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Thursday, July 23, 2009
Shocker: WJC Debunks Key Birther Claims
Topic: Western Journalism Center

We've detailed how the Western Journalism Center, under the leadership of right-wing activist Floyd Brown, has positioned itself as a promoter of the Obama birth certificate conpsiracy. So when it starts debunking key birther claims, perhaps one should listen.

A July 21 unbylined WJC blog post reviews a CNN appearance by birthers Alan Keyes and Orly Taitz. It began in the usual sycophantic way, asserting that "Dr Keyes spoke very well in the minute or so allotted him" -- a laughable claim giving that Keyes' response to the mountain of evidence presented by CNN's Kitty Pilgrim was to demand "some evidence."

But then, the post takes a shockingly reality-based turn, asserting: "On the other hand, from her interview it seems that Orly Taitz is building her case on 2 premises, one false and the other irrelevant."

The post states: "Orly Taitz asserts that 'to be president there have to be two parents who are citizens.' This is false." Citing "Blackstone’s classic exposition in 1765 ... from the Commentaries on the Laws of England" -- funny, we thought conservatives were opposed to using foreign law to make decisions in the U.S. -- the post continues:

Blackstone explicitly grounds natural-born status on location (jus soli), not parentage, except when the child is born abroad.  The notion that both parents have to be citizens is false.  All children born on American soil are natural-born subjects or citizens.  

WJC then goes on to claim that suggest that, based on Blackwell, "If [Obama] was born on foreign soil, the fact that his father was not an American citizen would disqualify him from natural-born citizenship." But the WJC curiously fails to mention what U.S. law has to say on the subject -- as we've noted, legal scholars have pointed out that courts have ruled any child born to at least one U.S. citizen is a U.S. citizen, and claims that Obama's mother was too young to confer citizenship on her son are false.

Even more shocking, WJC demolishes another key claim, that Obama's "certification of live birth" is suspect because of a 1982 law that allowed people not born in Hawaii to obtain Hawaiian birth certificates:

Under Act 182 H.B. NO. 3016-82, state policies and procedures could accommodate even “children born out of State” (this is the actual language of Act 182) with an original birth certificate on record.  But though Act 182 does provide children born out of state with a birth certificate it does not provide them with birth certificates that say that these children were born in Hawaii or at a specific location in Hawaii.  Consequently these birth certificates cannot engender Certifications of Live Birth which state that the subject was born in Honolulu, as the purported Obama Certification of Live Birth does.  So if the Obama Certification of Live Birth was not forged, it could not have been engendered by an Act 182-authorized birth certificate for “children born out of state”.  And if it was forged, the false information on it was not based on anything that could be on an Act-182 authorized birth certificate.  So Orly Taitz’ assertion that “Hawaii has statute 338 that allows foreign-born children of Hawaiian residents to get Hawaiian birth certificates” is irrelevant.

One of the key pieces of evidence regularly cited by WorldNetDaily -- whose CEO Joseph Farah founded the WJC -- is that a certification of live birth "is easily obtainable for children not born in Hawaii." Thus, the WJC has destroyed one of WND's major claims attempting to discredit the birth certificate.

The WJC tries to salvage things by baselessly insisting that "it is increasingly clear that Obama was not born in Hawaii," but no evidence is offered to back that claim up -- which suggests to us that it's is as bogus as the claims it just busted. But it has undermined its case, and the case of its fellow birther travelers, by this sudden fit of truth.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:25 AM EDT
Newsmax Goes Full Birther
Topic: Newsmax

We've previously noted how Newsmax took a few tentative stabs before the 2008 presidential election at repeating baseless claims about Barack Obama's birth certificate -- yet also credited Obama for knocking down those claims. Since then, Newsmax has largely stayed away from the issue (aside from the occasional wacky column).

Until now, that is. Newsmax appears to have decided it will follow WorldNetDaily's lead and fully embrace the conspiracy.

A July 22 article by Jim Meyers purports to correct MSNBC's Chris Matthews over his assertion that Obama has released a valid birth certificate:

But Matthews made a false claim. Obama has never released his actual birth certificate. He has released another document, often provided by state authorities in lieu of a birth certificate, called a certificate of live birth.


The indisputable fact is that Obama has not released his birth certificate, which the state of Hawaii issues for all citizens born there.

Instead, his campaign has only released his certificate of live birth from the state of Hawaii, which is a document that offers a summarized version of the birth certificate.

Adhering closely to the conpsiracy's talking points, Meyers went on to insist that "Obama is the only president in history whose birthplace is unknown to the public" and that "Obama’s refusal to release his birth certificate does mean that Obama remains one of America’s most mysterious and opaque presidents ever."

Meyers concluded: "Chris Matthews, get your facts straight and demand full disclosure – that’s the best way to keep an honest government."

Full metal birther, baby!

Posted by Terry K. at 12:48 AM EDT
Aaron Klein Mighty Wurlitzer Watch
Topic: WorldNetDaily

A July 21 WorldNetDaily article by Aaron Klein once again invokes the Rabbinical Congress for Peace. As we've detailed, the group is a frequent go-to source of easy attacks on Klein's favorite targets -- in this case, President Obama.

As per usual, Klein fails to tell his readers about the right-wing nature of the congress, describing it benignly as a "coalition of Israeli rabbinic leaders."

Posted by Terry K. at 12:08 AM EDT
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Kessler Hides Hoenlein's Reversal
Topic: Newsmax

Ronald Kessler uses a July 22 Newsmax column touting how right-wing Zionist Organization of America head Morton Klein was allegedly "barred" from attending a meeting of Jewish leaders at the White House to recount how "Klein and Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, believed Obama’s Jewish support was eroding as a result of his recent Middle East activities."

But, as we've detailed, Hoenlein never made that specific claim, and Hoenlein has since distanced himself from Kessler's interview of him.

Kessler never mentions Hoenlein's reversal -- after all, Kessler was trying to have Hoenlein fill the role of Jewish critic of Obama that Klein has ably stepped into.

While Kessler describes Klein as a "major Jewish leader" and an "important Jewish leader," at no point does he mention Klein's or ZOA's right-wing leanings -- though Klein's attacks on Obama clearly demonstrate that bias.

Posted by Terry K. at 4:22 PM EDT
Porter's False Attacks on Health Care Reform
Topic: WorldNetDaily

In her July 21 WorldNetDaily column, Janet Porter falsely claims that health care reform would mean "jail sentences for those who seek treatment outside the socialized health care system." That's an apparent reference to an Investor's Business Daily editorial claiming that the health reform bill contiains "a provision making individual private medical insurance illegal." It doesn't.

Porter also writes:

Even the Mayo Clinic, which Obama touted as the health care model, said, "… the proposed legislation misses the opportunity to help create higher-quality, more affordable health care for patients. In fact, it will do the opposite."


In fact, the Mayo Clinic did not criticize Obama's approach to health care reform. It criticized the House reform bill for not including "a fundamental lever -- a change in Medicare payment policy -- to help drive necessary improvements in American health care" -- a reform Obama supports.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:57 PM EDT
Newsmax Falsely Claims Obama Not Familiar With Health Reform Bill
Topic: Newsmax

A July 21 Newsmax article by David Patten asserts:

Members of Congress haven't read the 1,018-page proposed healthcare-reform legislation, but then, apparently neither has President Obama.

The president recently confessed he is "not familiar" with key provisions of the legislation.

Patten goes on to write that during a conference call with bloggers, "a blogger referenced an article in Investor's Business Daily indicating Section 102 of the House bill would 'outlaw' private insurance," and that Obama responded that he was "not familiar with the provision you are talking about."

Actually, that IBD "article" is an editorial, and the claim that the bill would outlaw private insurance is false. Why should Obama be familiar with a section of the health care reform bill that doesn't exist?

Patten even concedes the point later in the article: "No version of the legislation now under consideration 'outlaws' private insurance coverage." But then he adds: "However, it increases its cost relative to publicly subsidized plans in a way that leads some experts to believe private insurance would no longer be a viable option."

The only "experts" he cites to back up his point, however, is the decidedly partisan and anti-reform Heritage Foundation. Then again, Patten's false claim that Obama is unfamiliar with the bill is lifted from Heritage as well (not to mention the Drudge Report).

Posted by Terry K. at 9:27 AM EDT
New Article: Meet Molotov Mitchell
Topic: WorldNetDaily
The WorldNetDaily video commentator claims he's talking "for the record," but his version of the "record" is filled with lies and smears. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 2:16 AM EDT
WND Still Trying to Claim Obama Birth Certificate Is Forgery
Topic: WorldNetDaily

If Joseph Farah thinks the authenticity of the birth certificate issued by Barack Obama's campaign "was never the major issue of contention" -- or, as it appears now, he appears to accept that the certificate is authentic -- why is WorldNetDaily still touting claims that it's a forgery?

Bob Unruh does exactly that in a July 20 article, rehashing previous WND claims that "a document expert contends Obama's "Certification of Live Birth" image itself doesn't stand up to scrutiny." At no point does Unruh acknowledge that the person making that claim, "Ron Polarik," is hiding behind a pseodonym, nor does Unruh mention that Polarik's research has been largely discredited -- even though WND purports to offer "the full story" on Obama's "eligibility."

The truth about Ron Polarik and his research is yet another thing that WND is hiding.

Oh, and Unruh completely fails to mention that WND itself declared the certificate to be authentic. And we thought that WND had finally come around to basic journalistic concepts like reporting the truth.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:15 AM EDT
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Obama Derangement Syndrome Watch
Topic: Newsmax

By the way — if after all that you're a Columbia University economics professor, and you ever gave a student named Barack Obama an A, YOU MIGHT BE A SOCIALIST.

-- Wayne Allyn Root, July 20 Newsmax column

Posted by Terry K. at 7:51 PM EDT
WND Thinks Telling the Truth About Obama Is News
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Only WorldNetDaily could consider correcting articles to that they tell the truth to be newsworthy.

A July 17 WND article makes a big deal out of an article on a Ghana news website changing a reference in an article about Barack Obama's visit to Ghana from Africa being "the continent of his birth" to "the continent of his father's birth."

but then, reporting the truth about Obama is a novel concept to WND.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:17 AM EDT
Kessler Misleads Again About Obama
Topic: Newsmax

Declaring that "it’s clear that neither President Barack Obama’s economic plan nor his world peace plan is working," Ronald Kessler makes misleading claims in his July 20 Newsmax column to attempt to prove his point.

Kessler asserts that "Funneling money through the federal government has no multiplier effect and does not give businesses incentives to expand and hire more people. ... If Obama had instead offered tax incentives, as the Republicans proposed, rather than planning to raise taxes, businesses would have felt more confident about hiring more workers." In fact, government spending does have a stimulative effect; further, according to economist Mark Zandi, government spending has a higher multiplier effect than do business tax cuts.

Kessler went on to claim: "While the administration promised immediate results, Obama is now saying the stimulus was meant to have an effect over two years." In fact, White House chief economic adviser Larry Summers said in February that while there would be some immediate effects, "the effect will build over time."

Kessler also falsely claimed that Obama, in a 2001 radio interview, "expressed regret that the Supreme Court hadn’t engaged in wealth redistribution." That's a lie -- as we've detailed, Obama said no such thing, no matter how many times Kessler insists he did.

Of course, Kessler is a serial offender in making misleading claims about Obama, so none of this is a surprise.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:39 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, July 21, 2009 9:39 AM EDT
Another Empty Article from Aaron Klein
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily's Aaron Klein serves up an empty July 19 article in which not a single person he cites has a name.

Klein cites:

  • "a top official from Syria's Information Ministry"
  • a "U.S. official"
  • "other diplomatic sources"
  • a "senior U.S. official"
  • a "senior Middle East diplomatic source"

Not only are none of these people named, Klein offers no explanation for why he granted them anonymity.

This is a follow-up of a July 14 article in which Klein also failed to quote anyone on the record.

Such blanket anonymity appears to go against WND's policy on using anonymous sources, which editor Joseph Farah has dismissed as "usually quotes made up out of whole cloth to help make the story read better."

This is the latest in a string of empty articles from Klein, in which the anonymous sources he cites can't actually prove the claims they make.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:56 AM EDT
Democrat Derangement Syndrome Watch
Topic: Newsmax

But the biggest vampire population of all is huddled together in Washington, D.C. Mostly Draculas of the Dem kind, they’re sucking the lifeblood out of us. And they’re doing a number on our spirits as well by demoralizing us with talk of crises, urgencies, and things getting even worse if we don’t heed their words and offer up our necks willingly.

How many days till “The Vampire Diaries” airs?

The lib undead dig up health scare reform to suck the soul out of the free market. G.M. is prevented from going through a normal bankruptcy process and is turned into a corporate zombie for the ghoulish unions to feed on.

Maybe I’ll catch a midnight preview of “Thirst.”

C’mon GOP. And Blue Dogs, too. Save us from death by a thousand bites.

-- James Hirsen, July 20 Newsmax column

Posted by Terry K. at 1:22 AM EDT
Your WND Hate Crime Lies of the Day
Topic: WorldNetDaily

A July 18 WorldNetDaily article by Bob Unruh is a veritable compendium of falsehoods and distortions about the hate-crimes bill.

Unruh begins with a distorted, pejorative description of the bill as creating "federal protections and privileges homosexuals and others who have chosen alternative sexual lifestyles" and that it "essentially makes homosexuals a protected class of citizens."

Unruh also repeats the false claim, as forwarded by the right-wing group Liberty Counsel, that "Matthew Shepard is touted by homosexual advocates as a hate crime victim, but the evidence now shows he was not targeted because he was homosexual but was killed because of a drug deal." As we've detailed, by promoting this claim, Liberty Counsel has chosen to believe convicted killers and known liars over law enforcement and the official record of the case.

Unruh calls the bill "The Pedophile Protection Act" without mentioning that, as we've also documented, the bill does not protect pedophiles. Unruh also repeats claims that the bill will lead to "prosecutions of pastors and churches for teaching the biblical injunction that homosexual is sin" without mentioning that the bill contains a clause stating, "Nothing in this Act, or the amendments made by this Act, shall be construed to prohibit any expressive conduct protected from legal prohibition by, or any activities protected by the Constitution" -- which would include the First Amendment protection for freedom of religion.

Like we said -- a perfect storm of lies and bamboozelement from a writer with a long record of lies and bamboozelement.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:33 AM EDT
Monday, July 20, 2009
Newsmax Kerik Rehabilitation Watch
Topic: Newsmax

Newsmax takes the next step in its Bernard Kerik rehabilitation project by giving him his own archive, his own bio page (which, of course, mentions nothing about the numerous charges of corruption he faces trial on) and a place on Newsmax's "blog" page (which aren't blogs at all but renamed opinion columns).

This coincides with a new column (sorry, we're not calling them "blogs") by Kerik.

Posted by Terry K. at 5:40 PM EDT

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