An Open Response To An Open Letter Topic: WorldNetDaily
A June 26 "open letter" by WorldNetDaily's David Kupelian -- ultimately begging for money from its readers, even though it's a for-profit operation -- starts off with your usual right-wing blather about the "liberal media," with special emphasis on complaining about how some on cable news were "making on-air jokes about oral sex" regarding the anti-Obama "tea party" rallies. That builds up to Kupelian's stirring defense of his employer:
At WND, we don't mock patriotic Americans trying to set their country right.
But WND doesmock and dishonestly attack anyone who dares to offer reasonable, fact-based criticism of WND.
We don't rewrite White House press releases and call it news.
We don't bow and scrape before President Obama or anyone else.
So what's that creepy little altar WND has set up before OrlyTaitz?
We don't pretend abortion is OK, or that same-sex marriage is good, or that global warming is "proven science," or that more government is the solution to all problems, or that Palestinian leaders wants peace, or that the Constitution is old-fashioned, or that the "Federal Reserve" is good for America.
In short, we're not politically correct and we have no sacred cows.
Except for WND's fellow right-wing travelers. Orly Taitz is one; a guy who served as a conduit for anti-abortion extremists is another.
Instead, we really do strive to tell the truth that Americans desperately need and deserve to hear.
Actually, WNDtellslies Americans do not deserve to hear from something purporting to be a "news" organization.
But what you might not realize is that what we do is very difficult. It isn't easy taking on the media elite, slaying the dragons of political correctness, bucking the tide of conventional wisdom, and constantly challenging tyranny, injustice and lies.
But how can you fight lies if you're the source of those lies?
For example, currently WND is the only news organization in the world that is vigorously pursuing the Obama eligibility story.
My point is this: If you believe, as Thomas Jefferson did, that "the only security of all is in a free press," and if you want to see major growth in WND's kind of courageous, watchdog reporting
What, exactly, is "courageous" about, for instance, repeatedly smearing President Obama as a Nazi? Most clear-thinking people would call that childish and cowardly.
I'm asking you to consider becoming a WND "subscriber."
But wait, you say, I thought WND was free. Yes, it is free, and will remain that way. However, here's what I'm getting at:
Traditionally, newspapers have relied not only on advertising, but also on reader subscriptions for financial support. But in the Internet age, we find we can deliver the news to far more people by keeping the service free. Does that mean we have to lose the needed subscription revenue? Not necessarily.
It's a time-honored tradition in the newspaper business that free newspapers ask for voluntary subscriptions.
Really? Can Kupelian point to any examples of this? We worked in newspapers for 17 years and have never heard of this "tradition."
As a rule, satisfied readers who depend on a free publication for their news don't mind paying a little bit for it.
That's why voluntary subscription donations have been the lifeblood of many "free" newspapers over the years – it's the honor system, you might say.
Again, can Kupelian offer any examples?
If you'd consider supporting WND with your "voluntary subscription," here are a couple of easy options:
1. Choose the amount you would like to donate for your voluntary monthly subscription payment and it will be deducted from your credit card on that same date each month. (Just call or e-mail WND if you ever want to cancel or change the amount.)
2. If you prefer, you can make a one-time voluntary subscription payment to WND.
3. You may also donate to WND's Legal Defense Fund, to help us battle the lawsuits and threats that always accompany honest journalism.
You mean the "honest journalism" legal defense fund that paid for seven years of WND's denying it published false claims about Clark Jones, before abruptly deciding that it did?
Thank you very much. All of us at WorldNetDaily deeply appreciate your support. It's truly what enables us to keep going. And I think you'll agree, with what's going on in America today, we need a vibrant, free press more than ever.
If Kupelian could point us to a news source that, unlike WND, didn't repeatedly tell lies to its readers, thus more closely fulfilling the constitutional mission of "a vibrant, free press," we'd sure appreciate it.
Waters Suggests NY Times Film Critic Endorses Stoning Topic: NewsBusters
In a June 26 TimesWatch item (and NewsBusters post), Clay Waters takes offense at New York Times film critic Stephen Holden's description of the new film "The Stoning of Soraya M." as "lurid torture-porn." But Waters doesn't offer an explanation of why it isn't. Given that the film's depiction of the stoning itself takes up a full 20 minutes (by Holden's estimation, a number Waters doesn't dispute), that would seem to fit the definition of "torture-porn," no?
After noting that "Holden generally likes politically activist movies, especially left-wing documentaries that take aim at politically correct targets like big business and heartland hicks" -- though Waters offers no evidence that Holden's favorable reviews of such movies is in any way linked to his personal political views, let alone offers any definitive knowledge of what Holden's actual personal political views are -- Waters then went on to say: "Holden found the movie didactic -- fair criticism, but one he usually fails to apply to movies whose message he approves of."
Huh? Is Waters saying that, by criticizing "Stoning," Holden is endorsing the stoning of innocent people?
And why, by the way, is Waters taking such offense at criticism at this particular movie? Because, as he notes, "Conservatives have embraced the movie." Unmentioned by Waters: "Stoning" was directed by Cyrus Nowrasteh, the screenwriter for the factually challenged (not that Waters and his MRC buddies will ever admit it) TV miniseries "The Path to 9/11."
It's time for Americans to consider a very scary possibility – that the president of the United States and the Congress are actually embarked on an intentional plan to destroy most everything that throughout history made the country great and unique.
Could it be that the sweeping, wholesale policy changes we have seen implemented and begun in the last six months are not just "mistakes" or the results of miscalculations? Could it be that the clear intent is to bring America down – and that those controlling America's political future know exactly what they are doing? Could it be that those holding the levers of power in Washington are not just ill-equipped for their jobs and making bad choices, but that they are determined to destroy America's economy and culture because they don't like it, never liked it and wish to see our nation operate more like the rest of the world?
CNS Avoids Ideological Label for Medical Group Topic: CNSNews.com
A June 26 CNSNews.com article by Pete Winn is entirely devoted to the ranting of "Dr. David McKalip of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons," who claims that a public option in health care reform -- which Winn describes as "a mandatory government insurance option" -- will cause doctors to "simply start migrating out of medicine." At no point does Winn identify the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons as a right-wing group with extreme and controversial positions on medicine.
As we've detailed, AAPS has promoted dubious links between abortion and breast cancer, bashed the idea of peer review, and even took the side of a doctor sentenced to prison for sparking an epidemic of drug abuse by prescribing patients literally thousands of painkillers a day. The AAPS even opposes Medicaid.
The AAPS' journal, which claims to have peer review, published an anti-immigrant screed by Madeleine Pelner Cosman falsely claiming that leprosy cases have dramatically increased due to immigration.
McKalip himself has opposed a Florida rule requiring hospitals to report how surgeons use antibiotics to prevent infections, complaining that it's a moved toward "socialized medicine."
A June 25 Newsmax article carries the headline, "Hoyer Blames Reagan for D.C. Metrorail Crash." But Steny Hoyer, the House majority leader, did no such thing.
As the article itself details -- cribbed from a CNSNews.com article reporting Hoyer's comments -- Hoyer merely stated that President Reagan opposed funding for mass transit during the 1980s, which Congress circumvented. CNS never claimed that Hoyer "blames" Reagan for the recent Metrorail crash.
Sarah Knoploh reacts in a June 25 NewsBusters post to the news that Rosie O'Donnell will launch a new show on satellite radio: "Given her history of making outlandish statements it’s quite hard to believe anyone gave O’Donnell a talk show."
Funny, we thought that a history of outlandish statements was precisely why someone gets a talk show. If that's now a disqualifying factor, will Knoploh advocate shutting down the likes of Rush Limbaugh and Michael Savage?
Examiner 'Corrects' Something That Wasn't False Topic: Washington Examiner
Via the Fired Up Missouri blog (via Media Matters), we learn that the Washington Examiner did a little scrubbing to an article on Mark Sanford's little marital scandal. In quoting Missouri congressman Roy Blunt opining on the Sanford affair, the Examiner originally noted that Blunt "is no stranger to scandal, having gone through an affair, a public divorce and remarriage under the scrutiny of the press." The Examiner later quietly expunged the reference to a Blunt "affair." When folks asked why, Examiner online community manager Charlie Spiering responded on Twitter: "its called a correction."
But Blunt's affair with the woman he married just six months after jettisoning the previous one is demonstrably true, so removing a reference to it is not "correcting" anything.
NewsBusters' Double Standard on Political Scandals Topic: NewsBusters
A June 25 NewsBusters post by Dave Pierre bashes the Los Angeles Times for reporting on Republican Mark Sanford's extramarital adventures when last year, a Times editor "forcefully instructed the staff not to report" on allegations of an affair involving Democrat John Edwards "until further notified." Pierre linked to a July 2008 NewsBusters post he wrote on the subject -- a post, as we noted at the time, made when the Edwards affair story was being pushed only by the National Enquirer ... and right-wing blogs like NewsBusters who don't treat the Enquirer with the same reverence when it reports on salacious stories involving Republicans.
By comparison, the Times was reporting on confirmation of Sanford's affair by Sanford himself -- a little more direct source than the type of people usually interviewed by the Enquirer.
Will WND Be A Party to Savage's Threat Against Media Matters? Topic: WorldNetDaily
So Michael Savage has vowed to post "full pictures and other pertinent information about" Media Matters employees on his website. That presumably includes us as well, being that we work there and everything.
It's pertinent to note that, as we first reported last year, Savage's website is hosted by WorldNetDaily -- which means if Savage follows through on his attempt at intimidation, WND will be a party to it and, thus, partially liable for any actions that result from it. Will WND allow Savage to use its servers to dish out such threats and intimidation?
Given how much WND editor Joseph Farah hates us for simply telling the truth about him and WND, we've have to guess yes.
UPDATE: Savage appears to have backed off his threat, now claiming he will only post publicly available information.
NewsBusters Offended That Obama Answered Questions He Was Asked Topic: NewsBusters
A June 25 NewsBusters post by Jeff Poor expresses annoyance that the majority of the time in an ABC special dedicated to asking President Obama questions about health care reform was used ... by Obama answering those questions. Poor even supplies a handy pie chart of the time breakdown:
Poor claims that Obama was "vaguely answering or not answering the questions asked of him" and that ABC "allowed him to dominate the program with long-winded and vague answers," but he provides no evidence that any of Obama's answers were "vague."
Corsi Still Lying About Obama Topic: WorldNetDaily
Jerome Corsi just can't stop telling lies about Obama.
Ina June 25 WorldNetDaily column, Corsi repeats an old claim that "Obama, with a donation of nearly $1 million, and a son of Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi were among the biggest contributors to Odinga's 2007 presidential campaign, according to an internal document obtained by WND in Kenya." But as we've previously detailed, the document "obtained by WND in Kenya" is almost assuredly not original; it appears to be a recreation of a document cited by PolitiFact in debunking the claim of Obama fundraising for Odinga several months before Corsi's trip to Kenya. Corsi has never responded to PolitiFact's debunking, let alone offer any evidence to cast doubt on it.
Corsi also stated that "when then-Sen. Obama visited Kenya in 2006, the administration of President [Mwai] Kibaki objected that [Raila] Odinga was using Obama's visit to win votes. Obama's repeated public appearances with Odinga and the senator's almost daily criticism of the Kigaki [sic] government added to the administration's objections." But Corsi leaves out certain inconvenient facts:
Contrary to Corsi's claim of "Obama's repeated public appearances with Odinga," the Huffington Post reported that the only joint appearance by the two reported by Corsi in his Obama-bashing book of last year was an Obama speech in which Odinga was standing nearby.
While Obama did criticize the Kibaki government, he had a legitimate reason for doing so. According to The Hill: "Obama all-out criticized the Kibaki government for corruption. Chicago TV crews complained that they had to pay bribes at the Nairobi airport to get their equipment into the country. Obama took their complaint to Kibaki, who ordered a 'refund,' sending envelopes stuffed with dollars and Kenyan shillings back to the crews." Does Corsi think Obama should have stayed silent about such blatant corruption? The Huffington Post noted that "Corsi seems to be arguing that there's no corruption in Kenya, and the shakedown fees reported by a local Chicago news team to enter Kenya were simply a miscommunication."
Given WND's eagerness to smear and lie about Obama, it's no surprise that Corsi is being a loyal employee by joining in the action.
A June 24 CNSNews.com article by Christopher Neefus uncritically quotes Republican pollster Kellyanne Conway (whom Neefus fails to identify as a Republican pollster, something CNS has failed to do in the past) criticizing a New York Times/CBS News poll finding a little too much support for a public health insurance option than right-wing organizations would like to see, claiming that the poll's breakdown of 48 percent of respondents who said had voted for Barack Obama, versus 25 percent for McCain, means that, in Neefus' words, "Had those results been reflected in the November presidential election, Obama would have garnered 66 percent of the vote to McCain’s 34 percent." Conway is quoted as adding, "Was the vote 66-34? You tell me."
In fact, as we've already pointed out when CNS sister organization NewsBusters made the same bogus claim, this ignores the 27 percent of respondents who said they didn't vote, said they voted for someone else, or refused to say for whom they voted -- which means that the breakdown cannot be 66-34.
I am convinced the more I observe our president that Obama and his fascist legions are actually pleased with the mounting chaos destabilizing the civilized world. The simmering revolution in Iran is just the most recent incarnation. It's all Chaos Theory, baby! – and the more chaos the better, because it gives Obama the pretext to "do something" to "fix" the problems. In the meantime, Obama's remedies only exacerbate existential domestic and geopolitical problems, which only starts the Chaos Theory cycle anew.
-- Ellis Washington, June 24 WorldNetDaily column.
Bonus points to Washington for the reference to "conservative intellectual Ann Coulter."
Mitchell wears a "Homosexuals Are So Gay" T-shirt through the video, which he delcares is "hate crimes compatible." He then rants about homosexuals stealing the word "gay":
Originally, the word "gay" meant happy or joyful. So naturally, liberals hated it. Homosexuals took the word and redefined it so that it would mean homosexual intercourse. I guess they were trying to get people to associate that with flying a kite or something. Now, when somebody says, "The movie was totally gay," they don't mean that it was happy or homosexual -- they mean it was lame.
Mitchell thus takes the side of former Washington Times managing editor (and white supremacist) Francis Coombs, who claimed that the Times' former ban on "gay" was based on "preservation of the language."
Mitchell then claims: Look, if you want to understand the gay community, heart and soul, don't watch 'Will and Grace'; Go to a gay parade. And don't bring the kids." If that's true, then it can be reasonably argued in response that if you want to understand the birther movement, heart and soul, don't read WorldNetDaily (or watch Molotov Mitchell); check out James von Brunn. And don't bring the kids.
Mitchell concludes, amid on-screen text stating, "Has gay culture earned our respect?": "People have to earn respect, no matter who they are. And breaking the records for drug abuse, infidelity and suicide won't make you popular. Getting the government to punish people who don't like you doesn't help either. The people I respect are the ones who left the gay lifestyle. By leaving that demographic, you may not be protected by hate-crimes legislation, but your life expectancy just jumped by 20 years."
Mitchell sourced the life expectancy claim to the International Journal of Epidemiology, but it's outdated. The study was published in 1997 and examined data "obtained for a large Canadian urban centre from 1987 to 1992," and the life expetcancy differential was specifically attributed to losses "due to HIV/AIDS." But the first antiretroviral drung to treat HIV was introduced only in 1987 and was only partly effective and thus can be argued to have nosignificant effect on mortality rates during the time period of the study. It was not until the mid-1990s -- well outside the window of the study -- that more effective treatments became available.
In other words, Mitchell is trying to convince you that data from 20 years ago can support a claim made today. He's wrong.
Mitchell also scattered negative stereotypical images of gays throughout his video:
Again, by Mitchell's own logic, we can claim that he and James von Brunn are exactly the same. Or he and Scott Roeder.
Graham: Focus on Sanford's Disappearance A Media Conspiracy Topic: NewsBusters
A June 24 NewsBusters post by Tim Graham complained that a Washington Post article on the mysterious disappearance of South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford "insist[ed] that Sanford was a laughingstock, a man who went missing because he was strange and unpopular for resisting the appeal of the Obama 'stimulus.'" Graham added: "It’s quite transparent that the Washington Post would like nothing better than to turn the potential Republican field against Obama in 2012 into a pack of laughingstocks and insure that their hero faces only nominal opposition in his bid for re-election."
Really? Does Graham really think that any media criticism of Sanford is part of a conspiracy to dash Sanford's presidential aspirations? Does he not think that a sitting governor who disappears for days without letting anyone know where he went (Argentina?) should be criticized for his actions?Does Graham really think that the media is following the same template as the 1972 Nixon campaign in creating a preferred opponent for Obama, even though the 2012 election is well over three years away? Is Graham really that paranoid?
Would Graham still feel the same way were Sanford not a Republican? We suspect not. Therefore, Graham's complaints can be dismissed as partisan bias and paranoia.