The secret to selling bad ideas is to make sure they are the only ones available. This is how totalitarian regimes take power. Whether it was Adolf Hitler in Nazi Germany or Vladimir Lenin in Communist Russia, the pattern is largely the same – totalitarian dictators come to power by enshrining themselves as cults of personality and then creating political monopolies through often less than delicate campaigns of indoctrination and censorship – especially censorship enshrouded in the intimidating aura of state power. Ironically, these cloven-tongued leaders often rise to dominance by preaching power to those they will dominate, provision to those they will impoverish and liberty to those they will force into state labor. Whether they claim to be left or right, revolutionary or reactionary, communist or fascist, the result is always the same – tyranny.
The great discomfort for many Americans as they watch the current presidential contest is that the scent of such totalitarianism hangs heavy in the air; the pattern so familiar in European dictatorships seems eerily present in Barack Obama's presidential campaign.
Farah Misleads About Corsi's Kenya Stunt Topic: WorldNetDaily
Joseph Farah uses his Oct. 10 WorldNetDaily column to misleading Jerome Corsi's little Kenyan adventure. Farah writes: "Corsi made no secret of his mission in Kenya. He announced his intentions upon arriving in the country. He disclosed on his customs forms the purpose of his business trip."
In fact, as WND itself stated before the trip, Corsi "came at the invitation of Christian missionaries" allegedly worried about "the rise of Islam in the African nation." Corsi and Farah have never identified who these "Christian missionaries" are, orhow their anti-Obama stunts -- like presenting Barack Obama's Kenyan half-brother a check for $1,000 -- fit in with the the declared purpose of working with "Christian missionaries."
Farah also whined about the treatment of Corsi in the media:
Try to imagine, for a moment, how different coverage would be if a prominent reporter for the New York Times who was also a best-selling author was abducted at the point of automatic weapons by a foreign government as Corsi was, held without food, stripped of his passport and cell phone and denied the opportunity to make any calls or talk to the press. Do you suppose the Associated Press and other news service accounts would portray the reporter as some kind of reckless political operative?
But Corsi is a political operative. He went to Kenya for the sole purpose of attacking and embarrassing Obama, no matter how specious the "evidence." Curiously, we haven't heard a peep about those "Christian missionaries" Corsi was supposed to be helping.
Remember, Farah was rooting for Muslim riots over a WND-published book that put the prophet Muhammad on the cover, so he's clearly not averse to taking part in publicity stunts.
Will Farah and Corsi ever admit to their readers the full truth about the Kenyan trip? Don't count on it.
Michael Reagan's Favorite Domestic Terrorist Topic: Newsmax
So Michael Reagan has a Newsmax column up attacking Barack Obama for his connections to "unrepentant terrorist bomber Bill Ayers." Reagan might want to justify his own connections to an unrepentant terrorist.
Huston Repeats False Claim on Illegals, Mortgages Topic: NewsBusters
An Oct. 9 NewsBusters post by Warner Todd Huston touted "a shocking claim made by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). HUD says that five million illegal aliens hold illegal mortgages." Huston added: "This story should be in every paper and on every TV news cast. Yet it isn't. I'll leave the guessing as to why with you, gentle reader."
Um, how about the fact that it isn't true?
The Phoenix radio station that originally ran the story later pulled it, as Huston notes. But as the Phoenix Business Journal reports (h/t Media Matters):
The U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development says there is no basis to news reports that more than 5 million bad mortgages are held by illegal immigrants.
A HUD spokesman said Thursday his agency has no data showing the number of illegal immigrants holding foreclosed or bad mortgages.
But news reports, including one aired on KFYI-AM 550 in Phoenix, cite HUD as a source for the illegal immigrant mortgage number. The widely read “Drudge Report” posted a link to the KFYI report, but as of Thursday afternoon the link no longer connected to the story.
That radio station has a new article up claiming that its source was not HUD but, rather, "a retired agent from Immigration and Customs Enforcement."
UPDATE: Huston has updated his post with the new article from the radio station, taking refuge in the radio station's claim that it "stands by the essence of their original report" -- even though the source remains anonymous and and no evidence is provided to back up the claim. Would Huston put up with that anonymity and lack of evidence if a liberal was making a claim that conservatives didn't like? We doubt it.
In an Oct. 9 NewsBusters post, Scott Whitlock, headlined "ABC's David Wright Rages at 'Full-bore Attack on Obama's Character,'" asserted that Wright "continued to rail against John McCain's 'full-bore attack on [Senator Barack] Obama's character' during Thursday's "Good Morning America.'"
Well, we watched the clip. We didn't see any raging or any railing -- just Wright pointing out that "in the past couple of days, the Republicans have been laying it on thick. Chumming the waters. And, not surprisingly, ugly reactions are beginning to surface." Whitlock doesn't contradict any of the claims Wright makes, which tells us that the whole point of the post is to equate telling the truth with having a liberal bias.
Corsi's Email Evidence Against Obama Debunked Topic: WorldNetDaily
An Oct. 10 WorldNetDaily article by Bob Unruh touted "e-mails obtained by WND senior staff writer Jerry Corsi during a trip to Kenya" as evidence that Barack Obama "backed" the "ruthless, foreign thug" and Kenyan prime minister Raila Odinga. Corsi's key piece of evidence is an email purportedly from Obama to Odinga stating that "I will kindly wish that all our correspondence [be] handled by Mr Mark Lippert. I have already instructed him. This will be for my own security both for now and in future."
A small glitch: These emails, above, appear not to have been written by a native English speaker, unless "I will kindly wish..." is a phrase I'm just unfamiliar with. They have the unmistakable flavor of solicitations from dying African princes, who need only your bank account details to make you wealthy beyond measure.
At least the Bush National Guard documents were written in the right language.
Also unexplained: why Odinga would be using a Yahoo email account.
An Oct. 9 Newsmax article by Ronald Kessler purports to quote a "former Obama schoolmate" as saying that during high school in Hawaii, Barack Obama " didn’t hang out with a group I thought was the right group to hang out with," adding, "I would say Obama didn’t show great character about choosing who he hung out with. ... I think he behaved well and wasn’t getting into trouble, but he didn’t seem to hang out with the right people.”
Who is this "former schoolmate"? Kessler won't tell us, asserting that the woman "did not want to be quoted by name."
Kessler uses this person's alleged words to launch yet another attack on Obama, giving him an excuse to do his Republican duty and rehash Jeremiah Wright, Louis Farrakhan and William Ayers. Kessler concludes: "The fact that he associated with Ayers, remained a member of Wright’s church until this year, and exposed his children to Wright’s hate-America tirades shows the same poor character and lack of judgment Obama admits displaying in high school."
The fact that Kessler so willingly sold himself out to flip-flop from McCain-basher to McCain fluffer, and his willingness to forward anonymous smears, show us all we need to know about Kessler's character and judgment.
FARAH: I hope to have Mr. Corsi, Dr. Corsi, on a plane to the U.K. before that debate takes place. If that is not the case, I hope we can make enough noise about this to make it an issue tonight.
LIDDY: Yeah. Now, in addition to freeing Dr. Corsi, are you also trying to free Obama's white grandmother?
FARAH: Good point. That's my next mission.
LIDDY: OK, Joseph. God bless you.
The stuff about Obama imprisoning his white grandmother comes straight from a March 2007 column Andy Martin wrote for Newsmax. But since neither Farah nor Liddy care thatmuch about facts, they think that raging anti-Semite Martin is a credible source. Indeed, as we've noted, WND considers Martin so credible that Aaron Klein treated his latest smear of Obama as fact in a Sept. 29 article.
Remember this the next time you're tempted to treat WND as a credible news source.
Heathers, Special NewsBusters Edition Topic: NewsBusters
The boys at NewsBusters are turning into the Heathers. If you're a conservative who fails to strictly toe the right-wing line -- and especially if you get caught dissing lead Heather Sarah Palin -- you are so out of the club, and they'll say mean things about you.
Palin's Heather henchman at NewsBusters is none other than Tim Graham. In an Oct. 1 post, suggested that Kathleen Parker's column daring to suggest that Palin wasn't perhaps the best person John McCain could have chosen as vice president was written with the purpose of getting Parker on TV more: "Parker, a semi-regular on The Chris Matthews Show, doesn't seem to see how her souring on Palin might look to some like a way to demonstrate "independence" and hence more Matthews bookings. On Sunday, Matthews read from her column and cheeringly noted she was booked."
Joining in the Heathering was Mark Finkelstein, who insisted in an Oct. 4 post that Parker "became, overnight, liberals' favorite non-liberal pundit for her column calling on Sarah Palin to step down from the GOP ticket" and that Parker had an egg-like substance on her face because, after Palin's non-sucky performace during the vice presidential debate, "Parker is dismayed to have the Palin that made the author famous pulled out from under her."
After David Brooks called Palin "a fatal cancer to the Republican Party," the Heathers tried to turn him into Martha Dumptruck.
Scott Whitlock led the attack by putting scare quotes around "conservative" in describing Brooks, adding that he is "someone who makes a habit out of bashing other right-wingers."
Graham, meanwhile, let loose the Swatch dogs of war in an Oct. 9 post, calling Brooks "the man PBS’s 'NewsHour' unit selected to represent in some way 'conservative' opinion in America." He continues:
Many conservative and Republican taxpayers might ask: why are our tax dollars going to Washington to fund PBS, while they select "conservatives" to represent us who hate the politicians we support, and blithely sit around with liberals at pricey restaurants like Le Cirque and complain that those hicks from Texas and Alaska aren’t reading enough Niebuhr? Are we going to go to the polls to elect a commander in chief, or a senior fellow in Niebuhr studies?
David Brooks is nothing like Paul Gigot, who was both a good reporter and conservative idea man as a Wall Street Journal columnist. He’s a lot more like PBS’s last insult as a "conservative" representative: David Gergen. He's someone who inspires giggles when you reread in him in Newsweek in 2000 claiming "The conservative McCain backers see themselves as rebels against the establishment." Brooks defines the arrogant Manhattan establishment, looking down their snooty noses at the Alaskan moose-hunters. He is only a rebel against the people he’s supposedly speaking for on PBS.
Yikes. Why do we have a feeling that Graham is running around Northern Viriginia trying to find a place that sells ich luge bullets?
An Oct. 9 WorldNetDaily column by WND commentary editor Ron Strom criticizes Focus on the Family chief James Dobson for "pass[ing] up a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to lead our nation out of the death grip of the two-party system – choosing instead to join those pushing the politics of fear by claiming Americans with a biblical worldview have just one responsible choice on Nov. 4, and that's to vote for Sen. John McCain."
What Strom doesn't mention: His employer is doing the exact same thing.
As we've detailed, while Strom's commentary page includes some criticism and his boss, Joseph Farah, purports to support "none of the above," WND's news pages have been mostly devoid of any substantial criticism of McCain -- certainly nowhere near the massive hate-fest WND is waging against Barack Obama.
Strom might want to have a little chat with WND managing editor David Kupelian to explain why he endorsed McCain and refuses to allow any McCain criticism on his news pagers.
Strom also wrote: "Imagine what could have occurred had Dr. Dobson stayed with his February assessment of Sen. McCain and urged his followers to support a different man for president – whether a third-party nominee or a write-in candidate – one who was faithful to the principles of the Constitution, the Bible and our Founding Fathers."
But WND hasn't been doing that either. For instance, Chuck Baldwin, the presidential candidate for the Constitution Party -- which claims a mission to "limit the federal government to its delegated, enumerated, Constitutional functions and to restore American jurisprudence to its original Biblical common-law foundations" and, thus, is presumably the kind of guy Strom wants to win -- hasn't been mentioned in a WND news article since Sept. 23. For the next most recent reference, you have to go back to Aug. 20.
If Strom really believes what he's writing, he should demonstrate some journalistic fortitutde and hold his own employer accountable for its behavior instead of bashing Dobson for following in WND's footsteps.
CNS Joins Newsmax In Putting Creative Headlines on AP Articles Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com appears to be followingNewsmax in putting, er, creative headlines on the Associated Press articles it runs.
The headline the AP put on one Oct. 9 article: "Report: Voter purges in 6 states may violate law."
CNS' headline on its version of the article: "Never Mind About Fraudulent Voter Registrations: NY Times Examines 'Voter Roll Purges.'"
CNS seems not to think that as the article states, "tens of thousands of eligible voters" being "removed from rolls or blocked from registering," is a big deal. Perhaps that's because such purges tend to benefit Republicans, while carping about "fraudulent voter registrations" is use by Republicans as an issue against Democrats (witness the right-wing focus on ACORN).
UPDATE: TPM has more on the McCain campaign's anti-ACORN campaign. Key quote: "But by shrieking about voter fraud, the McCain camp hopes to make voting officials more willing to place restrictions in the path of voters on election day, potentially causing delays and confusion at the polls, and reducing overall turnout. And it seeks to discredit any Obama victory by raising the suggestion that it was aided by the votes of ineligible voters."
Walls properly but generically defines A type of non-profit classification of which we are one. He fails miserably in defining OUR non-profit. In short, he again has no idea about which he is speaking.
Nowhere does Motley explain what Walls is purportedly "lying" about or why it's a lie.
If you'll recall, the center of the dispute at hand is Motley's claim to Walls that he couldn't respond to questions from the Obama campaign about questionable claims he had made on "Fox & Friends" about Obama's relationship with ACORN because the MRC is a 501(c)(3) group. We (along with Walls) pointed out that while 501(c)(3) groups are prohibited from engaging in partisan political activity, but we didn't understand how answering questions from a political campaign also fell under that prohibition.
Here again, Motley fails to answer the question of how exactly the 501(c)(3) tax law prohibits him from answering questions from a political campaign. Nor does he explain the difference between the "generic" 501(c)(3) definition and the type of 501(c)(3) Motley suggests the MRC is.
Instead, he mindlessly bashes Walls in an apparent attempt to deflect attention away from the simple question Motley himself refuses to answer.
Or does Motley think the 501(c)(3) law prohibits him from answering questions from us, too?
Aaron Klein Anti-Obama Agenda Watch Topic: WorldNetDaily
Aaron Klein recounts a 43-year-old incident involving William Ayers that is utterly irrelevant to today's presidential race, featuring a woman who claims Ayers "locked her in his attic apartment when both were college students and intimidated her into having sex with his brother and his black roommate."
Klein quotes the woman as saying she "was compelled to speak out this week only after reading multiple media reports she said attempted to excuse Ayers' behavior during his Weathermen years" -- even though neither Klein or the woman offer actual examples of anyone "excus[ing] Ayers' behavior during his Weathermen years," and even though Klein includes in his article a lengthy excerpt from a 2006 article about the alleged incident the woman wrote for FrontPageMag.
Of course, Klein makes no mention of John McCain's -- or his own -- relationship with domestic terrorist G. Gordon Liddy.
New Article: Lowell Ponte's Democrat Derangement Syndrome Topic: Newsmax
The Newsmax columnist just can't stop making ludicrous attacks against Democrats like Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Read more >>
NewsBusters Ignores Full Story Behind Andy Martin Topic: NewsBusters
An Oct. 8 NewsBusters post by Matthew Balan reported on the confrontation between Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs and Sean Hannity over the appearance of Andy Martin on Hannity's weekend show. But Balan failed to mention the full context of why Martin is a problem for Hannity.
Indeed, Balan's goal was to bash Gibbs for using a "shout-down-your-opponent-to-shut-him-up strategy" against Hannity, failing to note that it's a strategy that Hannity himself regularly uses, and was in fact using against Gibbs. Balan also bashed Gibbs for indulging in "the latest example of the Democratic campaign attempting to whitewash their opponents," by "chang[ing] the entire subject of the discussion" of his pre-debate appearance on "Hannity & Colmes" to "whether Hannity was anti-Semitic for recently interviewing Andy Martin, who in 2000, accused George W. Bush of using cocaine, has been a candidate for various offices in several states, and is accused by the Washington Post of starting the rumor that Obama is a Muslim."
But Balan failed to mention why Martin was on Hannity's show in the first place -- to spread his never-verified attacks on Obama. Further, Hannity never revealed Martin's history as an anti-Semite, filer of nuisance lawsuits and fringe political candidate in several states to his audience, which would have cast legitimate doubt on Martin's credibility, not to mention (further) dismantle credibility of Hannity himself for uncritically putting such a person on his program. (Disclosure: Martin filed one of those nuisance lawsuits against us last year.)
Balan also failed to mention that Hannity's claim during the exchange that "I'm a journalist who interviews people who I disagree with all the time, that give their opinion" is rather bogus.