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Thursday, January 29, 2009
Ellis Washington Bashes Alinsky Tactic -- But Uses It Anyway
Topic: WorldNetDaily

In his Jan. 28 WorldNetDaily column, Ellis Washington accuses Barack Obama of using a Saul Alinsky tactic -- "Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it and polarize it" -- against Rush Limbaugh. Washington's complaint might be noteworthy if he wasn't using the same tactic against liberals in general and Obama in particular.

Indeed, Washington begins his column by claiming, "We have all heard about how crazy liberals are." then pretending it's not an attack: "I am not being personal. I'm not contending that all liberals are crazy." Then his attacks resumed, asserting that "When President Obama promised America "FDR, part II," few of the political pundits took notice because ideologically they are elitists, liberals and socialists like Obama," and claiming that Obama's legislative plans aim to "secure Democrat Party votes in perpetuity. It's legalized thievery. It is Mafia tactics on a grand scale." He continues:

Liberal Democrats create policies not to solve problems, but to win elections and make more and more people dependent on the government welfare programs they provide. Since FDR, liberals have used every Machiavellian tactic to create a Leninist groupthink mentality; a slavish and addictive dependence on government that Democrats hope will keep them in power in perpetuity.

Washington offers no evidence to back up his claim, other than claiming he was inspired by Limbaugh to write it. 

Remember too that Washington has a long history of smearing Obama by likening him to Nazis and fascists. If that isn't an example of Alinsky-esque "personalizing" and "polarizing," we don't know what is.

If Washington finds the tactic so odious, why does he engage in it?

Posted by Terry K. at 9:20 AM EST
Updated: Thursday, January 29, 2009 11:15 AM EST
New Article: Spiking Reality
Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily's annual "Operation Spike" list of purportedly underreported stories reflect right-wingers' obsessions -- but WND underreports the facts that demonstrate why the stories were rightly ignored in the first place. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 1:50 AM EST
MRC's Double Standard on Personal Insults
Topic: NewsBusters

A Jan. 27 NewsBusters post (and Jan. 28 MRC CyberAlert item) by Brad Wilmouth takes a disapproving look at an appearance by Newsweek's Jonathan Alter on Keith Olbermann's MSNBC show, in which "Alter’s opening act was to take a jab at [Rush] Limbaugh’s past addiction to Oxycontin in distinguishing him from the Islamic mullahs" and "Olbermann made another one of his infamous jabs at the physical appearance of conservatives, which at times have come in the form of fat jokes." Another Jan. 27 post (and CyberAlert item) by Matthew Balan similarly disapproved of CNN's Jack Cafferty describing Limbaugh as "that corpulent Oxycontin aficionado of right-wing talk radio."

Missing from Wilmouth's and Balan's post is that the MRC has engaged in the exact same behavior, with its long history of making sex jokes about President Clinton.

By contrast, Republican Dick Armey's retort to Salon editor-in-chief Joan Walsh that "I'm so damn glad that you could never be my wife, cause I surely wouldn't have to listen to that prattle from you every day" drew a tepid rebuke from NewsBusters. Mark Finkelstein, in a Jan. 28 post, noted only that "things got out of hand" and mentioned "the political becoming personal." NewsBusters readers, meanwhile, were a little more approving of Armey's cheap shot, as the comment thread on Finkelstein's post demonstrates:

  • This just once again proves what I have always said. Women shouldn't be allowed to vote. Sure, it would mean that some of us that aren't insane witches couldn't vote, but to get rid of these harpies? It has got to be worth the trade-off. I actually did laugh out loud! She was spewing talking points, just like all the Obamatrons. It's pretty bad when Dick Armey makes you look like a d.a.
  • The reason I don't want women to vote? I say it all the time. If women had not voted, Republicans would have won every election for the last 50 years, excepting 1964. So, yeah, I think it is worth it. I also have said that I would give up my vote, which is very important to me, if we made a system that only the military could vote. I figure they are the ones putting their lives on the line for us, daily. Plus, I know they will vote more conservatively than most Americans. I do have a method to the madness. ; )
  • And I saw more than just this clip. She was being an A #1 bee-yotch. I thought he was restrained. I personally wanted to pop her in the yap. I am sick to death of seeing these righteous feminazis who want to talk about saving people and all this "social issues" bull crap.
  • These left-wing extremists are as hard headed and as dumb as the mule they have for a mascot. Just like the mule you have to smack them between the eyes with a 2x4 now and then to get their attention. They think they can call us anything and say anything and we are not to respond. I like Army because he isn't going to bend over for anyone. She had it coming big time.
  • Frankly, I don't see the diff, I don't even think of her as being much of a woman. Barney [Frank] seems more feminine to me. And she is by no means a shrinking violet. I guess I just look at it as "Alls fair in love and war," and I consider this a war.
  • Joan Walsh has got away with murder forever, along with msnbc...she is a regular leftist talking head... I loved every danged minute of it....too bad Armey didn't get much more time in after she started getting her feathers ruffled (as phony as it was), as a woman, if I was sitting against her on a show I would of plucked those feathers of hers off one by one long ago. Talk about torture....she is.
  • She wants to speak in rhetoric and ignore the specifics of the debate.She feels that just because the "economy is a wreck and "Obama has a mandate" that any piece of cow poo that he serves up is not to be questioned. Dick Armey was raining on her new utopia and she did not like it.Ha Ha!
  • Anyway, I said I wasn't going to watch this segment earlier, but I did....and I LOVED what Armey told is about time someone told one of those NAGS OFF...I am so sick of her, yet they act so miffed, well yeah, they are, because rarely does anyone dare to fight back or criticize....about time too!
  • Joan Walsh was patronizing him, and he stomped on her. In my opinion, she deserved it.
  • And Dick...Don't you DARE apologize to her for your comments!

Remember, these are the same folks that NewsBusters thinks are "a class above the competition."

Posted by Terry K. at 12:43 AM EST
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Newsmax Falsely Claims Stimulus Gives '$5.2 Billion for ACORN'
Topic: Newsmax

A Jan. 27 Newsmax article by David Patten falsely asserts that "the blockbuster Democratic stimulus package would provide up to a whopping $5.2 billion for ACORN, the left-leaning nonprofit group under federal investigation for massive voter fraud."

In fact, the Democratic stimulus plan does not even mention ACORN by name, let alone specifically allocate any money to it. Further, the plan requires that the money be distributed through competitive processes, which means that no one group, including ACORN, has a lock on the money, or that conservative groups who do the same things can make a play for that money too.

Patten gets slightly closer to the truth later in the article by hinting that the money is not specifically allocated to ACORN. he cites our old friend Matthew Vadum in claiming that the money is variously "money that ACORN often vies for successfully," part of a program that is "a specialty of ACORN’s," and "reserved for nonprofits such as ACORN." But at no point does Patten explicitly state that ACORN is not allocated the money or that it is in fact allocated via a competitive process.

Meanwhile, the American Spectator article by Vadum that Patten references shades the truth as well. Vadum avoids the explictly false claim, instead throwing in enough qualifiers to make his claims merely true enough: that the money will go to "left-of-center political advocacy groups such as ACORN" and that "Probably chief among the groups to benefit from stimulus spending will be ACORN."

Both Patten and Vadum repeat the misleading claim that Obama "led a voter drive for ACORN affiliate Project Vote." In fact, as we've noted, Project Vote wasn't an ACORN affiliate at the time Obama took part in the voter drive.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:03 PM EST
Klein Misleads on Obama Comments
Topic: WorldNetDaily

A Jan. 27 WorldNetDaily article by Aaron Klein asserted that President Obama "hailed a so-called "Saudi Peace Initiative," which offers normalization of ties with the Jewish state in exchange for extreme Israeli concessions." But the Obama excerpt Klein includes clearly demonstrates that Obama does not "hail" or "trumptet" it in the way Klein has portrayed it.

In the quote Klein includes from the "interview with an Arab television network" Obama did -- Klein bizarrely can't bring himself to name that network -- Obama states that "I might not agree with every aspect of the proposal." Further, it's clear from the full transcript of the interview, which Klein did not include his article, that Obama was speaking in terms of a peace process that would cover the entire Middle East region, not the narrow endorsement of every aspect of the Saudi Peace Initiative that Klein suggests. Further, Klein also ignored the fact that Obama stated his support for Israel. After Klein cut off Obama's remarks, Obama said:

Now, Israel is a strong ally of the United States. They will not stop being a strong ally of the United States. And I will continue to believe that Israel's security is paramount. But I also believe that there are Israelis who recognize that it is important to achieve peace. They will be willing to make sacrifices if the time is appropriate and if there is serious partnership on the other side.

And so what we want to do is to listen, set aside some of the preconceptions that have existed and have built up over the last several years. And I think if we do that, then there's a possibility at least of achieving some breakthroughs.

Klein also asserts that "Defenders of Israel warn the plan would leave the Jewish state with truncated, difficult-to-defend borders and could threaten Israel's Jewish character by compelling it to accept millions of foreign Arabs." But Klein quotes no one such claims, nor does he explain why he makes the assumption that a supporter of the plan equals not being a "defender of Israel."

Klein has a longtime animus toward Obama and a history of making misleading claims about him.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:24 AM EST
A Proposition for Tim Graham
Topic: Media Research Center

In a Jan. 27 NewsBusters post, Tim Graham has a minor fit over David Gregory's assertion that those who claim that NBC's news coverage is affected by opinionated hosts on MSNBC are "reach[ing] these judgments through their own ideological prism." Graham sniffs in response: "It's always annoying when liberal media elites try to insist that their critics have an 'ideological prism' that they completely lack."

Graham studiously avoids mentioning the incontrovertible fact that his employer, the Media Research Center -- one of the main promoters of the idea that NBC's news coverage is biased because of opinionated hosts on MSNBC -- sees things through an ideological prism. 

If that wasn't true, Graham would also be complaining that that Fox News' opinionated hosts taint its news coverage. But, to our knowledge, he hasn't.

Why is it somehow "elitist" to point that out? It's not, of course -- it's simply the noting of relevant factual information. Graham appears to be asserting a corollary to the Colbert Principle: Reality not only has a well-known liberal bias, it's elitist as well.

If Graham is so desperate to demonstrate how non-elitist he is, we have a proposition for him: The next time he or any other MRC employee appears on Fox News, he should celebrate the spirit of egalitarianism by permitting an employee of Media Matters appear with him. (We're thinking Paul Waldman.)

Waddaya say, Tim?

Posted by Terry K. at 1:47 AM EST
Melanie Morgan's Favorite Unrepentant Terrorist
Topic: WorldNetDaily

From a Jan. 26 WorldNetDaily "Surfin' Safari" item by Andrea Shea King:

Tracking the (unrepentant) terrorist

WorldNetDaily columnist Melanie Morgan is tracking unrepentant terrorist and former Weather Underground founder William Ayers on college campuses. This Wednesday, she'll be leading a rally and protest with the Simple Justice, Not Social Justice coalition at St. Mary's College of Moraga, Calif., where Ayers has been invited to speak.

"I will hound him to the gates of hell," says the political activist and founder of Move America Forward, America's largest pro-troop organization.

If only Morgan felt that way about all "unrepentant terrorists." There's another terrorist she's in hot pursuit of -- not to "hound him to the gates of hell," but to seek his approval and participation in Move America Forward activities: G. Gordon Liddy.

For example: 

  • A September 2007 blog post by Morgan touts Liddy -- "a former Marine who needs no introduction" -- as being among "the few male conservative commentators who were helping us out" at a "Gathering of Eagles" rally.
  • A June 2008 blog post places Liddy on the "honor roll" of people who have participated in a forum "to tell a story in narrative form about the success in Iraq and Afghanistan." At that same time, Liddy was among the "All-Star lineup of celebrities & patriotic leaders" taking part in MAF's effort "to send the largest shipment of care packages to U.S. troops in history."

As we've detailed, Liddy is a convicted felon who plotted to murder people and blow up buildings -- and has never apologized for doing so. Why is Morgan palling around with unrepentant terrorists?

Posted by Terry K. at 12:30 AM EST
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Kessler's GOP Echo Chamber
Topic: Newsmax

Ronald Kessler is doing a fine job of parroting Republican talking points.

In a Jan. 26 Newsmax article, Kessler uncritically quotes former Republican House majority leader Tom DeLay claiming that President Obama's proposed stimulus package is "just complete, out-and-out writing of checks to people that don’t pay taxes. ... These are welfare checks that are called tax cuts."

Of course, as we've noted, if you're putting gas in your car or have FICA taxes deducted from your paycheck, you're paying federal taxes even if you don't pay federal income taxes. 

Posted by Terry K. at 6:20 PM EST
Do Right-Wing Groups Support Outlawing Contraception?

A Jan. 27 article by Josiah Ryan and Susan Jones is ostensibly about how right-wing activist groups are criticizing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi "for saying that taxpayer money for contraception would save the states money," but Ryan and Jones bury the lead: The people they quote apparently want to outlaw all contraception completely and force women to carry all pregnancies to term. From the article:

"At a time of financial crisis, Nancy Pelosi's solution is to kill future taxpayers," said the American Life League.


“In other words, children are a burden to the economy, and Pelosi believes it's the government's responsibility to eliminate them,” said the Family Research Council.


"Pelosi has described herself as 'an ardent, practicing Catholic,'” the American Life League said in its news release.
“’But ardent, practicing Catholics do not treat destruction of human beings and human dignity as an economic stimulus plan. They do not see the death of countless preborn Americans through the use of abortifacient birth control as an opportunity to 'reduce state costs.'" 

As we've previously noted, the American Life League is anti-contraception. And based on its statement here, it appears that the Family Research Council is as well.

Isn't the real story how right-wingers such as FRC and ALL apparently want to outlaw contraception and force women to carry pregnancies to term -- and even perhaps force women to get pregnant? It's too bad Ryan and Jones missed the scoop here.

After all, that's a much more logical, and factually supported, conclusion than asserting that Pelosi is out to "kill future taxpayers."

Posted by Terry K. at 2:31 PM EST
Updated: Tuesday, January 27, 2009 5:31 PM EST
Obama Derangement Syndrome Watch
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Within the first three days of taking office, Obama has signed five specific executive orders without any advice or the consent of the legislative or judicial branches – the same branches the founders believed were essential for effective and accountable government. This is an unprecedented number given past presidents like Kennedy, Carter and Clinton only signed one in the first few days of taking office and Presidents Reagan, Bush Sr. and Bush signed zero in the same time frame.

Maybe Obama has abandoned the whole concept of a constitutional republic and is embracing early on what many of us feared: a Socialist dictatorship with our supreme, beloved leader Caesar Obama. Castro's Cuba, Stalin's Russia, Mao's China may soon see the list include Obama's America unless some of the Republicans in Congress grow a set of ... well, nerves.

-- Craig R. Smith, Jan. 26 WorldNetDaily column.

Has Smith complained about any executive order signed by President Bush, or Bush's unprecedented use of signing statements, which an American Bar Association panel declared "undermine[d] the rule of law and our constitutional system of separation of powers"? Not that we're aware of.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:18 AM EST
Newsmax Headline: 'Obama, Most Secretive President Ever'
Topic: Newsmax

Barack Obama hasn't even been in office for a week, yet Scott Wheeler, in a Jan. 26 Newsmax column, has declared him to be, as the headline states, the "Most Secretive President Ever."

On what basis does Wheeler make this judgment? Not on anything Obama's done in office -- remember, he's only been there six days as of date of publication. Instead, Wheeler is trying to replay the campaign:

It should have been easy to know everything about him, yet, we know nothing. Obama’s medical records have never been released, we know only from an admission in his first autobiography that he was a recreational drug user.

We know nothing about his academic record at Columbia or Harvard except that which he wants us to know, that he was editor of the Harvard Law Review. Why can’t we see the academic record that earned him that spot?

By contrast, Wheeler defends the secrecy of the Bush administration because everything it was trying to hide from the public could only be described as related to national security:

To be clear, the openness the media and Democrats are celebrating have nothing to do with how the government is squandering your tax money or transparency of bailout funds — no, the transparency that we are now supposed to celebrate is over national security secrets. That is, how the Bush administration conducted the war on terrorism over the past seven years.

This is Shangri-La for Democrats — and terrorists. Having our game plan for the war on terrorism being laid out wide-open for the left and the enemy to openly criticize, and thereby weaken, makes it so much easier for another attack on America.

In fact, Freedom of Information Act requests were granted at a lower rate under the Bush administration than under the preceding Clinton administration -- not just for the Defense Department but also for all other major Cabinet-level office. Do, say, the Treasury or Interior departments really have all that much to do with "how the Bush administration conducted the war on terrorism" that would justify such a reduced rate of compliance? Perhaps Wheeler can explain that one.

Don't expect him to, though. Rather than being the journalist he appears to be at Newsmax, he is in fact the head of the National Republican Trust PAC, an anti-Obama group that was behind what called "one of the sleaziest false TV ads of the [2008 presidential] campaign," telling the lie that Obama's health care plan provides illegal immigrants with Social Security and health care benefits and would raise taxes to pay for it. FactCheck adds: "Hardly a word in the ad is true." 

Wheeler seems to have brought those same truth-telling skills to his Newsmax column.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:47 AM EST
Horowitz Repeats False Right-Wing Talking Point on Guantanamo
Topic: Horowitz

In a Jan. 23 post on his FrontPageMag blog, David Horowitz mouths the right-wing canard that "Sixty-two terrorists (that we can identify) have already returned to their war against the United States after being freed from Guantanamo." In fact, the Pentagon has confirmed that only 18 -- not 62 -- have "returned to the fight."

Horowitz goes on to rant that "This would not have been possible without the support of the entire political left, led by the ACLU and the Center for Constitutional Rights, two organizations that support the agendas of the terrorists and while verbally distancing themselves from their methods in practice, do everything in their power to get them released when they are caught." Really? "The entire political left" wants to establish sharia law in Muslim countries, which involves things like stoning adultresses, and to create an Islamic caliphate? That's part of al-Qaeda's agenda

These are the kind of ridiculous generalities that disqualify Horowitz from being taken seriously as a political commentator.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:07 AM EST
Monday, January 26, 2009
Bob Grant Botches Football History
Topic: Newsmax

In a Jan. 26 Newsmax column that takes a convoluted way through football and baseball to declare solidarity with Barack Obama as a fellow Chicago South Sider, Bob Grant messes up some football history, claiming that the NFL's Chicago Cardinals "moved to St. Louis in 1988."

Not quite. The Cards moved from Chicago to St. Louis in 1960; they moved from St. Louis to Arizona in 1988.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:33 PM EST
Updated: Monday, January 26, 2009 10:33 PM EST
The Poetry-Haters At the MRC
Topic: Media Research Center

Why does the Media Research Center hate poetry?

As we've noted, MRC chief Brent Bozell used his Jan. 15 column to slam the work of Elizabeth Alexander, who read a poem during President Obama's inauguration ceremonies, as having appeal "only for a snobbish elite," mostly because she once used the words "genitals" and "buttocks" in the same poem and "wrote that the Rodney King police-brutality case in 1991 was somehow akin to blacks in professional sports." Bozell apparently prefers the opposite to Alexander's poetry, which he described as "assembly-line verses crammed into a Hallmark card."

Another apparent Hallmark-card fan is P.J. Gladnick, who in a Jan. 25 NewsBusters post likens Alexander's poetry to that allegedly written by a "crazed woman passenger" accused of biting a bus driver. Gladnick then offers an alleged sample of the biter's poetry, followed by Alexander's inaugural poem, then adds: "Which poem is more unpoetic to qualify as an Obama inaugural poem? And has anybody spotted Elizabeth Alexander biting bus drivers recently?"

Perhaps Bozell and Gladnick can provide examples of poetry they do like (if there are any) so we can judge how snobbishly anti-elitist their tastes are. 

Posted by Terry K. at 1:11 PM EST
Feder's Clueless Anti-NYT Ranting Continues
Topic: Accuracy in Media

Another day, another piece of clueless ranting at the New York Times by Accuracy in Media's Don Feder.

Feder's target in a Jan. 21 article at his AIM "Boycott the New York Times" website is Times columnist Maureen Dowd, whom he calls the "Queen of Liberal Mean." This overlooks the fact that Dowd kowtowed to Feder's agenda in the 1990s by being a Clinton-hater (which she continued against Hillary Clinton in the 2008 Democratic presidential primaries).

Beyond that, Feder's rant is very thin gruel: bashing Dowd for writing a travel-section article on spending "several days spent at a swank Miami Beach resort getting massages and detoxifying body-wraps, while quaffing expensive vintages." Feder whines that Dowd's piece took place "within days of The Times ordering its newsroom staff to hold the line on expenses," adding: "How does lefty, feel-your-pain Dowd justify such extravagance? That’s easy. She told readers she was there to find out if the rich were experiencing 'spa-guilt' during a recession."

Despite having nothing to offer in his rant, Feder continues anyway: "The New York Times is the citadel of liberal hypocrisy and Dowd is the chatelaine. Wouldn’t it be fun if Maureen released her tax returns so we could see how much she gives to charity each year?" Wouldn't it be even more fun if Feder would release his tax returns so we can see how much of his income comes from the tax-exempt largesse of Scaife-funded groups like AIM?

Meanwhile, Feder is still repeating right-wing falsehoods elsewhere on his little website. In a Jan. 14 article, Feder asserted, "President Bill Clinton passed up at least two opportunities to nab Osama bin Laden in 1996, when the Sudan offered to give him to us on a silver platter." In fact, In fact, the bipartisan 9-11 Commission found "no reliable evidence to support" the claim that Sudan offered bin Laden to the United States.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:34 PM EST

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