Back in 2003, we detailed how WorldNetDaily told only one side of the story in the case of William Kennedy, former editor of Conservative Digest who was convicted on charges of racketeering, mail fraud and money-laundering and sentenced to 20 years in prison. Kennedy has been trying to get out of prison ever since, snagging a new lawyer in Christian writer Craig Parshall and a defense funded by "Left Behind" co-author Tim LaHaye.
It appears that Kennedy is still at it. The Jan. 28 edition of James Dobson's "Focus on the Family" radio show details his case, insisting he was "unjustly imprisoned for white collar crimes" that "he did not commit." We haven't listened to the show yet, but we suspect that, like WND, Dobson won't be telling the full story either.
Farah Tosses Softballs to Vox Topic: WorldNetDaily
We've noted that, despite WorldNetDaily's regular proclamation that it has a "fiercely independent editorial mission with no sacred cows," WND has plenty of them. WND demonstrates it again in editor Joseph Farah's Jan. 28 interview of columnist Vox Day to promote Day's new book, "The Irrational Atheist."
Farah tosses nothing but softballs at Day, culminating with, "When are you going to lose that ridiculous mohawk and grow a righteous mustache like mine?" Thus, Farah sidesteps holding Day accountable for some of his most notorious assertions, including:
His approvingly citing the Nazis as a prior example of how millions of people can be removed from a country (ultimately scrubbed from Day's WND column on orders of Farah himself).
His statement that "Jews have worn out their welcome in literally dozens of countries over the centuries" (which Farah is on record as criticizing, if belatedly so).
In a Jan. 25 Newsmax column, Lowell Ponte offers up some "serious" questions that "might be asked of Clinton if a genuine journalist seriously interrogated her." Here are a couple:
Mrs. Clinton, will you pledge that as president you will never appoint to any federal court, including the U.S. Supreme Court, anyone who has had a law license suspended for unethical behavior? Of course, your husband Bill Clinton’s license to practice law was suspended for five years for lying under oath in a court case.
In Africa, Barack Obama and his wife volunteered to be publicly tested for HIV, not because they feared having it but to set a good example that encouraged others to take such tests on this AIDS-plagued continent.
In that spirit of encouraging others, will you and your husband prior to the Democratic National Convention volunteer to be tested for HIV, and to make the results of these tests public?
Unlike past presidential candidates, you and your husband have refused to make your medical records available to reporters — although your 1993 health plan would have opened every citizen’s health records to any curious government bureaucrat.
Of course, Ponte doesn't mention -- as a "serious" questioner presumably would -- that President Bush has also refused to fully release his medical records.
WND Columnist Misleads on KKK Ties of Democrats Topic: WorldNetDaily
We've previouslydetailed how conservatives have decided that only conservatives, and not liberals, are permitted to use the plantation as a political metaphor. WorldNetDaily columnist Ellis Washington is an upholder of that standard.
Washington keeps it up in his Jan. 26 WND column chastising an unnamed "preacher" for giving "support to your mistress" -- that is, Hillary Clinton -- "as she, though shorter than you, looked down to you and upon all who witnessed this spectacle." Washington offers no evidence that Clinton "looks down" on blacks. Ellis goes on to add:
Black preachers across America have been in the forefront of controlling black people's political liberty every election year by demanding their flock vote for a political party that has an unashamed history of undermining your hopes, your dreams, your aspirations under the guise of helping you. On this point, Rev. Preacher, you and your colleagues have been like the overseers of the plantation during slavery times. You have been accorded just enough power by "Masser" to keep those in your charge "on the plantation"; otherwise, what use are you to the Democrat Party?
Guess all that conservative outrage over Clinton using "plantation" as a political metaphor was hypocritical and meaningless, eh, Mr. Washington?
In his zeal to bash Democrats, Washington also gets his facts wrong. he writes:
Jefferson's first promise to all Americans in the Declaration of Independence was denied to your people from the beginning by the evil institution of slavery. Later, by Democrat politicians largely from the South and also by their de facto Brownshirts, the Klu Klux Klan. Two of the KKK's most notable members, Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.Va., and Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black, are both proud Democrats – their infamous membership in the KKK never repudiated by the Democrats to this day.
As we've noted, Byrd has, in fact, repeatedly apologized for his Klan membership. As for Black, evidencesuggests that he was a member for a couple of years in the 1920s out of a combination of political expediency and anti-Catholic animus, not out of racist sympathies. Anyway, his record of championing civil rights -- which Washington curiously fails to mention -- far outstrips his Klan link; as a review of a Black biography notes, "he wrote a ringing opinion upholding the rights of four southern blacks from whom police had coerced a confession of murder" and "Black more than paid for his KKK affiliation with his support of the 1954 school desegregation decision, which rendered him until almost the end of his life a virtual exile in his home state [of Alabama]."
A Jan. 25 WorldNetDaily article by Jerome Corsi about "ad in which the Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee charges the U.S. government surreptitiously utilizes gold reserves to engage in international swaps and other market manipulations" features statements by Swiss America Trading Corp.'s Craig R. Smith. Amazingly, Corsi includes the following statement: "Swiss America, a WND advertiser, specializes in investment-quality numismatic gold coins."
That's a big switch from a couple years ago, when WND didn't disclose in Smith's column that he was a WND advertiser, and has failed to disclose Swiss America's status as an advertiser in previous "news" articles (such as Joseph Farah infamous plagiarism incident). Indeed, WND has a longtime aversion to disclosing conflicts of interest.
But there's one bit of disclosure Corsi didn't make along with that: he co-wrote a book with Smith. It's noted in Corsi's bio at the end of the article but not where he disclosed that Swiss America is a WND advertiser. As we've detailed, Corsi has not disclosed in any of his recent attacks on the Minuteman Project's Jim Gilchrist that he co-wrote a book with Gilchrist.
CNS Suggests Hillary Quid Pro Quo It Doesn't Prove Topic: CNSNews.com
A pair of Jan. 24 CNSNews.com articles by Fred Lucas suggest malfeasance by Hillary Clinton that it doesn't bother to actually prove.
The first states that Clinton "secured more than $1 million in federal funding last year for a Harlem-based non-profit whose leader gave her presidential campaign a major endorsement last weekend." The second states that the Gay Men's Health Crisis Center "received a $303,000 federal earmark pushed by" Clinton, after which two officials of the roup donated a total of $1,000 to Clinton's PAC; Lucas adds that "A number of other non-profit organizations in New York state that received Clinton earmarks also had employees who contributed to her presidential campaign or political action committee, HillPAC." Nowhere does Lucas offer any evidence beyond the circumstantial to support the quid pro quo he suggest exists, though the latter article appears to take more offense that federal money was given to a group with "Gay Men" in its name.
Further, the CNS articles cover only Clinton, even though the Citizens Against Government Waste press release on earmarks by senators who are presidential candidates that ostensibly inspired Lucas' articles lists both Democrats and Republicans as responsible for earmarks. Wanna bet CNS never quite gets around to examining the quid pro quo aspects of the earmarks by Ron Paul and Duncan Hunter?
Farah's Double Standard on Secret Societies, Redux Topic: WorldNetDaily
In his Jan. 23 WorldNetDaily column, Joseph Farah smacks around the Davos conference:
I'm deeply troubled by this kind of forum – whether it's the World Economic Forum or the Trilateral Commission or the Bilderberg Group.
These private meetings, far from the public eye and excluded from ethics laws and sunshine requirements, are anathema to the American way of life and the ideals upon which this nation was founded – namely national sovereignty and independence.
The whole purpose of these exclusive gatherings is to avoid the light of public scrutiny.
As we noted the last time he whined about secret gatherings, Farah belongs to his own secret society that " far from the public eye and [is]excluded from ethics laws and sunshine requirements" -- the Council for National Policy. The CNP recently barred all media except friendly ones -- like WND -- from covering a meeting in Salt Lake City, and WND offered the only news to come from it, presumably only after receiving the express permission of CNP officials.
Farah has thus far "avoided the light of public scrutiny" by refusing to disclose to his readers his CNP membership. Why?
CPI Bashed As 'Left-Wing,' But ... Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center has declared war against the Center for Public Integrity over its report stating that the Bush administration made hundreds of false statements regarding Iraq:
A Jan. 23 NewsBusters post (and TimesWatch item), Clay Waters described the Center for Public Integrity -- which issued a -- as "left-wing" and complained that a New York Times article on the study "made no mention of CPI's ties to the left-wing billionaire George Soros."
A Jan. 23 NewsBusters post by the ever-insightful Warner Todd Huston calls CPI "ultra-leftist" and "funded by extreme leftist George Soros" and others who are "exclusively leftist in political philosophy."
A Jan. 23 NewsBusters post by Matthew Balan noted "the Center’s funding by various left-wing individuals and foundations, most notably George Soros."
A Jan. 24 NewsBusters post and CyberAlert item by Brent Baker stated that the report was issued by "a couple of affiliated far-left groups."
Which begs the question: If CPI is so far left, why was it trying to bring down Al Gore in 2000?
As we've detailed, CPI funded much of the reporting for the multi-part series on Gore that WorldNetDaily published before the 2000 election (a secondary target of the series is suing WND, CPI and the authors for libel). CPI then later disassociated itself from the series prior to publication; according to CPI senior fellow Knut Royce, "The biggest determinant was that the main focus to begin with in the project was Al Gore. And the bottom line, we just didn't have Al Gore."
One defense repeated in most of these posts is that, as Baker quoted Fox News' Brit Hume as saying, it was "a concept nearly universally accepted by most of the world's intelligence services at the time" that Iraq under Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction. But all are general references, and none of these posts address the specific evidence CPI cites to declare various Bush administration officials' statements about Iraq WMD as false.
UPDATE: Seton Motley stumbles in with a Jan. 24 NewsBusters post saying the same thing: CPI is funded by "left-wing mega-mogul George Soros," and everybody thought Iraq had WMD. But he doesn't note that CPI went after Gore or specifically address the evidence CPI uses to back up its claim of false statements about Iraq WMD.
Motley also disingenously raises the labeling issue, complaining that CPI and its sister organization was described by Keith Olbermann (whom he weirdly describes as the "Legacy Press") as "two non-profit groups," while Olbermann called the MRC a "rabid right-wing spin group." Motley ignores the fact that, as we have repeatedlynoted, that other "Legacy Press" pillar, Fox News (founded the same year as MSNBC), almost never applies an ideological label to the MRC.
New Article: In Bed -- And Out of Bed -- With Sources Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily's Jerome Corsi is too close to the Minutemen to tell the truth about their recent controversies. But that doesn't keep him from violating numerous ethical rules to bash his Minuteman co-author for endorsing Mike Huckabee. Read more >>
WND Buys Its Publishing Partner Topic: WorldNetDaily
Remember back in November, when we noticed that WorldNetDaily was claiming it published Kathleen Willey's factually challenged book rather than its publishing partner, World Ahead Media, whose imprint actually appears on the book?
That question is now moot: WND announced in a Jan. 23 article that it has acquired World Ahead Media. Founders Eric Jackson and Norman Book will continue to run the company as a division of WND, as well as serving as WND vice presidents.
There's no mention of what will happen with the WND Books and World Ahead imprints; there's currently no notable difference in what they offer -- conservative-leaning attack books -- and it would make sense to phase out one or the other unless they decide to take one in a different direction.
Media Matters catches CNSNews.com editor in chief Terry Jeffrey telling Wolf Blitzer: "There was a moment there in the debate, Wolf, where it looked like, if someone had splashed water on Hillary, she would have melted like the Wicked Witch of the West."
And Sadly, No! dismantles "Christian and applied scientist" Andrew Longman's Jan. 22 WorldNetDaily column dubiously claiming that replacing incandescent light bulbs with fluorescent ones would release more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
Kincaid Flip-Flops on Inflammatory Descriptions Topic: Accuracy in Media
Remember when Accuracy in Media's Cliff Kincaid was offended that the CIA's detention program was described as "secret prisons" even though the program was secret and people were imprisoned? The term was too inflammatory, he said. It suggested Soviet-style repression, he said.
Forget it. Kincaid now loves inflammatory descriptions.
In a Jan. 23 AIM column, Kincaid endorses calling abortion "genocide," even though it doesn't qualify as such under the international legal definition of genocide. Why? Mainly to crowd stories about Heath Ledger's death from the news:
With young people chanting "Hey, hey, ho, ho, Roe v. Wade has got to go," hundreds of thousands of people marched on Tuesday to protest an estimated 49 million dead through abortion. On the same day, a young actor named Heath Ledger died. Guess which got more attention from our media?
More than 3,000 deaths a day from abortion don't make news. Nellie Gray, head of the March for Life, calls it "genocide." The Genocide Awareness Project was at the march, exhibiting a series of signs comparing abortion victims to historically recognized forms of genocide. The exhibit has been shown on various college campuses, changing minds in the process.
No debate over semantics or inflammatory language here. In fact, Kincaid goes on to beg President Bush to use the term:
One rather simple thing the President could do is follow Nellie Gray's lead and call abortion genocide. This is something our media couldn't ignore. It might even start a national debate on abortion. But it might also damage his "legacy" in the eyes of the liberal media.
Or perhaps Bush isn't interested in taking semantic advice from a flip-flopper like Kincaid.
Kincaid also doesn't pass up the opportunity to take a shot at the deceased Ledger, noting that his "most memorable role was starring in the pro-homosexual 'Brokeback Mountain,' in which he engages in anal sex with another man and leaves his wife and family. It was trash that Hollywood adored." Kincaid has previously bashed "Brokeback Mountain."
UPDATE: WorldNetDaily honors, if you will, Ledger's death by recounting the "Brokeback Mountain" controversy, including David Kupelian's notorious "Brokeback"-bashing column in which he lamented that "Hollywood has now raped the Marlboro Man." It also reposted a February 2007 column by Kupelian in which he declares "the 'drug'of false love, adoration and unconditional approval" to be "the secret curse of Hollywood 'stars.'" Kupelian adds: "It's not a coincidence that Hollywood celebrities so often become dysfunctional, ultraliberal weirdos." Apparently, being famous makes you liberal. We did not know that.
Mitt Romney didn't win in South Carolina. Must be time for Newsmax's resident Romney-fluffer Ronald Kessler to issue yet another Romney-fluffing piece!
In his Jan. 21 article, Kessler touts Romney's "new image" as a more expressive candidate, spinning away criticism of his image -- a description of Romney as "cold, plastic, or just too perfect" was countered by the claim that "Romney may have thought it was pandering to show too much emotion" -- and complaing that "the media" focuses on image rather than record.
On cue, Kessler replays his greatest hits: noting that "a Harvard Business School and Harvard Law School graduate" and that he helped find the missing daughter of a business partner. This, naturally, leads Kessler to rehash his McCain-bashing; in contrast with Romney's altruism, he writes, "John McCain has an out-of-control temper and displays nastiness with critics."
This, then, leads to more rehashing of attacks on Barack Obama, insisting that "the media have virtually ignored Barack Obama’s connection with the Rev. Jeremiah Wright Jr., his minister, friend, and sounding board for more than two decades, and the fact that Wright’s church magazine gave an award to Louis Farrakhan last month." Of course, Kessler has his own double standard on that issue. In a Jan. 7 article, Kessler asked: "Imagine if Mitt Romney’s church proclaimed on its website that it is 'unashamedly white.' The media would pounce, and Romney’s presidential candidacy would be over." As we've noted, the Mormon Church, for a good part of its history, has arguably been "unabashedly white."
Warner Todd Huston, King of Racial Sensitivity Topic: NewsBusters
First, Warner Todd Huston desperately wanted you to know that Martin Luther King Jr. wasn't a saint. Now, Mr. Warmth himself is offended that anyone would question the wisdom of honoring Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee on the same day as King, as three Southern states do.
In a Jan. 22 post, Huston declared that the Associated Press "seemingly meant to stir race hatred by bringing up the fact that in the state of Arkansas the memorial recognition of Confederate General Robert E. Lee's birthday is on the same day as that of King's observance there." He has no evidence of this, of course; the article in question makes no activist claims, as even Huston himself admits. Still, he's desperate to find a conspiracy:
So what could be AP's ultimate reasoning for this piece but to stir outrage about coupling a Confederate general's birthday with that of the "slain civil rights leader"? It seems that the AP is trying to use their pulpit as a national news source to stir other areas of the country against the practice in Arkansas, Alabama and Mississippi.
Stirring the pot, it's called.
Or maybe the AP just finds it oddly interesting. When that idea was raised in the comment thread on this post, Huston replied:
Then we certainly disagree because I see no other reason to write this story unless it is to raise outrage that the two famous men share birthday celebrations. It certainly isn't a story in Arkansas. Even the AP couldn't find anyone outraged about it and they tried hard to get people to say they WERE outraged.
So does this mean that Huston didn't actually mean it when he said he was reminding people about King's alleged plagiarism only because "his whole life's record really should be known so that we can take a full measure of the man," and that he was really trying to "raise outrage" instead?