How WND Got That 500,000th Signature On Its Petition Topic: WorldNetDaily
We noted the other day how WorldNetDaily's proclaimed achievement of obtaining 500,000 signatures on its anti-Obama birther petition wasn't much of an achievement given its refusal to disclose the signers or subject the petition to any sort of outside auditing.
Turns out WND's count is even less honest than even we thought. Some enterprising blogger has detailed how he pushed the petition over the top the easy way, by signing up under multiple names and a fake email address -- 216 at last count.
We already knew WND had no scruples. This is just additional confirmation.
WND Plays Victim, Tries to Intimidate WHCA Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily's pattern of playing the victim and trying to intimidate anyone who Joseph Farah believes has slighted his website is playing out again with WND's lawsuit against the White House Correspondents' Association for not giving it as many seats as it demanded to the upcoming White House Correspondents' Dinner.
Of course, that's not how WND is framing it. An April 13 WND article accuses the WHCA of "doing the bidding of the Obama administration in trying to belittle, exclude and irreparably harm a leading Internet news outlet, WorldNetDaily, which has carried commentary critical of the president." It continues, quoting from the complaint filed by right-wing activist lawyer Larry Klayman:
"It ... is the most prestigious event of the year in Washington, D.C. ... It thus enhances a news outlet's prestige to rent tables at and attend the event and is a must to maintain a news outlet's, such as WND's, reputation," the complaint explains.
The complaint also notes that WND planned to milk the dinner to promote the new book about its White House correspondent, Les Kinsolving: "Obviously, this harmed and continues to harm WND's ability to celebrate [the tenure of] Les Kinsolving and the publication of his daughter's new book, but also harms WND's access to White House reporting and its reputation generally, as it is being treated as a 'black sheep' in the media world,"
An April 14 WND article tries to up the victimhood factor, claiming that the WHCA is snubbing WND because it "hold[s] fast to the traditional role of serving as a watchdog on government and the country's major influences." That's laughable as well -- WND only holds liberals accountable to those standards while giving a pass to conseravative politicians. As we've detailed, WND was extremely slow to the game on scandals involving the right-leaning Jack Abramoff and Duke Cunningham -- indeed, WND didn't report on Cunningham's corruption until five days after he resigned as a Republican congressman.
WND pulled this same victimhood/intimidation stunt in 2002, when it tried to intimidate the Senate Press Gallery into giving WND a permanent congressional press pass. WND eventually got the pass, which it has made little use of since reporter Paul Sperry left WND shortly thereafter. Kinsolving does no original reporting and has been hanging out in the White House press corps long before WND existed.
As more people become aware of the kind of intimidation model under which WND operates, that will become less and less effective over time. WND has earned its horrible reputation -- which it freely admits it's trying to improve by establishing a major presence at the WHCA dinner -- and the WHCA shouldn't be a WND's handmaiden in trying to improve it.
Why Is ABC Quoting Jerome Corsi? Topic: WorldNetDaily
Media Matters' Todd Gregory points out that an ABCNews.com article on "birth tourism" -- the purported efforts by pregnant foreign women to give birth in the United States so their children will be U.S. citizens -- uncritically quotes WorldNetDaily's Jerome Corsi as if he were an authority on the topic. Apparently, all Corsi has done is devote an issue of his WND "Red Alert" newsletter to the subject.
As we've detailed, Corsi has a history of false and misleading statements on a variety of issues (not to mention a fondness for forged documents), so the idea that ABC would treat him as a credible source is laughable.
Barber Not Just Deranged, But Wrong Too Topic: WorldNetDaily
We've already noted the Obama derangement in Matt Barber's April 15 WorldNetDaily column. But he's also guilty of getting things wrong and taking people out of context.
Barber drops a reference to "John 'forced abortion' Holdren," linking to a previous column in which he claimed Holdren "advocated both forced abortion and compulsory sterilization." In fact, Holdren has never "advocated" those things; rather, he co-wrote a textbook noting such things had been discussed. Even PolitiFact calls this claim a "pants on fire" lie.
Barber also takes Obama's statement that "Whether we like it or not, we (the United States) remain a dominant military superpower" out of context to bash Obama as someone who "betrays his fixed membership among the camp of self-loathing 'or nots.'" In fact, Obama's statement in context referred to the costs to the U.S. of getting "pulled into" international conflicts.
Barber has already demonstrated himself to be a remarkably dishonest man, but now he's not limiting the dishonestly to his usual gay-bashing.
I've been reluctant to climb aboard the "Obama wants to destroy America" conspiracy train. I'm no longer reticent to do so. As Newt Gingrich recently observed, we know this administration to be "far and away the most radical administration in American history."
Although he may not seek to destroy America outright, we can only conclude – based upon his grossly irrational and irresponsible governance – that Obama remains determined to destroy America both as we know her and as our Founding Fathers intended her.
But Thelma and Louise never intended to turn the car around.
Neither does Barack Obama.
There's no other way to say it. As goes the war to preserve liberty, national sovereignty, national solvency and American exceptionalism: Intelligence suggests we have an enemy within.
As many tea-party activists and other concerned citizens nationwide have asserted (and with which I tend to agree), their activism is not about President Barack Obama. The socialization of America has been in process for a long time; right now, he's just the point man. Yes, he has enjoyed a distinct advantage with the establishment press being his propaganda arm since 2007; yes, we were sold "Chucky" in an "Elmo" suit; and yes, the latitude given Obama has been is due in part to his race – but all that would be better addressed in another column, or perhaps a book. …
President Obama only backs policies that hurt the United States and her allies. He seeks self-flagellation of America before the world; absolution for American imperialism can only be found in purposeful self-subversion. Obama feels that America and its allies must be whittled down to its proper size as quickly as possible.
It would be comforting to say that President Obama is a victim of his own naivete and ego. There's no doubt he loves hearing from human refuse like Medvedev that he is "a thinker," unlike "other people" (read: George W. Bush). But there's more to it than simple ego appeasement. There is a disturbing anti-Americanism that animates Obama and his policies. The Rev. Jeremiah Wright famously said, "God damn America." God doesn't have to. Obama's doing it for him.
Taitz Disinvited From Tea Party Rally; Will WND Report? Topic: WorldNetDaily
We've longdetailed the lengths WorldNetDaily will go to in order to protect Orly Taitz. Here's something else we can pretty much guarantee WND won't tell its readers:
Several California Republican political candidates, including Senate hopeful Carly Fiorina, were scheduled to share the stage this week with one of the leaders of the "birther" movement that claims President Obama was not born in this country and is thus ineligible for his elected office.
Orly Taitz, an Orange County attorney who has gone to court many times to try to disqualify Obama, was invited to speak Thursday at a Tax Day Tea Party rally in Pleasanton, Calif., that is expected to draw thousands of people. Late Tuesday, organizers said that they had rescinded Taitz's invitation after questions were raised about her presence by candidates who had been contacted by The Times.
Bridget Melson, founder and president of the Pleasanton Tea Party, said the organization had been "getting calls from candidates like crazy."
"It's not worth it," she said. "She's too controversial. This is not what the tea party is about at this point."
Remember, WND is under orders from Taitz not to report anything negative about her.
UPDATE: WND is linking to the Los Angeles Times article quoted above, but has devoted no original coverage to it.
Janet Porter uses her April 13 WorldNetDaily column to define "four kinds of people: the evil, the fence-sitters, the rock throwers and those willing to do what it takes to overcome evil with good." She wants you to think that she's the fourth kind, but she's actually the third. From her description:
The third people group is perhaps the most annoying: They are the rock throwers. They know the difference between right and wrong; they recognize the evil and are familiar with the followers, but have decided to spend their lives throwing rocks at those who are actually doing (or trying to do) something good. ... The rock-throwers' best accomplishment is writing a letter to the editor, not aimed at eradicating evil, but rather, targeting those working for good. There's a plethora of imperfect people, so finding fault is easy and makes the rock-throwers feel better about doing nothing. These people never graduated beyond the junior-high mentality of making fun of the clothes people wear or the way they comb their hair. ... These are the time-wasters whose "work" isn't worth reading or a response.
If there's anyone who's engaged in vicious rock-throwing to no discernable end other than to vent hatred, it's Janet Porter. She has no moral conscience and is willing to lie and smear and spew hate in order to destroy what she sees as inconveniently in her way.
Porter is so much a rock-thrower that she may even fit her definition of the first group of evil: "They will do anything to shut down that 'fishy' (and reportable) communication. They are few, but they are in power." After all, we've detailed how there's no discernable difference between Porter's raging hate and the work she does for her group Faith2Action, which makes her end-of-column bio disclaimer that her Faith2Action title is listed "for identification purposes only" deceptive and ludicrous.
Sheppard Won't Admit Just How Wrong O'Reilly Is Topic: NewsBusters
Noel Sheppard noted in an April 14 NewsBusters post how Fox News' Bill O'Reilly challenged Sen. Tom Coburn for claiming that Fox News promoted the false claim that the health care reform bill will result in the jailing of people who refuse to obtain health insurance, something O'Reilly denied. Sheppard claimed "it's actually not that simple" and cited the example of Rep. John Shadegg making the claim on Fox. Sheppard added: "As such, Coburn was somewhat correct. But wouldn't his real battle be with Shadegg who made the claim?"
The problem: Coburn is just "somewhat correct," he's very correct. Media Matters found numerous examples of Fox News hosts or contributors falsely claiming that failure to buy health insurance will result in jail time -- including on O'Reilly's own show.
The Media Matters item was live a full 12 hours before Sheppard's post, yet Sheppard failed to reference it as a comprehensive resource to answer his question. Sadly, we're all not surprised that no one at NewsBusters has any interest in reading the competiton.
Aaron Klein Responds -- And Admits His Kahanist Sympathies Topic: WorldNetDaily
Aaron Klein used his April 11 WABC radio show to respond to our article (as published at Huffington Post) detailing his affinity for right-wing extremism. Sadly, Klein selectively quotes from the article to paint himself as a victim and mislead about what we wrote.
Klein begins by whining, "I have been under assault by the liberal media in the United States," going on to call our article "a perfect example of how the left llies and distorts and smears whenever they are threatened by someone." But Klein identifies no lies or distortions by us; indeed, Klein himself distorts what we wrote.
Klein claims that we wrote that he is "somehow associated with the Kahane Chai movement," adding, "Do they have me, like say, launching my journalist career in the living room of a Kahane Chai leader, sort of like Barack Obama, who is associated with real extremists, launched his political career, remember, in the living room of Weatherman terrorist Bill Ayers, who of course sought the downfall of the U.S. government? ... Do they have me being hired for my first job by a Kahane Chai leader, like Obama was actually hired for his first position, which would be at the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, an education reform organization. He was hired by the chairman of that group, the CAC, Bill Ayers. ... Do they have me sitting on the board of a nonprofit organization as a paid director with Kahane Chai leaders like Obama served on the board as a paid director of the Woods Fund with Bill Ayers? ...There better at least be a suggestion that Kahane Chai leaders ghost-wrote my previous books, like a lot of people have strongly suggested that Bill Ayers may have ghostwritten Obama's book 'Dreams of My Father.'"
Of course, we didn't say anything quite like that. We merely pointed out the fact that Klein has repeatedly used his reporting to whitewash the violent extremism of Kahane Chai sympathizers. But rather than directly address that, Klein distorted what we wrote by selectively quoting.
(And Klein is lying about much of the above -- Ayers didn't hire Obama for the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, and even the biographer who noted that Ayers provided "help" and served as an "informal editing service” on Obama book made sure to add, "I definitely do not say he [Ayers] wrote Barack Obama's book.")
"The basis is they say that in 2006 and 2008 I interviewed and quoted Kahane Chai leaders in articles." Klein then addressed our complaint that Klein quoted Kahane Chai sympathizer David Ha'ivri without noting his sympathy for the movement's violent elements by claiming that the New York Times and other outlets have similarly quoted Ha'ivri without noting his Kahanist leanings.
Klein did not discuss his whitewashing of Mike Guzofsky/Yekutel Ben Yaacov or his portrayal of Kahane Chai fellow traveler Eden Natan Zada has having been "murdered" after shooting four people to death on a bus while not describing Zada's victims that way.
Klein then makes an astonishing admission: "Just for the record, I personally do agree with some of the sentiments of Rabbi Meir Kahane. I think he was right about certain things, wrong about other things, but I have absolutely nothing, no association whatsoever with Kahane Chai leaders. Further, I actually -- I believe that some of these leaders of Kahane Chai in Israel are extremists, and more than that, they're absolute embarrassments to the religious national community in israel. And I think that unfortunatly, the media is using the Kahane extremists to basically paint all the Jews in the West Bank as extremists. So, bottom line, I have absolutely nothing to do with these Kahane Chai extremists."
Given that the Kahane Chai movement has been outlawed in Israel for its extremism and violence, Klein can't exactly say that Kahane "was right about certain things" while simultaneously trying to separate himself from the "extremists" in the movement -- especially if you're on record as whitewashing that very same extremism. As Klein himself noted during his show, Kahane supported the expulsion of Arabs from Israel. Does Klein support that as well? He doesn't say. Klein needs to be clear about what Kahanist beliefs he supports and which ones he rejects.
Klein also addressed our claim that he had not explain the circumstances under which he and radio host John Batchelor interviewed a Hamas official in 2008 who offered an "endorsement" of Obama or if the spokesman knew that he was servicing Klein's anti-Obama agenda. After ranting that the claim was "scandalous" and "maybe legally actionable," Klein claimed that the official, "without any prompting on our part, he starts to go off on how excited he is about this new presidential candidate Barack Obama, and he said that he hoped that Obama is elected and he compared Obama to JFK."
That still doesn't answer our question, though, about whether the Hamas official he was interviewing was aware of Klein's anti-Obama bias or that Klein would use the official's comments against him to further inflame anti-Obama sentiment in the U.S.
Klein goes on to state that the article was written by "an individual who also works as an editor for the George Soros-funded Media Matters" -- though we won't identify us or ConWebWatch by name -- and calls Soros "affiliated with far-left extremists." He also uses our noting of his upcoming anti-Obama book as the reason we are "suddenly smearing him" and as evidence that the White House is "concerned" about the book. Klein insists the book is "thoroughly researched" and "none of it is my opinon," but in our article, we documented numerous errors and misleading claims made by Klein about Obama officials (which he didn't address).
Klein concluded by claiming that our article as an example of "what the left does to any independent journalist who begins to investigate their precious president of the United States, Barack Obama."
Klein's dishonest response to our article belies his show's intro, which describes him as "a reporter you can trust to bring you the news." About the only thing you can trust Klein to do is lie and distort -- you know, what he falsely accused us of doing.
WND Still Lying About Calif. Anti-Discrimination Laws Topic: WorldNetDaily
Bob Unruh keeps up his shoddy journalism by quoting only a single highly biased source as information of anti-discrimination efforts in California schools in an April 10 WorldNetDaily article.
Not surprisingly, when you quote only a single source on the issue -- in this case, anti-gay activist Randy Thomasson -- things are wrong. Specifically, Thomasson apparently reaffirms WND's anti-gay bias. For instance, Unruh writes:
In 2007, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed SB 777 prohibiting any public school instruction or activity that "promotes" a discriminatory bias. The law now requires positive depictions of transsexuality, bisexuality and homosexuality at all levels in school.
Impacted by the law are classroom instruction materials, textbooks, guest speakers, videos, drama, music, school assemblies and sports teams.
Unruh is lying. The bill does not "require positive depictions of transsexuality, bisexuality and homosexuality"; as we detailed when WND mislead about it while the bill was being considered, it prohibits school activities and materials from "reflecting adversely" on homosexuality. That does not equate to a "positive depiction."
Unruh goes on to repeat his previous touting of the factually inaccurate claims by the anti-gay American College of Pediatricians who are, in Unruh's words, "warning educators not to promote being 'gay.'"
There's no balance and no facts. But that's what we've come to expect from Unruh.
"[N]o one at WND to my knowledge has ever said Obama wasn't born in the U.S. or suggested he was born in Kenya." -- Joseph Farah, Nov. 22.
"Now that it is plainly evident even prominent officials in Kenya believe Barack Obama is foreign born, it becomes a matter of historical accuracy and constitutional integrity that his life story be fully documented." -- Joseph Farah, April 14.
The transformation is complete: The hack Joseph Farah fully embraces his dishonesty.
Bozell Twists Words to Defend Pope Topic: Media Research Center
Brent Bozell uses an April 12 Media Research Center press release to run to the defense of Pope Benedict XVI and the Catholic Church, even though defense of Catholics is not exactly part of the MRC's mission statement. Bozell declared "declared the intentional disparaging and false reporting" on the issue of sexual abuse of children by priests to be an "atrocity" and adds:
Last week dozens of news outlets – including the Associated Press, Reuters, Washington Post, New York Times, CBS, MSNBC – reported that the abuse scandal is 'widening.' That is absolutely and unequivocally false. The scandal isn't growing. As Catholic League President Bill Donohue aptly noted, citing evidence from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, abuse is shrinking in the United States, with an even more rapid decline over the last five years.
Any credible journalist would have done his or her research before reporting a fallacy of this magnitude. And any other religious institution that was targeted in this unconscionable fashion would have been rescued by the same liberal media that claims to be objective.
Bozell is deliberately twisting the meaning of the word "widening." None of the articles Bozell cited use the word to describe recent cases of abuse, as Bozell claims. Rather, they refer to revelations about old cases of abuse and what the pope, in his previous role as head of the Vatican's office of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, did or didn't do in regard to priests accused of abuse.
In touting the John Jay study as promoted by the Catholic League's Donohue, Bozell ignores the fact that Donohue has been misusing the study to falsely claim that most victims of sexual abuse by priests were "post-adolescent," which allows Donohue to blame the scandal on homosexual priests. In fact, one of the researchers on the John Jay study points out that same-sex abuse of children does not equal homosexual behavior.
So Donohue is not exactly the most "credible" defender. And neither is Bozell, who fails to disclose that he's on the Catholic League's board of advisors.
New Article: Not-So-Special Reports, CMI Division Topic: Media Research Center
The MRC's Culture & Media Institute follows its parent in issuing reports using skewed evidence and that make questionable conclusions. Read more >>