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Wednesday, November 7, 2007
WND Ignores Willey's Lack of Credibility
Topic: WorldNetDaily

As part of its bid to solidify its position as the leading Clinton-hating news organization on the Web, WorldNetDaily has been promoting the new book by discredited Kathleen Willey, best known for claiming that President Clinton groped her. But in none of its main reporting thus far related to Willey's book -- articles on Sept. 5, Nov. 5 and Nov. 7 -- has WND noted Willey's history of false and contradictory testimony.

As Media Matters details, the Nov. 5 article by Art Moore (best known around these parts for his virtual fellating -- and efforts to hide the criminal record -- of Peter Paul) reports that Willey claims that she "[m]ost definitely" suspects that her husband was murdered and that she "ha[s] suspicions" the Clintons were involved. In suggesting parallels between the deaths of Foster and her husband, Willey repeats the false claim advanced by then-Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reporter Christopher Ruddy -- now of Newsmax, last seen trying to distance himself from his history of Clinton-hating -- that Foster was left-handed, while the gun was found in his right hand. Willey refers in the book to "the left-handed Vince Foster," but Moore doesn't note that Ruddy has acknowledged that the claim that Foster was left-handed was a "factual error."

Moore also doesn't tell his readers that the report from independent counsel Robert Ray found that "Willey's Testimony to the Grand Jury About the Alleged Incident Differed Materially from Her Deposition Testimony Given in Jones v. Clinton," noting that Willey "said at her deposition ... that [Clinton] did not fondle her." Ray also found that Willey contradicted herself on whether she had told others about the alleged incident, and asserted that Willey gave false information to the FBI. All of this casts a pall over any claim Willey makes.

WND editor Joseph Farah once claimed that "everything" WND has covered has been "fair, honest, truthful, balanced and accurate." Wouldn't a news organization genuinely committed to being "fair, honest, truthful, balanced and accurate" -- as opposed to pushing a one-sided agenda -- have told its readers the full story of Kathleen Willey?

Posted by Terry K. at 9:30 AM EST
Updated: Wednesday, November 7, 2007 12:37 PM EST
WND Attacks Editor's Own 'Fatcat' Home County
Topic: WorldNetDaily

A Nov. 4 WorldNetDaily article states that because of "high-paying government jobs and billions in defense and homeland security contracts" -- which  the article attacks as "Beltway bandits" -- "11 of the 25 wealthiest counties in America – including the Top 3 – are now in the Washington area." At the top of the list is "Fairfax County, Va., which last year topped $100,000 in median household income – the first U.S. county to do so – thanks to Uncle Sam awarding employers there an astonishing $13 billion in new federal contracts."

Unmentioned is the fact that WND editor Joseph Farah lives in Centreville, Va., which is located in ... Fairfax County. And we would be shocked if he wasn't beating the average county income.

(What is it about the ConWeb and high-rent areas? In addition to Farah's "fatcat" Fairfax County lifestyle, NewsMax and Christopher Ruddy are kickin' it in West Palm Beach.)

The article serves up a muddled message. It's eager to tsk-tsk that "Virginia, Maryland and D.C. grabbed a whopping 40% of the total $10.2 billion in contracts DHS awarded that year" -- a misleadingly worded claim, since it's actually companies located in those jurisdictions and not the jurisdiction itself that receives that money. Underlying all of this is the unspoken suggestion that companies who seek government business shouldn't be located near the seat of federal government -- a strange thing to suggest.

Again, the poster child for this is Farah. When he moved from Oregon to Washington in 2002, he stated his reason for doing so: "Now, as our business grows, we feel the time is right to become more visible – to take advantage of the opportunities to appear on television, to network with other like-minded colleagues, to make travel more feasible." 

In other words, he's no different from the companies seeking government contracts who have located in the Washington area to take advantage of opportunities, to network with other like-minded colleagues, to make travel more feasible. We thought that was a good thing for Americans to aspire to do.

If it's good enough for Farah, why isn't it good enough for the so-called "Beltway bandits"?

Posted by Terry K. at 12:55 AM EST
Updated: Wednesday, November 7, 2007 12:59 AM EST
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
Massie Cites Discredited Book as Evidence of Voter Fraud
Topic: WorldNetDaily

In his Nov. 6 WorldNetDaily column arguing in favor of a law requiring photo IDs to vote in federal elections, Mychal Massie repeated cites John Fund's 2004 book "Stealing Elections" as evidence that Democrats have "has a long and distinguished history of" voter fraud.

But as Media Matters points out, Fund's book uses distortions and half-truths to impugn Democrats and distort events in the 2000 presidential election in Florida, as well as other cases in which he described alleged fraud that was never proven in a court of law (and, in one case, dismissed as "flat-out false" by a Republican state attorney general).

Massie also opens up his thesaurus again, calling an effort to oppose voter ID laws "nothing more than a transpicuous attempt to abrogate voting regulations by a radical liberal of the Democrat Party." Sadly, he doesn't trot out "Erebusic" this time.

Posted by Terry K. at 4:57 PM EST
Updated: Wednesday, November 7, 2007 1:19 AM EST
MRC-Fox News Appearance Watch
Topic: Media Research Center
A Nov. 5 appearance by the Business & Media Institute's Dan Gainor on the Fox Business channel appears to follow part of the template for MRC appearances on Fox News and Fox Business by not identifying Gainor or BMI as conservative (only the first part of the interview is posted). Gainor did, however, appear opposite a liberal counterpart, a relative rarity for MRC appearances on Fox.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:20 PM EST
Meanwhile ...
Topic: NewsBusters

Sadly, No! tells the story of how P.J. Gladnick, NewsBusters poster and operator of the DUmmie FUnnies blog (NewsBusters is currently encouraging its readers to vote for DUmmie FUnnies for "funniest blog" in the Weblog Awards) took part in an orchestrated campaign to interfere with fundraising for a liberal activist who was dying of cancer.

Is this more or less shameful than NewsBusters' association with terrorist sympathizer Cinnamon Stillwell? We report, you decide.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:05 PM EST
'Medicine Men' Promote Questionable Abortion-Breast Cancer Study
Topic: Newsmax

A Nov. 5 Newsmax "Medicine Men" column by Michael Arnold Glueck and Robert J. Cihak touts "[a]n article in the fall issue of the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons by actuary Patrick Carroll" that "shows that induced abortion, especially nulliparous abortion, is the reproductive risk factor that most accurately predicts breast cancer incidence."

But as we reported, the group behind the study has a murky background, the study itself was commissioned by two British anti-abortion groups, and the study was published in a conservative journal, the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons, that has a bad habit of putting its politics ahead of sound research -- most notoriously, publishing a 2003 anti-immigrant screed by Madeleine Cosman that got statistics wrong to play up a purported resurgence of leprosy (which puts the JAPS' purported peer review process into question).

As we've also noted, the JAPS is published by the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, a conservative group of which Glueck is a member and Cihak is a former president.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:13 AM EST
Farah's Double Standard on Secret Societies
Topic: WorldNetDaily

A Nov. 1 WorldNetDaily article promoted a new book that claims "every person elected as president of the United States since [1952] – and nearly every opponent – has belonged to a secretive, globalism-oriented organization known as the Council on Foreign Relations." The book suggests that the CFR and other groups such as the Bilderberg Group and the Trilateral Commission are "secret societies shaping a new world order from behind the scenes."

In a Nov. 3 follow-up column, Joseph Farah writes that Hillary Clinton is a member of CFR, adding:

Now, I'm about to let you in on a little secret. I want you to remember where you heard it: If you see Ralph Nader in the race, the insider establishment at the Council on Foreign Relations, Bilderbergers and Trilateral Commission has decided against Hillary. If you don't see him in the race, she has been anointed and blessed with their support.

How do I know this? Why do I say it?

Because the dirty little secret is that Ralph Nader gets much of his financial support from the Rockefeller cartel that runs these secret establishment power clubs – organizations dedicated to breaking down national sovereignty and moving us down the slippery slope toward world government.

What Farah doesn't mention is that he belongs to his own secret club that wants to pick its own presidential candidate. As we've reported, Farah belongs to the Council for National Policy, a secretive right-wing group that, most recently, barred all media except friendly ones -- like WND -- from covering a meeting in Salt Lake City. Indeed, WND was the only news outlet to report from that CNP meeting that that evangelicals are threatening to bolt the Republican Party if Rudy Giuliani is the presidential nominee.

It appears that in reality, Farah is not opposed to secret societies picking the president -- as long as it's the secret society he belongs to. 

Posted by Terry K. at 12:52 AM EST
Monday, November 5, 2007
Tim Graham, Arts Critic
Topic: NewsBusters

The MRC's Tim Graham has a bad habit of ascribing political motives to arts reviewers, claiming that the only reason they would praise a liberal-themed production is because they agree with the message, or would pan a conservative-themed production only because they disagree with the message. For instance, we've noted that Graham has criticized reviewers who like the radical rap group the Coup, suggesting that the only reason any reviewer would give the group top ratings is out of sympathy with its left-wing politics.

Graham serves up more arts criticism -- and criticism of the critics -- in two recent posts. In an Oct. 26 post, Graham complained that Washington Post reviewer Desson Thompson gave the film "Bella" -- being touted in conservative circles for, in the words of the MRC's Brent Bozell, being about a woman who considers abortion but "decides to carry her baby to term" -- "was picked to pieces as a cheesy bore" and "panned as an 'endless' fiasco," suggesting this was solely because the film is "vaguely pro-life." By contrast, Graham asserted, Post reviewer Stephen Hunger was "boosting the liberal documentary 'For the Bible Tells Me So' as not only moving but superbly thought out," adding, "Perhaps this is Hunter's way of strolling away from the office heat over his Michael Moore bashing" -- a reference to Hunter's negative review (as praised by Graham) of Moore's film "Sicko."

But doesn't Hunter's negative review of "Sicko" indicate that, in fact, he's driven by the quality of the film, not the message? And isn't Graham a bit too obsessed with a film's political message to give an honest review of a film's overall quality? Indeed, Graham continues: "But couldn't Thomson's criticism be applied to the gay film? Christian families in a liberal film struggle with a gay family member, and they all reconcile and agree the Bible's outdated. Where is the surprise, the dramatic tension in that?" He then praises the New York Times for "pann[ing] the film's artlessness, even as it endorsed its identity politics."

Graham did claim that "it's important that newspaper film critics review a movie first as a work of art, and then perhaps assess the political or cultural or moral messages within" -- which suggests he has a basic understanding of the role of the critic -- but then claimed that the reviewers' reactions to "Bella" and "For the Bible Tells Me So" "seemed to be based strongly on political criteria." Yet Graham offers no evidence to support this claim or to contradict anything Thompson and Hunter stated in their reviews.

Meanwhile, in a Nov. 5 post, Graham suggested that anyone who liked NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams' appearance on "Saturday Night Live" was a member of the media elite (read: liberal media). While Graham's own somewhat tepid assessment of Williams was "solid, not hilarious," TV critics "swoon[ed]" and were "chummy."

Again, Graham seems to be projecting his own personal opinions before a genuine artistic assessment. In a July 21 post, Graham mocked Williams as a "pompous snob" after Williams criticized bloggers as "a guy named Vinny in an efficiency apartment in the Bronx who hasn’t left the efficiency apartment in two years." Graham likened Williams to a "snobbish, pompous jerk who thinks he's bringing the gift of his enlightenment to all the rubes in their efficiency apartments."

Posted by Terry K. at 4:54 PM EST
Updated: Monday, November 5, 2007 5:25 PM EST
Meanwhile ...
Topic: NewsBusters
Think Progress and Swampland's Ana Marie Cox give Warner Todd Huston's massive NewsBusters diatribe against the new Eagles album the attention it deserves: Cox suggests that Huston's rant is "the product of some kind of meth-and-Doritos rage binge."

Posted by Terry K. at 1:46 PM EST
Horowitz Site Falsely Attacks Illegal Immigrants
Topic: Horowitz

An item on the Horowitz-operated Discover the Networks site -- under the headline "ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION: COSTS, CRIMES, AND THE PROBLEMS IT CREATES" -- selectively quotes from a Nov. 4 WorldNetDaily article on numerous workers at a chicken processing plant in Alabama. DTN clips the following statements from the WND article:

“… Both employees with active TB are Hispanics born in countries where the disease is prevalent, heath officials said.

“… Accompanied by the rise in illegal immigration, tuberculosis is making a comeback in the U.S., often eluding diagnosis by doctors who are unfamiliar with the disease.”

The item goes on to direct readers to "learn more about the many financial, medical, and social costs associated with illegal immigration."

But "illegal immigration" is not an issue here. Nowhere does DTN note, as the WND article did (albeit buried), that according to a spokesman for the plant, "despite the large number of foreign-born Hispanic employees working at the Decatur facility, all have been verified as legally working in the U.S." This undermines DTN's assertion that illegal immigration is responsible for the TB outbreak.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:36 PM EST
Sheppard Promotes Another Dubious Denier
Topic: NewsBusters

In an Nov. 4 NewsBusters post, Noel Sheppard touts a lecture by "Australian research professor Bob Carter," who purportedly "debunk[s] the hysterical claims regularly espoused by warm-mongers."

Where have we heard that name before? Ah, yes -- Carter was the source for the unsupported and misleading claim by Rep. James Inhofe's flack, Marc Morano, that $50 billion has been spent "on research into global warming since 1990." Sheppard, of course, enthusiastically promoted Morano's load of hooey.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:16 AM EST
The (Newsmax) Clinton-Hater Is Dead, Long Live the (WND) Clinton-Hater
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Is Joseph Farah auditioning for lead Clinton-hater?

A Nov. 3 WND article suggests yes. The unbylined article states that -- as reported first here and elsewhere -- Richard Mellon Scaife "joined the anti-war movement, directing his newspaper in July to call for an immediate withdrawal from Iraq, and watching another of his media prizes,, embrace Clinton with a surprisingly friendly interview about his new book, 'Giving: How Each of Us Can Change the World.'" The article went on to claim, "It is nearly impossible to overstate the antagonism that existed between Scaife and Clinton throughout the 1990s," adding that "Everywhere the Clintons looked, they saw Dick Scaife's hand at work," including "funding Joseph Farah's Western Journalism Center before he founded WorldNetDaily." Left unmentioned is that the $330,000 Scaife gave to Farah and his WJC in the mid-'90s went in large part to publicizing the work of Christopher Ruddy -- then with Scaife's Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, now running the Scaife-funded Newsmax -- attacking Clinton over the death of Vince Foster.

The WND article added as an apparent minor dig at its rival:

Scaife's NewsMax, a popular and once enthusiastically pro-Republican news website co-owned with Christopher Ruddy, who famously investigated the mysterious death of Clinton's deputy White House counsel Vincent Foster and the strange death of Commerce Secretary Ron Brown, also began attacking the war in Iraq following Scaife's personal metamorphosis.

WND and Newsmax barely acknowledge each other's existence but will engage in passive-aggressive exchanges -- WND sniping at Newsmax, Newsmax poaching a WND writer. Perhaps Farah and WND see an opening here: While Ruddy and Newsmax seem to be grasping for mainstream media credibility, Farah and WND clearly have no such desire (especially on the credibility part) and appear to be all too eager to step in and be the ConWeb's leading Clinton-haters.

Indeed, we're seeing it already. An Oct. 31 Farah column promoted a series of out-of-context quotes by Hillary Clinton as "100 percent right," adding, "As you're watching Freddy Krueger movies tonight or answering the doorbell for the little ghouls and goblins, consider how close America is to turning over the reins of power to a real monster." And Farah's Nov. 3 column ridiculed the "approximately 49 percent of Americans [who] are ready to gulp the Kool-Aid and vote for Hillary Rodham Clinton to be the next president," calling them "automatons" who have been "intentionally dumbed down."

So you see, even with Ruddy and Scaife realizing they have better things to do with their lives then mounting vitriolic smear campaigns, there's still plenty of Clinton-hate around (even if Newsmax still has plenty of writers who don't agree). And it appears Farah wants WND to serve as its new leading vessel.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:29 AM EST
Updated: Monday, November 5, 2007 1:33 AM EST
Sunday, November 4, 2007
Jeffrey Misleads on Waterboarding

Doing his part to forward the contradictory conservative talking point that waterboarding is effective yet doesn't the person being waterboarded, in an appearance on the Nov. 1 edition of CNN's "The Situation Room," editor-in-chief Terry Jeffrey said:

JEFFREY: Brian Ross of ABC News reported that Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the mastermind of the 9-11 attacks, was broken by our CIA after he was waterboarded, and he, in fact, revealed ongoing Al Qaeda plots against the United States. If the Democrats in the Senate want to ban the procedure by which we got vital information out of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, Harry Reid ought to put up a bill right now that says, "Waterboarding is forbidden. What we did to Khalid Shaikh Mohammed may not be done again." 

That's not quite what Ross reported. According to Media Matters, on the Nov. 18, 2005, edition of ABC's "World News Tonight," Ross said that "CIA officers say 9-11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed lasted the longest under waterboarding, two and a half minutes, before beginning to talk, with debatable results." And author Ron Suskind adds that what U.S. interrogators got out of Mohammed after waterboarding were "things that professional interrogators say could have been gotten otherwise."

UPDATE: As we've noted, Jeffrey previously tried to downplay the torture aspects of waterboarding in an Oct. 10 column

Posted by Terry K. at 10:06 PM EST
Updated: Monday, November 5, 2007 11:55 PM EST
NewsBusters Nonsense
Topic: NewsBusters

-- Justin McCarthy thinks Bernard Goldberg is a credible person to talk about media bias. He's not.

-- Tim Graham parrots Sally Bedell Smith's claim that the person who reviewed her book for the Washington Post is "discredited." Turns out Smith herself is discredited, something even the Post reviewer didn't note (but perhaps should have).

-- Noel Sheppard is shocked that a newspaper owned by Rupert Murdoch would support the Iraq war.

-- Matthew Shepherd promotes the new book by admitted liar Kathleen Willey.

-- Noel Sheppard thinks Bill Maher has heard the name Dick Armitage. We think Sheppard has never heard the names Karl Rove or Scooter Libby.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:33 AM EDT
Saturday, November 3, 2007
Despite Ruddy's Softballs, Newsmax Still Dishes Clinton Hate
Topic: Newsmax

As an apparent reminder that, despite Christopher Ruddy's mellowing, Newsmax hasn't gone completely squishy about the Clintons, Newsmax ran a Nov. 1 column by Michael Reagan begging Democrats to make Hillary Clinton their nominee for president:

So leave her alone, let her cruise her way to the nomination so we Republicans can have the pleasure of dissecting her in the general election campaign.


I know you Democrats don't want to do us Republicans any favors, but just this once let us have our way. Give us the opportunity to give the Republican attack machine another shot at Hillary Clinton. Let her coast to victory in the primaries. We'll take it from there. 

At least Reagan admits there is a "Republican attack machine."

Posted by Terry K. at 9:29 AM EDT

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