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Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Blumer Doesn't Understand the AP (Or, Really, The Entire Media )
Topic: NewsBusters

A Feb. 25 NewsBusters post by Tom Blumer bashes the Associated Press for issuing a story on President Obama's address to Congress, written in past tense, several hours before the speech was given. But Blumer clearly doesn't understand the purpose of such a story.

The AP issues such a advance story for many such addresses, based on an advance copy of the speech. Why? To allow morning newspapers that publish early editions with a publication deadline before the speech is delivered to have a story on the speech. Newspapers with later deadlines would not run this story because it would be updated with reaction to the speech and other details. Since many news websites that publish AP copy are set up to do so automatically, advance stories such as this appear online as well.

Because Blumer doesn't understand what he's criticizing, he chooses to make fun of it, touting its "comic relief."

Blumer has frequently displayed his ignorance of the media he's supposedly criticizing. He has gotten facts wrong, he cluelessly thinks that supposed "liberal bias" is the only possible reason the newspaper industry is in trouble, and he has falsely suggested that President Bush didn't pre-select reporters to take questions from during press conferences while Bashing Obama for doing so.

How does someone who clearly knows so little about the media get to present himself as a media critic? Or is such ignorance a prerequisite for writing at NewsBusters?

Posted by Terry K. at 12:33 PM EST
Aaron Klein Anti-Obama Agenda Watch
Topic: WorldNetDaily

A Feb. 24 WorldNetDaily article by Aaron Klein attacks Chas Freeman, nominated by President Obama to head the National Intelligence Council, as once having "business ties to Osama bin Laden's family." But in baselessly suggesting that Freeman is tied to Osama bin Laden, Klein fails to report relevant details showing the lack of connection between Osama's terrorism and the bin Laden family's business interests.

At no point, for example, does Klein mention the fact that Osama's brother, Bakr bin Laden, publicly renounced Osama bin Laden in a statement released to the media in February 1994. Instead, he claims that "some bin Laden factions have not disowned Osama" -- but never bothers to prove the implication that Freeman is in any way associated with those "factions.

In other words, this is more guilt-by-assocation garbage from Klein.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:22 AM EST
Limbaugh Repeats ACORN Lie
Topic: WorldNetDaily

In his Feb. 24 syndicated column, published at WorldNetDaily and Newsmax, David Limbaugh repeats the discredited claim that the stimulus bill is "allocating billions of taxpayer dollars to community organizing groups, such as ACORN."

As we've repeatedly noted, ACORN isn't even named in the stimulus bill, let alone has money allocated to it, and ACORN officialshave pointed out that they aren't eligible to receive the money people like Limbaugh think they're supposedly "allocated."

Posted by Terry K. at 12:34 AM EST
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Meanwhile ...
Topic: WorldNetDaily
Ed Brayton and Richard Bartholomew point out that invoking the anti-Semetic Martin Luther to criticize Pope Benedict's lifting of the excommunication of Holocaust denier Richard Williamson, as Les Kinsolving did in his Feb. 17 WorldNetDaily column, is perhaps not the most appropriate analogy.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:05 PM EST
Sheppard Applauds Destruction of Satellite
Topic: NewsBusters

It's not often you see a right-winger root for the destruction of government property, but that's what Noel Sheppard does in a Feb. 24 NewsBusters post as he takes near-sadistic glee in the crash of a NASA rocket containing a satellite to be launched.

Why is Sheppard taking such perverse happiness? Because the satellite was to track worldwide levels of carbon dioxide in order to help track the rate of global warming. Sheppard chortles:

How delicious that it landed near the continent whose expanding ice mass totally defies the myth climate alarmists so eagerly spread for their own purposes.

Not to promote a conspiracy theory here but such anarchic glee makes one wonder if he or his denier cohorts sabotaged the rocket to ensure its destruction. Or perhaps Sheppard is afraid of the possibility of more scientific evidence that would further contradict his politically motivated anti-global-warming activism.

Oh, and contrary to Sheppard's claim, Antarctic ice is, in fact, melting.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:31 PM EST
Another Bogus Poll from Brad O'Leary
Topic: WorldNetDaily

A Feb. 23 WorldNetDaily column by Brad O'Leary purported to offer up another ATI News poll he commissioned from Zogby as evidence that President Obama "has alienated independents, small business leaders, young voters, Catholics and Republicans on a number of legislative victories." But O'Leary doesn't link to the poll or provide any of the questions asked in it, so it's a safe bet that the poll is chock full of the kind of misleading or outright false questions he has previously had Zogby ask.

Remember, O'Leary has an agenda to undermine Obama, so any poll he peddles should be treated with extreme skepticism.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:23 AM EST
Huston Baselessly Smears 'Hollywood,' Stars
Topic: NewsBusters

Warner Todd Huston's Feb. 22 NewsBusters post is a screed against a nebulous "Hollywood," asserting that while "self-aggrandizing denizens of Hollywood constantly scold Americans over a lack of national healthcare ... Hollywood is closing its nearly 90-year-old Motion Picture Fund hospital and accompanying long-term living facilities for aging actors."

But "Hollywood" is not closing the facilities -- not that Huston bothers to define what he means by "Hollywood." The facilities are operated by the Motion Picture & Television Fund, "a charitable organization that offers assistance and care to employees of the entertainment industry."

Huston's screed continues, attacking actors who purportedly are not helping the fund:

Yes, with the millions upon millions of dollars in which Hollywood is awash, they are dumping their own healthcare facilities. So, with the many millions with which they could easily fund it laying untapped, why exactly should everyone else feel that the idea is as important as these actors so commonly claim it is if they even refuse pay the bills for their own kind?

Is George Clooney so hurting for cash that he can’t pay a little to the healthcare fund? Is Marlo Thomas in the poor house? Is Ed Asner or Mike Farrell standing in a bread line somewhere?


Again, these self-important Hollywood types have nearly unlimited amounts of cash, yet they can't adequately fund a "free" healthcare system for their own fellows? 

Huston offer no evidence whatsoever that these particular celebrities have not donated to the Motion Picture & Television Fund. The fund operates numerous fund-raising events, including a golf tournament hosted by Michael Douglas and a pre-Academy Awards event with numerous celebrities as hosts.

Further, the MPTF hospital is not a full-service facility but, rather, an acute-care facility that loses money. As the MPTF points out, "Outpatient healthcare, social services, financial assistance, childcare and retirement living continues to be available to over 300,000 members of the California entertainment industry." It's merely outsourcing services; we thought Huston was a big fan of outsourcing.

Further, in calling out Marlo Thomas, Huston ignores the fact that she has a long history of philanthropy for the St. Jude Children's Hospital, founded by her father, Danny Thomas.

Given Huston's harsh tone, it sounds like somebody's jealous they didn't get an Oscar.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:19 AM EST
WND's Idea of A 'Homosex-Fest'
Topic: WorldNetDaily

The headline of a Feb. 22 WorldNetDaily article states: "Oscars turn into blatant homosex-fest."

How so? Because two winners said nice things about gays. Kovacs offers no evidence of "homosex" actually taking place, let alone that there was an entire "fest" dedicated to it.

As part of its anti-gay agenda, WND loves to work in the term "homosex-fest" wherever it can -- a search for the word in WND's archives pulls up 39 hits.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:12 AM EST
Monday, February 23, 2009
Waters Repeats Clinton Travel Office Myth
Topic: NewsBusters

A Feb. 23 NewsBusters post (and TimesWatch item) by Clay Waters references the Clinton administration's "persecution of the White House Travel Office."

In fact, as we've detailed, this alleged "persecution" is a right-wing myth. As the final report by independent counsel Robert Ray pointed out, Clinton was within his legal rights to hire whomever he wanted to run the travel office, and there was evidence of financial mismanagement in the office.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:12 PM EST
WND Hypes Obama 'Chaos'
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily wants you to think that Barack Obama plans to plunge America into chaos. Apparently, that's what Glenn Beck told it to do.

Its lead story for most of the past day is a Feb. 21 article by Drew Zahn uncritically repeating crazy man Alan Keyes' attacks on Obama:

"Obama is a radical communist, and I think it is becoming clear. That is what I told people in Illinois and now everybody realizes it's true," said Keyes, who ran unsuccessfully against Obama for the state's open Senate seat in 2004. "He is going to destroy this country, and we are either going to stop him or the United States of America is going to cease to exist."


"I'm not sure he's even president of the United States," Keyes continued, "neither are many of our military people now who are now going to court to ask the question, 'Do we have to obey a man who is not qualified under the constitution?' We are in the midst of the greatest crisis this nation has ever seen, and if we don't stop laughing about it and deal with it, we're going to find ourselves in the midst of chaos, confusion and civil war."

Keyes, who stated he refuses even to refer to Obama as president, labeled the man in the Oval Office as "somebody who is kind of an alleged usurper, who is alleged to be someone who is occupying that office without constitutional warrant to do so."

Needless to say, Keyes' extreme rhetoric struck a chord at WND. Joseph Farah was quick to jump on the bandwagon with his Feb. 22 column:

When we think of the word "chaos," normally we associate it with spontaneous acts of malcontents rebelling without a cause.

But most of the chaos in the world today is what I call "directed chaos" – usually government-directed and with one single-minded purpose: the consolidation of power.

That's the way I interpret the so-called "economic stimulus" legislation approved by the Democrat-controlled Congress and signed by President Obama.


In the meantime, prepare for chaos.

Prepare for harder times than you have seen in your lifetime.

Farah also repeats the false claim that "Groups like ACORN, the shock troops and brown shirts of their movement, are being paid off with billions of dollars."

Rodger Hedgecock echoed the theme in his Feb. 22 WND column:

This column is bad, really bad. And it's getting worse. It could be a catastrophe, an Armageddon.

Our new president wants to revive the economy with similar rhetoric.


This much we already know. Trillions of dollars of new debt will burden generations of Americans who haven't even been born. Government control of banks will continue political interference in questions like who is eligible to get a home loan. Welfare programs will be expanded to include illegal immigrants. Community activists will be funded by the government to shut down talk radio.

There's a growing suspicion that if this president is successful in all he wants to do to transform America, "We the People" will suffer for it for generations to come.

The lesson: Don't take your cues on political discourse from Glenn Beck. Or Alan Keyes.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:06 PM EST
Examiner Repeats False Claim on EFCA
Topic: Washington Examiner

The Feb. 22 Washington Examiner list of the "10 brightest ideas of the week" repeats a false talking point about the Employee Free Choice Act, claiming that it "would eliminate the secret ballot in union elections."

As we pointed out the last time the Examiner did this, the  measure does not ban secret ballots but, rather, adds the option of a card-check provision for employees to form a union.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:44 PM EST
CNS Takes Obama Out of Context

A Feb. 23 article by Matt Cover takes out of context a statement by President Obama regarding the Bush tax cuts to make it appear as if he plans to institute "massive tax increases" on Americans.

Cover writes:

During the presidential campaign, then-Sen. Barack Obama pledged to repeal the tax cuts.

"I want to eliminate the Bush tax cuts," Obama told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer in a May 2008 interview.

But Cover fails to detail the full context of Obama statement, in which he makes it clear he plans to restore tax cuts elsewhere. From the May 11, 2008, edition of CNN's" Late Edition":

BLITZER: So, you want to just eliminate the Bush tax cuts?

OBAMA: I want to eliminate the Bush tax cuts. And what I have said is, I will institute a middle-class tax cut. So, if you're making $75,000, if you're making $50,000 a year, you will see an extra $1,000 a year offsetting on your payroll tax.

BLITZER: Define middle class.

OBAMA: Well, look, I think that the definitions are always a little bit rough, but if you're making $100,000 a year or less, then you're pretty solidly middle class, and you deserve relief right now, as opposed to paying higher taxes. But people who are making over $200,000 or $250,000 have benefited the most from economic growth.

Indeed, nowhere in his article does Cover mention the fact that Obama has proposed cutting taxes for 95 percent of working families.

It's irresponsible of Cover and CNS to pluck Obama's statements out of context without telling the full story.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:22 AM EST
Updated: Monday, February 23, 2009 11:46 AM EST
Prove It, WND
Topic: WorldNetDaily

A Feb. 22 WorldNetDaily article declares that its petition "calling on all controlling legal authorities to ensure that Barack Obama is constitutionally eligible to serve as president" "has now been signed electronically by more than 250,000 different people – averaging nearly 3,000 new signups a day."

But how do we know for sure? As we've previously noted, the petition is very secretive -- WND offers no independent verificaction mechanism, nor is there any apparent mechanism to keep people from signing the petition more than once or from signing fictitious names. There's probably a fair number Mickey Mouses on that petition.

Indeed, if you click on the "Click to Sign Petition" button and don't fill in a name, you still advance to a page thanking you for signing the petition and trying to sell you some books.

It appears that the so-called petition operation is little more than a marketing scheme to glean email addresses for WND's mailing list.

Further, such a petition should ideally be limited to registered U.S. voters who are eligible to vote in federal elections -- but there's no evidence that WND screens for that, either.

So, WND: Provide evidence that you have, in fact, signed up "more than 250,000 different people" and detail the methods used to determine that all signatures are valid and non-duplicate -- or post the names so we all can see who signed it and count the valid signatures ourselves. Otherwise, there's no reason to trust this petition.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:17 AM EST
WND Misleads on Anti-Gay Video Controversy
Topic: WorldNetDaily

A Feb. 20 WorldNetDaily article by Drew Zahn uncritically repeats claims that a Michigan TV station's cancellation of a paid program attacking homosexuals was somehow the responsibility of a person who hasn't worked for the station for five years. At no point does Zahn indicate he made an effort to contact anyone from the TV station for their side of the story.

Further, Zahn fails to report one aspect of the imbroglio, even though WND reported it in a Feb. 13 article by Chelsea Schilling: The station offered the group sponsoring the program, the American Family Association, an opportunity to air it at a different time. When the AFA didn't respond after 24 hours, the station canceled the showing.

Zahn also fails to mention the Human Rights Campaign's claims that the program contains numerous falsehoods.

A real reporter would have told both sides of the story. Zahn is concerned with telling only one side.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:23 AM EST
Sunday, February 22, 2009
Huston Repeats Baseless Attack on Star Tribune
Topic: NewsBusters

Warner Todd Huston begins a Feb. 21 NewsBusters post by asserting, "The Minneapolis Star Tribune is often called the "Red Star" Tribune by residents of Minneapolis for its long-time, virulently left-wing outlook."

As we noted the last time he did this, Huston offers no evidence that anyone other than Huston smears the Star Tribune this way.

Huston goes on to claim that the Star Tribune is "tilted to the far left," but the only evidence he offers of this is that the paper endorsed Barack Obama for president.But Huston curiously fails to mention that the paper also endorsed Norm Coleman over Democrat Al Franken in the state's Senate rate, and its news coverage has tilted in favor of Coleman.

Huston also cites the Star Tribune's efforts to void a contract with one of its employee unions as an example of hypocrisy. But Huston fails to mention that the paper has editorialized against the Empoyee Free Choice Act, seen as a pro-union measure.

Huston accuses the paper of having problems dealing with reality, but that more accurately applies to Huston himself.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:29 AM EST
Updated: Sunday, February 22, 2009 10:42 AM EST

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