Shocker: Newsmax Publishes Non-Slanted Story On Kerik Topic: Newsmax
Newsmax stunned its readership (well, us, anyway) by publishing a June 4 article that fully and fairly describes the numerous charges against Bernard Kerik -- a story that runs counter to Newsmax's rehabilitation campaign for Kerik.
Ah, but there's a catch: Despite the Newsmax tagline at the endimplying that it's an original Newsmax product, it's actually an Associated Press article.
WND's Klein Channels Far-Right Israeli Fear of Arabs Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily's Aaron Klein lets his far-right sympathies show in a June 4 critique of President Obama's speech in Cairo. While he uncharacteristically praises some things Obama said, he engages in his usual attacks on other parts of the speech. One attack in particular stands out:
Obama also took the occasion to legitimize an "Arab Peace Initiative," which calls on Israel to make near suicidal territorial concessions and accept millions of foreign Arabs into its population (thus destroying Israel by population genocide) in exchange for "normalized" relations with the Arab world.
The expulsion of Arabs from Israel, or some other similar separation of Jews and Arabs, is a concept endorsed by far-right political political parties, such as Yisrael Beiteinu and the outlawed Kahane Chai. By expressing the (arguably racist) fear that Arabs in Israel would "destroy Israel by population genocide," Klein appears to endorse this view as well.
As we'vedetailed, Klein has long demonstrated sympathies for Kahanists, regularly whitewashing their backgrounds to make them appear more mainstream than they are.
Media Misinformer Congressman Heads 'Media Fairness Caucus' Topic: Newsmax
Ronald Kessler reported in a June 3 column how Republican Rep. Lamar Smith has created the House "Media Fairness Caucus," which "will point out unfair stories, meet with members of the media, and write op-eds and letters to the editor to highlight media bias." Kessler also quoted Smith as claiming that media bias is the "greatest threat to our democracy today."
This is all about so-called liberal media bias, of course; as we've noted, Kessler doesn't appear to believe there is such a thing as conservative media bias, even though he is employed by one of the biggest generators of conservative media bias.
The Media Research Center has embraced Smith's crusade, highlighting it in a June 4 NewsBusters post by Brent Baker that repeated parts of Kessler's article.
Just one little problem: Smith isn't much of a media fact-checker.
As we've detailed, Smith was essentially acting as a member of John McCain's campaign by making overblown claims of purported media bias. For instance, in an example published at Accuracy in Media, Smith asserted that the New York Times was falsely smearing McCain campaign manager Rick Davis by claiming that mortgage firm Freddie Mac paid Davis' consulting firm for consulting servicesand, thus, "clearly suggested wrongdoing on the part of Davis and, by extension, Sen. McCain."
But the Times never claimed Davis himself was paid by Freddie Mac; rather, the article stated that Davis' firm was contracted to receive the money and, despite not directly working for his consulting firm during the campaign, remained a partner and equity holder in it and thus benefited from the firm's income. Further, in claiming that "Davis was never a lobbyist for Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae," Smith ignored the fact that Davis was, as the Times article noted, the head of an advocacy group funded by Fannie and Freddie with the purpose of opposing regulation of the entities, which Smith seemed to think was not the same thing as "lobbying."
Smith's "Media Fairness Caucus" appears to be about little more than regurgitating what he reads at AIM and the Media Research Center. Smith could save himself some effort and hypocrisy by simply putting Cliff Kincaid and Tim Graham on his staff. (Which wouldn't be the first time an MRC employee jumped to Capitol Hill; Sen. James Inhofe hired Marc Morano straight from CNSNews.com.)
The Case of the Disappearing WND Columns Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily had links on its commentary page to two columns on June 4 that, near as we could tell, did not work the entire day. Given the subject matter, we have to wonder if WND had second thoughts about posting them (though they remained on the WND commentary page).
That's right -- the guy who insulted Barack Obama by calling him a "schvartze" wants to instruct blacks about the evils of reverse discrimination. The video doesn't appear to have been posted on Mason's YouTube channel either, so we wonder what happened with it.
Perhaps the idea that outlawing texting while driving is some sort of unforgivable encroachment of state power was too stupid for even WND to post.
UPDATE: Both columns are functional now, apparently coinciding with the update to the next day's commentary items. So it appears to have been a technological glitch.
And yes, Elmore does indeed rant that laws banning texting while driving are oppressive:
It's a fact of left-leaning, illiberal politics that whenever something becomes popular, there will be a statist politician, regardless of party affiliation, who will want to ban it. Given our technologically advanced, technologically saturated world, many of these proposals involve emerging, developing, or simply increasingly popular technology, period.
If the forces of statism cannot, however, persuade you that using your phone to text while driving will GET YOU KILLED, they'll settle for propaganda that convinces you that the act of texting itself is bad for you and for your children.
And Jackie Mason does indeed rant about reverse discrimination and calls Sonia Sotomayor "the lady who's up for the Supreme Court with the Spanish heritage" and asserts that "she made judgments that are so ridiculously sick or stupid or racist that you have to be a moron not to notice it. But everybody is covering it up like it doesn't mean anything."
WND Wants The World to Know How Hateful Molotov Mitchell Is Topic: WorldNetDaily
How does WorldNetDaily reward video columnist Molotov Mitchell for his fact-free screed smearing Sonia Sotomayor as an "anti-American racist" and the National Council of La Raza as "the tan Klan"? By begging people to spread his hate, of course.
From a June 4 WND email:
Most people would be ashamed to promote such hate. Not WND and its publicist, Maria Sliwa.
Kessler Won't Acknowledge Existence of Conservative Media Bias Topic: Newsmax
Ronald Kessler's June 1 Newsmax column strangely praises the Washington Post for making "making an honest effort to be fair": "Hit jobs against Bush administration programs and Republicans in general have virtually vanished. Instead, the paper presents issues fairly. No longer is the other side suppressed or relegated to the last paragraph."
But Kessler offers no evidence that the Post ever did that in the first place. In fact, the evidence suggests that the Post has always had a soft spot for conservatives and their views. For example, in 2007 the Post published a fawning profile of right-wing blogger Michelle Malkin that glossed over her most controversial comments, and in 2006 published a similarly fawning profile of then-Fox News anchor Brit Hume.
Kessler cites another example of the Post's supposed change of heart: "On May 29, a Post editorial described Obama’s budget, with its reliance on $9 trillion in borrowing during the next decade, as 'simply unaffordable.'" In fact, the Post has long shared numerous editorial positions with the decidedly conservative Wall Street Journal.
Kessler then goes on to defend Fox News: "Although Fox News prominently features conservative commentators, when it comes to news, the network has a rule that guests from opposing sides must appear on any partisan issue." Kessler offers no evidence that this rule actually exists -- which is necessary because there's a decided lack of evidence that it's put into practice. As we've detailed, appearances on Fox News by employees of the conservative Media Research Center are typically solo or with like-minded conservatives, a nary a mention that the MRC is, in fact, conservative.
Kessler then disappears into disingenuous territory:
Regardless of one’s politics, most people want to feel they are being exposed to all sides of an issue. That is one reason Newsmax.com has been so successful. With an average 4 million unique visitors a month, according to Nielsen Online, Newsmax is bigger than many news Web sites, including the Drudge Report. If ranked among the nation's top 10 newspaper Web sites, Newsmax would rank with leading brands such as The Wall Street Journal and the Los Angeles Times. It is also one of the few Internet news sites to make a profit. Though it features conservative columnists and news angles that the rest of the media ignore, Newsmax prominently runs stories that are critical of Democrats and Republicans alike.
Note that term "news angles that the rest of the media ignore." In other words, Newsmax has a right-wing bias. Kessler just can't admit it to himself.
Kessler's claim that Newsmax is "critical of Democrats and Republicans alike" is dubious at best. In fact, Newsmax has been disproportionately criticial of Democrats, even going so far as to report outright falsehoods about President Obama's stimulus plan. Its columnists inventquotes to put in the mouths of Obama and his aides. And Kessler himself is guilty of distorted attacks on Obama and creepy obsequiousness toward conservatives.
Kessler further touts a claim -- unsupported by evidence since Newsmax is privately owned by Richard Mellon Scaife and Christopher Ruddy and doesn't make its financial records public -- that Newsmax is "one of the few Internet news sites to make a profit," suggesting that its supposed editorial balance is the reason for it. But it's not balanced, so that can't be the reason.
Of course, Kessler is on Newsmax's payroll, so he's more PR agent here than honest reporter. It's unlikely he will ever admit that Newsmax -- and, by extension, Kessler himself -- is hopelessly biased.
WND Still Misleads on Gun Case Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily has a problemwith telling its readers the full truth, especially in gun related cases. A June 2 WND article repeats this pattern by once again refusing to tell the full truth about the case of a man convicted for loaning out a fully automatic machine gun.
As it has before, WND tells only the man's story as promoted by his defense attorneys -- that the man, David Olofson, merely "loaned out" a "broken rifle" that "malfunctioned" -- but obscuring the evidence against him that led to his conviction.
As we've noted, Olofson has been described as having "considerable knowledge of weapons, considerable knowledge of machine guns," and thus knew or should have known that the gun fired automatically. Olofson also has previous gun-related convictions and has been reprimanded for corrupting Army computers and perhaps providing militia groups access to sensitive information, and a search of his home turned up books on converting rifles to fully automatic.
Further, Olofson has had contact with vigilante groups and professed to be part of the sovereign movement, which doesn't acknowledge federal laws as applying to them -- not unlike Scott Roeder, the man suspected of killing abortion doctor George Tiller.
Vadum Distorts ACORN, Unhappy About Getting Busted For It Topic: Capital Research Center
Matthew Vadum got caught hurling a load of BS, and now he's complaining that he got caught.
PolitiFact.com wrote a fact-checking item about the distortion inherent in a claim, originated by Vadum's work at the Capital Research Center, that ACORN is eligible to receive $8.5 billion under the economic stimulus bill, which it describes as "false." How does Vadum respond? By going after PolitiFact, of course in a June 2 NewsBusters post. (In NewsBusters, Vadum has found bretheren with a similar fondness for shooting the messenger.)
Vadum kicks off by asserting that PolitiFact is "carrying water for the radical left-wing activist group ACORN and attacking Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) for trying to warn the public about the group." He also asserts that PolitiFact has a "liberal bias," but could only come up with three alleged examples (to which he fails to link so that readers could judge for themselves):
"On Oct. 24, PolitiFact gave then-vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin's statement that Obama would 'experiment with socialism' a 'Pants on Fire' ruling." In fact, PolitiFact backed up its ruling. Palin's claim centered on Obama's plan to increase income taxes on those making more than $250,000 a year; as PolitiFact pointed out, "His desire to 'spread the wealth' through progressive taxation makes him no less a capitalist than McCain, or Lincoln."
"On Sept. 14, an editorial attacked Sen. John McCain's presidential campaign. 'McCain's straight talk has become a toxic mix of lies and double-speak,' it said." This is actually an editorial in the St. Petersburg Times, which operates PolitiFact. Vadum does not contradict any of the claims in it.
"Last month it praised President Obama's selection of radical jurist Sonia Sotomayor for the Supreme Court because she was someone with a 'powerful intellect who demonstrates compassion and a common touch.'"Again, this is an St. Petersburg Times editorial, not a PolitiFact item.
So Vadum has demonstrated himself to be disingenous by misleadingly conflating a research group with newspaper editorials -- indeed, Vadum has found only one item at PolitiFact with which he disagrees, and he provides no evidence that anything in it is wrong. He's similarly disingenuous when criticizing PolifiFact's ACORN findings, selectively quoting from it and failing to provide the full context (and, as with his other attacks, refusing to directly link to the PolitiFact so that readers can judge for themselves).
There is no legal impediment of which I am aware that would prevent ACORN taking in the whole $3 billion sum from the stimulus package, which has already been enacted. There is also no bar to ACORN taking in the entire $5.5 billion from the HUD budget, which is pending before Congress.
In other words, ACORN is indeed eligible for the whole $8.5 billion, as Bachmann said.
Bachmann never said ACORN alone was going to receive $8.5 billion, but [PolitiFact's Robert] Farley then proceeds as if she had, writing a news article that depicts something quite different from what actually transpired.
But Vadum fails to acknowledge his deliberate use of the overbroad word "eligible," which he's a little more candid about to PolitiFact:
"The key word here is eligible," Vadum said. "Eligible is a pretty expansive word. I made it clear they are not going to get that full amount."
Yes, he made that point in the Washington Examiner. But when Bachmann says ACORN could get that amount, it assumes the group would get every single dime in the stimulus for fixing up abandoned homes. And remember, they said they don't even have plans to apply for any of it.
Vadum tries to discount that denial, calling it a "dubious statement." He then suggests that restrictions on federal housing funds that bar them from being used for political purposes are meaningless because of purportedly "suspicious transactions" made by ACORN's housing division to other affiliates in " the nebulous ACORN network."
PolitiFact points out, meanwhile, that "if ACORN Housing was to apply for and receive CDBG money, it would be for a very specific project. And legally, it could not be transferred to other ACORN affiliates to perform political activities like voter registration," though Vadum offers no evidence that federal grant money specifically designated for housing-related purposes was ever shifted to another "nebulous" ACORN affiliate for forbidden purposes. Vadum's main response is that "neither Bachmann nor I actually said ACORN Housing was necessarily going to be the protagonist in this publicly funded drama."
Vadum also fails to mention that the federal grants for which ACORN is eligible are up for competitive bid, which meanst that, if it was indeed seeking those grants, it would be competing with other organizations to receive them.
Vadum ultimately complains that PolitiFact is trying "to depict her as a shameless liar. That's reprehensible." Here's how PolitiFact summed up its piece:
Charges of voter registration fraud by members of ACORN during the 2008 elections are a serious matter. Investigators allege ACORN employees tried to fraudulently register thousands of ineligible voters. Among them, one Mickey Mouse.
But Bachmann's statement is irresponsibly misleading on several levels. She says the group under indictment for voter registration fraud could tap into billions of federal dollars. In fact, none of the federal money can be used for voter registration activities.
An affiliate like ACORN Housing could conceivably apply for a grant to build an affordable housing project, or to buy, fix and sell abandoned homes, but that's exactly what the money would have to be used for. Suggestions that one of the affiliates might funnel money to ACORN for political activity is, so far, unsubstantiated conjecture. And then there's the matter of trying to make a splash by throwing out the massive $8.5 billion number, suggesting ACORN "could get" it, as in all of it. That's absurd. We rule Bachmann's statement False.
Vadum is basically taking refuge in deliberately overbroad statements like "eligible" as a way to portray his attack on ACORN as somewhat true. By that same overbroad standard, both Vadum and us are "eligible" to receive that money too.
Now you see why Vadum had to resort to shooting the messenger -- he got called out on his BS and now has to cover for it.
UPDATE: Vadum takes his fight to the comments section of the Minnesota Independent, which cited the PolitiFact article in criticizing Bachmann.
David Horowitz's FrontPageMag has surprisingly been a voice of restraint against the Obama Derangement Syndrome plaguing his ConWeb bretheren, particularly WorldNetDaily. FrontPageMag has decimated WND's obsession with Barack Obama's birth certificate with claims to which WND has yet to directly responde.
Now, a June 2 blog post by Horowitz appears to take direct aim at WND managing editor David Kupelian's June 1 column alleging that the Obama administration would use the shooting death of George Tiller like Hitler used the Reichstag fire:
I continue to get emails comparing President Obama to Hitler, the most recent suggesting that the murder of an abortion doctor might be Obama's "Reichstag Fire" and would be used by Obama to take away our civil liberties and terminate our Republic as Hitler did the Weimar Republic in the 1930s. This is lunatic stuff. Obama is better compared to Neville Chamberlain than to Adolf Hitler if you like these kinds of comparisons. Americans are not Germans -- it's a very big difference as far as political cultures are concerned, and Obama is not Hitler. Obama is a machine politician and whatever dangers he represents (and as I see it there are many) are dangers because they reflect the heart and soul of today's Democratic Party not because he is a Manchurian candidate or a closet Islamist, as more than a few conservatives seem to think.
Thus his appointment of a advocate of institutional racism to the Supreme Court is a predictable selection for any Democrat in the White House. His appeasement of Iran and the genocidal Palestinians, perhaps the most worrying of his foreign policy moves is the policy of his Secretary of State, his congressional leaders and his chief of staff. These facts add up to a worrisome prospect but a revival of the Third Reich is not one of them, and those who think it is and say so discredit only themselves.
Horowitz surprisingly also shoots down another right-wing conspiracy while he's at it: "As a footnote to the above, the claim that the Obamaites used their control of Chrysler to terminate Republican dealerships is demonstrably a myth." As we've documented, WND is just one of the ConWeb outlets promoting that conspiracy.
MRC-Fox News Appearance Watch Topic: Media Research Center
Tim Graham's appearance on the June 3 edition nof Fox News' "America's Newsroom" follows the template: Graham appears solo, host Bill Hemmer serves up softballs to help advance Graham's statements, and neither Graham nor his employer, the Media Research Center, are identified as conservative.
Molotov Mitchell Smears Sotomayor, La Raza Topic: WorldNetDaily
Molotov Mitchell lets the smears fly against Sonia Sotomayor and La Raza in his June 3 WorldNetDaily video:
Picking an anti-American racist like Sotomayor is classic Obama. I wouldn't be surprised if this broad lived in a commune with Bill Ayers at some point.
You've heard her infamous quote "A wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiecne would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male."
Oooh, Obama likee! But most Democrats are racist -- that's easy. If you really want to get on Obama's good sie, you've got to be part of an anti-American group. Fortunately for Sotomayor, she is a card-carrying member of the National Council of La Raza. La Raza, aka the Tan Klan. La Raza, literally meaning "The Race," is a racist, Hispanic-only organization with ties to crazy groups like Aztlan. No, not Aslan -- Aztlan, a cartel-connected organization that is literally trying to take over the American Southwest.
A La Raza member that believes in legislating from the bench. It makes me wonder: Could Obama be stacking the deck in case we ever prove he's not a natural-born citizen?
Despite calling his video "For the Record," Mitchell doesn't back up his claim that Sotomayor is "anti-American" or a "racist." And his claim that La Raza has "ties to crazy groups like Aztlan" ignores the record completely -- as we'vepointedout, it doesn't support Aztlan.
Further, if Mitchell cares so much about "the record," then he must surely know that the place where his videos appear has already declared the Obama birth certificate he posted in his video to be "authentic."
UPDATE: Here's a still from Mitchell's video (via Media Matters):
CNS Hides Hateful Tone of Pravda Opinion Piece Topic: CNSNews.com
One of the stranger sights we've seen lately is right-wingers' embrace of "news" sources, no matter how dubious, that reflect its preferred talking points -- as illustrated by the ConWeb's embrace of an editorial on global warming published by a 9/11 truther on the Russian Pravda website.
That spectacle repeats itself in a June 2 CNSNews.com article by Fred Lucas that follows other right-wing media in embracing a Pravda website opinion piece lamenting "the American decent [sic] into Marxism."
Lucas claimed that the piece was "published in the once-official newspaper of the Soviet Union"; in fact, Pravda.ru, where the opinion piece appeared, is largely separate from the Pravda newspaper, with the website taking a much more sensationalist and nationalist approach.
Lucas fails to make note of the overall hateful tone of the opinion piece. For instance, it refers Rep. Barney Frank as "Senator Barney Franks [sic], a social pervert basking in his homosexuality."Moreover, the author of the piece has also attacked America as "a democracy where the rights of the minority, such as the homosexuals and Muslims, routinely trumps the rights of the Christian majority, who are viewed by the elites as a vast unwashed, ignorant economic unit to be taxed as needed, bled for the right causes ... in foreign wars and socially experimented on, at the elites' whim."
Are those sentiments Lucas and CNS endorse as well?
New Article: The Insta-Conspiracy Topic: The ConWeb
The ConWeb quickly latched onto a right-wing claim that Chrysler dealers losing their franchises were disproportionately Republican -- a claim that was just as quickly debunked. But they're too invested in the conspiracy to honestly report the truth. Read more >>
From a June 2 article by Julie Crawshaw on Newsmax's Moneynews website:
Investing experts now worry that inflation in the United States will approach that in Zimbabwe because the Federal Reserve will be reluctant to raise interest rates when it should.
Zimbabwe’s inflation rate was last reported at 231 million percent in July.
At no point does Crawshaw quote any "investing expert" offering a contrasting opinion, let alone citing Zimbabwe's situation as a likely scenario the U.S. faces. Nor does she define "hyperinflation" as anything but "Zimbabwe-level inflation."
The Motley Fool, meanwhile, appears to be a much more sane and trustworthy source on the subject:
Let's get one thing clear from the get-go: Hyperinflation is an extreme occurrence.
In the worst-case scenario of hyperinflation, a country's currency is rendered worthless; a trillion dollars wouldn't buy you a Coke. Uber-reporter Michael Lewis wrote an eye-opening account of the kinds of things he saw while visiting recent hyperinflation victim Iceland: an epidemic of people blowing up their Range Rovers for insurance money, hoarding food and foreign currency, and seriously contemplating emigrating from the country.
Stepping back from that dire possibility, a more conservative definition of hyperinflation is a doubling of prices over three years. For the century or so we've been keeping track, the U.S. hasn't come close.
The U.S. banking problems are bad, but we have the rest of our income-producing industries to fall back on. While hyperinflation in the U.S. is possible, it's just not very likely.
Your WND Hate-Crimes Lie of the Day Topic: WorldNetDaily
A June 1 WorldNetDaily article again calls the federal hate-crimes bill the "Pedophile Protection Act" and uncritically repeats the demonstrably false claim that the bill offers protection for "all 547 forms of sexual deviancy or 'paraphilias' listed by the American Psychiatric Association."
As a special bonus, WND also uses the article to whitewash an alleged hate crime in Missouri:
No one really knows what was going through the mind of Nicholas John Profitt, 31, when he allegedly threw rocks that damaged the front door of the Islamic Center in Cape Girardeau, Missouri.
Was it an act of anti-Islamic bigotry? Or was it a random act of vandalism?
Nevertheless, Profitt has been charged with a hate crime. What would have been a misdemeanor count becomes a class D felony.
Instead of facing a maximum sentence of four years in prison, Profitt is facing up to seven – the difference due to his state of mind, what he was thinking or not thinking when he threw the rocks.
That's partly what's at stake when the U.S. Senate considers a national hate crimes bill that will add special penalties against individuals guilty of crimes based on ethnic, religious and racial hatred and new classifications based on sexual orientation – legislation that has been dubbed by critics as "The Pedophile Protection Act."
WND misleads its readers by portraying Profitt as someone who benignly threw rocks at a door. WND fails to report other details of the case:
Damage to the door exceed $750.
Profitt is also accused of damaging the windshield of a car parked in the Islamic center's parking lot.
Profitt faces further charges of driving while intoxicated, speeding and failure to wear a seatbelt for offenses he allegedly committed four hours after the property damage.
Why does WND want its readers to think it's somehow acceptable to vandalize an Islamic center and face only minimal punishment for doing so?