Joseph Farah is, unsurprisingly, angry and defiant about The Next Right's call to boycott WorldNetDaily and those who support it through advertising or renting its mailing list (like the Republican National Committee). Farah's Sept. 1 column on the subject, however, serves as an example of why The Next Right would be moved to such a boycott.
Farah dismisses the Next Right writer, Jon Henke, as "this fellow I have never known nor associated with nor even heard of," then misportrays Henke's post, claiming he was moved to support a boycott solely "because of an article he read in the Boston Herald last week." It's clear from Henke's post that the Herald article was merely the last straw, not the entire reason.
Farah then complains that the Boston Herald article in question offered only a "partial quote," taken "out-of-context," of a Feb. 1 WND article by Jerome Corsi suggesting that the federal government wants "to create the type of detention center" that "could be used as concentration camps for political dissidents, such as occurred in Nazi Germany." Corsi, Farah insisted, offered a "much more nuanced and accurate statement."
Uh, not really. Actual nuance would have required Corsi to tell all sides of the story -- not just what "those concerned about use of the military in domestic affairs" but what the sposnor of the bill in question, Rep. Alcee Hastings, has said about it.
On Jan. 22 -- nine days before Corsi's article was published -- Hastings issued a press release on his sponsorship of the National Emergency Centers Establishment Act, which would 'create six National Emergency Centers throughout the United States to better respond to national emergencies":
The Centers would provide temporary housing, medical, and humanitarian assistance, including education for individuals and families displaced due to an emergency. In addition, the Centers will also serve as a centralized location for the training and coordination of first responders in the instance of an emergency.
"The lack of natural disaster preparedness efforts and temporary housing options for disaster-stricken citizens has only exacerbated an unbearable situation. Deficient recovery responses have led to elongated recovery rates in my district and across this nation," said Congressman Hastings.
"We have an obligation to better prepare and more adequately respond to the needs of communities hit by natural disasters. We have a responsibility to ensure that basic needs of disaster victims are met immediately following the devastation. Our nation was not prepared for the disastrous hurricanes that struck Florida and the Gulf Coast in 2004 and in 2005. The enactment of this legislation will help to ensure that our government is able to adequately respond to families and individuals displaced due to an emergency."
Corsi reported none of this. Instead, the only quote of Hastings in his article was of a 2008 statement critical of Sarah Palin -- which is completely irrelevant to the bill in question. Corsi's only goal in this article was to ridicule Hastings and fearmonger about the bill he introduced.
It's disingenous for Farah to claim that Corsi offered a "nuanced" interpretation of the bill when the Nazi-concentration-camp description is the only interpretation he offered.
Nevertheless, Farah took potshots at anyone who dared to repeat Henke's post (like we did over at Media Matters), then mounted an even more disingenous defense of WND:
I didn't found WorldNetDaily to be esteemed by my colleagues.
I didn't found it to make People for the American Way or Media Matters happy.
I didn't found it because I wanted to be part of the "conservative" movement.
I founded it because there was a crying need for an independent brand of journalism beholden only to the truth.
So, he's taking the "you can't handle the truth!" approach so beloved by true believers and conspiracy theorists. He also seems to think I'm part of the "Republican establishment" and aligned with the RNC. This is an interesting argument, considering the fact that I'm trying to get the RNC to stop working with Joseph Farah.
West Laments Immigration by Non-Whites to U.S. Topic: Washington Examiner
Add Diana West to the list of people who blame Ted Kennedy for letting non-white people into the country.
In her Aug. 30 Washington Examiner column, West cites as an example of "the rest of the Kennedy legacy": "The first legislation he managed as a U.S. Senator, the 1965 Immigration Act, effectively tipped the immigrant pool of this nation from Europe to the Third World."
As we've detailed, pre-1965 immigration law was largely driven by racism and eugenics, effectively limiting immigration to only those from northern Europe. Some conservatives seek a return to that restrictive pre-1965 immigration law. Is West one of them?
WND Fearmongers Over Swine Flu Vaccine Topic: WorldNetDaily
Is WorldNetDaily trying to kill Americans by instilling fear of a swine flu vaccine? It seems so.
An Aug. 31 WND article touting the latest Jerome Corsi Red Alert report claims that "he White House trying to cause a panic over a possible H1N1 virus that could inflict massive illness and death on the American people." The goal,WND suggests, is "to use the pandemic panic to create enough fear that the American public will acquiesce to the passage of Obamacare."
Corsi and WND engage in more fearmongering, claiming that "a massive public relations program launched by the federal Center for Disease Control aimed possibly at creating the atmosphere in which U.S. citizens could be forced to take H1N1 vaccinations against their will" (emphasis added).WND ignores the possibility that such a campaign could possibly be aimed at saving lives.
The article also states: "Neurologists around the world have been warned to watch out for an increase in a brain disorder called Guillain-Barre Syndrome, or GBS, which was generated by a similar swine flu vaccine administered by the government by the Ford administration in 1976." In fact, the 1976 vaccine was never definitively linked to GBS, which also "may be an extremely rare reaction to any vaccination."
The article then states:
"Red Alert intends to closely watch how the H1N1 scare is handled by the White House," Corsi wrote. "With the Obama administration intent on the government taking over major sectors of the private economy, we are concerned the swine-flu pandemic scare is simply another component of that socialist agenda."
So what happens if low vaccination rates result in a swine flu epidemic? Can we hold Corsi and WND liable for causing the deaths of Americans by their fearmongering?
Ex-CIA Man With An Agenda Smears Obama, Holder Topic: Newsmax
Newsmax it touting an Aug. 31 column by Kent Clizbe, "a former member of the CIA's Directorate of Operations," attacking President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder for purportedly declaring 'War on the CIA" by investigating the possible use of torture by CIA interrogators. Clizbe quickly makes his argument personal, questioning whether Holder has "made any personal or professional sacrifices since his country was attacked in 2001" while Clizbe is claiming that his son "went from a happy, engaged, charming 13 year old with straight A’s and a focus on the future, to a sullen, uncommunicative, high school flunky" solely because of Clizbe's long absences from home doing post-9/11 CIA work. (Call us crazy, but we suspect that's not the only cause.)
Clizbe might have some credibility as a critic had he not had a record of baselessly trashing Obama. In a Sept. 30, 2008, Newsmax column, Clizbe called "Obama’s campaign talking points" the culmination of work begun by Lenin in 1920 to "undermine the culture, society, and economy of the United States":
The Leninist elite vanguard of the proletariat in 1920 is today’s elite vanguard of progressives, with Obama as the public face. They know better than you. They are oh-so-smart, oh-so-cosmopolitan, oh-so-loved in Vienna and Paris. They plan to give the rubes and hayseeds of fly-over country what’s best for them, like it or not, made palatable by oratory and lies, and spoon-fed by their friends in the media, Hollywood, and academia.
In other words, Clitze has an anti-Obama agenda and his criticism can't really be taken seriously.
WJC Touts Beck's Discredited 'Civilian Army' Claims Topic: Western Journalism Center
An Aug. 28 Western Journalism Center post asserts that "Glenn Beck is setting the gold standard in investigative reporting," citing as an example Beck's asking President Obama, "Why do we need a civilian national security force that is 'just as strong, just as powerful' as the military? ... Who are we fighting? Who internally is threatening our security?"
In fact, as we've detailed, Obama answered that question a long time ago. His reference to a "civilian national security force" has to do with a reorganization of the State Department and federal aid agencies: "We need to be able to deploy teams that combine agricultural specialists and engineers and linguists and cultural specialists who are prepared to go into some of the most dangerous areas alongside our military." Obama has also used the term to apply to an expansion of the Foreign Service, AmeriCorps, and the Peace Corps. It has nothing to do with jailing Americans, as Beck suggests.
Wouldn't an organization supposedly dedicated to "quality journalism," as the WJC claims to be, have bothered to investigate Beck's claim before reporting it instead of presenting his rants as undisputed fact?
As part of our continuing dialogue of sorts, David Swindle has taken us to task for having no apparent sense of humor, calling this blog "almost as bland and dull as a Nation editorial or a Noam Chomsky speech" and not finding Rush Limbaugh's joke about Barney Frank spending "most of his time living around Uranus" all that funny. Swindle adds: "It’s quite clear by the uptight, overly serious tone of his painfully boring blog that he was born without a funny bone."
Well, yeah, we're too busy documenting atrocities to regularly bring the funny -- we are a watchdog website, after all, which doesn't usually lend itself to knee-slapping humor. We will, however, occasionally display a bit of snark. But unfortunately for Swindle, telling the truth is simply not inherently funny; we're watchdogs, dammit, not comedians. If it's humor in liberal blogging Swindle wants, we recommend World O'Crap and Sadly, No!
Actually, we have quite a sense of humor in meatspace, with preferences toward the likes of "Mystery Science Theater 3000" and (Swindle will be happy to hear) Bill Hicks.
Swindle goes on to defend Limbaugh's "Uranus" joke:
Yes, homophobic jokes are acceptable as long as they’re funny. And so are the racist jokes of comedians like Lisa Lampanelli, the anti-white racist jokes of the comedians on Martin Lawrence’s First Amendment Stand-Up, the gay stereotype jokes of Margaret Cho, and the anti-Semitic satires of Sacha Baran Cohen. Dark humor about the Holocaust, child molestation (Michael Jackson joke anyone?,) and dead babies is acceptable too — as long as the jokes are funny and not made at inappropriate times and places. Surely this isn’t a very controversial point that I’m making. And there’s no ideological component to it either. This is something leftists, conservatives, and the apolitical should all agree on.
There's another factor to consider: the intent of the person telling the joke. A gay joke from Margaret Cho is not the same thing as a gay joke from Rush Limbaugh. Simply summarized: Cho is gay-friendly; Rush is not. Plus, factor in Limbaugh's weird obsession with anal sex, and it's clear that his intent in telling a gay joke about Frank is to mock and deride. And what is Limbaugh mocking about Frank? The fact that he's gay. That's it. Yeah, Barney Frank is gay -- so what? We're just not seeing the humor in that, however clever a line it might be.
Swindle also takes us to task for dismissing his previous likening of Obama to gangsters as guilt by association:
Terry: seek first to understand before you criticize. This isn’t “guilt by association.” Read David Horowitz’s ongoing “Alinsky, Beck, Satan, and Me” series to understand better the connections between Saul Alinsky, his gangster influences, and the tactics employed by the modern Left. Deal with the argument, don’t just dismiss it as a malicious smear.
Just because one purports to offer a historical argument for a malicious smear doesn't make it less of a malicious smear. Does Hilmar von Campe offering a historical argument for smearing Obama as a Nazi make it any less of a smear? Technically, there's a historical argument for likening George W. Bush to Nazis, but again, that doesn't make it any less of a smear to call him that (even though those who criticized that smear have been eager to hurl the same smear at certainDemocrats). And while gangster is arguably a lesser smear than Nazi, it's still a smear (and besides, Ellis Washington hurled that one a long time ago, so Swindle is a little late to the parade).
Further, since Swindle offers no evidence of Obama associating with gangsters -- only of purportedly emulating the tactics of Saul Alinsky, who once allegedly associated with gangsters -- the smear is, yes, guilt by association.
One final question: Swindle has seemingly declared all tactics pioneered or popularized by Alinsky to be akin to gansterism. But Swindle, by likening Obama to gangsters, is arguably using the Alinsky tactic of "Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it and polarize it." Doesn't that mean Swindle himself is acting like a gangster too?
The Next Right is suggesting a boycott of WorldNetDaily -- or, at least, any conservative groups that advertise there or rent WND's mailing lists -- over WND longtime looniness:
The Birthers are the Birchers of our time, and WorldNetDaily is their pamphlet. The Right has mostly ignored these embarrassing people and organizations, but some people and organizations inexplicably choose to support WND through advertising and email list rental or other collaboration.
No respectable organization should support the kind of fringe idiocy that WND peddles. Those who do are not respectable.
I think it's time to find out what conservative/libertarian organizations support WND through advertising, list rental or other commercial collaboration (email me if you know of any), and boycott any of those organizations that will not renounce any further support for WorldNetDaily.
But there might be a little hitch in that boycott plan. As we note over at County Fair, one of the organizations that has rented WND's email list is ... the Republican National Committee.
CNS Buries Conservative Leanings of Ousted Japanese Party Topic: CNSNews.com
In an Aug. 31 CNSNews.com article on Japanese elections, Patrick Goodenough describes the victorious party, the Democratic Party of Japan, as "a center-left coalition including socialists" and a party that includes "left-leaning" members. But Goodenough buries the conservativeleanings of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, which was ousted after 54 years in power.
Goodenough states at one point that the LDP "has various ideological factions," but he does not identify the LDP's conservative leanings. But it's not until the 24th paragraph that Goodenough quotes a South Korean news agency referencing the "conservative LDP government" that the LDP's ideology is revealed.
Why? Perhaps because CNS didn't want to associate conservatism with the fact that Japan is currently undergoing, in Goodenough's words, "the worst recession in Japan’s post-war history" and would rather let the party's misleading name speak for itself.
Joseph Farah uses his Aug. 31 WorldNetDaily column to conjure up outrage over a report by author Edward Klein that Ted Kennedy "enjoyed sharing Chappaquiddick jokes with his close friends."
What Farah doesn't report, however, is that Klein has a history of making false and inflammatory claims, specifically in a book about Hillary Clinton.
nevertheless, this provides all the excuse Farah needs to once again spew hate at Kennedy, this time calling him "sick and twisted," a "pervert" and "a user and a drunk and an abuser" who had "contempt for America, the nation that provided him untold wealth and opportunity."
Blumer Dredges Up Misleading Schiavo Case Attacks Topic: NewsBusters
In criticizing an Associated Press article on the death of Terri Schiavo's father, Tom Blumer rehashes a few discredited right-wing talking points on the Schiavo case in an Aug. 30 NewsBusters post.
Blumer asserted that "at least two prominent neurologists insisted that Terri was not in" a persistent vegetative state. But neither of those neurologists actually examined her. The LifeNews link Blumer supplied noted that one of the neurologists, Joseph Fins, did not examine Terri Schiavo (purportedly because "was not permitted by [husband] Michael Schiavo from examining her") but, rather, "review[ed] Terri's medical records" and "watched videotape footage of her and observed her at her hospice." The other neurologist cited in the LifeNews story, Robert Cheshire, also did not examine Terri Schiavo, as we've previously noted.
Blumer also asserts that "There's more than a little bit of evidence that [Terri's] care was far, far less than perfect" under Michael Schiavo. Blumer linked to a 2005 WorldNetDaily article touting claims to that effect by Carla Sauer Iyer, a "former caregiver" to Terri Schiavo. But as we noted at the time, Iyer's allegations were not treated as credible by the judge in the Schiavo case, calling her claims "incredible to say the least," and even Terri's parents, who unleashed and condoned all sorts of smears against Michael in order to keep Terri alive, never asked Iyer to testify at any court hearing.
New Article -- Birthers Gone Wild: The Video Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily's "A Question of Eligibility" is less about eligibility and more about Obama-bashing, discredited conspiracy theories and apparent violations of copyright law. Read more >>
Examiner Touts Bilderberg Conspiracy Book Topic: Washington Examiner
The Aug. 26 print edition of the Washington Examiner promoted as that day's "Evening Read" the book "The Bilderberg Conspiracy" by H. Paul Jeffers (scan of paper below).
The copy -- taken directly from promotional copy and identical to that appearing on the page for the book at Barnes & Noble's website, reads:
Hidden behind many of today's major news stories, the Bilderberg Group is an elite clique of the most powerful names in politics, media, business, and finance, who want to impose a one-world government on the rest of us. Led by such iconic members as Henry Kissinger, Bill and Hillary Clinton, Richard Perle, Melinda Gates (wife of Bill Gates), David Rockefeller, Paul Wolfowitz, Donald Rumsfeld, Tony Blair, and Margaret Thatcher, their secret conferences (where press has long been banned) are rumored to have engineered many of today's monumental global events.
The Examiner apparently ran out of copy to actually list those "monumental global events," but they appear on the B&N page:
The September 2008 collapse of worldwide banking.
Bill Clinton's presidency and the passage of NAFTA.
The loss of America's jobs to foreign nations.
The toppling of Margaret Thatcher for trying to keep the U.K. out of the E.U.
Bildergerger conspiracies are typically fodder for the likes of WorldNetDaily, not a publication like the Examiner that's trying to pass itself off as a mainstream newspaper. But perhaps the fact that it's promoting this book is just more evidence that it's far out of the mainstream.
Graham Misleadingly Smears Author of Ted Kennedy Profile, Fulfills His Prediction Topic: NewsBusters
In an Aug. 29 NewsBusters post, Tim Graham describes Charles Pierce as "the self-impressed Boston clod who is so deeply a tool of the Kennedys that he infamously wrote in the Boston Globe Magazine in 2004 that 'If she had lived, Mary Jo Kopechne would be 62 years old. Through his tireless work as a legislator, Edward Kennedy would have brought comfort to her in her old age.'"
As we've detailed, the MRC has long taken that line out of context; in fact, rather than an example of sycophancy, it was part of a larger criticism meant to show that the death of Kopechne kept Ted Kennedy from having the "moral credibility" to be president.
Graham also noted Pierce's statement on Eric Alterman's blog at The Nation that Kennedy "leaves behind a pair of shoes that most of his Senate contemporaries could use for swimming pools." Graham snarkily added: "The swimming metaphors are probably not the best choice." Graham failed to mention that immediately after writing that, Pierce fired a zinger at ... a prominent Democratic senator: "Harry Reid, come on down!"
Pierce also seems to have predicted Graham's smear of him by concluding:
That long, extended, respectful peace beside the dark harbor is going to be a good bulwark of memory to have when the smugness and the vicious ignorance and the nearly bottomless banality that usually encrusts our politics reasserts itself, probably by Sunday. Amen.
Pierce was off by an hour or so: Graham posted his NewsBusters item at 10:50 p.m. on Saturday.
Quantifying Your Religious Worldview Topic: WorldNetDaily
An Aug. 29 WorldNetDaily column by David d'Escoto imploring right-wingers to pull their children out of public schools, citing an alleged "direct link between our country's precipitous slide into socialism and decades of indoctrination in leftist school ideologies," makes a curious claim:
Fact after fact shows that when children are subject to 12 years of liberal ideologies for about 14,000 hours of their lives, the overwhelming majority of them will grow up to think, act and vote like … you guessed it, liberals. We ignore all of that even when studies shows that "83 percent of children from committed Christian families attending public schools adopt a Marxist-Socialist worldview."
How is it possible to even quantify such a thing? We followed the link d'Escoto supplied, which went to a May 2007 CBN on a related subject. It cited the Barna Group, which calls itself "the leading research organization focused on the intersection of faith and culture," as the source for that claim. But a search of the firm's website uncovered no such research. (Barna does do research on religious worldviews, which we've previously noted.) But further Googling showed that otherwriters attribute the claim to the Nehemiah Institute.
The Nehemiah Institute is an organization that provides "Christian education programs" with the goal of "restoring our nation to a biblically-based society as it once was." Its main program is called the PEERS [Politics, Economics, Education, Religion, and Social Issues] test. It's described as "a series of statements carefully structured to identify a person's worldview" in those fivecategories, with the goal of "compar[ing] a student's worldview with that of their teachers or parents."
The more direct goal of the PEERS test is detailed on the institute's "about" page: "The purpose of the research is to help individuals and organizations identify key areas where their views of life are contrary to Biblical reasoning. The test serves as a survey of the 'damage to our walls.' "
In other words, it measures right-wing Christian indoctrination and the areas in which it has failed. That's made even more clear with the four worldview categories a student taking the PEERS test can fall under: Biblical Theism, Moderate Christian, Secular Humanist, and Socialist.
Despite the apparently biased nature of the grouping -- who says the polar opposite of "biblical theism" is socialism? -- the institute claims that its method is valid and reliable, adding: "The PEERS Test is accurate, relevant, timely, and the clear downward trend of youth requires immediate action."
For those not falling in the first category, the Nehemiah Institute is happy to sell you a course unsurprisingly called "Developing a Biblical Worldview ," which "is designed to lead an individual into thinking biblically about major areas of life with the goal of building a biblically-based culture. ... DBW includes a lesson on the Christian history of our nation and a lesson on major events of world history from a biblical point of view."
In other words, indoctrination, with a little salesmanship on the side.
Given that the Nehemiah Institute has an interest in portraying anyone who strays even slightly from its brand of "biblical theism" as someone in need of the indoctrination course it sells -- plus, a significant number of people administering such an opt-in test may very well be likely to administer it on students they already suspect of straying from "biblical theism," adding a certain level of confirmation bias and inflating any test result numbers the institute releases -- such an agenda makes its methodology and results somewhat suspect.
Also, World O'Crap did a fine job of deconstructing the PEERS test a few years back.
ConWeb Embaces Attack on Kennedy, Don't Consider the Source Topic: The ConWeb
WorldNetDaily, NewsBusters and NewsReal have all uncritically repeated a claim made by author Edward Klein on a radio show that Ted Kennedy purportedly enjoyed jokes about Chappaquiddick.
Klein, as we'vedetailed, is the author of a 2005 book on Hillary Clinton filled with errors and distortions -- and whose claims the ConWeb, particularly Newsmax, similarly promoted without acknowledging those errors.