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Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Meanwhile ...
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Richard Bartholomew examines WorldNetDaily's promotion of the idea that "at least one constellation is an outright declaration of the 'Second Coming,'" citing as one piece of evidence that "on March 19, 2008, a powerful gamma ray burst detected by NASA’s Swift satellite in the Bo-otes constellation shattered the record for the most distant object that could be seen with the naked eye."

As Bartholomew points outL "It’s fascinating to see the way fundamentalism can be impressed with one bit of scientifc discovery while repudiating the scientific paradigm – the 'gamma burst' of 19 March 2008 actually occurred 7.5 billion years ago."


Posted by Terry K. at 12:11 PM EDT
CMI Mind-Reading Watch
Topic: Media Research Center

Carolyn Plocher follows the MRC Culture & Media Institute tradition of pretending she can read the minds of reporters in an April 19 piece that purports to impute the motives of the Washington Post in publishing a profile of a lawyer suing the Catholic Church over allegations of sexual abuse by priests.

Plocher asserted that the Post "fawn[ed]" over the lawyer, Jeff Anderson, and that the article was "a free 1,400-word advertisement" for him. She went on to complain that "Anything in the article that could possibly be construed as negative about Anderson or his lawsuits against the Church was neatly padded with explanations and self-serving quotes."

Plocher also complained that "The article also sidestepped its duty to question Anderson's lawsuits, or at least give the other side of the story. " But Plocher doesn't tell us what that "other side" could be. It can't be that the abuse didn't occur, since it's pretty clear that it did.

In line with the MRC's treatment of any criticism of the Catholic Church over the child abuse scandal as unfair, Plocher portrayed Anderson's lawsuits as "attacks against the Catholic Church," ignoring the fact that Anderson is only criticizing the church in the context of its demonstrated history of shielding priests who sexually abused children from appropriate punishment.

Plocher also bizarrely portrayed as one of Anderson's "attacks against the Catholic Church" his "first sex abuse case that the Church settled with $1 million dollars – money that the article said was 'in return for silence.'" But the Post article clearly states that it wasn't a settlement: "The church offered $1 million to settle in return for silence. His client persisted and the investigation grew."

Plocher further complained that "Opponents to Anderson's work were only given four sentences – three of which were nothing but one-word epithets strung together and the fourth a partial quote sandwiched between two quotes of Anderson defending himself." Plocher then took it upon herself to amplify one of those criticisms -- the Catholic League's assertion that Anderson is "a radical lawyer who has made millions suing the Church" -- by highlighting the article's noting that Anderson "drives a Lexus," works in an "ornate office ... with Tiffany reproductions," and flies in a "chartered jet." But Plocher didn't highlight Anderson's estimate that most of his lawsuits yield no money for himself or his clients, often due to a statute of limitations.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:27 AM EDT
Obama Derangement Syndrome Watch
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Having Obama as president is like being involved in a bad relationship. One that we either knew intuitively or had friends warn us would be a big mistake – but we hadn't listened.

Why? How could we be accepting of someone who turns out to be filled with rancor and who is unrepentantly untrustworthy – someone who is miserable and makes all around them miserable as well? To the public they/he seem(s) intelligent and winsome, but in reality they/he are white-washed sepulchers which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones and all uncleanness.

That is precisely the case with Obama. He seemed like just the person to make all things right in our lives. He mouthed great and lofty promises that, in reality, were as vacuous as a jar filled with air. And like the scourge our friends warned us about, we ignored the telltale signs that portended trouble.

-- Mychal Massie, April 20 WorldNetDaily column


Posted by Terry K. at 9:45 AM EDT
CNS' Lazy, Biased Treatment of Obama Visitation Order
Topic: CNSNews.com

An April 19 CNSNews.com article by Penny Starr on President Obama's executive order that will lead to hospital not circumventing requests from patients to receive visitation from their homosexual partners is loaded with laziness and bias.

The article is packed almost exclusively with critics of the order, chiefly "conservative activist " Peter Sprigg of the Family Research Council, who called it a "solution in search of a problem." While Starr endeavored to talk to Sprigg and hospitals for her article, she made no apparent attempt to contact any gay advocay groups. The one quote she includes from the head of the Human Rights campaign is lifted from "a statement posted on his group’s Web site."

Bias and laziness, folks.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:42 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, April 20, 2010 1:12 AM EDT
Monday, April 19, 2010
NewsBusters Gives Domenech A Defense He Doesn't Deserve
Topic: NewsBusters

Lachlan Markay runs to the defense of blogger Ben Domenech in an April 18 NewsBusters post, portraying him as being unfairly attacked over his repeating of a claim that possible Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan is gay.

Markay defended the presumed truth of the claim by citing -- we kid you not -- a Twitter post from a "left-wing blogger." (Domenech cited the same blogger as "proof.") Markay added:

Groups claiming to defend gay rights -- and the White House itself -- pounced on Domenech's statement, apparently presuming that the claim that Kagan was gay was in fact an attack. But liberal and conservative minds both rejected that notion.

[...]

Regardless of one's stance on homosexuality -- or the issue's pertinence to a Supreme Court nominee's eligibility -- it seems apparent that Domenech was noting Kagan's sexuality out of the purely benevolent sense of the gay community's pride and progress.

[...]

It was the groups claiming to defend gay rights, not Domenech, that presumed the (false) claimed that Kagan was a homosexual was a veiled attack and part of some right-wing whisper campaign. It was not, and there was no whisper campaign.

How does Markay know Domenech was acting in a "benevolent" manner by mentioning Kagan's presumed homosexuality? He doesn't -- he's merely giving the guy the benefit of the doubt, something we doubt he would give a liberal blogger caught making a similar claim.

We don't know Domenech's true intentions either, but we know his track record, which includes a history of plagiarism that got him fired from a blogging job at the Washington Post. We think that's worth mentioning in a discussion of Domenech's blogging work; Markay apparently does not.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:53 PM EDT
AIM Columnist Promotes Discredited Birther Claims
Topic: Accuracy in Media

An April 16 Accuracy in Media column by Margaret Calhoun Hemenway -- spokesperson for Terry Lakin, the Army officer in the thrall of birther extremists who has decided to throw away his military career by refusing to obey orders because he claims Barack Obama is not eligible to be president -- not only fails to disclose that she's the spokesperson for Lakin, she embraces discredited claims about Obama's birth certificate.

First, Hemenway misleads about the nature of the criticism in 2008 of the birth certificate Obama released, asserting that FactCheck.org "lied" when it claimed that the birth certificate it examined was "original." In fact, birthers like Jerome Corsi were claiming at the time that the certificate released by Obama's campaign was itself a fraud -- a claim that has never been credibly proven. FactCheck's use of "original" did not refer to the vaulted copy in Hawaii's archives but, rather, to the authenticity of the certificate released by the campaign.

Hemenway then baselessly suggests that Obama's parents and/or grandparents faked his original certificate by lying to authorities about where he was born. Again, there's no evidence whatsoever to support this claim.

Hemenway adds: "When juxtaposed with statements by Obama's maternal grandmother, Kenya's Ambassador to the U.S, and now a Kenyan cabinet minister and Parliamentarian, that Obama was born in Kenya, calls for Obama to release his original birth certificate are wholly justified." Hemenway is lying when she sayas that Obama's grandmother said Obama was born in Kenya. As we've detailed, this claim comes from an anti-Obama minister who has chosen to dishonestly treat the grandmother's erroneous answer to a mistranslated question by him to the grandmother as a statement of fact.

Further, statements by Kenyan officials about Obama's birth cannot be taken seriously because it's apparent they are speaking more from national pride in Obama's heritage rather than from factual knowledge about the circumstances of his birth.

Hemenway obviously wants to win the lawsuit for Lakin, but she won't do it by peddling discredited lies.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:02 PM EDT
Klein Falsely Takes Dunn Out of Context
Topic: WorldNetDaily

An April 18 WorldNetDaily article by Aaron Klein keeps up his red-baiting attacks on the Obama administration, taking a quote by Anita Dunn out of context to claim that she said Mao Zedong was among her  "favorite political philosophers."

In fact, the full context of Dunn's quote is not inflammatory, as Klein suggests. She said that Mao and Mother Teresa are "the two people that I turn to most to basically deliver a simple point, which is, you're going to make choices."

Klein went on to write:

Dunn last week was quoted widely in the media defending rumored pick Elena Kagan amid reports she is a lesbian. Dunn claimed such reports were "applying old stereotypes to single women with successful careers."

After a CBS News blogger posted a comment on Kagan's sexual orientation, it was Dunn who reportedly contacted the network to have the comment removed.

"The fact that they've chosen to become enablers of people posting lies on their site tells us where the journalistic standards of CBS are in 2010," Dunn said.

Dunn told the Washington Post that CBS was giving a platform to a blogger "with a history of plagiarism" who was "applying old stereotypes to single women with successful careers."

Klein curiously doesn't name the person who made the accusation. That would be Ben Domenech -- who, by the way, is not a "CBS News blogger"; CBS merely published an "opinion" article by him. And Domenech does, in fact, have "a history of plagiarism" that cost him a position as a Washington Post blogger.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:22 AM EDT
Tim Graham Does Not Like To See Naked People
Topic: NewsBusters

Yes, Tim Graham devoted an entire April 16 NewsBusters post to complaining that a New York Times story about the travails of being a nude model in an art exhibit provided no "outrage at the public nudity itself, or any hint at whether the 'art object' could get arrested for indecent exposure" and that it "isn’t fully informing the reader as to the level of 'aggression' in some of the 'art' itself."

Must've been a slow day at MRC headquarters....


Posted by Terry K. at 9:57 AM EDT
Sunday, April 18, 2010
Cliff Kincaid Checks In From Bizarro World
Topic: Accuracy in Media

Cliff Kincaid's April 16 column seems to have been written in some alternate universe. The headline: "Beck Takes Sharp Turn to the Left."

How so, since Beck has a long reputation for trashing anything remotely liberal? Because Beck has had on people from the Cato Institute.But wait, you say -- isn't Cato libertarian -- a right-leaning philosophy -- and not liberal? Yes, it is. But Kincaid has his own interpretation of libertarianism: "Cato is often labeled as 'conservative' or 'libertarian,' but its foreign policy views are frequently in sync with the Obama Administration." Kincaid continues:

By featuring the views of [Justin] Logan and other scholars from the Cato Institute, Beck has become one of the "progressives" he frequently criticizes on the air.

But that's not Kincaid's real problem. This is:

Logan, who is said to be an expert on "the formation of U.S. grand strategy" in foreign policy, is also outspoken on other issues, such as gay marriage. He has called opposition to homosexual marriage by a Heritage Foundation analyst to be "positively insulting."

Several Cato leaders, such as executive vice president David Boaz, are not only gay themselves but pro-marijuana.

Will Wilkinson of Cato wrote a column headlined, "I smoke pot and I like it."

It remains to be seen if Beck will follow up this week's worth of shows featuring Cato scholars with those from the organization who favor gay sex and drug use.

For Kincaid, it's all about the gays. Remember, he wants 'em dead, as his enthusiastic support for the Uganda anti-gay law amply demonstrates.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:22 PM EDT
Obama Derangement Syndrome Watch
Topic: WorldNetDaily

As I've said before, I don't think Obama is dumb. I think he's a reasonably intelligent person fully capable of seeing what I'm seeing and understanding what it means.

I can only assume he likes seeing the U.S. weakened and China rising without challenge.

I can only assume he likes seeing America civilians undefended and unprotected against attack.

I can only assume he likes seeing the U.S. pushing itself into a corner of helplessness and crisis.

I can only assume he likes seeing the world's playing field leveled as much as he enjoys seeing America's income redistributed.

I can only assume he intends to play all of this to his own political advantage.

I can only assume his globalist sympathies are more important to him than the lives and safety of 300 million Americans he swore an oath to defend.

I can only assume his bizarre, twisted and un-American sense of morality is more important to him than the oath he swore to uphold the Constitution.

This man is dangerous – not just to our liberties but to our very lives and the very future of America.

-- Joseph Farah, April 17 WorldNetDaily column


Posted by Terry K. at 11:06 AM EDT
MRC's Baker Just Can't Stop Misportraying Quote
Topic: Media Research Center

We've previously identified Brent Baker as one of the Media Research Center's leaders in misportraying a quote out of a 2003 Boston Globe profile of Ted Kennedy by Charles Pierce. Despite what Baker and his MRC fellow travelers insist, Pierce's statement that "If she had lived, Mary Jo Kopechne would be 62 years old. Through his tireless work as a legislator, Edward Kennedy would have brought comfort to her in her old age" is not meant as praise; rather, Pierce has pointed out that it's part of a larger statement that the Chappaquiddick incident effectively kept Kennedy from having the "moral credibility" to be president.

But facts don't matter to Baker, for he misportrays the statement again in an April 17 NewsBusters post, in which he complained that an opinion about Ronald Reagan in an HBO documentary "relied on the expert assessment of a journalist who a few years ago contended that if only Senator Ted Kennedy hadn’t killed her, he “would have brought comfort...in her old age” to Mary Jo Kopechne." Baker added: "Pierce is infamous for his 2003 Globe Magazine tribute to Ted Kennedy in which he ludicrously postulated: 'If she had lived, Mary Jo Kopechne  would be 62 years old. Through his tireless work as a legislator, Edward Kennedy would have brought comfort to her in her old age.'"

It's hard to imagine such repeated misportrals are accidental since they've been going on for seven years.

Is it too much for Baker to admit that he's wrong, that he's been misusing Pierce's quote for seven years, and that he should apologize to Pierce? It appears so.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:33 AM EDT
Ellis Washington Gets It Wrong Again
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Ellis Washington keeps up his tradition of getting things flamboyantly wrong in his April 17 WorldNetDaily column. In it, Washington asserted:

Obama has repeatedly shown his utter contempt for the U.S. Constitution, preferring activist judges who legislate from the bench and his bizarre belief that the Warren Court (1953-69) didn't go far enough in enshrining "redistributive change" (i.e., integrating Marxist socialist ideas into the rule of law and into every sector of society, thus making the Constitution a dead letter).

Which, as we've documented, is a complete misreading of what Obama said. Obama merely observed that the Warren Court did not engage in "redistributive change," and did not express an opinion on whether that was good or bad; he merely pointed out as an example of why the court wasn't as  "radical" as its critics have claimed. 

Washington then  included a longer excerpt from the radio interview in which Obama made that claim, which puts his statements in their correct context. After which Washington still misinterprets it:

Has the man never heard of the separation-of-powers doctrine and judicial restraint? President Obama believes that a judge must be an agent for social change, a super-legislator, an unelected dictator. That's diametrical to what the framers believed. Jefferson said, "To consider the judges as the ultimate arbiters of all constitutional questions would place us under the despotism of an oligarchy." Remember that Lady Justice is blind because judges are not to consider rich or poor, black or white, Jew or gentile, but to interpret the law according to the Constitution. Period!

This after Washington cited the Obama quote in which he said that the civil rights movement relied too much on the courts.

Washington is either too dumb to comprehend what Obama said, or he's willfully misinterpreting it to promote his far-right agenda.

P.S. We noticed that Washington, in his end-of-column bio, is no longer calling himself "authorized biographer for the conservative intellectual Dr. Michael Savage." Wonder what happened....


Posted by Terry K. at 12:01 AM EDT
Saturday, April 17, 2010
Williams' Outdated Argument Against Minimum Wage
Topic: CNSNews.com

Walter Williams wrote the following in his April 14 column, published by WorldNetDaily and CNSNews.com:

One of the more insidious effects of minimum wages is that it lowers the cost of racial discrimination; in fact, minimum-wage laws are one of the most effective tools in the arsenals of racists everywhere, as demonstrated by just a couple of examples. During South Africa's apartheid era, its racist unions were the major supporters of minimum wages for blacks. South Africa's Wage Board said, "The method would be to fix a minimum rate for an occupation or craft so high that no Native would likely be employed." In the U.S., in the aftermath of a strike by the Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen, when the arbitration board decreed that blacks and whites were to be paid equal wages, the white unionists expressed their delight saying, "If this course of action is followed by the company and the incentive for employing the Negro thus removed, the strike will not have been in vain."

Tragically, minimum wages have the unquestioned support of good-hearted, well-meaning people with little understanding who become the useful idiots of charlatans, quacks and racists.

The Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen example occured in 1909. The similarity between that and the South Africa example is that both took place in socieites in which racial discrimination in employment had not been outlawed. That makes them irrelevant to Williams' argument that minimum wage laws are racist today.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:29 AM EDT
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.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:41 AM EDT
Friday, April 16, 2010
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.

Of course, WND's reputation is that of a activist organization masquerading as a "news" organization, telling outright lies, spinning conspiracy theories and flinging offensive smears and at people who commit the sin of diverging from its far-right political agenda.

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," 

But Kinsolving is a black sheep, noted for his bias and loaded questions and not taken seriously as a reporter.

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.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:24 PM EDT

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