'Reality Check' Unreality: MRC Ignores Schieffer's GOP Ties Topic: Media Research Center
An Oct. 15 Media Research Center "Media Reality Check" -- unbylined, but apparently written by Tim Graham, who has posted it under his name at NewsBusters -- asserted that CBS' Bob Scheiffer "clearly did not take pains to appear objective before" the the Oct. 15 presidential debate for which he will serve as moderator. The so-called evidence: Schieffer called Sarah Palin an "attack dog." It's not explained how that arguably accurate description of her role in the McCain campaign is not "objective."
The "Reality Check" also asserts that "Schieffer also failed the fair-and-balanced test in a review of the debate he moderated in 2004," adding: "It's easier for a pundit to call the Democrat the winner when the moderator’s questions lean strongly to the left."
Graham (or whoever wrote this) conveniently fails to mention Schieffer's Republican ties -- namely, that Schieffer has a personal relationship with Bush and his brother was a former Bush business partner. And, as TPM reminds us, Schieffer defended John McCain when Gen. Wesley Clark said that McCain's experience as a prisoner of war didn't qualify him to be president.
A chain e-mail that originates with a letter from American missionaries working in Kenya warns about Sen. Barack Obama’s ties to Kenya and its opposition party, encouraging readers “not to be taken in by those that are promoting him.”
Among the many allegations is one about Obama’s ties to Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga: “Obama under ‘friends of Obama’ gave almost a million dollars to the (Kenya) opposition campaign who just happened to be his cousin, Raila Odinga, who is a socialist trained in East Germany.”
The e-mail reads like a bad game of “telephone,” its claims drawn from assorted people and sources that have been stitched together. And yet, because it is signed by real people, who have a life in Africa, it somehow carries more credence than your average blog posting — and it’s spreading rapidly. (Read the e-mail here. )
But even with the credibility of a real author, the claims in this e-mail are as baseless as anything you’ve read from an anonymous blogger.
PolitiFact even has its own copy of the "internal document" Corsi has (here and here) -- and it looks nothing like Corsi's version.
The PolitiFact version -- which it says it obtained from the originators of the chain email, Celeste and Loren Davis, who "lived and worked in Kenya for the past 12 years" -- appears to have been run through a fax machine a few times, making the type fuzzy, while Corsi's version is clean and in an completely different typeface and format, and it appears to introduce a typo or two.
In other words, If the Davises' document is to be considered original, Corsi has a recreated copy.
Remember that Corsi said at the outset of his trip that he was going to visit "Christian missionaries." Would that be the Davises?
PolitiFact toes on to write about the document:
Loren Davis provided PolitiFact with a document that he says shows Obama gave $1-million to the Kenyan opposition campaign led by Odinga. A header at the top of the page says it’s a “consolidated statement of campaign financial activities.” Under the header is a list of “incoming resources” with entries listed in columns of “from” and “amount.”
Handwritten notes amplify the point being made. A name on the list is underlined and the words “Barak Obama” are written in the margin, suggesting that donation is from the Illinois senator, even though his name is misspelled. The amount across from this name also is underlined and next to it someone has written “$1 million,” implying Obama contributed $1-million.
The Obama campaign strongly disputes this allegation and three Kenya experts who reviewed the document at our request called it fraudulent.
If the Davises' document is "fraudulent," that means Corsi's document is too -- even more so, since it's a recreation.
PolitiFact concludes that the whole Obama donation deal is "Pants on Fire wrong." That goes for Corsi as well -- and his other purportedly incriminating Obama email.
WND Suckered By Fake Michelle Obama Interview Topic: WorldNetDaily
An Oct. 14 WorldNetDaily article claims that "Michelle Obama placed a surprise call to an African news agency to protest its coverage of WND investigative stories about her husband – characterizing the source of the material as "racist" and Jerome Corsi as 'evil.'"
Naturally, a mere contemplation of the obvious should have short-circuited the belief that this interview was real. ... The Obama campaign has been, throughout the season, notoriously disciplined and highly aloof from the press, so it's unlikely that Michelle Obama would have the green light to be calling up random bloggers to yell at them. If she did, she'd be doing that all the damned time! But Michelle is clearly working hard to avoid courting controversy.
Beyond that, there were obvious signs that the interview, and the organization, is fakety-fake McFake. For example: there are two "r's" in "Farrakhan." "Inauguration" is not spelled "innoguration." And you'd think that a writer for "African Press International" would be clear on the concept of capitalizing one's own publication's name. Nevertheless, these obvious signs proved too elusive for some people.
Among them is WND, which fully bought into it, complete with an email message from a representative from the alleged news agency (which appears to be nothing more than a blog):
However, in an e-mail to WND, a man who identified himself as API's "Chief Editor Korikr" confirmed the exchange.
"API hereby confirms to you that the story is true and if the huge interest on this particular story continues, we will post the recording on our website in the next immediate days.
"When we published the story we did not intend to cause any chaos but we are shocked by the huge interest the story is receiving from the Americans and the American media," he continued.
"Mrs. Obama called us just to ask API to stop joining the mainstream hate online media that is trying to destroy her husband's opportunity to get the presidency," he wrote.
He said his editorial board would meet to discuss how best to release the audio.
WND has a habit of letting its biases get in the way of its news judgment. This is not the first time that WND has treated a fake news story as real -- in 2005, WND treated an April Fool's item on the blog Defamer that Terri Schiavo's husband had sold the rights to his story for a TV movie was real.
On the other hand, WND thinks those Obama-smearing emails Jerome Corsi brought back from Kenya are real too.
Red Alert: The Holes In Corsi's Latest Attack on Obama Topic: WorldNetDaily
What's wrong with Jerome Corsi's assertion in an Oct. 14 WorldNetDaily article that Barack Obama donated "nearly $1 million" to the campaign of "foreign thug" Kenya Prime Minister Raila Odinga? Let us count the ways:
All his sources are anonymous. He cites "several highly credible ex-ODM [Odinga's political party] sources WND interviewed in Kenya," but offers no reason why he or anyone else should trust them.
Corsi's evidence later in the article doesn't even support his claim in the first paragraph that "Sen. Barack Obama, with a donation of nearly $1 million," is "among the biggest contributors" to Odinga. He cites an purported "internal document obtained by WND" listing "Friends of Senator B.O." has having donated the money -- not Obama himself.
Corsi offers no evidence that he has authenticated that "internal document." One clue that it may not be authentic is that it includes the full position titles of the sender and recipient. If it's an "internal document," wouldn't these folks already know they are and, thus, it would be unnecessary to include it?
Corsi claims that "72 individuals and organizations" are listed in the document as donating to Odinga, but the document as posted lists only 49.
Corsi references an earlier purported email posted by WND in which "Obama personally informed Odinga that "all our correspondence [be] handled by Mr. Mark Lippert." But that email appears to be even more fraudulent than the "internal document."
To summarize: Corsi is basing his current attack on Obama on anonymous sources and unverified, fraudluent-looking "documents."
Newsmax Gets Amnesia About McCain's Flip-Flops Topic: Newsmax
An Oct. 14 Newsmax article by Rod Proctor carries the headline: "Obama's Long Record of Flip-Flops Exposed."
Mentioned nowhere in Proctor's article: John McCain's even longer record of flip-flops.
It's not that Newsmax isn't aware of this. Indeed, Ronald Kessler wrote of McCain in July 2007:
It's one thing for a candidate to flip-flop on issues. It's another thing for a candidate to contradict himself on himself.
That's what John McCain has been doing — repeatedly — on whether he has a temper.
McCain's diametrically opposed claims about his temper raise questions: Is McCain so arrogant that he thinks he can say anything and get away with it? Or is he such a loose cannon that he doesn't know what the truth is?
Kessler hasn't written a thing about McCain's temper for months now. Wonder why that is ...
Horn records how the Dionystic idea of mental disease resulting from suppression of secret inner desires, especially aberrant sexual desires, was later reflected in the teachings of Sigmund Freud. Freudianism is therefore the grandchild of the cult of Dionysus, Horn concludes.
-- Oct. 7 WorldNetDaily article promoting the WND-sold book "Nephilim Stargates," in which author Thomas Horn claims that "the growing trend of hedonism may be supernaturally motivated." Horn states: "Is a psychological or supernatural force behind the growing flood of debauchery? Are we seeing evil supernaturalism in the birth pangs of a new occult Dionysianism?"
Your WND Obama Lie of the Day Topic: WorldNetDaily
Yes, it's another Obama-related lie at WorldNetDaily. This time, surprisingly, the lie isn't about Barack Obama himself, and it can be plausibly argued that the culprit is general stupidity and shoddy reporting rather than the outrightmalice that colors most of WND's anti-Obama coverage and causes it to disregard basic concepts of truth in reporting.
An Oct. 14 article rewrites a blog post by an anonymous (of course) person claiming to the parent of a student in Racine, Wis., whose son allegedly had a eighth-grade literature textbook that "laud[ed] Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama's "change" theme and highlighting his 2004 Democratic National Convention as an example of good literature."WND repeatedly calls this section of the textbook an "article."
In fact, it appears to be a segement of Obama's 2004 speech to the Democratic National Convention. The picture of the first page of the speech segment on the blog post indicates that the speech is in the textbook for analysis purposes by students. One text segment is called "Focus on Form"; another asks, "What words or prhases help you know that this is a speech?"
But WND never bothers to specifically identify this text as Obama's speech. Instead, it baselessly claims that the textbook publisher is "promot[ing] Obama's 'literature'"and it uncritically quotes the anonymousmother smearing Obama:"Honestly, what has Obama really done to be included in this book?"
The article doesn't get around to mentioning until the 12th paragraph that according to the textbook's publisher, "the Obama article was included because of "an editorial decision" that was made before Obama announced his candidacy, and it was deleted from versions of the book after that announcement." And it not until another five paragraphs later that WND vaguely hints at the larger purpose of the textbook by stating that the publisher "makes available on its website a CD featuring his speech in 2004. The CD also has speeches from Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bill Clinton and Laura Bush to teach children about public speaking, 'both when it's effective and when it fails.'"
WND never bothers to explore the actual purpose the textbook. From the publisher's page on it:
McDougal Littell Literature invites students to explore the world of art, literature, and life’s big questions.
The unique organization around clusters of standards allows for the teaching of major literary concepts across genre. Standards that belong together are taught together. Students analyze fiction, nonfiction, poetry, drama, and media across clusters of standards. Special features support visual and media literacy, along with research strategies.
Sample pages from the book include the classic O. Henry short story "The Ransom of Red Chief," which is used to examine the literary device of conflict and resolution, using an shot from a Road Runner cartoon to illustrate the story's concept of things not going according to plan. Another invokes "Back to the Future" to examine movie plots, settings and visual techniques.
In other words, the textbook attempts to invoke popular culture as a way of engaging students in the study of literature. The Obama speech is likely in there as an example of a good speech that is worth examining for its structural elements.
Remember -- most, if not all, of the employees of WorldNetDaily either homeschool their children or send them to private Christian academies. They have never encountered a modern textbook used in public -- er, "government schools" except for purposes of cherry-picking purportedly offensive passages, as is done here.
WND, with its obsessive Obama-hate, will never concede that near-universal opinion that Obama gave an excellent speech in 2004 and will never accept the idea that it was added to the textbook for any reason other than to "promote" Obama.
And as a capper, the WND article adds:
WND columnist Jack Cashill, meanwhile, has documented evidence that Obama didn't even write the book published under his name, "Dreams from My Father." Cashill suggests the author actually was Weather Underground radical Bill Ayers, whose relationship with Obama has become a contentious issue on the campaign trail.
WND, of course, fails to mention that Cashill's "documented evidence" is ajoke. But then, so is the rest of this article.
In an Oct. 14 NewsBusters post promoting David Frum's accusation that MSNBC's Rachel Maddow has been "intensifying the ugly tone that exists in politics today," Noel Sheppard sought to counter Maddow's claim that a member of the audience at a McCain Palin event shouted, "Kill him" in reference to Barack Obama. "For the record, Patterico on Tuesday debunked the leftwing claim that the person in the crowd at the McCain-Palin event in question was shouting for Obama to be killed," Sheppard wrote; the right-wing blogger Patterico asserted that it was "unambiguously a call to kill [William] Ayers, not Obama." So, somehow that makes it OK?
It appears both Sheppard and Patterico may have spoken too soon. From a Scranton Times Tribune blog post on an Oct. 14 speech by Sarah Palin in the city:
Chris Hackett addressed the increasingly feisty crowd as they await the arrival of Gov. Palin.
Each time the Republican candidate for the seat in the 10th Congressional District mentioned Barack Obama the crowd booed loudly.
Caruba Again Falsely Claims Earth is Cooling Topic: CNSNews.com
In an Oct. 13 CNSNews.com column, Alan Caruba repeat his previous claim that "there is NO global warming. Nada, zip, nunca, niete! None! The Earth has been in a cooling cycle now for a decade."
As we pointed out the last time Caruba claimed this, British meterological experts and researchers point out that "[t]emperatures are continuing to rise" and states that "[a] simple mathematical calculation of the temperature change over the latest decade (1998-2007) alone shows a continued warming of 0.1° C per decade." Further, NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies reports that "[t]he eight warmest years in the [global] GISS record have all occurred since 1998, and the 14 warmest years in the record have all occurred since 1990."
That's right -- Kincaid has fully merged two obsessions -- Barack Obama and Frank Marshall Davis -- with sex. You think Kincaid aroused himself a little by writing that headline and by describing Davis as a "Communist sex pervert"? (And is being a "Communist sex pervert" better or worse than being a regular sex pervert?)
Kincaid goes on to happily tout that "the tabloid National Enquirer has seized upon the Frank Marshall Davis story in its October 20 issue. It glosses over his Communist Party membership and focuses instead on his role as sex pervert, pedophile, pornographer and mentor to Obama. This 'exclusive' was actually broken wide open by my group America’s Survival, Inc. weeks ago." One wonders if Kincaid served as the undisclosed source for the Enquirer story -- and how much the Enquirer paid him.
Kincaid insists that the Enquirer story "is definitely true," which means that Kincaid must also accept that the Enquirer's claim that Sarah Palin had an affair with her husband's former business partner is also true.
But he won't, since he's too busy sending his imagination into fevered overdrive about what he thinks happened between Obama and Davis:
Was Davis Obama’s sex teacher? Did he influence Obama to take liberal views on such matters as homosexuality and abortion? This possibility makes the Davis-Obama relationship one of national political importance.
What exactly happened in Davis’s home? We know from the record that Davis and Dunham drank alcohol and smoked pot together. Obama admits drinking with Davis as well and going on to smoke marijuana and use cocaine. What else happened between them besides listening to Davis’s poetry?
If Barack Obama is declared winner of the vote this Nov. 4 — and if Democrats attain a filibuster-proof 60 seats in the U.S. Senate — Democratic leaders have promised speedy imposition of the “Fairness Doctrine.” This will choke off the free speech of citizens, not only on talk radio but also on the Internet, the only two media where criticism of Democrats can readily be found, and uncensored, unfiltered voices of ordinary people can be heard.
All media could soon become today’s mainstream media, whose mannequins and womannequins dutifully repeat and amplify the Democratic Party line propaganda glorifying Obama and ridiculing Republicans. The entire news media would serve only a daily unbalanced brainwashing from the gibbering monkey faces of Big Brother’s lackeys like Paul Begala, Chris Matthews, and Keith Olbermann.
All of America will become Chicago, where four out of every two voters cast their ballots for Democrats.
Every future ballot box will be stuffed, every election stolen, to secure an overwhelming Democratic majority for centuries to come, I dreamed. And the symbolic light of Lady Liberty’s torch will be snuffed out.
Ponte also rehashes numerous horror stories about "vote fraud involving Obama’s ally ACORN" while failing to mention the inconvenient facts that 1) fraudulent voter registration forms virtually never lead to fraudulent votes being cast, 2) ACORN is required in many states to turn in all registration forms it collects, even those it suspects are fraudulent, and 3) ACORN regularly cooperates with authorities by flagging potentially fraudulent registration forms.
In an Oct. 13 column, Ponte tries to parse his previous assertions about Obama's links to ACORN (which we've previously debunked) against the Obama campaign's denials in a desperate effort to make them kinda-sorta true.
For instance, Ponte had claimed on Oct. 6 that Project Vote was "ACORN’s voter mobilization entity" at the time Obama worked for the group in 1992. In fact, as the Obama campaign pointed out, it was not a part of ACORN in 1992. But the only attempt Ponte makes at trying to disprove that claim is when he quotes the Capital Research Center's Matthew Vadum -- who has his own accuracy issues on the subject.
Cashill Keeps Building His Obama Conspiracy Topic: WorldNetDaily
Jack Cashill is starting to sound like conspiracy-obsessed Richard Mellon Scaife (but without the bottomless barrel of cash). Just as Scaife insisted that Vince Foster's death was the Rosetta Stone of the Clinton presidency -- and threw millions of dollars at people to smear Clinton with conspiracy theories about Foster's death -- Cashill (who has penned his own Clinton conspiracy book) is clinging to the idea that nautical references are the Rosetta Stone to his otherwise unsubstantiated claim that William Ayers ghost-wrote Barack Obama's book "Dreams From My Father."
Cashill asserts in an Oct. 14 WorldNetDaily column that "A newly discovered anecdote from Bill Ayers' 1993 book 'To Teach' solidifies the case that he is indeed the muse behind Barack Obama's 'Dreams From My Father.'" This blockbuster evidence: Both books anecdotally reference the tidal nature of the Hudson River.
That's it. Really.
Nevertheless, Cashill declares:
This one anecdote holds a host of problems for Obama. For one, the East River would be hugely out of his way no matter where he lived in New York and especially if he lived anywhere near the Columbia campus on the upper West Side.
More troubling, his serendipitous journey to the river enables him to tell a story that is transparently fabricated and almost assuredly hatched in the weathered brain of Bill Ayers.
Even were there no other clues, Obama's frequent and sophisticated use of nautical metaphors makes a powerful case for Ayers' involvement in the writing of "Dreams."
Remember: Cashill is the same guy who spent a seven-part series for WND in 2002 "proving" that anti-abortion extremist James Kopp didn't murder abortion doctor Barnett Slepian and weaving a grand conspiracy that Kopp was framed -- a few months before Kopp confessed to the killing.
Krugman Derangement Syndrome Topic: Media Research Center
There's a case of some very sour grapes at the Media Research Center over Paul Krugman being awarded the Nobel Prize in economics.
In an Oct. 13 NewsBusters post, Mark Finkelstein took great pleasure in the folks at MSNBC's "Morning Joe" treating the award as a joke, then mocked Andrea Mitchell for trying to set people straight:
Can Mitchell seriously believe this was other than a supremely political pick by the lefty Nobel Committee? Does Andrea honestly imagine Krugman was awarded the prize for his academic work and not for his Republican-bashing and promotion of the road to collectivism on the pages of the Gray Lady? Don't make us laugh!
Finkelstein then sneers: "According to the official Nobel announcement, Krugman was awarded the prize for "his analysis of trade patterns and location of economic activity." Right."
Then, in an Oct. 13 appearance on Fox News' "Your World," the MRC Business & Media Institute's Dan Gainor was in a similar sneering mood, eager to delegitimize the award because it isn't given to people Gainor likes. From an Oct. 13 NewsBusters post by Nathan Burchfiel (the video of Gainor's appearance wasn't functional at the time of this writing):
"They've given Al Gore, they've given Jimmy Carter, they've given the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change," Gainor told Fox News Channel's "Your World" host Neil Cavuto Oct. 13. "The last three literary awards have gone to left and lefter writers and according to this paper called The New York Times there's a lot of critics who are questioning whether the committee is actually making decisions based on reasons other than best literary reasons."
Ouch. They'll get over it eventually. Then again, Tim Graham still hasn't gotten over that macaca thing...
Is AIM Boycotting NY Times, Or Stumping For McCain? Topic: Accuracy in Media
Accuracy in Media has launched a "Boycott the New York Times" website, aimed at, according to an Oct. 8 press release, "encouraging news consumers to boycott the most powerful media voice in America to protest its persistent leftist bias." The press release further quotes the editor of the site, Don Feder, as saying, "The Times has, over the course of decades, blatantly distorted the news to advance an ideological agenda."
How ironic -- Feder has done the same exact thing.
As we've detailed, Feder has a long record of making dishonest and hypocritical claims. He's also an anti-immigration activist who is a member of the advisory board of the Federation for American Immigration Reform, headed by John Tanton, who -- despite Feder's attempts to obfuscate the issue -- has likened immigrants to bacteria.
So it's no surprise that Feder brings his shoddy writing to AIM's Times-bashing site as well.
A Sept. 28 article by Feder is little more than a regurgitation of McCain campaign spokesman Steve Schmidt's anti-Times talking points: "Of course, Schmidt is right."
In an Oct. 2 article, Feder peddles more baseless and even false talking points blaming Democrats for the financial crisis, even quoting directly from a McCain ad. For instance, he claimed that "It was Jimmy Carter who first pushed Fannie and Freddie to lend to high-risk borrowers, to increase minority home ownership, pandering to one of the Democrats’ favorite constituencies." Feder is referring to the Community Reinvestment Act, a law passed during the Carter administration; in fact, less than one-fifth of subprime loans were made by financial institutions subject to the CRA.
Feder also asserts, "Some of Barack Obama’s closest allies were key figures in pressuring Fannie Mae to make high-risk loans — they include Franklin Raines and Obama campaign advisor Jim Johnson." But Raines is not among Obama's "closest allies"; both he and Obama's campaign deny he has any sort of advisory role.
Feder further claims, "Obama himself is #2 on the list of campaign contributions from Fannie Mae executives. He’s received $126,349, second only to Banking Committee Chairman Dodd." In fact, the Times itself has compiled a list -- which Feder has yet to refute -- showing McCain receiving more than $169,000 in donations from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac executives and lobbyists.
Feder and AIM claim to be building a case to "progressively limit [the Times'] influence," but all it's done so far is serve as a public relations arm for the McCain campaign. Isn't that illegal under AIM's 501(c)(3) tax status?
Newsmax Takes Andy Martin's Side -- Again Topic: Newsmax
Newsmax stood behind noted anti-Semite and fabulist Andy Martin in 2007, when it printed a Martin column baselessly claiming that Barack Obama "locked ... away" his white grandmother "in his racist closet." It does so again in an Oct. 13 article attacking the New York Times for telling the story behind Martin and his serving as the genesis for the debunked claim that Obama's a secret Muslim:
The Times pinned the blame on this "persistent falsehood" about Obama on an Illinois man named Andy Martin.
In a story headlined "The Man Behind the Whispers About Obama," the paper said Martin had singlehandedly fomented the claim that “Obama is a Muslim who has concealed his religion.”
The paper also claimed Martin had past psychiatric illness and had made anti-Semitic statements.
But the Times ignored the allegations by many others that Obama is hiding his upbringing as a Muslim.
But in citing anti-Islam activist Daniel Pipes -- who, like Martin, claims that Obama currently is a Muslim (but unlike Martin, Pipes uses the reasoning that children of a Muslim father are automatically Muslim, thus discounting the idea of free will) -- Newsmax buys into Martin's argument. Newsmax tries to parse the issue by focusing on Pipes' claims about the allegedly Muslim aspects of Obama's childhood, itglosses over Pipes' insistence that due to paternal heritage, Obama is now a Muslim.
Is Newsmax so desperate to paint Obama as a Muslim that it defends the indefensible Andy Martin? It appears so.