MRC: Legal Experts Aren't Qualifed to Label Sotomayor's Views, But We Are Topic: Media Research Center
In a May 26 MRC item, Matthew Balan asserts that since CNN legal expert Jeffrey Toobin has admitted "there is a 'real unknown' about how [Sonia] Sotomayor would rule if she is confirmed," therefore he cannot accurately label Sotomayor as "moderate liberal." The MRC, however, is not applying that same labeling rule to itself.
Another May 26 MRC item by Brent Baker complained that network evening newscasts "applied more 'conservative' tags to Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor's critics than 'liberal' labels to her, as the coverage suggested calling her a liberal was a hasty judgment from accusatory partisans." And a May 27 TimesWatch item by Clay Waters similarly complained that a New York Times article "never directly acknowledged Sotomayor's liberal outlook."
So legal analysts are not permitted to label a judge as "liberal" but teh MRC is, even though it, like Toobin, can't know how Sotomayor will rule if she's confirmed? We're confused.
UPDATE: A May 27 "Media Reality Check" asserts that Sotomayor is "a liberal judge with an activist approach" while failing to note Balan's item accepting Toobin's view that "there is a 'real unknown' about how Sotomayor would rule if she is confirmed," which would seem to undermine that assertion.
WND's Washington: Michael Savage = Jesus Topic: WorldNetDaily
We've noted how WorldNetDaily columnist Ellis Washington worships at the altar of hate-filled radio host Michael Savage. Washington deposits his biggest offering yet (well, it's a big pile of something, anyway) at Savage's feet in his May 27 column, in which he defends Savage's smears of his fellow right-wing radio hosts and revels in a near-orgasmic fit of exultation by likening Savage to, yes, Jesus Christ:
These conservative commentators realize that Savage is head and shoulders above them intellectually, philosophically and spiritually. Because of their lack of inner truth and intellectual honesty, rather than learning from Dr. Savage or taking his criticisms of them to heart, they take the intellectually dishonest approach, put on their hypocrite's hat and do the very things against Savage that they for 20 years have so incessantly and bitterly complained that the Democratic Party and the liberal mainstream media did to them – ignoring them, slandering them, libeling them, mocking them. It is shameless hypocrisy writ large!
Savage was specifically chosen for crucifixion over Rush, Hannity and O'Reilly because he, more than any other philosopher, politician, intellectual or media figure, gives America the brutal truth about the hijacking of their country by the fascist Manchurian Candidate, President B. Hussein Obama. Furthermore Savage, more effectively than anyone else I know passionately delineates what America must do to regain her "borders, language and culture."
Like it was with the iconoclast Jesus Christ 2,000 years ago, so it is with the iconoclast Dr. Michael Savage in modern times; Savage lives by Veritas (truth) and he will die by Veritas. Yes, Jesus called names and wrecked the Temple to purify it. Yes, Savage oftentimes uses ad hominem attacks against other conservative radio hosts, against his ideological detractors and against the mainstream media and the political powerbrokers in Washington, D.C. In my book, that makes him a truly heroic figure in the tradition of an Elijah, Socrates, Richard the Lionhearted, Ronald Reagan or a Sen. Joseph McCarthy, not merely a bomb thrower.
I believe that history will one day judge this man, Michael Savage, and his entire oeuvre over the past 30 years, to be the singular genius that he is.
My suggestion to the GOP, the RNC, Fox News, Rush, Hannity, O'Reilly, Beck, Scarborough, conservative think tanks and any member of the mainstream media that has a beef against Savage is to contact him, set up a time to appear on his show and air out your grievances – man to man, point by point, line by line, precept by precept. If you are able to prove Savage's ad hominem attacks against you to be spurious or wrong, I assure you that Dr. Savage is a big enough man to apologize to your face and to his 10 million listeners.
In conclusion, regarding Savage's ad hominem attacks, the great Greek philosopher Socrates would perhaps ask this dialectical question: Do these people or media entities have the courage and intellectual honesty to enter the crucible of the Savage Nation? I answer with the ancient legal rule of law – Res Ipsa Loquitur, the thing speaks for itself.
Examiner Columnist Bashes Obama's Lack of Military Service Topic: Washington Examiner
Gregory Kane's May 26 Washington Examiner column is a weird rant against President Obama for never having served in the military:
If the military is indeed our most trusted institution, then why did one Barack Hussein Obama pass on serving in it?
After college Obama enrolled in Harvard Law School. Later, he became a community organizer in Chicago. I have no problem with either of those callings. Thousands have gone to Harvard Law, and tens of thousands to other law schools across the nation. And being a community organizer is a noble calling.
But for those who opt for the career path that leads from Harvard Law to community organizing to state senator to U.S. senator, I expect one thing: Don’t come before me years later running for president, in essence asking to be commander-in-chief of a military force you didn’t think was worthy of your commitment.
Maybe I’m just funny this way, but I would never, under any circumstances, vote for a presidential candidate who had no military experience, either as an officer or an enlisted man or woman. I have a laundry list of reasons why I didn’t vote for Obama; his passing on military service is in the top three.
Obama promised the graduates that he’d only “send them into harm’s way when it is absolutely necessary.” That promise would mean a lot more coming from a president who’d experienced at least some of the rigors of basic training.
But military service is not a constitutional requirement for being president. Indeed, a significant number of presidents never served in the military.
Kane is also curiously silent about whether he himself has "experienced at least some of the rigors of basic training."
WND Takes Sotomayor Out of Context Topic: WorldNetDaily
A May 26 WorldNetDaily article misleadingly asserted that Sonia Sotomayor "once boasted during a conference that it is at that level in the court system where 'policy is made.'" But WND took Sotomayor's statement out of context: As we've previously noted when Newsmax similarly took the statement out of contest, she made the statement as part of a much longer answer to a question from a law student about the merits of a circuit court clerkship versus a district court clerkship. There was no "boasting" by Sotomayor.
Further, as Media Matters has pointed out, Sotomayor's statement is not a controversial one. No less an authority than the "Oxford Companion to the Supreme Court of the United States" (2005 edition) notes that federal appellate courts do in fact have a "policy making" role.
Bob Unruh repeats the out-of-context claim in another May 26 WND article. Both articles quote numerous conservatives (not identifed as such, of course) criticizing Sotomayor's nomination while failing to offer the view of supporters.
New Article: Phil Brennan, Conservative Lackey Topic: Newsmax
The longtime Newsmax columnist has demonstrated himself to be a reliable shill for conservative causes and basher of liberal ones. Read more >>
CNS Touts Skewed Poll on Abortion Topic: CNSNews.com
A May 26 CNSNews.com article by Penny Starr uncritically repeated results of a poll bought by Americans United for Life claming that, in Starr's words, "Americans care about what kind of Supreme Court justice that President Barack Obama will nominate, including how they would rule in cases involving abortion." Starr noted that the poll was conducted by The Polling Company without further explaining that, as we've detailed, the firm's owner, Kellyanne Conway, is a partisan Republican activist.
The poll itself provides further clues to its efforts to skew questions in order to get the answers that AUL wanted. For instance, it references "partial-birth abortion," even though it's a political term coined by anti-abortion activists.
Starr's article was later updated to add the AUL's statement on Sonia Sotomayor, newly nominated to the Surpeme Court. AUL unsurprisingly attacks Sotomayor as "an avowed judicial activist" without providing evidence to back up the claim.
Starr makes no apparent effort to obtain any response to the claims in the article -- the only people she quotes are the head of AUL and Kellyanne Conway.
Pat Boone Calls ACLU 'American Taliban' Topic: Newsmax
In his weekly column published at WorldNetDaily and Newsmax, Pat Boone smears the American Civil Liberties Union as an "American Taliban":
It’s become starkly obvious that the elitist, leftist, and subversive organization with the ironic name of the American Civil Liberties Union has abandoned any pretense that it is committed to protecting the civil liberties of Americans.
Exactly like the Taliban in the Middle Eastern nations where it germinated (and in which it has wreaked mindless havoc), the ACLU is not content to “coexist.” It will not terminated its efforts until it has usurped and overturned the expressed will of the majority and gained absolute sway over the state and all its citizens.
Do you not see the stark comparison between the Taliban and the ACLU? Each seeks to disrupt the traditions and guidelines that identify and protect society — and to impose its own perverted will and ideology on a bewildered people.
And the ACLU has gone the Taliban one better! It is getting the courts (other lawyers, not legislators) to award it millions and millions of taxpayer dollars to pay for its intimidation, litigation, and corruption.
Now is the time for all of us to come to the aid of our country. The ACLU is an American Taliban that cannot be allowed to take over our republic.
As one blogger has pointed out, Boone's column can be reasonably interpreted as an incitement to violence against the ACLU.
Porter Still Lying About Hate-Crimes Bill Topic: WorldNetDaily
Janet Porter asserts in her May 26 WorldNetDaily column: "Right now the Senate has a bill that would jail pastors and protect pedophiles."
As we've detailed, both claims are lies.
The more important question: How big a cut is Porter and her organization, Faith2Action, getting from the $10.95 WND is charging people to send a letter to each member of Congress spreading the lie that the bill gives "special legal protections for pedophiles and other sexual offenders"? As WND has stated, the campaign was Porter's idea, so it would not be surprising if she got a cut.
Given that Porter has maintained her silence on how much of Faith2Action's resources have been used to promote her personal anti-Obama crusade, don't look for her to be honest about answering this question anytime soon either.
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.