Flashback: WND's Brief Dalliance With Westboro Baptist Topic: WorldNetDaily
Dual WorldNetDaily columns by Ann Coulter and Chrissy Satterfield denouncing the soldier-funeral-picketing haters at the Westboro Baptist Church got us to recalling a time when WND wasn't quite as down on Fred Phelps and his crew.
As we detailed in 2006, WND positively portrayed a Fox News appearance by Westboro protester Shirley Phelps-Roper in which she argued with host Julie Banderas. WND dispassionately described her as "who believes America's sinful behavior has resulted in God's cursings rather than blessings" and her church as an "anti-homosexual church" before mentioning the funeral protests. It seems that WND was attracted by Westboro's anti-gay behavior -- WND, after all, is anti-gay too.
This apparent trial balloon went over like a lead-filled one with WND's readers. As we noted, the lead answer on a WND opt-in poll about the on-air altercation was "Julie's comments were over the top, but the protests at funerals of dead U.S soldiers are even more disturbing," and the three letters WND ran about the story were all critical of Phelps-Roper, calling her "a disgrace and a psychopath," a "cult leader" and a "self-righteous, hateful, name-calling woman."
It wasn't until two years later, when the Westboro folks picketed the funeral of Bush White House press secretary Tony Snow that anyone at WND felt moved to condemn the group. That's right -- it took a prominent conservative being targeted by the church for WND to screw up the courage to denouce it as "infamous."
It took way too long for WND to come around, but it has at last joined the voices from across the political spectrum who agree (publicly, anyway) that the Westboro clan is a bunch of odious haters.
Your Friday WorldNetDaily Obama Derangement Update Topic: WorldNetDaily
During the presidential campaign, a lot of people insisted that Obama was really a Muslim pretending to be a Christian. I wasn't one of them. I did figure, though, that if my name were Barack Hussein Obama and I was going to run for president a mere seven years after 9/11, I wouldn't admit I was a Muslim, either. On the other hand, I, personally, would have sooner trusted a Muslim who'd been attending a mosque in Dearborn for 20 years than a Christian who'd been attending a racist, anti-American church in Chicago for all that time.
Like most Americans, I believe in giving a guy the benefit of the doubt, but once Mr. Doubt grabs his hat and scoots out the door, leaving me holding the check, I really hate feeling like a sucker. The fact that so many other Americans feel the same way is reflected in Obama's free fall in the polls.
His recent rhetoric concerning Jerusalem and his subsequent boorish behavior toward Prime Minister Netanyahu convinces me that in his heart, at least, Obama is an Islamic.
As the attacks on the tea-party people by left-wing politicians, BHO's inner circle of hatchet artists and the cheerleading media continue unabated, it always catches my attention that very few people are willing to come right out and say that it is Der Fuhrbama himself who is calling the shots on all this.
Let's give BHO some credit here. He's the man – the born-and-bred socialist chosen to carry out the Saul Alinsky plan from start to communism.
Above all, BHO is the driving force behind the plan to discredit and marginalize the tea-party people. I caught a few seconds of his nauseating interview with CBS lapdog Harry Smith, and I have to admit that it was a remarkable performance, even for him. It reminded me once again that BHO is not a pathological liar. He is a purposeful, well-thought-out liar.
The Clintons were extremely good at their craft, but even their own people (George Stephanopoulos, James Carville, Dick Morris, et al.) knew when they were lying. From all accounts, Clinton's inner circle did a lot of chuckling, winking and elbowing each other when the Clintons were performing.
If you hadn't already caught him in hundreds of lies, you'd swear that BHO is totally sincere and truthful when he speaks. And, as I have previously pointed out, what makes him so convincing is that he is soulless. From Stalin to Mao, from Castro to Ho Chi Minh, from Chavez to Obama, I believe that the reason left-wing fascists are able to do whatever it takes to achieve their objectives – from lying to genocide – is that they are devoid of souls. That's because soullessness is a prerequisite to being a ruthless dictator.
After all, a soul can be a nuisance. It gets in the way of revolutions. It gets in the way of eliminating your perceived enemies. It gets in the way of remaking the world in one's own egotistical image. It gets in the way of establishing one's moral superiority in deciding who should get how much of the fruits of someone else's labor.
Klein's Only Quoted Source Is Far-Right Terrorist Sympathizer Topic: WorldNetDaily
Aaron Klein serves up yet another anonymous smear job in an April 8 WorldNetDaily article, this time accusing "Obama spies" of "monitoring ... Jewish construction projects in eastern Jerusalem." Amid the usual murk of anonymous sources making an unverified claim is the article sole named source, David Ha'ivri, benignly described only as "spokesmen [sic] for the Shomron Regional Council in Judea and Samaria."
As we've detailed, Ha'ivri is much more than that. He's a Kahanist -- a movement outlawed in Israel for its support for violence and terrorism -- who, in a 2007 CNN documentary, couldn't be bothered to condemn an plot by far-right Jewish extremists to detonate a bomb outside a Palestinian girls' school.
Isn't it telling that a right-winger like Klein not only feels so close to a far-right terrorist sympathizer like Ha'ivri to freely quote him but to serve as his image consultant by hiding his extremism?
NewsBusters Condones Erickson's Threat to Shoot Census Worker Topic: NewsBusters
Are you sure this is how you want to take your stand, Lachlan Markay?
In an April 7 NewsBusters post, Markay declared that Bill Press "smear[ed] a prominent conservative blogger," newly minted CNN commentator Erick Erickson. The offense? In asking a question duringa White House press briefing, Press did not clarify exactly what Erickson threatened to shoot a census worker over.
Of course, that's not the way Markay put it. "[Press] misquoted RedState's Erick Erickson to make it seem as if he was encouraging the listeners of his radio show to not fill out the Census, and tried to turn Erickson's statement into an attack on CNN," Markay asserted, adding that "Erickson's shotgun comment was referring to the American Community Survey, which the Weekly Standard's Daniel Friedman has described as 'downright Orwellian.'" He continued:
It's quite telling that Press quoted Erickson as saying "pull out my wife’s shotgun and see how that little twerp likes being scared at the door." He actually said "pull out my wife’s shotgun and see how that little ACS twerp likes being scared at the door."
Leaving "ACS" out of the quote allowed Press to paint Erickson as one of those Census conspiracy theorists and as generally and vehemently opposed to any effort by the federal government to record information about its citizens.
That's mostly a distinction without a difference -- Erickson still threatened to shoot a census worker. Interesting that Markay is willing to give Erickson a free pass on making terroristic threats, as long as he threatens to shoot the right person.
Is that really a responsible stand for Markay to be taking?
Fack in February, Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy decried the idea of "fratricide" within the Republican Party, claiming that "a civil war in the party will do more harm than good." Ruddy seems to have changed his tune, for Newsmax has set its sights on taking down a fellow Republican. And not just any Republican -- the target is Michael Steele, head of the Republican National Committee.
Newsmax has never particularly liked Steele -- Ronald Kessler declared back in Janaury that "Steele is not ready to lead the Republican Party" and that he "seemed to go out of his way to thumb his nose at fellow Republicans." But the story that the RNC spent $2,000 at a lesbian bondage club appears to have spurred a much more concerted effort by Newsmax to get rid of Steele.
A March 30 article by David Patten highlights "a growing insurgency seeking to remove" Steele, noting a major donor -- who "served as Christian-community liaison for former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney's 2008 campaign" -- who said he would stop donating to the RNC. (It's worth mentioning that Kessler has a fetish for Romney.) This was followed by an April 5 article by Patten noting that the RNC's top fundraiser had resigned over the controversy. An April 7 unbylined Newsmax article repeated "key excerpts" from a New York Times article reporting claims that Steele has become a "distraction."
Kessler weighed in again with an article asserting that "Steele slapped his own party in the face with his contention that being African-American is a factor in criticism of him and of Barack Obama." Kessler added, "Given Steele’s self-destructive tendencies, he will likely continue to poke his finger in the eyes of his fellow Republicans. The question is how long they will put up with it."
Newsmax then highlighted more criticism: a request from "GOP strategist and CNN contributor" Ed Rollins for Steele to step aside, and a rehashing of conservative writer kathleen Parker's Washington Post column stating that Steele "needs to face the truth and set himself — and his party — free." Then came an reprinted Washington Times article noting that the Democratic National Committee collected more contributions than the RNC last month.
Expect Newsmax to keep the agitation up until Steele is gone (or until Kessler gets tired of writing about it).
Farah Dubiously Claims WND Is Bigger Than MSNBC Topic: WorldNetDaily
Joseph Farah spent his April 8 WorldNetDaily column gloating that he had once dreamed that his website would be bigger than MSNBC, and now it is:
Not surprisingly, WND.com leads MSNBC substantially in Internet viewers. (WND.com is the 519th largest website of any kind in the U.S., according to Quantcast.com, while MSNBC.com ranks 545th.)
That may be true as far as it goes, but measuring web traffic is not an exact science, and there are many different ways to count. Hitwise, for example, places MSNBC second among news sites, while eBizMBA ranks MSNBC 15th. Neither make any mention of WND.
WND has a long history of cherry-picking statistics to make its web traffic look good -- for example, it has regularly misled readers about its Alexa rankings.
Farah then pontificated on why this was the case, and concluded that it was because his competition, unlike WND, fell "out of touch with America and American values." Really? We didn't know that undermining a president whose policies you don't like through spreadinglies and vilesmears were "American values."
Last week, we wrote an item for Media Matters about Ralph Peters' nonsensical fearmongering over "voting rights for illegals" at FrontPageMag. In response, FrontPageMag published a column by Rich Trzupek that engaged in a lot of ad hominem attacks to defend Peters.
Newsmax Columnist Likes IRS to SS, KGB Topic: Newsmax
Sure, nobody likes the IRS, but does be deserve to be likened to the SS and the KGB and its agents likened to Nazis who took the "just following orders" defense? Richard Rahn thinks so, and he tells us all about it an an April 7 Newsmax column:
Would you consider taking a job with a government agency that does the following:
Unnecessarily strikes fear into the hearts of tens of millions of your fellow citizens, causing such anguish and despair that some are driven to suicide each year
Requires citizens to know 10 million words of rules and regulations because the failure to do so may result in draconian fines and even jail, while at the same time no one in the agency has a full understanding of all the rules and regulations it requires others to know
Routinely ignores the constitutional protections against self-incrimination and the right to the presumption of innocence
Seizes the assets of citizens without obtaining court judgments Penalizes marriage
Discriminates against many of the nation's most productive citizens
Destroys incentives to work, save and invest, and undermines job creation
Routinely protects agency personnel who have engaged in citizen intimidation, misrepresentation or worse
No, I am not referring to the Nazi SS or the Soviet KGB, but the IRS, which is guilty of all of the above and more.
It is, of course, true that no one loves the tax collector and that taxes are the price we pay for a civil society. But, as with anything else, there are proper and improper taxes and tax collection procedures and methods.
According to news accounts, attacks and threats against IRS personnel are rising, and unfortunately, this trend is likely to continue until there is a fundamental change in our tax laws and collection methods.
People who do not have access to the media and cannot afford expensive tax lawyers sometimes reach such a level of frustration with the IRS that they resort to violent or irrational behavior.
IRS officials and workers will say the tax code is not their fault, and they are only doing their jobs.
It is unambiguously true that the tax code and IRS are creatures of Congress, with all of its self-dealing, corruption, ignorance, and incompetence. But it also is true, and was made explicit at the Nuremberg trials, that those who carry out orders that they know to be wrong or should know to be wrong are not absolved of personal responsibility.
Rahn, by the way, is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute, so this hateful smear comes heavily subsidized.
UPDATE: NewsReal endorses Rahn's column, but is silent about his vile smears.
Newsmax is keeping up its newly revived Bernard Kerik rehabilitation business -- after the disgraced former New York City police chief was sentenced to four years in prison on a host of corruption charges -- with a pair of articles this week.
An April 6 article by David Patten touts Joe Scarborough's dubious assertion that Kerik would be "walking be walking the streets today" if Rudy Giuliani had not run for president. That's highly unlikely since since the investigation into Kerik began in 2004.
Patten went on to assert that Kerik "pleaded guilty rather than paying millions of dollars in legal fees against a prosecution that many contend was politically motivated." Patten offered no evidence that "many" people feel this way.
This was followed by an April 7 article promoting another article by longtime Kerik defender Andrew Kreig, published at Harvard University's Nieman Foundation. Kreig also highlighted Scarborough's defense of Kerik.
New Article: Joseph Farah's Birther Revisionism Topic: WorldNetDaily
The WorldNetDaily editor has not only lied about his website's birther coverage, he and Alan Keyes want you to believe that they're not questioning Barack Obama's citizenship. Read more >>
Blakeman: Militarize Mexico Border With Drones, Troops (But Don't Call It That) Topic: Newsmax
Brad Blakeman declares in an April 6 Newsmax column that the government must "take swift and permanent action to secure our nation's borders immediately" -- and he wants U.S. troops to be involved.
The first step, according to Blakeman: "If we can send troops and deploy unmanned predator drones to secure the borders of foreign lands, then we can surely deploy them to help secure our own." Read that again -- he wants Predator drones of the kind that shoot missiles at suspected terrorists in Afghanistan on the Mexico border.
Does Blakeman really believe that someone sneaking into the U.S. for a job is worthy of the same fate as those who wage terror and command suicide bombers?
Blakeman then tries a little language bamboozlement: "We need a military style precision operation to effectively secure our borders. It is not about 'militarizing' our borders, which our president finds offensive." If you're sending armed troops and Predator drones to the border, how can that not be described as "miltarizing" the border?
Meanwhile ... Topic: NewsBusters
Media Matters' Jamison Foser catches NewsBusters' Tim Graham once again saying something stupid -- this time, claiming the fact that President Obama adapts his speaking style to his audience, as most people do, means that Obama is a phony.
Meanwhile ... Topic: WorldNetDaily
Richard Bartholomew does a little dot-connecting regarding WorldNetDaily's Molotov Mitchell and anti-gay Ugandan pastor Martin Ssempa. Turns out Ssempa is buddies of the pastor of a neo-Pentacostal church in North Carolina linked to a movement called Every Nation, the current incarnation of a movement called Maranatha, which has been linked to authoritarian behavior. That church's previous pastor is Molotov's father.