Newsmax is leading the way on the ConWeb in issuing misleading attacks on Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor.
An article by Kenneth D. Williams chooses to misinterpret a statement by Sotomayor that "I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life" means that Sotomayor thinks Latinas are "better than whites." Williams also plucks a 2005 Sotomayor statement that the federal court of appeals "is where policy is made" -- illustrated by a scant 26-second video clip -- out of the context in which it was made, a much longer answer to a question from a law student about the merits of a circuit court clerkship versus a district court clerkship.
An article by Jim Meyers repeats anonymous claims attacking Sotomayor that first appeared in a New Republic article by Jeffrey Rosen. While Meyers claims that Rosen had "had spoken to a range of people who have worked with Sotomayor," Rosen actually stated: "I haven't read enough of Sotomayor's opinions to have a confident sense of them, nor have I talked to enough of Sotomayor's detractors and supporters, to get a fully balanced picture of her strengths." Rosen also misrepresented a footnote in a ruling to falsely claim that it criticized a Sotomayor opinion.
Meanwhile, Christopher Ruddy has decided he can read President Obama's mind, claiming that his pick of Sotomayor "underscores his full-court-press 'Latino strategy'" to increase Hispanic support of him, a supposed strategy that also includes "moving aggressively on issues such as giving amnesty to illegal aliens."
Shocker: Von Campe Refrains From Calling Obama A Nazi Topic: WorldNetDaily
The biggest surprise of Hilmar von Campe's May 26 WorldNetDaily column is that, unlike numerous times before, he somehow neglects to call President Obama a Nazi. Von Campe is still putting his Nazi training to use, however, by finding other ways to smear Obama.
He starts out by asserting that "the Obama administration is more inclined to destroy the United States than serve the nation," then puts in a plug for the website that loves to publish him:
Most important is the constitutional legality of Obama to be president. If he is legitimate, why on earth can't he produce is birth certificate? That he nevertheless was sworn in without it shows the depth of the corruption we are facing in Washington. WND's billboard campaign is a great idea.
From there, von Campe descends into conspiracy-mongering about the Federal Reserve, name-checking the Rothchilds and other international bankers, then he slides into asserting that "We are not in a battle between capitalism and socialism" but, rather, "about the role of God in human society. Morality is the battleground, and the issue is what is going to prevail: truth or lie."
Von Campe has proven himself to be unafraid to spread despicable smears and lies about Obama, so we know which side he's on.
Cashill Misleads on Church Controversy Topic: WorldNetDaily
Jack Cashill likes to play fast and loose with the facts and find conspiracies wherever he can (and where they usually don't exist), as we've copiouslydocumented. So when Cashill alleged in an April 30 WorldNetDaily column that a Kansas City-area church was being unfairly targeted by the local newspaper, it could be assumed that Cashill wasn't telling the whole story. Now that we've had a chance to investigate, we can confirm or suspicions.
Cashill wrote that Kansas City Star reporter Judy Thomas was waging an "assault on the Kansas City area's most effective conservative preacher, Jerry Johnston of the First Family Church in the Kansas suburbs,"beginning with a 2007 article on the church's finances:
Thomas began her assault against Johnston and his church with a comprehensive front-page series in 2007. "Perhaps the biggest criticism of Johnston's church," the readers learn, "is that members aren't allowed to see detailed financial information."
Although Thomas never discovered any financial irregularities, she justified this exhaustive investigative series on the fact that, well, who knows, maybe there might possibly have been some.
Thomas' reporting abounds in irony. She claims that her attention was attracted by the fact that hundreds of members had bailed out of the church, but she is even more disturbed by the church's soaring assets and growing membership.
Cashill leaves a lot out -- namely, that it was the disgruntled former members who were raising questions about the church's finances. Cashill's undefined "irregularities" aside, the Star did find that "the church is structured in a way that provides little financial oversight." Among the findings:
•Broken promise. [Pastor Jerry] Johnston raised millions of dollars in late 2005 for a new children’s building that was to include a Christian academy. But last August, despite completion of the building, he told church members that the launch of the academy was being postponed and that First Family instead would build a bigger, 5,000- to 7,000-seat sanctuary. Financial experts said that raised ethical and possible legal questions.
•Delayed spending. In October 2000 the church launched the “Cornerstone Campaign” for its sanctuary, promising donors their names would be engraved on a large monument near the church entrance. Though $750,000 was raised, the monument wasn’t erected until six years later, after The Star began examining church finances. And it was scaled down considerably from what was proposed in 2000.
•Unexplained land deal. In 2005, Johnston told followers that God had answered their prayers — someone had donated more than 200 acres for a new youth camp. But real estate records show that Johnston’s 25-year-old son, Jeremy, actually signed a $400,000 mortgage on the property in the church’s name.
The Star has also reported on the lavish lifestyle Johnston and his family are enjoying -- including an ultra-exclusive black American Express card -- while the church refuses to tell its members what it pays Johnston.
Cashill goes on to whine:
This past week, in a textbook illustration of chutzpah, Thomas blasted Johnston in another front-page article detailing the money Johnston had to spend on the attorney and public relations fees that Thomas' article necessitated.
Note the blame-shifting there: the church wouldn't have to spend all that money on legal fees and PR agencies if Thomas hadn't reported all those mean things. In Cashill's eyes, the church is innocent no matter what, even if it's being investigated by Kansas tax officials.
The funny thing is that Cashill spends part of his column railing against the exact same behavior he's engaging in. He complains about liberals "defaming key opponents" and quotes a church official as saying, "Doubt is the author's poison. ... Doubt is a toxin that overwhelms reason, pollutes trust and invidiously propagates dissension."
At no point does Cashill contradict anything Thomas say, even as he's defaming her and casting doubt on her reporting -- all because Thomas reported a truth Cashill didn't want to hear.
WND Hate-Crimes Bill Lie Watch Topic: WorldNetDaily
A May 24 WorldNetDaily article uncritically repeats the claim that a hate-crimes bill before Congress "has been condemned as 'The Pedophile Protection Act'" without telling its readers the fact that such a claim is utterly false and fraudulent.
The article also repeats a claim that the bill would "leave Christian ministers open to prosecution should their teachings be linked to any subsequent offense, by anyone, against a homosexual person" without explaining why a minister who deliberately incites another to violence should not be held responsible for his behavior -- which touches on the fallacy -- also promoted by WND -- that the bill infringes on religious freedom, which it does not. Incitement to violence is not protected by the Constitution.
Obama Hate Central Watch: 'Narcissist in Chief' Topic: WorldNetDaily
The latest issue of WorldNetDaily's Whistleblower magazine is another Obama-hating number, this time entirely dedicated to painting President Obama as a narcissist. WND's promotion of the issue begins:
Though inexperienced and arguably unqualified for the presidency, he mesmerized the entire establishment press and more than half of voters, many regarding him nothing short of a political messiah. Though he can barely speak publicly without a teleprompter, he's praised as a transcendent communicator. Though his voting record is extreme left, he portrays himself as a pragmatic centrist.
But beyond Obama's political ideology, many Americans are troubled also by his strange personaltiy attributes: He greatly exaggerates his achievements, expects constant praise and admiration, believes he's special, doesn't appear to concern himself with other people's feelings, expresses disdain for those he feels are inferior, sets unrealistic goals, appears as tough-minded and unemotional, and other qualities – all of which are textbook symptoms of Narcissistic Personality Disorder.
WND, of course, doesn't bother to back up any of that, since the facts don't matter to them. For instance, the curious claim that Obama "doesn't appear to concern himself with other people's feelings" seems to contradict repeatedattacksonObama by WND's columnists for declaring "emphathy" as a attribute he'd like to see in a Supreme Court justice.
To push this theory, WND relies on the usual cadre of Obama-haters and liberal-haters -- thus ensuring that any conclusions are unreliable and tainted by political bias, despite the "Ph.D." and "M.D." tags thrown around. For instance, a "Psychobamanalysis" article is offered by "well known psychologist" Brian Russell -- who has testifed against the use of the mother's mental health as a criterion for permitting a late-term abortion -- in which he writes, "I think it’s critically important, now more than ever, to understand our president’s core beliefs and to realize that if we embrace them fully, we’ll be well on our way to becoming the U.S.S.A."
WND's attack also includes an article by "Sam Vaknin, Ph.D," which purports to be, in WND's words, " comprehensive expert look at how the president’s behavior matches many markers of the troubling disorder." We're not sure how "expert" Vaknin can be since, by his own admission, "I am NOT a mental health professional" (Snopes notes that "his CV lists a doctorate in philosophy from thet unaccredited Pacific Western University").
The Vaknin article in question appears to be one first published last fall in the right-wing American Chronicle. As one blogger noted, Vaknin's evidence for declaring Obama to be a narcissist are "so very general that anyone with confidence or a dominant personality may be labeled as such," adding, "we may consider Vaknin’s article farcical on its face, then, since it seeks to indict Obama for qualities which he is clearly not only not suffering from, but in which he is in fact thriving."
WND also trots out credibility-deficient right-wingers such as Lyle Rossiter (WND sells his book claiming that liberalism is a mental disorder) and Reb Bradley (who believes that Obama voters are immature and who believes that children's wills must be broken and that they must be beaten into unquestioning obedience) and an article in which Obama's "cult of personality" is likened to "similar widespread public ecstasy over the charismatic Ayatollah Khomeini." WND also reprints a column by serial Obama-smearer Ellis Washington, in which he likens Obama to his usual laundry list of dictators -- Lenin, Stalin, Mussolini, Idi Amin, Khomeini, and even Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar.
WND managing editor David Kupelian is quoted as saying: ""This is surely one of the most fascinating – and possibly most important – Whistleblower issues we've ever produced. ... This is definitely a paradigm-busting edition of Whistleblower."No, it's not -- it's just more of the same old Obama-hate WND has been dishing out for months.
WND's Washington Melodramatically Quits GOP Topic: WorldNetDaily
Ellis Washington declares in his May 23 WorldNetDaily column: "From this point forward I will no longer refer to myself as a Republican."
Needless to say, Washington makes this announcement in as melodramatic a fashion as he can conjure up, beginning with quotes from both Jesus and Judas and paraphrasing Ronald Reagan. Oh, and he's once again smearing the president of the United States by the end of the second paragraph, claiming he became a conservative at the same time "a young Barack Obama had that same year also matriculated to Harvard, being formerly educated by such communist and socialist luminaries as Frank Marshall Davis, Saul Alinsky and the Rev. Jeremiah Wright in the fundamental rudiments of nation annihilation."
Soon, Washington is also referencing "My ideological mentor and conservative intellectual Michael Savage" and is likening Ronald Reagan to Jesus -- just as "seemingly every Republican mimicked the words of Reagan, but virtually none of them followed his words or consistently defended his policies and political ideology," Jesus "likewise castigated the corrupt, phony religious and civic leaders of his day." He even adds: "Like Jesus, so it was with Reagan."
Then it's time for more Obama smears, and he manages to find yet another despicable historical character to which he likens Obama:
Enter Judas the traitor, Judas the opportunist, Judas the craven, careerist politician that would sell his own grandmother's wig if it would give him a two-point spike in the polls.
Since Bush 41 succeeded Reagan in January 1989 these 20 years have more or less been the Golden Age of the Judas in the GOP and RNC politics, which is why Americans have elected that greatest Judas in modern politics, B. Hussein Obama, who at the time of this writing has nationalized Wall Street, private corporations, banks, the home mortgage industry, plans to nationalize health care and will soon become the de facto CEO of Chrysler and GM (General Motors) which in essence should be renamed "OM" (Obama Motors).
Washington then likens Obama's supporters to "people the communist dictator Vladimir Lenin about 100 years ago derisively called 'useful idiots'" -- never mind that Washington demonstrated his own useful-idiotism just a few paragraphs earlier by likening Reagan to Jesus and prostrating himself before the altar of a hatefulbigot.
WND Repeats Reisman's Bogus Slanders of Kinsey Topic: WorldNetDaily
A May 18 WorldNetDaily article by Bob Unruh uncritically features anti-Kinsey fanatic Judith Reisman promoting the hate-crims bill as "just another step in the conversion of the United States into a nation without sexual limits, where polygamy, incest and worse are common practice." Unruh also allows Reisman to indulge is some discredited smears of Kinsey.
Unruh repeated Reisman's claim that Kinsey "documented his 'research findings' with the meticulous notes of serial pedophiles who sexually molested children as young as two months of age, documenting for Kinsey the toddlers' 'sexual responses' and timing them with a stopwatch." In fact, as we've documented, Kinsey had no research relationship with the people he interviewed. The Kinsey Institute itself has stated:
Kinsey was not a pedophile in any shape or form. He did not carry out experiments on children; he did not hire, collaborate, or persuade people to carry out experiments on children.
Kinsey clearly stated in his male volume the sources of information about children's sexual responses. The bulk of this information was obtained from adults recalling their own childhoods. Some was from parents who had observed their children, some from teachers who had observed children interacting or behaving sexually, and Kinsey stated that there were nine men who he had interviewed who had sexual experiences with children who had told him about how the children had responded and reacted.
Unruh also repeats Reisman's claim that Kinsey's research "concluded that 95 percent of American men in 1948 were sexual criminals." But no definition of "deviant" is offered; as the Kinsey Institute pointed out, "many sexual behaviors, even those some between married adults, were illegal in the 1940's and 1950's." If Reisman is defining adultery, premarital sex, oral sex and even masturbation as "deviant," then the statement is true, though highly misleading absent Reisman's definition of "deviant."
Indeed, Reisman appears to have an unusually broad definition of "deviant." In a 2003 article, Reisman writes: "not too long ago oral sex was considered abnormal or deviant, as was masturbation, mutual masturbation, anal sex, and more." So even basic, near-universal sexual behavior like masturbation is "deviant" in Reisman's eyes -- which explains pretty much all we need to know about Reisman's anti-Kinsey jihad.
Newsmax continues its rehabilitation of Bernard Kerik in a May 22 article featuring Kerik's claims that the arrest of four men in a plot to blow up a synagogue in New York proves that the Patriot Act works.
Newsmax has also published a May 22 column by Kerik reliving 9/11 and attacking "those who attempt to make believe that the events of 9/11 never happened, criminalize the prior administration, or try their best to ignore the threats we face by radical Islam today." As with the previous Kerik column Newsmax published, nowhere is it mentioned that Kerik remains under indictment on numerous charges of corruption and tax fraud.
NewsBusters Bashes Reporters for Fact-Checking Cheney Topic: NewsBusters
Apparently, merely fact-checking a Republican is evidence of "liberal bias" at the Media Research Center.
A May 22 NewsBusters post by P.J. Gladnick invokes the Colbert principle -- "Reality has a well-known lilberal bias" -- by attacking a McClatchy article that sought to fact-check Dick Cheney's AEI speech. At no point does Gladnick dispute any claim in the article; rather, Gladnick personally attacks the reporters for merely doing the fact-check, calling them "a couple of political hacks taking partisan shots at Cheney" and asserting that the article "sounds like it came straight from a DNC talking points memo as written by Lawrence O'Donnell," adding that "you could almost hear them echoing O'Donnell's unhinged scream in the background."
Again: No claim in the article was challenged. Gladnick attacked the reporters for reporting the truth.
Gladnick also curiously failed to mention that McClatchy published an article the same day as its Cheney fact-check asserting that President Obama "raised more questions than he answered Thursday about the legal prospects for Guantanamo Bay detainees." Somehow we suspect that Gladnick will not find any partisan hackery here.
Gladnick sorta puts the lie to fellow NewsBuster Noel Sheppard's claim that conservative media critics aren't like liberal media critics who seek "a complete and total elimination of all opinion and viewpoints that are not in complete and total lockstep with their own."
In a May 19 Newsmax column, longtime global warming bamboozler Phil Brennan falsely suggests that environmentalists want to get rid of all carbon dioxide:
So just what is this atmospheric pollutant we call carbon dioxide? Is it a deadly greenhouse gas much of which we should get rid of?
Without it we'd all be dead. Plant life would vanish, and with it all of humanity.
Simply put, plants inhale CO2, convert it into sugars that enable them to grow and thrive, and exhale oxygen — the stuff that keeps us alive.
According to Dr. Tim Ball, a renowned environmental consultant and retired professor of climatology at the University of Winnipeg, plants require CO2 to exist as we require oxygen to exist.
As the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere increases the plants grow more vigorously. Current levels of atmospheric CO2 is 385 ppm (parts per million) but research shows that plants grow most vigorously at 1,000 to 1,200 ppm, which is why commercial greenhouse pump that much into their atmospheres.
In fact, no one is claiming that carbon dioxide, in and of itself, is a pollutant. Rather, scientists argue that excessive levels of CO2 in the atmosphere can have a polluting effect, and that global industrialization has increased the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere -- an argument Brennan does not address.
Brennan also repeats the denier claim that "temperature levels have been falling for the past 10 years." In fact, the past decade includes many of the warmest years on record, and scientists who aren't on the take from oil and gas companies believe that the Earth remains in a long-term warming trend.
NewsBusters Ignores The Kind of Bias It Likes Topic: NewsBusters
In a May 20 NewsBusters post, Ken Shepherd runs to the defense of a Twitter user who accused MSNBC anchor Contessa Brewer of attacking Republicans "but [has] nothing else to talk about." Brewer had responded via Twitter that she "criticize[s] anyone who I think isn't making sense." Shepherd then claimed that NewsBusters' "archive of Brewer bias shows plenty of doozies."
Unmentioned by Shepherd is the fact that Media Matters also has an "archive of Brewer bias" -- the kind of bias that Shepherd and his Twitter friend would like to see.
WND's Unruh Hauls Out the Nazi Smear Again Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily's Bob Unruh has a long history of likening anyone who can be potrayed as opposing homeschooling to Nazis. He does so again in a May 19 WND article by repeatedly noting that restrictions on homeschooling in Germany is "a leftover from its Nazi era" -- even though it's irrelevent to the subject at hand, in this case criticism of mandatory attendance for a "state-run sex education program" for 9- and 10-year-olds. Unruh goes on to refer to the German government's "totalitarian-type ban on homeschooling."
Unruh goes on to attack the sex-ed classes as "indoctrination" and baselessly asserted that the classes taught "that if something feels good sexually, then it is acceptable to do it." Unruh cites an action filed by the right-wing (though of course he doesn't call it that) Alliance Defense Fund as support for the claim -- but that claim comes straight from an ADF press release. Unruh demonstrates no evidence that he contacted German school officials for their views on the case, let alone details about the curriculum in question.
Unruh also fails to mention the efficacy of sex education in Germany, which most other reporters would consider to be relevant to the issue at hand. In the 1990s, the rate of both birth and abortion for girls age 15-19 was much lower than that of the United States. It seems that the ADF is opposing a program that works quite well -- something Unruh fails to relate to his readers.
Another Newsmax Columnist Invents A Quote Topic: Newsmax
What is it with Newsmax columnists inventing quotes?
In March, we had James Humes putting words into President Obama's mouththat he never substantiated. Now, a May 21 column by James H. Walsh begins by quoting Obama adviser David Axelrod as saying, "The 'TEA Party' movement is an unhealthy mutation from public dissatisfaction with the Obama administration’s economic policies."
But Axelrod didn't say that -- that quote doesn't exist. A Google search uncovered no evidence of Axelrod saying this exact quote.
What Walsh appears to be referring to is an appearance by Axelrod on the April 19 edition of CBS' "Face the Nation," in which Axelrod does use the word "unhealthy" and "mutate." But the full context is something other than the quote Walsh made up:
HARRY SMITH (guest host): What do you make of this spreading and very public disaffection with, not only the government, but especially the Obama administration -- the tea parties this week? You even have the governor of Texas even using the word secession? What -- should Texas be allowed to secede?
AXELROD: Well, I don't think that really warrants a serious response. I don't think most Texans were all that enthused by the governor's --
SMITH: But what about the first part of the question. This building disaffection --
AXELROD: -- by the governor's suggestion. Look, I think any time -- I think any time that you have severe economic conditions, there is always an element of disaffection that can mutate into something that's unhealthy.
SMITH: Is this unhealthy?
AXELROD: Well, we're in a -- this is a country where we value our liberties and our ability to express ourselves, and so far, these are expressions. Now, one thing I would say is, the thing that bewilders me is this president just cut taxes for 95 percent of the American people. So, I think the tea bags should be directed elsewhere, because he certainly understands the burden that people face.
Axelrod is not talking specifically about the tea parties; he's also addressing the idea of secession -- and Axelrod is specifically responding to the secession issue when he refers to "an element of disaffection that can mutate into something that's unhealthy." Axelrod never called the tea parties an "unhealthy mutation."
Nevertheless, Walsh asserts: "Since when is free speech, as personified by the TEA (Taxed Enough Already) Party grass-roots citizens movement, 'unhealthy'?" -- even though Axelrod specifically says that "this is a country where we value our liberties and our ability to express ourselves."
Apparently, it's easier for Newsmax to make up stuff about the Obama administration than report facts.
Feder Misleads on Times, Nuclear Power Topic: Accuracy in Media
In a May 20 BoycottNYT.com screed bashing the New York Times for supporting the raising of average fuel economy of vehicles to "a brutal 39 miles per gallon," Don Feder asserts that America could "limit our dependence on foreign oil" by "building nuclear power plants again,' which "The Times opposes."
In fact, the construction of nuclear power plants would have a negligible impact on importation of oil -- as of 2006, only 1.6 percent of power plants in the U.S. were fueled by petroleum.
Further, the Times does not oppose nuclear power. A May 2005 Times editorial stated that it is "critical to keep nuclear power as part of the nation's energy mix."
WND's 'Truth and Transparency Campaign" Topic: WorldNetDaily
So WND editor Joseph Farah has declded to call his "Where's the Birth Certificate?" billboard campaign -- the first one appearing in the major media center of Ball, Louisiana -- "the truth and transparency campaign."