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Wednesday, January 20, 2010
ConWeb Practically Orgasmic Over GOP Win in Mass.
Topic: The ConWeb

Think the ConWeb was excited to see Scott Brown win the special election in Massachusetts for the Senate seat formerly held by the late Ted Kennedy? They're so giddy, they're practically orgasmic with venom toward President Obama.

Here's the lead of a Nov. 19 Newsmax article by David Patten:

In one of the most shocking turnabouts in modern political history, GOP underdog Scott Brown has single-handedly captured the so-called "Kennedy seat" in Massachusetts, wiped out the Democratic supermajority in Congress, and pushed the president's Obamacare agenda to the very brink of a stunning defeat.

Patten goes on to quote Dick Morris, who's just as slap-happy:

In an exclusive Newsmax interview, Fox News commentator and best-selling author Dick Morris discussed the astounding result: "It certainly is the revisiting of the shot heard 'round the world, which was originally made in Lexington and Concorde, Mass. … that absolutely was what happened tonight.

"A shot was fired that will be heard around the world. The most liberal seat in the most liberal state went Republican. And it didn't go for a squishy Olympia Snowe Republican. It went for a real Republican."

Morris added: "It marks the last bill Obama is ever going to pass of any consequence, except for bipartisan stuff. This is the end of the Obama ascendancy, because he has so systematically alienated the 40 Republicans, that now that there are 41, none of them is going to give him the right time of day.

And this really marks the end of Obama's attempts to reshape the United States," Morris said. "He'll try, but he won't succeed. 

Patten followed up by drooling over Brown's victory speech, delcaring it "rousing," and even more reaction to the win, including a recycling of Morris' anti-Obamagasm.

Over at WorldNetDaily, Michael Carl asserted that the election result is "Obama's worst nightmare ever." Somehow, we suspect that's not true. Joseph Farah gloated that "The Democratic Party has self-destructed" (which we're also pretty sure is not true).


Posted by Terry K. at 1:53 AM EST
CNS Still Hasn't Corrected False Southers Article
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com has apparently chosen to let Matt Cover's Jan. 14 article on TSA nominee Erroll Southers stand as is, despite its blatant error in portraying Southers' references to "Christian Identity" as a generic reference to Christians rather than the reference to a specific extremist group it clearly is. After all, it was the top story of the day for CNS on Jan. 15 -- apparently, it has decided that the embarassment of retracting a false story is much worse than promoting it as true.

Meanwhile, Cover is continuing on his merry way of taking Southers' comments out of context to present is views as somehow inflammatory and out of touch, even though, in the context of the full scope of the interviews Cover is plucking statements from, they represent a pragmatic approach to national security.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:50 AM EST
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
WND Ignores Brown's Birtherism
Topic: WorldNetDaily

A Jan. 18 WorldNetDaily article touts how touts how Arizona lawmakers have bought into the Obama birther conspiracy by proposing a law "that would require state officials to begin independently verifying the accuracy of newly required documents affirming the constitutional eligibility of any candidate for the U.S. presidency." But WND has been curiously silent about a very prominent congressional candidate who appears to be buying in as well.

Scott Brown, the Republican candidate for a special election to fill Ted Kennedy's Massachusetts Senate seat, reportedly suggested in a 2008 interview that Barack Obama was born out of wedlock. This is something that WND has been hinting at for months, with its own repeated suggestions that Barack Obama Sr. and Stanley Ann Dunham, Obama's parents, were not living together has husband and wife at the time of Obama's birth.

Brown's spokesman has since walked back the claim. But WND has curiously avoided any mention of Brown's claim, even though the issue is very much in its wheelhouse, to put it mildly (a more accurate description might be hate-fueled obsession). It is in a perfect position to set Brown right on the issue of Obama's birth, yet it has not done so. Why?

Perhaps because, deep down, WND editor Joseph Farah knows that birtherism is the kiss of death for most politicians, and would certainly be so for Brown if he were to be associated with it. So we get the treat of Farah, in his Jan. 19 column on Brown, being completely silent about Brown's birtherism. Why? Because he wants Brown to win today and further instigate what he calls "the end of the Democratic Party."

That seems to show that even Farah doesn't believe the birther bullshit his website peddles -- or that he simply doesn't have the courage of his convictions to either publicly embrace Brown's birtherism or criticize his walkback (at least not before the election).


Posted by Terry K. at 1:59 PM EST
MRC's Motley Still Peddling False Claim of 'Attempted Ouster' of Fox News
Topic: NewsBusters

In a Jan. 18 NewsBusters post, Seton Motley cited as evidence that the Obama administration doesn't care about the First Amendment "their attempted ouster of FNC from a press event with White House 'Pay Czar' Kenneth Feinberg.  Which led FNC's competitors - NBC, ABC, CBS and CNN - to begrudgingly stand with FNC and the First Amendment against the Administration."

But as we've detailed, there was no "attempted ouster" of a Fox News reporter from the Feinberg event, and those "competitors" were surprised by the portrayal of the incident by Fox News and its MRC fellow travelers like Motley as a First Amendment issue since that's not what happened.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:33 PM EST
S.E. Cupp Gets Fact-Checked
Topic: Newsmax
At the Huffington Post, Chris Kelly examines how S.E. Cupp plays fast and loose with the facts in a Jan. 6 Newsmax column, with particular focus on her claim that "Islamic pirates from the Barbary Coast captured, imprisoned and slave-traded more than 1 million European Christians." Turns out the number is closer to, um, a few thousand.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:58 AM EST
Farah's Wikipedia-Bashing Doesn't Hold Up
Topic: WorldNetDaily

As we've noted, Joseph Farah is continuing to whine about vandalism of the WorldNetDaily entry on Wikipedia, and Farah is continuing to demand an apology from Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales for something he didn't do. In his Jan. 13 column, Farah announced an "coming offensive against Wikipedia" and sought donations to WND's legal defense fund.

But let's take a look at some of those nasty things that popped on Wikipedia about Farah and WND -- and how long those remained posted:

  • The lead claim in Chelsea Schilling's Dec. 30 WND article denouncing the malicious edits was a claim that Farah was described as a "Zionist Twit and Jew Loving Pig." But according to the Wikipedia archives, that statement was removed after just eight minutes.
  • The statement that WND is written from a "pro-white point of view" was removed after 39 minutes.
  • The statement on Farah's entry calling him "a closet homosexual and has been repeatedly criticized for his hypocrisy" was removed after 32 minutes.
  • The statement on Farah's entry calling him a "known cock sucker" was flagged and deleted immediately.

At no point does Schilling or Farah note the brief amount of time these statements were actually live on the Wikipedia site.

Despite Farah's complaint about ineffective "editors and approved moderators who are presumably charged with screening out such material," it seems like the system is working pretty well for such an operation.

Meanwhile, WND itself seems to be lax in that department, allowing numerous death threats against President Obama to be posted in its forums.

Also, it's worth noting that Clark Jones had to wait more than seven years for an apology and retraction from WND for publishing numerous false and libelous claims about him -- statements WND not only did not remove in the interim but aggressively defended. One could argue that what's good for the goose is good for the gander.

(Of course, we've been libeled by Farah, and he hasn't exactly made an effort to apologize.)

One does have to wonder: Is Farah still pissed that WND and Aaron Klein got caught red-handed (by us) creating a story for the sole apparent purpose of attacking Wikipedia?


Posted by Terry K. at 10:18 AM EST
Newsmax Still Falsely Portraying Minn. Senate Election As Stolen
Topic: Newsmax

As we've detailed, David Patten was Newsmax's foremost promoter of the discredited idea that Al Franken was committing vote fraud in the aftermath of the Minnesota Senate election. Even though no less than an authority than the Minnesota Supreme Court declared Franken to the fair-and-square winner, Patten is still pushing this discredited claim.

A Jan. 18 Newsmax article by Patten starts by asserting: "The specter of Minnesota's bitterly contested election contest between Al Franken and Norm Coleman now hangs over Tuesday's special election in Massachusetts, with Republicans and conservative pundits warning that anything less than a clear-cut victory for GOP challenger Scott Brown over Democrat Martha Coakley risks a 'stolen election.'" patten goes on to quote NewsBusters' Noel Sheppard -- who has his own notable record of fabulism -- baselessly asserting  that Democrats "obviously stole the Franken seat several months ago."

That's simply not true. As Media Matters details, the Minnesota Supreme Court stated that "[n]o claim of fraud in the election or during the recount was made by either" Franken or Coleman . Further, numerous experts attest to the fact there there was, in the words of one expert, a "lack of crookedness in the election."


Posted by Terry K. at 1:23 AM EST
Monday, January 18, 2010
WND Agitates Again Over U.N. Press Coverage, Mum on Tea Party's
Topic: WorldNetDaily

A Jan. 17 WorldNetDaily article by Stewart Stogel complains that U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon visited quake-ravaged Haiti "with a small group of carefully selected and managed journalists."

No mention, howeer, of the small group of carefully selected and managed journalists -- including WND -- that are being allowed to cover the National Tea Party Convention, at which WND editor Joseph Farah is speaking.


Posted by Terry K. at 7:13 PM EST
Meanwhile ...
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Richard Bartholomew catches WorldNetDaily uncritically repeating the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission's list of "the top 10 incidents of anti-Christian defamation, bigotry and discrimination in the U.S. from last year," which includes this example at number 7: "The overt homosexual participation in Obama's presidential inaugural events by 'Bishop' Vickie Eugene Robinson, the Gay Men's Chorus of Washington, D.C., and a homosexual marching band."

And World O'Crap deconstructs a Jan. 16 WND column by Geoffrey Botkin ranting against the existence of the birth control pill.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:03 PM EST
Obama Derangement Syndrome Watch
Topic: Newsmax

So, one year to the day of the arrival in D.C. of “The One,” Obama effectively will become a lame duck president. His Obama Revolution will be finished. The Democratic stranglehold on D.C. power will be shattered. The November midterm elections will be a Democratic blood bath.

Obama’s first year has been a case study in misreading why an election was won (the economy, stupid!), followed by another misreading of the public mood (jobs, jobs, jobs!) and then using the “never waste a good crisis” thinking to try to install Far Left, European-style socialism through the White House political and economic agenda.

[...]

America is bouncing from one incompetent president — G.W. Bush — to another — Barack H. Obama.

How long can a great nation survive with the two parties producing such dunderheads?

We better get our act in gear in 2012. Or else.

-- John LeBoutillier, Jan. 18 Newsmax column


Posted by Terry K. at 11:04 AM EST
AIM Revels In Kincaid's Catholic-Bashing
Topic: Accuracy in Media

It's not every day that a right-wing website attacks the pope, then brags about it. But that's what Accuracy in Media is doing.

A Jan. 12 column by Cliff Kincaid attacked "the global campaign by the Vatican to establish a 'World Political Authority' with 'teeth.'" He adds:

Don't look for Beck, O'Reilly or anybody else in the media to take on Pope Benedict XVI. It is just too controversial. Commentators who question the Vatican run the risk of being labeled anti-Catholic bigots.

Many Catholics, especially of a conservative persuasion, are embarrassed and troubled by what is happening inside their church. But they are mostly reluctant to say anything publicly. The facts, however, speak for themselves, and they are available on the Vatican's own website in the actual words and statements being uttered by the Pope.

[...]

So the Pope wants a strengthened United Nations to constitute a "World Political Authority" that will have the "teeth" to enforce its will on the nations of the world? Will somebody in the media explain why this is not global tyranny? This makes the controversy over Interpol look like peanuts.

This was followed up with a Jan. 13 press release about how Kincaid's column "has generated a lot of reaction," particularly after "Cliff discussed the column during an appearance on G. Gordon Liddy's national radio program." It adds that "Cliff and Gordon are both Catholics."

The press release included "ome of the comments we received in response to Cliff's column," which included comments both supportive and critical, interestingly by people who call themselves "traditional" Catholics, including a rant that "so-called Popes, who have deliberately undermined Catholicism as well as liberty for decades, now feel no compunction about ushering in the age of the anti-Christ, as described in Revelation."

For someone who calls himself a Catholic, Kincaid has engaged in a surprising amount of Catholic-bashing at AIM in recent months, from such things as purported links to ACORN and George Soros to support for health care reform.

Far be it from us to get into a religious debate (we were raised Catholic but are not currently practicing), but if you're publicly dissenting from the pope and the church hierarchy, shouldn't you stop calling yourself a Catholic?


Posted by Terry K. at 12:09 AM EST
Sunday, January 17, 2010
Financial Times Runs Fluffy Profile of Newsmax
Topic: Newsmax

Last week, Financial Times ran a profile (registration required) of Newsmax that its subject loved the heck out of. Given the article's fluffiness on its subject -- for example, quoting Christopher Ruddy likening Newsmax to "a heartland publication" like Reader's Digest -- no wonder.

Being a fluffy profile, Financial Times skips over any evidence that Newsmax has ever been controverisal -- there isn't even a mention of its co-owner, Richard Mellon Scaife. Ruddy is allowed to claim that he " started Newsmax in 1998 with a $25,000 investment to give Americans 'an alternative to the mainstream news, the liberal media in New York and Washington'" without any mention of rabid anti-Clintonism that drove those early years.

There's also no mention of more recent controversies, such as Newsmax being forced to pull a column by John L. Perry for advocating a military coup against President Obama. We're pretty sure Reader's Digest has never advocated a coup against anyone. (And that was far from the only column Newsmax removed in recent months for its extremism.) Nor was there any mention of the spectacular failure of Newsmax's attempted career rehabilitation of Bernard Kerik.

There's also no mention of the virulent anti-Obama strain at Newsmax as personified by columnist like Perry and Pamela Geller, or the anti-immigration attacks of James Walsh -- also not exactly Reader's Digest material.

The FT profile is not completely worthless, however; it includes some interesting numbers -- it employs 110 and expects to see $35 million in revenue in 2009, up from $25 million in 2008. It's also spending $500,000 a year on Newsmax.tv, which Ruddy claims "isn’t paying off in terms of advertising but it is paying off in terms of subscriptions" to its magazine and it financial- and health-related newsletters.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:56 PM EST
Ellis Washington Gets It Wrong Yet Again
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Ellis Washington keeps up his record of flamboyantly wrong commentary with his Jan. 16 WorldNetDaily column, in which he states:

Obama and the Democrats are essentially tyrannical fascists. If you doubt me, remember Russia for over 300 years was ruled by a total of 18 czars of the Romanov dynasty. However, as David Rothkopf of "Foreign Policy" noted, the Obama administration had appointed more czars than that in just three months. That number doesn't even include his health-care czar.

It seems to have escaped Washington's notice that 1) "czar" is not the actual title of any of these officials, 2) they are in each charge of narrowly defined issues and, thus, lack the all-encompassing dictatorial power of a Romanov czar, 3) a significant number of the Obama administration "czars" were approved by Congress, exploding Washington's "tyrannical fascist" view of the current government, and 4) President Bush had a lot of czars too.

Remember, Washington is the "authorized biographer for the conservative intellectual Dr. Michael Savage."


Posted by Terry K. at 12:40 PM EST
WND Columnist's Weird 'Abusegate' Rant
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily published a Jan. 14 column by Trudy W. Schuett that goes on a weird rant about "Abusegate," which she claims is equal to "Climategate." Lots of attacks on "zealots of the feminist faith" and "women's studies" and "Marxist ideals," but Schuett never really explains what exactly "Abusegate" is or why it deserves the -gate suffix.

She hints at what it is toward the end of the column:

This is probably the most astonishing fact of Abusegate: While Climategate has at least some basis in research and scientific theory, there is none whatsoever behind the myriad programs and laws established since the 1970s by the so-called "Battered Women's Movement." Even the term itself was created for its impact by feminists whose goals had very little to do with providing aid for women.

[...]

Since the early days of the Battered Women's Movement, nearly everything that has come after has been based on feminist principles devised out of thin air. Even today, in the U.S. there is no standard definition of what domestic violence is or is not. Yet thousands of men are incarcerated, families destroyed, and women and children thrown into a permanent condition of life in turmoil because of nothing but the aberrant personal beliefs of a few women a generation ago.

While the feminists of the 20th century are dying off or retiring, their ugly legacy of opportunism remains. Legions of divorce lawyers, shelter advocates and organizations providing feminist education all benefit from the multi-billion dollar industry that now forms the basis of society's approach to partner abuse.

The real tragedy of Abusegate is that victims of genuine partner abuse are still left without hope and support. They have been doubly victimized by a society that has been too willing to accept answers without first considering the problem.

But still, Schuett fails to explain exactly what the problem is. Is she saying that women aren't abused? That men are abused by women in equal numbers? And who are the "victims of genuine partner abuse" she's referring to? Her rant is so unfocused as to be completely ineffective, preaching only to the converted -- which, it seems, WND is. As we've detailed, WND has been supportive of so-called men'srights, particularly in the area of paternity and child custody.

A little searching uncovered this at Men's News Daily, from a group called RADAR -- Respecting Accuracy in Domestic Abuse Reporting, where we find things such as arguments against restraining orders and against the Violence Against Women Act. From the Men's News Daily item:

Abusegate refers to the systematic distortion of the truth about partner aggression by representatives of the domestic violence industry. These falsehoods form the basis of a well-financed but harmful effort to curb partner violence.

It's accompanied by a link to a long list of "domestic violence myths," but the argument is better summed up in a one-page flyer that is also linked:

What is the truth about intimate partner aggression? Nearly 200 scientific studies point to this simple conclusion: Women are at least as likely as men to engage in partner aggression. 

[...]

Men are often injured by their wives or girlfriends. According to a 2000 meta-analysis by John Archer, PhD, men suffer 38% of all injuries arising from partner aggression. But men often don’t report the incident, so they endure their pain in silence. As a result, the media often presents a one-sided view of domestic violence.

[...]

Warren Moon was the first Black quarterback to be elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. One evening Warren Moon got into a fight with his wife. The police were called and Mr. Moon was arrested. Against Mrs. Moon’s wishes, the case went to trial. 
 
Placed on the witness stand, Mrs. Moon admitted that she was the one who had started the fight by throwing a candlestick, and that her husband had only acted in self-defense. Warren Moon was acquitted.

Domestic violence is not a gender-specific problem.

We don't know what the truth is, but there is something that doesn't pass the smell test about a right-wing-driven movement with the apparent goal to paint men as victims and women as aggressors, even though historically that is not the case.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:48 AM EST
Saturday, January 16, 2010
Check Out Our New ConWeb Twitter Feed
Topic: The ConWeb

Look over in the right-hand bar of our blog, and you'll see the all-new ConWebWatch Twitter feed, which collects the tweets of ConWeb organizations and figures. We'll be adding more as we find them.

One we won't be adding, unfortunately, is that of WorldNetDaily's Aaron Klein -- he's blocked us from following him or adding him to our tweet feed. Why is he so afraid of us? Because we tell the truth about him?


Posted by Terry K. at 11:22 PM EST

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