoever to talk about this subject.
Noel Sheppard Is Just Asking: Did Obama Know Robin Roberts Was Secretly Gay? Topic: NewsBusters
Writing about ABC's Robin Roberts coming out as gay, Noel Sheppard goes out on a speculation limb in a Dec. 29 NewsBusters post:
According toThe Wrap, "Roberts’ sexuality had been known to her family, friends and co-workers for some time."
Makes you wonder if the President was also aware of this and that aided in his decision to give Roberts an exclusive interview in May 2012 wherein he famously flip-flopped on his position on gay marriage saying, "At a certain point, I've just concluded that - for me personally, it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that - I think same-sex couples should be able to get married."
Only someone like Sheppard -- employed by someone with an anti-gay agenda like the Media Research Center -- could turn someone's coming out into a conspiracy.
WND Unintentional Irony Watch, Continued Topic: WorldNetDaily
A couple weeks back, we wrote about how WorldNetDaily promoted a story about a news anchor who couldn't take a joke and sued a person who sent him an allegedly threatening tweet -- despite WND's own demonstrated inability to take a joke by suing Esquire magazine over a satirical blog post.
Well, WND has followed up -- and the unintentional irony is as thick as ever. Joe Kovacs picks up the story in a Dec. 25 WND article:
The weeks leading up to this Christmas have in no way been merry for Martin Pierro, the South Florida comic publisher who apparently freaked out his local CBS news anchor with an online joke the journalist perceived as a murderous threat.
The 41-year-old Lake Worth, Fla., man had been living in a virtual pressure cooker after he was arrested and charged with intimidation through a written threat to kill or injure WPEC anchorman John Discepolo, despite Pierro’s assertion he was merely clowning with the anchor about his ominous-sounding news teases.
But now, Pierro is having a happy holiday and can breathe easily into the new year as the criminal charges against him have just been dropped.
Hundreds of readers have been verbally hammering Discepolo for what they perceive to be his inability to take a joke.
“I don’t see the threat. He did not threaten anyone! The news guy is a wuss,” said Tracy Brock Ash.
“This reporter needs to have his estrogen levels checked. What a mangina!” exclaimed WND reader John Freeman. He reminds me of the jerk in class everybody hated in high school. Why don’t he take his ball and run home to mommy? Maybe she can kiss his boo boo and make it all better. What a jerk!”
“His wife should’ve married a man,” added Robert Ralph.
No word on whether Kovacs thinks his boss, Joseph Farah, and WND's loser attorney, Larry Klayman, are wusses or need to have their estrogen levels checked due to their inability to take a joke after WND's lawsuit against Esquire was tossed out of court.
MRC's Graham, Starr Still Upset Over 2010 Gay-Themed Art Exhibit Topic: Media Research Center
Media Research Center director of media analysis Tim Graham has spent years keeping his employees obsessed over the "macaca" remark that help to sink George Allen's campaign for a Virginia Senate seat in 2006. So he clearly has experience nursing a grudge.
That tendency appears again in a Dec. 29 NewsBusters post by Graham:
In the Arts section of Sunday’s Washington Post, they celebrated the appointment of curator David Ward as the senior historian of the National Portrait Gallery. Why does it matter? Ward was a central figure in the controversial 2010 exhibit “Hide/Seek,” which contained a defamatory video of Jesus crucified being crawled on by ants.
As a libertine leftist, Ward hated it when complaints from top Republicans caused the gallery bosses at the time to "cave" and remove the Jesus-trashing piece, as did liberal journalists. So the headline on Sunday honored Ward as “A historian with an eye on the future.” The caption under his picture promised Ward “is not afraid to present history in new ways.”
Notice how Post reporter Katherine Boyle – not on staff during the 2010 controversy – completely elides exactly what was controversial about the exhibit – no mention of Jesus or ants crawling on his dead body – and like most reporters, ignores how the story broke, in a eye-popping report with pictures by Penny Starr of our own CNSNews.com.
Why disturb the Post subscriber on Sunday by describing how Christians were mocked with their own money?
As we documented at the time, this was a completely manufactured controversy -- Starr, and by extension Graham and their boss, Brent Bozell, were simply upset that a gay-themed art exhibit and wanted to exploit the exhibit in order to engage in a little homophobia and rile up their right-wing base.
Graham botches a few facts in his rant, though. First, it seems that Graham is unable to differentiate fact from fiction by suggesting that the video showed the actual Jesus with ants crawling on his "dead body." In fact, the ants were crawling on a plastic crucifix. We grew up Catholic, but we don't recall transubstantiation applying to crucifixes.
Second, Graham's description of the video as "Jesus-trashing" and "defamatory" conveniently ignores the intent of the artist, David Wojnarowicz, and the context of the time of its creation. As we pointed out the last time Graham did this, the image is a reflection of Wojnarowicz's personal and religious themes as someone who grew up Catholic and was a victim of AIDS at a time when that diagnosis was essentially a death sentence.
Third, Graham's claim that "Christians were mocked with their own money" ignores the fact that the exhibit in which the video appeared was privately funded.
Starr made her own contribution to reviving the homophobic attacks in a Dec. 31 CNS article in which she ignores the fact that the exhibit was privately funded and waits until the 24th paragraph of her 28-paragraph article to mention the artist's intent. Biased much?
WND: Crazy Birther General Is Just Like George Washington Topic: WorldNetDaily
Drew Zahn does some heavy-duty slobbering in a Dec. 29 WorldNetDaily article:
In 1775, an American people preparing to fight for their freedom turned to a retired military officer to lead them.
For more than 15 years, Col. George Washington had been retired to farm the Virginia countryside, until Boston patriots waged their famous tea party and the Battles of Lexington and Concord erupted. Washington, the former fighter of the French and Indian War, determined he could remain on the sidelines no longer.
When Col. Washington (ret.) showed up shortly thereafter at the Second Continental Congress in his dusted-off uniform, the spirit of the American Revolution had at last found a man it could follow.
Today, as the tea party rages again in cities across the U.S., a retired American military commander is drawing attention to a new crop of George Washingtons already leading the charge for freedom.
As WND reported, Maj. Gen. Paul E. Vallely declared it’s time for millions of Americans to “stand up” to a federal government that is “conducting treason … violating the Constitution, violating our laws.” He’s calling for marches, a legislative vote of “no confidence” in President Obama and congressional leaders, even citizen arrests – drawing inspiration from the 33 million Egyptians who stood up to their government and removed Muslim Brotherhood officials from office.
Now Vallely tells WND the radio interview in which he called for a new American uprising has struck a note with the millions of modern tea partiers who are looking for unifying leadership.
That's right -- Zahn is portraying Vallely as George Washington. Needless to say, Zahn doesn't mention that Vallely is a rabid birther who shouldn't be trusted with anything, let alone the military coup he's planning. And Vallely is planning one:
“It’s fallen upon senior, retired military to take stands against the overreach and tyranny of a corrupt government,” Vallely said. “I think for people, they respect what the military has gone through. Senior military guys are very well educated, they’ve gone to the right schools, gone to combat for the most part, have had to manage enormous budgets, were involved in major financial decisions and are heavily steeped in foreign policy and national security.
“No other group, no CEO that has that kind of background,” he said. “Obviously our politicians don’t have that background. They have legislation experience, not leadership experience.”
Zahn also writes:
Vallely pointed to the work of the Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi – which included Vallely, Navy SEAL Capt. Larry Bailey (ret.), Admiral James Lyons (ret.), former Congressman and retired Army Lieutenant Colonel Allen West and several other retired military officers – as evidence that the missing leadership may once again be rising from the same place it did in 1775: from the ranks of those who have served our nation in combat.
As we've noted, Vallely is just one of several birthers and Obama-haters on Accuracy in Media's little kangaroo court on Benghazi, which has provided no evidence thus far that it will do anything other than push right-wing talking points on Benghazi.
MRC Unhappy That MSNBC's Hayes Told The Truth About the 'Knockout Game' Topic: WorldNetDaily
Brad Wilmouth complains in a Dec. 26 Media Research Center item:
On Monday's All In with Chris Hayes, host Hayes for a second time griped over Fox News giving attention to reports of primarily black teens playing a "knockout game" in which they target white victims for violence, suggesting that the game does not really exist.
As he awarded his choice for the "over-covered" and "under-covered" news stories for the year, Hayes began: "Over-covered is the Fox News/Drudge obsession with the so-called 'Knockout Game,' which this is a flavor of what that, and this has been on Fox all the time."
After playing several clips from various FNC shows, the MSNBC host added: "You get a sense of the racial politics and subtext, or not even subtext, text of that."
Wilmouth also huffed that Hayes "tried to discredit the existence of the 'Knockout Game'" ... by citing the New York City police chief.
At no point, however, does Wilmouth bother to prove Hayes wrong. Colin Flaherty's race-baiting aside, there is no evidence that the "knockout game" exists as a growing trend.
If Wilmouth couldn't prove Hayes wrong, what was the point of his attacking Hayes for reporting something that was apparently true?
Still, Wilmouth doubled down in a Dec. 31 post in which he complained that "MSNBC contributor Joy Reid asserted that the 'Knockout Game' was the 'most overrated story of the year,' as she complained that conservatives 'went absolutely ballistic' and 'wanted[ed] to stoke issues of race.'" Again, Wilmouth can't be bothered to disprove the claim -- he's simply upset the truth was told.
Jerome Corsi's 'Exclusive' Is Two Weeks Old Topic: WorldNetDaily
Jerome Corsi writes in a Dec. 30 WorldNetDaily article, carrying the "WND Exclusive" kicker:
In a move certain to shake up the world of conservative media, Salem Communications, one of the nation’s leading conservative and Christian radio-broadcasting networks, is completing a bid to acquire Washington-based Eagle Publishing, which owns one of the nation’s oldest conservative book publishers, Regnery Publishing, reliable insiders have confirmed to WND.
The acquisition would expand the reach of the Salem Radio Network – currently syndicating talk, news and music programing to some 2,400 affiliates nationwide – to book publishing along with a wide-ranged of Internet newspapers, newsletters and sites featuring leading columnists and commentators.
Just one problem: There's nothing "exclusive" about this story. Buzzfeed reported Salem's purchase of Eagle Publishing on Dec. 13 -- more than two weeks ago.
Noel Sheppard Thinks Spooning Is A 'Sexual Position' Topic: NewsBusters
Noel Sheppard cranked up his outrage machine to rant in a Dec. 29 NewsBusters post:
On Sunday's Reliable Sources, vulgar comedienne Kathy Griffin - who will once again be co-hosting CNN's New Year's Eve special this year despite kissing Anderson Cooper's crotch on air last year! - actually asked new host Brian Stelter, "Have you ever spooned with Candy Crowley?...You might get a better time slot[.]"
Sheppard then adds: "For those unfamiliar, 'spooning' is a sexual position."
Well, not so much. As Talking Points Memo points out, spooning is more a form of cuddling.
Undaunted by his manufactured outrage and resulting stupidity, Sheppard tries to double down in a update to his post:
Update: There's been a lot of discussion about the term "spooning" and whether it's actually a sexual position. Some have claimed it's a term for cuddling. In reality, it's both.
In this instance, would the vulgar Griffin have asked Stelter if he's ever cuddled with Crowley? Consider that she followed her question up with, "You might get a better time slot."
Think about it: Have you ever heard of anyone cuddling their way to the top?
Notice that Sheppard doesn't acknowledge where this "discussion" is coming from -- likely because its happening mainly on liberal blogs that are ridiculing him.
WND Just Can't Stop Obsessing Over (Female) Teacher-Student Sex Topic: WorldNetDaily
It's been a while since we've seen WorldNetDaily indulge in its creepy obsession with female teachers (never the male ones) who have sex with students. But Joe Kovacs delivers the filthy goods in a Dec. 24 WND article:
A Pennsylvania English teacher is charged institutional sexual assault for allegedly having sex five times in the past week with an 18-year-old male student.
Lauren Harrington-Cooper, 31, from Plymouth, Pa., is an instructor at Wyoming Valley West High School.
She’s accused of performing oral sex on the senior three times and having intercourse with him twice.
A probable-cause affidavit indicates the sister of the alleged victim told her brother that Harrington-Cooper said he was “hot” on Dec. 13. The sister subsequently gave him the teacher’s phone number.
Kovacs also reminds us of his employer's obsession by including a link to "The big list: Female teachers with students." He doesn't explain why WND cares so much about the sexual peccadilloes of female teachers while similar offenses by male teachers are apparently OK.
WND's Unruh Throws Abused Child Under the Bus to Protect Homeschooling Topic: WorldNetDaily
In 2008, WorldNetDaily defended abusive homeschooling parents. Now it's pretending that abusive homeschooling parents aren't real homeschoolers.
A Dec. 17 WND article by Bob Unruh is dedicated to fearmongering about a proposed Ohio law that would require parents or legal guardians seeking to remove children from public schools to go through background checks, have interviews conducted in their homes, and to allow their children to be interviewed separately in an effort to make sure the children are being protected from abuse. The law is motivated by a case in which a teenager named Teddy Foltz-Tedesco was beaten to death by a man who was dating his mother; the boy had been withdrawn from school by his mother, who claimed that she was going to homeschool him but instead was apparently trying to cover up evidence of abuse.
As we've come to expect from Unruh, he can't be bothered to contact any supporters of the proposed law for their views. Instead, he gives copious amounts of space to the Home School Legal Defense Association -- which Unruh lavishly calls "the world’s premiere homeschool advocacy organization" -- to attack the law and insist that Teddy Foltz-Tedesco is not representative of homeschoolers:
HSLDA argued the tragic case was not about homeschooling, noting the abuse began while the boy was in public school.
“HSLDA condemns child abuse and is saddened by Teddy’s death,” the organization said in a statement. “HSLDA supports the prosecution of child abusers like Bush and the improvement of systems that prevent child abuse. However, this proposed law does not actually address the problems that led to Teddy’s death and instead unfairly targets homeschooling.”
HSLDA said the 14-year-old had been abused for years, and after teachers reported the abuse to authorities, the mother withdrew the boy from public school to homeschool him.
Neighbors, friends, family, police, teachers and others all knew Teddy was being abused, HSLDA said.
“Finally, Bush beat Teddy so severely that he later died of his injuries. Bush and Teddy’s mother now are in prison,” the group said.
“Teddy Foltz-Tedesco was killed because those responsible for protecting him did not step in as the law or common sense would have dictated. Why?” HSLDA said in a statement. “Although news reports indicate that abuse had been reported for years prior to Teddy’s death, it does not appear that any serious intervention was made by government authorities charged with investigating such allegations.
“Why was not enough done to protect Teddy from known abuse?”
Subjecting hardworking parents who want to invest their time and money in their own children’s education is not the way to address such problems, HSLDA argued.
Of course, the proposed law is not aimed at impeding homeschooling -- it's aimed at exposing child abuse. The triggering factor is not a desire to homeschool; it's the withdrawal of a child from public school.
Given that there is some evidence of abuse in homeschooling families, you'd think that the HSLDA would want to be more proactive. Instead, the HSLDA tries to downplay it, insisting that "evidence suggests that abuse in homeschooling families is rarer than in the general population" and not addressing the issue of families using homeschooling to hide abuse.
Indeed, in the 2008 case referenced above in which WND defended abusive homeschooling parents, the HSLDA was much more concerned that the case would result in an overbroad ruling against homeschooling in general than about the welfare of the children. One HSLDA press release declared that the case was "a Juvenile Court case on allegations of abuse or neglect, which originally had nothing to do with homeschooling."
But Unruh doesn't want to write about that -- as a homeschooler himself (an apparent requirement for working at WND), he's too busy defending homeschooling from alleged threats that he doesn't care who gets hurt by his knee-jerk behavior and his shoddy, biased writing.
Obama Derangement Syndrome Watch, Erik Rush Edition Topic: WorldNetDaily
When are we going to stop pretending that the individual representing himself as Barack Hussein Obama and currently holding the office of president of the United States is anything other than a foreign-backed, Marxist operative and Islamist whose objectives include the effective destruction of America as we know it?
As I advised my streaming show audience this week, I – or anyone else, for that matter – could crack the façade concerning our president’s motives in seconds on any one of the national television news shows on which I’ve appeared by asking one simple question:
"Why is it that everything – everything – Obama has done has had a detrimental effect on America?” Enumerating them and clarifying said motives would, of course, be child’s play.
The Newsmax-Trump Love Affair Continues Topic: Newsmax
You'd think that Newsmax -- after trying to pave the way for a Donald Trump presidential run in 2012, only to get jilted after a proposed Republican presidential debate to be hosted by Trump and Newsmax ended with Trump backing out after most of the other candidates refused to take part -- would have given up on Trump by now.
You'd be wrong. Cathy Burke promotes Trump's latest political whim in a Dec. 26 Newsmax article:
Donald Trump is reportedly getting encouragement to run against incumbent Democrat Gov. Andrew Cuomo from Republican state lawmakers and Conservative Party leaders.
"We believe we moved him from a soft no to a firm maybe," strategist Michael Caputo told New York Post columnist Andrea Peyser.
In her column Tuesday, Peyser wrote state GOP chairman Ed Cox praised "The Apprentice" creator and billionaire real estate developer for his "smart political mind" after a Dec. 13 meeting.
And three days later, Conservative Party Chairman Michael Long told the Post, "Mr. Trump would give [current Gov.] Andrew Cuomo heartburn," she noted.
Peyser wrote Trump is due to meet with other local lawmakers in January — and he has already said he'll make a decision in January about whether to run.
But he's already ounding more than ready for the political fray.
"If I ran and won, this state would become so rich, our taxes would come down, people would come back, our health care would be taken care of at the highest level," he told Peyser. "Our infrastructure would be rebuilt."
Burke does note that Trump "flirted with, and then quickly ditched, a presidential run in 2012 — and has popped up on lists of 2016 GOP contenders ," but she made no mention of Newsmax's role in promoting that 2012 run.
WND Names Good Buddy Limbaugh As Its 'Person of the Year' Topic: WorldNetDaily
Joe Kovacs couldn't possibly be more sycophantic as he uses a Dec. 22 WorldNetDaily article to announce that Rush Limbaugh is WND's "Person of the Year":
On any given weekday, the 62-year-old man sits in a chair in a South Florida radio studio, surrounded by computer monitors displaying news sites such as the Drudge Report.
He has a “stack of stuff,” which is merely a pile of printed-out news reports about events and issues he wishes to talk about, beginning at six minutes past noon, Eastern Time.
As the musical introduction of his show begins, the opening drum and guitar combination from the Pretenders’ classic “My City Was Gone” pounds out a classic 1980s bass riff which, save for a Cochlear implant, the host would not be able to hear since losing his natural auditory sense years ago.
He then switches on the in-studio video known as the Dittocam and leans into a golden-colored microphone to address the largest radio audience in America, an estimated 15 to 20 million people each week.
And though he tells you what is happening in the news as well as what to think about it from the right side of the U.S. political spectrum with half his brain tied behind his back just to make it fair, none of this has anything to do with why Rush Limbaugh has been named WND’s 2013 Person of the Year.
To put it simply, 2013 is a history-making year for the broadcast giant. Perhaps another, more accurate, way to phrase that is 2013 is a history-celebrating year for Rush.
The radio raconteur who goes by a variety of nicknames including the “doctor of democracy,” “America’s truth detector,” and “harmless, lovable little fuzzball,” has accomplished something that could have a massive and positive ripple effect on generations of future Americans.
In the style of “Twilight Zone” creator Rod Serling, Limbaugh has commenced a fascinating journey through time to accurately dramatize the founding of the United States for the nation’s children and stop, as he puts it, “the bastardization of American history as taught throughout America today.”
Kovacs is hardly objective -- he's a Rush fanboy who's been turning Limbaugh rants into WND "news" articles for years.
And Kovacs isn't going to tell you that the head of the "news" organization making the award to Limbaugh, Joseph Farah, considers himself a friend of Limbaugh's and co-wrote a book with him.
That would seem to make WND's award an exercise in logrolling rather than any sort of genuine honor (as much as an award from WND can be considered an honor, anyway).
We've detailed how CNSNews.com is transcribing Mark Levin radio segments without disclosing the fact that CNS' parent, the Media Research Center, has a business relationship with Levin that includes Levin promoting the MRC on his radio show and CNS promoting Levin's logrolling blurbs.
Well, CNS' James Beattie is still at it. Over the past month, he's played dutiful stenographer for Levin on these posts: