A May 3 NewsBusters post by Warner Todd Huston attacks the Associated Press for reporting that an upcoming manifesto claiming that "faith is now too political" is being released by "conservative Christian leaders." Writes Huston: "But a little investigation proves that 'conservative leaders' is not a very good description of those who have signed onto this 'manifesto.' In fact, many of the most well-known conservative Christian leaders in the country have decided not to sign onto the "manifesto" and many more weren't even consulted or included in the creation of this highly political document that pretends it stands against politics."
But Huston never details how those evangelical leaders whose names have thus far been linked to the manifesto don't quailfy as "conservative" even though they are named in the AP article he criticizes; in fact, he never names them at all, even as he quotes an article listing those evangelicals (who all appear to be mixing faith with politics) who said they didn't sign or weren't involved in the drafting of the document. Indeed, a little investigation -- the kind which Huston shows no evidence of actually having done -- shows those linked thus far to the manifesto have at least some conservative cred.
Chief among them is Os Guinness, described by the AP as "a well-known evangelical author and speaker." Guinness is conservative enough for WorldNetDaily to have quoted him personally smearing Frank Schaeffer for being critical of right-wing evangelicals.
Another is Richard Mouw, president of Fuller Theological Seminary. Wikipedia describes Fuller as progressive-leaning yet "welcoming both to the evangelical conservative and the theologically liberal," adding: "Fuller instructors have been cited as seeking ways out of the conservative/liberal debate: 'We need to be the voice of a third way that flows out of biblical values, instead of buying into the political ideology of either the right or the left.'"
We can cite WND here too; not only has it never forwarded attacks on Fuller for being too liberal, it anecdotally noted that one favorite WND conservative "grew up without religion, but during seven years of academic study at Bethany University and Fuller Theological Seminary accepted that the claims of Christianity are true."
Despite this, Huston goes on to write:
This project is beginning to look more like a group of Christians with anti-conservative views attempting to steal the mantle of leadership away from those who are now associated with Christianity in America. But to what end? We know that over the last year the political left has made major attempts to claim Christianity for themselves.
The left has made a concerted campaign to take over Christianity and use it for the purposes of the Democrat Party and the cultural left in America today.
Is this "Evangelical Manifesto" just another attempt by the far left in America to co-opt Christianity in America? It's a bit hard to believe otherwise since the people that put this project together studiously excluded so many prominent conservative Christians.
But one thing is for sure, the MSM will present them as "conservative Christian leaders" even as hardly any known and real conservative leaders are involved in this project.
But haven't right-wingers already co-opted Christianity in America and used it for the purposes of the Republican Party and the cultural left in America? And, again, Huston never demonstrates that any of those linked thus far to the manifesto are not "real conservative leaders."
ConWeb Doesn't Find Judicial Watch Complaint Against McCain Newsworthy Topic: The ConWeb
We've previously reported that WorldNetDaily, CNSNews.com and Newsmax all regurgitated a claim by Judicial Watch that a fundraiser for Hillary Clinton at which Elton John performed was illegal because John is a foreign national and prohibited from contributing to a U.S. presidential campaign -- while failing to even mention that John McCain held a fundraiser in London a couple weeks earlier. We also noted that Judicial Watch itself hadn't expressed any concern about McCain's foreign fundraiser either.
Judicial Watch has now turned its attention to McCain. From its April 24 press release:
“Recent news reports suggest that Sen. John McCain and John McCain for President may have accepted an in-kind contribution from foreign nationals Lord Rothschild OM GBE and the Hon. Nathaniel Rothschild of Great Britain in contravention of federal election laws,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton wrote in a complaint letter dated April 22, 2008. “On behalf of Judicial Watch and its supporters, I hereby request that the FEC investigate the matter.”
Now that Judicial Watch has given its imprimatur to possible campaign law violations involving McCain, the ConWeb is all over that like they are all over JW's allegations against Hillary, right?
Er, no. More than a week has passed since JW released its complaint against McCain, and WND, CNS and Newsmax have all failed to even mention it, let alone devote an entire article to it as they did for JW's Clinton complaint.
We've previously detailed how the ConWeb -- a major promoter of JW's numerous complaints against the Clinton administration in the late 1990s -- has a history of generally refusing to report on JW's complaints against Republicans.
In his May 2 screed, WorldNetDaily managing editor David Kupelian lists among the things we "could expect" in the "toxic cultural/governmental environment" that would flourish should Hillary Clinton -- "the queen of darkness" -- be elected president: "Or maybe more 'bug-chasing' – that's where people actively try to get infected with AIDS."
But that story isn't even true. As we detailed the last time Kupelian threw this out as a scare tactic, the bug-chasing story originated in a 2003 Rolling Stone article on the subject that has been debunked; its central claim that 25 percent of new gay male HIV infections are due to bug-chasing merely one doctor's estimate and not substantiated by research. Further, the Rolling Stone article quotes only "a grand total of two" self-proclaimed bug-chasers, "one of who is undeniably mentally disturbed and quoted under a pseudonym -- hardly representative of a trend."
Kupelian has never been one to let the facts get in the way of a good story -- odd behavior for someone claiming to manage a "news" organization. He has blamed Andrea Yates' killing of her children on the antidepressant she was taking, ignoring her history of mental illness that predates her use of the drug and the extremist fundamentalist preacher that she and her husband followed whose precepts may have exacerbated her illness. He has also, among other things, repeated dubious statistics about teacher-student sex and a discredited attack on sex researcher Alfred Kinsey.
Did you know that exercising your constitutional rights to take part in a strike is the same thing as terrorism?
That's what Lowell Ponte thinks. From his May 2 Newsmax column:
On May 1 a little-reported act of domestic terrorism struck the United States.
It cost our economy between $1 and $2 billion, equivalent to the theft of up to $26.66 from every American family of four – money you and your family will be paying in higher prices.
Even more troubling is that those who conspired to assault us have not been arrested, jailed, or even removed from their high-security-risk positions.
What happened along the West Coast on Thursday was sabotage designed to send an ideological message – and to intimidate both companies and politicians with a display of disruptive union power.
Two years ago Americans were concerned that the Persian Gulf nation Dubai was acquiring facilities in American ports, and that this might somehow open us to an increased risk of Islamist terrorism. These are not the only potential terrorists.
What terrorist event is he frothing over? The one-day May 1 work stoppage by dock workers on West Coast ports in protest of the Iraq war. Ponte offers no evidence to back up his assertion that the strike "cost our economy between $1 and $2 billion." Indeed, a 2002 report on the possible effects of a port strike projected a $4.7 billion impact in lost wages over a four-week strike, going on to note:
[A]ttempts to track down the source of the $1 billion a day and $2 billion a day figures widely quoted, which in each case turned out to be inaccurate reporting. To actually lose a billion dollars a day for two weeks, "we'd have to sink the ships," said [report author Patrick L.] Anderson, "the impact here is large enough to be reported without exaggeration."
Nevertheless, Ponte went on to claim that "In October 2002, the ILWU flexed its muscle through a work slowdown that cost shippers up to a billion dollars a day."
The rest of Ponte's column is largely guilt by association, attacking the alleged "radical leftist ideology" of the founder of the longshoreman's union. Ponte concluded: "We should remove security risks and saboteurs from America’s ports, starting with the 6,000 longshoremen who conspired to cause May Day’s shutdown."
Ponte isn't the only conservative to have recently expressed unorthodox views about constitutional rights. Last week, the Media Research Center's Brent Baker declared that "the First Amendment doesn't apply in North Carolina" because a couple of TV stations there decided not to air an inflammatory anti-Obama ad.
Even More Dishonesty From Matt Barber Topic: WorldNetDaily
Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters catches Matt Barber telling evenmore lies and distortions -- this time regarding the Day of Silence, as made in a May 2 column published by WorldNetDaily. Barber wrote:
Take the Seattle area's Mount Si High School for instance. Out of 1,410 students, nearly half (638) reportedly walked out of school on DOS with a unified voice saying, "No! We're here to learn. We refuse to be subject to radical homosexual indoctrination at school or anywhere else!"
Principal Randy Taylor said 495 out of 1,410 students weren't at school, including 85 athletes whose parents had asked that they be excused for their personal beliefs.
The Rev. Ken Hutcherson, a former pro-football player, current pro-family champion and pastor of Antioch Bible Church, led the charge in defense of God's moral standard at Mount Si. He organized a prayer rally outside the school – which his daughter attends – and was joined by hundreds of parents, children and community members.
About 100 people joined the Rev. Ken Hutcherson, a prominent anti-gay-rights activist, in prayer and song that questioned the dedication of a school day to what they said was a controversial political cause.
We suspect that Barber is even less likely than WorldNetDaily to apologize for his factual errors.
Last we heard, Republican congressman Larry Craig was being isolated, even by those in his own party, over that unfortunate bathroom incident. That appears to no longer be the case.
For two days in a row, CNSNews.com has sought Craig's opinion on issues of the day in its "On the Spot" segment:
A May 1 article by Josiah Ryan quotes Craig expressing a view diverging from the current right-wing attacks on ethanol. Craig blames liberals for the current controversy over whether biofuels are causing food shortages, adding, "Ethanol today has brought the price of gas down by 20 cents. ... [O]ur country is better off today because we are producing ethanol."
A May 2 article by Ryan makes the startling discovery that Republicans, including Craig, believe that the controversy over Rev. Jeremiah Wright is a legitimate campaign issue. Quoth Craig: "But is it fair? In the political world a politician's relationship with anyone else has some value."
At a press conference during his visit to New Delhi on Tuesday, April 29, 2008 Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, asked what he thought the result of the U.S. presidential election would be, replied, "We don't interfere in the other countries' affairs but we think that the American nation seek profound changes in their country."
Ahmadinejad's answer was the second reported instance in which a high Iranian official, when asked about the U.S. presidential contest, has used the word "change" or "changes" in his answer.
Experts on Iranian political discourse believe that the officials' choice of words is intended to be a reference to Democratic contender Barack Obama's campaign theme, "Change We Can Believe In," and to thereby signal that relations between Tehran and Washington will improve if Obama is elected. Obama has stated his willingness to meet with Ahmadinejad.
At a Tehran press conference on March 10, 2008, an Iranian reporter asked Seyed Mohammad Ali Hosseini, vice minister of foreign affairs of Iran and spokesman of Iran's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which U.S. presidential candidate Iran would support. Hosseini replied, "Iran would not support any candidates in the U.S. presidential campaign."
He continued, "But the nations of the world are fed up with America's warmongering policies and we demand these change."
Observers in Tehran note that Hosseini has a reputation for choosing his words carefully. An Iranian analyst said, "Hosseini is considered an expert on American affairs. He would not have used the word 'change' unless it was his intention to signal that the Iranian regime prefers that the next U.S. president be Mr. Obama."
Note that there is no named source -- the "Experts on Iranian political discourse," "Observers in Tehran" and the "Iranian analyst" are all anonymous, if they exist at all. Newsmax is hiding behind this anonymity to make a claim it has no factual evidence to support: that Iranian leaders explicitly support Obama.
Also note the stilted writing style (such as full dates), which strongly suggests Newsmax copied this from some unknown source. It may have come from a spam email for all we know; Newsmax has treated spam as fact before.
And you thought Aaron Klein's Obama smears lacked substance ...
Clinton Derangement Syndrome Watch Topic: WorldNetDaily
But try to imagine Hillary Clinton as president – and Bill as first lady. The toxic cultural/governmental environment would be almost beyond imagination with the elevation of "the queen of darkness" as "father of our country."
You could expect a radical increase in shocking, self-destructive and criminal acting-out by lost souls lashing out blindly in a desperate expression of revenge toward the contemptible society that could dare elect such a person as president. Perhaps a huge upsurge in mass shootings, such as we've seen recently. Or maybe more "bug-chasing" – that's where people actively try to get infected with AIDS. Maybe homegrown suicide bombers committing horrific terrorist acts – not for Allah, but just for kicks, for non-specific revenge against the human race. No one can say what form it will take, but expect more and more weird, destructive behaviors designed for maximum shock.
Of course, nobody would be able to prove any cause and effect. But remember these words: Elevating a person like Hillary Clinton to the presidency of the United States will unleash hell in America in a way very few of us can even comprehend, let alone remedy.
Joseph Farah Disingenuousness Watch Topic: WorldNetDaily
How can you tell when Joseph Farah is being disingenuous? His lips are moving.
Farah's May 1 WorldNetDaily column is a big steaming pile of disingenuousness (in a long line of such). In it, he points out that "It's probably no secret to anyone who reads my column regularly that I will not be voting for either Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton for president," then explains why he won't be voting for John McCain.
Why is this disingenous? Because Farah's and his website are doing McCain's dirty work for him.
If "there is simply no reason for me to support McCain," as Farah claims, why isn't WND hammering him to the extent it is hammering Obama and Clinton?
For Farah to claim that "John McCain won't get any help from me" is nothing less than a lie. With WND's continual attacks on Obama and Clinton -- and its comparable kid-glove treatment of McCain -- Farah is behaving like he's on McCain's payroll.
More Dishonesty From Matt Barber Topic: CNSNews.com
Remember how professional gay-basher Matt Barber likes to spread lies and misinformation about gays? Well, here's another example.
We've previously noted the gay-bashing ("Homophobia: the rational fear that 'gay sex' will kill you!") in a Barber op-ed reprinted a couple weeks ago by CNSNews.com and WorldNetDaily. Barber also wrote:
To the consternation of "gay" activist flat-earthers and homosexual AIDS holocaust deniers everywhere, one such study, conducted by pro-"gay" researchers in Canada, was published in the International Journal of Epidemiology, or IJE, in 1997.
While the medical consensus is that smoking knocks from two to 10 years off an individual's life expectancy, the IJE study found that homosexual conduct shortens the lifespan of "gays" by an astounding "8 to 20 years" – more than twice that of smoking.
"[U]nder even the most liberal assumptions," concluded the study, "gay and bisexual men in this urban centre are now experiencing a life expectancy similar to that experienced by all men in Canada in the year 1871. … [L]ife expectancy at age 20 years for gay and bisexual men is 8 to 20 years less than for all men."
As blogger Jon Rowe points out, this study took place before newer medications for AIDS victims were introduced. Further, the authors of that IJE study issued an update in 2001:
[I]t appearsthat our research is being used by select groups in US andFinland to suggest that gay and bisexual men live an unhealthylifestyle that is destructive to themselves and to others. Thesehomophobic groups appear more interested in restricting thehuman rights of gay and bisexuals rather than promoting theirhealth and well being.
The aim of our research was never to spread more homophobia,but to demonstrate to an international audience how the lifeexpectancy of gay and bisexual men can be estimated from limitedvital statistics data.
In contrast, if we were to repeatthis analysis today the life expectancy of gay and bisexualmen would be greatly improved. Deaths from HIV infection havedeclined dramatically in this population since 1996. As we havepreviously reported there has been a threefold decrease in mortalityin Vancouver as well as in other parts of British Columbia.
This update is mentioned nowhere in Barber's op-ed. Indeed, we find nowhere on the CWA website where Barber or any other CWA official notes the 2001 update (though there are plenty of references to the original 1997 study).
Who's surprised? We're not. After all, CWA hired Barber knowing what it was getting, which makes the entire organization just as intellectually dishonest as Barber.
Meanwhile ... Topic: WorldNetDaily Ed Brayton details the lies and distortions in an April 15 WorldNetDaily article on a custody case involving lesbian parents. Add this to the long list of such falsehoods WND won't be correcting anytime soon.
Disclosure Missing In Intra-Conservative Attack Over McCarthy Topic: Accuracy in Media
When Ronald Kessler wrote an April 7 column criticizing his fellow conservatives for their revisionist history on Joe McCarthy, we wondered how his buddies would take it. Not well, it appears.
An April 29 Accuracy in Media column by Wes Vernon bashes a retooled version of Kessler's column, which appeared in the April 22 Wall Street Journal. Vernon called Kessler's claims "well wide of the mark" and an effort to "distort and beat down history." Vernon claimed at one point, "That so many wildly inaccurate assertions would appear in just this one article is breathtaking."
Missing from Vernon's column is a little disclosure: He is the former Washington correspondent for Newsmax, a job currently held by Kessler. Is there maybe a little professional jealousy at work here?
Kessler's Conversion to McCain-Fluffer Almost Complete Topic: Newsmax
Ronald Kessler is completing his transition from Romney-fluffing to McCain-fluffing. From his April 30 Newsmax column:
In contrast to its suppression of what [Rev. Jeremiah] Wright said at the press club, the Times ran a 1,397-word story over the weekend insinuating that there was something improper in the fact that the beer distributorship owned by McCain’s wife Cindy has provided his campaign with a jet plane at low cost. The story never answered the question, So what?
Given Senator John McCain’s signature stance on campaign finance reform, it was not surprising that he backed legislation last year requiring presidential candidates to pay the actual cost of flying on corporate jets. The law, which requires campaigns to pay charter rates when using such jets rather than cheaper first-class fares, was intended to reduce the influence of lobbyists and create a level financial playing field.
But over a seven-month period beginning last summer, Mr. McCain’s cash-short campaign gave itself an advantage by using a corporate jet owned by a company headed by his wife, Cindy McCain, according to public records. For five of those months, the plane was used almost exclusively for campaign-related purposes, those records show.
Because that exemption remains, Mr. McCain’s campaign was able to use his wife’s corporate plane like a charter jet while paying first-class rates, several campaign finance experts said. Several of those experts, however, added that his campaign’s actions, while keeping with the letter of law, did not reflect its spirit.
The "so what?" Kessler seems to have missed: McCain's a hypocrite. He refused to follow a law he supported.
How does Kessler square his newfound sycophancy of McCain with his previoushatred of the guy? Probably because that's what he's being paid to do.
New Article: A Tale of Two Falsehoods Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily's Joseph Farah is quick to demand a retraction and apology for an incorrect claim made about him -- but WND typically takes months or even years to correct the false claims it makes, when it bothers to correct them at all. Read more >>
CNS Ignores Peter Paul's Felonious History Topic: CNSNews.com
An April 29 CNSNews.com article by Fred Lucas rehashed once more "Hollywood businessman" Peter Paul's lawsuit against the Clintons but failed to mention Paul's long felonious history. This is suprising (or maybe not), since Lucas has previously (if incompletely) noted Paul's rap sheet.
Lucas also uncritically passes along Paul's spin:
Paul has said the motivation for his lawsuit was to provide compensation for his business. However, he said he also oped the lawsuit would expose the illegal fundraising as well, which he believes law enforcement has ignored.
Lucas doesn't mention that the "business" for which he wants to provide "compensation" -- Stan Lee Media, for which Paul no longer works -- is the same one in which he orchestrated a $25 million stock-manipulation scheme, to which he pleaded guilty. Lucas also doesn't mention that another motivating factor in Paul's pursuit of his lawsuit is a desire to reduce his sentence on the stock-fraud charge.
Lucas also never asks the obvious question: If one of Paul's main motivations is to "expose the illegal fundraising," why hasn't Paul been charged with illegal fundraising? Or is his Clinton lawsuit a way to keep that from happening?