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Wednesday, January 27, 2010
WND Gives Conservative Propagandists A Pass
Topic: WorldNetDaily

A Jan. 25 WorldNetDaily column by Andrea Shea King carried the headline "Feds controlling media? It's been done before." King highlighted a claim that "the Department of Justice has hired bloggers as propagandists and sock puppets," likening it to the 1940s "Operation Mockingbird" as an example of "behind-the-scenes media manipulation."

Unmentioned by King were examples of "media manipulation" under the Bush administration:

  • As we've noted, columnist Armstrong Williams accepted $240,000 from the U.S. Department of Education to promote the No Child Left Behind education policy through his TV appearances and in his syndicated radio and TV shows and his newspaper column.
  • Columnnist Maggie Gallagher had received tens of thousands of dollars from the Department of Health and Human Services during 2002 and 2003 for helping the Bush administration promote the President's Healthy Marriage Initiative.
  • Retired military officers were used by the Pentagon to generate favorable news coverage of the administration’s wartime performance.

Interesting how conservatives get a pass for disseminating propaganda from King and WND, while others don't.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:03 AM EST
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Yes, Newsmax Paid Zogby To Poll This Question
Topic: Newsmax

Yes, there is an actual article at Newsmax with this actual headline:

Newsmax/Zogby Poll: Scott Brown Could Defeat Obama in Presidential Race

Zogby, as we've detailed, is a notoriously unreliable pollster --  Nate Silver described it as "the worst pollster in the world."

Even more hilariously, Zogby picked Brown to lose his Massachusetts Senate race against Martha Coakley. Now all of a sudden it thinks Brown could beat Obama?


Posted by Terry K. at 8:00 PM EST
NewsBusters Thinks Scott Brown Posed Only 'Semi-Nude'
Topic: NewsBusters

A Jan. 19 NewsBusters post by Lachlan Markay referenced the "semi-nude photo shoot" Sen.-elect Scott Brown did for Cosmopolitan magazine in the early '80s. A Jan. 23 NewsBusters post by Tim Graham similarly noted the "semi-nude picture from 1982."

In fact, as one can see, Brown is completely nude in the photo in question, with only a strategically placed forearm to keep it from being toally NSFW (at the MRC world headquaters, anyway).

Or are Markay and Graham including the accompanying clothed photos to declare that the photo spread, as an aggregate, is "semi-nude"?


Posted by Terry K. at 12:18 PM EST
Hirsen Launches Baseless Attack on Conan O'Brien Buyout
Topic: Newsmax

James Hirsen baselessly asserted in a Jan. 22 Newsmax column that Conan O'Brien was getting federal bailout money to leave NBC:

Are we, the American taxpayers, financing a bailout for Conan O’Brien?

It has been reported that in order to buy out Conan’s contract and cut him loose from the network, so Jay Leno can become the “Tonight Show” host again, NBC will pay out around $44 million. $32 million will go directly to Conan and $12 million will be paid to the late night host’s staff.

What does this have to do with taxpayers?

Remember, although part of a spinoff to Comcast, NBC is still owned by General Electric. Reuters reports that when it comes to government assistance to troubled American businesses, GE is “among the largest recipients of taxpayer help.”

The company, which has been decidedly supportive of President Obama, jumped enthusiastically into a government program called the Temporary Liquidity Guarantee Program (TLGP).

Through this program, GE was able to issue debt with a government guarantee, which means you and I are guaranteeing GE’s bonds. It also means easier access to funds for the company and much lower interest rates. Although GE was one of 88 companies in the program, the $60 billion GE borrowed was almost one fifth of the total TLGP guarantee amount.

NBC is on track this year to lose more that half a billion bucks. So, the ability of GE’s subsidiary to pay Conan his multimillion-dollar severance is thanks to us taxpayers.

In fact, as we pointed out the last time someone (NewsBusters' Ken Shepherd) tried to make a similar argument, the bailout money went only to one GE subsidiary, GE Capital, not the corporation as a whole. And NBC Universal remains profitable, so there's no need for it to dip into corporate funds to pay off O'Brien.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:28 AM EST
Geller Lies About ADL, Armenian Genocide
Topic: Newsmax

We previously noted Pamela Geller's screed against Anti-Defamation League Abe Foxman, smearing him as a "terrible Jew" and liberal Jews as having a "sickness of the soul." Turns out she can't get her facts right, either.

She writes:

Back in August 2007, I demanded Foxman’s resignation after his continual denials of the Armenian genocide.

We, as a people, cannot condone such unspeakable silence. We, of all people, must never be silent about the systemic death of a people.

This Islamic genocide was heinous and brutal. And considering the level of Islamic anti-Semitism in the Quran and Sunnah, it would be healthy and good for living Jews (and all decent and good people) to denounce roundly the Islamic genocide of the Armenian people.

But Abe Foxman not only would take that basic fundamental stand, but he went one step further. He fired Andrew Tarsy, the New England regional director, after he broke ranks with national ADL leadership and said the human rights organization should acknowledge the Armenian genocide that began in 1915.

Dr. Andrew Bostom said at the time that Foxman “apparently thinks that [he] can pick and choose among genocides . . . In a telephone interview, James Rudolph, the regional ADL chairman, called Tarsy an extraordinary leader. Indeed, Tarsy was acting in the best ADL tradition of trying to unite people of different ethnic groups, in this case Jews and Armenians, to promote human rights.”

If the national ADL doesn’t acknowledge the genocide, it is complicit in a cover-up.

In fact, while there was a controversy over whether ADL should recognize it as a genocide and Tarsy was indeed fired for contradicting the ADL’s then-stand of taking no official position, the ADL did ultimately release a (albeit carefully worded) statement calling it "tantamount to a genocide" two years ago:

In light of the heated controversy that has surrounded the Turkish-Armenian issue in recent weeks, and because of our concern for the unity of the Jewish community at a time of increased threats against the Jewish people, ADL has decided to revisit the tragedy that befell the Armenians.

We have never negated but have always described the painful events of 1915-1918 perpetrated by the Ottoman Empire against the Armenians as massacres and atrocities.  On reflection, we have come to share the view of Henry Morgenthau, Sr. that the consequences of those actions were indeed tantamount to genocide.  If the word genocide had existed then, they would have called it genocide.

I have consulted with my friend and mentor Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel and other respected historians who acknowledge this consensus.  I hope that Turkey will understand that it is Turkey's friends who urge that nation to confront its past and work to reconcile with Armenians over this dark chapter in history.

Having said that, we continue to firmly believe that a Congressional resolution on such matters is a counterproductive diversion and will not foster reconciliation between Turks and Armenians and may put at risk the Turkish Jewish community and the important multilateral relationship between Turkey, Israel and the United States.

There is no cover-up -- Geller is lying about Foxman and ADL. Why does that not surprise us?


Posted by Terry K. at 7:10 AM EST
Monday, January 25, 2010
Obama Derangement Syndrome Watch
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Victim in Chief Barack Hussein Obama is adding to his long list of evil, greedy corporations taking advantage of millions of fellow victims in America. After targeting Big Oil and the health-insurance evildoers, the banks are now the target of his ire.

[...]

Barack Hussein Obama was raised with such a victim mentality he now wishes to make us believe we are victims as well. Forget about being responsible for our own lives and futures. We are victims in Mr. Obama's world, and he is going to protect us. A victim needs someone to rescue them, and Mr. Obama is your Huckleberry. America is evil. Corporations are evil, and Mr. Obama will right the wrong.

If America is a victim of anything, it soon will be a victim of Barack Hussein Obama and his liberal agenda. His agenda is poised to kill free markets and personal responsibility and replace them with a total government takeover of our businesses and personal lives.

His name should be changed to Barack Hugo Obama. If he gets his agenda passed and implemented, Cleveland, Ohio, will look more like Caracas, Venezuela. It is said, "Imitation is the most sincere form of flattery." Mr. Chavez must be so proud of his protégé.

-- Craig R. Smith, Jan. 25 WorldNetDaily column


Posted by Terry K. at 7:23 PM EST
Global Warming Deniers Go Conspiratorial
Topic: The ConWeb

It's never a good sign for the credibility of a movement when its supporters start crying conspiracy. But that's exactly what's happening with global warming deniers.

In December, Jesse Ventura’s “Conspiracy Theory” show on TruTV aired an episode on the idea that global warming is a conspiracy promoted by the United Nations and bankers. Ventura gets gets help in promulgating the conspiracy from prominent deniers Richard Lindzen, Lord Monckton and even serial global warming bamboozler Noel Sheppard, who repeated his previous assertion that the only reason Al Gore is a global warming activist is so he can make money off it. The conspiracy nuts with the Alex Jones empire loved it.

Curiously, Sheppard has never promoted his starring role on Ventura's show at his NewsBusters blog. Perhaps that's because his fellow NewsBuster P.J. Gladnick denounced Ventura for giving a platform to 9/11 truthers.

Nevertheless, this conspiracy theory is making its way up the right-wing media food chain.

In a Jan. 21 NewsReal post, F. Swemson endorsed the Ventura show, asserting that "the conclusions of this show seem solid" and that Lindzen and Monckton "also lends substantial credibility." Swemson adds: "Its premise, that the entire Global Warming scam is the product of a conspiracy in pursuit of money and power, is not at all outrageous when you stop to consider the fact that world leaders, in cahoots with the UN, have indeed been working hard to sell the public on a totally phony theory, based on a political rather than a scientific agenda."

Meanwhile, over at Newsmax, another prominent denier joined the conspiracy bandwagon. A Jan. 22 article by Jim Meyers reports that "Renowned meteorologist Dr. William Gray tells Newsmax that a possible new conspiracy regarding global warming has been uncovered in the U.S.," adding that "environmentalists, socialists, governments and businessmen are trying to take advantage of climate change concerns for their own benefit, and declared that cap-and-trade legislation would do 'very little' to improve the climate."

How does the denier movement remain credible when its most prominent members are making conspiratorial accusations? We shall see.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:15 PM EST
Geller: Liberal Jews Have 'Sickness of the Soul'
Topic: Newsmax

Pamela Geller used her Jan. 25 Newsmax column to go on a massive tirade against Anti-Defamation League Abe Foxman for daring to criticize Rush Limbaugh's suggestion that President Obama is an anti-Semite -- and, by extension, any Jew who's not as rabidly right-wing as she is:

Abe Foxman has come out against a great and wonderful friend of the Jews, Rush Limbaugh.

That is bad enough, but it is symptomatic of a deeper problem: I have for years derided Jews in America and the Jewish lay leadership for tolerating and supporting clear and present enemies of the Jewish people among our senior ranks. It is a sickness of the soul.

The liberal Jew worships at the church of human secularism. These lost souls are married to their liberal dogma.

[...]

As a passionate, proud Jew, I too stand with Rush Limbaugh and would take up against Foxman in a heartbeat. Thank God for righteous Gentiles like Rush. He is beyond delicious.

[...]

Foxman also came out in support of the Islamic school in Brooklyn whose principal was forced to resign because of her involvement in anti-Semitic "Intifada NYC" T-shirts (see here).

See the pattern? Foxman demonizes Christian groups that love Israel but is kowtowing to the Islamic jihad.

Which Jews support deleterious characters like Foxman? Which Jews give blood money to these self-hating wretches? Who empowers these terrible Jews?

There's also some ranting about Foxman not recognizing the Armenian genocide, which seems irrelevant since Foxman's job is fighting Jewish defamation, not getting involved in other ethnic conflicts.

Newsmax has already deleted one of Geller's columns, apparently due to her inflammatory language. Is this one next?


Posted by Terry K. at 11:16 AM EST
WND Was MIA on Pombo's Scandals
Topic: WorldNetDaily

With the news earlier this month that Richard Pombo is set to make another run for a House seat from California, Talking Points Memo compiled a bill of particulars detailing Pombo's various alleged ethical violations (relatives on the payroll, attempted bribery, dalliances with Jack Abramoff).

That got us to wondering: What did WorldNetDaily, that self-proclaimed "fiercely independent newssite committed to hard-hitting investigative reporting of government waste, fraud and abuse," write about Pombo's ethical violations before he lost his House seat in November 2006?

Nothing that we could find. You will, however, find a May 2006 column by Henry Lamb touting Pombo's performance at a committee hearing, as well as a July 2006 column praising Pombo for co-sponsoring a bill to reform Indian gaming laws.

You will also find a column by WND editor Joseph Farah lamenting Pombo's 2006 loss:

Rep. Richard Pombo, R-Calif., my co-author on a book called "This Land Is Our Land," a property rights manifesto published in 1996. Pombo is chairman of the House Resources Committee, where he spent much of his time trying to overhaul one of the most ridiculous pieces of legislation in the history of our country – the Endangered Species Act.

Pombo was targeted with millions of dollars by environmentalist extremist groups that don't really care about conservation or endangered animals but do care about government control and political power.

After all the shock expressed by Americans over eminent domain in the last two years, men like Pombo, who have been fighting for personal property rights for decades, should have been returned to power, not turned out. But this was a strange election cycle, indeed. It was quite an upset.

He is a good man. He will be missed not just by people in his congressional district, but by all freedom-loving Americans.

There's our answer -- Farah gave his friend and co-author a pass on his ethical violations, making a mockery of any pretentions to watchdogging.

We already knew, from WND's similar silence on the corruption of Jack Abramoff and Duke Cunningham that Republicans were exempt from WND's brand of "hard-hitting investigative reporting of government waste, fraud and abuse." Now we know it also helps to be a friend of the editor.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:23 AM EST
Sunday, January 24, 2010
NewsBusters Keeps Up Double Standard on National Enquirer
Topic: NewsBusters

NewsBusters has been all over John Edwards' admission that he fathered a love child:

Erin Brown complained that it wasn't front-page news at every newspaper in America, even though much of the story had already been reported and Edwards himself hasn't held elective office in years. Brown nevertheless touted how "the National Enquirer busted Edwards in a Los Angeles hotel for cheating on his cancer-stricken wife."

Tom Blumer similarly complained that the Washington Post gave the National Enquirer's scoop on Edwards' affair short shrift, insisting that it "was worthy of follow-up" and that "The establishment media's failure to take the initial Enquirer story further was inexcusable."

Of course, as we detailed, NewsBusters' comrades at theMedia Research Center had a much different reaction to reports that suggested John McCain may have had an affair with a lobbyist; Brent Bozell denounced such talk as "rumor and gossip, fit to print only for the likes of the National Enquirer."

And we doubt anyone now affiliated with NewsBusters or the MRC was praising the Enquirer's reporting abilities when it discovered that Rush Limbaugh was surrepititiously buying pain pills.

Mark our words: The folks at NewsBusters will not have nice things to say about the Enquirer if the next big political scandal it breaks involves a Republican.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:30 AM EST
Kincaid Keeps Up Uganda Anti-Gay Freakout
Topic: Accuracy in Media

Cliff Kincaid continues his unqualifed support for, and obscuring of the facts of, the proposted anti-gay law in Uganda in his Jan. 22 Accuracy in Media column, this time complaining that Democratic members of Congress "are demanding that President Obama denounce the Christians of Uganda for considering new legislation opposing homosexual practices that threaten public health in that East African country."

Kincaid still insists that "the situation in Uganda has been distorted and misrepresented by homosexual activists in the media who want people to believe that efforts to protect and preserve traditional family values in Uganda are extreme and unwarranted," and that "the bill only applies to cases of open and overt homosexual conduct and behavior. The bill's much-publicized death penalty provision is mostly designed to punish those who sexually abuse children. "

Well, no. As we've previously detailed, the bill would apply the death penalty for anyone convicted of a repeat offense of having homosexual sex, and it  would also apply to Ugandans not living in the country. It would also punish people for not reporting homosexual activity. Kincaid is lying when he says it applies only to "open and overt" activity.

Kincaid is also misleading on the proposed law's purported intention to "protect children from homosexual predators" and slow the spread of AIDS. In fact, the head of Uganda's AIDS comission has said that since homosexuality is already illegal in Uganda, the number of gays there are "negligible." Further, by far the most prevalent method of HIV transmission in Uganda has historically been either heterosexual or mother-to-child.

This pretty much shoots down Kincaid's efforts at demonization of gays. Not that facts mean anything to him, of course.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:53 AM EST
Saturday, January 23, 2010
WND Still Trying to Weasel Out of CAIR Lawsuit
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily is is still spinning its anti-CAIR book and the resulting lawsuit by CAIR against co-author David Gaubatz (and his son, who went undercover at CAIR and pilfered numerous documents that formed the basis of the book) in a Jan. 22 article by Art Moore.

Moore's article purports to describe CAIR's response to Gaubatz's motion to dismiss the lawsuit, but all it really does is present the interpretation of the response by Gaubatz's attorney, David Horowitz. Indeed, Moore devotes only two paragraphs of his paragraph article to directly quoting from the response, plus one additional word -- "misnomer," the only word taken from the four-page section addressing Horowitz's assertion that CAIR cannot sue Gaubatz because it changed its name at one point.

But since WND surprisingly posted the response online -- if you'll recall, WND refused to post documents from Clark Jones' lawsuit against it, and there were none available online until we got a hold of some -- we know that CAIR said a lot more than "misnomer":

While this should and will be cured, it did not cause Defendants any prejudice or confusion.  Indeed Defendants did not raise the issue at the outset or before agreeing to an entry of a preliminary injunction by the Court ordering them to return to the plaintiff identified in the Complaint documents that they had stolen from that entity.  Defendants articulated no difficulty in understanding what it was they were required to do. Instead, they have attempted to construct a basis for dismissal out of an inconsequential and non-prejudicial misnomer.

Courts generally allow amendments to change or correct the name of a party, whether corporation or individual, where such change does not have the effect of substituting another party, and the court conceives it has jurisdiction of such party.

[...]

Most significantly, there is no prejudice to Defendants due to the misnomer in the Complaint. In the book Muslim Mafia and on his website, Defendant Paul David Gaubatz repeatedly and exclusively identified as “CAIR” or “Council on American-Islamic Relations” the entity from which he and his son had stolen documents and about which he was making accusations. Defendants feign “confusion,” but neither Defendants nor their attorneys could reasonably have been confused about who was suing them (i.e., the entity located at 453 New Jersey Avenue, SE in Washington, DC, for whom Chris Gaubatz worked as an intern during the summer of 2008, and from which Defendants stole numerous documents), nor to whom they were returning stolen property.  Is there any doubt that they could not have been compelled to return the property to someone other than the entity from whom they took it?

Meanwhile, it's clear that Gaubatz and Horowitz are trying to get out of the fact that, as we've previously noted, Gaubatz's son signed a confidentiality agreement when he worked at CAIR. There's no denial that he did, and Horowitz is quoted as saying by Moore that "this document would have been signed between a non-existent corporate entity and Chris Gaubatz. There need to be two parties to a contract."

So that's what this is about -- CAIR clearly has Chris Gaubatz dead to rights on the confidentiality violation, and Horowitz is trying to get out of it on a technicality.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:31 PM EST
Now, Farah Tries to Ride Glenn Beck's Coattails
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Earlier this month, Joseph Farah tried to hitch a ride on Sarah Palin's coattails by declaring their separate appearances at an upcoming tea party convention as the "Palin-Farah ticket." He does even more coattail-riding in a Jan. 23 article highlighting Farah's appaearance at an "educational policy conference" where Beck is also appearing.

Farah is trying to portray himself as mainstream by aligning himself with Beck and Palin, but all he's really doing is highlighting their fringe nature -- after all, birther Farah operates Obama Hate Central.

Plus, aside from the garden-variety right-wing speakers at this conference, which claims to be "designed to help restore the foundation of America" -- Michelle Bachmann, David Horowitz, Phyllis Schlafly, Rick Santorum, Frank Gaffney -- check out the extremism of some of the second-stringers on the bill:

Ted Baehr: Gay-basher, really, really hates "Avatar."

Miriam Grossman: Wrote this:

It's easy to forget, but the characters on Grey's Anatomy and Sex in the City are not real. In real life, Meredith and Carrie would have warts or herpes. They'd likely be on Prozac or Zoloft.

Brigitte Gabriel: Believes Muslims are soulless.

Bradley Watson: Author of a book that falsely conflates the Darwinian theory of evolution with social Darwinism to engage in liberal-bashing.

These are the people glomming onto Beck's mainstream appeal -- as Beck is becoming more fringe.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:53 AM EST
Friday, January 22, 2010
WND Changes the Subject on Corsi Criticism
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Earlier this week, National Review Online published a detailed takedown by Daniel Griswold of Jerome Corsi and his book "America For Sale." Conservative activist David Frum highlighted Griswold's article on his FrumForum website, calling Corsi an example of "anger, paranoia and extremism" on the right.

In highlighting the criticism in a Jan. 19 WorldNetDaily article, Drew Zahn took care not to address any of the substantive criticism by Griswold or Frum, focusing instead on the "anger, paranoia and extremism" stuff -- and give license to Corsi to change the focus as well:

Corsi, however, told WND the tag-team attack by Griswold and Frum is just further evidence that the establishment doesn't get it.

"It's obvious the free-trade Republicans have no understanding of why tea party protesters are against globalism or loss of sovereignty," Corsi said. "We are attacked as 'extremists' because we don't agree with a centrist Republican Party that includes open borders, globalism and accommodation with the Democrats, including Obama.

"The attack on me helps explains why McCain ran such a poor campaign," he added.

[...]

"Cato and Frum miss that the tea party movement represents a fundamental political realignment in favor of limited government, limited taxation and private enterprise," Corsi told WND. "If the Republican Party follows the advice given by Griswold and Frum, John McCain's presidential electoral defeat in 2008 may look like a highpoint of Republican Party politics. Following Griswold and Frum's advice, the Republican Party free-traders are closer to the Democratic Party than they are to the independents and Democrats joining with disillusioned Republicans to form the tea party movement."

While Zahn concedes that Griswold's criticism of Corsi and his book was "harsh," and claims that it "warns tea partiers to stay away from Corsi's book for targeting, among other things, trade deficits with China, the North American Free Trade Agreement and the World Trade Organization." Zahn (and Corsi) made no mention of the numerous examples of factual errors, conspiracy-mongering and obtuse commentary Griswold detailed. Here's one example:

Corsi writes that “China’s economy, heavily dependent on making cheap goods for the U.S. market, was cast into its own deep recession by the U.S. economic downturn.” In reality, China didn’t experience a recession, much less a deep one. According to the generally accepted figures from China’s National Bureau of Statistics, its economy grew 12 percent in 2007, 9 percent in 2008, and at an annual rate of 7.6 percent through the first three quarters of 2009.

He writes that our soaring trade deficit with China “reflects imports from China growing nearly 250 percent, from $100.1 [b]illion in 2000 to $243.5 [billion] in 2005.” Actually, while the latter number is about 250 percent of the former, the former only grew about 150 percent. He outdoes himself on page 182, declaring that “the U.S. negative trade balance with China in 1985 was under $1 billion; in 2008, the U.S. negative trade balance with China had grown more than 250 percent, to a negative $266 billion.” An increase from 1 to 266 would be an increase not of 266 percent, but of 26,500 percent (or 266 times).

Granted, many math-challenged adults and journalists struggle with percentages, but then again, those same adults do not pose as experts qualified to write books on global trade and finance. And typos and random errors creep into many books, but serious books by serious authors do not contain such widespread, obvious, and systematically biased errors as those teeming in America for Sale.

Now you see why Corsi wants to discredit Griswold.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:29 PM EST
Molotov Mitchell Is 'Pro-Life'?
Topic: WorldNetDaily

In his Jan. 22 WorldNetDaily column, Joseph Farah touts Molotov Mitchell as among the "pro-life voices" his website site promotes.

Of course, if you're gay, Molotov is not so pro-life.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:02 PM EST
Updated: Friday, January 22, 2010 2:10 PM EST

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