Richard Bartholomew looks into the claims of a WorldNetDaily advertiser who promises a "Frightening 150 Page Report on Obama’s New World Order." It's pretty much what you'd expect from a WND advertiser.
Friday, December 4, 2009
NewsBusters Misleadingly Blames CNN for Questionable Obama Threat Claim
Mike Bates uses a Dec. 3 NewsBusters post to crow about how CNN's Rick Sanchez has abandonded a claim that death threats against President Obama have increased 400 percent over threats against President Bush. But Sanchez wasn't the first to make the claim -- a conservative was.
Bates documents Sanchez first making the claim on Aug. 28, which he then lamented "was eagerly picked up by sites like Daily Kos and Racism Review." But more than three weeks earlier, Ronald Kessler -- no Obama fan, as we've detailed -- forwarded the claim in an Aug. 3 Newsmax article promoting Kessler's then-new book on the Secret Service:
Will the MRC hold Newsmax to the same standard it holds CNN? We'd like to see if it's capable of doing that.
AIM Repeats False Claim About Obama Cabinet
Topic: Accuracy in Media
A Dec. 1 Accuracy in Media column, from the "editors of FamilySecurityMatters.org," highlights a "fascinating chart, said to be from a JP Morgan research report," which purports to show that number of Obama cabinet appointees with "experience in the private sector" was less than 10 percent, far less than previous administrations.
Too bad it's not true.
PolitiFact looked into the claim, first reported by Michael Cembalest, the chief investment officer for J.P. Morgan Private Bank, and promoted by Glenn Beck, and found that, in fact, "at least three of the nine posts that Cembalest and Beck cite — a full one-third — are occupied by appointees who, by our reading of their bios, had significant corporate or business experience." Further, "Three other Obama appointees had legal experience in the private sector."
PolitiFact then talked to Cembalest, who admitted his errors, adding that he said "any effort to address the topic is heavily subjective, and he expressed regret that his work had been used for political ends, saying that it was not his intention to provide fodder for bloggers and talk show hosts."
So, will Accuracy in Media live up to its name and issue a correction? We shall see.
Thursday, December 3, 2009
-- Dec. 3 NewsBusters post by Noel Sheppard
-- Dec. 3 NewsBusters post by Scott Whitlock
Farah: 'Yes, I Do Believe In Conspiracies'
For once, Joseph Farah tells the truth (for the first two paragraphs, anyway) in his Dec. 3 WorldNetDaily column:
Another Joke Anti-Global Warming Report, Endorsed by Noel Sheppard
We've previously noted that NewsBusters' Noel Sheppard has no interest in fact-checking conservatives as long as they're spouting conservatively correct anti-global warming talking points. In one of those posts that we cited, Sheppard also wrote this:
That breakdown sounded familiar to us. Sure enough, Marc Morano was peddling a similar breakdown a couple years ago. As we detailed, it has no basis in reality, making an apples-and-oranges comparison by compiling everything tangentally related to climate change, such as development of alternative fuels, to donations made by a single company.
That seems to be the case with the "study" Sheppard promoted. Sheppard links to what appears to be an op-ed making the claim, but no supporting evidence is offered or even linked to.
A little more digging around the 'Net uncovers the original SPPI report, which states that the $79 billion lumps together all "science and technology research, administration, education campaigns, foreign aid, and tax breaks." As with Morano, there's no detailed breakdown of exactly what programs are being included in the SPPI's count. (The report states that "details and sources" are in "Appendix I," which is not attached to the PDF of the report, and we couldn't find it anywhere else on the SPPI website.)
SPPI also apes Morano and perpetuates the apples-and-oranges distortion by comparing the all-encompassing $79 billion only to the $23 million donated by Exxon Mobil. This ignores donations by other oil companies and funding of anti-global warming groups like SPPI.
In other words, this study is a joke -- which makes it perfect bait for people like Noel Sheppard.
Aaron Klein Mighty Wurlitzer Watch
Whenever Aaron Klein has an insufficiently right-wing policy he wants to denounce, he reaches into his Mighty Wurlitzer and digs out the Rabbinical Congress for Peace.
Klein hits that note again in a Dec. 1 article, giving the group space to bash rime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's decision to freeze Jewish West Bank construction as an "irresponsible move that will only cause bloodshed in the region."
Needless to say, at no point does Klein acknowledge that the Rabbinical Congress for Peace is a right-wing group.
Geller Still Fearmongering Over Rifqa Bary Case
Pamela Geller just can't seem to stop distorting the case of Rifqa Bary, the Ohio teen who converted to Christianity and ran away from home to a creepy pastor in Florida she found on Facebook, claiming that her Islamic parents want to kill her for converting.
Geller's Dec. 2 Newsmax column purports to be outraged that Bary -- who has been returned to Ohio and placed in foster care -- is "in imminent danger of being returned to her family" and is being "deprived of access to the phone and Internet as well as "pastoral guidance," adding, "Convicts, murderers, rapists, and pedophiles all have access to 'pastoral guidance.'"
Given that the pastor to whom Bary fled believes that he receives special personal messages from God about the imminent end of the world, a lack of "pastoral guidance" is probably a good thing. Needless to say, Geller is silenat about the pastor's beliefs.
Geller also repeats unsupported claims of hostile Muslims, alluding to "powerful and influential Islamic supremacists" and "myriad busts for jihad activity in recent weeks." She also again treats "lose friend and fellow ex-Muslim" Jamal Jivanjee as a credible source, even though he's clearly too close to the case to be objective. Indeed, Geller quotes Jivanjee aping her: “If you are incarcerated in an American prison today, you have the right to have a visit from a pastor. Rifqa Bary does not have this most basic right that most criminals have today.”
Geller sums up by claiming that Bary is "isolated, alone, and in danger of being returned to Islamic jihadists who believe apostates from Islam should be killed. What has happened to America?"
The facts, however, are different than what Geller suggests. No credible threats to Bary have been found by authorities in either Florida or Ohio, and Ohio officials are attempting to work out a solution between Bary and her family, as the Columbus Dispatch reports:
Geller, meanwhile, seems to think that fearmongering is a suitable substitute for the truth.
AIM Cites WND on Khalidi, Also Ignores His GOP Links
Topic: Accuracy in Media
A Nov. 30 Accuracy in Media article by Roger Aronoff links to a WorldNetDaily article by Aaron Klein trying to link the White House gatecrashers, President Obama, and "a pro-Palestinian professor" Rashid Khalidi.
Aronoff's imitation of Klein, however, goes right down to ignoring the fact that Khalidi has links to prominent Republicans, including John McCain.
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Molotov Peddles Shepard Revisionism
First of all, like Harvey Milk, Matthew Shepard was not killed for being gay. After being robbed and beaten to death, his killer went on to try the exact same thing only on a straight guy 20 minutes later. The only reason he survived was because he had a bat and a friend with him. The liberals aren't interested in those facts. They didn't even care when Shepard's killers told ABC News that his murder had nothing to do with his lifestyle. And why would the killers lie? They had nothing to gain.
In fact, as we detailed, one of the killers, Aaron McKinney, mounted a "gay panic" defense at his trial -- which would seem to contradict the story Mitchell wants to hear -- and has changed his story multiple times. As the Matthew Shepard Foundation has stated, the ABC report omitted the contents of McKinney's in-custody interview a few days after Shepard's death. That transcript shows "an un-rehearsed and unemotional anti-gay account of the events before, during, and after leaving Matt tied to the fence," according to the foundation.
To exploit a modern-day lynching to score points with the gay lobby, to equate the true horror of Byrd's murder to their phony gay passion play, is unforgivable. Gay activists, how dare you cheapen his sacrifice? For that alone, you are unnatural. For that alone, you are deviant. For James Byrd alone, you are an abomination.
Oh, and he also sneeringly refers to President Obama as a "weak-kneed metrosexual."
Conservatives Aren't Fact-Checked At the MRC
One thing conservative media figures can count on: The Media Research Center will never hold them accountable for their factual errors or misrepresentations. Agenda, after all, comes before accuracy.
Noel Sheppard, in a Nov. 29 NewsBusters post, highlighted an appearance by George Will on ABC's "This Week" in which he promoted the so-called "Climategate" kerfuffle over stolen emails, regurgitating Will's claim that "the release of these e-mail messages raises a serious question about why America should 'wager trillions of dollars and substantially curtail freedom on climate models that are imperfect and unproven.'" Sheppard failed to mention Will's false distortions of the purloined emails.
Sheppard struck again in a Nov. 30 post touting how Fox News' Brit Hume "said the growing ClimateGate scandal suggests manmade global warming may be a fraud." That was good enough for Sheppard, giving him license to ignore Hume's falsehoods -- not only did Hume falsely claim that "[t]here's been no apparent increase in global temperatures over the past 11 years," he repeated the misleading claim that "the original raw data used to create these models has been destroyed or otherwise disposed of." In fact, most of the raw data still exists, and only the data that had become unreliable due to discontinuities or urbanization at the monitoring stations was thrown out.
The important thing, as far as Sheppard is concerned, is that Will and Hume parroted the conservatively correct talking points. The truth is secondary.
WND Wants You (And the U.N.) To Think It's Not An Advocacy Organization
Round two of WorldNetDaily's press credential battle with the United Nations is highlighted in a Nov. 30 article, which states that the U.N. has turned down WND application to cover the climate-change convention in Copenhagen. Of course, WND fudges facts along the way.
In response to the U.N.'s statement that "advocacy publications of nongovernmental or nonprofit organizations do not qualify for media accreditation," WND chief Joseph Farah starts off by being petulant (big surprise there), with the article paraphrasing him as saying that "the U.N. is grasping at straws for grounds to deny the news organization admittance to the convention – including completely bogus information about WND's structure":
It's unclear to us how something that started as "a project of the Western Journalism Center" could not be considered a "subsidiary" of it. And since Farah is so secretive about WND's finances and ownership structure, it's impossible to know how much to trust Farah when he says the WJC and WND are no longer connected. Back in 2002, we did manage to badger Farah into admitting that the WJC did own part of WND at the time of the spinoff, though he refuses to name the other investors in WND (we figured out a few of them).
Farah's claim that WND is not an "advocacy organization," however, is just laughable. Just because WND is a for-profit operation doesn't mean it doesn't advocate -- it does. More to the point, WND advocates against the very organization from which it demands press credentials. Death to the U.N., anyone?
At no point does Farah explain why he wants press credentials from a organization whose legitimacy he questions and which he wants to see destroyed. Instead, he descends into smears and crazy talk:
Apparently, Farah doesn't want the U.N. to die just yet -- at least not until he can browbeat and threaten them into giving him a press credential.
UPDATE: Farah repeats many of the same claims in his Dec. 2 column, but he again fails to explain why he's demanding press credentials from an organization he wants to destroy. He also laughably suggests that WND is an "impartial witness" to the U.N.'s "shenannigans."
Newsmax Flip-Flops Once More on Huckabee and Clemency
Newsmax just can't figure out where it stands on Mike Huckabee's use of clemency while governor of Arkansas.
As we detailed, Newsmax ran to Huckabee's defense in 2002 regarding his efforts to give clemency to Wayne Dumond, who was later arrested and convicted of murder. But in 2007, Newsmax citedthe Dumond case in discussing Huckabee's "liberal policy of criminal pardons." Then, a week later, Newsmax published an fawning article about Huckabee that failed to address the question of Huckabee's clemency record in general or Dumond in particular.
Now, the question arises again with the case of Maurice Clemmons, who earlier this week shot and killed four police officers in Washington state. Clemmons was granted clemency by Huckabee in 2000.
Newsmax's response to the Clemmons case is to provide a forum for Huckabee to spin the story. And spin he does in a Nov. 30 column, claiming to "take full responsibility for my actions of nine years ago" yet blaming the Arkansas Post Prison Transfer Board for actually setting the guy free.
Huckabee also misleads by claiming that Clemmons "was 16 years old when he was charged with burglary and robbery. He was sentenced to a total of 108 years based on the way in which the sentences were stacked." But it wasn't a first-time case for a youthful offender, as Huckabee seems to suggest; the sentence total is the result of five separate sentencings in 1989 and 1990, not just for "burglary and robbery" but also aggravated robbery, theft of property, probation revocation and firearms possession.
Huckabee is also disingenous about other efforts to keep Clemmons in prison: "When he violated terms of his parole by participating in additional crimes, he was returned to prison and should have stayed there. For reasons only the prosecutor can explain, charges were not brought forth in a timely way and the prosecutor ended up dropping the charges, allowing him to leave prison and return to supervised parole."
In fact, the prosecutor in question, Larry Jegley, said the charges were dropped because the warrant wasn't served in a timely manner and because there was trouble locating witnesses to the 2001 robbery. Further, Jegley's office opposed Clemmons' parole in 2000 and 2004, adding that Huckabee created a flaw in the Arkansas justice system by freeing the number of prisoners he did. "My word to Mr. Huckabee is man up and own what you did," Jegley said.
A Dec. 1 follow-up Newsmax article by David Patten starts off by continuing to be kind to Huckabee, giving him the opportunity to address "the many incorrect reports and rumors swirling around his decision to reduce Clemmons' sentence."
But then, later in the article, Patten references not only Dumond but also states that "Huckabee's critics have compared the incident to the controversial Willie Horton furlough that derailed the 1988 candidacy of Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis, the Democratic presidential nominee." Patten does try to spin that away, however, claiming that "Political historians say, however, that what actually torpedoed Dukakis wasn't the clemency issue, but rather his dispassionate response during a debate to a hypothetical question about whether he would favor capital punishment if his wife were raped."
Tim Graham, All Class
-- Tim Graham, Dec. 1 NewsBusters post
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
WND Can't Stop Smearing Rosenthal (Or Obama)
Joseph Farah's Dec. 1 WorldNetdaily column demonstrates all to clearly the danger of relying solely on WND as a source of information, as Farah apparently does.
In it, Farah rants that State Department anti-Semitism czar nominee Hannah Rosenthal actually "spread[s]" anti-Semitism and "blames Israel," citing a quote by Rosenthal from a JTA interview that his reporter Aaron Klein took out of context (as we pointed out).
Not content with spreading lies about an Obama appointee, Farah went on a wild-eyed rant about Obama himself, asserting that he "publicly supports ethnic cleansing in the Middle East against Jews," apparently because Obama has opposed expansion of Jewish settlements in the West Bank (which Farah insists on labeling Judea and Samaria) and East Jerusalem.
Farah references the Obama administration's opposition to Jewish housing construction in the Gilo area of Jerusalem, which Farah describes only as a "southern Jerusalem neighborhood" (and which Klein has previously described as "a neighborhood of 40,000 Jews within the municipal boundaries of Jerusalem"). It appears to be Gilo to which Farah is referring when he references "solidly Jewish neighborhoods of the capital of the Jewish state never before placed on the table for negotiations with the Jew-haters who demand a 'Palestinian state' free of all Jews."
Only, not so much. As the UK Guardian points out, Gilo is "on the Palestinian side of the 1967 Green Line, the border before that year's war," adding that "Israel claims it is not on the West Bank so is not a settlement." Thus, Jewish construction in Gilo is hardly the non-provocation Farah suggests it is.
Nevertheless, Farah smears Obama by claiming this is somehow part of "a vicious anti-Israeli, pro-Arab agenda," adding, "Remember, I make this accusation as an Arab-American."
Wrong. Farah is making his accusation as a hateful far-right activist.
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