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Thursday, July 3, 2008
Chastain Repeats Misleading CNS Attack on Obama Staff Pay
Topic: WorldNetDaily

In a July 3 WorldNetDaily column lashing out at "whiney women" who support Barack Obama, Jane Chastain writes: 

When it comes to his payroll, it's McCain, not Obama, who puts his money where his mouth is. According to an analysis by Cybercast News Service of payroll data from the secretary of the Senate, which covered the six-month period ending Sept. 30, 2007, Barack Obama paid his average woman non-intern staffer about $6,000 less than the average man.

As we noted, the CNS comparison is misleading because it does not make an effort to determine whether pay was equal between the sexes on equivalent jobs, misleadingly computing only average total pay for male staff vs. female staff.

Posted by Terry K. at 4:15 PM EDT
Klein's Reporting on Rampages, Then and Now
Topic: WorldNetDaily

A July 2 WorldNetDaily article by Aaron Klein began this way:

JERUSALEM – In a terrorist attack today, three Israelis were murdered and dozens more wounded when a Palestinian Arab deliberately plowed a bulldozer into pedestrians and drivers in one of Jerusalem's most popular streets.

The terrorist was finally halted by an off-duty teenage Israeli soldier who grabbed the gun of a policeman.

That's a contrast from a few years back, when Klein declared a terrorist the murder victim and the people he shot mere afterthoughts. This is how Klein described the shooting of four Arabs on a bus in Gaza in 2005 by AWOL Israeli soldier Eden Natan-Zada:

A mob of Palestinians tonight murdered a Jewish Israeli man in a police uniform after he opened fire on a bus and killed four Arabs, allegedly in protest of the Gaza withdrawal plan.

Note that the killer is the one who is "murdered" by a "mob," while Klein never described the Arabs Zada killed as having been "murdered." But as we've detailed, Klein is a sympathizer to the cause Zada allegedly went on his killing spree for -- opposition to Israeli withdrawal from Gaza and the West Bank. Indeed, Klein sympathetically quotes a fellow anti-disengagement activist, Yekutel Ben Yaacov, calling Zada "the first casualty of the sadistic Gaza plan." Ben Yaacov is better known as Mike Guzovsky, a onetime leader of the violent Kahane Chai movement who expressed his support for bombing the offices of Jewish groups who favored a peace process and the 1994 massacre by Baruch Goldstein of 29 Arabs inside Hebron's Tomb of the Patriarchs. (By the way, Klein has never told his readers about the violent background of Guzovsky/Ben Yaacov.)

And in contrast to Klein's suggestion that the death of a man who shot and killed four people on a bus in cold blood was somehow a bad thing, the Israeli soldier who killed the Palestinian in the bulldozer is described as "heroic" in the headline of Klein's article. Apparently it wasn't "heroic" of Palestinians to stop Zada from killing more innocent people.

UPDATE: A July 3 article by Klein proclaims that Moshe Klessner, the soldier who shot the bulldozer driver, is a "heroic" man who "was forced to fight in court to get accepted into the military due to his activism against the Gaza evacuation." In other words, Klein's kind of guy. Klein also gushed that "heroism runs close to Klessner." Again, no mention of why the folks who stopped Zada from killing more innocents were not similarly "heroic."

Posted by Terry K. at 2:29 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, July 3, 2008 6:38 PM EDT
WND Repeats False Claims About Colorado Law
Topic: WorldNetDaily

A July 1 WorldNetDaily article by Bob Unruh uncritically repeats false claims that a new Colorado law bans the Bible.

Unruh writes that the law, SB 200, bans "the publication of discriminatory material." He cites state Rep. Kevin Lundberg claiming that the law is "written in an open-ended fashion," and quotes Steve Crampton, general counsel of Liberty Counsel, as saying, "I do believe that the Bible is banned, under the plain language of this new statute." 

In fact, the law merely adds "sexual orientation" to state anti-discrimination law, and the specific section regarding "the publication of discriminatory material" (Section 8) specifically addresses only housing and other businesses:

24-34-701. Publishing of discriminative matter forbidden.

No person, being the owner, lessee, proprietor, manager, superintendent, agent, or employee of any place of public accommodation, resort, or amusement, directly or indirectly, by himself or herself or through another person shall publish, issue, circulate, send, distribute, give away, or display in any way, manner, or shape or by any means or method, except as provided in this section, any communication, paper, poster, folder, manuscript, book, pamphlet, writing, print, letter, notice, or advertisement of any kind, nature, or description THAT is intended or calculated to discriminate or actually discriminates against any disability, race, creed, color, sex, SEXUAL ORIENTATION , marital status, national origin, or ancestry or against any of the members thereof in the matter of furnishing or neglecting or refusing to furnish to them or any one of them any lodging, housing, schooling, or tuition or any accommodation, right, privilege, advantage, or convenience offered to or enjoyed by the general public or which states that any of the accommodations, rights, privileges, advantages, or conveniences of any such place of public accommodation, resort, or amusement shall or will be refused, withheld from, or denied to any person or class of persons on account of disability, race, creed, color, sex, SEXUAL ORIENTATION , marital status, national origin, or ancestry or that the patronage, custom, presence, frequenting, dwelling, staying, or lodging at such place by any person or class of persons belonging to or purporting to be of any particular disability, race, creed, color, sex, SEXUAL ORIENTATION ,marital status, national origin,or ancestry is unwelcome or objectionable or not acceptable, desired, or solicited.

Unruh not only makes no effort to allow supporters of the law to rebut critics -- a longtime Unruh journalistic failing -- he also throws in the views of an anonymous "WND reader" on the subject without offering any reason for doing so; the reader offers no insight to the discussion but instead rants against the law on the same false premise that Unruh has presented it: "What is it called when you are forced, against your will, to participate in a sexual lifestyle that you find objectionable? I believe that is called 'rape.' My state legislature has 'violated' me and charged me with the crime."

This means that Unruh is lying to his readers by falsely presenting this law as something it's not. Of course, WND columnist Janet Folger did the same thing. Which is yet another indication of WND's exponentially increasing lack of credibility.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:05 AM EDT
Newsmax Joins Post in Misleading About Obama Loan
Topic: Newsmax

A July 2 Newsmax article by Rick Pedraza repeats the Washington Post's claim that Barack obama got a "highly favorable home loan," asserting that "Obama joins Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., and Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D., on the list of high-profile public figures who received 'VIP' loans that some now are scrutinizing as alleged trade-offs for political favors."

But the Post article doesn't claim that Obama received a "VIP" loan like Dodd and Conrad (and, Pedraza fails to mention, scandal-ridden Bush HUD secretary Alphonso Jackson). While Pedraza misleadingly described the interest rate on Obama's mortage as "unusually low" loan rate was actually just 3/10 percent below the average rate available at the time, and the Post never described it as "unusually low." Indeed, as Media Matters points out, "average" means that a substantial number of loans were below the average interest rate, and the Post offers no evidence that evidence that the interest rate Obama received was in any way out of the ordinary or the result of preferential treatment.

Further, as one blogger notes, evidence shows that the Obamas had excellent credit at the time of the house purchase and, thus, would likely have been eligible for below-average loan rates.

Will Pedraza this factual information on to his Newsmax readers? Don't count on it.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:29 AM EDT
Exclusive: WND Launches Financial Newsletter
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Perhaps seeing the apparent success of rival Newsmax in the field, WorldNetDaily is launching a financial newsletter.

In an article dated July 5 but available on its website, WND announces the creation of an "online global financial strategies newsletter" called Red Alert, to be headed by WND reporter and author Jerome Corsi. The newsletter is described as being for "for people of wealth and those who want to be people of wealth," specifically, those with "assets of $1 million or more to protect" or income of "$85,000 a year or more." It proposes to offer "the insights and behind-the-scenes reports and deep analysis of one of America's top political thinkers, journalists, commentators and financial gurus." it sells for $99 a year or $9.95 a month for credit card users.

Corsi holds no indicated degree in finance or economics (his Ph.D. is in political science), but the article states that he has "developed ... third-party financial services marketing firms" and "has been a noted financial services speaker and writer, publishing three books and numerous articles in professional financial services journals and magazines." WND also claims that Corsi is "a licensed National Association of Security Dealers registered representative" and "holds currently valid insurance licenses in New Jersey."

As noted earlier, this appears to be WND's effort to play catch up to Newsmax in the area of financial news. In contrast to WND's relatively MoneyNetDaily page, Newsmax offers a more robust MoneyNews page with several original columnists (the only original finance-related columnists WND offers are financial adviser Dave Ramsey and buy-American-only author Roger Simmermaker). Newsmax has offered a "Financial Intelligence Report" newsletter for several years.

Corsi has a history of making derogatory remarks about Democrats, using his WND writings to forward personal grudges and hurl baseless smears, and hiding the truth when it suits him. Corsi also has an attack book on Barack Obama coming out later this summer.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:28 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, July 3, 2008 12:33 AM EDT
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
Quote of the Day
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Resurrect shame – deep, abiding disgrace. While you're at it, whatever became of the shotgun wedding? Bring back the pejorative "bastard." I don't like it; it's hurtful, but it had its uses. So does hurt. With hurt come hard-won insights. The prospect of bearing a bastard once forced a parent to think: Do I want my child to bear this burden? Do I want for myself the status of an unwed, untaught mother? Expel pregnant girls; don't cater to them and kit them out.

-- Ilana Mercer, June 27 WorldNetDaily column

Posted by Terry K. at 5:47 PM EDT
WND's Kupelian Endorses McCain
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily's secret pro-McCain agenda just got a lot less secret: In a July 2 column, WND managing editor David Kupelian endorses John McCain, declaring that "John McCain really needs to be elected president in November."

What does this mean? That Joseph Farah's claim that he will not help McCain get elected notwithstanding, WND will, in fact, be helping McCain get elected by keeping its hands-off policy on McCain intact -- after all, Kupelian isn't going to jeopardize the campaign of someone he believes "really needs to be elected president." It also means that WND's policy of repeated, misleading, and false attacks on Obama will continue apace and only intensify between now and the election.

Thank you, Mr. Kupelian, for formally declaring your allegiance. Now we know for sure that going forward, WND is to be considered a partisan political organization operating as an arm of the McCain campaign.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:53 PM EDT
WND Endorses Dressing Like A Polygamist Cult Member
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily is excited to inform you, the reader, that "Pastel prairie-style dresses, modest shirts, trousers, long underwear and nightgowns are just some of the new Fundamentalist LDS clothing now available at sensible prices for purchase online."

Sensible prices! Certainly WND likes that the best of all. Will we be seeing these fashions in the WND store in the near future?

While the article does note that "several critics claim the strict dress code is a means for men to control women," we've previously noted that none of those critics can be found at WND:

  • Joseph Farah insisted he was not "an apologist for this false religion," but was quick to add that "cults aren't illegal." Farah also baselessly declared that "mothers and fathers made conscious and well-informed decisions not to immunize their kids because of the potential for dire health risks" (not mentioning the health risks non-immunized children face) and that "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."
  • Columnist Ilana Mercer painted an idyllic picture of the cult as a place where children are "frolicking in the open air on a large compound, doing your daily chores and feasting on hearty homegrown fare" and lead "a sheltered, chaste life."

The WND article went on to note that "church members have been commended on their sewing abilities" and link to the FLDS website, where can be found "quotes from LDS Doctrine and Covenants instructing members to dress modestly."

All of this makes us wonder: Does Farah dress his five home-schooled daughters FLDS style?

This, by the way, is far from the first time WND has done a tete-a-tete with religious extremists. In 2006, for example, WND appeared to side with the odious Fred Phelps and his Westboro Baptist Church, benignly describing family member Shirley Phelps-Roper as someone "who believes America's sinful behavior has resulted in God's cursings rather than blessings," as well as being "licensed to practice law in Kansas and before the U.S. Supreme Court."

Posted by Terry K. at 9:16 AM EDT
CNS Misleads on Obama Staff Pay

A June 30 article by Fred Lucas begins:

While Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama has vowed to make pay equity for women a top priority if elected president, an analysis of his Senate staff shows that women are outnumbered and out-paid by men.

That is in contrast to Republican presidential candidate John McCain's Senate office, where women, for the most part, out-rank and are paid more than men.

That's a false conflation of issues. Lucas provides no evidence that women in Obama's office are being paid less than men with the same amount of experience doing the same job -- which is what the issue of pay equity is all about. All Lucas did was compute the average pay for male staff vs. female staff.

Lucas also provides an incomplete account of the case of Lilly Ledbetter, whom the Supreme Court ruled against in a pay equity case. He wrote that "The court said that under the 1964 Civil Rights Act, an employee must sue within 180 days of a decision regarding pay if alleged discrimination is involved," but didn't note that the issue in the case was that Ledbetter didn't know of the pay disparity until 18 years after the initial decision was made.

Newsmax reprinted Lucas' article. 

Posted by Terry K. at 1:33 AM EDT
Aaron Klein Anti-Obama Agenda Watch
Topic: WorldNetDaily

For his 40th anti-Obama article (versus jsut one anti-mcCain article), WorldNetDaily's Aaron Klein expands on his previous right-wing blog-trolling by listing more inflammatory things he claims to have found in the blog community on Barack Obama's website -- but burying the fact that "the website carries a disclaimer that it does not monitor all blog posts."

Meanwhile, WND is promoting Klein as "one of the premiere [sic] reporters on Barack Obama," who will spend his time on WND's Caribbean cruise explaining, among other things, "why Hamas endorses Obama." Any chance Klein will explain why he's using Hamas terrorists to smear Obama?

Posted by Terry K. at 12:21 AM EDT
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
Ponte Responds to Clark's Non-Smear With Smear of Clark
Topic: Newsmax

In his June 30 Newsmax column, Lowell Ponte claimed that "a retired U.S. Army general who supports Barack Obama viciously attacked presumptive Republican presidential candidate John McCain’s military credentials."

Actually, no, Gen. Wesley Clark did not "viciously attack" John McCain, though you wouldn't know it from Ponte, who repeated Clark statement that "I don’t think riding in a fighter plane and getting shot down is a qualification to be president" without providing the context in which he said it -- that Clark was specifically responding to CBS "Face the Nation" host Bob Schieffer's statement that unlike McCain, Obama has not "ridden in a fighter plane and gotten shot down."

Ponte responded to Clark's statement that McCain "hasn’t been there and ordered the bombs to fall" and has never “held executive responsibility” over troops in wartime" by asserting that "McCain dropped bombs on North Vietnam before being shot down and spending five years under torture as a prisoner of war" and "McCain, whose father and grandfather were U.S. Navy admirals, led the largest squadron in the U.S. Navy" -- neither of which disproves what Clark said.

Despite never proving that Clark's comments about McCain's military record were vicious or an attack, let alone factually inaccurate -- as well as neglecting to mention that Clark also said, "I certainly honor his service as a prisoner of war. He was a hero to me and to hundreds of thousands of millions of others in the Armed Forces as a prisoner of war" -- Ponte asserted that "the press needs to tell Americans who Gen. Wesley Clark really is" ... then launched into is own vicious attack on Clark.

Ponte called Clark's military career "not stellar" and steeped with "mediocrity" -- sneeringly adding, "Like Bill Clinton, Wesley Clark was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford" -- until, as commander of Texas' Fort Hood, he " 'lent' 17 pieces of armor and 15 active service personnel under his command to what became Clinton’s extermination of the Branch Davidians." Ponte added, "Immediately after he went along with the Clintons’ potentially-illegal weapons request for Waco, Wesley Clark’s flat, fading career began an incredible meteoric rise."

Ponte concludes by rehashing smears of Clark by David Hackworth, a now-deceased retired colonel who has had his own troubles -- running a brothel and gambling hall for his troops in Vietnam while allegedly facilitating a black market for military script, yet still managing to obtain an honorable discharge -- so perhaps he's not quite the person for Ponte to be citing.

Needless to say, Ponte's position that a presidential candidate's military record can't be criticized is a flip-flop from 2004, when he cozied up to the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth and denigrated Kerry's Vietnam service. (Ponte also thinks that Kerry's neckties are "a secret signal of support to the Muslim world.")

Posted by Terry K. at 5:27 PM EDT
More Anti-Planned Parenthood Bias At CNS

A July 1 article by Andrew Tashjian and Michael Gryboski features "black pro-life leaders" attacking Planned Parenthood. The authors quote five different pro-lifers but make no apparent attempt to contact Planned Parenthood for a response; they merely spend two paragraphs of their 24-paragraph article quoting from Planned Parenthood's website.

This follows in CNS' longtime reporting bias against Planned Parenthood, devoting space to lengthy attacks on it while not giving the group any meaningful opportunity to respond.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:36 PM EDT
MRC-Fox News Appearance Watch
Topic: Media Research Center

An appearance by the MRC's Tim Graham on the June 29 edition of "The O'Reilly Factor" follows the template: Graham appears solo, and neither he nor the MRC are identified as conservative.

In the segment, Graham baselessly asserts that Barack Obama is somehow linked to a Chicago Tribune editorial arguing for a repeal of the Second Amendment:

GRAHAM: I think he needs to be asked this question. I think the news media ought to say, "Your hometown newspaper has now suggested the Second Amendment should now be repealed. Do you agree with the Chicago Tribune?" And let him denounce the Chicago Tribune. We'd like to see that happen. But , yeah, clearly, Obama's position is definitely involved.

How, exactly, is Obama's position on guns "involved" with what a newspaper chooses to put on its editorial page? Graham doesn't say.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:39 AM EDT
CNS Smears Dems on Social Security

A July 1 article by Susan Jones begins: "It must be an election year, because Democrats are once again raising the Social Security issue to scare older Americans."

By contrast, we're pretty sure Jones has never begun an article by writing, "It must be an election year, because Republicans are once again raising the issue of terrorism to scare Americans."

Posted by Terry K. at 9:17 AM EDT
WND Thinks Obama Worships Hindu Idol
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily's smears of Barack Obama don't just come from Aaron Klein; they appear in unbylined articles as well, like a June 27 article headlined, "Is Obama devotee of monkey-god idol?"

The actual article doesn't follow the headline's suggestion that Obama worships a "monkey-god idol" -- Obama merely carries "a smaller version of the Lord Hanuman good-luck charm" with him. Lord Hanuman, WND writes, is a "Hindu monkey-god idol."

The article curiously fails to mention what else Obama carries around with him for luck. They include a bracelet belonging to an American soldier deployed in Iraq, a gambler's lucky chit, a and a tiny Madonna and child.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:19 AM EDT

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