Will Huston Correct False Claim He Repeated? Topic: NewsBusters
Warner Todd Huston howled in a Dec. 15 NewsBusters post:
Looks like we can possibly thank our meddling media for another possibly bungled investigation, this time over the selling of Barack Obama's Senate seat by Illinois Governor Rod Blagojavich. According to the Wall Street Journal, the Chicago Tribune was working with Fitzgerald's office on the investigation but decided to stop doing so in favor of printing the sensational story they were sitting on. This forced the arrest early so that the paper wouldn't blow the whole investigation.
The problem? It's not true. As the Journal reported on Dec. 17:
The timing of Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s arrest wasn’t affected by a Chicago Tribune story that reported Blagojevich was being secretly recorded as part of a political corruption investigation, a Federal Bureau of Investigation spokesman said. The Dec. 9 arrest, the spokesman said, had been planned before the Tribune article appeared Dec. 5.
A Washington Wire post Dec. 14 incorrectly said the Tribune article dictated the timing of the arrest.
Will Huston update/correct his post? We shall see.
WND vs. Wikipedia, the Sequel Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily's currentattacks on Wikipedia are only the latest in WND's anti-Wikipedia war. As we've documented, WND wentafter Wikipedia earler this year, calling it "Wikipornia" for purportedly peddling "sexually explicit images and content" (specifically, the notorious alternate cover of the Scoprions' "Virgin Killer" album) but failing to explain that they appear in the context of an encyclopedia.
A Dec. 17 WND article by Chelsea Schilling (author of the misleadingly alarmist "Wikipornia" articles) continues the trend by reporting on "the disparaging claims citizen-editors have made about U.S. senators in their Wikipedia profiles." Shockingly, Schilling even reports on the disparaging remarks made by Democrats, citing as evidence "a study conducted late last year by Gregory Kohs and several Wikipedia Review members." But Schilling fails to explain who Kohs is.
Kohs used to run a company called MyWikiBiz, a service that offered to write Wikipedia entries for businesses for a fee, and he has repeatedly clashed with Wikipedia and was ultimately banned from making edits there. Kohs is now somewhat in competition with Wikipedia, running his own Wikipedia-like (but paid and non-neutral) website.
At no point does Schilling disclose Kohs' business interests in competition with, and arguably at cross purposes to, Wikipedia (indeed, he has disparagedWikipedia in other forums), and that Kohs has an interest in publicizing stories of "vandalized biographies" on Wikipedia in order to drive business to his own website.
The hilarious, hypocritical undercurrent of all this is that WND has it own ignominioushistory of publishing false claims that it makes little effort to correct. Just ask BarackObama.
Schilling expresses shock that "many Internet users continue to use Wikipedia for research," but really, is WND a better solution, as is implied by this little war? Will WND issue a correction as easily as one can be made at Wikipedia? Just ask Clark Jones.
(Hat tip to reader T.F.)
UPDATE: Minor edits for grammar and clarification.
NewsBusters has been on an ODS tear the past couple days:
-- Ken Shepard freaked out at the idea that education secretary-designate Arne Duncan "was the architect behind a failed plan to open a 'gay-friendly' high school in the Windy City," calling it a "skeleton" the Washington Post wouldn't report. Warner Todd Huston did too. Why is it such a "skelton"? Shepherd and Huston don't explain. (CNSNews.com and Newsmax also suffered similar freak-outs on the subject, also without explaining why the idea should be considered so extremely controversial.)
-- As we noted, Tim Graham childishly mocked Time magazine writer David von Drehle as "David Von Drool" merely for writing an article about Time's choice of Obama as its Person of the Year. Graham even wrote a second post carping about von Drehle's "marshmallowy" Obama profile.
-- Brent Bozell weighs in on the Time article as well (appearing on "Hannity & Colmes" "live via satellite from the MRC's new state-of-the-art studio." No word on whether Bozell or any ohter MRC employee agrees with Sean Hannity's conpsiracy theory that the Person of the Year honor for Obama was a quid pro quo for Time writer Jay Carney taking a new job as Joe Biden's communications director.
Another WND Columnist Swallows Birth Certificate Lie Topic: WorldNetDaily
Add Craige McMillan to the growing list of WorldNetDaily writers who don't read their own website.
In his Dec. 18 column, McMillan complains that courts have "dismissed citizen demands that [Barack] Obama show his real birth certificate to the court (not the "Certificate of Live Birth" posted on his website, which is not acceptable identification to obtain a passport, among other things)."
In fact, as FactCheck.org has noted, the "Certificate of Live Birth" released by Obama's campaign meets all of the requirements from the State Department for proving U.S. citizenship. Indeed, U.S. passports require only a "Certified birth certificate issued by the city, county or state"; the "short form" birth certificate appears to be permissable in most cases, including for those born in Hawaii.
Nowhere does McMillan give any indication that he has read the WND story from August in which it declares that Obama's birth certificate is authentic.
McMillan does, however, appear to have read another WND story -- an Oct. 23 article on an unsubstantiated claim by Philip Berg (whose lawsuit claiming that Obama is a U.S. citizen, WND wrote in August, "relies on discredited claims") that Obama's paternal grandmother has stated that Obama was born in Kenya -- for he writes that Obama is "a man born in Kenya (according to his grandmother)." But McMillan offers no evidence to back up that claim, either.
Is a raging case of Obama Derangement Syndrome a requirement of employment for all WND writers?
Unruh Still Lying About Obama Radio Interview Topic: WorldNetDaily
Last week, we detailed how WorldNetDaily's Bob Unruh is perpetuating a lie by falsely portraying Barack Obama's statements about the court system in a 2001 radio interview.
Unruh does it again in a Dec. 16 WND article, apparently copying-and-pasting statements that he knows are false -- that "Obama believes the Constitution is flawed, because it fails to address wealth redistribution, and he says the Supreme Court should have intervened years ago to accomplish that," and that Obama said "The Warren court ... failed to 'break free from the essential constraints' in the U.S. Constitution and launch a major redistribution of wealth."
Unless he can explain himself otherwise, Unruh can only be called a liar. No wonder he's no longer working for the Associated Press.
Janet Folger Porter isstillranting about Barack Obama's birth certificate. This time around, she's asking: "Where are the journalists with courage? Where are the investigative reporters who care about the truth? Do they still exist beyond WorldNetDaily?"
Of course, if WND actually had any courage, every story it runs about the birth certificiate would note that months ago, it declared the certificate released by Obama's campaign to be authentic and that Philip Berg's lawsuit "relies on discredited claims." But it doesn't.
And if Porter had any courage, not only would she note WND's previous reporting, she would come clean about her use of Faith2Action resources to promote her personal anti-Obama crusade. But she doesn't.
NewsBusters Ignores That Fitzgerald Asked Obama to Delay Releasing Info Topic: NewsBusters
A Dec. 16 Newsbusters post by Matthew Balan noted that "New York Daily News columnist Errol Louis and Time magazine editor-at-large Mark Halperin agreed that there was no problem with the transition team of President-Elect Barack Obama delaying the release of their internal findings into their contacts with the office of Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich."
But Balan failed to mention that, as Media Matters noted, Obama's delay was requested by prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, as both Obama and Fitzgerald have stated.
Similarly, Mark Finkelstein claimed in a Dec. 17 post that "the president himself attempted to dodge a tough question" on Blagojevich without acknowledging that Obama has put off questions about Blagojevich at Fitzgerald's request. And Ken Shepherd called one reporter the "Obama lap dog du jour" for asking Obama, "How difficult is all this having to wait to release your inquiry business when the American people expect transparency?" also without acknowledging that the wait came at the request of the prosecutor in the case.
WND Promotes Meaningless Polls on Obama Birth Certificate Topic: WorldNetDaily
What do you do when the facts aren't on your side? If you're WorldNetDaily, and you're promoting the fraudulent claim that Barack Obama's birth certificate is fake -- a claim you've already debunked, even though you now pretend you didn't -- you take refuge in meaningless, non-scientific polls.
A Dec. 16 WND article by Chelsea Schilling promotes an America Online poll that claims plurality support for the idea that "people should be concerned about Obama's citizenship." Schilling does state that the poll is "unscientific," but she doesn't explain what that means.
As we explained the last time WND took refuge in such polls, opt-in online polls -- such as the AOL poll -- are meaningless because voters are self-selecting and the polls themselves are prone to being gamed by the likes of Free Republic, so the results are not representative of anything except the people who voted.
In apparent full desperation mode, Schilling doubled down on the bogus-poll stuff by adding:
On a similar note, today's WND poll asked readers, "Are you satisfied Obama is constitutionally eligible to assume the presidency?" A full 98 percent of 4200 voters said "no."
WND readers are, if anything, even less representative of America. But Schilling failed to accurately label the WND poll as unscientific, let alone meaningless.
WND's Private Investigator, and Corsi's Ever-Weaker Obama Attacks Topic: WorldNetDaily
Jerome Corsi's attacks on Barack Obama just keep getting weaker and more desperate.
A Dec. 16 article by Corsi details the results of WND's hiring of a private investigator rooting through Hawaii looking for evidence of Obama's birth there -- a single affadavit from a woman who allegedly lives next door to the house listed as the Obama family's address on newspaper notice of Barack Obama's birth stating that she can't remember Obama's mother living there. This is unsurprising and meaningless, since the person is being put upon by the investigator to remember something that happened nearly 50 years ago.
That's all Corsi has. Really.
WND's investigator is Jorge Baros, "the in-house senior investigator for Elite Legal Services, LLC, in Royal Palm Beach, Fla." Interestingly, he appears to be a director of something called the Association of Christian Investigators. Baro also has apparent ties to a group called Godly Men of Integrity, a Georgia-based men's ministry born out of the Promise Keepers.
It's clear that Baro lacks a notable piece of integrity, because he buys into false right-wing conspiracy theories about the birth certificate:
"This raised the question in my mind as to whether the 'Certification of Live Birth,' which is the only document that has been produced and as previously stated solely handled by the representatives of factcheck.org outside Obama's campaign, is a certification of a live birth or a late birth," Baro stated in his affidavit.
"I am left with the conclusion that a simple request from Senator Barack Obama to produce the 'long form' (redacted if necessary) would end any speculation or question as to his birthplace," Baro's affidavit continued. "His continued denial to do so is suspect, in my professional opinion."
Baro also pointed out that factcheck.org is funded by the Annenberg Foundation, which "is at the center of the ongoing Obama-Bill Ayers controversy – hardly an unbiased source for information in my view."
Neither Corsi nor Baro make mention of the fact that Walter Annenberg, whose money supported the foundation, was a prominent Republican )as we've noted). If Corsi and Baro want a less "unbiased source" for this claim, how about ... WorldNetDaily?
A separate WND investigation into Obama's birth certificate utilizing forgery experts also found the document to be authentic. The investigation also revealed methods used by some of the bloggers to determine the document was fake involved forgeries, in that a few bloggers added text and images to the certificate scan that weren't originally there.
Baro's an private investigator, and he couldn't find this? Maybe WND's paying him to hush it up. That might explain why WND won't talk about now.
Will WND disclose to its readers how much it's paying Baro for such paltry results? If Baro is accepting money to further WND's increasingly dishonest anti-Obama jihad, he can't be much of a "Christian investigator," can he?
P.S. If WND is so eager to hire private eyes to gather negative information on those who it perceives as its enemies -- Corsi wrote that "Baro sent a team of investigators to Honolulu" -- isn't that unseemly for an alleged news organization? And does that mean that we're next?
New Article -- AIM: What Is It Good For? Topic: Accuracy in Media
Accuracy in Media forsakes actual media criticism for the hateful, conspiratorial rantings of Cliff Kincaid and Don Feder. Read more >>
Paul Sperry Resurfaces at WND Topic: WorldNetDaily
Look who's back at WorldNetDaily -- Paul Sperry.
Sperry -- the former WND Washington bureau chief whom we last saw getting wrong things over at FrontPageMag -- has penned a Dec. 15 WND article based attacking Rahm Emanuel based on anonymous allegations (WND sure does love repeating anonymousallegations, don't they?)
The Sperry bio at the end of the WND article doesn't list him as a full-time employee, noting instead his former WND title and his status as "a Hoover Institution media fellow." As we detailed, Hoover's right-wing media fellow program is a one-week program he went through twice, the last time in 2006. Sperry appears to be way too proud of something that only took up two weeks of his life and seemingly only taught him how to be a right-wing hack.
Joseph Farah vs. Wikipedia, Day 2 Topic: WorldNetDaily
Joseph Farah has dialed things back a bit in his war on Wikipedia. In his Dec. 16 column, Farah praises a Wikipedia editor who removed the offending information on Farah's Wikipedia bio after reading Farah's Dec. 14 screed. Then Farah started hurling rhetorical questions:
Not everyone will go to such lengths to protect their reputation. Not everyone has the clout of a large Internet news forum they can use to address injustices. Not everyone has the resources to take on an Internet giant like Wikipedia.
What about them?
Where is their advocate?
Where is their ombudsman?
Where does someone go on Wikipedia for justice?
Whom does the average person appeal to when he or she has been slimed?
Where's the corrections department?
Where do you go to get your reputation back?
Where is the reparations department?
I don't want to be a victim of this beast any more.
I don't want others to be victims of it – whether I like them or not.
Of course a lot of these questions also need to be answered by Farah and WorldNetDaily:
Where is WND's ombudsman?
Where is WND's corrections department?
Whom does the average person appeal to when he or she has been slimed by WND? Where does Barack Obama appeal to demand that WND retract the repeatedlies it has told about him?
Where does Clark Jones go to get his reputation back after WND spent seven years denying that it libeled him, then abruptly settled Jones' lawsuit against WND by admitting that it published false claims about him that it failed to fact-check before publication?
Will WND inform its readers about the nature of the reparations it made to Clark Jones for sullying his reputation? Will WND fact-check any of the other articles out of that 2000 Al Gore-bashing series and admit and apologize for any other false claims?
How about answering these questions, Mr. Farah, before getting all high and mighty about the behavior of other websites? How about treating the subjects of WND's stories with the same level of honesty you demand from others about yourself?
Or, better yet, try reporting facts instead of hurling smears.
If Farah does that, maybe he will be regarded as something other than a thin-skinned whiner.
UPDATE: Right Wing Watch concurs with the idea that Farah is really writing about himself and WND instead of Wikipedia.