Cliff Kincaid's Conspiracy Du Jour Topic: Accuracy in Media
The headline on Cliff Kincaid's July 23 Accuracy in Media column pretty much says it all: "The Chavez-Obama U.N. Plot Against Honduras."
Yep, Kincaid has found another consipracy to latch onto.
Kincaid claims there is an "Chavez-Obama axis" and suggests that "Obama Administration is, in effect, acting as an agent of Venezuela (and Iran) in Honduras." His main source for this conspiracy? Tom Hayden -- or, as Kincaid describes him, "former Marxist SDS radical Tom Hayden."
Kincaid has suddenly found a left-winger's words to be trustworthy. And we thought commies couldn't be trusted.
Newsmax Deletes Columnist's Criticism of Morris Topic: Newsmax
In the Washington Times version of his column, Arnaud de Borchgrave criticizes wild attacks on President Obama:
President Obama is now a card-carrying socialist or borderline Marxist. He is the Manchurian Candidate. He was not born in the United States. He never produced a birth certificate. And now this closet neo-Marxist is plotting the revenge of those defeated in the Cold War. Therefore, he should be impeached and removed from office because his plan is to place America in a government-owned straitjacket.
It's vicious stuff. One of the vociferous voices is that of Dick Morris, who moved from the liberal camp under President Clinton to the hard right with his new book, "Catastrophe," which is what Mr. Obama has wrought for America.
In the version of de Borchgrave's column that appears at Newsmax -- a huge promoter of Morris that is currently giving away copies of "Catastrophe" with new subscriptions to its magazine -- that entire paragraph on Morris has been removed.
Newsmax did leave in a later statement by de Borchgrave quoting Morris. But it's not as explicitly judgmental as the one Newsmax excised.
WND's Klein Tries to Gin Up Non-Existent Obama Conspiracy Topic: WorldNetDaily
How desperate is Aaron Klein to smear Obama? The latest example: trying to create another bogus conspiracy.
In a July 26 WorldNetDaily article, Klein insists that "speculation abounds over the genesis of the press conference inquiry last week by Lynn Sweet of the Chicago Sun-Times, whose question about Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. prompted a national race scandal involving President Obama." Despire asserting that "several blogs" Klein names only two -- something called "The Real Barack Obama," whose credibilty Klein does not establish, and right-wing radio host John Batchelor.
But this is an echo chamber: Batchelor cites "The Real Barack Obama." So really, "several" is more like one blog quoted by another blog. Further, Klein fails to disclose his relationship with Batchelor; not only has made numerous appearances on Batchelor's radio show enough so that he considers Batchelor a "friend," he tweeted that he was appearing on the show the very same day this article was published.
The Real Barack Obama has also promoted Klein and prominently touts Batchelor's show, so the echo chamber appears to be even smaller than we thought.
For all this mutual back-scratching, Klein presents no actual evidence that, as he claims, "the White House may have coordinated the question" with Sweet.Here's what he tries to pass off as evidence:
"This was the first time Sweet was granted a question from Obama at any of his presidential press conferences."
"Asking a question about Gates at an event focused on health care seems remote to some. "
"Her question was read from a piece of paper."
Apparently, Klein has never written down questions before asking them in a interview.
Klein couldn't be bothered to note Sweet's denial of the charge until the 16th paragraph, after getting some of that baseless speculation out of the way. But a flat denial was not enough for Klein:
Her explanation, however, has only generated more unanswered questions for the bloggers' speculation. If she had never written about the Gates incident, for example, why did she use her one question to Obama on the matter?
Klein then insisted: "In another twist in the plot, the White House's Gibbs refused an opportunity to deny Sweet's question was not preplanned with the White House." But the excerpt Klein provides shows that Gibbs was not asked whether Sweet's question was "preplanned with the White House"; he was asked whether the Gates matter was discussed in preparation for the press conference, which is not the same thing.
Klein, in trying to smear both Obama and Sweet, demonstrates himself to be as dishonest a reporter as ever. After all, he's still peddling the discredited lie that Obama could not have visited Pakistan on a U.S. passport.
First, he arrogantly portrays himself as having the wisdom fo Socrates, pounding out another bizarre pseudo-Socratic dialectic, this time pitting himself -- er, Socrates against President Obama, Teddy Kennedy, "Sen. RINO" and "We the People (mute part)."
This provides the spectacle, convincing only to someone who knows nothing at all about Socratic dialogue, of "Socrates" berating "Obama" as "incapable of answering a simple historical question about socialism in light of your proposed health care system," attacking Kennedy for his "long, shameful legacy in America, the capstone of which is universal health care," making Nazi smears, and quoting Winston Churchill and "the words for the ages of that great conservative British parliamentarian Sir Edmund Burke."
For Washington to portray Socrates as engaging in right-wing screeds that are nothing more than Washington himself spouting off -- i.e., "We know that Democrats have long ago sold their souls to the devil on all issues of life" -- is not very, well, Socratic.
Speaking of right-wing screeds, Washington follows up with one against the NAACP, approvingly quoting Rush Limbaugh calling the group "NAALCP – National Association for the Advancement of LIBERAL Colored People."Washington denounces the group as "one of the most radical socialist organizations in America," thanks his lucky stars the the group declined to hire him as a young man ("Thank you, God, for shutting some doors in my life"), and concludes: "And that is why I wish you an UnHappy 100th birthday, NAALCP!"
Gladnick Unable To Comprehend Basic Scientific Logic on Global Warming Topic: NewsBusters
One almost has to admire the Blumer-esque cluelessness of P.J. Gladnick.
In a July 26 NewsBusters post, Gladnick berates the Discovery Channel for making the utterly uncontroversial claim that recent colder-than-normal temperatures in the Bering Sea don't disprove global warming because the sea operates on its own cycle of warming and cooling and that existence of global warming "doesn't mean every spot on the globe gets warmer every year":
Huh? So they admit the temperatures are cyclical but hold stubbornly to the global warming theory for which no evidence is presented. See, if it is getting warmer that is evidence for global warming. However, if the temperatures are getting colder, that is also proof of global warming according to this bizarre reasoning.
My suggestion to the Discovery Channel is to do what they are supposed to do. Discover the science behind global warming instead of blindly accepting it as established fact.
But the idea that not every location on the planet is undergoing a warming trend even as the planet as a whole is undergoing one is not "bizarre reasoning" at all: As we've noted, even global warming "skeptic" Patrick Michaels has warned against portraying short-term extreme weather in a given location as indicative of the existence (or not) of global warming. That presumably also applies to weather cycles in specific locales like the Bering Sea.
Is Gladnick really that impervious to logic? It seems so.
Obama has been angling for a way to expand government's influence over children since taking office. I believe his message to the NAACP was intended to tell his followers that he has found a way. As I have repeatedly said, Hitler knew, Stalin/Lenin knew, and Mao darn sure knew, that the first step in successfully taking over a country is to take over the education (read indoctrination) of your children.
Legal Group Lies About Obama Birth Certificate Topic: Newsmax
A July 25 fund-raising email sent out on Newsmax's email list by the right-wing United States Justice Foundation -- which has represented Alan Keyes in a lawsuit in one of the many right-wing lawsuits regarding Barack Obama's birth certificate -- is littered with falsehoods about Obama and the certificate.
The USJF, "from the desk of Gary J. Kreep," asserts that "the available evidence shows that he was born in Africa." The only "evidence" USJF offers is a reference to "a taped phone conversation with Mr. Obama's step-grandmother in Kenya, who claims that she was present at his birth... in what is now called Kenya!" But as we've detailed, that claim is false.
USJF also calls the birth certificate released by the Obama campaign "phony" and is being "purported to be genuine." In fact, nobody has claimed that certificate to the "genuine" original birth certificate; it is, however, an official and authentic document issued by the state of Hawaii, which USJF does not appear to contest beyond falsely smearing it as "phony."
A July 22 WorldNetDaily article by Bob Unruh uncritically repeats claims by anti-health care reform activist Betsy McCaughey, made on a radio show, that the House health care reform bill "would make it mandatory absolutely that every five years people in Medicare have a required counseling session" about end-of-life care, in which they will be told "to do what's in society's best interests, and cut your life short."
In fact, as Media Matters details, not only is such counseling not mandatory, numerous medical organizations have endorsed such counseling.
We Hit Joseph Farah's Nerve (Again) Topic: WorldNetDaily
We seem to have hit a nerve.
In ranting about how poor WorldNetDaily is being persecuted for promoting the Obama birth certificate conspiracy in his July 25 column, Joseph Farah writes: "Then there are the activists at Media Matters and the Huffington Post, ready to smear me and Jerome Corsi and WND reporters at the drop ofa hat."
Hmmm.... we're employed by Media Matters. We post stuff at Huffington Post. Could Farah be talking about ... us?
It appears so. We do hit Farah's nerve onoccasion.
Take, for example, a July 24 WND article by Bob Unruh. It asserts that:
"Obama's American mother ... was too young at the time of his birth to confer American citizenship to her son under the law at the time." Unruh does not report that the claim has been discredited.
"Additionally, questions have been raised about Obama's move to Indonesia as a child and the passort he used to travel to Pakistan as a young man." Unruh does not report that the claim has been discredited.
"The 'Certification of Live Birth' posted online and widely touted as "Obama's birth certificate" does not in any way prove he was born in Hawaii, since the same 'short-form' document is easily obtainable for children not born in Hawaii." Unruh does not report that the claim has been discredited.
Unruh also repeated the claim by the Southern Poverty Law Center that the birth certificate "conspiracy theory" was started by "an [unidentified] open anti-Semite and circulated by right-wing extremists."Unruh is playing dumb by adding the [unidentified] in there. He surely knows that the anti-Semite in question is Andy Martin -- after all, WND has repeatedlypromoted his birth certificate claims, and Unruh does so again in the list of legal actions at the end of his article.
WND is lying by omission, hiding from its readers the parts of the birth certificate story that conflict with its anti-Obama agenda.
Clearly, WND is afraid to tell its readers the truth. Not only that, it's afraid that it will get caught in the act of hiding the truth, which is exactly what we have documented. Therefore, Farah must denigrate me -- just a guy with a website who is only telling the truth.
After all, we're not the ones smearing Farah and WND -- they're smearing themselves by telling lies and working in league with anti-Semites.
Sadly, No! catches Matthew Vadum, in a July 21 NewsBusters post (a version of which is also at his Capital Research Center blog), touting the case of a person allegedly denied timely treatment in Canada for a "brain tumor" because of purported "rationing" there that would come to the U.S. if health care reform occurs. The problem: what the patient had was a non-fatal cyst, not a tumor that would have meant, as Vadum quoted the patient as saying, "In six months I would have died."
Vadum updated his post to concede that the patient didn't actually have a brain tumor, then insisted that it "is an arguable technical point for scientists to debate and therefore there is no reason to change the description in this post."
Further, Vadum asserts in his post that the Mayo Clinic, where the Canadian patient eventually got treated, is "fiercely critical of ObamaCare," citing a Washington Times article as evidence. In fact, the Mayo Clinic's statement didn't criticize "ObamaCare"; it criticized a recent version of the House reform bill for "fail[ing] to use a fundamental lever -- a change in Medicare payment policy -- to help drive necessary improvements in American health care." The Obama administration has, in fact, proposed reforms to Medicare payment policy.
Further, the Mayo Clinic signed onto an open letter from several medical organizations that begins, "We wholeheartedly support President Obama’s call for healthcare reform." Not exactly what one would call "fiercely critical."
CNS Source Emailed Racist Image of Obama Topic: CNSNews.com
A June 26 CNSNews.com article by Pete Winn featured the views of David McKalip, a Florida neurosurgeon speaking for the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (which has some extremistviews on medicine) attacking the Obama adminsitration's plans for health care reform.
CNS has yet to report, however, on McKalip's forwarding to "fellow members of a Google listserv affiliated with the Tea Party movement" an image of Obama's face Photoshopped onto an image of an African witch doctor, accompanied by an "Obamacare" logo with a hammer and sickle in it.
McKalip has since apologized and resigned as incoming president of a county medical association and as an American Medical Association delegate (though he tried to defend himself by claiming that he once helped organize a career counseling day several years ago for African-American Boy Scouts").
CNS has not reported any of this. The AAPS has been silent as well; its front page still prominently features "An Open Letter to America’s Physicians from David McKalip, M.D."
Farah Claims Censorship: Where's the Evidence? Topic: WorldNetDaily
In a Jluy 24 WorldNetDaily article, WND's Joseph Farah is alleging "a broad pattern of Internet search engine censorship" by search engines such as Google and Bing "blocking WND's extensive coverage of questions surrounding Barack Obama's eligibility for office." He adds:
"In more than 12 years of Internet experience, I have never seen anything like this," said Farah. "As of today, all the major search engines systematically began scrubbing our content. This happened at the very moment this story broke into the mainstream."
Farah offers no evidence of this -- no data, no screenshots. Nothing.
So, naturally, he will go on Michael Savage's radio show to talk about something he has made no effort to prove.
Also of note in that article is the caption under the picture of Obama: "Barack Obama, the man elected president." Not "President Obama."
Farah refuses to acknowledge that Obama is the president. How paranoid and pathological is that?
UPDATE: Another July 24 article, by Drew Zahn, attempts to provide some details. The main complaint isn't really censorship -- it's that Google doesn't rank WND's stories as high in searches as WND would like it to, though the birther issue is "a story that no news organization has followed more closely than WND."
What Zahn and WND appear to be ignoring is the fact that WND's record of honesty in reporting on the birth certificate issue is shaky at best and whose claims are easily debunked, even by its fellow right-wingers. Furher, it has a long record of telling documented lies about Obama.
It seems to us that Google is doing the prudent thing in tweaking its algorhithms to downplay such unreliable websites as WND. Why should Google, et al, be in the business of promoting WND's false and misleading information?
New WND Video Features Rogue's Gallery of Birthers Topic: WorldNetDaily
A July 24 WorldNetDaily article touts an upcoming WND video that purports to document "he critical issues surrounding the constitutional eligibility of Barack Obama to serve as president." The video, according to the article, "four key presenters" who will "bring the issue home" Jerome Corsi, Orly Taitz, Alan Keyes, and Janet Porter.
Media Matters has brief profiles on Corsi, Taitz and Keyes and the lack of credibility they bring to this issue (and pretty much everything else they touch). In addition, we've documented Corsi's lies about Obama and Porter's apparent misuse of the resources of her Faith2Action group to fuel her personal anti-Obama jihad (as well as peddling her own Obama birth lies).
What this rogue's gallery of presenters means is that we will be treated the the usual pack of lies WND has been peddling for months. Will Farah do the proper journalistic thing and give space at WND for critics to respond? Don't count on it.
The article goes on to claim that "the award-winning filmmaking team" behind WND's video "made the unusual request to keep its identity secret for fear of retribution from the administration." Funny, we figured it was because they didn't want their names associated with this steaming pile of discredited lies.
John LeBoutillier, in a July 23 Newsmax column, falsely claimed that President Obama, in his remarks on an police incident involving Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates, "slurred the Cambridge police as 'stupid.'"
Obama did no such thing. He did say, given that Gates had apparently offered documentation to police that he was the person who owned the house he was breaking into, that "the Cambridge police acted stupidly in arresting somebody when there was already proof that they were in their own home."
LeBoutillier went on to denounce Obama's "decades as a scofflaw" -- that would be 17 parking tickets that went unpaid for years.
LeBoutillier isn't the only Newsmax columnist to falsely exploit Obama's statement for maximum Obama-hate value: Ronald Kessler insisted that the media is "suppressing the online police report recounting this ugly incident" - which, conveniently for Kessler, makes Gates look bad.
Kessler also claimed that Obama's statement that "blacks and Hispanics are picked up more frequently, and often time for no cause, casts suspicion even when there is good cause" purportedly "ignored the unfortunate fact that blacks account for four times more violent crimes than people of other races."
Your Jackie Mason Bile-Filled Rant of the Week Topic: WorldNetDaily
In this week's anti-Obama rant, Jackie Mason falsely asserts that President Obama wants to create "a national health care system" like Canada, where you have to "wait six months to see a doctor" and "people with all kinds of terminal diseases that could possibly be saved, terrible problems that they could possibly -- all of a sudden lose their lives or lose their limbs." And European health care sucks too: "If, God forbid, you broke your leg and you have a chance to fix it, it will deteriorate by the time you see a doctor."
In fact, Obama has explicitly stated that he is not implementing a health care system like those in Canada or Europe.
Mason makes sure not to scrimp on the Obama-hate:
You will die because of the system, because of his pledge of allegiance to the idea of the socialistic principles he's involved in. He never studied it, he never cared about the consequences of it, he doesn't care how he destroys everybody. All the figures, all the proof from every sources that it's wrong, it's impossible and it's unworkable. And he doesn't care as long as he proves the point that he wants all everything. And that's all he cares about. I'll own the system, we'll become a socialistic society, he'll become a dictator, and you'll be wiped out. Is this what you wanted? That's what you're gonna get.