Is WorldNetDaily columnist Janet Folger Porter misusing the resources of her Faith2Action organization for her own personal anti-Obama crusade? Read more >>
Monday, December 22, 2008
WND Resumes Creepy Focus on Female Teachers Having Sex With Students
We've previously detailed WorldNetDaily's weird, highly seclective obsession with female teachers (and only female teachers) who work in public schools (and only those who work at public schools) who get romantically involved with their students.
The obsession flares up again in a Dec. 20 article by Drew Zahn carrying the headline "'Cougars' preying in the classroom: Why are so many female teachers targeting boys for sexual abuse?" The word "cougar" to describe a female teenager preying on students appears nowhere in the article itself, and Zahn really doesn't prove that "female teachers targeting boys for sexual abuse" is the problem the headline suggests.
Like WND managing editor David Kupelian before him, Zahn leans heavily on a 2004 study by Charol Shakeshaft, commissioned by the Department of Education that painted the teacher-student sex problem as worse than the recent Catholic priest sex abuse scandals. As we pointed out when Kupelian cited Shakeshaft's study, her numbers are extrapolated from other previous surveys -- her study is subtitled "A Synthesis of Existing Literature" -- and she does no direct research to support them. And even Kupelian conceded that one criticism of Shakeshaft's work called it "a misuse of the data" and that Shakeshaft herself "acknowledged many factors could alter the analysis."
Further, as a June 2004 Washington Times article noted, the National Education Association criticized Shakeshaft's study for conflating reports of harrassment with reports of actual sexual abuse.
None of these caveats about or criticisms of Shakeshaft's study appear in Zahn's article.
Zahn goes on to write: "If female employees are responsible for 40 percent of those crimes, that means America could be facing an average of more than 11,000 instances of women abusing students in school each year – in other words, more cases in one year than were reported in 50 years of Catholic priest abuse." But raw numbers are irrelevant; what is the percentage of Catholic priests accused of sexual abuse versus the percentage of female teachers? Zahn doesn't answer that question.
Zahn also writes that, according to Shakeshaft, "nearly 10 percent of U.S. public school students have been targeted with unwanted sexual attention by school employees, and in those cases, 40 percent of the perpetrators were women." That would mean that 60 percent of the perpretrators are men. Zahn doesn't explain why he's focusing on why "so many female teachers targeting boys for sexual abuse" when so many more male teachers are doing the same thing. If there are more male teachers who are sexual predators than female ones, isn't that the bigger problem?
Zahn concludes by citing Kupelian himself, repeating his previous claims that "the ultimate answer ... is rooted in a society that has lost its spiritual moorings." But as we also pointed out when Kupelian first asserted this, Kupelian seems unable to grasp the idea that one doesn't have to be a fundamentalist Christian like himself to oppose adults having sex with minors. After all, there is a nonreligous basis for laws against sex with minors -- you don't have to be a fundie to agree that a minor cannot consent to sex by virtue of simply being a minor.
Again, we have to ask: Why the creepy obsession? Why only female teachers when the problem with male teachers is larger? And why only at public schools when the problem exists at private religious schools as well (as we've noted)?
Actually, the answer to the latter question is pretty easy: WND's employees, almost to a person, homeschool their children, and that leads to a corresponding hatred of "government schools" (never mind that sexual abuse also occurs to homeschooled children as well).
Which leaves the answer to the former question. There's some clear misogyny going on here, since WND refuses to expose male teachers to the same criticism. But how deep is it? Do Joseph Farah, Kupelian, Zahn, et al, think their wives should be little more than barefoot and pregnant, stuck at home until the last kid is married off?
How about shedding some light on this, guys?
UPDATE: WND has changed the headline to get rid of the "cougar" reference; it now reads, "Why are women teachers so hot for students?"
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Obama-Nazi Reference of the Day
-- Ellis Washington, Dec. 20 column
This is at least the third time that Washington has likened Obama to Nazis. In a May 29 column, he wrote:
On July 10, Washington praised a college-bound student who wrote, "Just because Obama can write up and deliver a speech better than others does not mean he is the best candidate. If I remember correctly, Adolf Hitler and Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick convinced mass numbers of people that they were respectable through dialogue."
Sheppard Still Bamboozling on Global Warming
A Dec. 14 NewsBusters post by Noel Sheppard, in bashing the Associated Press, suggests that the existence of cold weather in parts of the country means that global warming doesn't exist:
In fact, as Media Matters points out, most credible climate scientists reject the notion that short-term changes in weather, let alone individual storms, bear any relevance to the global warming debate. And Sheppard offers no evidence to support his contention.
WND Repeats Corsi Claim Backed Up by Bogus Documents
It's just a weekend full of lies at WorldNetDaily, it appears.
A Dec. 20 WND article on an unsubstantiated claim that Jerome Corsi's detention in Kenya was "reportedly orchestrated" by Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga (only anonymous "sources inside Kenya" are cited) asserts that while in Kenya, Corsi obtained "documentary evidence showing Obama helped raise nearly $1 million for Odinga's presidential campaign in three separate visits Odinga made to the U.S. with the assistance of Obama's staff."
As we detailed, that "documentary evidence" is an apparent recreation of a document PolitiFact debunked earlier this year, several months before Corsi first made his claim. 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. Corsi's version, meanwhile, has clean type in an completely different typeface and format, and it appears to introduce a typo or two from the PolitiFact version.
The article also repeats Corsi's claim that he obtained "2006 e-mail documents handed to him in Kenya by former ODM party members and validated by the sources as authentic that established Obama designated Mark Lippert in his U.S. Senate office to be the go-between in communications with Odinga." But those documents -- a pair of emails -- "appear not to have been written by a native English speaker," as Politco's Ben Smith pointed out.
Why is WND still peddling claims that have been discredited? Do Corsi and Joseph Farah hate Obama that much that they simply can't be bothered to tell the truth?
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Farah Lies About WND's Reporting on Obama Birth Certificate
The good news: Joseph Farah finally acknowledges the existence of his own website's previous reporting on Barack Obama's birth certificate.
The bad news: He lies to his readers about it.
In his Dec. 20 column, Farah begins truthfully by noting: "From Media Matters to Keith Olbermann to Democratic members of Congress, they are all eagerly attributing to WND a definitive finding that Barack Hussein Obama's website displays an actual copy of his birth certificate." But then the lies begin when he states: "There's just one problem. Nothing could be further from the truth."
Farah is lying. Here's what WND reported on August 23 (emphasis added):
At no point does the August article express any doubt about whether the "forgery experts" could "report conclusively that the electronic image was authentic or that it was a forgery" as Farah claims; it unmabiguously and definitively states that "forgery experts found the document to be authentic."
As for the claim that "At no time did Obama ever make his actual birth certificate available to WND – or any other news organization," here's what the August article also stated (emphasis added):
Indeed, FactCheck.org states that it has "seen, touched, examined and photographed the original birth certificate," adding, "We conclude that it meets all of the requirements from the State Department for proving U.S. citizenship."
Curiously, Farah does not suply a link to that August article in his column so his readers could judge for themselves. What is Farah afraid of?
Having lied about his website's own reporting, Farah then tries to spin it away:
Farah overlooks the fact that the reason that report is being cited is because it contradicts WND's subsequent reporting on the birth certificate, and neither Farah nor WND has offered an honest explanation of the chasm between the two -- or why it has refused to acknowedge the existence of that August 23 report in its subsequent reporting. The fact that "The overwhelming preponderance of reports by WND on this matter raise serious questions about the eligibility of Obama to serve as president" doesn't mean those reports are true.
And what, exactly, is the false context in repeating the August article's unambiguous statement that "A separate WND investigation into Obama's birth certificate utilizing forgery experts also found the document to be authentic"? Farah doesn't explain.
Farah also fails to explain away another statement in that August article: that Philip Berg's lawsuit charging that Obama is not a natural-born citizen in part "relies on discredited claims."
The fact that Farah is so blatantly lying about his own website's report about the birth certificate demonstrates just how far gone around the bend he is on the issue. He really is determined to destroy Obama at any cost -- including the truth.
UPDATE: Cross-posted at Huffington Post.
UPDATE 2: Keith Olbermann seems to have used our post as inspiration to name Farah his "Worst Person in the World" on Jan. 5. Thanks, Keith!
Quote of the Day
UPDATE: CNSNews.com has also published Barber's column.
Friday, December 19, 2008
Graham's Double Standard on Presidential Library Donors
In a Dec. 19 NewsBusters post, Tim Graham wrote that CNN's Wolf Blitzer "suggested it was unfair for the Obama transition team or Congress to press Bill Clinton to release the names of donors to his foundation and presidential library" while the libraries of ex-presidents Jimmy Carter and George H.W. Bush haven't, adding that CNN correspondent Dana Bash "suggested their relatives haven’t been nominated for high office."
That, of course, is wrong. George H.W. Bush's son has not only been nominated for but has held a very high office for the past eight years.
Did Graham demand that the donors to the elder Bush's library be released in 2000? We're pretty sure he didn't.
Will Huston Correct False Claim He Repeated?
Warner Todd Huston howled in a Dec. 15 NewsBusters post:
The problem? It's not true. As the Journal reported on Dec. 17:
Will Huston update/correct his post? We shall see.
WND vs. Wikipedia, the Sequel
WorldNetDaily's current attacks on Wikipedia are only the latest in WND's anti-Wikipedia war. As we've documented, WND went after 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 disparaged Wikipedia 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.
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.
Obama Derangement Syndrome Watch, NewsBusters Division
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.
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Another WND Columnist Swallows Birth Certificate Lie
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?
Paul Weyrich, R.I.P.
Topic: Free Congress Foundation
Here's Brent Bozell's statement on Weyrich's death.
Unruh Still Lying About Obama 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.
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