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Wednesday, July 1, 2009
Aaron Klein Labeling Aversion Watch
Topic: WorldNetDaily

We've long documented Aaron Klein's aversion to labeling right-wingers as right-wingers. That aversion shines through once more in a June 30 WorldNetDaily article.

In it, Klein asserts that Israel's Kadima party "is considered a "centrist" party politically, although in reality its politics are leftist." He then states that Kadima "supports a Palestinian state and under Prime Minister Ehud Olmert engaged in negotiations with the Palestinians that reportedly included the willingness to relinquish sections of Jerusalem and 94 percent of the West Bank." But he doesn't explain why such a stand is "leftist."

By contrast, Klein states that the Likud Party "states it stands against giving up Jerusalem. Likud officials also say they are against halting Jewish construction in the strategic West Bank." If Likud supports the opposite of what Kadima does, then that means Likud must be the opposite of Kadima's as well -- that is, right-wing. But Klein never states Likud's political orientation -- the words "right-wing" or "conservative" appear nowhere in his article.

The article's central claim is the kind of hollow attack thatKlein has been peddling lately. Klein purports to quote "top minister in the Israeli government"as saying that "It seems there is a coordinated assault between the U.S. and some European countries to remove Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and his party and to replace them with the Kadima party."But the minister is anonymous ("due to possible political fallout from his comments," Klein claims) and, by Klein's own admission, "does not have any proof of possible U.S.-European collusion to influence the composition of the Israeli government."

In keeping with the Likud labeling aversion, Klein also curiously fails to even mention the name of the party Lieberman belongs to (Yisrael Beiteinu), let alone its political orientation (right-wing).

WND's headline writers, however, betrayed Klein's aversion. The article's subhead reads: "Top minister claims aim is to replace right-wing coalition in Jerusalem."

Posted by Terry K. at 9:25 AM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, July 1, 2009 12:37 PM EDT
MRC Ignores Full Story of 'Suppressed' Report
Topic: Media Research Center

Various Media Research Center outlets have touted claims that the Environmental Protection Agency suppressed a report by an EPA researcher that criticized the idea of global warming. But these outlets aren't telling the whole story.

A June 30 article by Christopher Neefus repeats the claims made by Alan Carlin, whom he describes only as a "career professional" -- that "raised questions about the validity of the agency's conclusions that carbon emissions are a cause of global warming and a danger to human health." But Carlin has no demonstrated expertise in climate science -- indeed, he doesn't appear to be a scientist. According to his bio, he holds degrees in physics and economics.

Neefus also uncritically repeats a claim from Carlin's report that  "Global temperatures have declined for 11 straight years." That's false -- annual global average temperatures have both risen and fallen over the past 11 years, and most climate scientists not on the take from oil companies reject the idea that those temperatures are any indication that global warming is slowing or does not exist.

Neefus' bias is evident in the way his article was structured -- the EPA was not permitted to respond to the claim until the final four paragraphs of his 36-paragraph article.

NewsBusters has also been enthusiastic about promoting Carlin's claims. Noel Sheppard, in a June 28 post, copied part of a article on Carlin -- but not the part where the EPA stated that "Claims that this individual’s opinions were not considered or studied are entirely false."

A June 30 NewsBusters post by Sam Theodosopoulos similarly treated Carlin as trustworthy by failing to note that the EPA disputes Carlin's version of events.

UPDATE: Also missing from these MRC reports is a critique of Carlin's study from an actual climatologist:

One can see a number of basic flaws here; the complete lack of appreciation of the importance of natural variability on short time scales, the common but erroneous belief that any attribution of past climate change to solar or other forcing means that CO2 has no radiative effect, and a hopeless lack of familiarity of the basic science of detection and attribution.


So in summary, what we have is a ragbag collection of un-peer reviewed web pages, an unhealthy dose of sunstroke, a dash of astrology and more cherries than you can poke a cocktail stick at. 

Meanwhile, Carlin himself tells TPM that he put together the report in just four days and that "I didn't have time to fix all the problems -- and they still aren't fixed."

Posted by Terry K. at 1:55 AM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, July 1, 2009 11:21 AM EDT
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Ruddy's Revisionist Take on 2008 Election
Topic: Newsmax

In a fawning June 28 Newsmax profile of John McCain ("John McCain is back — and he's in a fighting mood! The Arizona senator looked even younger and fitter than during his recent presidential campaign when I caught him last week on C-SPAN"), Christopher Ruddy offers up a revisionist view of the 2008 presidential campaign that leaves out certain inconvenient facts.

Ruddy writes:

In September, the McCain-Palin ticket was narrowly ahead in the polls. Then the roof caved in. The Bush administration announced that the entire U.S. and global economy was on the verge of collapsing. Bush requested a $1 trillion blank check to bail out the banks. McCain's campaign was doomed.

In blaming Bush for McCain's defeat, Ruddy fails to note McCain's own actions regarding the financial crisis. He first reacted by asserting that "the fundamentals of our economy are strong" -- a dubious claim that his later redefinition of "fundamentals" didn't improve -- then suspended his campaign to return to Washington and deal with the crisis. That move that backfired when 1) McCain made no apparent contribution to solving it, and 2) McCain bailed out on a scheduled appearance with David Letterman in announcing his campaign suspension, only to appear with Katie Couric at the time he told Letterman he was heading to the airport to go to Washington, which resulted in days of mockery by Letterman. (Plus, his campaign wasn't exactly suspended.)

Ruddy then asserted: "Despite carrying George W. Bush’s political baggage and unpopularity, McCain did better than expected — Barack Obama won 52.9 percent of the vote rather than the landslide numbers many had predicted." That comports with Newsmax's previous attempts to downplay the meaning and magnitude of Obama's victory; by contrast, when President Bush won re-election in 2004 with 51 percent of the vote, Ruddy asserted that "the American people voted decisively to re-elect President Bush."

Posted by Terry K. at 3:08 PM EDT
AIM Sneers At Gay Event In White House
Topic: Accuracy in Media

In a June 30 Accuracy in Media blog post, Don Irvine noted a report on President Obama hosting "the first ever Pride month celebration at the White House," which he claimed was an attempt "to repair relations with gays and lesbians." Irvine then sneeringly added: "Maybe next he can repaint the White House a nice shade of pink and hang the rainbow flag in front tos how his commitment to the gay cause."

Remember that AIM employs Cliff Kincaid, who thinks homosexuals should be "condemned just as tobacco companies are condemned for trying to get them to smoke" and is appalled that Rachel Maddow, "a lesbian with hair so short that she looks like a man," is even allowed on TV, let alone have her own show. so it appears that AIM's hostility to homosexuality comes straight from the top.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:30 AM EDT
Examiner Cites Dubious Medical Group
Topic: Washington Examiner

A June 28 Washington Examiner editorial cites Dr. Jane Orient, executive director of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, to support the editorial's claim that "Obamacare will make it even harder to get a doctor's appointment without a lengthy wait." But the Examiner fails to note AAPS and Orient's history of out-of-the-mainstream views.

The editorial states that "Since a third of all Medicare patients already have trouble finding a doctor to treat them, under Obamacare those waiting lines will be very, very long indeed," but it doesn't note that AAPS is actively working to exacerbate that shortage by encouraging doctors to quit Medicare (as we've noted).

Orient and AAPS have a history of aligning with fringe views over the years, from opposing mandatory vaccinations of children to supporting doctors who prescribe obscenely high doses of opiate painkillers to patients to promoting conspiracies over the death of Vince Foster.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:17 AM EDT
Cashill Still Can't Stop Peddling Obama-Ayers Conspiracy Theory
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Via Salon (via Wonkette), we learn that Jack Cashill has still not given up on his loopy conspiracy theory that William Ayers ghost-wrote Barack Obama's book "Dreams From My Father." In a June 28 American Thinker article, Cashill proclaimed he had new evidence that "should dispel the doubts of all but the willfully blind that Ayers played a substantial role, likely the primary role, in the writing of Dreams."

As before, when Cashill's smoking gun was a purported shared affinity for nautical references between Obama and Ayers, this so-called evidence is less than compelling. The smoking gunthis time centers around both authors quoting the same Carl Sandburg poem about Chicago.

There's other stuff about anonymous helpers and "759 striking similarities" and "birds of paradise" and "bamboo sticks," but Cashill demonstrated long ago that he's too conspiracy-minded, and proven wrong about said conspiracies, to be trusted.

As Salon notes, "by Cashill's standards, Dreams From My Father was also ghost-written by Paul Krugman, Ezra Pound, Allen Ginsberg and the 1967 Illinois Commission on Automation and Technological Progress, among many others."

Posted by Terry K. at 12:06 AM EDT
Monday, June 29, 2009
Caruba Baselessly Asserts Obama Was Born In Kenya

Alan Caruba declares in his June 29 column, published by and Accuracy in Media:

July 4th is a good day to demand that President Barack Hussein Obama—born in Mombassa, Kenya, raised in Indonesia, and leaving no paper trail in America—resign before he does further harm to all Americans, to the American dream, and to the hope of freedom in the hearts of men and women everywhere in the world.

As you might imagine, Caruba offers no supporting evidence whatsoeverfor his assertion that Obama was "born in Mombassa, Kenya." If he's relying on the claim purportedly made by Obama's grandmother, that's a lie.

The AIM version of Caruba's column tries to softens the claim but only makes it nonsensical by adding "if he really was" before "born in Mombassa, Kenya." Still, neither that nor the Family Security Matters version of Caruba's column that also includes the softer version offers any evidence to back up the claim.

Posted by Terry K. at 4:52 PM EDT
Pat Boone, Birther
Topic: WorldNetDaily

In  his June 27 column published at WorldNetDaily and Newsmax, Pat Boone joins the birther conspiracy by repeating discredited claims.

Boone wrote of the birth certificate released by the Obama campaign: "Some found the document, which does not list the hospital of birth or attending physician, to be fake." In fact, has "seen, touched, examined and photographed" the certificate and declared to the authentic -- a claim that has not been credibly contradicted. Further, WorldNetDaily itself has declared the certificate to be "authenti" -- a claim it has never retracted.

Boone also asserted that "some reported seeing a videotaped proclamation by his paternal step-grandmother that she was in the delivery room and saw Barack H. Obama born in Mombasa, in what is now Kenya!" As we've detailed, the claim that Sarah Obama made such an assertion is bogus.

Boone also forwards some baseless theorizing by the right-wing United States Justice Foundation that Obama's mother was "about to have her child in Kenya, had booked a flight to Hawaii but was prohibited from flying because delivery was so imminent." Boone (or the USJF, for that matter) offers any evidence to back up this claim.

And that's pretty much it -- discredited claims and baseless right-wing conspiracy-mongering. That's all Pat Boone has to offer. Sad, isn't it?

UPDATE: The Washington Independent and Salon weigh in.

Posted by Terry K. at 4:34 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, June 29, 2009 10:09 PM EDT
Newsmax's Perry: Obama Ain't Got No Class
Topic: Newsmax

In his June 29 Newsmax column, John L. Perry declares that President Obama has no class. His proof: Just look at the guy!

No, really -- that's it. Perry offers no specific examples but instead speaks in generalities, insisting that "It’s a bit like Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart’s celebrated dictum non-defining hard-core pornography: 'I know it when I see it.'" What Perry purports to be his evidence also lacks specifics. Among them:

  • The way he walks, the way he talks, the way he looks down his nose.
  • The way he hasn’t learned to tie a four-in-hand necktie like the men do.
  • The haughty way he fakes erudition off his teleprompter screens and proffers profundities on subjects in which he lacks credentials.
  • The way he behaves not only as if it’s all about him but also as if he’s all about all that is. 

Yes, Perry really did say that the fact Obama occasionally doesn't wear a tie is incontrovertible evidence not only that he has no class, but that he also can't tie a tie. Nice fit of Obama Derangement Syndrome there, John.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:48 PM EDT
Why Isn't WND Cutting A Check to Obama's Grandmother?
Topic: WorldNetDaily

So Joseph Farah is offering "a $10,000 reward to anyone who can prove he or she was present at the birth of Barack Obama." So why hasn't he sent one to Sarah Obama?

As we've noted, WorldNetDaily has repeatedly asserted that Sarah Obama, Barack Obama's paternal grandmother, witnessed Barack's birth in Kenya. Even the article touting Farah's reward makes that claim.

If Sarah Obama's claim is good enough for WND news stories, why isn't Jerome Corsi making another trip to Kenya to personally hand over a wad of cash to Sarah Obama? Because, it seems, that Farah has a higher standard of accuracy when his own money (as far as we know) is on the line as opposed to what's left of WND's journalistic reputation.

The article goes on to state:

To collect the reward, the subject must:

1. Agree to an interview with WND journalists;

2. Provide persuasive evidence, such as pictures, documents or verifiable details;

3. Agree to a polygraph test.

Interesting that Farah and WND is demanding such documentation only now. The subext here is that WND is tacitly admitting that it can't document Sarah Obama's purported claim.

Of course, that's because it's not true at all. As we've detailed, the claim rests on a selectively edited transcript and bad translators.

If WND can't prove Sarah Obama's purported claim to the point that it will pay her $10,000, why does it repeatedly assert that she made such a claim?

That WND still reports it anyway is just more evidence of Farah's and WND's journalistic and moral bankruptcy.

Posted by Terry K. at 7:05 AM EDT
Washington's Latest Rant: 'Iran Has Come to America'
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Chronic Obama Derangement Syndrome sufferer Ellis Washington brings the crazy once more in his June 27 WorldNetDaily column:

I am struck by the dichotomies between their righteous indignation over the sham elections versus America's indifference and apathy concerning our own stolen elections six months ago by Obama (who's most likely not even a natural born citizen), the Democrat Party and the government-controlled media. Other than hundreds of "tea parties" that broke out in cities and towns across America to memorialize the Boston Tea Party of December 16, 1773, there have been no mass demonstrations in Washington, D.C., in front of the White House expressing outrage that 62.7 million voters, 54 percent of the voting population willfully elected a neo-Marxist with fascist tendencies as president of the United States.


Obama is enslaved by his neo-Marxist, socialist ideology, which hates American exceptionalism, or the idea that America, by her unique history, religious traditions and Constitution is better than other countries possessing inferior historical and political traditions.

Washington goes on to whine that "Iran has come to America," citing a case where "a federal judge has recently upheld a decision by festival organizers in Dearborn, which is about 30 percent Muslim, to ban a Christian ministry from handing out religious tracts on public sidewalks." Washington added: "If America wasn't already a benign dictatorship, Congress would have immediately drawn up articles of impeachment against this renegade judge for so blatantly abridging freedom of religion and freedom of association protected by the First Amendment."

Washington, unfortunately, got his information from WND. He links to a June 19 WND article by Bob Unruh on the issue. Washington leaves out numerous facts in his reference to the incident, making it sound much worse than it is. The ban applies only to streets occupied by an upcoming Arab festival, and the Christian ministry would still be permitted to hand out its tracts, just in a designated area. There is no abridgement of "freedom of religion and freedom of association protected by the First Amendment."

Further, both Unruh and Washington failed to note, as the Detroit Free Press did, that Dearborn officials had been working with the groups to accomodate them, that thecity was never notified of the lawsuit when it was filed by right-wing legal group Thomas More Legal Center, and that the city views the controversy as a publicity stunt.

Washington also notes a letter the Obama administration reportedly sent to Ayatollah Khamenei prior to the election that laid out the prospect of "cooperation in regional and bilateral relations." That, of course, set Washington off on another rant:

After this letter Obama sent to the ayatollah is fully vetted, I'm sure it will become clear that much in the same way as the 1938 Munich Treaty between Neville Chamberlain and Hitler lit the fuse for World War II and the Nazi genocide of 6 million Jews in the Holocaust, so we will soon learn that Obama's appeasement letter to the ayatollah gave Iran the green light to steal the presidential election, brutally crush all political dissent and develop nuclear weapons with impunity to "wipe Israel off the map."

Only in the fevered mind of Washington can a letter calling for "cooperation in regional and bilateral relations" be the same thing as "appeasement" and giving Iran "the green light to steal the presidential election." 

What is Washington smoking? 'Cause we'd like to try some of that.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:11 AM EDT
Sunday, June 28, 2009
CNS Misleads Inhofe on Miranda Rights

A June 26 video by Bridget Miller features Miller asking Republican Sen. James Inhofe: "The Obama administration has been reading Miranda rights to captured terrorists in Afghanistan before the CIA can interrogate them. Is this the right thing to do?"

But Miller, as CNS reporter Edwin Mora before her, makes no mention of the fact that the policy of Mirandizing some captured detainees in Afghanistan actually began under the Bush administration.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:02 PM EDT
Another Unfunny Anti-Obama Rant From Jackie Mason
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Jackie Mason unleashes yet another unfunny anti-Obama rant in a June 25 WorldNetDaily video, accusing him of not speaking forcefully enough about.

We should treat them if they are our own children, our own family, and we should fight for them. If somebody was killing your own children, would you worry about how the enemy or the murderers are gonna interperet it, what they murderers are gonna claim? Or would worry more about saving your children? These are the children of every American in the world, of every freedom-loving person in the world. Our job is to save them by telling them we're behind them and we're encouraging them. And stop using phony, stupid excuses about what the Iranians would say. What do you think Hitler would say? Would we care what he says? Would we stop fighting Hitler because we worried what he would say? This is sickening.

Barack Obama ought to be told, "Say something. Open your mouth and don't make these lame statements. Tell them what you believe in." Otherwise, yous houldn't have any right to even be a president of a free country.

Mason doesn't mention that the man around whom those "freedom-loving" Iranian protesters are rallying is apparently a founder of Hezbollah and allegedly had a hand in the bombings of U.S. Marines and a U.S. embassy, among others, in the 1980s. Does Mason really think America should rush to enthusiastically support such a man?

That's why Mason is ranting in front of a camera for a far-right website instead of working as a diplomat -- or, it seems, engaging in his supposed day job as a comedian.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:06 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, June 28, 2009 1:15 PM EDT
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 does mock 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.

They do, however, rewrite right-wing activist groups' 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 Orly Taitz?

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.

Which puts WND in league with the likes of Scott Roeder and James von Brunn.

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, WND tells lies 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. 

And, again, lying about it.

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.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:52 AM EDT
Saturday, June 27, 2009
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."

Posted by Terry K. at 10:36 AM EDT

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