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Monday, September 21, 2009
WND Loves Cleon Skousen Too
Last week, Salon published an interesting profile of Cleon Skousen, who has emerged as the ideological mentor of Glenn Beck. You will not be surprised to learn that WorldNetDaily loves Skousen as well.
WND is currently including as a bonus for subscribing to its Whistleblower magazine "the book Glenn Beck has been raving about," Skousen's "The 5,000 Year Leap"(also available in the WND store). WND says of the book:
The author explains in clear, concise terms all that came together to create a nation that literally accomplished a 5,000-year leap in progress. Skousen covers in detail what went into the design of the U.S. Constitution, highlighting the original sources for the principles that inspired the United States, and showing how the Founders developed these principles from the studies of Cicero, Locke, Montesquieu, and Adam Smith.
Well, actually, not so much. At Salon, Alexander Zaitchik says of the book:
Zaitchik goes on to note that "Skousen had authored more than a dozen books and pamphlets on the Red Menace, New World Order conspiracy, Christian child rearing, and Mormon end-times prophecy."
Skousen is also known for another screed, called "The Naked Capitalist," whcih Zaitchik calls "a foundational document of America's NWO conspiracy and survivalist scene" (which makes it somewhat of a surprise that WND doesn't sell it). Indeed, Zaitchik writes that "The Naked Capitalist" is a screed against "the dynastic rich" and "liberal internationalist groups such as the Council on Foreign Relations" (WND sells other works that conspiracy-monger about the CFR too, so its failure to stock this is doubly puzzling).
Then again, Skousen's work does have a bit of bad press surrounding it. A highly respected Brigham Young University history professor named Louis C. Midgley reviewed the book in 1971 and was not kind, pointing out that Skousen's personal position seems to me perilously close to the 'exclusive uniformity' which I see in Nazism and in the Radical Right in this country. In fact, his position has echoes of the original Nazi 25-point plan."
Sunday, September 20, 2009
CNS Tries to Link Health Care Reform to Illegal Immigrants
We've noted that CNSNews.com has latched onto a conspiracy theory tying together the issues of health care reform. As CNS editor in chief Terry Jeffrey has summed up: "Illegal immigrants won’t get federal health insurance benefits under Obama’s plan because they won’t be illegal immigrants anymore, they will be legal immigrants." CNS has pushed that conspiracy over the past week.
A Sept. 16 article by Matt Cover gave away the whole thing in its overly long headline: "[Steny] Hoyer Won't Answer Directly Whether Immigration Reform Would Make Current Illegal Aliens Eligible for Federally Subsidized Health Insurance Under Obamacare." Cover followed up the next day in the same vein, asking other senators "whether people who are currently illegal aliens in the United States would become eligible for health insurance subsidies under the proposed health-care reform plan if they were made into legal residents and put on a pathway to citizenship by an immigration reform bill."
CNS then latched onto what it seems to consider its smoking gun on the non-issue: a statement at the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute that, as summarized in a Sept. 18 article by Nicholas Ballasy, "llegal immigrants would not get government funded health insurance under his health care reform, but said the debate over that plan underscores the need to legalize illegal immigrants so they can get that coverage."
Of course, all of this is nothing more than an attempt by CNS and its fellow conservatives to attack health care reform by hitching it to another issue conservatives despise, comprehensive immigration reform. As we've noted, CNS has repeatedly and baselessly attacked comprehensive immigration reform as "amnesty."
Shocker: NewsBusters Concedes Fox News Ad Is False
A Sept. 18 NewsBusters post by Matthew Balan is noteworthy for calling a conservative spade a spade.
Balan writes that "CNN’s Rick Sanchez correctly pointed out that a full-page color ad by the Fox News Channel incorrectly claimed that his network missed the massive September 12 Tea Party rally in Washington, DC," adding that Sanchez "completely discredited the ad’s claim."
The shocking thing here is Balan's deviance from the official Fox News line -- which is, according to Howard Kurtz, that the ad "refers to the other networks' missing the larger story, not failing to cover the demonstration itself -- although the photos suggest that the headline refers to the protest."
Since unmitigated praise for a non-conservative news outlet cannot be allowed to stand at any division of the Media Research Center, Balan makes sure to add that Sanchez "went on to paper over CNN’s own double-standard on covering left-wing protests versus conservative protests." Balan added that "Sanchez also accused Fox News of trying to 'promote' the Tea Parties" -- which Balan doesn't contradict.
Balan asserted that "on March 22, 2003 CNN broadcast 38 separate reports on another anti-Iraq war demonstration," but he offers no count on Fox News' coverage of the 9/12 protests, which included not only numerous reports the day of the protests but organization of the protest by Fox News personnel and heavy promotion of events leading up to the protest -- something that can't be said about CNN's coverage of anti-war protests.
UPDATE: Oh, and the boys of NewsBusters have been silent so far on a video showing a Fox News producer rallying the crowd at the 9/12 protest -- something the "mainstream media" has never been accused of doing at the anti-war protests.
Saturday, September 19, 2009
Misleading Newsmax Headline Watch
A Sept. 18 Newsmax article by Rick Pedraza carries the headline "Biden: Iran Not a Threat." But at no point in Pedraza's article is Vice President Joe Biden quoted as saying that.
The closest thing to that statement is, "I am less concerned — much less concerned — about the Iranian potential. They have no potential at this moment; they have no capacity to launch a missile at the United States of America." But Pedraza also quotes Biden as saying, "I think we are fully capable and secure dealing with any present or future potential Iranian threat. ... The whole purpose of this exercise we are undertaking is to diminish the prospect of the Iranians destabilizing that region in the world."
By oversimplifying a Biden statement and taking it out of context, Newsmax misleads its readers.
Obama Derangement Syndrome Watch
-- Robert Ringer, Sept. 18 WorldNetDaily column
WND Gets It Wrong on Obama, ACORN
A Sept. 18 WorldNetDaily article by Chelsea Schilling repeats numerous misleading and false claims about the relationship between President Obama and ACORN.
Schilling wrote that "in 1992, while he was working as a community organizer in Chicago, Obama headed the Chicago operations of Project Vote!, an ACORN effort to register voters nationally. " In fact, as we've detailed and as Obama's Fight the Smears states, Project Vote was not operated by ACORN at the time.Schilling includes a screenshot of the Fight the Smears page containing that statement, but she failed to include it in her article.
Schilling wrote that in 1995 Obama "sued the state of Illinois on behalf of ACORN to implement the federal 'motor voter' law," failing to mention that ACORN's fellow plaintiffs in the case also included the Department of Justice and the League of Women Voters.Further, Obama was not the onlyattorney representing ACORN; indeed, he was not a lead attorney in the case but, rather, an associate.
Schilling claimed that William Ayers "selected Obama to be the first chairman of the board of the Annenberg Challenge." In fact, the New York Times reported that "according to several people involved, Mr. Ayers played no role in Mr. Obama's appointment."
Schilling wrote that "newspaper evidence shows Obama was a member of the New Party, which sought to elect members to public office with the aim of moving the Democratic Party far leftward to ultimately form a new political party with a socialist agenda." In fact, the Aug. 23 WND article by Aaron Klein that Schilling cites for this claim quotes a New Party official as stating that to his knowledge Obama was not a member of the New Party "in any practical way."
Friday, September 18, 2009
NewsBusters Don't Like Them Furriners Tellin' Them What to Do
Amy Ridenour complains in a Sept. 17 NewsBusters post that Andrew Sullivan is "not a citizen of the United States," yet he has "been commenting on U.S. domestic policy for the last couple of decades as if he had a citizen's stake in the nation" and "telling us how to arrange our domestic affairs." Sullivan "has been happy to tell Americans how to vote while owing his allegiance to a foreign power," Ridenour writes.
Two words for Amy: Mark Steyn.
County Fair has more.
NewsBusters Touts Another Dubious Poll
A Sept. 17 NewsBusters post by Terry Trippany touts a Towers Perrin survey claiming that, in Trippany's words, "a majority of employers surveyed will reduce benefits resulting from the proposed Democrat Health Care Reform bill that is working its way through Congress if it increases costs." But like the similarly anti-reform Investor's Business Daily poll NewsBusters touted earlier in the week, this survey has some problems.
According to the poll's methdology, "The Tower Perrin Health Care Reform Pulse Survey drew responses from 433 HR and benefit executives from a cross section of midsize and large organizations in the U.S. ... The survey was conducted online in July 2009." Online polling is considered by polling experts to be problematic because participants tend to be self-selecting instead of a true cross-section, skewing results.
Newsmax, WND Misleadingly Promote Irrelevant Memo
A Sept. 17 Newsmax article by Dan Weil claims that a "previously unreleased Treasury Department analysis" concludes that "a cap-and-trade law would cost every American household $1,761 a year — or a national total of nearly $200 billion a year, the equivalent of hiking personal income taxes by about 15 percent."
But the analysis Weil is writing about isn't applicable to the cap-and-trade law currently before Congress.
As Media Matters details, the Treasury memo discusses a proposal that would auction 100 percent of the emissions allowances, which would have generated the "nearly $200 billion a year" Neil references. But the cap-and-trade law currently before Congress provides for giving away 80 percent of those emissions allowances.
Further, both the current legislation proposes, and Obama himself has proposed, methods to reduce the impact of cap-and-trade on consumers -- which is not accounted for in the memo Weil cites. A Congressional Budget Office analysis of the current legislation found that that average cost to households in 2020 is $175 per year when various methods of impact mitigation methods are included.
Weil mentions none of this.
Similarly, a Sept. 17 interview by WorldNetDaily/Radio America's Greg Corombos of Peter Sepp of the National Taxpayers Union touted the memo while failing that it doesn't analyze the bill actually before Congress. Indeed, Sepp distorts things further, claiming that "this should be viewed as the floor of what additional monies taxpayers would have to fork over rather than the ceiling."
Erik Rush Discovers Gay Sex
What is with conservatives' weird obession with gay sex?
We've detailed Rush Limbaugh's obsession with it, particularly of the anal variety. Now Erik Rush -- who has previously likened Barack obama to a prison rapist, drops this in his Sept. 17 WorldNetDaily column:
One has to wonder if Rush (either one) is projecting his own creepy fantasies on Obama.
Cliff Kincaid's Sleazy Smear
Topic: Accuracy in Media
How consumed with hate is Cliff Kincaid?
It wasn't enough for him to write in a Sept. 17 "AIM Report" that "In their canonization of thet late Senator [Ted] Kennedy, our media failed to note that he left a young woman, Mary Jo Kopechne, to die in the bottom of a submerged car." That's a lie -- we defy Kincaid to point out an example of an encompassing mainstream media obituary of Kennedy that didn't mention it.
But Kincaid wasn't done. He went on to write: "A notorious womanizer, he had left a party, probably a drunken orgy, with this poor girl and his car went off a bridge." [emphasis added]
Why is Kincaid making such an offensive claim about Kennedy that he cannot possibly prove? Why is he driven to tell the most outrageous lies about Kennedy?
We've asked Kincaid to substantiate both of these claims.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Schlafly Pads Anti-Obama Protest Numbers
-- Phyllis Schlafly, Sept. 16 WorldNetDaily column
Of course, those "estimates" are coming from people who have an interest in padding the numbers.
The Whitewash Continues: WND Downplays Accusations Against Taitz
We have the answer to our question. WorldNetDaily will report on the accusation that Orly Taitz suborned perjury -- but only in the most perfunctory way possible.
An unbylined Sept. 17 WND article tackles the allegation -- but only after allowing Taitz to claim without challenge that "doubters should be questioning Obama, not her" and dismissing attacks on Taitz as merely "various accusations" that "have been cluttering the blogosphere in recent weeks."
It's only in the 13th paragraph -- after the non-news of rehashing yet again the eligibility case against Obama -- that WND actually gets around to the actual news of detailing Larry Sinclair's allegation that Taitz suborned perjury. WND makes sure to note that Sinclair's "allegations that Obama shared cocaine with him were undermined by a reported failed lie detector test" -- a display of incredulousness WND did not show in originally reporting Sinclair's claim in early 2008. WND then quotes Taitz dismissing the claim because "a person cannot just come from the street and file a declaration or an affidavit. ... It has to be filed by a party to the action. Either I, as an attorney for the plaintiffs, or attorney for the defendants, assistant U.S. attorney, would file something."
At no point does WND quote Taitz denying the allegation itself.
Interestingly, WND also reports a similar claim "purportedly" from Lucas Smith , "the individual who has reported obtaining a Kenyan birth certificate for Obama," that Taitz asked him to "lie under oath about information that I had no knowledge of at the time I was in Africa." WND offers no direct refutation of that claim by Taitz, either.
WND then quotes Taitz saying, "There was a rumor that there was some complaint filed with the [California] bar and I was disbarred. None of it is true." While it may not be true that Taitz has been disbarred, it is indisputably true that a complaint against her has been filed in the California bar. WND has yet to report on that complaint, and fails to correct Taitz here (as we've detailed).
The entire article reads like something WND was shamed into writing, built around a Taitz blog post and padded with standard WND anti-Obama boilerplace. WND makes no attempt whatsoever to verify the claims Taitz makes.
As much as WND editor Joseph Farah touts that he's "not afraid of the truth" and how "we consistently break stories they don't dare break," he and WND have shown themselves to be quite afraid of the truth about Taitz. Perhaps that's because WND has quite the little birther factory going -- from which WND is profiting handsomely -- and it doesn't dare break the inconvenient truth of Taitz's incompetence as a lawyer lest it interfere with lining Farah's pockets.
Stanek Turns Pro-Life Shooting Victim Into Martyr
Jill Stanek's Sept. 16 WorldNetDaily column plays up the shooting death of Jim Pouillon, a Michigan anti-abortion protester killed along with another man who was not an anti-abortion activist. Stanek starts off by downplaying the killings of eight abortion doctors and workers by anti-abortion zealots, claiming they were "aborted" rather than murdered. Stanek takes a stunningly dismissive attitude toward them, as if condoning their murders:
But Stanek is much more interested in creating martyrdom for Poullion: "I hope Jim's family sees it that way – more jewels in a dazzling crown as he assumes a place of prominence in heaven with the other martyrs." She repeats claims that he was "a selfless, soft-spoken, kind-hearted man" and that he "needed a portable oxygen tank and leg braces" to carry out his activism, going on to call Poullion "he sort of person the other side likes to pick off" -- even though there's no evidence that his alleged killer was involved in the pro-choice movement.
Stanek might want to hold back a bit on granting Poullion sainthood. Criticism of Poullion's methods has come from an unlikely source -- the right-wing, Davbid Horowitz-operated Newsreal blog, where David Forsmark writes:
Indeed, Stanek gives short shrift to that other victim, claiming he was killed "for a totally unrelated reason, they say, as if to dilute the magnitude of Jim's murder."
Not only has Stanek put the value of Jim Poullion's life above those her fellow anti-abortion activists have killed, she put it above that of another person killed by the same man on the same day, just because he wasn't an anti-abortion activist.
There's something deeply disturbing in that. Too bad Stanek doesn't think so.
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