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Thursday, April 23, 2009
Barber Repeats Bogus Matthew Shepard Revisionism
Topic: CNSNews.com

In an April 21 CNSNews.com column ranting against covering gays -- oops, "individuals who define their identity based upon aberrant sexual behaviors" -- the ConWeb's favorite gay-basher, Matt Barber, joins other right-wingers in deciding a convicted killer is emininently trustworthy as he regurgitates right-wing revisionism about the murder of Matthew Shepard:

Although the evidence determined that Shepard's murder was not a “hate crime” by definition (a misconception still widely propagated by the homosexual lobby, the media and liberal lawmakers) the two thugs who committed the crime nonetheless received life in prison – and rightfully so. (Shepard's murder turned out to be the end result of a robbery for drug money gone from bad to horrible).

The person Barber is relying on to claim that one of the men who killed Shepard -- who has a history of telling lies about his role in the death of Shepard and who mounted a gay-panic defense during his murder trial -- who has yet again changed his story. By contrast, the former police chief of Laramie, Wyo., where the murder took place, has said about the killer's new story: "Only three people know what really happened that night. ... One of them is dead and the other two are known liars and convicted felons -- murderers."

Barber has chosen to trust the word of a convicted felon and a documented liar over that of law enforcement authorities. Now we know how Barber has chosen to define his identity.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:25 AM EDT
Ponte Peddles Global Warming Bamboozlement
Topic: Newsmax

In an April 22 Newsmax column playing guilt-by-association because Earth Day occurs on the same day as Lenin's birthday, Lowell Ponte writes: "Whatever global warming has happened since the late 1970s halted in 1998. Satellite measurements show that Earth has cooled for the past five years."

As we've previously noted, 2008 was still the 10th warmest year on record. Further, Michel Jarraud, secretary general of the U.N. World Meteorological Organization, points out that the earth is still in a warming trend, and that "The 11 warmest years on record occurred in the past 13 years."


Posted by Terry K. at 9:17 AM EDT
CNS' Jeffrey Is Conduit for Apparently False CIA Claim
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com editor-in-chief Terry Jeffrey got himself a big scoop the other day, claiming in an April 21 CNS article: "The Central Intelligence Agency told CNSNews.com today that it stands by the assertion made in a May 30, 2005 Justice Department memo that the use of “enhanced techniques” of interrogation on al Qaeda leader Khalid Sheik Mohammed (KSM) -- including the use of waterboarding -- caused KSM to reveal information that allowed the U.S. government to thwart a planned attack on Los Angeles." Jeffrey liked that scoop so much that rewrote the article and turned it into his April 22 column.

Just one problem with it: It doesn't appear to be true.

As Media Matters and Slate's Timothy Noah point out, the Bush administration has stated that the plot in question, a plan to fly a hijacked airliner into a Los Angeles skyscraper, was broken up in February 2002 -- more than a year before Mohammed's capture in March 2003. That means Mohammed gave information under waterboarding (if indeed he actually did so) about a plot that not only had already been foiled, it appears to have been not much of a plot in the first place.

It also means that Jeffrey has a problem. He has apparently allowed himself to serve as a stooge for the CIA, treating information fed to him as fact that appears not to be true at all. He might want to explain that to his readers.

UPDATE: An April 23 CNS article by Josiah Ryan repeats the claim without noting the evidence contradicting it.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:53 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, April 23, 2009 9:09 AM EDT
Contextual Advertising Fail
Topic: NewsBusters

The screenshot below shows the ad we found at the end of an April 22 NewsBusters post by Colleen Raezler bashing the "mainstream news media" for covering "in a positive manner" the Day of Silence, "an indoctrination tool pushed on students by gay activists":

 


Posted by Terry K. at 1:04 AM EDT
Examiner Loves Ideologically Based Dishonesty
Topic: Washington Examiner

In naming yet another liberal its "dim bulb of the week" for the crime of doing something non-conservative, the Washington Examiner, in its April 19 print edition, accused him of "ideologically based dishonesty." But that's exactly what the Examiner engages in in the rest of that paper:

The main editorial blamed Congress in general and Barney Frank in particular for ignoring warning signs aboutproblems at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. While the Examiner cites quotes from Frank maked in 2003 and 2004, nowhere does it single out any Republican for criticism, even though Republicans were in charge of Congress until 2006 and, thus, it was Republicans -- and not Frank -- who controlled the agenda of the House Financial Services Committee until 2007, when Frank introduced legislation creating an agency with "general supervisory and regulatory authority over" Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The Examiner doesn't mention that, either.

The Examiner ran a column by Michael Reagan (which also ran at Newsmax) in which he smeared President Obama as a Nazi.

The print-only, liberal-bashing "10 worst ideas of the week" was rife with false and misleading claims: It falsely called right-wing documentarian John Ziegler a "journalist" (he's a foul-mouthed bully), and it falsely claimed that "the White House demanded that a pernament IHS insignia ... be covered" during a speech at Georgetown (the White House made no such specific demand).


Posted by Terry K. at 12:30 AM EDT
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Obama Derangement Syndrome Watch
Topic: WorldNetDaily

How desperate is WorldNetDaily to smear and denigrate Barack Obama at every possible opportunity? Take this headline from an April 21 article by Drew Zahn:

Will she be biggest YouTube hit ever?
Boyle's stunning song 5 times as popular as Obama, and growing

The wisp of a hook upon which WND hangs this smear is that videos of Susan Boyle's inspiring performance have "topped 100 million hits in two weeks" while "Barack Obama's election victory speech" has "mustered a mere 18.5 million views."

As one would expect from WND, Zahn lowballs Obama's popularity by cherry-picking only a single speech. It's been noted that Obama's YouTube channel had generated 11.5 million views by January 2008 -- and there were still 10 months of campaigning to go, so that number should be much higher.

WND has thus cynically appropriated a singer who has absolutely nothing to do with American politics as a tool to make a political attack against its declared enemy. That's how craven and petty and desperate WND is.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:01 PM EDT
People of the Lie: WND Perpetuates One Of Its Many Obama Falsehoods
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Among the multitude of lies about Barack Obama we've documented WorldNetDaily of promoting is that Obama has never explained his call for a "civilian national security force" refers to the creation of a Nazi/Marxist police force, and that Obama has refused to elaborate on what his plan means. This one is particularly odious because the main perpetrator WND editor Joseph Farah -- who presumably has been in the news business long enough to know he's committing libel every time he does so.

Bob Unruh uncritically repeats Farah's lie in an April 21 WND article on the passage of a bill to expand AmeriCorps:

"If we're going to create some kind of national police force as big, powerful and well-funded as our combined U.S. military forces, isn't this rather a big deal?" Farah wrote. "I thought Democrats generally believed the U.S. spent too much on the military. How is it possible their candidate is seeking to create some kind of massive but secret national police force that will be even bigger than the Army, Navy, Marines and Air Force put together?

"Is Obama serious about creating some kind of domestic security force bigger and more expensive than that? If not, why did he say it? What did he mean?" Farah wrote.

WND has never told its readers that Obama has specifically described his idea of a "civilian national security force" as a restructuring of the State Department and foreign service so that it can "deploy teams that combine agricultural specialists and engineers and linguists and cultural specialists who are prepared to go into some of the most dangerous areas alongside our military." Obama has also applied the term to an expansion of the Peace Corps and AmeriCorps.

This is just another reason why WND can't be trusted.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:31 AM EDT
Newsmax Also Smears Former Columnist
Topic: Newsmax

We've previously noted the misleading claims WorldNetDaily's Aaron Klein made about former Los Angeles Times columnist Rosa Brooks, who recently took a job as an adviser to an undersecretary of defense. Now, Newsmax's Dave Eberhart repeats those same misleading claims.

Eberhart's April 21 article falsely calls Brooks an "Al-Qaida Apologist." In fact, she has done no such thing, and Eberhart offers no evidence to support the claim.

Eberhart also echoes Klein's complaint that Brooks "compared the Bush administration’s legal arguments on the war on terror with Adolf Hitler’s use of political propaganda." But Newsmax columnist Phil Brennan has likened President Obama to Hitler to no complaint from Eberhart, making his attack on Brooks as hypocritical as Klein's (who similarly failed to acknowledge, let alone criticize, his employer's history of publishing Obama-Nazi smears).


Posted by Terry K. at 9:21 AM EDT
CNS Promotes Simcox, Ignores Controversy Surrounding Him
Topic: CNSNews.com

An April 21 CNSNews.com article by Fred Lucas touted the plans of "pro-border enforcement group" Minuteman Civil Defense Corps founder Chris Simcox to challenge John McCain in the 2010 Arizona Senate primary. In promoting Simcox's hardline stance on immigration, Lucas failed to note any of the controversies Simcox has been involved with over the years.

As we've noted, Simcox's group has been attempting to build its own border fence, promising to its funders that it would be 14 feet high, wired with monitors and sensors, and topped with razor wire. The fence the group has built, however, is a mere five-strand barbed-wire cattle fence. Simcox is now saying that he never promised to build the high-tech security fence and insists the barbed-wire fence really does protect the country. Simcox also fired Minuteman Civil Defense Corps members who demanded an accounting of the money raised for the fence.

Wouldn't alleged improprieties be an issue for Simcox in his campaign? Lucas shows no apparent interest in asking that question.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:05 AM EDT
Complaint Filed Against Taitz -- Will WND Report?
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily has amply demonstrated that it will throw away what little integrity it has to serve as a shill for Orly Taitz -- it not only uncritically repeats every utterance of hers no matter how false or vindictive, it has rewarded her with a sycophantic profile, and WND editor Joseph Farah has slobbered all over her.

Taitz, in other words, is She Who Must Not Be Criticized at WND. So don't expect WND to come running to cover  a report detailing accusations of shoddy legal work and ethical violations.

A complaint has been filed with the California bar (h/t Natural Born Citizen blog) regarding Taitz's behavior in her obsessive pursuit of the Obama birth certificate conspiracy. Among the allegations in the complaint:

  • Taitz is indiscriminately hurled charges of treason and called for an armed revolt against the federal government.
  • She actively recruited clients in a state where she is not licensed to practice law.
  • She has repeatedly disrespected judges and officers of the court.
  • She has made false and misleading claims in court filings.
  • She has not properly accounted for money she has raised to further her crusade.

The complaint has been filed anonymously, the author claims, due to Taitz's history of retaliating against her critics.

Given that WND allowed Taitz to hurl numerous accusations against a former colleague -- as we noted, WND's Chelsea Schilling (who wrote the sycophantic profile of Taitz) claimed that the colleague didn't return her phone calls asking for a response but ignored the fact that responses were posted on the colleague's blog -- WND will try to ignore this complaint as long as it can, or at least until it gives Taitz a full opportunity to respond, a courtesy it refuses to extend to those Taitz attacks.

After all, Schilling thinks Taitz is just dreamy, a "fierce blond attorney" with "a vibrant smile and an ebullient personality," and Farah thinks she's a "constitutional heroine."

What we said about WND managing editor David Kupelian applies to Farah and Schilling as well: They care nothing about the truth or the Constitution or even ethical legal behavior -- only about destroying Obama. And like Kupelian, they don't seem to realize what they are actually destroying is WorldNetDaily.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:55 AM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, April 22, 2009 9:06 AM EDT
Obama Derangement Syndrome Watch
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Barbara Simpson has decided that President Obama hates Catholics. How? Simpson provides the less-than-compelling evidence in her April 20 WorldNetDaily column.

First, Simpson asserts that for a speech at Georgetown University, Obama "had the audacity to request that when you spoke, the podium and area in Gaston Hall could have no visible religious images; everything had to be covered." In fact, as we've noted, the Obama administration asked only that the university cover up "all of the Georgetown University signage and symbols" behind Obama's stage -- no specific demand to cover religious symbols was made.

Obama's second offense, according to Simpson, was accepting an invitation to speak at Notre Dame's commencement. How does that demonstrate Obama's hatred of Catholicism? Heck if we know, but Simpson goes on to make her own demand of Obama regarding the right-wing-generated controversy surrounding the speech: "A cultured and refined man, knowing this is causing more division than is necessary, would – no, should – graciously decline the invitation. You are silent."

So Obama is showing his hatred for Catholicism by not giving in to the lynch mob Simpson is a part of? That sounds about right.

Expanding on her lynch-mob mentality, Simpson hurls smears at Obama, falsely asserting that he "support[s] abortion at any time in a nine-month pregnancy, to the point of allowing babies who survive the ordeal to be put aside to die" and suggesting he's not a real Christian because he "honored Islam by removing [his] shoes."

Since when does removing shoes indicate a hatred of Catholicism? We're confused.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:22 AM EDT
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
WND Bases Obama Attack on Chain Email
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Is Joseph Farah pretending that chain emails are reliable sources of information?

We've previously noted that WorldNetDaily, via Farah's G2 Bulletin, asserted that President Obama "employ[ed] restrictive rules of engagement that actually hampered the rescue of Capt. Richard Phillips and extended the drama at sea for days," citing anonymous "reliable military sources close to the scene."

Now, Media Matters is reporting that "nearly all of WND's article echoes elements of an anti-Obama chain email posted on blogs and online bulletin boards." Comparisons are provided to show just how closely the WND article tracks the chain email.

The WND article has since been embraced by the right-wing Fox Nation website.

Given WND's propensity for lying about Obama, treating a chain email as undisputed fact is not surprising. But pretending there are "reliable military sources" behind this story when there's no evidence of anything other than a chain email is a bit much, even for WND.


Posted by Terry K. at 6:49 PM EDT
WND Suddenly Offended That Politician Is Likened to Hitler
Topic: WorldNetDaily

An April 20 WorldNetDaily article by Chelsea Schilling begins:

While CNN reporter Susan Roesgen became obviously upset when a Tax Day tea partier compared President Obama to Hitler, she showed no such concern when a protester did the same to President Bush in 2006. 

Let's do a little fixing of the Internet, shall we?

While WorldNetDaily reporter Chelsea Schilling became obviously upset when a CNN reporter referenced a mask of President Bush with a Hitler haircut and mustache three years ago, she showed no such concern when her employer published numerous columns likening President Obama to Hitler and the Nazis.

Schilling's not the only WND reporter engaging in gross hypocrisy here. An April 20 article by Aaron Klein complains that Rosa Brooks, a former newspaper columnist who is now an adviser to anundersecretary of defense, once "claimed the Bush administration's Office of Legal Counsel arguments for prosecuting the war on terrorism were similar to tactics used by Hitler." Like Schilling, at no point does Klein acknowledge, let alone object to, the numerous smears of Obama-as-Nazi his employer has published.

The headline for Klein's article misleadingly asserts, "Pentagon official blames U.S. for al-Qaida attacks." Brooks claimed no such thing, and Klein doesn't make that specific claim; he writes that Brooks' statement that "Today, the chickens are coming home to roost" is evidence that Brooks "inferred attacks against the U.S. were a result of torture policies." Klein, by the way, makes no effort to disprove Brooks' claim.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:17 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, April 21, 2009 4:01 PM EDT
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 FactCheck.org's debunking of right-wing attacks on the birth certificate can't be trusted because "FactCheck.org 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 FactCheck.org 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

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