CNS Joins Battle to Defend Hannity, Bash Schlussel Topic: CNSNews.com
The ConWeb has certainly arrayed some significant firepower to defend Sean Hannity.
We've previously detailed how WorldNetDaily has rushed to Hannity's defense over accusations by right-wing blogger Debbie Schlussel that Freedom Alliance, an organization affiliated with Hannity and co-founded by Oliver North, has misspent money designated for scholarships (while hiding its tangled relationship with her). Now CNSNews.com has joined the battle in a March 22 article by Michael Chapman.
Chapman's clear goal is to discredit Schlussel, describing her as "a blogger who cited an unnamed source who, in turn, cited an unnamed 'guy' at Fox News Channel in suggesting that the charity used some of its donations to pay lavish expenses supposedly incurred by Hannity." Chapman does not mention Schlussel's ideological leanings.
Chapman went on to complain that "Schlussel did not name the source who sent her the message citing the unnamed 'guy' at Fox News who claimed that Hannity had run-up big expenses on the tab of the Freedom Concerts." He lavishes much more attention on Freedom Alliance's defense.
We don't have a dog in this fight, but Schlussel is known for making hyperbolic claims. We do find it interesting how much effort is being put into shooting down Schlussel on this, while pretending she's not a fellow right-winger -- even though that ideological link is the reason her claim has gathered traction to the point that other right-wingers are working hard to shoot it down.
It is clear the current administration, along with Pelosi and Reid, will lie, cheat, steal and even trample the Constitution to bring about their socialist/communist utopia vision all while punishing the nation for past missteps. It's the Alinsky plan for America.
If they pass this bill, then we the people are no longer "we the people." We are now "we the ruled." Our nation has been taken over by a band of thugs, and the truly sad part is 52 percent of you sent the thug to the position of power that will enslave all of us.
I hope all you dummies who allowed your hatred for George Bush to blind you from the danger ahead realize the damage you've done. When you voted in an all-Democratic Congress in 2006 and Obama in 2008, you put your country in the hands of radical leftists who see a much different America than the average person.
P.T. Barnum had it right when he said, "There's a sucker born every minute." I think it may now be every second.
Thank you, Obama voters. I hope you're happy. But your happiness will be short lived unless you are willing to bow at the altar of your new tyrant – just like crazy cousin Dennis.
A March 22 NewsBusters post by Colleen Raezler complains that "Family Guy" has "denied [Terri] Schiavo human dignity in the March 21 episode by referring to her in lyrics sung by cartoon preschoolers as 'the most expensive plant you'll ever see' and a 'vegetable,' and noted 'her mashed potato brains.'"
Raezler has yet to complain about how her fellow NewsBusters denied Rosie O'Donnell human dignity just one day earlier by referring to her as "this thing." As in "Is someone REALLY going to give this thing its own show?"
Jeffrey's Bias-Heavy 'News' Story on Health Care Reform Topic: CNSNews.com
Is Terry Jeffrey editorializing in his "news" story on the passage of health care reform? Oh, just a tad:
Congress Votes to Socialize Health Care in United States
(CNSNews.com) - The U.S. House of Representatives voted 219-212 on Sunday night to socialize health care in the United States, making the government the paymaster of, and giving it sweeping regulatory authority over, the U.S. health care industry which represents one-sixth of the U.S. economy.
The legislation also enacts a dramatic and unprecedented diminution in the individual liberty of citizens. It does so by mandating that all Americans buy a government-approved health care plan while redistributing wealth on a massive scale by promising annual federal insurance subsidies to all Americans who earn less than 400 percent of the poverty level, which is currently $88,200 for a family of four.
The new health-care system the legislation will put in place over the next four years amounts to a massive and mandatory new welfare program that will ensnare middle-class and middle-aged Americans in dependency on the federal government for a vital element of their lives.
Jeffrey also serves up his own less-than-reality-based interpretation of abortion funding and the bill (notice his love of the word "theoretically"):
Stupak and his allies accepted President Obama’s promise that he would sign a draft Executive Order that simply instructs federal agencies to set accounting rules for how the health care plans that people purchase with federal funds will theoretically “segregate” the federal money they receive from other dollars that would theoretically pay for abortions.
President Obama’s draft Executive Order speaks of this “segregation” mechanism as if it were the effective equivalent of the Hyde Amendment. However, the Hyde Amendment prohibits any federal funds funneled through various annual appropriations bills from going to any health plan that covers abortion. The health care bill that Congress passed Sunday and the Executive Order that Obama is promising to sign will allow federal funds to go to health care plans that cover abortion. It will only theoretically “segregate” these fungible funds from other dollars going to the same insurance plans that pay for abortion.
The claim that the bill funds abortion has been repeatedly disproven, and neither Jeffrey or anyone else at CNS has attempted to rebut it.
WND Also Ignores Death of Filegate Topic: WorldNetDaily
Last week we noted that the Clinton conspiracy-mongers at the Media Research Center failed to acknowledge the death of the "Filegate" case. Another Clinton-obsessed ConWeb component has ignored it too: WorldNetDaily.
WND was clinging to Filegate -- the word appears in 189 articles in the WND archive -- as late as last year, when it promoted Larry Klayman's efforts to "grill" Hillary Clinton "over her handling of confidential FBI files." WND quoted Klayman as saying, "We are confident that Judge [Royce] Lamberth will now have to finally order the deposition."
Lamberth is the very same judge who tossed the lawsuit once and for all, saying: "The plaintiffs, he wrote, "after ample opportunity . . . have not produced any evidence of the far-reaching conspiracy that sought to use intimate details from FBI files for political assassinations that they alleged. The only thing that they have demonstrated is that this unfortunate episode -- about which they do have cause to complain -- was exactly what the defendants claimed: nothing more than a bureaucratic snafu."
As recently as Feb. 18, Bob Unruh was still touting Klayman's efforts to depose Clinton. But the fact that the entire lawsuit has been tossed out of court and derided as specious by the judge has yet to find a home at WND.
Ellis Washington begins his March 20 WorldNetDaily column by declaring, "I consider myself a conservative intellectual, a thinker who holds philosophical ideas out the Judeo-Christian traditions of intellectual thought."
Apparently one distinguishing characteristic of the conservative intellectual is to engage in ad hominem attacks, for that is what Washington spends much of his column doing. The target is "liberal blogger" and "well-known atheist" Ed Brayton, who responded to Washington's column last week claiming that the whale who killed a trainer at Sea World should be put to death because, among other reasons, animals are "distinctively inferior to human beings and were worth little if any moral consideration" since "humans have souls and animals don't." Washington also cited a biblical passage about an out-of-control bull stating that "the bull must be stoned and the owner also must be put to death" (italics his).
Brayton highlighted Washington's statement that his ideas about the destruction of misbehaving animals comes from "the same place we got the ideas found in natural law, the common law, the Federalist Papers, the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights -- it all came from the Bible."Brayton points out that the Constitution largely rejected English common law as derived from the Bible, adding that "there is no mention of biblical sources for any of the Constitution's principles" in the Federalist Papers. Brayton added: "And in case you're interested - no, Washington never did reply to my question about ERVs and common descent. Because he can't, I'm quite sure."
Washington starts off by declaring that Brayton "absolutely hates everything good about America -- which I guess would explain why he hates my writings and ideas so much because I am a Christian, a conservative and am very pro-America." He goes on to tell Brayton that "for you to follow such a man [like Charles Darwin] is like following a cult leader. Your position is ipso facto (inherently) indefensible. You have built an entire worldview on quicksand. Lenin referred to true believers like you and your fellow bloggers as 'useful idiots.'"
Washington then responds not to the whale stuff but that previous question Brayton referenced: "Can you provide a coherent, consistent explanation other than common descent for the patterns of appearance of endogenous retroviruses in vertebrate genomes?" He declares himself to be "not a scientist but a philosopher and an intellectual, the way I approach all bodies of knowledge is from reason and veritas (truth)." Actually, Washington isn't all that much into the truth. Washington continues:
Ed, St. Paul had already dealt with Darwin's specious theories of man (vs. 23) and the philosophers of his day, who were a lot smarter than you and your fellow bloggers. I also addressed the unsustainable aspects of Darwinian evolution in my law review article, Reply to Judge Richard A. Ponser on the Inseparability of Law and Morality"
Your issues about where humanity came from are not so much a problem of the head (brain), but of the heart (soul). Until you repent and ask Jesus to come into your heart you will always be confused and wrong in your worldview, which will disallow you, I and your fellow bloggers the ability to have a rational discussion based on the syllogism that was a foundation of Western civilization:
If A = B, then A + B = C
... Big Bang explosions, theories by unremarkable naturalists, ERVs and "billions of years …" cannot explain the complexity of an eye, nor expound upon the incomprehensible diversity and richness of creation. That suit you are wearing on your blog as well as the teeth in your mouth did not explode into place. I learned in science that explosions destroy things, not create things.
Ed, take a look at my law review article. Although it was written 11 years ago, the ideas and ideals are timeless and transcendent.
We can't tell for sure, but it seems like Washington still didn't answer Brayton's question.
Apparently, being a conservative intellectual doesn't actually require any intellectualism at all. On top of the ad hominem attacks (which Washington has previously defended when Michael Savage does them because, well, Savage is Jesus). In addition to the ad hominem attacks, it also means a substantial degree of egomania.
WND's Unsourced Attack on Girl Scouts, Planned Parenthood Actually Comes From Hate Group Topic: WorldNetDaily
Oh, here's a shock: WorldNetDaily has apparently hooked up with another hate group to smear one of its declared enemies -- and the editor's daughter was enlisted to do it.
A March 16 WND article by Kathleen Farah -- a daughter of WND editor Joseph Farah -- claimed that "the World Association of Girl Scouts and Girl Guides held a no-adults-welcome panel at the United Nations in which Planned Parenthood distributed a brochure entitled 'Healthy, Happy and Hot,'" which "targets young people and contains graphic details on sex. It also encourages casual sex in many forms." But Farah offers no evidence to support her claim, nor does she quote anyone in her article substantiating it. Farah also made no apparent effort to contact the Girl Scouts, Planned Parenthood, or the United Nations for a response.
Apparently, Farah lifted her claims from the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute (C-FAM), a right-wing group that was created by Human Life International, an anti-abortion group with a history of anti-Semitism -- it once blamed Jews for the abortion-rights movement. At no point in her article does Farah credit C-FAM as the source of the information she cribbed.
It's not until a March 19 WND article by Drew Zahn that an actual source is provided for the claim -- a representataive of the right-wing group Family Watch International. Again, C-FAM's apparently contribution is curiously omitted; then again, if we took information at face value from a hate group, we'd try to hide it too.
It's also the first time there's a statement (albeit buried in the 10th paragraph) from the Girl Scouts, which states that the pamphlet was not distributed to the girls but left on a table from a previous presentation.
Zahn, however, ignored that the Girl Scouts also stated:
The Girl Scouts of the USA was not contacted by Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute (C-FAM) regarding its initial story to discuss the facts of this event. Had they applied these basic journalistic standards, perhaps the true details of this event would have been reported.
Nevertheless, Zahn began his article by falsely asserting that the Planned Parenthood "teen-sex promoting guide" was "provided for Girl Scouts in attendance."
Zahn does concede that the brochure was "produced by the International Planned Parenthood Federation for young people with HIV." As Right Wing Watch points out: "Honestly, does the right-wing claim even seem plausible? Are we really supposed to believe that Girl Scout leaders kicked all the adults out of the room so that Planned Parenthood could distribute a brochure to a group of young girls about how to lead sexually fulfilling lives while living with HIV?"
WorldNetDaily's Idea of 'News' Topic: WorldNetDaily
This is how a March 20 WorldNetDaily news article begins. Repeat, this is a news article:
Will it soon be the U.S.S.A. – the United Socialist States of America?
Tens of thousands of people descended on Washington today, lining up in circles around the Capitol, in protest of a pending vote Sunday on President Obama's trillion dollar plan that would take over health care across America. That's some $500 billion in cuts from funding for U.S. seniors and another nearly like amount in new taxes.
WND Ignores Another Intra-Birther Smackdown Topic: WorldNetDaily
As we've detailed, WorldNetDaily's Orly Taitz protection racket includes hiding criticism of her shoddy lawyering by other birther lawyers. Now, another birther lawyer has come out against Taitz.
On the March 1 edition of the Patriot's Heart webcast, Gary Kreep -- who, as WND has stated, "has been involved in several of the cases that have raised challenges to Obama's occupancy of the Oval Office, including two in California" -- Kreep noted that Taitz filed a motion after deadline, thereby complicating one birther case he is also involved in, and the court wrapped her appeal with one that Kreep had filed. Kreep said he planned to make an effort to sever her appeal from his because he fears "she will take actions which are going to damage our attempts to [inaudible] the matter on behalf of our two clients in this case." Kreep went on to say that Taitz's filings in the case "had nothing to do with the issue" and "just makes things more difficult." Kreep continued:
Well, it makes the issue Dr. Taitz rather than the issue of eligibility, because much of what Dr. Taitz has done has been to attract attention to herself, not attract attention to the case. And as you know, she's become a laughingstock in the media, and they've used her antics to basically hurt all of us. ... Becauase she has made a fool of herself in many ways.
In case Kreep's point wasn't clear, it was summed up on the blog of Kreep's group, the United States Justice Foundation, which linked to the show:
Gary Kreep says Orly’s made a laughing stock of herself and the whole eligibility issue. He seems to have grown cozy with her arch-enemy Phil Berg, despite their policy differences. He really lets Orly have it in a way I haven’t heard him before.
WND hasn't mentioned a thing about Kreep's criticism of Taitz, even though it happened three weeks ago. Then again, Taitz has ordered WND not to report anything negative about her.
March 19 was a busy day for Newsmax managing editor David Patten -- he penned no fewer than four articles promoting opposition to health care reform.
First, he wrote that the outcome over reform "remains very much in doubt," with a focus on who which members of Congress were or were not voting for it. Then, Patten promoted the tea party movement's anti-reform rally, calling it "one last push to stop the Obamacare freight train."
This was followed by an article in which Patten allowed Stupak to uncritically claim that the Senate bill contains "pro-abortion language" and violates "the longstanding agreement that taxpayer dollars should not defray the cost of abortions." While Patten portrayed Stupak as responding the an Associated Press fact-check pointing out that the Senate bill does not fund abortion, Pattenmade no apparent attempt to contact anyone to rebut Stupak's claims (which have been repeatedlydebunked).
Finally, Patten uncritically repeats Dick Morris' attacks on reform, failing to disclose that Morris is among the Newsmax writer triumverate working for the anti-Obama League of American Voters stop the bill.Which means Morris' unsupported claims get uncritically repeated as well.
In complaining about "backroom deals" to get the bill passed -- a procedure that, for better or worse, happens with pretty much every piece of major legislation in which the vote is close -- Morris asserts that "There were two congressmen from California who got a multi-, multi-million dollar water project for their district." What Morris appears to be referring to is a report that California's Central Valley, which happens to be reprsented by two Democratic congressmen who were allegedly wavering on health care reform. In fact, allegations of a quid pro quo are baseless -- the water allocation was increased because more winter precipitation broke a drought and filled area reservoirs.
The only thing Patten seems to be managing here is right-wing spin.
WND Defends Hannity From Schlussel Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily was quick to run to the defense of Sean Hannity, using a march 19 article to feature a rebuttal of charges by right-wing blogger Debbie Schlussel that Freedom Alliance, a group founded by Oliver North for which Hannity has organized "freedom concert" benefits, is spending little of its revenue on the scholarships it is supposed to fund, with much of the money raised going to expenses such as transportation for Hannity.
What WND doesn't want to talk about, however, is its tangled relationship with Schlussel.
As we've detailed, Schlussel used to be a columnist for WND for a year in the early 2000s, during which time she engaged in some bizarreaccusations. This may be the only documented case in which a columnist has proven to be too crazy for WND to publish.
Schlussel has also been critical of WND in general and Aaron Klein in particular, to the point that WND editor Joseph Farah was moved to respond to "an Internet pundit out there in the blogosphere whose name I will not utter" -- Schlussel. Of course, Farah's defense of Klein contained more than a few misleading claims. The ironic thing is, Klein has lifted at least one story idea from Schlussel.
Given WND's long history of non-disclosure of its interests in subjects it writes about, it's not surprising that it wouldn't tell readers about its relationship with Schlussel. And given WND's long reluctance to identify conservatives as conservatives, it's also not surprising that it wouldn't give Schlussel a political label, which is one reason the story has gotten as much traction as it has. Unethical and lazy, perhaps, but not surprising.
Meanwhile ... Topic: The ConWeb
We wrote this week's Media Matters weekly roundup, with a focus on how Fox News have their noise-machine amps cranked to 11 in fighting health care reform. Yes, Spinal Tap references abound.
Newsmax Still Publishing Geller's Pathological Anti-Obama Screeds Topic: Newsmax
Pamela Geller's column may have returned to Newsmax after a brief, unexplainedhiatus, but Newsmax is making no effort to promote it -- they're not getting linked to from the Newsmax front page upon posting, as other columnists do.
Thus, we almost missed Geller's March 17 column, which is yet another anti-Obama screed. This time, it's over the Obama administration's criticism of Israel's announced plan to build more settlements in a disputed area of East Jerusalem. Geller declared that "America is profoundly pro-Israel; yet Barack Obama is taking on our best friend and most strategic ally in the Middle East and creating an environment, a free zone, for rampant anti-Semitism." In case the smear wasn't clear, she added, "Obama has worked hard to make the world a safe place for Jew-haters to run amok."
Meanwhile, on her own website, Geller declared that Obama "holds a pen like an illiterate. Have you seen it? Like a little kid who just learned how to write and he signs a scribble. He makes an O instead of an X. Just sayin."
Geller's hatred of Obama appears to be nothing short of pathological. Yet Newsmax continues to provide space for her screeds. Why?
Smithsonian Exhibit Not Right-Wing Enough for CNS' Starr Topic: CNSNews.com
Penny Starr builds an entire March 18 CNSNews.com article around the complaint that a new Smithsonian exhibit called "What Does it Mean to Be Human?" -- which examines human origins -- lacks "references to God, creationism, or pre-natal existence." Even worse, in Starr's eyes, the exhibit "says fossils 'provide evidence that modern humans evolved from earlier humans.'"
Starr went on to question the exhibit curator about "why the exhibit does not include any reference to God or address the debate – even in scientific circles – about Darwinian evolution," and why "why an exhibit on human origins does not include any references to human beings as they develop from conception to birth in the womb."
By contrast, when Starr wrote last October about a new documentary created by the right-wing activist group Citizens United "using in the founders’ own words to describe how God played a role in America becoming a nation of religious liberty and tolerance," she merely noted that the film "is not a commentary on the Founding Fathers’ theology or lack thereof" but did not pepper narrator Newt Gingrich or producer David Bossie on why the film avoided addressing secularism among the Founding Fathers. Instead, she uncritically quoted Bossie as asserting that the film provides "an accurate reflection of history" and Gingrich's claim that "It’s a story, which is in many ways, profoundly different than the secular version that is now authorized in the government schools."
UPDATE: Right Wing Watch adds: "What's next, a CNS article complaining that nowhere does the museum mention the fact that the world is only six thousand years old?"