In case you missed it, we reprint our response to Joseph Farah's attack on us over that Huffington Post article. Read more >>
Thursday, October 2, 2008
Are 'Christian Missionaries' Paying for Corsi's Trip to Kenya?
An Oct. 2 WorldNetDaily article states that "WND author and staff writer Jerome Corsi has arrived in the Kenyan capital to investigate Sen. Barack Obama's ties to the prime minister, Raila Odinga," adding:
Who, exactly, are these "Christian missionaries"? What organization do they belong to? Are they paying for Corsi's trip? Why are they associating themselves with Corsi, who has only partisan intent in his trip? By facilitating, if not paying for, Corsi's trip, are these "missionaries" implicitly endorsing John McCain and, thus, potentially violating federal election laws that prohibit political endorsements by religious figures?
Lest anyone doubt Corsi's (and WND's) partisan intent in his trip, the article adds:
WND fails to note that, as we've previously noted, the Times of London has reported that George Obama has disputed that reporting: "It seems there are people who want to destroy me and my family. ... They say I live on a dollar a month, but this is all lies by people who don’t want my brother to win.” George Obama has also said, "I was brought up well. I live well even now. The magazines, they exaggerated everything."
Since Farah purports to want "none of the above" to win (despite mounting evidence showing the opposite), will Farah also be cutting a check to the half-sister that Cindy McCain is trying to keep hidden?
MRC: Asking Palin What She Reads = Calling Her An 'Ill-Informed Dolt'
Topic: Media Research Center
In trying to portray Katie Couric as having "patronizingly challenge[d] & lecture[d]" Sarah Palin during their series of interviews, Brent Baker asserted in an Oct. 1 MRC CyberAlert that Couric was calling Palin "an ill-informed dolt" by asking, "What newspapers and magazines did you regularly read before you were tapped for this to stay informed and to understand the world?" Baker added: "Couric wouldn't let go: 'Like what ones specifically?' and 'Can you name a few?'"
Baker doesn't explain how asking someone what publications they read equals accusing someone of being an "ill-informed dolt." Nor does he mention that, as the transcript he attaches makes clear, the reason Couric "wouldn't let go" of the question is because Palin wouldn't give a straight answer to it:
Does Baker think this was too tough a question for Palin or that she was somehow justified in refusing to offer a list of what she reads?
Kincaid Still Obsessed With Maddow
Topic: Accuracy in Media
The AIM Report also rehashes Kincaid's admiration for noted misogynist Marc Rudov.
Doug Wead uses his Oct. 1 Newsmax column to devise a novel excuse for Sarah Palin's dismal performance in her interviews with Katie Couric: Ted Kennedy couldn't handle unscripted questions either.
So now we're supposed to believe Palin is like Ted Kennedy, whom Wead goes on to describe as having "of the most stellar careers in the U.S. Senate"?
Aaron Klein Palin-Philia Watch
In an Oct. 1 WorldNetDaily article uncritically repeating attacks by the McCain campaign on a blogger who mockingly pointed out that Sarah Palin essentially endorsed Hamas by praising its victory in Palestinian elections, Aaron Klein used the kerfuffle to once again reference his own interview (along with fellow right-winger John Batchelor) with Hamas official Ahmed Yousuf (whose spelling he can't get straight -- he also spells it "Yousef"), who said he "hopes" Barack Obama is elected. He added: "Yousef's statements were construed by many U.S. commentators as a Hamas endorsement of Obama."
(Klein, by the way, has yet to answer questions we've raised about that interview -- specifically, the knowledge of and extent of willing participation by Yousef in Klein’s and Batchelor’s right-wing, anti-Obama agenda.)
Klein fails to mention that another Hamas official essentially retracted the "endorsement," according to a June 4 Reuters article:
Klein has previously tried to play down Zuhri's remarks, asserting that Zuhri "clarified" in a later interview with him that "he was specifically referring to the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee's pro-Israel speech" at AIPAC on June 4. Klein baselessly portrayed the statement as not contradicting Yousef’s "endorsement."
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Fighting Media Bias, Or Reciting McCain Talking Points?
Topic: Accuracy in Media
In a Sept. 30 Accuracy in Media blog post claiming that the New York Times fired a "partisan shot aimed at hurting the McCain campaign," Rep. Lamar Smith wrote:
In fact, the Times never claimed Davis himself was paid by Freddie Mac; rather, the article stated that Davis' firm was contracted to receive the money, adding that "took a leave from Davis & Manafort for the presidential campaign, but as a partner and equity-holder continues to benefit from its income." In claiming that "Davis was never a lobbyist for Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae," Smith ignores the fact that Davis was, as the Times article noted, the head of an advocacy group funded by Fannie and Freddie with the purpose of opposing regulation of the entities, which Smith seems to think is not "lobbying."
Smith is merely regurgitating the McCain campaign's denials of the Times article, not to mention uncritically mouthing the campaign's claims that the Times is a "partisan" publication. Further, by focusing only on this single article, Smith ignores the evidence revealed since then that suggest Davis continues to have ties to his firm -- namely that Davis is still listed as an officer of the company and has maintained other financial connections to it.
Smith claims to be battling "the problem of media bias," but all he's really doing is reciting McCain talking points.
Kessler Hauls Out the Scaremongering
Kessler quotes "former top FBI counterterrorism analyst" Frederick Stremmel as claiming that "Al-Qaida or affiliated groups probably will attack the United States in the months after the election to 'welcome' the new president," adding:
Kessler added a similar claim by "former FBI profiler" James R. Fitzgerald:
Kessler, Stremmel and Fitzgerald offer no actual evidence that Al-Qaeda "prefers Obama" or that Obama favors "more lenient anti-terrorism policies." Indeed, one major piece of evidence Kessler fails to cite demonstrates the opposite. As we've noted, author Ron Suskind in his book "The One Percent Doctrine," reported that CIA analysts agreed that a videotaped message by Osama bin Laden's that surfaced just before the 2004 presidential election "was clearly designed to assist the President's reelection." Conservatives promoted the video as bin Laden's expression of support for John Kerry -- and, thus, played into bin Laden's hands.
If history is any indication, look for much more scaremongering by Kessler as we get closer to the election.
CNS Still Treating Alveda King's Honorary Doctorate As Real
A Sept. 30 CNSNews.com article by Mary Jane O'Brien about an interview by CNS editor-in-chief Terry Jeffrey of anti-abortion activist Alveda King repeatedly refers to her as "Dr. Alveda King" and "Dr. King." The problem, as we pointed out last time CNS did this: King has apparently not earned any doctorate degree.
As biographies of King on several websites state, King "received her honorary Doctorate of Laws from Saint Anselm College."As a Saint Anselm publication details, in 2001 she "was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree for her extraordinary efforts as an advocate for education reform and improvement of race relations and for her passionate participation in the political and academic arena following the great challenges of her young life." While it's an honor, it's not a real doctorate.
King does not hold a doctorate she has earned, as far as we can determine; even if she had, Associated Press journalistic style dictates that the "Dr." honorific is given only to medical doctors.
Newsmax Promotes John Fund's Dubious Book
John Fund has released an "revised and updated" version of his factually challenged 2004 book "Stealing Elections" in time for the 2008 election, publicized in a Sept. 28 Newsmax article by Dave Eberhart.
And promote he does, regurgitating Fund's claim that "miscounts and voter fraud scandals everywhere from Seattle to Miami have rocked elections during the past several years — and, in very bad news for the election next month — many of the problems have not been resolved."
Eberhart claims that "Fund details Obama’s involvement with ACORN throughout his career," but there are questions about Fund's veracity. As Media Matters details, Fund claims that "ACORN also runs something called "Camp Obama," which trains campaign volunteers in the same tactics that Obama honed as a community organizer" -- but the newspaper article Fund cites as evidence of his claim makes no mention of ACORN. In fact, Camp Obama is run by the Obama campaign to train volunteers how to recruit voters for Obama.
Eberhart also states that Fund's book addresses "how ACORN led 'the worst case of voter-registration fraud' in Washington State’s history." This appears to be a reference to a 2007 case of seven ACORN workers who were indicted in Seattle in 2007 for submitting more than 1,700 voter registration forms that were found to be fraudulent, many of which bore the names of celebrities or "nonexistent people." But as Media Matters also points out, no votes were cast under those fradulent voter registrations.
Despite Fund's additional dubious reporting, Eberhart's article serves up several points at which one can buy the book from Newsmax's store.
Huston Misleads on Obama's Soldier Bracelet
A Sept. 28 NewsBusters post by Warner Todd Huston was less than eager to tell the full story about the bracelet carrying the name of deceased soldier Ryan Jopek that Barack Obama said he was wearing as a counter to the soldier bracelet John McCain's bragged about wearing. Huston promoted a claim by Jopek's father that "his family had asked Barack Obama to stop wearing the bracelet with his son's name on it. Yet Obama continues to do so despite the wishes of the family."
It's not until Huston updated his post later in the day that he takes a stab at telling the other side of the story, citing an Associated Press article in which Jopek's mother weighs in, quoting only her statements that she "asked Obama not to mention the bracelet on the campaign trail" and that she was "satisfied" with how Obama discussed the bracelet in the presidential debate.
Ignoring the fact that the mother's claim that she "asked Obama not to mention the bracelet" is substantively different from the father's claim that he asked Obama "to stop wearing the bracelet," Huston asserted: "The fact remains, the woman has repeated that she asked Obama not to mention her son on the campaign trail and this AP report confirms that." But he ignored the AP article's claim that while she "never got a reply" to her request for Obama not to mention the bracelet, she "said she didn't hear of him mentioning it after that" until the debate.
Sounds to us like Obama kept his word until McCain felt the need to play up his dead-soldier credentials at the debate.
Over at Newsmax, Phil Brennan cited Huston's post for a Sept. 28 article claiming that Jopek's father said "his ex-wife [Jopek's mother] had asked Obama to stop using the bracelet as a publicity stunt." He makes no mention of the AP article Newsmax published the same day repeating the mother's claim that she approved of the mention.
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
WND Finally Tells The Other Side of Obama 'Truth Squad' Story
A Sept. 29 WorldNetDaily article by Drew Zahn finally gets around to reporting the other side of the story regarding membership by Missouri law enforcement officials in an Obama "truth squad" that previous WND articles baselessly suggested would use the power of their office to legally harrass anyone running ads critical of Obama. But Zahn baselessly frames it as the officials "back[ing] off the intimidating implications," even though there's no evidence they made any such claim in the first place that needed to be "backed off."
Zahn further fails to note that John McCain's campaign also utilizes law enforcement officials on its "truth squads," let alone question the propriety of that in the same way it attacked those on the Obama side.
Zahn ends by quoting one county sheriff who is a "truth squad" member noting, "I came into my office Monday morning, and I've got 500 emails and 19 nasty phone calls calling me a communist pig!" Is WND proud of its readers doing that sort of thing?
CNS Article's Claim Lacks Evidence
A Sept. 30 CNSNews.com article by Susan Jones promotes the claim by conservative activist Richard Viguerie that the defeat of the Wall Street bailout package "shows the power of the New and Alternative Media." But Jones doesn't cite any specific examples of how the "New and Alternative Media" -- in context, the conservatively correct term for right-wing blogs, websites and talk radio -- caused the bill to fail, beyond a claim that "Even the Associated Press noted the power of the Internet in torpedoing the bill." The AP quote that Jones serves up -- "furious pressure built up against the bill in e-mail campaigns and on Internet Web sites" -- also offers no specific examples.
Further, since a significant minority of House Democrats also voted against the bill, credit for defeating the bill cannot go to right-wing media alone.
Nevertheless, Jones uncritically repeated Viguerie's assertion that the bailout bill "the support of the mainstream media, who told us ad nauseam that everyone -- everyone! -- supported a bailout." No evidence is offered to support Viguerie's claim.
Where Was Huston When ...
A Sept. 29 NewsBusters post by Warner Todd Huston bashed the Obama campaign for violating "the right of free political speech" by banning signs at a rally, further bashing "weak-spined school officials" at the Virginia college where the rally was held because they "bent over and meekly accepted the rules derived from the fascistic penchant of the Obama campaign with its anti-first amendment proclivities."
Funny, we don't recall Huston exhibiting similar outrage when, for instance, a woman was arrested outside a John McCain "town hall meeting" purportedly open to the public for carrying a sign. Or when the Bush administration engaged in a policy of expelling possible critics from Bush's public appearances.
Tell you what, Warner: Try getting a little mad about that, and then you might have a right to indulge your Obama Derangement Syndrome.
Yet Another WND Double Standard
Back in 2005, WorldNetDaily began promoting a book called "Sex Appealed" by Janice Law, which attacked the Supreme Court decision in Lawrence v. Texas that overturned state sodomy laws by claiming that "the events of September 17, 1998, [upon which the case was based] were a prearranged, orchestrated set-up designed to test Texas Penal Statute 21.06 – a too-perfect case."
In an Oct. 25, 2005, column, Joseph Farah similarly attacked "the pre-meditated nature of the Lawrence case setup," adding, "It was quite simply the misdemeanor dream case homosexual activists in Texas and nationwide had been dreaming about. Or had they done more than dream about it? Had they schemed about it, too?" He further asserted: "If the Lawrence case were known to be a setup during the five years following the arrests, then the defendants would not have a right-to-privacy claim, and the U.S. Supreme Court probably would never hear the case."
An Oct. 27, 2005, WND "news" article repeated Law's claim that the Lawrence case "was based on a pre-arranged 'setup' of police, state judicial authorities and, ultimately, the highest court in the land." The same day, a WND column by Law bashed the case as "a set-up case of invited arrests," further exclaiming, "Isn't the U.S. Constitution good enough anymore?"
But there's a new case brewing that is a similarly pre-arranged setup. But instead of being horrified by it, WND has promoted it.
A Sept. 26 WND article by Drew Zahn touted plans by the conservative Alliance Defense Fund to use "a select team of 33 pastors in 22 states" who "will be preaching on politics in a direct challenge to a federal tax statute that forbids churches from interfering with political campaigns." Zahn added:
Doesn't the fact that the ADF is specifically enlisting people to break the law wiht the express purpose of creating the basis of a court case in which the law can be challenged make their action the exact same type of pre-arranged "set-up case of invited arrests" WND condemned when it involved homosexuals? It certainly appears that way.
Yet Zahn offers no substantial criticism of the initiative -- only one paragraph in his 21-paragraph article.
Just another chunk of hypocrisy in a "news" organization already laden with it.
Buy through this Amazon link and support ConWebWatch!
Accuracy in Media
Capital Research Center
Free Congress Foundation
Media Research Center
The Daily Les
Western Journalism Center
Support Bloggers' Rights!