Muslim-turned-Christian Walid Shoebat is the star attraction of WorldNetDaily's new anti-Islam book. But WND has kept mum on questions about the veracity of Shoebat's claim to be a former terrorist. Read more >>
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
New Article: Shoebat's Story
Muslim-turned-Christian Walid Shoebat is the star attraction of WorldNetDaily's new anti-Islam book. But WND has kept mum on questions about the veracity of Shoebat's claim to be a former terrorist. Read more >>
Where's The Outrage?
So Warner Todd Huston has his panties in a bunch over an allegedly offensive (to conservatives, at least) Daily Kos thread, adding ominously: "Even more damning, Kos pulled the entire post off the website."
Then, Huston should consider it equally damning that a Free Republic thread on the news of Ted Kennedy's brain tumor has numerous posts deleted from it by a moderator.
Why? As Pandagon notes, the thread was locked at one point with a message from the moderator: "Some of you are a disgrace to this forum, and life is too short to waste cleaning up your messes." (The thread is now apparently open again, headed by the moderator's opaque statement, "It was locked for reasons that should be obvious to everyone by now.")
LiberalLand caught some of those now-presumably deleted Freeper posts on Kennedy that are, shall we say, less than respectful.
Will Huston take Free Republic to task the way he has Daily Kos for its similar damning behavior? Don't count on it. One might even call it a metaphysical certainty that he won't.
UPDATE: The same goes for any mention of Michael Savage playing a Dead Kennedys song out of "some respect" for Ted Kennedy's brain tumor.
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
WND Anti-Obama Agenda Watch
Yet another example of WorldNetDaily's anti-Obama (and de facto pro-McCain) agenda is a May 19 article portraying Barack Obama has having "pooh-poohed the idea that Iran or any of a few other 'tiny' nations around the world offer a serious potential threat to the United States or the free world," compared with the threat posed by the Soviet Union. WND devotes 16 of the article's 23 paragraphs to quoting McCain, right-wing blogger (though not identified as one) Ed Morrissey and even commenters on "a forum on YouTube" attacking Obama.
Further, as is WND style, the article does not quote Obama responding to the criticism, even though his reaction (to McCain's attack, not that of the YouTube commenters) was available prior to WND's posting of its article.
MRC-Fox News Appearance Watch
Topic: Media Research Center
Even more shocking: While at one point Bozell is introduced only as "president of the Media Research Center" while at the same time Papantonio is described as a "liberal radio host," the segment concludes with one host say, "We thank you guys for representing the right and the left." The MRC's clip of the segment contains only highlights and not the entire segment, so we can't determine if Bozell was identified as a conservative at any other point in the segment. But such acknowledgment that anyone from the MRC is right of center is a rarity on Fox News.
UPDATE: In an appearance on the May 20 edition of "America's Election HQ" -- the MRC's Rich Noyes takes President Bush's side (as does anchor Megyn Kelly) on a controversy over how an interview with NBC was edited. Kelly not only echoed Noyes' talking points, she returns to the template: Noyes appeared solo and is not identified as a conservative.
Klein Absurdly Denies Having Anti-Obama Agenda
Joseph Farah's May 20 WorldNetDaily column attacked a Congressional Quarterly writer who suggested that WND is promoting John McCain's agenda by repeatedly attacking Barack Obama (which, as we've noted, is arguably true). Showing the class we've come to expect from WND, Farah smears the CQ writer, Shawn Zeller, as "some lightweight staffer," "this little twit," and "a pasty-faced nerd who gets his jollies ripping real reporters from the friendly confines of his CQ office."
One paragraph from Zeller's CQ item caught our eye:
To which we say: Yeah, right. But don't take our word for it; just examine Klein's WND article archive. A look at articles Klein has written since the beginning of the year reveals the following count:
Klein articles that attack or reflect negatively on Obama: 24
That, of course, doesn't include Obama-bashing articles not written by Klein, of which there are at least as many.
That's irrefutable proof of an anti-Obama agenda. Farah and Klein can deny it -- and likely will -- but you can't spin away hard numbers.
P.S. More evidence: In March, Klein slammed supporters of Obama has having a "malignant messianic infatuation."
Kinsolving Misleads About WaPo Editorial Page
In his May 13 WorldNetDaily column, Les Kinsolving bashed the Washington Post's purportedly "very leftist editorial page," later noting the Post's "stubborn decision for leftist op-ed pages (with the slim exception of columnists Krauthammer and Will) and that harrowing editorial page."
Of course, that's not true. As Media Matters has detailed, the Post's editorials have often expressed views similar to those of the conservative Wall Street Journal editorial page. And Kinsolving ignored one other conservative Post columnist, Robert Novak, fattening up that "slim exception."
Given this, we can only assume that Kinsolving was thrilled beyond words that the Post ran a May 17 column by conservative writer Kathleen Parker (whose work, by the way, is distributed by the Washington Post Writers Group) essentially calling Obama and John Edwards gay for each other.
Newsmax, WND Swallow Global Warming Petition's Claims
In a May 19 Newsmax article, Phil Brennan joins Noel Sheppard as an unpaid (or maybe not) press agent for the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine in promoting the group's petition claiming, in Brennan's words, "[a]n incredible 31,072 Americans with university degrees in science, including 9,021 Ph.D.s, have signed a petition that flatly denies Al Gore’s claims that human-caused global warming is a settled scientific fact."
Brennan not only treats the OISM's claims as an undisputed fact that doesn't require verification, he fawns over the group, asserting that "These 31,072 scientists do not believe the world is flat, and they say there is no convincing scientific evidence that so-called greenhouse gasses are causing catastrophic heating of the earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the earth’s climate" and calling petition organizer Frederick Seitz "a towering figure in the world of science."
Like Sheppard, Brennan asks no questions about how the OISM is so certain all of these petition signers are "scientists" or even hold "
These 31,072 scientists do not believe the world is flat, and they say there is no convincing scientific evidence that so-called greenhouse gasses are causing catastrophic heating of the earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the earth’s climate." According to the group's website, it appears to be based on self-reporting with no apparent verification mechanism.
Further, judging by a letter from Seitz on the group's website, it appears that OISM gamed things a bit by sending out information packets to scientists containing only information attacking the idea of global warming. As SourceWatch points out, the 12-page article purporting to be a "review article about the human-caused global warming hypothesis" that had the appearance of a scientific paper but never appeared in a peer-reviewed journal at the time it was sent out. The paper prominently promoted Seitz's ties to the National Academy of Sciences, forcing the NAS to publicly disassociate itself from it. Also, according to SourceWatch, OISM has refused to release information on the number of these mailings that were sent out.
WND jumped on the bandwagon as well with a May 19 article by Bob Unruh, who also showed no evidence of skepticism toward the OISM's claims. Unruh asserted that "between 1999 and 2007, the list of signatures grew gradually without any special effort or campaign" -- even though Brennan reported that "In 2001, OISM circulated what was known as the Oregon Petition," an effort that "gathered an astounding 17,800 signatures."
The level of metaphysical certainty that Sheppard won't report anything that dares to contradict the OISM may reasonably be extended to Brennan and Unruh as well.
Monday, May 19, 2008
Farah Disingenously Claims He's Not Helping McCain
WorldNetDaily's Joseph Farah has regularly proclaimed that he won't support John McCain for president and won't help him get elected. For instance:
That's a disingenuous claim. Farah is very much "helping" McCain through WND's torrent of articles bashing Barack Obama. A search of WND's archives would easily demonstrate the number of "news" articles critical of McCain is crushed by the number attacking Obama.
Another example is the campaign coverage of WND's Whistleblower magazine. While the issues dedicated to Obama ("THE SECRET LIFE OF BARACK OBAMA") and Hillary Clinton ("QUEEN OF DARKNESS") are comprised solely of attack articles (and, in Clinton's case, repeating long-discredited hatchet jobs), Whistleblower's upcoming edition on McCain, neutrally titled "The Real John McCain," includes articles titled "The conservative case for McCain," "How McCain can woo conservatives and independents," "Leading pro-life group supports McCain," "Making the case for McCain," and "Why conservatives should support McCain."
Yet Farah wants us to believe that this is not "helping" McCain.
His harsh words for McCain himself aside, WND proprietor Farah and WND's chief Obama-bashing reporter Aaron Klein might as well be on McCain's payroll.
Good and Bad From Aaron Klein
First the good news: In a May 18 WorldNetDaily article, Aaron Klein correctly stated that Barack Obama "term[ed] the Israeli-Palestinian conflict a "constant sore" last week." If you'll recall, an unbylined WND article took Obama's words out of context to falsely claim that he called Israel a "constant sore."
Will WND issue a correction and apology for its previous article, now that Klein has gotten it right? Probably not -- not even after publishing two articles with conflicting, irreconcilable claims. But we'll watch for one anyway.
Now the bad news: The rest of Klein's article is another desperate guilt-by-association smear of Obama, suggesting that using the term "constant sore" means that Obama "borrow[ed] the phraseology of a pro-Palestinian activist and harsh critic of Israel who has been described as a friend of the senator."
Klein repeated a claim from a previous article that Khalidi "dedicated his 1986 book, 'Under Siege,' to 'those who gave their lives ... in defense of the cause of Palestine and independence of Lebanon.' Critics assailed the book as excusing Palestinian terrorism and claim the dedication is in reference to the Palestine Liberation Organization, which at that time committed scores of anti-Western attacks and was labeled by the U.S. as a terror group[.]" Klein does not identify who these purported "critics" are.
Klein also delves into the murky anonymous-source pool, citing "a professor at the University of Chicago who said he has known Obama for 12 years" who "spoke on condition of anonymity" and other never-identified "sources at the University."
UPDATE: In a previous article, Klein referred to William Ayers, not Khalidi, as a "confessed domestic terrorist." This item has been edited to conform.
Sheppard Inconveniently Ignores Truth Behind Anti-Global Warming Petition
From a May 18 NewsBusters post by Noel Sheppard:
Roughly the same level of metaphysical certainty, we'd guess, that Sheppard won't tell his readers about the agenda of the group pushing the petition, the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine.
After reprinting the OISM's press release verbatim, Sheppard does take a stab at explaining the petition's background (reflecting his own biases, of course):
SourceWatch, meanwhile, offers up a little more background on the OISM's petition than Sheppard seems to want to share with his readers:
Gee, sounds like the OISM has a certain agenda -- the same one Sheppard has. That increases the metaphysical certitude that Sheppard won't discuss the full truth about this petition.
NewsBusters' Distorted Comparison of Presidential Investments
A May 15 NewsBusters post by Terry Trippany has the stated purpose of "Applying the AP's McCain Standard to Barack Obama Shows Sudanese Connections to His Campaign." But that's not what Trippany did.
Here's Trippany's explanation:
But a supporter of a candidate is not the same as the candidate's spouse.
Trippany then distorts things further by directly equating donations by individual employees of a company or organization with the activities of that company:
Trippany then called Goldman Sachs "Barack Obama's number one contributor" even though it's individual Goldman Sachs employees who have donated to Obama's campaign. Not the same thing.
Trippany distorts things further by calling the University of California "Obama's number 2 contributor" without the disclaimer that the university itself did not donate -- we're pretty sure that would be illegal -- but individual employees did.
Indeed, the OpenSecrets.org page from which Trippany cribbed this information has at the top of the page in big red letters, "The organizations themselves did not donate," adding,"rather the money came from the organization's PAC, its individual members or employees or owners, and those individuals' immediate families."
Trippany asserted that the AP's "standard is bogus,"but doesn't note an important piece of informatin from the AP article -- that Obama divested Sudan-related investments from his portfolio a year ago.
Which explains why Trippany had to resort to the misleading comparison of Obama supporters vs. McCain's wife.
Sunday, May 18, 2008
WND Columnist Lies About Global Poverty Act
Donald Hank begins a May 17 WorldNetDaily column this way:
Actually, it's not. As we detailed, the Global Poverty Act would establish no specific funding source, would not commit the United States to any targeted level of spending, and would not give the U.N. the power to impose a tax on the U.S.
Yet Hank goes on to pretend that it does all of these things. In railing against "government-enforced socialist wealth sharing" and claiming that welfare is only about "paying people to live a dangerous lifestyle," Hank adds:
But it doesn't. And Hank is irresponsible and deceitful to claim, in the face of facts, that it does.
Farah Still Quasi-Defending Polygamist Cult
Joseph Farah keeps up his quasi-defense of polygamist cultists in his May 16 WorldNetDaily column. This time around, he's defending the idea that refusing to immunize one's children is a good thing. This is a major WND hobbyhorse; it has long engaged in anti-immunization scare tactics.
In railing against an apparent decision by Texas officials to have the children of the cultists that they have taken into custody vaccinated against the usual diseases, Farah asserted that the parents are "mothers and fathers made conscious and well-informed decisions not to immunize their kids because of the potential for dire health risks." Really? How does Farah know this? Indeed, he offers no evidence that the parents "made conscious and well-informed decisions not to immunize their kids"; in fact, one can plausibly argue that, given that they are members of a polygamist cult, they have a demonstrated history of not making "well-informed decisions."
And, like before, Farah refuses to offer any meaningful criticism of the cult, even though they have acted in ways he purports not to like: "Again, I don't like some of the things that went on in that community. I don't approve of them. There may even have been some laws broken. But there is no evidence being made public to suggest every single mother in the compound abused or neglected her children – or to suggest these poor kids would be better off with the state of Texas as their parent."
Again, as we've noted, it's more important to Farah that parents have the right to do what they want to with their children -- including pawning them off into an illegal polygamist relationship -- than actually punishing said illegal behavior. Farah is willing to condone the abuse of the cult's children to make an anti-government argument, just as he ignores the abuse of children in the Phillip Long homeschooling case in order to make Long a martyr to the homeschooling cause.
Saturday, May 17, 2008
NewsBusters Spins Bush 'Appeasement' Attack
The folks at NewsBusters are doing their best to try and pretend that President Bush wasn't referring to Barack Obama when he raised the subject of "appeasement" in a speech to the Israeli Knesset.
But when White House press secretary Dana Perino asserted that Bush was not referring to Obama, certain NewsBusters quickly glommed onto that as the gospel truth. Noel Sheppard, in trumpeting Perino's assertion without offering a reason to believe her at face value, huffed that CNN's sources claiming that Bush was referring to Obama were merely "unnamed 'White House aides.'"
This allowed NewsBusters and the MRC to move onto its next talking point -- that any news report mentioning the controversy was taking "cues from the Obama campaign," as Brent Baker put in a May 15 NewsBusters post (and May 16 CyberAlert item, in which he also, as we noted, tried to spin away an analogy between negotiating with Iran and Reagan's negotiations with the Soviet Union).
Baker's post made reference -- the only one we can find -- to the fact that Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has also advocated negotiation with Iran, but only in a transcript; he never addressed it directly.
A post by Justin McCarthy, meanwhile, claimed that a report on NBC's "Today" "sounded almost like an Obama campaign press release" and that NBC's Andrea Mitchell was acting as a "mind reader" by claiming that Bush's speech "could hardly have been an accident"; he insisted that Mitchell showed "journalistic irresponsibility" for not noting "the White House’s denial that President Bush referred to Senator Obama." Of course, McCarthy is similarly irresponsible by not noting that sources claiming that Bush was.
In a May 16 post, Balan complained again that "CNN carried the water for the Democrats and portayed President Bush’s 'appeasement' remarks before the Knesset in Israel as an attack on Barack Obama."
A post by Lyndsi Thomas, meanwhile, asserted that any claim that "Bush’s statements were an attack on Obama" was "Democratic spin."
In the midst of all this, Noel Sheppard tossed out a big, steaming chunk of Bush sycophancy that would not being out of praise coming from Ronald Kessler's pen. Sheppard praised Bush's Knesset speech as "stirring and emotional" and "one of the greatest speeches of his career," while attacking the media for "exclusively report[ing] 83 words they felt insulted the candidate for president they have been unashamedly supporting for over a year." Sheppard then posted the entire Bush speech, complained yet again that only the "appeasement" attack "got through" the media's "bias filters", then declared:
How much did Dana Perino pay you for that post, Noel?
P.S. For all of the MRC's obsession with making sure that Democratic politicians caught in wrongdoing are properly identifed as such, there is no mention whatsoever that the 1930s-era senator whom Bush quoted in his speech as saying, "Lord, if I could only have talked to Hitler, all this might have been avoided," was Sen. William Borah -- a Republican.
Friday, May 16, 2008
NewsBusters Confuses Talking, Appeasement
A May 15 NewsBusters post by Ken Shepherd whack's CNN's Ed Henry for "hack[ing] out 29 paragraphs on his network's Web site dedicated to the proposition that 'President Bush launched a sharp but veiled attack Thursday on Sen. Barack Obama and other Democrats.'" by suggesting that some Democrats were acting in the same way some Western leaders did when they appeased Hitler in the runup to World War II. Why? "Obama's presidential campaign Web site itself lays out in pretty simple terms the Illinois Democrat's view about engaging the Iranian regime in "direct" negotiations with no preconditions," Shepherd writes.
But the statements Shepherd quotes don't say anything about appeasement. Heck, they don't even say "negotiations." Here are the statements Shepherd highlighted:
None say anything about appeasement or negotiation. Diplomacy is not appeasement or even negotiation.
Meanwhile, on the same subject, a May 15 NewsBusters post (and May 16 MRC CyberAlert item) by Brent Baker responded to Obama's statement that "Presidents Kennedy, Nixon, and even Reagan also negotiated directly with America's enemies" by saying, "But Mikhail Gorbachev hadn't promised to nuke Israel."
Um, didn't Gorbachev's Soviet Union have thousands of nuclear weapons pointed at the U.S., which trumps the crap out of a threat from a country that has no nuclear weapons at all?
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