Examiner Misleads on Train Station Money Topic: Washington Examiner
A July 10 "Daily Outrage" item (print only) in the Washington Examiner attacked stimulus money going "to refurbish a passenger train station in Elizabethtown, a small town in Lancaster County, Pa." because it "has been abandoned for the past 30 years."
In fact, as Media Matters notes, while the station building is closed for 30 years, the station's platform is open and serving passengers -- more than 80,000 a year. Further, the station has reportedly nearly doubled its number of passengers since 2003-2004 and, according to the Pennsylvania State Department of Transportation, has had the highest increase in ridership in the past two years of any station along the Keystone corridor.
The Examiner failed to mention those facts, which contradict its depiction of the station renovation as a waste of money. The Examiner apparently cribbed its attack from a report issued by Republican Sen. Tom Coburn.
Here's a scan of the item as it appeared in the Examiner:
O'Leary Baselessly Attacks NYT Poll, Puffs His Own Topic: WorldNetDaily
Brad O'Leary uses his July 10 WorldNetDaily column to attack a New York Times poll he didn't like -- and, of course, to promote his own skewed polls.
O'Leary asserts that the Times"rigged the poll much like the Ayatollah rigged the Iranian election," claiming that it "heavily weighted the poll in favor of Obama, showing the gap between his personal approval rating and the public's approval of his initiatives to be much smaller than it actually is." O'Leary also complained that the poll "surveyed twice as many Obama voters than McCain voters, as well as a significant number of non-voters. ... Sixteen percent of those surveyed by the Times are not even registered to vote."
By comparison, O'Leary asserted, "the O'Leary/Zogby poll used an honest and accurate sampling method by only surveying Americans who voted in the 2008 presidential election, and weighting that sample to reflect the actual outcome of the election."
O'Leary's attack on the Times poll -- portraying it as "rigged" and "portrait of a mythical America that doesn't exist," while puffing up his own as "honest and accurate" -- is without substance. O'Leary doesn't explain why non-voters are somehow less qualifed to offer opinions on presidential policies -- last time we checked, they were American citizens and subject to all the same regulations as voting Americans.
The Times' use of a different methodology than O'Leary doesn't make its results any less valid. As Janet Elder, the Times' editor for news surveys and election analysis, said in a July 24 CNS article, "Although some polling organizations do, The New York Times/CBS News poll does not weight by party ID. ... We weight by characteristics that are known from census data." O'Leary took the cop-out that "the Times failed to disclose the make-up of its sample in the article it published that detailed the poll's results" -- even though it could have been found by simple Googling -- thus avoiding having to respond to the Times poll's methodology.
Further, as Slate points out, it's highly likely that the large disparity between declared Obama voters and declared McCain voters in the Times poll is because people aren't telling the truth to pollsters because they want to be on the side of the winning candidate (and don't want to be associated with a loser like McCain):
What gives? Are people really lying about having voted for Obama?
Yes, they are. It's common for more people to claim they voted for a president than actually did. In the 1930s, George Gallup found that Franklin Delano Roosevelt was more popular in post-election polls than he was on Election Day. The same was true after the 2000 election, in which George W. Bush lost the popular vote. By 2004, polls showed Bush having won in a landslide.
The main explanation for the gap, say pollsters, is people who didn't vote at all saying they did. These people tend to say they picked the winning candidate. Just look at the Times and Journal polls, where about 80 percent of respondents said they voted in the 2008 election. In fact, turnout was about 61 percent. (A 20 percent gap is pretty standard.) Pollsters attribute the disparity to the social discomfort of having to admit, even to a stranger on the phone, that you didn't vote. Exacerbating the discomfort is the fact that the question "Who did you vote for?" usually comes at the end of a survey—after you've just spent 30 minutes telling the pollster what you think of Obama. What are you going to do, admit you never voted?
Another reason is forgetfulness. If you've read this far, you're probably pretty interested in politics, and maybe you have indelible memories of Election Day 2008 seared into your hippocampus for all time. But most Americans don't pay close attention to politics. Plus, people do a poor job of reporting past behaviors. Studies show that patients have a hard time remembering when they visited the doctor, let alone what their doctor told them. Same with voting. Say you normally vote but can't quite remember whether you voted in the most recent election. You might well say you did. And because you like how Obama's doing so far, you figure you probably did vote for him.
Then there's the group of McCain voters that either regrets their pick or would rather not admit it to a pollster. They might feign forgetfulness, which would account for the 7 percent of respondents who say they voted for "someone else" or won't say for whom. Or they might just say they picked Obama. But outright dishonesty probably accounts for little of the gap.
O'Leary then offered "a comparison of both the New York Times' and The O'Leary Report's findings on similarly asked poll questions." But as O'Leary surely knows, "similarly asked" does not mean the same thing as exactly asked; slight changes in wording can produce different responses. As we've detailed, the Zogby polls O'Leary pays for include questions tweaked to obtain the response he wants.
O'Leary largely fails to provide the questions specifically asked by both polls, and the one example he provides shows O'Leary's bias:
Both the Times and O'Leary/Zogby asked Americans similar questions regarding how large a role government should play in society.
The Times asked: "Which comes closer to your view: Government should do more to solve national problems, or Government is doing too many things better left to businesses and individuals?"
In the Times' manipulated sample, 34 percent think the government should do more, 56 percent think the government is doing too much, and 10 percent are unsure.
O'Leary/Zogby asked Americans whether they prefer "a system in which the public or the state have ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods," or "a system in which wealth, and the means of producing wealth are privately owned and controlled rather than state owned."
In O'Leary/Zogby's accurate sample, 70 percent prefer a private system, 17 percent prefer a state-run system, and 13 percent are unsure.
By using phrases like "means of production" and "state owned" -- phrases long used in reference to socialism and communism -- O'Leary is using language that is clearly designed to strike a negative subliminal response, predisposing respondents to reject that option. Thus, it can be argued that O'Leary's sample is not only not "accurate," it's just as "manipulated" as the Times poll he denigrates.
It's also worth noting that for as much as O'Leary complains about the Times' alleged failure to "disclose the full details behind its sampling method," at no point in his article does O'Leary offer a link to his own Zogby poll so we can examine the methodology and specific questions he asked for ourselves.
Mark Finkelstein, in a July 10 NewsBusters post, is upset that Ed Schultz, on his MSNBC show, "offered up an unpaid infomercial for GM's new Camaro. Most grotesque was Schultz's boast that the Camaro was outselling the Ford Mustang."
Finkelstein failed to mention that Schultz's "boast," however "grotesque" it may be, happens to be true.
Meanwhile... Topic: NewsBusters
We have a post up at Media Matters' County Fair blog noting that Tim Graham, in a July 9 NewsBusters post, makes a big deal out of reporters attending an off-the-record Fourth of July gathering at the White House but failing to mention that President Bush held an annual off-the-record barbecue for reporters at his Texas ranch during his presidency.
WND Wants Hospitals to Violate Obama's Privacy Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily has been frustrated in its attempts to get a Honolulu hospital to admit that Barack Obama was born there, due to federal privacy regulations prohibiting the release of patient information. So WND has done the next logical (for them) thing: attack the privacy law.
A July 9 WND article by Joe Kovacs declares that "Federal law regarding the release of health records is so restrictive and intimidating, U.S. hospitals could conceivably refuse to confirm or deny if Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler were born in their facility." Kovacs goes on to complain that "the protections remain in effect even after someone is deceased, so hospitals could remain silent about Obama's mother, Ann Dunham."
Why does WND want to violate Obama's rights? Does it hate him that much?
CNS' Lucas Still Taking Walpin's Side Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com vowed to "cover stories that are subject to the bias of omission and report on other news subject to bias by commission." CNS reporter Fred Lucas is fulfilling that mission, though perhaps not in the way the mission statement intended.
We've already noted how his report on a congressional committee report glossed over its partisan nature, failed to seek responses to it, and ignored that parts of the report appeared to contradict established facts. That's largely bias by omission.
Lucas' July 9 article on the case of ousted AmeriCorps inspector general Gerald Walpin, by contrast, is largely bias by commission:
His statement that "Obama fired Walpin in June, after Walpin’s probe showed that Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, an Obama supporter who ran the AmeriCorps-funded, non-profit St. Hope Academy misused more than $800,000 in AmeriCorps grants" falsely suggests a cause-effect relationship that has not beenproven to be factual.
Lucas demonstrates whose side he has taken in noting that the AmeriCorps officials "have sent the Senate committee documents intended to discredit Walpin." How does Lucas know that those officials "intend to discredit Walpin"? He doesn't -- he's trying to read minds, divining intent he has no way of actually quantifying.
Lucas engages in bias by omission here as well. He interviews Walpin and a congressman who supports him, but no Walpin critics. He references the Washington Post as his source for the claim about AmeriCorps officials are supplying "documents intended to discredit Walpin," but he doesn't inform his readers that the Post has also posted those documents online.
Further, as he has done before, Lucas failed to reference a letter by acting U.S. Attorney Lawrence Brown that accused Walpin of withholding exculpatory evidence from the attorney's office in the Johnson investigation, that Walpin made pronouncements to the media before discussing them with the attorney's office, and that Walpin's "actions were hindering our investigation and handling of this matter."
We thought CNS was supposed to counter the bias of other media, not create bias of its own.
Look how they never picked on Barack Obama. Barack Obama sat in the Senate for two years and never showed up. He took your money, the taxpayers' money, for literally nothing. When he was a state senator, he spent all his time looking for a job as a United States senator. As a United States senator, he spent all his time looking for the job as the presidency. He took your money for nothing, but nobody ever never criticized him. This is totally immoral and indecent. Could this happen in private industry?
He would have been sued, he would have been eliminated, he would have been destroyed if he tried this in private industry. But this immoral person who took a job and never showed up on the job and took everybody's taxpayers' money for nothing, nobody criticized him. They couldn't find the words to criticize, no matter what kind of piece of thievery that actually was. But Sarah Palin, who just did nothing wrong, is now considered the worst criminal of all time. Why? Because they're sick, lowlife, fraudulent people. They're fearful to such an extent that they can't tolerate her. They know she's going to do something that's going to beat them. They don't know how or why, but they can't face it. They fear it, they're panicking over it.They're terrorized by it to such an extent that they sound irrational and insane. And while they're condeming her, they sound nuts themselves. They sound like they belong in a sanitarium. They're irrational and hateful and sick, and you aought to be ashamed of yourself. You have no right to be in politics if you can't face a real opponent. You lowlife --
And the video clip abruptly ends. What insult is WND afraid to share with its readers?
CNS' Lucas Uncritically Repeats Report's Bogus Claims Topic: CNSNews.com
A July 8 CNSNews.com article by Fred Lucas repeats claims from a "congressional report" that "Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were the chief culprits in the housing crisis because they encouraged people who could not afford payments to borrow money," but Lucas waits until the fourth paragraph to reveal that the report came from "Republican members of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee." In other words, it's a biased report that committee Democrats did not sign off on. Lucas failed to solicit any reaction to the report, even though its claims appear to contradict established facts.
Lucas states that "claims in the report have long been advanced by conservatives, who argue that the Community Reinvestment Act and other federal programs fed the housing bubble that burst in 2007 and led to the economic downfall in 2008." In fact, housing experts have pointed out that most subprime loans were not made under the CRA.
Lucas also describes Democratic Rep. Barney Frank as having "fought against regulation of the two quasi-public mortgage giants." In fact, Frank made numerous efforts to enhance federal oversight of Fannie and Freddie.
We suspect that Lucas can't be bothered to do a more balanced follow-up, even though prominent conservative David Horowitz has denounced the Republicans' report as "factually wrong-headed" and having "ugly racial overtones."
NewsBusters, WND Mislead on Ginsburg Statement Topic: NewsBusters
A July 9 NewsBusters post by serial misinformer Tom Blumer falsely suggests that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg believes in eugenics by highlighting a statement she made in a New York Times interview that "at the time Roe [v. Wade] was decided, there was concern about population growth and particularly growth in populations that we don't want to have too many of." Blumer added: "Who is this 'we' Ginsburg refers to?"
Blumer does add the transcript of the relevant part of the interview in his post, which contradicts his suggestion by making clear that Ginsburg was not referring to herself regarding that belief.
WorldNetDaily similarly misleads on Ginsburg's comment with a July 8 article headlined "Ginsburg: I thought Roe was to rid undesirables." WND does include a fuller transcript that contradicts the headline.
Ellis Washington Thinks He's Emile Zola Topic: WorldNetDaily
Let's see -- Ellis Washington has already likened Michael Savage to Jesus and Prometheus. Where does Washington go from there?
Well, Washington has now decided that he's Emile Zola. Which means, of course, that Savage is Capt. Alfred Dreyfus. It also means that Washington spends his July 8 WorldNetDaily column throwing around the word "j'accuse" a lot.
But that's not all. Washington ventures into Jack Cashill territory and spins a pan-continental conspiracy to destroy the sainted Savage:
Britain's defensive and convoluted reply on the case of Michael Savage amounts to a non-denial denial. It smacks of conspiracy, cover-up, lies and collusion at the highest levels of the world's two most powerful governments.
Here is my theory on how the Obama administration colluded with Britain to blacklist Michael Savage:
Let us float a "Fairness Doctrine" trial balloon with our ally across the pond before we bring it home to America.
Let us pick a sacrificial lamb: a conservative of some notoriety, yet controversial with few friends in the state-run media or among his conservative peers.
Let us associate him with the most evil, irredeemable criminals on the planet.
And let us wait and watch with glee as his fellow conservatives lurch back into the shadows, shut their normally big yaps on this case and not come to Michael Savage's defense.
Why? Because big shot conservatives like Rush, Hannity, O'Reilly, Beck, Scarborough, Fox News and conservative think tanks are deftly afraid that they will be next to be blacklisted.
The Machiavellian plot of the British and U.S. government against Michael Savage, an American patriot and self-confessed Anglophile is really appalling.
Um, yeah. Needless to say, Washington has no evidence whatsoever of any of this.
Also needless to say, Washington's whole "j'accuse" framework is faulty. While Dreyfus was innocent of the allegations against him, Savage is quite guilty of the hate speech the British have accused him of making, and Washington's feeble aping of Zola doesn't change that.
In his July 8 WorldNetDaily video, Molotov Mitchell dismisses "wine research" and "Mormon cricket studies" as projects benefiting from the "trillions of dollars that's already been distributed through welfare" by the Obama administration.
Both items appear to be straight off John McCain's list of the "top 10 porkiest projects" in the omnibus spending bill passed by Congress in February (Mitchell doesn't mention, of course, that the bill included earmarks from both Republicans and Democrats). The first apparently refers to, as McCain put it, "$2.1 million for the Center for Grape Genetics in New York." But as one blogger points out, given that the wine industry in California alone is worth $20 billion a year, spending $2 million to assure the genetic safety of grape varieties seems like money fairly well spent.
The latter refers to McCain's citing of "$1 million for mormon cricket control in Utah." As Think Progress noted, Mormon crickets cause millions of dollars a year to crops in Western states. Given that cricket infestations cost Utah alone $22 million in crop damages in 2000, spending money to control the pests also seems like money well spent.
If Mitchell really was the "For the Record" guy he proclaims himself to be, he would have mentioned the cost of those two particular earmarks are mere rounding errors in the "trillions of dollars" he asserts is being misspent under Obama. But he's not.
Newsmax's Double Standard on Senatorial Temperament Topic: Newsmax
David Patten is not quite yet done slapping around Al Franken.
Following up a Newsmax article in which he tried to tie the new senator from Minnesota to ACORN -- a charge he had to admit he couldn't substantiate -- another July 6 article by Patten fervently expressed hope that Franken would make a gaffe as senator that Republicans can exploit.
Patten asserted that "Franken is the only senator to joke about helping terrorists assassinate a U.S. president, to openly marvel that his cocaine habit hadn’t led to addiction, and the only salon [sic] who angrily drops F-bombs during campaign fundraisers." He went on to rehash "incidents that don't bode well on Franken's resume," such as his "mouthy satire" and "vitriol," adding, "To conform to Senate decorum, Franken will have to overcome his penchant for getting personal. Senators avoid the acrimonious personal attacks that Franken appears to relish."
Patten's concern about Franken's temper reminds us of how Newsmax -- specifally, Patten's co-worker Ronald Kessler -- treated John McCain, who has a similar temper problem.
As we detailed, Kessler -- who creepily supported Mitt Romney during the Republican primaries -- repeatedly attacked McCain's temper calling it his "irrational, explosive side that make many of them question whether he is fit to serve as president and be commander in chief" and further pondering "whether a man who seems so out of control should have the authority to unleash nuclear weapons." But not only did Kessler's attacks on McCain stop when McCain clinched the Republican nomination, Kessler recast the negative as a positive -- the former "irrational, explosive side" became a "scrappy approach" and "swagger."
We don't recall Patten showing any concern about McCain's temper, which can only mean that Patten's an utter hypocrite.
In yet another example of WorldNetDaily's complete lack of journalistic ethics and credibility, WND illustrated an article on Al Franken officially being sworn in as a senator with a doctored photo of him:
As others have detailed, the doctored photo was created in 2006 by Ohio Republicans sticking Franken's head on another photo of an adult in diapers in order to smear Franken, and it's been used that way ever since.Thus, WND knows or should have known that the photo is a fake.
Even though the photo was displayed on its front page throughout the day on July 8, nowhere does WND indicate that the photo is a fake -- a violation of journalistic ethics.
It also runs counter to WND's previous criticism of doctored photos used by others. A 2005 article, for instance, claimed that the Council on American-Islamic Relations "doctored a photograph on its website to ensure a woman was shown wearing a customary Islamic headcovering." WND also complained when USA Today manipulated a photo of Condoleezza Rice to give her what it called "a menacing, demon-eyesing stare."
So WND is exposed yet again as a pathetic hypocrite. But you knew that already.
WND Columnist: Palin Has No Business Working Outside the Home Topic: WorldNetDaily
Leave it to a WorldNetDaily columnist to claim that Sarah Palin is not conservative enough. In her July 8 column, Olivia St. John asserts that, as a woman, Palin has no business being in politics -- or any other job outside the home -- in the first place, and that her "highest calling" is to stay at home and take care of her kids:
Palin is an avowed feminist. As such, her husband and children have to fall in line behind her career goals. If everyday actions speak louder than words, then she holds more affinity with her pro-abortion feminist sisters than with her conservative sisters nursing babies at home.
It came close to sounding as though Palin's family was a priority when she said, "…every American understands what it takes to make a decision because it's right for all, including your family." She also stated, "…we know we can effect positive change outside government" and "actually make a difference."
Was Palin talking about "the hand that rocks the cradle" kind of difference that celebrates motherhood and the value of children, not only inside the womb, but outside as well?
Palin's history over the past 17 years tells another story. Three years after the birth of the first of her five children, she entered the rough-and-tumble world of Alaska (and eventually national) politics and has never looked back.
Has America become so emasculated that our only hope of getting another Ronald Reagan into the Oval Office is to idolize Palin as a political Madonna? Hardly.
Do we have no men who can match her intelligence, charisma and leadership skills? To the contrary, we have better.
Have conservatives become so desperate for a passionate leader that they forsake their most basic values of home and hearth? Yes, but it's more than that.
It has been said that the sin of homosexuality precedes judgment on a nation. Yet, the first instance in Scripture where we see a curse enacted was in the Garden of Eden when a woman took the lead and a man followed. Does this not describe America today? "As for My people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them," says Isaiah 3:12.
As conservatives continue chanting Sarah Palin for president, are they disenfranchising the men capable of stepping up to the plate in 2012? There are many strong conservative men better qualified to lead the greatest nation in the world.
I pray these men rise to the fore and that Sarah Palin begins to turn her heart toward her home.
I pray America wakes up to realize once again that the hand that rocks the cradle truly rules the world. That is a mother's highest calling. That is Sarah Palin's calling.
Corsi Still Pushing Discredited Document Topic: WorldNetDaily
Jerome Corsi uses a July 8 WorldNetDaily column to detail his pestering of the Obama White House to explain why President Obama wasn't visiting Kenya on a swing through Africa this week -- rehashing dubious and discredited attacks along the way.
Corsi restated his claim that Obama made "repeated appearances" with Raila Odinga during Odinga's campaign for the Kenyan presidency. But as we've noted, Corsi cited only one joint appearance in his Obama-bashing book.
Corsi asserted that "The truth was that I brought back from Kenya firsthand documents I obtained from former Orange Democratic Movement Party members who had turned against Odinga. The documents proved the points I had argued in "The Obama Nation," namely, that Sen. Obama worked hard to try and get Odinga elected as Kenya's president in December 2007."
Among those documents were emails purportedly from Obama to Odinga setting up an Obama aide as a liaison between the two. As we've detailed, the emails are clearly not written by someone for whom American English is a first language. Corsi has never explicitly acknowledged the emails' clearly fraudulent nature, nor has he formally retracted the claims he made based on those documents.
Corsi made no specific mention of the emails in his July 8 article, but he did reference "an internal document" purportedly showing that "'Friends' of then-Sen. Obama" supported Odinga "with a donation of nearly $1 million." As we also detailed, that document's bogus too -- it's an apparent re-creation of a similar document PolitiFact debunked months before Corsi published his version. Corsi has never addressed the PolitiFact debunking of his story.
Corsi has not been one to let the truth get in the way of a good Obama smear, and he demonstrates that again here.