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Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Farah Misleads on New Deal
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Joseph Farah's March 2 column attempts to make the case that the Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal "failed miserably to pull the country out of the country's one and only Depression." Unsurprisingly, Farah deceives in doing so.

Farah writes:

After two complete terms in office in 1939, Roosevelt saw higher unemployment in 1939 than what the nation experienced when he took office – up from 16.3 percent in 1931 to 17.2 percent in 1939. No depression or recession in American history, before or since, ever lasted even half as long.

However, statistics can never tell the whole story.

No, "statistics can never tell the whole story" -- especially when you're cherry-picking them and placing them around erroneous information like Farah does.

Roosevelt, in fact, had not gone through "two complete terms in office in 1939"; he was elected in 1933, and his second term ended in 1941.

Moving the Roosevelt administration up two years allowed Farah to cherry-pick unemployment rates from 1931 (when Roosevelt wasn't in office, despite what Farah thinks) and 1939. Farah fails to mention that unemployment peaked in 1933 at 24.9 percent and had dropped to 14.3 percent in 1937 -- de facto evidence that the New Deal worked. Further, because federal labor statistics at the time did not count those in government work programs as "employed," the actual unemployment rate was even lower.

Since Farah is cherry-picking statistics to fit his preconceived notions, he fails to ask the question of why unemployment went up from 1937 to 1939. Many experts believe that it was because  Roosevelt cut spending and raised taxes in an effort to reduce the deficit.

But remember: Farah is a hack, and he doesn't believe in reporting facts when they conflilct with his right-wing agenda.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:13 AM EST
Monday, March 2, 2009
Aaron Klein Anti-Obama Agenda Watch
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Aaron Klein's guilt-by-association garbage smears of President Obama continue unabated.

Not only does he yet again baselessly link Obama to communists, he tries to link Obama to Carlos the Jackal.

How pathetically desperate and filled with hate for Obama can one person be? Fortunately for Klein, he's employed by WorldNetDaily, whose raison d'etre is to spread Obama-hate.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:55 PM EST
Ruddy Repeats ACORN Lie
Topic: Newsmax

His employees have been asserting it for weeks. Now Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy joins them in his March 2 column, repeating the lie that the stimulus bill contained "handouts of $3 billion for groups like ACORN."

In fact, ACORN isn't even mentioned in the stimulus bill, let alone allocated money in it, and ACORN CEO Bertha Lewis has stated that "ACORN isn't getting any of this money ... we aren't eligible for it in the first place."

Posted by Terry K. at 1:49 PM EST
Examiner Baselessly Declares Jindal Anecdote To Be True
Topic: Washington Examiner

Ranked No. 2 on the Washington Examiner's "10 worst ideas of the week" for March 1 (print-only, not online) was this:

2. Doubting a true Katrina story

A host of liberal blog sites and MSNBC's Keith Olbermann accused Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal of lying about a post-Katrina incident he recounted Tuesday in his national speech, claiming he never actually went into the disister zone. But multiple reports show Jindal being all over the flood zone in the storm's aftermath and eyewitnesses confirm the story.

The Examiner misrepesents the nature of the criticism. No evidence is offered that critics have claimed Jindal never "went into the disister zone." Rather, the question is whether the anecdote Jindal told was true.

The Examiner also ignores the fact that Jindal's own office has confirmed that the incident didn't happen the way Jindal told it, which makes it something other than a "true Katrina story."

Posted by Terry K. at 12:56 PM EST
Where Are They Now?
Topic: NewsBusters

Mark Finkelstein -- whose transgressions at NewsBusters we've previously documented -- has largely abandoned NewsBusters (though he's still listed as a "senior contributor") to focus on his own new blog, Finkelblog. We checked in on him the other day and found a Feb. 26 post in which he sympathizes with CNBC's Rick Santelli for thinking that Obama press secretary Robert Gibbs issued a threat against him and his family and bashes NBC's Matt Lauer for calling Santelli out on it.

Finknelstein writes:

I tend to agree with Lauer’s bottom line.  It’s not as if Gibbs were waving around a photo of Santelli’s family and saying “nice kids. Wouldn’t want nuthin to happen to them.”  Hot Air has been very critical of Santelli for resorting to the same tactics of victimization typical of the left.  Then again, I do think Gibbs intended, let’s say, a chilling effect.  Criticize the president, and expect to be ridiculed on national TV. Of course Gibbs’ criticism of Santelli has boomeranged, making him something of a national hero to many, and presumably making it almost impossible for CNBC to fire him any time soon.

It’s Lauer’s role to ask tough questions of Santelli. But when Matt passionately expresses a point of view, as he did today, he ceases being a journalist and sounds more like a pundit—or surrogate White House spokesman.

First, Finkelstein's point is very confused. First, he agrees with Lauer that Gibbs didn't threaten Santelli, yet Lauer still gets bashed for saying so? If it's a fact -- and it objectively is, no matter how much Finkelstein imagines a "chilling effect" -- why make a big deal out of how "passionately" it is made. Ari Fleischer's post-9/11 "watch what you say" comment was widely interpreted as having a "chilling effect." Does Finkelstein agree? 

Second, wasn't Santelli acting like a pundit instead of the journalist he was supposed to be when he let his rant fly? How does that make him any better than Lauer? That is, beyond the fact that Finkelstein appears to agree with Santelli's rant and, thus, the guy gets a pass, and Lauer, being a liberal elitist, is not allowed to repeat an objective fact that makes Obama look good -- that even Finkelstein agrees with -- without being accused of being a "surrogate White House spokesman."

Posted by Terry K. at 9:21 AM EST
Joseph Farah, Right-Wing Hack
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Ever wonder why a hack like Bob Unruh is allowed to thrive at WorldNetDaily? Perhaps because WND editor Joseph Farah is a hack too.

Farah's Feb. 28 column contains at least the third time he has asserted the false claim that ACORN received money from the stimulus bill.

There's no reason for anyone to have respect for a person who shows no respect for the facts.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:44 AM EST
Sunday, March 1, 2009
Deep Thought
Topic: NewsBusters
It's at least a tad ironic that a NewsBusters blogger who thinks Hillary Clinton staged a hostage situation at a campaign office "to make herself look battle-hardened" is complaining about the alleged conspiracy theories of others.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:33 PM EST
Bob Unruh, Right-Wing Hack
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Did Bob Unruh learn anything about proper journalism in those three decades at the Associated Press that his boss, Joseph Farah, loves to tout? As we've documented, it appears not. The latest example of Unruh's lack of journalistic standards is a Feb. 28 WorldNetDaily article that manages to be both egregiously slanted and remarkably ill-informed.

The subject of Unruh's article is the possibility that President Obama will overturn a rule instituted by President Bush in December that allows "doctors, hospitals, and even receptionists and volunteers in medical experiments the right to refuse to participate in medical care they find morally objectionable." Unsurprisingly, Unruh paints this in the most dire terms possible, baselessly claiming that Obama is "attempt to overrule their rights of conscience" and "demand[ing] doctors participate in the abortion industry."

Unruh also quotes critics of the proposed reversal, uncritically advancing their views that overturning the rule would mean "the closure of hospitals and clinics across America and a mass migration of physicians and their assistances to other careers." 

This demonstrates Unruh's failure as a journalist. This claim is patently absurd on its face -- the Bush rule has been in effect for only two months, and none of the sources Unruh quotes offers any evidence that doctors and other health professionals have entered the field because of the new ability to withhold, say, birth control on the basis on "conscience."

Indeed, Unruh doesn't even mention birth control -- he doesn't bother to quote any supporters of the reversal, who would have noted that the rule would allow a doctor who opposes birth control to refuse to prescribe contraception to a woman. The only medical issueUnruh mentions is the red-meat issue of abortion, as well as unsupported claims that "Medical students report changing career tracks away from obstetrics for fear of pressure to do abortions."

This article is a biased mess because Unruh doesn't care enough to gather both sides of the story -- and he works for a "news" organization that doesn't care about reporting facts to allow Unruh to get away with it. He, unfortunately is a hack, and Farah allows him to be one -- indeed, pays him to be one.

It's no wonder Unruh doesn't work for the AP anymore -- the biased and poorly reported stories he peddles at WND do not meet AP standards.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:42 AM EST
Saturday, February 28, 2009
WND Hides Truth Behind Roy Moore's Pollster
Topic: WorldNetDaily

A Feb. 23 WorldNetDaily article reported that "A new survey shows that the leading candidate for governor in Alabama to replace a term-limited GOP Gov. Bob Riley is former state Supreme Court Justice and WND columnist Roy Moore. WND added that the survey was "done over 10,000 homes across Alabama from a database of ccAdvertising." WND offers no other information about the poll or who commssioned it -- or, more importantly, what ccAdvertising is.

As we've previously noted, ccAdvertising is a Republican-linked marketing firm that specializes in push polling, "in which real-sounding questions with ludicrous premises are asked to plant negative ideas in voters' minds."TPM Muckraker has pointed out that ccAdvertising's chief, Gabriel Joseph, once boasted of his firm's ability to "deliver a voter suppression message" to unfriendly voters. He's also not above threatening reporters: "If someone writes something that I don't like, I can make their life—I can make them understand a few things if I choose."

That the poll was done via phone numbers from ccAdvertising's "database" rather than by the normal polling methodology of randomly selected numbers makes this survey even more suspect.

In other words, it's highly likely that this "survey" was commissioned by Moore himself or one of his supporters in order to boost his prospective gubernatorial bid -- though WND has no apparent desire to inform its readers about it.

It would be nice if WND was more interested in reporting the truth -- that is, doing its job as a "news" organization -- instead of promoting one of its employees.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:48 AM EST
NewsBusters Repeats Discredited Jindal Anecdote
Topic: NewsBusters

A Feb. 27 NewsBusters post by Jack Coleman criticized MSNBC's Rachel Maddow for allegedly taking Bobby Jindal's post-Obama-speech address out of context by claiming his criticism of governmental failures in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina equaled saying that "government never works." Coleman writes that "Maddow edited the segment to deprive viewers of what Jindal said next." He then repeats what Jindal said next: the story of Sheriff Harry Lee, who "during Katrina ... [w]hen I walked into his makeshift office," was angry over government red tape.

Just one little problem: Jindal's anecdote appears to be mostly made up. As TPM Muckraker details, Jindal's office has now admitted that Jindal was never in Lee's office "during Katrina"; rather, Jindal overheard Lee talking about the episode to someone else by phone "days later."(Though Jindal's people later sorta tried to take that back.)

It seems to have worked out for the best that Maddow "deprived" her viewer of a lie, eh, Jack?

Posted by Terry K. at 12:18 AM EST
Updated: Saturday, February 28, 2009 12:21 AM EST
Friday, February 27, 2009
Kincaid Buys Into Obama Birth Certificate Conspiracy
Topic: Accuracy in Media

Never one to miss out on a good conspiracy, Accuracy in Media's Cliff Kincaid gave a speech CPAC in which he hops aboard the Obama birth certificate fraud bandwagon:

Yes, back during the 1980s we had a president who was anti-communist. Now, back during the 1980s at least we knew -- we knew that our president was born in the United States.

County Fair has the clip.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:01 PM EST
Feder Gets It (Repeatedly) Wrong
Topic: Horowitz

Don Feder brings the editorial non-integrity we've come to count on at his little Accuracy in Media-bankrolled anti-New York Times website -- a site AIM is so proud of that it doesn't even offer a link to it from its front page, even though it still promotes a "What Liberals Say" page that hasn't been updated in months -- to a Feb. 27 FrontPageMag screed purporting to "guide you through the ideological land mines of Lib-Speak." Let's count the ways Feder can't be bothered to get basic facts straight, or to engage in civil discourse:

He repeats the false claims that "ACORN gets $4.2 billion" in the stimulus bill.

He asserts that "$2 billion for a high-speed passenger train from Los Angeles to Las Vegas." In fact, the bill does not name any specific project, and funding would be allocated by Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, a former Republican congressman.

Feder writes of the New Deal: "All of Roosevelt’s stimulus spending (which was a lot for the times) and alphabet agencies, resulted in higher unemployment in 1938 – five years into the New Deal – than in 1933, when he took office." In fact, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, 1933 unemployment was 24.9 percent; 1938 unemployment was 19.0 percent.

Feder writes: "Unilateralism is embraced by those with a healthy survival instinct. Imagine that unilateralist Franklin Roosevelt declaring war on Japan on December 8, 1941, without the consent of the League of Nations, Vichy France, Tokyo Rose and the German-American Bund." Of course, FDR didn't "declare war on Japan"; he asked the Congress to do so after Pearl Harbor.

Feder is also quick with the insults,calling Ted Kennedy "Ted The Super-Sized Statist" and calling community organizers "urban guerrillas."

If there's anything we can count on from Feder, it's lies and hate.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:25 PM EST
Farah Still Not Taking Criticism Well
Topic: WorldNetDaily

We've just detailed how poorly WorldNetDaily's Joseph Farah handles criticism of him and his website. He exhibits all the symptoms again in a Feb. 27 column, in which he takes issue with conservative radio host Michael Medved.

Hurling insults and denigrating the source? Check. Farah calls Medved's radio show "the flagship of Salem Communications, which once tried to buy WND and whose stock is currently trading at around $0.50." Farah also suggests that Medved is on a personal vendetta because WND canceled his column several years ago.

Avoiding details? Check. Farah describes Medved's criticism only in generalities, and at no point does Farah quote a specific claim Medved made (beyond noting that he called WND "WorldNutDaily"). This allows Farah to create straw men for him to knock down.

That's just how Farah rolls. Don't expect him to actually answer legitimate criticism.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:37 AM EST
Ponte Smears Teenager
Topic: Newsmax

Lowell Ponte's Democrat Derangement Syndrome manifests itself again in a Feb. 26 Newsmax column, in which he decides to trash a South Carolina teenager who wrote a letter to President Obama for help in repairing her school and ended up in the audience for Obama's speech to Congress:

This young woman, lionized Tuesday night on worldwide television, did only one thing: She wrote a letter asking national lawmakers to give her and her school goodies paid for by others.

“We are not quitters,” she wrote.

True, but what she has not quit is mooching.

Once upon a time, self-reliant Americans would have patched the school roof and painted its peeling walls themselves.

All this young woman did was ask politicians hundreds of miles away to tax money from others at gunpoint to benefit her.

Lowell's a real class act, isn't he?

Posted by Terry K. at 9:18 AM EST
Aaron Klein Anti-Obama Agenda Watch
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Aaron Klein is still hurling guilt-by-association garbage at Chas Freeman, President Obama's apparent pick to head the National Intelligence Council. In a Feb. 25 WorldNetDaily article, Klein claims that Freeman "once peddled a book to U.S. public schools that falsely claims Muslims inhabited North America far before European explorers."

But Klein offers no evidence at Freeman personally "peddled" this book, as he states. Rather, all Klein offers is that the organization Fredman heads, the Middle East Policy Council, once promoted it.

That's not a distinction without a difference -- things are often done in an organization's name that its officials may not have necessarily signed off on. Unless Klein can demonstrate Freeman's personal involvement in "peddling" the textbook, Klein's claim is guilt-by-association at best and, completely false at worst.

Klein also repeats his previous false suggestion of ties between Freeman and Osama bin Laden.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:51 AM EST

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