The self-proclaimed former Hitler Youth uses Nazi-esque Big Lie techniques to smear Barack Obama with allusions to, ironically, Hitler. And WorldNetDaily loves it. Read more >>
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Caruba Still Wrong on Global Warming (Among Other Things)
We've previously noted Alan Caruba's attempts to claim that the Earth has been cooling since 1998 are contradicted by the fact that it, er, isn't. Nevertheless, Caruba's Dec. 8 CNSNews.com column claims yet again that "the world is now into a cycle of global cooling that has been in effect since around 1998."
This time, though, Caruba digs himself deeper with overbroad claims that are misleading and/or false.
Caruba asserts that "every 'fact' put forth by Al Gore’s 'An Inconvenient Fact' has been demonstrated to be false." Unsurprisingly, Caruba offers no evidence to back up the claim -- of course, he can't even bothered to get the name of Gore's film correct (that would be "An Inconvenient Truth."). In fact, even the judge who ruled in favor of a British lawsuit previously touted by global warming deniers as proving there were nine errors in "An Inconvenient Truth" stated that the film contains "four main scientific hypotheses, each of which is very well supported by research published in respected, peer-reviewed journals and accords with the latest conclusions of the IPCC."
Caruba went on to write of a statement on global warming by Barack Obama: "Every single word of this statement is false, in whole or in part." Really? Even "and" and "the"? (Caruba apparently thinks Obama is Lillian Hellman.) Needless to say, Caruba doesn't back this up either.
Caruba then cites claims made by "Viscount Monckton of Brenchly [sic], a noted British scientist." In fact, as we've previously noted, Lord Monckton (aka Christopher Monckton, Third Viscount of Brenchley) has no scientific credentials, holding degrees only in classics and journalism.
Caruba heads something called the National Anxiety Center, but Caruba appears to have some anxiety about doing basic research and getting things correct.
Monday, December 8, 2008
Another WND Lie: Obama Hasn't Provided 'Documentation' of Birth
A Dec. 8 WorldNetDaily article by Bob Unruh begins with a lie: that Barack Obama has shown "steadfast refusal to provide documentation on the issue" of his birth certificate.
In fact, not only has Obama has provided that documentation, WND has declared it to be authentic and any challenge to that authenticity "relies on discredited claims." Unruh and his WND cronies have simply pulled a dishonest reversal from their previous reporting and now refuse to accept it.
Will WND's lies ever stop?
Examiner Quotes Only Right-Wingers on Education
Topic: Washington Examiner
A Dec. 8 Washington Examiner article by Leah Fabel quotes only a pair of right-wingers opining about who should be Barack Obama education secretary -- but Fabel doesn't identify them as such.
Quoted in Fabel's article are Michael Petrilli of the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation bashing one potential candidate, Standford University's Linda Darling-Hammond, as "not a fan of real reform" because "She is the darling of the teachers unions" -- a claim neither Fabel or Petrilli substantiate. Fabel fails to note that Petrilli is also a fellow at the right-wing Hoover Institution and an occasional columnist for the conservative National Review.
Fabel also quotes Terry Moe, "a senior fellow at Stanford's Hoover Institution," as similarly bashing Darling-Hammond as part of "the old guard" who would mean the end of "education reform," but fails to identify Hoover as right-leaning, let alone what Moe's definition of "education reform" is other than quoting Moe bashing teacher's unions.
No non-conservative perspective on Darling-Hammond is provided in the article.
Meanwhile, right-wing bias returns to the Examiner's sports page; a Dec. 8 column by Rick Snider asserted that the Washington Redskins have "less chance of a turnaround than Barack Obama’s economic plan."
As we noted, Snider had previously bashed Obama for advocating a college football playoff system: "Listen to your wife’s chuckle. She’s the smart one in the family. Uh oh, the Clintons must be back."
Oh, and we forgot to note that the Examiner added to its list of fawning Sunday profiles of right-leaning personalities by devoting a Nov. 30 article to the Cato Institute's Ed Crane.
Sheppard Misses the Point, Then Misleads
A Dec. 7 NewsBusters post by Noel Sheppard complains that an Associated Press article on the lobbying efforts of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to squelch congressional regulation efforts "completely blamed Republicans for the lack of regulation and oversight of Freddie Mac." Sheppard asserted that the article "didn't inform ... readers about contributions by this government sponsored enterprise and Fannie Mae to active members of Congress since 1989," adding that the "top three recipients" were Democrats.
The first problem is that Sheppard misses the point of the AP article, which was about lobbying, not political contributions.Secondly, Sheppard conveniently uses an incomplete list of donations, ignoring the fact that, according to the New York Times, John McCain received more than $169,000 in donations from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac executives and lobbyists (as we've noted).
Sheppard misses the point again when he claimed regarding the bill the AP was writing about that "Senate Democrats were opposed to this bill, and Republicans were never able to get the votes to avoid a filibuster." But the article clearly points out that Fannie and Freddie hired Republican lobbyists to lobby Republicans in order to stymie the bill after it was approved in committee. Sheppard offers no evidence that Democrats threatened a filibuster on the bill at the time.
Nevertheless, Sheppard conlcudes that the AP's "accusation that the GOP prevented its passage is grossly inaccurate." Sheppard is twisting words here; the AP never said "the GOP prevented its passage." Rather, it pointed out that Fannie and Freddie used Repubican lobbyists to twist the arms of Republican congressmen to stop a bill in a Republican-controlled Congress.
That's what passes for "media research" at the MRC today.
Aaron Klein Unable to Stop Smearing Obama
We've previously noted Klein lamely attempting to still connect Obama to the Weathermen radical group and communists, even though voters rejected such tactics by handing Obama a decisive victory. He's still doing it: A Dec. 5 article by Klein mines a blog post by a former Weatherman member to baselessly present speculation as fact, that Obama "is 'feigning' a centrist position on some issues so he can ultimately push through a radical agenda."
In a Dec. 7 article, Klein tries to resurrect the secret-Muslim smear by quoting an Egyptian cleric's alleged plea urging Obama to convert to Islam. That gives Klein yet another excuse to pretend that what Obama did as a child religion-wise somehow undercuts his claims to be a Christian today. In fact, 35 of the article's 45 paragraphs are dedicated to this dubious rehash -- which shows just how desperate to smear Klein is.
Right-Wing Myths Shot Down By ... David Horowitz?
David Horowitz normally takes a back seat to no one in passing along right-wing talking points, particularly about Barack Obama (witness his pre-election Obama-bashing.) So it's a bit of a shock to see Horowitz shoot down one prominent right-wing Obama myth, as well as another falsely blaming the financial crisis on Democrats.
Horowitz devoted a Dec. 1 blog post to shooting down various right-wing attacks on Obama, starting with the birth certificate:
But Horowitz's readers didn't take too kindly to that notion, so he responded to them the next day:
His readers still weren't buying it, so Horowitz repeated his contention the following day, but added:
In fact, the the controversy over the 2000 election did not result in a "2 month delay"; the election was held on Nov. 7, and Gore conceded on Dec. 13. Further, Horowitz offers no evidence that the election controversy kept Bush from commissioning a counterterrorism plan any earlier than he did, which might have been delivered earlier than Sept. 10.
But the criticism continued, which prompted Horowitz to slip into victim mode in a Dec. 4 post, declaring that "It seems like I've taken on the thankless task of keeping conservatives from behaving like liberals, acting like unpatriotic sore losers and attacking the legitimacy of the new commander-in-chief." He then decides to ratchet things up more, invoking "another issue on which conservatives have bent themselves out of shape, refusing to accept their share of responsibility for the financial crisis that is upon us. Contrary to conservative mythmakers, the subprime credit is not the cause of the current crisis and the Community Reinvestment Act is not its trigger."
Horowitz then copies-and-pastes are Federal Reserve report pointing out that "the long-term evidence shows that the CRA has not pushed banks into extending loans that perform out of line with their traditional businesses" and that "only a small portion of subprime mortgage originations are related to the CRA."
That didn't go over too well either. In a Dec. 6 blog post, Horowitz added a restatement of the origin of the financial crisis by another writer, adding, "I didn't write the following, but I'm not going to identify who did and open him to the kind of ad hominem attacks that I myself have been subjected to. Suffice it to say he knows more about the economy than anyone posting to this threat [sic]." Horowitz also reiterated his claims on the birth certificate brouhaha:
The continuing efforts of a fringe group of consrvatives to deny Obama his victory and to lay the basis for the claim that he is not a legitimate president is embarrassing and destructive. The fact that these efforts are being led by Alan Keyes, an unhinged demagogue on the political fringe who lost a senate election to the then unknown Obama by 42 points should be a warning in itself.
In a Dec. 7 post, Horowitz played the victim again in answering his critics:
Will this end the saga? Don't count on it -- the truth means nothing to these people. After all, WorldNetDaily has continued to distort and lie about Obama's birth certificate, even after first reporting the truth.
Sunday, December 7, 2008
Chris Kelly at the Huffington Post deconstructs Newsmax's promotion for a "new Sarah Palin book": "it's an old book, it's not by Sarah Palin, you'll pay three times the cost of shipping, and you'll have to subscribe to Newsmax magazine."
Kelly also notes that the book that's part of the promotion -- Kaylene Johnson's non-critical bio of Palin -- has undergone a slight title alteration to take advantage of Palin's popularity.
The Return of Clinton Sex Jokes at the MRC
One hallmark of the Media Research Center's "research" in the late 1990s and early 2000s was to inject tasteless Clinton jokes, usually regarding sex, into it. Tim Graham harkens back to those days in a Dec. 6 NewsBusters post on a panel discussion of female TV news personalities.
When asked, "Do you think your subjects treat you differently when you cover them because of your gender?" CNN's Soledad O'Brien responded, "Does being hit on count?" That prompted Graham to interject: "Is that a Bill Clinton question?"
If the Clintons weren't around, what would the boys at the MRC do for humor? (And no, NewsBusted doesn't count.)
CNS Misleads on Prop. 8 Victory Margin (And the Musical)
A Dec. 4 CNSNews.com article by Melannie Hunter-Omar reporting that "Christian group is calling for an apology from Hollywood celebrities who starred in a musical that it says mocks Christians, defames Christ, and distorts the teaching of the Bible" claims that "Prop 8: The Musical" was made "as a response to the overwhelming support of Proposition 8, a California initiative approved by voters that bans same-sex marriage."
"Overwhelming"? Proposition 8 won by a margin of 52.8 percent to 47.7 percent, a smaller margin of victory than that of Barack Obama over John McCain. According to a search of the CNS archive, Obama's victory margin is one that neither Hunter-Omar nor anyone else at CNS has similarly seen fit to describe as "overwhelming."
Hunter-Omar references the video's statement that "Leviticus says shellfish is an abomination" (Leviticus being the same book cited by anti-gay activists for its similar denouncement of homosexuality), then quotes a spokesman for the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission claiming that the video "intentionally distort[s] the Bible." No effort is made to explain how pointing out that Leviticus denounces eating shellfish in the same way it denounces homosexuality "intentionally distort[s] the Bible."
Saturday, December 6, 2008
Examiner Misleads on Autoworker Pay
Topic: Washington Examiner
A Dec. 5 Washington Examiner editorial rehashes a misleading right-wing talking point in attacking autoworkers, claiming that they receive "wages and benefits at least $25 an hour higher on average than those paid workers at the U.S. plants of Toyota, Honda and Nissan."
That notion appears to be cut-and-pasted straight out of a Nov. 19 Heritage Foundation "WebMemo" by James Sherk:
But that's false -- that figure includes the cost of providing pensions and health care to retirees. There's no evidence that, as Sherk goes on to claim, "The average unionized worker at the Big Three earns over $130,000 a year in wages and benefits."
Kincaid's Newest Anti-Obama Rant
Topic: Accuracy in Media
Cliff Kincaid is still desperately seeking ways to attack Barack Obama, this time taking an opportunity to invoke his ultra-anti-communism in the process.
In his Dec. 2 Accuracy in Media column, Kincaid criticizes Obama for even appointing anyone, let alone Susan Rice, to be U.N. ambassador. Why? Because it was created in part by Alger Hiss (and thus, he writes, not "truly 'American'"), because it was allegedly "a major base of espionage operations for Russia in the U.S.," and because "it is still infested with anti-American intelligence agents and foreign spies."
Kincaid then goes off on a tangent, ranting against the idea that Obama adviser Anthony Lake might be appointed to a position in the Obama administration -- which has not actully been seriously discussed anywhere that we've seen -- because he once "expressed doubt as to whether Alger Hiss was really guilty" when asked about it during a 1997 congressional hearing on his nomination to be CIA director (from which he eventually withdrew). Kincaid adds that last year "we urged AIM members to send him a postcard" asking, "Do you still doubt that Alger Hiss was a Soviet spy?"
Kincaid fails to note that, according to a 1997 PBS report, Lake retracted the statement. Further, that Lake was asked about Hiss at all shows the hyperpartisan nature of the confirmation hearing; a March 19, 1997, New York Daily News editorial noted, "That the process was a dressed-up witch hunt was sealed when Lake was asked his opinion of Alger Hiss the bogeyman of the McCarthy years." A Newark Star-Ledger editorial the same day noted that the Hiss question was part of "an endless game of gotcha" by Lake's main inquisitor, Republican Sen. Richard Shelby.
Further, as Lake himself pointed out during his hearing, "The Hiss case is not something, frankly, that the national security adviser deals with every day."
Nevertheless, Kincaid uses Lake (and Hiss) as a cudgel to bash Obama. That AIM postcard also included the question,"What Is Senator Obama’s position on the question of Hiss’s guilt?" and Kincaid concludes his column by writing, "Obama already has special access to America’s national security secrets. Has he shared any of them with his 'intimate' friend Anthony Lake?" That's apparently an allusion to a pre-election Kincaid scare tactic, that Obama's purported "30-year association with people who hate the United States" meant that "it is highly doubtful that Obama could get a security clearance in the U.S. government he wants to lead."
Friday, December 5, 2008
WND Repeats Previous Lies About Obama
From a Dec. 5 WorldNetDaily article on Barack Obama's purported views on the court system:
In fact, as the excerpt from the radio interview WND included in the article clearly indicates, Obama said no such thing. Obama never "said the Constitution is flawed in that it does not mandate or allow for redistribution of wealth," nor did Obama describe the Warren court's refusal to address the issue of "redistributive change" as a "failure."
Huston Makes False Claim About Obama, Oprah
In a Dec. 5 NewsBusters post, Warner Todd Huston stated that Oprah Winfrey "made some vague claim that she had "decided" not to open her show for political candidates despite the fact that she was an open participant in Barack Obama's campaign and had the now president elect and his wife on her show several times during the campaigns."
False. In fact, while Obama appeared on Oprah's show in 2005 and 2006, he did not appear after he declared as a candidate or during the presidential campaign, fulfilling her goal "not to use my show as a platform for any of the candidates."
Further, Huston repeats a claim reported by Matt Drudge that "Oprah had been heard to say that she would never interview Sarah Palin" as if it were true; he offers no evidence that it is. Needless to say, Huston makes no mention of Drudge's history of making false claims.
CNS Headline Doesn't Support Article
A Dec. 3 CNSNews.com article by Penny Starr on the appointment on Cecilia Muñoz, "[a]n 18-year veteran of the National Council of La Raza," to President-elect Barack Obama's White House staff carries the headline, "Pro-Amnesty Activist Joins Obama White House Staff." But at no point in the article does Starr describe Muñoz as supporting "amnesty" -- indeed, the word "amnesty" appears nowhere in the article itself.
Starr does write that Muñoz "advocated for federal legislation to give the estimated 12 million illegal immigrants in the United States a path to citizenship," further desscribing her position as supporting "comprehensive immigration reform that required people who are in the United States illegally to come forward, prove they have no criminal record and are paying taxes, pay a fine, start to learn English, and then be put on a path to citizenship that would take about 10 years to complete." No effort is made to explain how this position equals "amnesty," or even to reconcile this position with Starr's quoting of an attack on Muñoz by FAIR's Bob Dane, who claimed "La Raza exists as a way to systematically dismantle enforcement and any semblance of discipline in the immigration system."
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