Les Kinsolving devotes his June 16 WorldNetDaily column (at least the part that doesn't regurgitate WND's attack on Fox News' Shepard Smith by rehashing a 9-year-old incident that has no bearing on current events) to two letters sent to White House press secretary Robert Gibbs by John Hemenway, whose previous lawsuit regarding Obama's birth certificate resulted in a reprimand from the judge for bring a "legally frivolous suit" to the court.
While Kinsolving describes Hemenway as a "World War II veteran, U.S. Naval Academy graduate, Rhode Scholar and Washington, D.C., attorney," he's too much of a loyal WND employee to deviate from company policy and note the numerous falsehoods in Hemenway's letters:
-- The birth certificate released by Obama's campaign "would not be acceptable to obtain a driver's license in most states in America." According to Andrew Walden at the right-wing FrontPageMag, the certificate is "the same document that anyone born in Hawaii shows when applying for a drivers’ license, social security card, passport, or security clearance. It was also accepted as valid by the election officials of the 50 states."
-- The certificate "was put on a laser printer before laser printers were available. It has been denounced as a forgery by competent authorities from Hawaii's Department of Home Lands." But the Hawaii Department of Home Lands does not issue official birth certificates (the state health department does) and, thus, is in no position to judge a certificate's authenticity. Further, as FactCheck.org notes, the certificate released by the Obama campaign was generated by the Hawaii state health department in June 2007 -- long after the invention of laser printers.
-- The certificate "is a record of birth not even used by the state of Hawaii's Department of Home Lands to establish Hawaiian ethnic identity." That would be relevant if Obama was seeking to establish Hawaiian ethnic identity in order to lease land from the state of Hawaii for homestead purposes. But as we've noted, he's nnot.
-- "Sun Yat-sen, a Chinese national, was issued a COLB ... [Sun] was born on 12 November 1866 in Cuiheng, China, but had a Hawaiian birth certificate and was officially a citizen of the United States." As the Honolulu Star-Bulletin reported, Sun was issued a birth certificate in 1904, when Hawaii was a territory -- not a state -- meaning that the certificate made Sun a "citizen of Hawaii," not a United States citizen. Sun's situation is irrelevant to Obama's.
-- "Barack Obama's paternal grandmother, Sarah Hussein Obama, claims he was born in Kenya, that she was present for the birth." That false claim is based on an edited transcript and translation issues, as David Wiegel reported at Slate (and we've noted); the full transcript shows that when Sarah Obama was asked the question more directly, "the translators ... tell him repeatedly that the president-elect was born in Hawaii."
Kinsolving really must stop enabling the lies of others.
WND Repeats False Claim About ABC and Obama Topic: WorldNetDaily
A June 16 WorldNetDaily article by Drew Zahn called ABC an "Obama propaganda machine" for an upcoming series of broadcasts from the Obama White House repeated a claim that "ABC News reportedly rejected a Republican request to be allowed a response," further quoting the Republican National Committee's Ken McKay attacking "ABC's astonishing decision to exclude opposing voices on this critical issue" and right-wing radio host Roger Hedgecock's assertion that "No opposing views are allowed on the program."
That claim appears to be false. From ABC News' response to the Republicans: "ABC News announced plans to broadcast a primetime hour from the White House devoted to exploring and probing the President's position and giving voice to questions and criticisms of that position."
Even though ABC's response to the Republicans was available prior to the publication of the WND article, Zahn failed to mention the statement that ABC plans to give "voice to questions and criticisms" of Obama.
Will WND report the truth about ABC and formally retract this false claim? Naaah -- they're way too invested in lying about Obama.
A June 16 WorldNetDaily article by Aaron Klein begins ominously: "Former President Jimmy Carter passed a message to Hamas from the Obama administration, according to senior sources in the Islamist group."
But the very next paragraph makes it clear there's no there there:
The sources did not disclose the content of the purported message or whether the communication was written or oral. They spoke on condition of anonymity, because they said Hamas had not yet reached a decision on officially releasing the information they were divulging.
Klein can't prove there's a message or even corroborate it with a source who is willing to go on the record. He then demolishes the rest of the big assertion, that Jimmy Carter passed the seemingly imaginary message along:
Separately, in an interview with WND today, Ahmed Yousef, Hamas' chief political adviser in Gaza, refused to confirm or deny that any message was passed to his group from the White House.
Youssef said, however, Carter is the "right person" to serve as a middle man between Hamas and the Obama administration.
To sum up: Klein can't demonstrate that a message even exists, let alone that Jimmy Carter passed one along. But, if there were a message, Carter is the kind of guy who might have had it.
In other words, there is no reason for this story's existence other than to falsely smear President Obama -- something Klein lovestodo.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how "journalism" works at WorldNetDaily.
CNS' Jeffrey Wants Media to Take Obama Out of Context Topic: CNSNews.com
In a June 16 CNSNews.com article, Terry Jeffrey complains that "no major U.S. newspaper available in the Nexis database reported" that President Obama said in a speech before the American Medical Association "there are countries where a single-payer system works pretty well."
But Jeffrey then goes on to report that Obama's statement is immediately followed by Obama's explicit rejection of a single-payer system. Therefore, reporting that statement alone serves no purpose, and Jeffrey seems to be demanding that the media publish the statement so that right-wing activists like him can take it out of context, as he attempts to do here by making such a big deal out of it.
Jeffrey also seems to suggest that his own news organization would never leave out necessary context. But CNS has never told its readers that the Bush administration claims it foiled the Los Angeles terror plot before Khalid Shaikh Mohammed was captured and gave up info on the plot after being waterboarded, or that Jeffrey's boss is on the board of directors of the Cardinal Newman Society that CNS loves to quote.
Byron York Still Hiding Full Story About Walpin Topic: Washington Examiner
Byron York's June 16 Washington Examiner column again takes the side of fired AmeriCorps inspector general Gerald Walpin, demanding that Republicans in Congress "get to the bottom of President Obama's sudden -- and suspicious -- decision" to fire Walpin. As he has before, York hides the fact that a U.S. attorney accused Walpin of misconduct in the investigation of alleged misuse of AmeriCorps funding by an Obama supporter who is now the mayor of Sacramento.
York also curiously likens the situation to "the suspicious firings of the White House Travel Office staff" by President Clinton in 1993. That may not be the best analogy York could have made; independent counsel Robert Ray concluded that the travel office employees "served at the pleasure of President Bill Clinton, and they were subject to discharge without cause."
It seems that York is saying that he will make a mountain out of a molehill with the Walpin firing just like his fellow right-wingers did with the travel office firings. It also seems that, by admitting he's doing that, York has just discredited his own reporting on Walpin.
“When Barack Obama Jr. was born on Aug. 4,1961, in Honolulu, Kenya was a British colony, still part of the United Kingdom’s dwindling empire. As a Kenyan native, Barack Obama Sr. was a British subject whose citizenship status was governed by The British Nationality Act of 1948. That same act governed the status of Obama Sr.‘s children.
Since Sen. Obama has neither renounced his U.S. citizenship nor sworn an oath of allegiance to Kenya, his Kenyan citizenship automatically expired on Aug. 4,1982.”
Note that it specifically states Obama held U.S. citizenship at the time he held Kenyan citizenship as a child -- something Farah fails to acknowledge, since that inconvenient fact would destroy the argument he's trying to make.
Note also that Farah doesn't bother to link to the original FactCheck article from which the excerpt was taken -- which would have destroyed Farah's argument further. At no point does it dispute the fact that Obama is, and always has been, a U.S. citizen.
Further, at no point does Farah offer evidence to prove his larger argument --that Obama holding dual citizenship as a child, or having one parent who was not an American citizen, fails to fulfill the "natural born citizen" requirement of the Constitution for presidential eligibility.
Farah also asserts that Obama's mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, "was too young to have qualified under the law for bestowing that privilege on her son, even if the father had been a citizen and even in the unlikely event Obama was actually born in Hawaii!" But that claim has been discredited. From the Tribune Co. Washington Bureau blog The Swamp:
Hawaii was a state in 1961, when Obama was born. Any person born in the U.S. automatically is a "natural born citizen," said University of California Los Angeles law professor Eugene Volokh.
Even if a person is born outside the United States, courts have ruled any child born to at least one U.S. citizen is a U.S. citizen, Volokh said. Stanley Ann Dunham would have counted even if Obama's Kenyan father did not.
If this becomes an issue in a post-election eligibility challenge, expect a likely sticking point to be the legal definition in 1961 of how parents could be called U.S. citizens for this purpose, Volokh said. At the time Obama was born, the law stated that a person would be considered a "natural born citizen" if either parent was a citizen who had lived at least 10 years in the U.S., including five years after the age of 14--in other words, 19.
Dunham was three months shy of her 19th birthday when Obama was born. But subsequent acts of Congress relaxed the requirement to five years in the U.S., including just two years after the age of 14, meaning Dunham could have been 16 and still qualified even if Obama was born in another country, Volokh said. Congress made the law retroactive to 1952, doubly covering Obama.
And, of course, Farah is still refusing to acknowledge that his own website delcared that the birth certificate released by Obama's campaign is "authentic" and that a lawsuit challenging Obama's citizenship in part "relies on discredited claims."
Farah really seems to think that if he tells lies about Obama long enough and loudly enough, they might become true. Sad, isn't it?
New Article: Feeding the Extremists Topic: WorldNetDaily
Not only does WorldNetDaily have a soft spot for anti-abortion radicals of the type that killed George Tiller, it has common interests with the man who allegedly shot a guard at the Holocaust Museum. Read more >>
MRC Wins the Perception War Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's war against David Letterman over a joke he told was based on a deliberately misleading bit of framing: that Letterman was deliberately referring to Sarah Palin's 14-year-old daughter in a quip about Palin’s daughter getting "knocked up" by baseball star Alex Rodriguez, when Letterman has made clear that he was referring to Palin's 18-year-old daughter.
Brent Bozell blurred the distinction in his June 12 demand for an apology like a "real man" (Bozell, if you'll recall, had to be taken into court and forced to pay $3.5 million to World Wresting Entertainment before he apologized like a real man for telling lies). The MRC's Seton Motley joined Fox News in ignoring the distinction completely in a June 14 appearance, portraying Letterman's joke as specifically referring to the 14-year-old though Letterman has specifically said that wasn't the case. (Motley's Fox News appearance, by the way, follows the template -- Motley appeared solo was not identified as a conservative.)
Motley also said of comparisons of the Letterman situation with that of Don Imus' offensive remark about the Rutgers women's basketball team: "None of this is defending Don Imus. For me, the MRC -- none of it. He was obnoxious, he was offensive." In fact, as we detailed at the time, the MRC was loath to directly criticize Imus over the remarks, reserving its wrath for people like Al Sharpton who highlighted the remarks, with Bozell himself calling them "the usual cast of professional victims."
But the MRC, in declaring victory by getting Letterman to issue a more formal apology, gives away their game. Brent Baker wrtes in a June 15 MRC item that "Palin and conservatives were outraged and demanded an apology and retraction for a 'joke' seemed aimed at the 14-year-old daughter though Letterman said he was referring to the 18-year-old daughter."
And who made Letterman's joke seem "aimed at the 14-year-old daughter"? Palin and conservatives.
Baker quotes Letterman as saying, "It doesn't make any difference what my intent was, it's the perception." Again, who created the perception that Letterman said something so offensive that he must formally apologize? Palin and conservatives led by the MRC. Thus, the MRC wins the perception war against Letterman.
Motley complained during his Fox News appearance that "It's just a matter of if you get into a grievance group situation ... there is no grievance group for conservatives, for conservative women." But the MRC is, in fact, one of many grievance groups on the right -- a fact Motley downplayed on Fox News.
If the MRC didn't have a grievance to peddle, there was no reason for Motley to go on TV and Bozell to issue press releases.
UPDATE: Letterman's more abject apology still isn't good enough for Bozell, who dismissed it as "slippery and Clintonian." And Bozell still wants to fight the perception war -- even though he already won -- by insisting there was "no perception, no misunderstanding" about Letterman's original joke.
A June 15 WorldNetDaily article by Aaron Klein carries the headline: " 'U.S. told us don't take Netanyahu seriously,' " presented as a direct quote ascribed to a "senior Palestinian official."
But the headline is a lie. Nowhere in Klein's article does that direct quote appear. Indeed, nowhere does Klein report that the Obama administration "told" the Palestinians anything, let alone to ignore statements by Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu. While Klein does quote a statement from a Palestinian official -- "We received encouraging signs from the Americans that we should not take seriously into consideration Netanyahu's speech"-- its meaning is different; a "sign" is not the same thing as being "told" something.
Examiner Ignores Full Story of IG Firing Topic: Washington Examiner
A June 15 Washington Examiner editorial attacked the Obama administration for firing Americorps inspector general Gerald Walpin over an investigation of Kevin Johnson, "a high-profile Obama political supporter and a friend of First Lady Michelle Obama" who is now mayor of Sacramento, in alleged misuse of AmeriCorps funds as an example of Obama's "gangster government." But the Examiner fails to tell the full story.
As we've detailed, the U.S. Attorney in the case accused Walpin of hiding evidence in the Johnson investigation and making pronouncements in the media before discussing them with the attorney, and the punishment Walpin sought against Johnson -- which ultimately may have kept Sacramento from receiving federal stimulus money -- was out of proportion to previous sanctions for similar offenses. The Examiner also fails to mention an additional factor it no doubt likes due to its right-wing leanings: Walpin is a right-wing Republican and member of the right-wing Federalist Society who once introduced Mitt Romney at a Federalist Society meeting by saying that Romney served as governor of a state, Massachusetts, run by the "modern-day KKK ... the Kennedy-Kerry Klan."
The Examiner's editorial was based on reporting by the Examiner's Byron York, who has similarly played down the U.S. attorney's criticism of Walpin. It's only in a web-only update to his June 12 column that York mentions the criticism, but only in a single paragraph, followed by several paragraphs of Walpin's response to it. A June 14 blog post by York completely ignores the U.S. attorney's criticism of Walpin.
So York has clearly taken sides here and, like Walpin, is hiding exculpatory information -- which further highlights the Examiner's hard-right shift.
A June 14 NewsBusters post by noted maven of cluelessness Tom Blumer reports on an idea regarding Flint, Mich., published in the UK Telegraph, "that involves tearing down entire neighborhoods and simply abandoning them -- oops, I'm sorry, I meant to say, 'returning them to nature.'" Blumer adds: "Leave it to the British press to once again do the job of real reporting that U.S. journalists apparently won't do."
Blumer also fails to mention the key reason this idea is being considered: the decline of the domestic automotive industry meant that Flint's population, as stated in the Telegraph, "has almost halved to 110,000," which "has left street after street in sections of the city almost entirely abandoned." Blumer does not offer an alternative idea for Flint.
On the other hand, Blumer smears President Obama as "Dear Leader," so he's got that going for him.
UPDATE: Dan Kildee, the county official portrayed in the Telegraph article as having been asked by the Obama administration to bring his demolition idea to 50 other U.S. communities, now says the Telegraph got it wrong. The discussion was about the larger "land bank" concept, in which cities can more easily take control of abandoned properties, not the demolition idea.
Will Blumer tell readers about this important clarification? Don't count on it -- he has yet to correct his item to note that the Times addressed it two months ago.
WND's Washington: Michael Savage = Prometheus Topic: WorldNetDaily
Just when we though Ellis Washington couldn't get any more slobberinglysycophantic toward the bile-filled Michael Savage, he manages to top himself. In his June 13 WorldNetDaily column, Washington has declared Savage to be nothing less than Prometheus:
Prometheus challenged the awesome authority of Zeus by stealing fire from heaven, which gave warmth to the earth thus saving all humanity. Likewise, Savage has put his reputation on the line daily for 15 years as a Ph.D. trained scientist, autodidactic philosopher and historian, zealously defending America's national heritage and waging battle in the arena of ideas against the Zeuses of our time – like Jacqui Smith, the recently deposed home secretary of England who on May 5 libelously and slanderously placed Savage on a blacklist of 16 people banned from England, a list of infamy that included Muslim terrorists, homosexual hate-mongers, neo-Nazis and Russian mobsters.
Zeus meted out unjust and sadistic punishment to Prometheus by chaining him to a rock and commanding an eagle to eat his liver every day, only to have the liver grow back anew each day. Likewise, a similar Sisyphus-like torture was heaped upon Savage by Great Britain whose unprovoked defamation of his name and reputation has daily caused Savage's life and the physical security of his entire family to be brought into mortal danger. When Savage pleaded with the Obama administration and sent a personal letter to the president and his secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, to intervene on his behalf as an American citizen, all he received in return was the tormenting cacophony of crickets ringing in his ears.
Another famous treatment of the heroism of Prometheus was Percy Shelley's "Prometheus Unbound" (1820). Shelley reworks the lost play of Aeschylus so that Prometheus refuses to bow to Zeus (Jupiter), but instead defeats him in a victory of the human heart and intellect over oppressive religion. Likewise, Savage's iconoclastic, defiant nature would never allow him to compromise his moral principles by kowtowing to Zeus (e.g., Obama, England, the GOP, socialism, censorship) even as his fellow conservatives (Rush, Hannity, O'Reilly, Glenn Beck, Mark Levin, Joe Scarborough, Fox News, New York Post, Wall Street Journal, American Enterprise Institute, National Review), as well as the government-controlled media, all stand in silent acquiescence as the eagle (the literal symbol of the U.S. government) daily seeks to devour Savage's singular voice.
I end this intimate tribute of my friend and intellectual mentor the same why I began, with the enduring words of that magnificent Greek tragedian, Aeschylus, who in his "Prometheus" said: Prometheus caused blind hopes to live in the hearts of men. Consequently, who can argue with any level of credibility against Dr. Michael Savage's "blind hopes" in valiantly defending freedom of speech and freedom of expression for all mankind? Surely, in England and in America this man should be memorialized as our modern-day Prometheus.
Thank you, Prometheus. … Thank you, Dr. Michael Savage.
Fired IG Runs to WND, Spins Misleading Conspiracy Topic: WorldNetDaily
A June 13 WorldNetDaily article by Drew Zahn features claims by Gerald Walpin, a former inspector general for the Corporation for National and Community Service, the federal office that oversees AmeriCorps, that he was fired by the Obama administration because he "filed two reports exposing gross misappropriation of federal AmeriCorps funds by a prominent Barack Obama supporter." Zahn, however, does not appear to have any interest whatsoever in telling the full story, even though such information was available prior to the publication of his article.
Zahn states that Walpin "Walpin dared to push for action against the St. HOPE Academy program – run by Obama supporter and former NBA star Kevin Johnson – which had misappropriated hundreds of thousands of dollars in federal AmeriCorps funds." But there's more to the story that Zahn doesn't tell. According to Talking Points Memo:
- Later that month, Walpin, on behalf of CNCS, released the findings of the federal probe, which it appears he had led. Walpin found that St. HOPE had improperly used hundreds of thousands of dollars in grant money, by using AmeriCorps volunteers to run errands for Johnson, wash his car, and do political work relating to a local school board race. Saying he had found "potential criminal violations," Walpin recommended that while the US attorney's office's investigation was ongoing, Johnson and another St. HOPE official be barred from receiving federal money. But as the Bee would later note in an editorial, "Walpin decided to act before any legal body determined whether irregularities in the administration of grants from 2004-2007 reflected inadvertent errors and ignorance of regulations or actual fraud."
- Nonetheless, days later, a "debarment official" at CNCS followed up on Walpin's recommendation, taking the rare step of issuing a letter suspending Johnson and the other official from receiving federal funds. Walpin touted the news in "huge red headlines" on his IG website, according to the Bee.
- The Bee would later find that, since its inception in 1994, the NCSC had suspended only two other organizations and three other people, and that the irregularities at St. HOPE were similar to those found at other nonprofits that were not suspended.
- Johnson's camp called the findings "relatively minor issues," and called Walpin, who was appointed to his post by President Bush, a "right-wing Republican." Johnson's campaign cited a 2005 incident in which Walpin had introduced Mitt Romney at a meeting of the conservative Federalist Society -- on whose board Walpin sits -- by saying that Romney served as governor of a state, Massachusetts, run by the "modern-day KKK ... the Kennedy-Kerry Klan."
So here's what it sounds like: Johnson and his non-profit ran a very loose operation, which deserved some kind of sanction. But Walpin's action -- in publicly suggesting, without much apparent evidence, that Johnson might have committed a crime, and having Johnson barred from receiving federal funds, ultimately jeopardizing the fortunes of the city as a whole after Johnson became mayor -- was out of all proportion to the wrongdoing.
ABC's Jake Tapper further reports that the U.S. Attorney's office through which Walpin's charges would have been filed found that Walpin withheld exculapory information from the office -- in the office's words, Walpin "overstepped his authority by electing to provide my office with selective information and withholding other potentially significant information at the expense of determining the truth" -- and made pronouncements in the media before discussing them with the office, thus "hindering our investigation and handling of this matter."
Walpin's actions, Tapper reports, "repeatedly offended officials of the US Attorney's office, to the point that the Republican-appointee in the US Attorney's office filed an official complain[t] aginst the Republican-appointed Inspector General."
Zahn does not tell his readers the details of the U.S. attorney's complaints, but he wrote that Walpin "pointed out that the inspector general has not been found guilty of any misconduct, and the charges are disputed." Nor does Zahn report the important fact that Walpin is a Republican, as is the U.S. attorney who complained about him.
Remember that WND has a history of lying and misleading about Obama, so expect Zahn to behave just like Walpin and withhold exculpatory information.
WND Ignores Birther's Prayer for Obama's Death Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily has already dismissed the alleged shooter of George Tiller as mentally ill and the alleged shooter of a guard at the Holocaust Museum as a liberal. How will it address the issue of someone praying for the death of President Obama?
Former Southern Baptist Convention official Wiley Drake told radio host Alan Colmes last week that he's using "imprecatory prayer" to pray for the death of the "usurper that is in the White House," Barack Obama.
WND loves Wiley Drake -- he's one of the people involved in the Obama birth certificate conspiracy as a plaintiff with Alan Keyes in one lawsuit on the issue. He has also endorsed preacher David Wilkerson's prediction of an "earth-shattering calamity" -- "riots and blazing fires" in New York City and across the East Coast -- in the near future. WND has also endorsed Drake's call of "imprecatory prayer" in begging God to rain on Obama's acceptance speech at the 2008 Democratic National Convention. (It didn't work.)
But curiously, WND has not reported Drake's death threat on Obama. Why?
As we've noted, WND has a habit of refusing to tell its readers facts that confict with its right-wing agenda. It's not good for right-wingers to be so overt about their hatred as Drake, so WND will send this down the memory hole, just as it did any evidence that Tiller's alleged killer, Scott Roeder, had closer ties to Operation Rescue that WND wants to admit, or any of Randall Terry's less-than-concilatory statements on Tiller's death.
Because Drake went beyond WND's agenda, it seems WND will pretend he never said it at all.
Noel Sheppard, in defending Rush Limbaugh against a claim that he once portrayed Chelsea Clinton as the "White House dog," used a June 12 NewsBusters post to repeat another blog post that purports to depict the incident as a mistake and a misunderstanding and insisting that Limbaugh profusely apologized at the time.
What's lacking, though, is any actual evidence to support the claim.
The blog Sheppard cited is called Lying Liar, which ought to be a warning sign (it largely centers on attacking Al Franken). It is anonymously written. The post Sheppard cited provides no outside links to back up the claims it makes.
Indeed, actual physical evidence to support Sheppard's version of events is sorely lacking -- even NewsBusters' parent organization, the Media Research Center, has never ventured to defend Limbaugh in such a way. The only direct reference to the incident that we could find in the MRC archive came in a 2003 CyberAlert; that reference came in the course of quoting someone else, and no effort is made to highlight or correct the claim. That indicates to us that it believes the claim is true.
Limbaugh presumably has access to copies of the original broadcasts of his '90s TV show, on which the incident reportedly took place. All he has to do is post the video of the incident and the subsequent purported apologies, and that would clear his name.