Unruh Still Misleading About Supplements Case Topic: WorldNetDaily
As he did in February, Bob Unruh once again misleads about the nature of the complaint by a "Christian nutrition ministry" fighting with the Federal Trade Commission in a May 20 WorldNetDaily article.
Unruh's article is barely comprehensible, so we'll summarize, including the parts that Unruh wouldn't report: The "Christian nutrition ministry" Daniel Chapter One drew an FTC complaint for making specific health claims about the nutritional supplements it sells. Daniel Chapter One doesn't believe it should have to offer scientific evidence of the efficacy of its products and that customer testimonials suffice. The FTC has repeatedly turned down the claim.
The new development prompting this story is that Daniel Chapter One is appealing the FTC's rulings to an appeals court by claiming a religious exemption to FTC regulations.
There -- we summed it up in four relatively brief sentences. Unruh, meanwhile, rambles on for paragraph after paragraph loaded with legal gobbeldygook and lots of pronouncements about religious freedom. At no point does Unruh explain why Daniel Chapter One wants to sell products whose efficacy hasn't been scientifically proven, or does he detail the product claims that are at issue, even though they are detailed in the FTC file. Also, at no point does Unruh make any apparent effort to allow the FTC to respond to the Daniel Chapter One's claims. Nor does Unruh explain how the nutritional products Daniel Chapter One sells are explicitly religious, which would presumably be a prerequisite for claiming a religious exemption.
Indeed, all we've seen here is a bad story written about a weak case. But that's what Unruh is all about, isn't he?
From a May 19 CNSNews.com article by Terry Jeffrey:
American Idol judge Ellen DeGeneres picked a love song written to be sung by a man to a woman for contestant Crystal Bowersox--a single mom with a boyfriend--to perform on the show’s semifinal program on Tuesday night.
Morris Botches Health Reform Attack on Specter, Lincoln Topic: Newsmax
In his Feb. 19 Newsmax column, Dick Morris claimed that Sens. Arlen Specter and Blanche Lincoln, by the unfavorable results of their races, "are now reaping the harvest of their votes for healthcare." Except that Specter's and Lincoln's Democratic primary opponents didn't make their votes on health reform an issue in their campaigns -- indeed, support for reform is one thing all those candidates had in common.
AaronKlein isn't the only one at WorldNetDaily who's misleading about and distorting Elena Kagan's record.
A May 18 article by Drew Zahn purports to detail that in the Citizens United case, Kagan "argued that the federal government has the power to ban books it deems to be 'political electioneering'" and that "political pamphlets could run afoul of the law." It's a typically unfair and unbalanced article, quoting only Citizens United's David Bossie and others attacking Kagan's argument. Zahn also obscures the fact that the law Kagan was arguing in favor of upholding applied only to corporate spending on political campaigns, not individual spending -- which means that Kagan was not, as Bossie falsely claimed, arguing to ban political pamphlets like those issued by Thomas Paine.
Nat Hentoff churned out a set of Klein-like distortions of Kagan's views on free speech in his May 19 WND column -- even citing the Media Research Center as an authoritative source for his smears. Media Matters breaks it down.
Sheppard's Double Standard on Media Coverage Topic: Media Research Center
Noel Sheppard complained in a May 18 NewsBusters post that "our nation's media couldn't care less" about "an international conference discussing the scientific holes in the theory of man-made global warming." Sheppard is referring to the Fourth International Conference on Climate Change, spearheaded by the right-wing deniers at the Heartland Institute.
While Sheppard ignores the institute's political leanings and downplays the biased, deniers-only nature of the conference, he does let slip -- though not until his final paragraph -- one reason why the conference has been ignored by "our nation's media": "Readers are advised that the Media Research Center is a co-sponsor of this conference."
But it seems that if this conference is so important to right-wingers, the right-wing media should be covering it as well. But it isn't.
CNSNews.com isn't covering the conference, even though its MRC parent is funding it. The MRC's Business & Media Institute has publishedseveralarticles by Jeff Poor from the conference, but at no point in any of these articles does Poor disclose that the MRC is funding what he's writing about.
The only other ConWeb component we've seen covering the conference is WorldNetDaily, which sent Jerome Corsi to it. As we've noted, Corsi promoted a claim by one scientist at the conference without reporting that a previous claim the scientist made has been discredited.
This is not the first time that Sheppard has complained about media coverage of a subject that his own media has also ignored. On May 5, Sheppard lamented that "you may not know much about" devastating flooding in Nashville because of "all the attention media have given to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and the failed car bomb attempt in New York's Times Square." Sheppard was followed by a NewsBusters complaint by Charlie Daniels that the flooding was "never really trumpeted in the national media."
But as Media Matters' Eric Boehlert pointed out, the Nashville flooding received even less coverage from right-wing news outlets such as the Washington Times and the New York Post, and Fox News ran half as many segments on the flooding that CNN did.
If the right-wingers' own media won't cover Sheppard's favorite subjects, what right does he have to complain that the "mainstream" media isn't covering them?
In her May 19 Newsmax column (also appearing at the New York Daily News), S.E. Cupp claimed that the Deepwater Horizon oil spill has "dumped around 95,000 barrels of oil into the Gulf."
In fact, experts believe that the amount of oil spilled is much higher. As NPR reports, the amount of oil spilling into the Gulf of Mexico may be at least 10 times the size of official estimates:
Steven Wereley, an associate professor of mechanical engineering at Purdue University, analyzed videotape of the seafloor gusher using a technique called particle image velocimetry.
A computer program simply tracks particles and calculates how fast they are moving. Wereley put the BP video of the gusher into his computer. He made a few simple calculations and came up with an astonishing value for the rate of the oil spill: 70,000 barrels a day — much higher than the official estimate of 5,000 barrels a day.
The method is accurate to a degree of plus or minus 20 percent.
Given that uncertainty, the amount of material spewing from the pipe could range from 56,000 barrels to 84,000 barrels a day. It is important to note that it's not all oil. The short video BP released starts out with a shot of methane, but at the end it seems to be mostly oil.
Eugene Chiang, a professor of astrophysics at the University of California, Berkeley, also got a similar answer, using just pencil and paper.
Without even having a sense of scale from the BP video, he correctly deduced that the diameter of the pipe was about 20 inches. And though his calculation is less precise than Wereley's, it is in the same ballpark.
"I would peg it at around 20,000 to 100,000 barrels per day," he said.
Chiang called the current estimate of 5,000 barrels a day "almost certainly incorrect."
It seems Cupp is lowballing the spill numbers to fit with her column's theory that it would be expensive and counterproductive to clean up that relatively small amount of oil.
Farah Quotes Obama -- Then Lies About What He Said
Joseph Farah writes in his May 19 WorldNetDaily column:
Elena Kagan is the natural pick for Obama.
He telegraphed nominees like this way back in 2001 as a second-term Illinois state senator when he was interviewed on Chicago Public Radio's "Odyssey" program on WBEZ 91.5 FM. You can listen to it with your own ears right here.
But here are the key comments about the nature of the Supreme Court and how he would change it: "If you look at the victories and failures of the civil-rights movement and its litigation strategy in the court, I think where it succeeded was to invest formal rights in previously dispossessed peoples, so that now I would have the right to vote. I would now be able to sit at the lunch counter and order; as long as I could pay for it I'd be OK.
"But, the Supreme Court never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth, and of more basic issues such as political and economic justice in the society. To that extent, as radical as I think people try to characterize the Warren Court, it wasn't that radical. It didn't break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution, at least as it's been interpreted, and [the] Warren Court interpreted in the same way, that generally the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties. Says what the states can't do to you. Says what the federal government can't do to you, but it doesn't say what the federal government or state government must do on your behalf, and that hasn't shifted – and one of the, I think, the tragedies of the civil-rights movement was because the civil-rights movement became so court-focused I think there was a tendency to lose track of the political and community organizing and activities on the ground that are able to put together the actual coalitions of powers through which you bring about redistributive change. In some ways we still suffer from that."
So far, so good. Farah is letting Obama's words speak for themselves. Obama is clearly pointing out that the Warren Court was not as radical as people think it was and positing that the civil-rights movement relied too much on the court system and not enough on grassroots efforts. At no point does he express a preference for any particular approach, merely providing a history lesson.
Then Farah blows it by lying about what Obama said:
That is worth reading over and over, again, if for no other reason than to have a frame of reference for teaching your children and grandchildren about the way the Constitution of the United States is being shredded by this administration and Obama's cohorts in the Congress.
The Warren Court wasn't radical enough for Obama. He wants one that is more radical – one that is willing to "break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution" and mandate "redistribution of wealth, and of more basic issues such as political and economic justice in the society."
Wrong. Obama did NOT say the Warren Court "wasn't radical enough." He did NOT say he wants a court that would "break free" from the Constitution. He did NOT say he wants a court that mandates "redistribution of wealth."
Farah is lying to you.
Farah is telling you to believe him and not your own eyes.
And then, amazingly, he continues the lie:
Do you understand now that Obama is building a tyrannical regime in which unaccountable government officials overrule the Constitution and dictate to the American people the way things are going to be?
Could it be any clearer?
Well, yes, Mr. Farah, it is crystal clear that you hate Obama so much that you will shamelessly lie about him -- even when you've provided his own words that prove you wrong.
And if you're willing to lie so shamelessly when you can be that easily fact-checked -- and a year and a half after your website discredited itself by repeating the exact same lie -- what lies are you telling when you're hiding the real truth from your readers?
The fact that you, Mr. Farah, lie so blatantly and shamelessly is one key reason why no real journalist or any genuinely educated reader takes WorldNetDaily seriously.
The Apt Pupil Checks In, Spews More Nazi-Style Hate Topic: WorldNetDaily
Remember Hilmar von Campe, the self-proclaimed former Nazi who keeps the lessons of his childhood alive by engageing in the Nazi tactic of the Big Lie by repeatedly portraying President Obama as a Nazi? Well, he's back, and WorldNetDaily is more than proud to host even more of his slurs.
In his May 19 WND column, von Campe hauls out his tired smears once again -- even claiming that "Adoration of Hitler existed then as it exists today for Obama – not just in the U.S., but also in Europe, with blind acceptance of his fantasies." He also trots out discredited lies like this:
Hitler created his own private army, the SS, which included the Gestapo, which reported directly to him. He killed about 300 opposition personalities, including a former chancellor. He destroyed the armed threat of the competitive storm troopers (SA) by killing the leadership.
While speaking at the University of Colorado in July of 2008, Obama spoke of wanting to create such an armed force: "We cannot continue to rely on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives that we've set. We've got to have a civilian national security force that's just as powerful, just as well-funded."
In fact, Obama was talking about diplomatic and humanitarian efforts, not additional military forces.
Von Campe even lashes out at minister Jim Wallis, calling him a Nazi too:
Hitler created the German Christians. The leading "bishop" Mueller promoted the Nazi ideology in religious language. The Rev. Jim Wallis was recently presented as spiritual adviser to Obama. I suspect that he has the same task as Mueller – to fool naïve Christians.
Hilmar von Campe is a vile old man who pretends his use of Nazi tactics -- the kind he purports to abhor -- are somehow noble. We'd say that WND should be ashamed to publish von Campe's hateful screeds, but we're fairily sure no WND employee is capable of that emotion.
Newsmax Eager to Call Election Results Bad News for Obama Topic: Newsmax
Newsmax's David Patten gets into the "news analysis" piece with a predictable May 18 piece declaring Sen. Arlen Specter's loss in the Pennsylvania Senate Democratic primary as bad news for Obama and, bizarrely, good news for Hillary Clinton:
The Specter defeat also is a blow to Barack Obama’s political power. Specter strongly backed Obama’s $787 billion stimulus package and his massive healthcare overhaul.
Though Obama strongly backed Specter, and put his political muscle behind the turncoat Republican, along with the powerful political machine of Democratic Pennsylvania governor Ed Rendell, Democratic voters sent a jarring message Tuesday night by picking maverick and conservative Joe Sestak as their nominee.
Initially, Specter's April 2009 abandonment of the Republican Party appeared to be a Houdini-like escape.
In the end, however, what spelled Specter's doom was the wave of voter frustration with Washington and growing worry, even among Democrats, that Obama has gone too far left. Pennsylvania Democrats had strongly backed Hillary Clinton in the heated Democratic primary during the 2008 race. Sestak has long been aligned with the Clinton wing of the party.
Specter’s defeat will only give greater currency that if Obama’s approval falls further, Mrs. Clinton may have the support to challenge Obama in 2012.
News would love another Hillary Clinton run at the presidency, wouldn't it?
Aaron Klein Kagan-Bashing Fail Watch, Guilt-By-Association Edition Topic: WorldNetDaily
Aaron Klein's latest attempt to attack Elena Kagan is nothing more than a desperate attempt at guilt-by-association -- and a massive failure of logic as well.
In his May 18 WorldNetDaily article, Klein essentially claims that because Kagan hired "radical regulatory czar" Cass Sunstein to work at Harvard Law School, Kagan must share Sunstein's views -- indeed, Klein claims that "Sunstein, like Kagan, has advocated extraordinary restrictions on speech."
Klein is lying about Kagan's views on free speech. Klein selectively quotes Kagan to make his case, obscuring what she actually said. He again falsely claims that Kagan said that "speech that promotes 'racial or gender inequality' could be 'disappeared'" by the government when, in fact, Kagan was talking about the "uncoerced disappearance of such speech."
Klein also writes that "in a 1996 paper, 'Private Speech, Public Purpose: The Role of Governmental Motive in First Amendment Doctrine,' Kagan argued it may be proper to suppress speech because it is offensive to society or to the government." In fact, Kagan specifically stated that "government may not limit speech because other citizens deem the ideas offered to be wrong or offensive."
Klein claims that "Kagan shows strong beliefs for court intervention in speech, going so far as to assert free speech should be weighed against 'societal costs'" -- which is the very same view that the Supreme Court holds. Klein also ignores the specific instances Kagan cites in which "societal costs" outweigh free speech, like child pornography, obscenities and "fighting words."
UPDATE: Klein appeared on Fox Business last night, where he not only failed to correct the record on Sunstein, he spread his false, distorted claims about Kagan's views on free speech and falsely claimed that the group Free Press, which supports net neutrality, "advocates government control of the Internet."
Further, Klein has never told his readers that legal experts find Kagan in the mainstream on issues of free speech -- presumably because the truth would conflict with his lie-ridden anti-Kagan narrative.
Klein is also misleading about Sunstein. He highlights Sunstein's "proposing that Congress hold hearings about mandates to ensure websites post links to a diversity of views on issues" without mentioning that Sunstein has since renounced that idea.
Klein's "reporting" on Kagan has repeatedlybeen shown to be untrustworthy -- we can't name an article that doesn't contain a major factual error or misrepresentation. Why, other than bias and hate, is Klein allowed to continue his factually deficient charade?
Finally, there's Klein's incredibly illogical premise that because Kagan hired Sunstein, she is responsible for every view Sunstein has ever uttered. Klein has been silent about the fact that Kagan also hired conservative professors at Harvard Law School, like Jack Goldsmith, who while in the Bush adminstration wrote memos advising how to skirt Geneva Convention restrictions on CIA transfer of terror detainees.
Tim Graham: Pointing Out Bush Admin. Corruption Is 'Bush-Bashing' Topic: NewsBusters
Leave it to Tim Graham to portray telling the truth about the Bush as "Bush-bashing."
Channeling Stephen Colbert's maxim that "reality has a well-known liberal bias," Graham used a May 18 NewsBusters post to complain that Rachel Maddow gave a " Bush-bashing graduation speech" at the "liberal all-female Smith College." (What, Tim, you couldn't work "lesbian" in there somewhere? Or does "liberal all-female" sufficiently imply that as far as you're concerned?) And what is Graham's chief exhibit to support his claim that Maddow was engaging in "Bush-bashing"? Her rehashing of the unambiguously true scandals of the Bush interior department. From Maddow's speech, as excerpted by Graham (relevant links added by us):
With the massive surge of profits flowing through that criminal underworld, this country reached whole new levels of government corruption that puts anything we've got today to shame -- except for maybe the Interior Department of the Bush administration.
It's not about the Bush administration -- remember they put the Abramoff guy as the Number Two guy in charge of the Department of Interior and there was that one office where they were snorting meth off the toaster oven and the people who worked in the office regulating the oil industry were actually having affairs with oil industry lobbyists? So the Bush administration Interior Department maybe can compete.
At no point does Graham contradict Maddow's statements -- perhaps because he can't. For Tim Graham, it seems, reality is indistinguishable Bush-bashing.
Indeed, Graham is seeing "Bush-basing" everywhere, particularly in graduation speeches. He also referred to Brian Williams' allegedly "Bush-bashing commencement address at Notre Dame," linking to his previous post on the subject. Graham's evidence here: Williams' description of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina as "benign neglect turned fatal."
How is that "Bush-bashing," you ask? Graham explains: "If you think that isn’t directed squarely at George W. Bush, you didn’t see the Williams interviews of the "clueless patrician" president and his radical-left black accuser in 2005."
That's not a Colbert schtick; that's just a desperate and slightly paranoid leap of logic.
Corsi Touts Claim By Discredited Scientist Topic: WorldNetDaily
A May 17 WorldNetDaily article by Jerome Corsi promotes a claim by Russian scientist Habibullo Abdussamatov that a new "Little Ice Age" could begin in 2014. Corsi tries to boost Abdussamatov's credibility by writing:
In 2007, National Geographic published Abdussamatov's explanation that the global warming observed in the shrinking of the carbon dioxide "ice caps" near Mar's South Pole was caused by increased solar activity.
"The long-term increase in solar irradiance is heating both Earth and Mars," Abdussamatov wrote.
But Corsi cagily ignored the fact that NatGeo essentially debunked the claim. From the NatGeo article:
"His views are completely at odds with the mainstream scientific opinion," said Colin Wilson, a planetary physicist at England's Oxford University.
"And they contradict the extensive evidence presented in the most recent IPCC [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] report." (Related: "Global Warming 'Very Likely' Caused by Humans, World Climate Experts Say" [February 2, 2007].)
Amato Evan, a climate scientist at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, added that "the idea just isn't supported by the theory or by the observations."
Perhaps the biggest stumbling block in Abdussamatov's theory is his dismissal of the greenhouse effect, in which atmospheric gases such as carbon dioxide help keep heat trapped near the planet's surface.
He claims that carbon dioxide has only a small influence on Earth's climate and virtually no influence on Mars.
But "without the greenhouse effect there would be very little, if any, life on Earth, since our planet would pretty much be a big ball of ice," said Evan, of the University of Wisconsin.
Most scientists now fear that the massive amount of carbon dioxide humans are pumping into the air will lead to a catastrophic rise in Earth's temperatures, dramatically raising sea levels as glaciers melt and leading to extreme weather worldwide.
(CNSNews.com and NewsBusters' Noel Sheppard previously touted Abdussamatov's claim without acknowledging criticism of it.)
Only a dishonest writer like Corsi can twist a citing by NatGeo into something positive, even though NatGeo is destroying it. But then, dishonestwriters are the only kind of writers WorldNetDaily is interested in employing.
Newsmax's Patten Slobbers Over Thompson's Book Topic: Newsmax
In a May 17 Newsmax article, David Patten fawns over Fred Thompson's new book, "Teaching the Pig to Dance":
Thompson's willingness to accept happenstance and pursue the unexpected is one of the key themes of the charming, funny, and delightful book birthed by his wise decision to follow his muse where it led him.
This is tied to a Newsmax interview of Thompson in which he, predictably, attacks President Obama:
The good news, Thompson says, is that America's future depends on its people, not its President Obama.
"If our values and perspectives on the role of our government, or the role of ourselves for that matter, change, it's our own fault. It's not his,” Thompson tells Newsmax. “Presidents come and go. But our country will remain. And it's everybody's duty while they're on watch, in their own generation's time, to do what we can to preserve these things."
Patten sycophantically adds, "Thompson's book makes the odds of preserving America's timeless values just a little bit better."
Patten, remember, is Newsmax's managing editor, and this fawning little promotion exemplifies the kind of "journalism" coming out of Newsmax.
The MRC Still Has No Sense of Humor Topic: NewsBusters
The Media Research Center has long lacked a sense of humor regarding jokes about Republicans (while shoveling out jokes about, say, Clinton's sex life). That humorlessness surfaces again at NewsBusters, where Brad Wilmouth dedicated not one but twoposts to scowling at jokes about Sarah Palin and other conservatives made by Andy Borowitz on a PBS show.
Wilmouth sure knows how to kill a joke:
Catching up on an item from the first episode of PBS’s Need to Know program, which aired on Friday, May 7, liberal satirist Andrew Borowitz suggested that Sarah Palin and Minnesota Republican Congresswoman Michele Bachmann are two of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse during the show’s regular "Next Week’s News" humor segment: "Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann will announce that they are looking for, quote, ‘two additional horsemen.’" Imagery of fire burning behind Palin and Bachmann was shown as Borowitz read his item.
According to the New Testament’s Book of Revelation, the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are four beasts that will arrive before the end of the world, and will represent pestilence, war, famine and death.
Even with Wilmouth's treating the joke like he was analyzing convention coverage, Borowitz is still funnier than anything you'll find in the MRC's NewsBusted "comedy" videos.
Aaron Klein Kagan-Bashing Fail Watch Topic: WorldNetDaily
Is Aaron Klein even capable of behaving like an honest reporter, particularly when it comes to Elena Kagan? Apparently not.
Keeping up his perfect record in attacking Kagan using cherry-picked information and distorted claims, Klein's May 17 WorldNetDaily article carries the headline "Kagan: Flag-burning OK" and notes that Kagan has "argued the government may not ban flag-burning protests." Klein does not note that this position is the same one the Supreme Court holds, and that none other than Antonin Scalia joined the majority in that ruling.
Klein also again takes Kagan's words out of context by falsely suggesting that Kagan wants the government to "disappear" certain types of speech -- even though Klein buries Kagan's complete statement later in the article, in which she is referring to "uncoerced disappearance" of offensive speech.