Led by Aaron Klein, WND has repeatedly attempted to tie the president -- however desperately and tangentally -- to communism and socialism. Read more >>
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Obama-Nazi Reference of the Day
-- Janet Porter, Sept. 22 WorldNetDaily column
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
WND Keeping Mum on Latest Taitz Disgrace
WorldNetDaily appears to be taking Orly Taitz's admonition to avoid criticism of her to heart.
The biggest story so far this week on the birther front is that Connie Rhodes -- An Army captain whom Taitz is representing in a lawsuit seeking to block her deployment to Iraq because Obama has purportedly not demonstrated himself to be an American citizen and thus qualified to be commander in chief, a case WND has touted -- has sent a letter to the judge in her case denouncing Taitz for filing motions in court without her knowledge or approval. Rhodes goes on to request that the motion be withdrawn and state that she no longer wished Taitz "to file any future motions or represent me in any way in this court," and Rhodes also states that she "plans to file a complaint with the California State Bar due to her reprehensible and unprofessional actions."
Taitz has repsonded by suggesting that Rhodes' letter is a forgery, even though Talking Points Memo has reported that thus far it appears to be legitimate.
It's been more than 24 hours since Rhodes' letter was first reported by TPM, but WND has yet to acknowledge its existence. After all, they wouldn't want to make Taitz look bad.
Anti-Abortion Violence Is A 'Myth'?
Topic: Media Research Center
WND's Racist 'Sting,' Starring Kathleen Willey
WorldNetDaily is currently touting an exposé of sorts in which Kathleen Willey -- yes, that Kathleen Willey, who apparently needs the work now that her Clinton-hating business has mostly dried up -- went undercover for WND to work as an employee with a government contractor to process rebate forms for the cash-for-clunkers program. The article's headline calls it a "sting," even though all Willey did was "taking notes on all she observed and experienced for WND."
The undercurrent of WND's "sting," however, is latent racism on the part of both Willey and WND. The article, by Chelsea Schilling, makes sure to note that the contractor that hired Willey and others for the program is "a minority-owned staffing company." Schilling continued:
Perhaps WND could have done better than to hire an admitted liar to conduct a "sting."
MRC's 'Profile of Bias' on Sawyer A Little Thin
Topic: Media Research Center
Shortly after Diane Sawyer was named the new anchor of ABC's World News, the Media Research Center slapped together a "Profile in Bias" of Sawyer, purporting to detail her liberal slant presumably pulled from the MRC archives. In doing so, the MRC stretches things a bit, citing only 35 examples over a 20-year career -- not that many for someone who was on TV either daily ("Good Morning America") or weekly "20/20") throughout much of that time.
By contrast, Media Matters cites 14 examples of what might be called conservative bias by Sawyer just since 2006.
The MRC also presents simple recitation of facts by Sawyer as "bias." For instance, a statement that Yasser Arafat was "treated as a hero, freedom fighter, revolutionary" in parts of the world was classified under "Putting a Soft Focus on World’s Worst Thugs" -- even though the MRC also quotes Sawyer as saying that Israelis saw Arafat as "a bloody terrorist and nothing more."Similarly, Sawyer's noting in 1990 that Vladimir Lenin "retains an almost mystical hold on the Soviet people" was translated by the MRC as a "touting" of Lenin.
Sawyer also ran afoul of the MRC for highlighting the excesses of the Starr Report on President Clinton, pointing out that "I think there were 62 mentions of the word ‘breast,’ 23 of ‘cigar,’ 19 of ‘semen.’ This has been called demented pornography, pornography for Puritans."
At one point, the MRC seems to condone murder: Sawyer's statement that "The abortion debate turns deadly. A doctor known for performing late-term abortions gunned down at church" is prefaced by the headline "50 Million Dead Babies Later...."
As we've detailed, the MRC put together a similarly shoddy "profile in bias" of Katie Couric upon her appointment as CBS Evening News anchor.
Farah Misleads on Obama Ads At WND (Among Other Things)
Joseph Farah's Sept. 21 WorldNetDaily column is a defense of ads for Obama's Fight the Smears website appearing at WND after "dozens of WND readers" expressed their concern and were "accusing me of everything from ineptitude to selling out." But Farah misleads about the nature of the ads -- and other things as well.
As the screen shots Farah included in his column show, the Fight the Smears ads aren't placed directly with WND but through Google AdSense (which we also use), which places ads based on the content of a specific web page. Because WND writes about (and attacks) Obama a lot, the Fight the Smears ads show up a lot as well. WND has merely chosen not to block them from appearing. AdSense's revenue model is based not on placement but on click-throughs. WND makes no money on these ads if its readers -- who, as a whole, are not inclined to support anything that even remotely benefits Obama -- don't click on them.
In other words, it's not as loftily principled as Farah portrays, and it is more about selling out.
There is a lack of principles on Farah's part here -- not for accepting the Obama ads but, rather, for using Google AdSense. As we've pointed out, Farah has repeatedly attacked Google, even calling the company "immoral" and that it "may not be able to discern right from wrong." Why is Farah working with an "immoral" ad partner? How does Farah explain how his "principles" led him to partner with such a company?
In other words, it's totally about selling out.
Farah also claimed that "WND hosted lots of ads for both John McCain and Barack Obama – even though your humble and ever-independent editor and founder wrote a book called 'None of the Above' and was outspoken in his criticism of both candidates."Farah doesn't mention that his own managing editor, David Kupelian, endorsed McCain -- a reflection of WND's overall coverage of the campaign, which tilted heavily in McCain's favor.
Farah goes on to write:
Actually, we have challenged it. Out of the three dozen or so regular columnists, only Press and Ratner can be described as liberal; the rest range from conservative to right-wing Christian to libertarian. The presence of Ratner and Press -- who rarely get promoted by WND the way it does its right wing columnists -- appear to be for the sole purpose of Farah claiming that WND offers "the broadest spectrum of commentary." Press and Ratner are outliers; WND's actual "spectrum of commentary" runs from conservative to far-right. It can't actually be described as "broad" when it's so heavily weighted to one side.
Farah also indulges in a little promotion of WND's book division, which he says "revolutionized the publishing industry in this country and opened the doors for best-selling books by Michael Savage and Mark Levin and Glenn Beck." How is publishing books by right-wing authors a revolution of any kind? And didn't Regnery beat WND to that punch by, oh, a decade or two?
Monday, September 21, 2009
Newsmax Doesn't Tell Whole Story of FAIR
A Sept. 21 Newsmax article by Dave Eberhart touted a speech by Rep. Dana Rohrabacher at the Federation for America Immigration Reform's (FAIR) recent "Hold Their Feet to the Fire" gathering, noting how "Rohrabacher had come to the FAIR gathering to lend his support to that organization’s President, Dan Stein, who was busy himself sounding the clarion call about allowing the Obama administration to push through any reform that features amnesty."
Eberhart failed to note that FAIR was founded by John Tanton, who has made numerous controversial and arguably racist statements about immigrants. Nor did Eberhart mention that AIR received $1.2 million between 1985 and 1994 from the Pioneer Fund, a foundation that supports the work of white supremacists, eugenicists, and others who seek to prove that genetic differences exist between races.
AIM's NY Times Boycott Site Goes Dormant
Topic: Accuracy in Media
Has Accuracy in Media pulled the plug on its New York Times boycott website?
BoycottNYT.com has not been updated since early August. Its chief writer, Don Feder, last posted an item at the end of June. A Sept. 16 WorldNetDaily column by Feder did not mention any connection to AIM or the Times boycott in Feder's bio.
That's probably just as well, since Feder made a hash of things. As we've detailed, Feder's work at the Times boycott website was notable more for right-wing screeds filled with misleading claims than anything resembling legitimate, coherent media criticism.
AIM always seemed a bit embarrassed to be associated with Feder's website -- it rarely promoted the site, and never offered a link to it on the AIM front page. Now, AIM seems to be trying to quietly bury it.
Ellis Washington's Radio Host Fluffing Week
It was Radio Host Fluffing Week in Ellis Washington's WorldNetDaily columns this past week.
Washington's Sept. 16 column was yet another act of literary fellatio on Michael Savage (Washington has now declared himself the "authorized biographer for the conservative intellectual" Savage), touting an invitation by the Cambridge Union Society, "the world's oldest and most prestigious debating society," to speak at the British university. Washington asked: "Would he be allowed to debate the team at Cambridge Union Society alone, or would he be paired up with an assortment of radicals, racists and demagogues?" You mean besides Savage?
And the fellatio began:
Washington hiliarously adds: "I don't want to be unduly melodramatic here." But what other reason for existence does Washington have?
Washington gets away from the homoerotic overtones of his creepy fealty to Savage long enough to sing the praises of a different radio host -- Laura Ingraham -- for his Sept. 19 column.
It's good to know that Washington likes girls after all ... we think.
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.
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