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Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Blumer Repeats Discredited Right-Wing Chrysler Conspiracies
Topic: NewsBusters

In an Oct. 6 NewsBusters post, serial misleader Tom Blumer blames Chrysler's sluggish performance in part on "its apparently politicized and possibly reverse discrimination-driven decisions about which dealers it would keep after emerging from bankruptcy." But those claims have been long ago debunked.

The link Blumer supplies for "apparently politicized" suggests that Democratic-leaning dealers were allowed to keep their Chrysler franchises while Republican-leaning dealers were not, citing in particular the case of former Clinton administration official Mack McLarty, who is a partner in several Chrysler dealerships that styed in business. But as we detailed, McLarty's family has long been in the auto business, and one of McLarty's partners in his current venture is Steve Landers, who previously operated what was for several years the world's largest Chrysler dealer. (Also, Landers appears to be a Republican.)

Blumer's link to "possibly reverse discrimination-driven decisions" links to a previous post by him suggesting that. In that post, Blumer discredited his own claim by citing a report showing that the percentage of minority-owned Chrysler dealers was almost exactly the same before and after bankruptcy, so naturally Blumer ignored it to assert that because minority-owned dealers allegedly aren't as strong as others, "the minority-owned dealer termination rate should have been higher."

Posted by Terry K. at 9:15 AM EDT
New Article: Our Newsmax Problem
Topic: Newsmax
John L. Perry's column advocating a military coup against President Obama is just the latest and most extreme example of Newsmax's anti-Obama rhetoric and activism. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 2:08 AM EDT
WND Smears, Libels Teacher
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Based on the testimony of one parent, WorldNetDaily has smeared and quite possibly libeled a Virginia high school teacher.

An Oct. 5 article by Chelsea Schilling uncriticially repeats claims by the parent, who claims that "English teacher Kathleen Renard provided her personal copy of a book called 'Perks of Being a Wallflower' by Stephen Chbosky to one of her English students, and it was passed to his son." The bookwas available as part of marking the American Library Association's "Banned Book Week." Schilling provides a long list of bullet points of the book's purportedly offensive content -- "sex acts between teenagers," "suicide," and "attempted sex between a boy and a dog" among them -- butSchilling makes no attempt to place them in context, indicating that she has not read the book she's reporting on.

Schilling goes on to smear the teacher by suggesting she intends to molest her students, writing that the parent "mentioned WND's big list of teachers who have sexual relationships with minor students and said he is concerned that a teacher who provides sexually explicit reading material to her students could have ulterior motives." Such an obviously false, malicious statement could very well be considered libel, giving the teacher grounds to sue WND.

We've previously documented WND's creepy, possibly prurient obsession with female teachers -- not male ones -- who have sex swith their students.

WND has already gone through one major libel suit, which didn't end so well. Is it really that eager for another?

Posted by Terry K. at 1:13 AM EDT
Terry Jeffrey Wants Obama to Fail

In case it wasn't clear that editor in chief Terry Jeffrey is not interested in fair and balanced reporting about President Obama on the website he heads, Jeffrey made his views more articulate in an Oct. 5 appearance on MSNBC's "Hardball."

Responding to Chris Matthews' question about whether the right is "will cheer" if Obama fails at everything like Rush Limbaugh said, Jeffrey responded:

JEFFREY: Look, after this happened, President Obama took over General Motors. He offered a health care plan that had a public option where the government would be running a health care program that Michael Moore said would drive private health insurance companies out of business. Rush had specific agenda items that President Obama was forwarding. He said he was against them. He hoped they failed. I'm with Rush 100 percent on this one.


JEFFREY: On the domestic front, I think conservatives are opposed to just about everything President Obama is trying to do because he's trying to augment the power of government over our lives and diminish our individual freedom. So to the degree that his ability to leverage the Democrats in Congress to attain his agenda is diminished, that's a good thing for the Unted States.

An Oct. 5 NewsBusters item by Geoffrey Dickens, which includes much of the transcript of Jeffrey's appearance, curiously omits the above sections. What is the MRC afraid of? That Jeffrey's bias, and how it's reflected at CNS, will become clear to readers?

Posted by Terry K. at 12:03 AM EDT
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Meanwhile ...
Topic: WorldNetDaily
Media Matters highlights how WorldNetDaily's Joseph Farah wrote in his Oct. 6 column, as part of WND's anti-gay attack on Obama administration official Chai Feldblum, that Obama appointees are found at "" and that "the entire federal government is going to have to be fumigated some day when these deviants and degenerates are finally sent packing."

Posted by Terry K. at 9:51 PM EDT
NewsBusters Heathering Watch
Topic: NewsBusters

There's been a heapin' helpin' of Heathering at NewsBusters of late:

  • Tim Graham allows Mark Levin to bash "pseudo-Republican consultant" Mark McKinnon as having "the political integrity of a Sham-Wow salesman." McKinnon had previously criticized Levin's "hate langauage," and Graham permitted Levin to prove McKinnon right.
  • Graham is still ticked off that former Republican congressman (and current MSNBC host) Joe Scarborough was criticial of Republicans in 2006, and is further annoyed that "Strike-a-Pose Joe" wrote "one of those look-at-me articles distancing himself from other conservatives: I’m so much less partisan! Our country is weakened by bitter partisanship, and I will not participate!"
  • Noel Sheppard touts how CNBC's Joe Kernen questioned David Brooks' conservative credentials.
  • P.J. Gladnick posits that if Brooks was a real conservative, he wouldn't be criticizing Rush Limbaugh.
We thought the Media Research Center was about, you know, media research, not running purity tests on conservatives.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:48 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, October 6, 2009 12:50 PM EDT
WND Ignores Evidence Ahmadinejad Isn't A Jew
Topic: WorldNetDaily

An Oct. 3 WorldNetDaily article by Drew Zahn rehashes a UK Telegraph report that Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has "Jewish roots." It was followed by an Oct. 5 WND article repeating the claim, only this time citing the British intelligence service MI6 as a source.

Missing was any evidence questioning that view.

The Telegraph report makes a big deal out of how, as Zahn wrote, "Ahmadinejad's original family name – prior to their conversion to Islam – was Sabourjian, a Jewish name meaning 'cloth weaver.'" But the UK Guardian offers an alternative explanation:

Professor David Yeroshalmi, author of The Jews of Iran in the 19th century and an expert on Iranian Jewish communities, disputes the validity of this argument. "There is no such meaning for the word 'sabour' in any of the Persian Jewish dialects, nor does it mean Jewish prayer shawl in Persian. Also, the name Sabourjian is not a well-known Jewish name," he stated in a recent interview. In fact, Iranian Jews use the Hebrew word "tzitzit" to describe the Jewish prayer shawl. Yeroshalmi, a scholar at Tel Aviv University's Center for Iranian Studies, also went on to dispute the article's findings that the "-jian" ending to the name specifically showed the family had been practising Jews. "This ending is in no way sufficient to judge whether someone has a Jewish background. Many Muslim surnames have the same ending," he stated.

Upon closer inspection, a completely different interpretation of "Sabourjian" emerges. According to Robert Tait, a Guardian correspondent who travelled to Ahmadinejad's native village in 2005, the name "derives from thread painter – sabor in Farsi – a once common and humble occupation in the carpet industry in Semnan province, where Aradan is situated". This is confirmed by Kasra Naji, who also wrote a biography of Ahmadinejad and met his family in his native village. Carpet weaving or colouring carpet threads are not professions associated with Jews in Iran.

According to both Naji and Tait, Ahmadinejad's father Ahmad was in fact a religious Shia, who taught the Quran before and after Ahmadinejad's birth and their move to Tehran. 


The reason that Ahmadinejad's father changed his surname has more to do with the class struggle in Iran. When it became mandatory to adopt surnames, many people from rural areas chose names that represented their professions or that of their ancestors. This made them easily identifiable as townfolk. In many cases they changed their surnames upon moving to Tehran, in order to avoid snobbery and discrimination from residents of the capital.

The Sabourjians were one of many such families. Their surname was related to carpet-making, an industry that conjures up images of sweatshops. They changed it to Ahmadinejad in order to help them fit in. The new name was also chosen because it means from the race of Ahmad, one of the names given to Muhammad.

Will WND report this information? Don't count on it.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:28 AM EDT
AIM Tries to Change the Subject
Topic: Accuracy in Media

In an Oct. 5 Accuracy in Media post, Don Irvine response to criticism of Republicans cheering the failure of Chicago to win the 2016 Olympics by trying to change the subject: "Now that someone dares to criticize the president for making an unprecendented pitch for the Olympics while major parts of his legilsative agenda wallow at home or the fact that the unemployment report continues to hit 26 -year old lows that's un-American?"

But the question is not whether Obama should be criticized for traveling to Copenhagen to lobby for Chicago's bid. It's whether Irvine's fellow conservatives look unseemly in celebrating the bid's demise, or, in the words of his headling, "rooting against America."

Irvine has nothing to say about that core accusation -- which makes us wonder if he's celebrating it as well.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:29 AM EDT
WND's Simpson Roots Against America
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Barbara Simpson joins the right-wing crowd rooting against America and gloating that Chicago lost its bid for the 2016 Olympics in her Oct. 5 WorldNetDaily column:

The Obama dream team – Chicago version – crashed and burned in Copenhagen last Friday when Chicago was eliminated in the first round of voting for the 2016 Olympic games.

It couldn't have happened to a nicer bunch.

Stay classy, Barb.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:15 AM EDT
WND Still Whitewashing Orly Taitz
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily still doesn't want its readers to know the truth about Orly Taitz.

An Oct. 2 article by Chelsea Schilling downplays Taitz's involvement in a birther-related lawsuit in favor of elevating fellow birther lawyer Gary Kreep of the United States Justice Foundation. Schilling fails to report that Kreep's clients, Wiley Drake and Markham Robinson, used to be represented by Taitz, but dropped her after determining she was "in over her head." Schilling also didn't report that Taitz for a while refused to sign papers transferring Drake and Markham's representation from her to Kreep, then filed papers stating Drake and Robinson's desire to be removed from the lawsuit.

(And, needless to say, Schilling made sure not to report that Drake has prayed for Obama's death, which makes him a less-than-objective plaintiff.)

Schilling benignly wrote that "Taitz and Kreep have expressed significant differences of opinion in how the case should be handled"; in fact, Taitz has been feuding with Kreep.

An Oct. 5 follow-up article by Bob Unruh largely repeated Schilling's claims without offering the full truth -- which, in this case, according to the OC Weekly, meant more specious and bizarre arguments:

Carter seemed genuinely perplexed by the issue of standing. A plaintiff claiming harm must prove that that harm is not "speculative and hypothetical." Again and again, he asked Taitz and Kreep to explain why that wasn't the case for their plaintiffs. After returning from a twenty minute recess, Taitz was armed with a compelling answer: Because she came from the USSR!

Taitz's question to the court: "Have you ever heard of a lawyer being able to challenge Stalin?" She then launched into the story of how her great uncle was sent to a labor camp in Siberia, and lawyers weren't able to free him. Her great aunt, stricken with grief, slit her own wrists but was rescued by a neighbor. After years and years in Siberia, Taitz's uncle returned to his family, only to die soon after. The moral of the story? "That's what happens when citizens don't have the power to enforce their constitutional rights given by God and given by the Constitution."

It was the biggest applause line of the day. 

Since WND is still protecting its readers from tales of Taitz's increasing legal incompetence,  there's no mention at all at WND of how, in a separate case, Taitz is accusing the judge of secretly meeting with Attorney General Eric Holder.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:07 AM EDT
NewsBusters Defends Beck, Misleads on Reporting About Him
Topic: NewsBusters

In an Oct. 5 NewsBusters post, Jeff Poor uncritically repeated Glenn Beck's "impassioned plea to stop looking into his past" and his complaint that the media has "looked into Glenn Beck's past - and not corruption in government." But isn't a demand by someone that the media stop examining them de facto evidence that said person has something to hide and that, in fact, his past should continue to be dug into?

Poor went on to state that "the McClatchy-owned The News Tribune of Tacoma, Wash. and the left-leaning ran stories questioning whether or not Glenn Beck's mother, Mary Beck committed suicide. It was later propagated by the left-wing storefronts." But Poor is buying into Beck's framing of things. The issue is not whether Beck's mother committed suicide; it's whether Beck is insisting she did when the official evidence is at best inconclusive.

Instead of regurgitating what Beck says, shouldn't Poor be asking why Beck is suddenly getting squeamish about media attention?

Poor's link on "left-wing storefronts," by the way, goes to Media Matters. But isn't NewsBusters, not to mention the rest of the Media Research Center, a right-wing storefront?

Posted by Terry K. at 12:22 AM EDT
Monday, October 5, 2009
Meanwhile ...
Topic: Newsmax
Joe Conason at Salon details the resurgence of the "vast right-wing conspiracy," with special emphasis on Newsmax. He even links to ConWebWatch.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:36 PM EDT
NewsBusters Falsely Claims Consumer Reports Endorses "ObamaCare"
Topic: NewsBusters

An Oct. 5 NewsBusters post by P.J. Gladnick asserts that in a new TV ad and website statement, Consumer Reports has "now come out in support of ObamaCare." Gladnick insists that Consumers Union, the nonprofit publisher of Consumer Reports, is abandoning "any claim of political neutrality" and endorsing "endorsing a highly unpopular Democrat health care bill that will be costly to the taxpayers."

In fact, Consumers Union is endorsing no specific plan and doesn't even mention Obama by name -- as the CU statement Gladnick quotes makes clear:

You may wonder why we are injecting ourselves so publicly into a heated debate that has generated an enormous amount of concern and confusion. We believe that so much attention has been focused on the politics of health care that we're losing sight of the core problems. Health costs are skyrocketing, which affects all of us, and if you get seriously sick, having insurance is no guarantee that you'll get the care you need.

We are in the business of providing information and advice that helps consumers. We don't make campaign contributions. We don't endorse candidates. And we don't care who gets the credit for fixing the problems with health care—we just need them fixed. Doing nothing about health care is not a solution.

Too many Americans are just one pink slip away—or one major illness away—from losing their health coverage. That's why policymakers need to find a solution this year.

At no point does CU endorse "ObamaCare" -- just reform that fixes "the problems with health care." Is Gladnick incapable of basic reading comprehension?

Posted by Terry K. at 1:33 PM EDT
Obama-Nazi Smear of the Day
Topic: WorldNetDaily

While, of course, weaselly denying that he's making any such connection:

Don't you dare point out in polite company that socialized medicine in Germany provided the mechanism for the Holocaust.

Don't do it.

Even though it's undeniably true from a historical standpoint, Barack Obama, the Democratic Party and their accomplices in the Big Media will vilify you, ridicule you and accuse you of minimizing the tragedy of the Holocaust.

But I don't really care if they play that card with me. They've already played the race card. They've already played the Nazi card. They've already played the "extremist" card. Consider me inoculated from the venomous poison of these vipers.


Am I suggesting that socialized medicine of the kind being promoted in America today leads inevitably to holocaust and mass murder?


But I am saying it is a necessary prerequisite for government-directed holocaust and mass murder to occur.

It's also clear that the kind of state-enforced medical rationing and the politicization of medicine observed in Germany before and during Hitler's reign of terror would not be possible without that first step of nationalized health care.

This does not mean Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid are little Hitlers in the making. I am not calling them Nazis, though they share some common values and common friends with the German national socialists. I am saying their statist work in the area of so-called "health-care reform" can make it possible for some future American version of Hitler to carry out his most diabolical plans.

-- Joseph Farah, Oct. 5 WorldNetDaily column

Posted by Terry K. at 11:58 AM EDT
WND Attacks Oprah
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily's book division is publishing a new title, "O God," by Josh McDowell and Dave Sterrett, which purports to demonstrate that Oprah Winfrey is not, well, a right-wing evangelical Christian.

McDowell and Sterrett -- who set up their evangelical credentials as "Christian apologists who believe that salvation is by God's grace alone, through faith alone, and in Christ alone" -- set up their attack as "a fictional conversation – or series of conversations – between two female graduate students, both seeking spiritual truth." Because nothing says authenticity more than two adult males passing themselves off as female graduate students.

WND dismisses Oprah's spirituality as nothing more than "casual New Age proclamations," adding:

It is Oprah's compassion that lures millions to her TV show and her magazine and the persona that has become an industry. Yet, McDowell and Sterrett explore the possibility that misguided compassion, based on human emotions rather than divine revelation and God's law, can lead people in dangerous directions.

So evangelicals aren't big on compassion? Or is compassion only for people who agree with them?

We'd like to read the book, but somehow we suspect that the chances that WND will send us a review copy are negligible at best.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:18 AM EDT

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