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Wednesday, August 19, 2009
CNS Still Trying to Create Baseless ACORN Controversy
Topic: is not giving up on trying to create a controversy where there isn't one.

As we've previously noted, CNS' Edwin Mora attempted on July 23 to put Sen. Christopher Dodd on the spot by asking him whether money in the health care reform package would go to ACORN without offering evidence that ACORN engages in health care-related activities.

Mora gave that nonexistent controversy another try in an Aug. 18 article by again baselessly pondering whether ACORN would receive money in the health care reform package set aside for "national network of community-based organizations" to "promote healthy living and reduce disparities."

Again, Mora fails to offer any evidence whatsoever that ACORN is involved in health care, though he quoted an employee of a right-wing think tank similarly engaging in empty thinking by speculating that health reform money "could be misused by organizations that do not promote healthy living."

Also missing from both of these articles is any evidence that Mora asked ACORN itself whether it is even interested in making use of such money. Wouldn't that have been the first thing a reporter should have done, rather than engage in speculation?

Posted by Terry K. at 9:13 AM EDT
New Article: WorldNetDaily Wants You To Think Obama Is the Antichrist
Topic: WorldNetDaily
What do you do after you've repeatedly likened President Obama to Nazis? If you're WND, you turn "The Daily Show" into reality and go the Antichrist route. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 1:44 AM EDT
Farah: Judas Was A Socialist
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Joseph Farah offers up one of the more creative interpretations of the Bible in his Aug. 18 WorldNetDaily column:

It wasn't Jesus who was the socialist, it was the man who betrayed him – Judas Iscariot. And I will prove it to you.

Read John 12:1-8:

"Then Jesus six days before the passover came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, which had been dead, whom he raised from the dead. There they made him a supper; and Martha served: but Lazarus was one of them that sat at the table with him. Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment.

"Then saith one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, which should betray him, Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor? This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein.

"Then said Jesus, Let her alone: against the day of my burying hath she kept this. For the poor always ye have with you; but me ye have not always."

Note that Jesus was not a proponent of "the Great Society" or the "War on Poverty." He preached to individuals to heal the sick, feed the hungry and help the poor. But he never suggested in any way, shape or form that this was the proper role of government. This was the role of the church – the duty of the individual believer.

Jesus said: "For the poor always ye have with you; but me ye have not always."

And note Judas' phony, non-righteous indignation about the wastefulness of pouring the expensive ointment on Jesus' feet: "Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor?"

Does this sound familiar? Doesn't it sound remarkably like Ed Schultz's whining?

But Judas didn't care about the poor, John tells us. He was a thief. He was the guy who held the moneybag. He wanted to see his own power increased by the sale of someone else's private property – just like the modern-day socialists who don't care about the poor and sick, but use them to increase their own standing.

No, Ed Schultz, Jesus was not a socialist. He was not a proponent of socialized medicine. He was certainly not in favor of people trusting in government. He was a proponent of people putting their faith in God and acting responsibly.

Um ... sure, whatever.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:42 AM EDT
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
WJC Lies About MoveOn and Bush-Hitler Video
Topic: Western Journalism Center

The Western Journalism Center has posted a video titled "Rachel Maddow Lies about," which purports to debunk Rachel Maddow's claim during the Aug. 16 edition of "Meet the Press" that MoveOn never ran an ad comparing President Bush to Adolf Hitler.

But the WJC is the liar. While the video includes a clip of something that appears to be a MoveOn ad comparing Bush to Hitler, at no point does the WJC mention that it was submitted as part of a contest MoveOn ran in 2004 and never ran as a paid ad by MoveOn. Indeed, MoveOn specifically stated of that submission and a second similar one, "They will not appear on TV. We do not support the sentiment expressed in the two Hitler submissions." MoveOn later removed the ad from its website.

How is it that Floyd Brown and the WJC think it can get away with telling such a blatant lie?

Posted by Terry K. at 1:53 PM EDT
WND's Birth Certificate Conspiracy Gets Even More Desperate
Topic: WorldNetDaily

The efforts of WorldNetDaily to seize on any inconsistency, real or imagined, to smear President Obama and cast down on his citizenship are getting increasingly desperate.

An Aug. 17 article tries to make a big deal out of Obama's "official MySpace page" containing an older age than his official age, "which would mean he would have been born during the archipelago's time as a territory of the U.S.,  the islands' status from about 1900 until statehood in 1959." The article does not explain that a MySpace is not an official form of identification.

Meanwhile, an Aug. 17 article by Drew Zahn tries to make the case that Obama's parents (or someone else) made "a simple payoff" to Hawaii state officials to falsify Obama's birth date in 1961 because ... well, because birth certificates were falsified in New Jersey in 2004. Zahn did not provide evidence of falsification occurring in Hawaii in 1961 -- let alone any evidence of falsification involving Obama's birth certificate.It's a very crude attempt at guilt-by-association, even though the case Zahn cites is 40 years and half a hemisphere away from Obama's birth.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:16 PM EDT
Geller Still Hiding Facts in 'Honor Killing' Runaway Case
Topic: Newsmax

Pamela Geller has devoted another Newsmax column to the story of Fathima Rifqa Bary, an Ohio teenager who ran away from home to a Florida pastor claiming that her parents planned to kill her for converting from Islam to Christianity. And again, Geller is hiding facts about the case.

Geller defends the pastor to whom Bary fled, Blake Lorenz, from accusations of being a cult leader by misdirection, not denying the accusing but asserting instead that Islam, "the group that silently approves of the murder of a daughter who shames her family by not wearing the proper head dress ... or by choosing another religion (like Rifqa Bary)," is the real cult and nto "the group that offers sanctuary to a poor threatened girl."

Geller, as she did before, fails to mention that, as we've detailed, Lorenz claims to receive "special personal messages from God about the imminent end of the world." Isn't the claim of receiving personal messages directly from God de facto evidence of a cult leader?

Geller also fails to note that Ohio police have said that Bary's parents have known about Bary's conversion for months and "appear to be caring."

Instead, Geller offers anonymous messages from "someone saying she was a friend of Rifqa."

Geller has done little but exploit this case for her own anti-Islam crusade. She's certainly not interested in the facts.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:29 AM EDT
Who Says Wash. Times News Pages Aren't Anti-Obama?
Topic: NewsBusters

An Aug. 15 NewsBusters post by Jeff Poor chortles that The New York Times ran a correction to an article that claimed the Washington Times is "decidedly opposed" to President Obama, stating that the reference was "to its opinion pages, not to its news pages." Poor didn't mention that the correction came after Washington Times editor John Solomon whined about the reference by insisting that "Our news pages have no agenda except to accurately and fairly cover the news."

Further, Poor shows no interest in looking into whether Solomon's claim is even true. As the pile of Media Matters items on Washington Times news articles about Obama appears to suggest, the answer may very well be no.

Finally, there's no logical reason for Poor to be offended by the idea of the entire Washington Times organization being depicted as conservative, given that Poor's employer, the Media Research Center, has an entire division dedicated to portraying the New York Times, news operation and all, as liberal and pro-Obama.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:09 AM EDT
Newsmax's Walsh Smears Health Care Reform As Eugenics
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Smear artist James Walsh is at it again in his Aug. 17 Newsmax column. This time he turns the smear machine on high by likening health care reform to eugenics.

No, really, he did. Never mind that there is nothing remoting approaching eugenics in any of the planned health care reform bills -- Walsh has decided there is.

Walsh asserts that "A new version of eugenics is being written into healthcare legislation by the Obama administration and the Democrat-controlled Congress." What it is Walsh never really makes clear; he writes that "the neo-eugenics of Obamacare could mean rationed healthcare for the unborn, infants, young children, those over 65, and the disabled, especially the 'mentally retarded.'"

Note the word "could" -- Walsh is offering nothing but scare tactics and speculation. Walsh offers no evidence that "rationed healthcare" would occur under health care reform, let alone that anything in the proposed bills equals "eugenics."

Walsh concludes by asserting that "The Obama administration would be ill-advised to consider eugenics." But it's not.

Walsh has gone from right-wing-scripted lies about health reform to wildly and irrationally vicious smears. Why does Walsh -- who purports to be an attorney -- want to tell falsehoods that, if he told them in a court of law, would earn him a quick trip to prison for perjury?

Posted by Terry K. at 1:02 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, August 18, 2009 9:30 AM EDT
Farah Spreads Falsehoods, Smears Obama As Nazi
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Joseph Farah begins his Aug. 17 WorldNetDaily column by claiming, "Outfits like the George Soros-subsidized Media Matters will have a field day with it – excerpting passages out of context, deliberately distorting the words I am carefully choosing and, in typical knee-jerk fashion, mocking its premise."

OK, we'll take the bait. First, in the span of his first six paragraphs, Farah tells two falsehoods. First, Soros does not fund Media Matters.

Second, Farah asserted that "national socialism ... was then and remains today, despite the denials of historical revisionists, a 'left-wing' idea. All socialism is, by definition, a left-wing notion." Which, given the Nazis' hatred of leftists and communists, cannot be true.

Farah then asserted that "Obama seeks to use his power to impose policies that have, like it or not, a striking resemblance to those Hitler promoted in the 1930s," followed by a laundry list of unsubstantiated claims such as "Infanticide" and "Unfair treatment of Jews, in Obama's case, with regard to Middle East conflict." Farah then complained that is "acceptable for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to say American citizens attending congressional town halls are swastika-carrying thugs," even though some of those protesters were indeed carrying swastikas and engaging in thuggish behavior.

Farah concludes by denying that he's unfairly likening Obama to Nazis: "Am I calling Obama a little Hitler, a Nazi or a fascist? I am saying American liberty faces very serious challenges from the country's own leadership – not from citizens who dissent against those policies. That's what happened in Weimar, Germany, too."

What Farah doesn't mention, of course, is the striking resemblence of WND's anti-Obama rhetoric to that of the Nazis against the Jews.

Fredric J. Baumgartner wrote in his book "Longing for the End: A History of Millennialism in Western Civilization":

The great enemy the Germans had to destroy to achieve their golden age was not Antichrist but the Jews. Yet Nazi rhetoric against the Jews was remarkably similar to that about Antichrist. The Nazis looked for the marks to identify a Jew as thoroughly and eagerly as any premillennialist did for Antichrist.

As it so happens, WND has recently endeavored to liken Obama to the Antichrist. So who's the Nazi now, Mr. Farah?

Posted by Terry K. at 12:10 AM EDT
Monday, August 17, 2009
A Semi-Automatic Contradiction
Topic: NewsBusters

From an Aug. 17 NewsBusters post by Matthew Balan complaining that people on CNN described the AR-15 one man was toting outside of President's Obama speech before the VFW (one of several guns carried outside the speech) as an "automatic weapon" and an "assault rifle":

The civilian AR-15 is a semi-automatic rifle, not an “automatic weapon” as Murphy put it. It also cannot be accurately described as an “assault rifle,” as Sanchez labeled it, because an assault rifle, by definition, is a selective-fire weapon, with either fully-automatic or semi-automatic capability. Leave it to three liberals to get it wrong on guns.

So the AR-15 a "semi-automatic rifle," but it's not an "assault rifle" because those have "semi-automatic capability"? We're confused.

Posted by Terry K. at 7:47 PM EDT
WND Slobbers All Over Rep. Bachmann
Topic: WorldNetDaily

In the great tradition of its slobbering profile of Orly Taitz, WorldNetDaily's Drew Zahn has penned a similarly fawning article on right-wing Rep. Michele Bachmann, sycophantically describing her as "one of the leading defenders of liberty and conservative principles on Capitol Hill."

Zahn is certainly not going to bring up any unpleasantness. For instance, he quotes Bachmann as saying:

"After the election of 2006, when I was sworn in in 2007," Bachmann replied, "I was expecting a fairly liberal group of people in Congress. But that's not what I found. I have been pleasantly surprised by a number of my colleagues, who believe in the founding principles we share.["]

Zahn makes no mention of Bachmann's demand (later backed off) that "the news media should do a penetrating expose and take a look — I wish they would — take a great look at the views of people in Congress and find out [if] they [are] pro-America or anti-America."

The big news out of  Zahn's fluff piece is her suggestion that she might run for president in 2012 if God calls her to do it. We'll let Wonkette handle that one.

Posted by Terry K. at 7:29 PM EDT
MRC's Poor Shows Double Standard on Presidential Children
Topic: Media Research Center

Jeff Poor writes in an Aug. 13 MRC Culture & Media Institute article:

Remember when the children of public figures were off-limits in the day-to-day hand-to-hand combat of political warfare?
It's a rule that didn't just applied to the underage children of politicians, but the adult children. Witness the 2008 suspension of MSNBC’s David Shuster for suggesting then-presidential contender Hillary Clinton’s 28-year-old daughter Chelsea Clinton was being “pimped out” by the campaign.

But maybe that rule only applied to Democrats.

Well, no. As we've detailed, Poor's employer was not particularly offended by Shuster's remark; further, the MRC has not only never made any attempt to criticize Rush Limbaugh for his 1990s likening of a then-teenage Chelsea to theWhite House dog, it has sought to portray it as an innocent mistake without providing any substantive evidence to support it. The MRC has also tried to draw false equivalence between the offenses of the daughers of a sitting president with the offenses of the son of a former vice president.

All of which makes any MRC attempt to manufacture offense that children of a conservative politician disproportionately make the news highly hypocritical.

Yet Poor goes on to do that anyway in defense of right-wing Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, writing that "a hateful anti-Bachmann blog" and MSNBC's Keith Olbermann used her son's enrollment in the Teach for America program, a division of AmeriCorps,  to criticize Bachmann.

But Poor, as the MRC did before, draws another false equivalence. Bachmann's son was not being criticized for his actions as Chelsea Clinton was -- heck, even Poor couldn't be moved to criticize the son's actions beyond sneering that Teach for America is a "government program." Nor does he disagree with the main point of what the blogger and Olbermann highlighted -- that his participation in such a program presumably runs counter to his mother's right-wing beliefs.

Perhaps Poor should think about holding his fellow conservatives accountable for their attacks on presidential children before he criticizes others.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:44 AM EDT
Shocker: WND Contradicts Itself On Birth Certificate Claim
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Has WorldNetDaily decided to stop lying about President Obama? On one minor issue, it has.

WND writers have repeatedly suggested or asserted that President Obama cannot be considered a "natural born citizen" because his father was not a U.S. citizen -- in a June 16 column by Joseph Farah, in several news articles, as well as in a promotional flyer.

But that claim has been debunked ... by WorldNetDaily. In an Aug. 10 WND article, Drew Zahn writes that there are "arguments over just exactly what is a 'natural born' citizen" and that "a consensus on the correct definition of 'natural born citizen' has eluded lawyers and scholars for more than 200 years."

WND was scooped on this claim by, among others,, which similarly reported this on Aug. 5. Salon cited the case of U.S. v. Wong Kim Ark, in which the Supreme Court "looked into the meaning of 'natural born' in the common law and concluded that a non-citizen's mere presence in the U.S. is enough to make their child, if born here, a natural-born citizen."

Zahn curiously makes no mention of the Wong case in his article -- perhaps it would have undercut previous reporting too much. Zahn also made no mention of WND's previous assertions and suggestions that it was fact that both parents must be citizens to give birth to a "natural born citizen," let alone issue corrections for the false claim.

We've updated our compilation of WND's lies about Obama's birth certificate to detail this false claim as well as WND's refutation of it.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:16 AM EDT
Updated: Monday, August 17, 2009 9:18 AM EDT
Geller Promotes Dubious 'Honor Killing' Story
Topic: Newsmax

In her Aug. 13 Newsmax column, right-wing blogger Pamela Geller touts the story of Fathima Rifqa Bary, an Ohio teenager who ran away from home to a Florida pastor claiming that her parents planned to kill her for converting from Islam to Christianity:

Rifqa Bary is alive. She ran to Florida and escaped the fate her father had in mind for her — unlike Amina and Sarah Said, two Muslim teens in Texas who ran away but returned home at the insistence of their mother, Tissie Said, only to be brutally murdered by their father, Yaser Said, on New Year’s Day 2008.


Americans don’t understand because the “experts” aren’t telling them. I pray that Rifqa’s defenders bring to the court experts who know about honor killings. Family members who have lost their relatives to honor killings (for less) should be giving testimony. 


Rifqa’s testimony is a plea to the free world to stand for its values and its principles. How far we have fallen when a young woman is pleading to be free in the land of the free, home of the brave.

Rifqa Bary’s life hangs in the balance. The West should do everything in its power to save her.

But Geller is not telling the whole story. As Christianity Today reports (via Richard Bartholomew),  Bary's story is being promoted by the pastor who whom she fled, Blake Lorenz, whom the girl found through Facebook, and the parents are telling a much different story:

The attorney representing Bary's mother told Orlando-based 10TV News that they were "allowing [Bary] to explore her Christianity," and that Bary wasn't fearful until she met Pastor Lorenz, who holds Bary tightly throughout the video.

Meanwhile, Sgt. Jerry Cupp with the Columbus missing persons bureau disputes Bary's claims, telling The Columbus Dispatch that Mohamed Bary has known about his daughter's conversion for months and appears to be caring. And today, the attorney for Bary's parents issued a statement that they have never threatened Bary: "If this case is perceived as a clash of religions, it is because Mr. Lorenz recklessly and without authorization put someone else's child in front of television cameras to publicly renounce her previous faith," McCarthy said in the statement. "The parents who love Rifqa are in the best position now to protect her from the mess that Mr. Lorenz has made."

Further, as Bartholomew adds, Lorenz "believes that he receives special personal messages from God about the imminent end of the world," which raises questions about whether he's exploiting Bary to promote his own ministry.

Christianity Today concludes:

Of course, believers can rejoice that this teenager has come to Christ in a cultural context in which it would be difficult to betray her parents' teaching. And if Bary's claims are true, we can also hope that her legal case is handled fairly and wisely, and that she finds support from Christian mentors and friends. But none of this requires that Christians be quick to use Bary's claims to prove that Muslims — in this case, her parents and mosque leaders — are intent on killing Bary because their beliefs make them inherently violent.

That last point is exactly what Geller appears to want to push by ignoring the full story.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:14 AM EDT
Sunday, August 16, 2009
WND Anti-Gay Agenda Watch
Topic: WorldNetDaily

It's been a while since we checked in on how WorldNetDaily's anti-gay agenda is doing. Let's have a look, shall we?

An Aug. 14 article asserts that children in a California school district "will be required to undergo a controversial homosexual instruction program," which it calls "indoctrination." And what is in this so-called "mandatory homosexual curriculum for children as young as 5"?

In kindergarten, the schools plan to introduce children to "The New Girl … And Me" by Jacqui Robins. The book is about a young girl who is new at a school and strikes up a friendship with another girl after a popular boy refuses to play with her.

In first grade, students will read "Who is in a Family?" By Robert Skutch. It explores different types of families. One page states, "Robin's family is made up of her dad, Clifford, her dad's partner, Henry, and Robin's cat, Sassy."

Second grade students will read about two homosexual penguins that raise a young chick in the book "And Tango Makes Three" by J. Richardson and P. Parnell.

So WND doesn't want kindergarteners to learn how to make friends with people who aren't popular? We don't get it.

Unlike most previous WND articles on gay issues, this article actually quotes a person defending the program (though not until the 23rd paragraph): "We are not telling anyone what to think. ... We are letting children know that gay people exist and they deserve to be treated with respect, regardless of whether or not you believe that homosexuality is acceptable."

WND does not explain why it's opposed to teaching children that gay people exist and should be treated with the respect given to non-gay people.

Meanwhile, in an Aug. 14 column, Linda Harvey lies about the expansion of federal hate crimes protection to gays, baselessly asserting that it "may lead to prosecution of pastors, Christian leaders and even' Joe-Christian-on-the-street' for having the wrong opinion about homosexuality or cross-dressing."

Harvey also objects to federal funding being used to "train local law enforcement officers in identifying, investigating, prosecuting, and preventing hate crimes," calling them "indoctrination" (there's that word again) and "fascist programs."

This evolves into a rant against "lifeless, effeminate Christianity," "the growing number of paperbacks that feature 'gay' characters who dismantle traditional faith," and Obama administration education official Kevin Jennings, who, according to harvey, thinks "his version of a 'safe school'" in "one free of opposition to sexual perversion."

And in an Aug. 12 column, Peter Sprigg complains about the Presidential Medal of Freedom awarded posthumously to Harvey Milk, calling it "the first time in history that the nation's highest civilian award has been granted primarily on the basis of someone's sex life." Sprigg concludes:

Since Harvey Milk died from an assassin's bullet, over a quarter million American men have died of AIDS, which they contracted because they had sex with other men. What's truly "madness" is that someone whose only claim to fame is that they promoted such deadly behavior should be honored with a Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Every man who died of AIDS "had sex with other men"? Tell that to Ryan White.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:55 PM EDT

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