NewsBusters' Sheppard Promotes Idea Obama is Anti-Semitic Topic: NewsBusters
NewsBusters' Noel Sheppard used an April 11 post to descend into far-right conspiracy territory by endorsing the idea that President Obama is anti-Semitic.
The post highlights a "Saturday Night Live" skit in which the person playing Obama highlights alleged questions in the census, one of which was, "Do you feel that Jews have too much influence on Wall Street and the media?" In context, of course, that's a joke, playing on the fears of some far-right extremists. Sheppard, of course, didn't see it that way: "Honestly, what kind of question was that? Wouldn't a lot of people find that anti-Semitic, or is my sense of humor lacking at the moment?"
Sheppard then updated the post to add a commenter's observation: "I think Armisen's Obama impression portrayed what Obama truly feels about Jews and about Israel and was not intended to be Armisen or SNL itself being anti-Semitic." Sheppard then asked: "Is he right? Was this a slam at Obama and not Jews?"
Sheppard obviously thinks so -- concurrently, Sheppard used his Twitter feed to affirmatively state what he suggested at NewsBusters: "Was Saturday Night Live actually mocking Obama's anti-Semitism with this sketch?"
We expect far-right outlets like WorldNetDaily to spread such hateful conspiracy theories. Should NewsBusters really be trying to get into that same credibility-destroying business?
Newsmax Repeats Flawed Study Attacking Stimulus Topic: Newsmax
An April 12 Newsmax "Insider Report" item touts a study claiming that "congressional districts represented by a Democrat have received significantly more money from the $787 billion stimulus bill than those with a Republican representative":
The study by Veronique de Rugy, senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center, found that on average Democratic districts got 1 1/2 times as many awards as Republican districts in the fourth quarter of 2009.
Those Democratic districts received about 2 1/2 times more stimulus dollars than Republican districts, $122 billion to $46 billion.
And Democratic districts also received larger awards on average than did Republican districts — $471 million for a Democratic district and $260 million for one represented by a Republican, de Rugy points out in an article for National Review.
But Nate Silver at fivethirtyeight.com points out that de Rugy's study is flawed because it ignores that many of the districts receiving the most funding contain state capitals, which tend to lean Democratic: "A lot of stimulus funds are distributed to state agencies, which are then responsible for allocating and administering the funds to the presumed benefit of citizens throughout the state. These state agencies, of course, are usually located in or near the state capital."
In a later post as part of an exchange with de Rugy, Silver also points out that de Rugy baselessly suggests the stimulus was deliberately designed to disproportionally benefit Democratic districts.
Dave Welch's Anti-Gay America Topic: WorldNetDaily
Dave Welch has alongrecord of demonsrating hatred for gays, which he continues in his April 10 WorldNetDaily column.
First, Welch bizarrely asserts that efforts to give gays legal protection under hate-crimes laws are "Marxist-driven." He sneeringly continues:
For example, it came as a surprise to many citizens in Houston (it should not have) that city and county taxpayers' dollars have been and are being used to promote a program called "My Gay Houston" as part of the Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau. Other major cities are doing the same. Lesbian Mayor Annise Parker has gone above and beyond to now extend protection through executive orders to "gender identity" and "gender expression."
Keep your wives and daughters out of Houston city restrooms.
The evil of moral perversion is currently having a free reign through our choice of Barack Hussein Obama as president, liberal Democrats and weak Republicans in Congress, and lesbians like Annise Parker as mayor of Houston. We clearly do not have the latitude to withdraw from the battle and focus solely on rebuilding the biblical foundations of moral virtue in the church.
The then offers a"brief quiz" on "Which of the following two lists more closely reflect the overall condition of America today?"
OPTION 1 – sexual immorality, impurity of mind, sensuality, worship of false gods, witchcraft, hatred, quarreling, jealousy, bad temper, rivalry, factions, party-spirit, envy, drunkenness, orgies and things like that.
NewsBusters Obscures Real Issue in Va. Confederate Proclamation Topic: NewsBusters
An April 7 NewsBusters post by Candance Moore was generally offended that "The national media are outraged this week by an announcement from Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell to observe April as Confederate History Month, and more specifically that "most energetic complaints came from the Washington Post, which published more than half a dozen pieces in the same day."
Moore tried to whitewash the situation by uncritically repeating McDonnell's defense that he was trying to "shore up Virginia's economy by emphasizing its historical significance," but at no point did she address the crux of the controversy: McDonnell's proclamation did not mention slavery.
Despite Moore's framing of the issue as part of the Post's purported vendetta against governor, McDonnell's omission was pretty much universally condemned across the political spectrum. Indeed, conservative writers took to the post to criticize it. Ramesh Ponnuru:
On this issue, I'm with the editors of the Post: Virginia governor Robert McDonnell was wrong to proclaim Confederate History Month without acknowledging the evil of slavery with which the Confederacy was inextricably bound. To urge "all Virginians. . . to understand the sacrifices of the Confederate leaders, soldiers and citizens during the period of the Civil War," again without referring to the sacrifices forced upon the slaves who lived in the commonwealth, compounds the offense.
I very much doubt it was Gov. McDonnell's intention to cause any offense, and the proclamation mostly consists of platitudes about the importance of studying history. But the failure to mention slavery was a moral and historical mistake; it is also, I think, a political one. Gov. McDonnell has been widely hailed--and I've been one of the hailers--as showing Republicans the way toward rebuilding a national majority. One of his accomplishments during the campaign was to show that blacks are welcome, indeed sought after, in his coalition. This move undercuts that effort, which damages Republicans and conservatives not only among blacks but among non-black voters as well.
Americans can appreciate these things, and do. But when a public official celebrates Confederate history without mentioning slavery, there is a problem.
The historical context of secession was the defense of slavery -- what Confederate Vice President Alexander Stephens called the "cornerstone" of the Southern cause. Playing down this context, as McDonnell initially did before later amending his proclamation, was a sin of omission. When a Virginia governor speaks of the Civil War, he has a positive duty to disavow the racist sentiments that find refuge in Confederate nostalgia. Context matters.
WND's Lamb Falsely Scaremongers About 'Obama's Private Army' Topic: WorldNetDaily
Henry Lamb scaremongers in his April 10 WorldNetDaily column:
Who knew that Obamacare provides for a "Regular Corps" and a "Ready-Reserve Corps" of officers and individuals who are appointed by the president? Commissioned officers are subject to active duty at the call of the surgeon general. The new law provides $17.5 million in each of the first four years to recruit and train these reserves.
During his campaign, Obama said: "We cannot continue to rely only on our military. … We've got to have a civilian security force just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded. We cannot continue to rely only on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives we've set."
What, exactly, will the Ready Reserve Corps do in the event of a national emergency or public health crisis that the National Guard is not already doing? If more people are required, simply increase the recruiting goals. There is no need to create a new branch of service with its attendant bureaucracy and officer corps.
This is exceedingly dangerous ground. The Constitution does not give the federal government any police power. In fact, the Constitution requires the federal government to stay out of the states' business except in the very limited ways expressly authorized by the Constitution.
Obama has already expressed his contempt for the idea that the Constitution limits the power of the federal government.
In fact, as we detailed the last time WND fearmongered about this, even the conservative website Hot Air calls it baseless. The statute creating this reserve corps was first implemented in 1944, and the only significant thingthe health care reform did to it is increase its funding.
Lamb is being irresponsible. But he works for an irresponsible "news" outlet, so it's fitting.
Sheppard Endorses Sen. Coburn's Whining About Maddow Topic: NewsBusters
In an April 8 NewsBusters post, Noel Sheppard uncritically repeated a claim by Republican Sen. Tom Coburn in a Daily Caller interview that cited MSBC's Rachel Maddow as an example of how liberals "demonize people": "Look at Rachel Maddow. She comes at me on the basis of emotion. She demonizes me. I don't want conservatives to win on the basis of emotion. If we lower ourselves to the level they operate on, we hurt ourselves and our arguments."
Sheppard adds: "Tough to argue with that. In fact, this is very much what we see from liberal media members these days: attack the messenger NOT the message."
This is rather hilarious, since 1) neither Coburn nor Sheppard offer examples of how Maddow has "demonized" Coburn, thus engaging in the baseless demonization they accuse Maddow of perpetrating, and 2) Maddow has a reputation of being among the more intellectual commentators around and less than likely to argue "on the basis of emotion."
Sheppard rather hilariously concludes: "Maybe what this country needs is a more thoughtful, courteous approach to the debate over the direction of our nation without all the invective." You first, Noel.
WND Touts Anti-Gay Pediatricians Group Topic: WorldNetDaily
An April 8 WorldNetDaily article by Bob Unruh touted "letters to thousands of school superintendents across the United States" sent by the American College of Pediatricians "with a warning that promoting – or 'affirming' – the homosexual lifestyle to young children can damage them." Unruh benignly described the ACP as "A professional organization for pediatricians" and "a nonprofit organization funded by members and donors," but Unruh made no effort to explain the anti-gay stance of the group.
The ACP was created in 2002 by a small group of anti-gay pediatricians upset with a policy statement by the mainstream, much larger American Academy of Pediatrics supporting adoptions by lesbian and gay parents.
Unruh goes on to promote ACP's "Facts About Youth" website, uncritically repeating the ACP's claim that it is a "non-political, non-religious channel." Unruh also uncritically repeated some of the website's claims about homosexuality -- including advocacy of therapy for "adolescents experiencing same-sex attraction" -- making no effort to contact anyone for a contrary view.
In fact, the Facts About Youth website contains numerous false and misleading claims that Unruh fails to identify. Warren Throckmorton reports:
The website purports to offer current research in a non-political channel. However, the reference list on the homosexuality page negates that claim. The first two references come from the NARTH (National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality) website and are not studies but summaries of studies and the third is from NARTH board member George Rekers, published in a book by Julie Hamilton, NARTH president. Whatever one thinks of NARTH, one must concede that the organization is most certainly not impartial on the subject.
The list of additional resources is anything but current. There are 13 references listed, all but two of them were published prior to 2001. Those older references have been updated by newer work but you wouldn’t know it by reading here. The most current facts are not here, nor are they referenced here.
Thropckmorton goes on to note that ACP misrepresents one researcher on the subject of change therapy, who states that his words "have been juxtaposed in a way that suggests a somewhat different conclusion that I intended."
Alvin McEuen at Pam's House Blend details even more misleading claims, including its reproduction of a Canadian study about the life spans of gays. As we noted when Molotov Mitchell cited it, that study's research took place from 1987 to 1992, before HIV treatments became widely available. McEuen points out a letter written by the study's researchers noting that anti-gay groups who highlight the study "appear more interested in restricting the human rights of gay and bisexuals rather than promoting their health and well being" and that "if we were to repeat this analysis today the life expectancy of gay and bisexual men would be greatly improved."
We've documented Unruh's sloppy, biased and incomplete reporting, as well as WND's anti-gay agenda. Which makes it sadly unsurprising that Unruh has no interest in acting like a real reporter -- even though he was one for the Associated Press at one time -- and tell both sides of the story.
WND Columnist Hides White Supremacist's History of Violence (And His White Supremacism, Too) Topic: WorldNetDaily
Ilana Mercer's April 9 WorldNetDaily column is dedicated to lionizing South African white supremacist Eugene Terreblanche, who was killed by two black farmhands. Mercer describes Terreblache's death as part of "the black onslaught against white South African farmers," lamenting "The dehumanization of the victim" and complaining that "Based on hearsay – and their abiding sympathy for savages – news media across the West are insisting that the motive for the murder was a 'labor dispute.'"
Mercer, meanwhile, is utterly silent on who Terreblanche was, other than a "farmer" and "leader of the Afrikaner Resistance Movement (AWB) that seeks the establishment of a homeland for the Afrikaners of South Africa." The AWB is a militant, right-wing, white supremacist group perhaps most notorious for invading the South African black homeland of Bophuthatswana, reportedly killing at least 37 people. The AWB logo resembles the Nazi swastika. As we've previously detailed (along with other examples of AWB violence), former WND columnist Anthony LoBaido was an AWB sympathizer.
Mercer makes no mention of the white supremacism of Terreblanche and the AWB. Terreblanche short prison sentence for attempted murder for beating a black security guard into a coma, leaving him with permanent brain damage.
Historical racial tensions in South Africa aside, Terreblanche reaped what he sowed; he led a violent life destined to end in a violent death. But Mercer doesn't want you to know anything about that.
That whitewashing puts Mercer in league with her fellow far-right terrorist sympathizer at WND, Aaron Klein.
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."