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Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Newsmax Ignores Evidence Torture Didn't Work
Topic: Newsmax

An April 20 Newsmax article uncritically reported former Vice President Dick Cheney's assertion during an interview with Sean Hannity that "he had pressed for the release of documents that would show how the Bush administration’s allegedly harsh interrogation techniques had thwarted major terrorist attacks," further criticizing the Obama administration for not releasing documents detailing how those techniques were successful in thwarting terrorism.

But Newsmax fails to note numerous reports that those "allegedly harsh interrogation techniques" accomplished little. The Washington Post, for example, reported that "not a single significant plot was foiled"as a result of th waterboarding of Abu Zubaydah; author Ron Suskind reported the same thing.

UPDATE: WorldNetDaily's Aaron Klein similarly repeats Cheney's claims without acknowledging reports that torture didn't work.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:32 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, April 21, 2009 6:52 PM EDT
Kupelian Tries, Fails to Justify His Obama Birth Certificate Obsession
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily must be aware how much credibility it's losing by desperately clinging to various lies and misleading claims surrounding Barack Obama's birth certificate, so David Kupelian has penned an April 20 column to justify his obsession.

Kupelian clings to discredited claims -- for instance, that the birth certificate Obama's campaign released "could have been issued for a child born overseas, and thus does not prove he was born in Hawaii" [italics his]. In fact, according to Kupelian's right-wing fellow travelers at FrontPageMag, Hawaii does not provide Certifications of Live Birth stating that children born outside of Hawaii were actually born inside Hawaii.

Kupelian also asserts that's debunking of right-wing attacks on the birth certificate can't be trusted because " is part of the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania, which critics point out is linked to the Chicago Annenberg Challenge organization where Obama worked for several years with former 'Weather Underground' terrorist William Ayers." That's not a factually based response; that's guilt-by-association -- Kupelian offers nothing to contradict anything FactCheck wrote. Kupelian also ignores several inconvenient facts:

  • Reports indicate the Chicago Annenberg Challenge did nothing radical or terroristic, Ayers' presence notwithstanding.
  • Walter Annenberg, who funded both projects, was a prominent Republican.
  • Ayers and Obama had little apparent contact with each other during their concurrent time with the project.

Needless to say, Kupelian neglects to mention WND's reporting that the "[a] separate WND investigation into Obama's birth certificate utilizing forgery experts also found the document to be authentic" -- the exact same conclusion that made.

Nevertheless, Kupelian insists that because Obama won't cave to right-wing pressure and release his full birth certificate, "Obama is hiding something. About that statement, there can be no dispute." We're guessing that Kupelian is of a mind with WND writer Jerome Corsi on what is purportedly being hidden -- as we've noted, Corsi has a lurid vision that Frank Marshall Davis -- a "Marxist activist" whom Corsi claims dealt cocaine with Obama in the 1970s in Hawaii, citing only a single anonymous drug addict to back it up -- is Obama's father. Kupelian seems to be salivating at the prospect of that kind of scandal, which is also presumably why Corsi is allowed to make such shoddily sourced claims on the pages of WND.

And if Obama is hiding something, so is Kupelian -- as we've detailed, WND won't make its anti-Obama petition public or talk about its relationship with birth certificate obsessive Orly Taitz.

It wouldn't be a full WND rant without a bit of cynical patriotism, and Kupelian obliges by insisting that "the other reason I care about this issue is because I still care about the Constitution." Don't believe that for a second -- it's all about hating Obama. Remember, Kupelian has smeared Obama as a Manchurian candidate who "has associated with radicals, criminals, communists and terrorists" (as if WND hasn't), as well as "a man who reflexively, instinctively, will side with what's wrong and harmful for America, and will oppose what's right and good and wholesome for America."

Further, the website for which Kupelian serves as  managing editor has published lie upon lie upon smear upon smear of Obama. Is that the sign of someone who cares only about the Constitution? No, that's the sign of someone with a seething, obsessive hatred.

Kupelian cares nothing about the truth or the Constitution -- he cares only about destroying Obama. He doesn't seem to realize what he's actually destroying is the website he works for.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:18 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, April 21, 2009 9:38 AM EDT
New Article: People of the Lie
Topic: WorldNetDaily
How can anyone take WorldNetDaily as a credible source of news when it repeatedly publishes falsehoods about Barack Obama? Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 1:32 AM EDT
Taitz Uses WND To Further Grudge Against Ex-Webmaster
Topic: WorldNetDaily

On April 4, WorldNetDaily published an article by Bob Unruh repeating Obama birth certificate obsessive Orly Taitz's accusations of "alleged cyber crimes connected to her work":

She cited a hacking into her PayPal account where donations to her foundation allegedly could have been diverted, sabotage on her website and the creation of an "imposter site" for one of the plaintiffs in one of her cases.

"All of these cyber crimes, together with all the other crimes that are handled separately, have one common denominator – a concerted effort to put Obama in the White House and keep him there by virtue of fraud and concealment of all of his records," she wrote.

As is the case with a lot of Unruh's work, Taitz's claims are uncritically presented as undisputed fact, and no other views are allowed to be heard.

Which is too bad in this case, because it may not be a "cyber crime" issue at all but, rather, a dispute with former partners.

Until earlier this month, Taitz was based at a web-based operation called Defend Our Freedoms. Lisa Ostella, who worked with Taitz until recently, tells her side of the story:

April 2, Orly reports to the FBI, Supreme Court and various officials that her sites, blogs and PayPal are being hacked and sabotaged.

open letter to the Supreme court-request for cooperation with the FBI investigation

I just gave a brief explanation on the last blog.  That was not hacked.  That was authorized by Orly.

These sites, and, were never hacked.  Why does it matter?  Because they are my sites on my accounts.  I supported Orly and have always been involved with politics, campaigns and causes.  So when I saw the antics with the java script program on the other blog, and it was never clear on how much she realized was going on, I took her over here to my accounts.  Defendourfreedoms, all of the domains, are on my web accounts.  So, when you are a guest in someone's establishment (my sites) and you start claiming injury (hacking/sabotage), that affects the owner, me.

DefendOurFreedoms, none of the sites, were ever hacked or sabotaged.  Unable to get to a site due to network latency does not equal hacking.  Traffic, congestion, line repairs affect network flow and all can always be checked on the Internet Traffic Report: 

Reporting cyber crimes on web sites, servers and accounts affects the account owner, me.  I have other customers and privacy policies in place with these clients.  If reports of my servers and accounts being compromised occurred, I need to notify them of possible compromise of their data.  But my accounts have not been hacked. 

When Orly refused to clear up this report, I told her she had to move her sites. 

So we proceeded to do this.


Now, I have emails, phone calls, blog sites doing interviews on how I threatened Orly, I shut her down, yes folks, I'm the new Obama.

Here is a tip to make note of from the NetWorld.  If you want to trash you webmaster.  You may want to acquire your domains first.  Because now, I am immediately canceling the transfer of DefendOurFreedoms.US.  I am cancelling it to point it to this blog post.  You have made it so I have to Defend MySelf.

Ostella is the person Taitz is accusing of "hacking into her PayPal account where donations to her foundation allegedly could have been diverted." Ostella responds:

In regards to these wild statements about money being stolen from Orly Taitz's hacked PayPal Account, again, it was not hacked.  No money was stolen.

No one is disputing the email address was changed in the DefendOurFreedoms sidebar.  I saw it.  People that tried to donate saw it.  Their donations came back because no such email address: exists.  Money sent to dead emails come back.  Hence NOT stolen.

The moderators to DefendOurFreedoms that had access to that side bar configuration was me, Fred Smart, Fran and Orly Taitz.  One of us changed it.  That is a nefarious activity, yes; but it is still not hacking.  

Ostella has challenged Taitz to post her PayPal records, which Taitz has not done.

Ostella's site, meanwhile, demonstrates that Taitz is not needed to maintain a conspiratorial bent. One post appears to equate the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing with "the 'shots heard around the world' were fired at Lexington and Concord where the Minutemen began our Revolutionary War by engaging the British" as "a call to action to reclaim our sovereignty from a tyrannical government."

Who's correct here? We don't know. But Taitz's apparent attempt to turn a personal grudge into a (literally) federal case nicely illustrates the kind of people WND has chosen to align itself with.

Speaking of alignment, a closer look at Taitz's new blog shows just how close the connection is between Taitz and WND. An email attacking Ostella was CC'd to Unruh, WND editor Joseph Farah and WND reporter Chelsea Schilling (as well as to fellow birth certificate obsessives Alan Keyes, Philip Berg and Arlen Williams, Gary Kreep of the right-wing U.S. Justice Foundation, and foul-mouthed right-wing documentarian John Ziegler). Taitz sent other information Unruh's way as well.

Will WND indulge Taitz's apparent personal grudge against her former webmaster by once again uncritically reporting her claims, or will the people Taitz is attacking be allowed to tell their side of the story? We shall see.

UPDATE: We have our answer: An April 20 article by Schilling uncritically repeats Taitz's attacks on Ostella, then claimed that "Ostella did not respond to WND's request for comment." At no point does Schilling acknowledge the responses to Taitz that Ostella posted on the Defend Our Freedoms blog. We found them easily enough -- why couldn't Schilling?

Posted by Terry K. at 12:16 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, April 21, 2009 1:38 AM EDT
Monday, April 20, 2009
Kincaid Hasn't Read Book He's Trashing
Topic: Accuracy in Media

Does Cliff Kincaid even understand what he's attacking?

An April 20 Accuracy in Media column is Kincaid's latest attempt to bash former "communist terrorist" Mark Rudd for writing his memoirs, since that censorship gambit didn't pan out. Kincaid serves up "suggested questions" to ask at his promotional appearances as he is, in Kincaid's words, "trying to cash in on his bloody record." Among them:

11)  Have you ever expressed remorse to the parents of your comrades Robbins, Oughton, and Gold?

12)  Have you ever expressed remorse to the victims of Weather Underground terrorism and their families?

Perhaps if Kincaid had actually read the book he's trashing -- something he has provided no evidence of doing -- he would know the answer to that question. From an April 12 Washington Post review of Rudd's book:

The recurring theme in all of Rudd's exploits was cognitive dissonance. He realizes now, he writes, that the Weathermen "reproduced conditions that all hermetically sealed cults use: isolation, sleep deprivation, demanding arbitrary acts of loyalty to the group, even sexual initiation as bonding." But he wouldn't admit this to himself at the time. Even as he "postured and gave speeches on the necessity for violence, I was terrified," he writes. "I knew I was no fighter. . . . I knew that the whole thing was nuts but couldn't intervene to stop it. . . . I felt like a member of the crew on a speeding train, dimly aware of disaster ahead but unable to put on the brakes." He recounts bouts of depression and breakdowns from the strain: "I was exhausted from playing a double role -- the public revolutionary leader and the private scared kid."

The irony is that Rudd's turn to radical politics at Columbia was cemented by a friend's remark that he couldn't watch America devastate Vietnam and stand by "like a good German." Yet from 1969 through 1977, no thought voiced or deed done by his Weather comrades, no matter how lunatic or murderous, could dislodge Rudd from his loyalty to their cause; and he is left today with considerable regret that he either took part in the madness or stood idly by, like a good German. The most wrenching scenes in "Underground" depict the suffering of the author's beloved parents, simple, hard-working people who found the whole business unfathomable. "I wonder if I'll ever be able to laugh again," Bertha Rudd said after her son's expulsion from Columbia, "my heart is so broken."

Kincaid seems to want to portray Rudd as unrepentant when the truth is the opposite of that.

By the way, Kincaid doesn't oppose all domestic terrorism, as evidenced by his ties to G. Gordon Liddy -- indeed, Kincaid appeared on Liddy's show a few weeks ago, ironically talking about the Weather Underground.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:23 PM EDT
WND's Fellow Right-Wingers Dismiss Birther Conspiracy
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily will almost never admit to be suckers after promoting a story that proves to be false -- normally, it just stops reporting on it and refuses to correct the record. We saw it when WND promoted claims that the murder of a Coptic Christian family was done by Muslims; when it turned out to have perpetrated by non-Muslims as part of a robbery, WND stopped reporting on it and did not apologize for falsely impugning Muslims.

More recently, we saw it in WND's attacks on Barack Obama during the 2008 presidential campaign, from promoting lurid but never-verified sex claims made by an obviously unreliable person to touting the claim by purported "news agency" African Press International that it had a tape of Michelle Obama berating WND's attacks on her husband, even though a cursory examination of API before publication -- which WND clearly failed to do -- would have shown API's claims to be highly illogical at best and utterly false at worst. As API continued its refusal to make its purported tape public, WND did eventually indirectly cast doubt on API's claims but merely dropped the story instead of following up with any sort of investigation of the truth behind API or apologizing for choosing to be suckered.

We will likely see the same behavior from WND with the Obama birth certificate story, as the bogus claims it has forwarded crumble under the weight of the truth.

The latest blow to WND's credibility is an April 17 FrontPageMag article by Andrew Walden likening the birthers to 9/11 conspiracists. Walden (who has gone after the birthers before, only to claim a new conspiracy that right-wing obsession over the birth certificate is just what Obama wants) curiously pulls a couple of punches here: He links to numerous WND articles but fails to mention WND by name as arguably the chief promoter of the birth certificate conspiracy. Walden also notes Accuracy in Media's Cliff Kincaid's statement at CPAC that "Back during hate 1980s, at least we knew that our president was born in the United States," though without actually naming Kincaid.

He makes up for that, though, by reminding people of what an anti-Semitic loon Andy Martin is (as we've noted, WND's Jerome Corsi is regurgitating some of Martin's claims on Obama's birth) and rightly denounces Philip Berg as a 9/11 conspiracy-monger. He even takes a swipe at far-right radio host Alex Jones (on whose show Corsi has appeared), dismissing his "built-in audience of drug-addled losers."

More importantly, Walden shoots down a number of claims that WND has forwarded. Linking to a March 24 WND article by Bob Unruh claiming that "While [Obama's] supporters cite an online version of a 'Certification of Live Birth' from Hawaii, critics point out such documents actually were issued for children not born in the state," responding:

The problem here is that Hawaii does not provide a Certification of Live Birth stating that children born outside of Hawaii were actually born inside Hawaii.


Obama's birth certificate clearly states he was born in Honolulu.  If Hawaii were providing Certification of Live U.S. Birth to persons born outside the U.S. the State would be illegally providing U.S. citizenship to non-citizens.  How did all these self-appointed defenders of the Constitution miss something so very obvious?

Walden further adds:

Contrary to birther lies, Obama's Certification of Live Birth from the State of Hawaii, whcih shows that he was born in Honolulu on August 4, 1961 at 7:24 PM, is thet same document that anyone born inHawaii shows when applying for a drivers' license, soecial security card, passport, or security clearance. AIt was also accepted as valid by the election officials of the 50 states.

Walden also effectively shoots down Orly Taitz's attacks on Obama and the attention Taitz's role in the birther conpsiracy has received from supermarket tabloid the Globe:

Readers interested in celebrity gossip are an ideal audience for conspiracists.  Sadly the Globe reports she has convinced an Army Lieutenant from Tennessee to throw away his military career on birther nonsense and claims to be on the verge of recruiting others.


Complains Taitz: “the courts stated that ordinary citizens have no standing to challenge Obama..."

Embarrassingly for those birthers who claim to be "upholding the U.S. Constitution -- Article II, Section 1 explains that "ordinary citizens" do not elect the President of the United States. The vorters of each state determine who will represent their state as electors in the Electoral College.

Walden also takes a swipe at "Ron Polarik," who purports to demonstrate the birth certificate released by Obama's campaign is fake. Last December, WND's Unruh uncritically reported Polarik's claims, ignoring the irony of demands for documentation coming from someone who is hiding behind a pseudonym. Unruh helpfully noted that "WND verified that he is not misrepresenting his credentials or expertise."

WND has a history of ignoring or refusing to provide truthful responses when its claims about Obama's birth certificate are challenged. Look for Joseph Farah and crew to ignore Walden as well.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:34 AM EDT
NewsBusters Heathering Watch
Topic: NewsBusters

P.J. Gladnick is one of the Heathers at NewsBusters, hurling bile and snark at any right-winger deemed to have committed the offense of thinking for themselves and straying from conservative dogma. Gladnick's latest target is Meghan McCain, and the Heathers' favorite crime is invoked in Gladnick's April 18 post:

One has to hand it to Meghan McCain. She has certainly found the perfect shtick for extending herself beyond her allotted 15 minutes of fame. And the method Meghan has discovered is to slam conservative Republicans. That is her meal ticket to getting invites on cable news shows such as Larry King and, "OMG," she is also going to be guest co-host of The View for a couple of days this week. Think any of these invitations would have materialized had Meghan urged Republicans to become more conservative? If that were to happen all those TV appearances plus her new book deal would dry up more quickly than a drop of water in Death Valley.

Jealousy much? Seems like Gladnick would like McCain's TV face time.

Gladnick goes on to complain that McCain "Meghan also indulged in the almost obligatory slams against Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh," seemingly oblivious to any reason such criticism is deserved (or maybe Gladnick is sticking to his MRC overlords' doctrine of Coulter and Limbaugh as They Who Must Not Be Criticized.

Gladnick then bashes McCain for purportedly failing to acknowledge the anti-Obama tea parties, adding, "Of course, any positive response from Meghan to the tea parties would jeopardize her self-promotion tour in the MSM which is why there has been no response from her."

Yep, Gladnick is totally jealous of McCain. Like, totally. 

Posted by Terry K. at 9:23 AM EDT
Will Farah Lead By Example?
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Joseph Farah thundered in his April 18 WorldNetDaily column that CNN's Anderson Cooper's use of the word "teabagging"in reference to the anti-Obama tea party protests was "grossly degrading," and he "should have his dirty, little gutter mouth washed out with soap" and then be fired. Farah added: "This is hardly the kind of comment Americans would expect from a respectable TV newsman paid by one of America's largest media corporations in prime time." This from someone whose website published a column by Erik Rush calling Attorney General Eric Holder "another floatie in the septic tank that is the Obama administration" -- that is, a piece of shit.

Then again, perhaps we have come to expect such grossly degrading hate by dirty, little gutter mouths to ooze from WND.

Farah also noted that Cooper said regarding pray-the-gay-away therapy enrosed by right-wingers like Farah, "every one of them basically admits that they still are attracted to a member of the same sex, they're just forcing themselves to repress those feelings." Farah retorted: "One wonders just how many happy homosexual Christians Cooper has met. ... Cooper handpicks the guests he has on his program. How many members of Exodus International has he chosen to interview?"

As World O'Crap points out, Cooper hashad Exodus head Alan Chambers on his show, adding: "Actually, why guess?  I mean, it’s the internet after all, so why risk looking like an ill-informed jackass who’s too lazy or stupid to type a Google search if you don’t have to?"

Cooper can also, if he's interested, interview Michael Bussee and Gary Cooper, two co-founders of Exodus International who left the group to be with each other. And then there's John Paulk, chairman of Exodus International at the time he was identified drinking and flirting at a gay bar. (He now insists that he made a "very foolish decision," a claim WND uncritically accepted.)

If Farah really wants Anderson Cooper fired from CNN for referencing "teabagging," he should lead by example on how to handle employees who make "foul-mouthed, offensive comments" by firing Erik Rush.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:07 AM EDT
WND's Anonymous Attacks on Obama
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily's Joseph Farah once defended his reporter Aaron Klein by asserting, "Aaron Klein doesn't use anonymous sources when he quotes senior terrorist leaders in Gaza and many of the most prominent Islamists in the world. He names names." That, of course, is a complete and utter lie -- Klein has granted anonymity to terrorist leaders.

Klein does so again in an April 17 article, in which he claims that President Obama will move to create a Palestinian state "more quickly than anybody could imagine," cting only an anonymous "chief PA negotiator" as his lone source. At no point does Klein explain why he has granted anonymity to the negotiator, whom, by definition as a Palestinian, is a terrorist in Klein's eyes.

WND wasn't done with hurling anonymous smears at Obama. An April 18 article promoting Farah's G2 Bulletin, "the premium, online intelligence newsletter edited by the founder of WND," asserts that Obama employed "restrictive rules of engagement that actually hampered the rescue of Capt. Richard Phillips and extended the drama at sea for days." The article cites anonymous yet purportedly "reliable military sources close to the scene" to back up the claim, which is otherwise unsubstantiated.

It appears that Farah's lies and hypocrisy about granting anonymity extend to his own work -- after all, he once denounced anonymous sources as a convenient basis for "quotes made up out of whole cloth to help make the story read better." There's no reason not to apply that same sentiment to Farah's own anonymous sources.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:23 AM EDT
Sunday, April 19, 2009
WJC Strikes Back With Attacks, Smears
Topic: Western Journalism Center

We seem to have hit a nerve.

It appears that the Western Journalism Center has responded to our report on the WJC's revival (also posted at the Huffington Post) pretty much the way you'd expect -- by attacking me. From a WJC email apparently sent out on Human Events' mailing list (we haven't seen the actual email yet, but parts of it are posted here):

Terry Krepel, the senior web editor for Socialist Billionaire George Soros' Media Matters just put out an inflammatory hit-piece on us in The Huffington Post and called us smear-mongers, right-wing hitmen and conspiracy theorists.

He even accused us of "naked partisanship" (We'd refute that one if we could figure out what he means by partisanship 'sans clothes' and also, whether Krepel actually believes that adherence to the Constitution is a partisan issue).

What does the WJC get wrong here? First, my article wasn't written for Media Matters; second, George Soros does not fund Media Matters. Demonstrating that the truth doesn't matter to them, they do concede that latter point later in the email, parentically noting that Media Matters is "more accurately, funded by a Soros-funded organization... those little degrees of separation appear to matter to liberal spin-meisters." Yet they call it "George Soros' Media Matters" anyway.

If Floyd Brown and the WJC are going to continue to insist on referring to "George Soros' Media Matters," does that mean we can refer to Richard Mellon Scaife's Western Journalism Center? (Unlike Soros and Media Matters, Scaife did directly fund the WJC.)

The WJC then to proceeded to attack Media Matters based on claims made by ... discredited journalist Catherine Moy:

Catherine Moy with Human Events perhaps described them best when she wrote that Media Matters appears "to care more about taking out the kneecaps of conservatives than pursuing truth or accuracy in the media."

As we detailed, the 2007 Human Events article by Moy that the WJC reliles on to bash Media Matters is full of hyperbolic assertions, unsubstantiated or false claims and overblown leaps of logic.

What you won't find in the WJC's email (at least in the posted excerpt): any factual refuting of the claims I made. Indeed, it seems that the WJC wants to operate in dog-whistle mode --despite sending out this paid email, there is no mention of my report on the WJC website. It's impossible to tell at this point whether the WJC included a link to my report without a copy of the actual email itself, but I would venture to guess that there isn't one -- they're afraid to let their readers make their own decisions about what I wrote.

To the contrary, the WJC sticks to repeating its bogus claims about the birth certificate, claiming he "refuses to release an actual birth certificate" when, in fact, he has.

The WJC goes on (enthusiasm for all-caps in original):

And now that Krepel (and The Huffington Post) has taken time out of his busy day to slime us, one can only ask why?

Answer?  Because, we are asking the ONE pivotal and credible question that the left does not want asked and we're driving the point home and taking the Mainstream Media to task for NOT asking that ONE SIMPLE QUESTION.

Specifically, why are teams of lawyers thwarting efforts to compel Barack Obama to produce, the ONE document that can verify that he is eligible, under the Constitution, to hold the office of President of the United States - his actual birth certificate.

If Barack Hussein Obama has nothing to hide, simply producing an actual birth certificate is not an unreasonable request.

But, because it is the ONE question that the left CANNOT answer and the question that Barrack Hussein Obama REFUSES to answer, it MUST NOT be asked... it MUST NOT be addressed... and it MUST NOT be acknowledged.

And, here's the most important part, since the question MUST NOT be be asked; those who dare to ask it must be discredited... they must be personally attacked.... lest the American people start asking the question too.

That is what the left really  FEARS and that's why we're in the crosshairs.

Actually, judging by the amount of vitriol in this email and its apparent refusal to link to my report so readers can judge for themselves, the people who are afraid here are Floyd Brown and the WJC -- and they're afraid of me, a guy with a website who told the truth about them.

Posted by Terry K. at 4:46 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, April 19, 2009 4:55 PM EDT
Ellis Washington Redefines Adultery In Latest Obama Smear
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Even Ellis Washington knows he can't credibly accuse Barack Obama of committing adultery -- he seems to be enough of a law professor to know that he would be sued for libel in a second. So, as part of his anti-Obama hate campaign to claim that Obama has violated every single one of the Ten Commandments, he redefines the term in his April 18 WorldNetDaily column, while insisting that "I have used Obama and his policies as a case study not to judge the man."

Really? Smearing Obama as a Nazi, a fascist, a gangster, and a devil is not "judging the man"?

Thus, Washington claims that Obama is committing "political adultery" by claiming that under him, "red-blooded Americans cannot exercise their First Amendment rights which part says: 'The right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances'" -- despite the fact that he also highlights "the thousands of tea parties that took place across America on Tax Day," which would be evidence to the contrary.

Washington then offers a list of what "conservative intellectual Michael Savage" saw as "as the first 10 of Obama's executive orders should he be elected, based on the Democrat's campaign website" -- even though none of the things on the list have actually happened, let alone by executive order.

In another stunning moment of self-awareness, Washington concedes that "To many readers it may be a stretch to equate Obama's goals with political adultery." But then, that goes away and he slips into his hateful smears again: "Obama and his fascist minion's intent is to provoke a socialist revolution in the image of the father of communism, Karl Marx; to bring to its apotheosis his diabolical vision including the abolition of Christianity, private property, the free market, separation of powers and individual liberty."

It's too bad that his knowledge that he can't actually accuse Obama of adultery didn't keep him for telling the contemptible lie that Obama intends to bring about "the abolition of Christianity, private property, the free market, separation of powers and individual liberty."

He -- and his publisher, Joseph Farah -- may be seeing that libel suit after all.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:04 AM EDT
Gladnick Botches Attack on "Che"
Topic: NewsBusters

P.J. Gladnick builds an April 18 NewsBusters post out of the claim that the movie "Che" "has turned out to be one of the worst box office bombs in film history," on the scale of the infamous "Heaven's Gate."

What does Gladnick botch in his attack?

1. Gladnick claims that "Che" and "Heaven's Gate" were made on similar budgets and lost a similar amount of money, but fails to index "Heaven's Gate" for inflation. As Wikipedia notes, "Heaven's Gate's" $40 million cost in 1979 is equivalent to about $120 million today," which means that "Heaven's Gate" cost three times as much to make -- and lost three times as much money -- than "Che." Indeed, the $39 million loss Gladnick claims "Che" has taken is not even in the ballpark of bombs by today's standards: As Wikipedia states, "The biggest box office bomb in terms of dollars spent that were not recouped is 'Alexander' with a loss of $120,702,809."

2. Unlike "Che" (rated at 63% at Rotten Tomatoes), "Heaven's Gate" got uniformly bad reviews and contributed to the collapse of a movie studio.

3. Gladnick baselessly posits that a movie's quality is measured by its popularity. At no point does Gladnick discuss the artistic merits of the movie, let alone suggest that any movie might have artistic merit. For instance, "Citizen Kane" did not make a profit on its initial release -- the same basis upon which Gladnick is declaring "Che" to be a failure -- yet it's heralded as one of the greatest movies ever made. We're not saying that "Che" is as good as "Citizen Kane" (heck, we haven't even seen "Che"), just illustrating the failure of profit as an reliable indicator of cinematic quality. Hey, "Batman and Robin" made a profit, so Gladnick must believe that it's a great film, right?

Posted by Terry K. at 12:26 AM EDT
Saturday, April 18, 2009
WND Adds Another Hateful Columnist
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Apparently, adding Michael Savage to the columnist lineup didn't make WorldNetDaily sufficiently hateful for founder and editor Joseph Farah. So Alan Keyes has returned for another gig. The sycophancy at WND for Keyes is disturbing, to say the least:

"Alan Keyes was one of the very first commentators to contribute to WND back in the late 1990s," said Joseph Farah, WorldNetDaily's founder and CEO. "It's so good to have him back as a regular columnist. He is brilliant, principled and a great communicator."

Added WND commentary editor Ron Strom: "I remember watching Dr. Keyes debate Barack Obama on television during the 2004 Senate race in Illinois. Simply put, he cleaned Obama's clock. Dr. Keyes is an extraordinary thinker and speaker – and we look forward to him once again sharing his wisdom and insight with WND readers on a regular basis."

Real Americans, meanwhile, understand that Keyes is a nutjob.

And what is the "wisdom and insight" Keyes shares with his readers for his first WND column? That President Obama plans "to consolidate dictatorial control over the economy" (over-the-top hyperbole, one of Keyes' hallmarks) and "to establish a KGB-style national security force" (a contemptible lie).

Further, as befits a WND-style birther, Keyes asserts that Obama has made an "open display of contempt for the Constitution's eligibility requirements for the presidency." Never mind, of course, that he has released a birth certificate, as even WND concedes (even if it pretends it didn't).

Keyes' animosity toward Obama can mostly be attributed to Obama cleaning Keyes' clock during his carpetbagging 2004 Senate campaign in Illinois. That's just another reason to not take Keyes seriously -- a judgment that can be fairly applied to the majority of WND's columnists.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:27 AM EDT
Updated: Saturday, April 18, 2009 8:29 AM EDT
ConWeb Offended by 'Teabagging' -- Not Limbaugh's Anal Sex References
Topic: Media Research Center

Like Brent Bozell, WorldNetDaily is opposed to media depictions of anal sex:

It has criticized Wikipedia for including a "photo of two nude men having anal sex on a bed," bashed Spencer Gifts for carrying "pornaments" that "graphically depict anal intercourse between a snowman and a bare-breasted 'snowwoman,'"  disapproved of the Wal-Mart website selling a book that "gives explicit instructions for engaging in oral or anal sexual acts," and denounced the movie "Brokeback Mountain" for depicting characters who "awkwardly and violently engage in anal sex."

And Joseph Farah asks: "Isn't it time to make anal sex taboo, again?"

Yet WND, like Bozell's Media Research Center, has been silent about Rush Limbaugh's frequent references to anal sex during interviews and on his radio show.

The hypocrisy continues on the part of Bozell and WND, who both take offense  at references to the anti-Obama "tea parties" as "teabagging."

Bob Unruh complained of the references in an April 17 WND article: "Perhaps it's a new 'If you can't beat 'em, bad-mouth 'em' strategy on the part of some news anchors to denigrate the grass-roots Tea Parties that blanketed the United States this week." Unruh dramatically began with a parental advisory thathis story makes "explicit references to graphic sex and will be objectionable to readers. It is not suitable for children" and quoted anti-gay activist Peter LaBarbera whining about "snotty liberal journalists telling insider sex jokes."

Of course, WND is no stranger to the "If you can't beat 'em, bad-mouth 'em" strategy: It once presented as "news" a picture of a copy of Hillary Clinton's biography in a bookstore's science-fiction section.

An April 17 WND article by Drew Zahn argues that CNN's Anderson Cooper should be fired for making "an openly lecherous comment that mocks protesting Americans with a homosexual term for a sex act." But mocking protesters used to be a good thing as far as WND is concerned -- it bashed those who protested the Iraq war as anything from two-bit agitators to vampires to crazy Froot Loops.

To sum up: Smearing Obama as a Nazi is perfectly legitimate and acceptable discourse at WND (as is, apparently, references to anal sex made by conservatives), but referencing "teabagging" is not. Got it?

Meanwhile, an April 16 MRC press release complained about "woeful bias," "lowly crassness," and "sleaze-riddled condemnation," and featured Bozell thundering that "MSNBC and CNN both allow this vulgar attack-journalism to go out on their airwaves without blinking an eye and without any sign of guilt."

This from the same organization  that has regularly indulged in the lowly crassness of Clinton sex jokes, their favorite form of sleaze-riddled condemnation.

The relase also features a quote by Dan Gainor of the MRC's Business & Media Insitute (where he apparently carries the snazzy title of "Vice President of Business and Culture") baselessly claiming that the tea party protests were "grassroots."

Posted by Terry K. at 12:29 AM EDT
Updated: Sunday, April 19, 2009 10:53 AM EDT
Friday, April 17, 2009
WND Promotes Inflated Tea Party Attendance Figures
Topic: WorldNetDaily

An April 17 WorldNetDaily article by Jerome Corsi and Chelsea Schilling begins: "An estimated 1 million Americans participated in at least 1,000 tea parties, according to reports by organizers tabulating the nationwide numbers, with documented protests held in 50 states." But nobody they quote in their article offers any solid evidence to back up the numbers.

Corsi and Schilling quote one organizer as saying, "I would estimate it at over 1 million. I'm waiting on more numbers to come in from organizers right now. I can tell you it is absolutely over 750,000 right now." But it's clear that all attendance estimates are coming from the organizers themselves -- who would be prone to inflate their numbers in order to help their cause -- and have not been independently verified.

Indeed, the organizer's claim appears to be contradicted by an Americans for Tax Reform blog entry noted by Corsi and Schilling, which at this writing has counted only 360,495 tea party attendees. Like the organizer's count, these too are self-reported and vulnerable to inflation.

For example, Corsi and Schilling report that "as many as 10,000 protesters" attended a rally in Sacramento, Calif., a number also reported by ATR. But according to the San Francisco Chronicle: "While the California Highway Patrol does not make official crowd estimates, CHP Sgt. Steve Stone said the Sacramento gathering appeared to be around 5,000."

Unsurpringly, since it would contradict their agenda, neither ATR or Corsi and Schilling acknowledge the existence of the lower number.

Posted by Terry K. at 4:36 PM EDT

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