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Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Flashback: "Robert 'KKK' Byrd"
Topic: Newsmax

With the death of Sen. Robert Byrd, we thought we'd take a look back at Newsmax's treatement of the senator.

As we detailed in 2005, Newsmax was obsessed with making sure Byrd's long-ago association with the KKK was mentioned as often as possible, repeatedly referring to him as "Robert 'KKK' Byrd." It attacked Byrd over the association even as it whitewashed Trent Lott's segregationist-friendly remarks.

Times change: Newsmax so far has not gone out of its way to highlight it, and it even published a wire story of testimonials to Byrd.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:53 AM EDT
Monday, June 28, 2010
CNS Repeats False Claim Kagan Is 'Anti-Military'

In a June 28 article that's yet another attack on Elena Kagan, Fred Lucas uncriticially quotes from a letter from the group Military Families United claiming that Kagan has a "perceived anti-military bias" over her purported "failure to comply with federal law" on allowing military recruiters at Harvard Law School.

The claim that Kagan is "anti-military" is objectively false -- something Lucas couldn't be bothered to report.

Lucas also described Military Families United as "a non-partisan non-profit group." That's debatable since its website clearly seems to be right-leaning through the views that it takes, on top of attacking Kagan:

  • A June 23 statement from Kirk Lippold, the group's senior military fellow, came to the defense of ousted Gen. Stanley McChrystal, claiming his comments in Rolling Stone magazine, while "admittedly unprofessional and impertinent," "clearly do not constitute the necessary broad grounds for dismissal." 
  • In a Feb. 22 press release, Lippold parroted right-wing talking points on Justice Department attorneys who had previously represented Guantánamo Bay detainees.

Lucas also misstated Kagan's actions in the controversy over military recruiters at Harvard Law School, stating that Kagan "reversed the policy" to accept recruiters at the school after the Solomon Amendment was passed. In fact, Kagan reversed the policy for only one semester, and only after an appeals court reversed the Solomon Amendment.

Lucas also uncritically quoted Republican Rep. Jeff Sessions claiming, "Simply put, Harvard was legally bound by the Solomon Amendment every single day that Ms. Kagan was dean," but no evidence is offered to support it, nor is the mitigating factor of the appeals court reversal mentioned.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:18 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, June 28, 2010 3:30 PM EDT
NewsBusters Smears Maddow By Taking Her Out of Context
Topic: NewsBusters

In a June 26 NewsBusters post, Jack Coleman accused Rachel Maddow "asking permission of her audience, which also occupies the fringe left, if it's 'OK' to ridicule al Qaeda," adding, "Suffice it to say, the notion of destroying al Qaeda never gets out of committee with this crowd."

Coleman's evidence for this is a statement by Maddow on her June 21 show: "I know that al Qaeda is al Qaeda, right? But is it OK to point out that they're ridiculous, that their propaganda is inadvertently funny, as in ha ha I'm laughing at you?" But Coleman quotes only this statement, and the accompanying video shows only this statement.

In fact, Maddow's statement placed in the full context of what she said shows that Maddow was pointing out that the media was ridiculing al-Qaeda enough, that it is instead being portrayed as the "mightly al-Qaeda" despite its amateurish recruiting videos:

Here's the thing I always forget about al-Qaeda. For all their murderous intent and demonstrated capacity for all their global plotting, for all the deadly serious implications of them getting access to even more deadly means of targeting us than they have already figured out, for all the truly scary things we have already figured out about al-Qaeda, it is easy to forget that on their own terms, they're often freaking ridiculous.

[clip of Adam Gadahn video]

That's not from The Onion doing a satire of a dorky American kid making a fake jihad video. This is actually the new al-Qaeda video.

Maddow goes on to reference "the al-Qaeda AV club," adding, "These guys are like the reject pile at talk radio tryouts." You'd think the latter statement would be more offensive to Coleman than the statement he highlighted; instead, he had to take Maddow out of context to smear her.

As if blatanting misrepresenting Maddow by taking her words out of context wasn't bad enough, Coleman goes on to suggest that Maddow is rooting for deaths of U.S. and coalition troops in Afghanistan, claiming she was "oddly upbeat" in noting deaths of Australian troops to her guest, former Petraeus adviser and Australian native David Kilkullen.

Again, Coleman takes this out of context. Maddow's full interview of Kilkullen focuses on the mostly separate goals in Afghanistan of destroying al-Qaeda and nation-building. Maddow's statement on the Australian deaths can only be descibed as "upbeat" only if you divorce it from its full context -- which Coleman did.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:39 AM EDT
AIM Publishes Cowardly Army Officer's Anti-Obama Screed
Topic: Accuracy in Media

On June 25, Accuracy in Media published a wild anti-Obama screed by someone named Jonah Knox, which sneered at the "Obama and his ruling liberal elite," wholeheartedly endorsed Gen. Stanley McChrystal's attacks on Obama, and oddly complained that "the Right cannot identify that there is a war, doesn’t realize that there are no rules of engagement, and cannot even identify who the domestic enemy is."

But most of the writer's venom was directed at Obama, in the form of "things that we once did not do (and which still break the law or rules) but which the liberals have normalized through unilaterally and unapologetically doing." On his list:

  • It is now acceptable to appoint a homosexual advocate as a “safe schools czar” and boast of it. Those who condemn such perverts and their advocates are deemed “hateful” and of “leading a vicious smear campaign.” Telling the truth is now a smear.
  • It is acceptable for the president to try to force the troops, involved in two wars, to accept open homosexuals in the ranks so that a political special interest group can be appeased.
  • It is now acceptable to have a U.S. President who is personal friends with a communist terrorist.
  • It is now acceptable to have a U.S. President who goes around the world “apologizing” for America and debasing it.
  • It is now acceptable for elected officials such as Senator Harry Reid to disparage our troops and give comfort to the enemy.
  • It is now acceptable to beat an old woman on live TV and “protest” against laws attempting to preserve the last vestiges of morality (see the homosexual reaction to the Proposition 8 measure in California).
  • It is now acceptable to attack a beauty pageant contestant with the most vulgar of language because she did not completely embrace the sodomite agenda.

It's not until the very end of the column that we learn the real truth about the writer:

Jonah Knox is the pseudonym for a noncommissioned officer and analyst in the United States Army Reserves.

That's right -- the writer won't put his real name on his attack and stand by his words.

What a coward. Real men stand by their words in public.

AIM, of course, is enabling this coward, which makes Cliff Kincaid and company cowardly too.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:40 AM EDT
WND Also Promoted Homophobic Rabbi
Topic: WorldNetDaily

We've detailed how promoted attacks on Elena Kagan by rabidly homophobic rabbi Yehuda Levin. CNS is not the only ConWeb component to have promoted Levin, and you will not be at all surprised to learn who it is.

WorldNetDaily -- which is presumably comfortable with Levin's views given its own anti-gay agenda -- has promoted Levin's anti-gay attacks, most recently on June 16, in which it approvingly quoted Levin bizarrely claiming that repealing the military's don't-ask-don't-tell policy would be a rebellion against God:

"Decent Bible-believing family people have been increasingly outraged by the cravenness of many politicians in their mad dash to turn timeless values on their heads, by advancing homosexual adoption, domestic partnerships, civil unions, 'marriage' and 'Heather Has Two Mommies,'" [Levin] wrote.

"The next slice of the salami – the koshering of volitional homosexual activity, along with all aspects of the homosexual culture, throughout the U.S. military – constitutes a rebellion against G-d and demoralizes both military and civilian society," he added. "We condemn the inherent antipathy, intolerance and even belligerence toward the essential religious liberties of Bible adherents."


"Passage of such evil legislation would expedite our hurtling towards Sodom and Gomorrah," he wrote. "It would also threaten to repel Divine Grace from our military's struggles and beyond. We call upon the Senate to unapologetically filibuster this legislation. We also ask all people of faith to adhere to our previous declaration that it is forbidden to vote for office-seekers who support the homosexual agenda."

This is not the only anti-gay attacks by Levin WND has promoted. A March 2005 WND article by Aaron Klein quotes Levin -- then head of something called Jews for Morality -- attacking the mayor of Jerusalem for not opposing a "world homosexual event" scheduled to take place in the city: "Your 'tolerant' behavior only emboldened the homosexuals, and now radical activists from all over the world are preparing to come to Jerusalem in massive numbers to publicly desecrate the city with their abominations."

In 2006 Klein, in the midst of uncritically promoting claims that "Israel's troubles in the Gaza Strip and Lebanon and the Hezbollah rockets slamming daily into major Israeli population centers" were caused by Israel's "tacit support for a homosexual parade slated for next month in Jerusalem," highlighted Levin's anti-gay activism:

Meanwhile, Yehuda Levin, a member of the Rabbinical Alliance of America, has come to Israel specifically to prevent the homosexual celebration from taking place. He said a homosexual parade is akin to a parade of "prostitutes promoting prostitution, or adulterers encouraging others to try adultery at least once in their life."

"Israel is the Holy Land, not the homo-land," Levin told WND.

Levin has been posting signs across Jerusalem urging citizens, politicians and Israel's chief rabbinate to use all legal means to prevent the festival.

"We'll use our bodies if we have to," Levin says.

WND has practically been Levin's PR agent (though it curiously has not yet reported on Levin's attacks on Kagan).

  • An October 2000 article promoting the "excommunication" of Sen. Joe Lieberman, quoting Levin claiming that "many Jews are embarrassed by Lieberman's comments" on abortion and homosexuality "but are unsure of what to think or do since he is part of their community." The article did not explain by what authority the group that excommunicated Lieberman (the New York Torah Court) had to do so, from exactly what it was Lieberman was excommunicated from, and how binding that "excommunication" was.
  • in October 2000, WND quoted Levin defending the Vatican from claims that it shouldn't be in the United Nations, playing the Nazi card in the process: "Half a century ago, my family was the victim of a movement which wanted to rid the world of Jews, and Jewish teachings and Jewish values. Today, the extremists seek to disallow and disenfranchise the Catholic community and their ideas. Often it is the Catholic presence which reflects our traditional Jewish teaching on respect for life and family. I call upon the U.N. and her members to reject this censorship, reject the bigotry, and reject this hate of the Vatican and of the Jewish pro-life and family [traditions] it expresses. Sixty years ago our people asked, 'Where were you for the Jews?' Today we ask the world, 'Where are you for the Catholics?'"
  • In 2003 it highlighted Levin's support of Roy Moore, then the chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court who was under fire for placing a monument with a copy of the 10 Commandments on the grounds of the Alabama Supreme Court building.

Levin has consistently promoted right-wing talking points and is as extreme as WND (if not more) on the subject of gays, so it's completely unshocking that WND would embrace him.

In 2004 it touted Levin's attacks on the idea of Arlen Specter being named chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee as "he wrong man, in the wrong place, at the wrong time": "Specter will not look kindly on judicial candidates who do not toe the line on his liberal ideas. He wants judges on the bench who will advance his degenerate agenda of abortion-on-demand, radical homosexual rights, rapacious lawyers, tax increases and the rape of America's constitutional liberties."

Posted by Terry K. at 9:18 AM EDT
Obama Derangement Syndrome Watch
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Due in part to certain sensibilities circumscribed in my book, as well as stellar marketing, propaganda and a complicit press, Americans reflexively cast votes for a dedicated communist as president of the United States. Every facet of Barack Obama's presidency – his Cabinet, proposals, policies and machinations – smack of old-school Marxist dogma combined with '60s radicalism. Every move appears to be calculated to compromise America economically, politically and socially.

This appearance is with good reason, because indeed every move is calculated to compromise America economically, politically and socially.

-- Erik Rush, June 24 WorldNetDaily column

Maybe I've been living on a different planet, but it seems to me that Der Fuhrbama's approval ratings have been gently moving back and forth between the low and high 40s for as long as I can remember. Nothing he does, no matter how anti-constitutional, how criminal or how arrogant, seems to faze 40-plus percent of the population.

I understand the roughly 30 percent who want the United States to become a hard-core socialist nation. They have a sincere desire to redistribute wealth and live under an all-powerful central government. I get it. They're a visible enemy, and you're conscious of the fact that you have to push back against them day in and day out.

But the other 10-15 percent – those who don't want to live under a socialist regime, yet still approve of the job BHO is doing – are the ones who have head-scratchers like myself so puzzled. Do they ever watch anything but sports and "Ice Road Truckers" on television? Do they ever read nonfiction adult books or watch Fox News? Are their legs hopelessly trapped in an irreversible tingling mode caused by the realization that an African-American is living in the White House? Are they simply not able to get over it?

-- Robert Ringer, June 25 WorldNetDaily column

Yes, yes, I know. An impeachment investigation will never be started while Nancy Pelosi is speaker of the House. The good news is that this obstacle to impeachment will likely be removed by January.

-- Tom Tancredo, June 26 WorldNetDaily column

Our soldiers and Marines are dying because we put a fool in the White House; perversity is being increasingly glorified in federal policy for the same reason. We did it; we must fix it, with God's grace and help.

-- Dave Welch, June 26 WorldNetDaily column

The Chief Changer declared to the world the good land was no longer "a Christian nation" – while he openly sought the friendship of people who hated the good land, while criticizing and offending its steadfast friend, Israel.


He was commander in chief of the armed forces, with no experience whatsoever in anything military. The good country – the original "God Country" – was on the brink of bankruptcy, defeat and disaster.

How had this happened?

How? The people weren't paying attention. They were too trusting in people who used "good words." They liked the idea of "change." And so they got a Corruptor in Chief.

How all this turned out will have to wait for our next bedtime story, kids. Sleep tight.

-- Pat Boone, June 26 WorldNetDaily column

Posted by Terry K. at 1:27 AM EDT
Sunday, June 27, 2010
FrontPageMag Repeats Bogus Obama-Soros Conspiracy Theory
Topic: Horowitz

A June 22 FrontPageMag article by Tait Trussell repeats the conspiracy theory that President Obama is calling for a moritorium on oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico in order to benefit George Soros:

Could this be merely a happy coincidence for George Soros, the major financial backer of Obama’s presidential campaign who also has $811 million invested in the Brazilian oil company, Petrobras? Wasn’t it enough of a payback to Soros when the Obama Administration loaned up to $10 billion to Petrobras? Soros, with his far left-wing organization, MoveOn, is called the Godfather of world socialism. But most relevant currently is that he has been an enthusiastic proponent of global warming and environmental liberalism. He has urged adoption of a global carbon tax. Could it be more than coincidence that his position is strikingly similar to what Obama called for in his June 14 Oval Office speech on the Gulf oil spill and future energy actions?

In fact, the loan to Petrobras was made by the Export-Import Bank, not Obama. At the time the loan was made, the bank’s Bboard consisted of three Republicans and two Democrats, all of whom were appointed by President Bush.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:27 PM EDT
Hypocrisy, Meet Joseph Farah
Topic: WorldNetDaily

We've already demonstrated how WorldNetDaily mixes in lies about Elena Kagan with his sales pitch for his little scam of you giving him money to send letters to Congress opposing Kagan's nomination. Here's another example worth noting.

A June 16 WND article stated that Farah "joins Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., in pointing out her vehement protests of U.S. military recruiting on Harvard University's campus while accepting a $20 million donation from Saudi Arabia":

What incensed Kagan about the military was its "don't ask, don't tell" policy on service by homosexuals, said Joseph Farah, WND chief executive officer and the organizer of the Stop Kagan Campaign, which delivers personalized, individually addressed anti-Kagan letters to all 100 U.S. senators by FedEx for $24.95. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia's homosexual policy is the death penalty.

"Ms. Kagan was perfectly willing to obstruct the U.S. military – which has liberated countless Muslims from the hate and tyranny of Saddam Hussein and the Taliban," Sessions said. "But it seems she sat on the sidelines as Harvard created an Islamic Studies Center funded by – and dedicated to – foreign leaders presiding over a legal system that violates what would appear to be her position."

Farah added: "Hypocrisy? Your name is Elena Kagan."

No, actually, hypocrisy's name is Joseph Farah.

The money in question was donated to Harvard University -- not to Harvard Law School -- by Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal. As Media Matters points out, there's no evidence of discrimination in the Islamic studies program the donation funded, nor does it involve, as Sessions claimed, the teaching of Sharia law.

Prince Alwaleed, it turns out, is also the second largest shareholder of News Corp., which own the Fox News Channel. While Farah has railed against Alaweed's purported influence -- which seems to have mostly manifested in Fox not promoting a WND-published anti-Muslim book to Farah's satisfaction -- Farah has taken no steps to protest this involvement in the most sweeping way possible that would also establish his devotion to the cause: by forbidding his writers and columnist to appear on the channel.

But he has not done so. Indeed, as we noted, Aaron Klein made numerous appearances on Fox News and Fox Business to shill his anti-Obama smear book. And Farah himself will appear on Fox News on Monday to shill his new tea party book.

Oh, and in the process, Farah repeated his contempible lie that "Kagan is a radical antimilitary and proabortion zealot."

It seems Farah loves to complain, but only if he personally benefits from it -- and not if it affects a revenue stream for his business.

Hypocrisy? Your name is Joseph Farah.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:50 AM EDT
Updated: Sunday, June 27, 2010 8:53 AM EDT
CNS Parrots Attacks on Israeli Judge to Falsely Smear Kagan

Matt Cover used a June 25 article to parrot a right-wing talking point against Elena Kagan -- that she "named as her 'judicial hero' an Israeli Supreme Court Justice, Aharon Barak, who said the role of a judge was to 'create [a] new understanding of law.'"

But Cover repeated only attacks on Barak -- he makes no apparent effort to seek comment from Barak defenders. Cover also fails to note that conservative Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has praised Barak, even though Cover noted that Barak appeared at a symposium with Scalia.

Cover repeats Barak's comments about "purposivism," which Cover defines as a method in which "a judge interprets a constitution or law according to his determination of the modern meaning of the statute," without noting that judges in Israel have more interpretative power because there is no formal constitution. Nor did Cover note that the Barak-led Israeli Supreme Court has ruled that the two "Basic Laws" approved by the Israeli Knesset in 1992, on "Human Dignity and Liberty" and "Freedom of Occupation," held a higher normative status and thus, the Israeli courts have the power to strike down parliamentary legislation that violated the Basic Laws.

As we've noted, this bogus attack on Kagan was first forwarded by WorldNetDaily's Aaron Klein.

UPDATE: A June 23 CNS article by Cover uncritically repeated Robert Bork's attacks on Kagan, as expressed in a "conference call sponsored by Americans United for Life." Cover didn't mention that, as Salon noted, when Bork was nominated as justice (a nomination that failed due to his out-of-the-mainstream views), railed against "public campaigns of distortion" against nominees -- the very type of campaign he is now participating in to bash Kagan.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:53 AM EDT
Updated: Sunday, June 27, 2010 4:28 PM EDT
Saturday, June 26, 2010
Cashill Still Hiding The Truth About Killer
Topic: WorldNetDaily

In his June 24 WorldNetDaily column, Jack Cashill hauls out yet again his biased interpretation of the murder case for which Steven Nary is prison (from which Cashill is trying to spring Nary).

As before, Cashill blames the murder victim for being gay and allegedly trying to make moves on Nary, mentioning at no point the fact that Nary had accepted money from the victim to perform oral sex. Instead, Cashill seeks "mercy" from the gay community, claiming that "Steven's best hope is for someone of influence in the gay community to come to his defense, someone who cannot be accused of homophobia."

Which, of course, Nary and Cashill can very much be accused of.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:16 PM EDT
NewsBusters Shocked to Learn That Blogger Has Opinions
Topic: NewsBusters

When Sarah Palin's email account was hacked into, NewsBusters howled, portraying any scrutiny of what might be found in those messages as "blaming the victim."

But what happens when a non-conservative's private email messages are leaked? NewsBusters calls for the writer's head.

NewsBusters did this with the stolen so-called "Climategate" emails, complaining that they weren't being reported enough in the mdeia. And now NewsBusters has done this with Dave Weigel.

The Washington Post blogger has long been a target of right-wingers, which is why NewsBusters turned a blind eye to the violation of privacy here -- in this case, messages Weigel wrote in an off-the-record mailing list in which he made less-than-flattering remarks about certain conservatives were made public.

Lachlan Markay chortled that because Weigel was found to have "ridiculed a number of conservatives and conservative positions," his critics have been "vindicated." Markay insisted that Weigel's defense and apology for some of the remarks "really do not make any difference." After Weigel resigned from the Post over the controversy, Markay seemed quite happy about it, pushing the idea that "such mean-spirited jabs demonstrate a disdain for many conservatives that precludes Weigel from covering them fairly."

In other words, Markay is blaming the victim. Interesting how traditional conservative concern over privacy rights disappears when the person whose privacy rights are violated is not conservative.

Missing from Markay's analysis is any evidence that Weigel's off-the-record remarks, however mean, were actually inaccurate -- is it anything other than true that Newt Gingrich is an "amoral blowhard"? -- and, more importantly, that Weigel got anything wrong in his Post blog. (Indeed, his accuracy rate is arguably above that of, say, NewsBusters.)

Weigel wrote a blog, after all -- he did not write news articles and, to my knowledge, was not published in the print edition of the paper. Standards of objectivity are a little looser for blogs than what is presented as straight news. Further, it cannot be shocking that Weigel expresses opinions in private; we suspect Markay's private correspondence would not stand up to the standards he has set for Weigel, and we're just as certain that the idea of his private correspondence being made public is abhorrent to Markay -- after all, he may have said an unflattering thing or two about his fellow conservatives.

For Markay to complain about Weigel's alleged lack of objectivity is silly because 1) by definition, a blogger is not necessarily objective, and 2) he can't be bothered to come up with evidence that it affected the finished product.

But then, the most important thing to NewsBusters, beyond the right wing obtaining its latest scalp, turned out to be that the MRC's Dan Gainor was quoted opining on Weigel in the Washington Post and on Fox News.

Gainor couldn't come up with any examples of how Weigel's opinions affected his work, instead demanding a "good neutral reporter" be assigned to cover conservatives. But there's no evidence the MRC would recognize a "good neutral reporter" if it saw one -- remember, its idea of "neutrality" is based on how prominently their political affliations are identified.

Since the MRC is much more concerned about scoring political points than conducting anything approaching genuine media research, its gloating over Weigel losing his Post job simply cannot be taken seriously, and it has nothing of substance to add to the conversation beyond its sense of vengeance.

(Full disclosure: I've met Weigel socially a couple of times and linked from this blog to the Washington Independent on the strength of his work there, but didn't get around to updating the link to his Post blog, an issue that is now moot.)

UPDATE: Tim Graham blunders in, absurdly calling it "Weigel-gate" (only in Washington can telling the truth be likened to engaging in criminal behavior), and bizarrely suggesting that the Post should have rifled through Weigel's private correspondence before hiring him. He, like the rest of his NewsBusters colleagues, can't identify anything he got wrong, then claims that "Media outlets don't have to hire conservatives to cover conservatives" when everyone knows full well that's exactly what Graham wants.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:13 AM EDT
Updated: Saturday, June 26, 2010 8:36 AM EDT
Friday, June 25, 2010
CNS Touts Rabid Homophobe's Attack on Kagan

A June 25 article by Pete Winn promoted an attack on Elena Kagan by Rabbi Yehuda Levin, spokesman for the Rabbinical Allliance of America. Levin asserted that Kagan "is not kosher. She is not fit to sit on this Court--or any court," adding that Kagan "turns traditional Judaism on its head--from a concept of a nation of priests and holy people, she is turning it into, ‘Let’s homosexualize every segment of society. And by the way, partial-birth babies have no right to be delivered.’"

Unmentioned by Winn: Levin is a rabid homophobe.

As Media Matters' Ben Dimiero details, Levin has claimed that allowing gays to serve openly in the military could cause natural disasters. he has also claimed that the "sodomy agenda" caused 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, and the earthquake in Haiti. Levin has even attacked a Holocaust museum because it mentioned that gays and lesbians were persecuted by the Nazis.

Remember: CNS considers this person to be a credible spokesman.

UPDATE: Newsmax repeated the CNS story.

Posted by Terry K. at 6:32 PM EDT
Updated: Saturday, June 26, 2010 12:30 AM EDT
Nobody Out-Homophobes WND!
Topic: WorldNetDaily

It's as if, when they saw how anti-gay the Media Research Center was going this week, WorldNetDaily said, "Nobody out-homophobes us!"

And so WND -- with an already prodigious record of gay-bashing -- played catch-up with a vengeance (vengeance being the operative word here). A June 23 article by Chelsea Schilling carried the headline "'Homo Depot'? Chain hosts kiddie crafts at 'gay' fests," and began: "Is Home Depot seeking to introduce children to the homosexual lifestyle?" In it, Schilling plays shill once again, this time for the right-wing American Family Association, who is complaining that Home Depot sponsored a float in a gay-pride parade and offered a children's craft workshop during the event.

Unless Schilling and the AFA proves there's something inherently homosexual in children's crafts, the answer to Schiling's nonsensical question is an unequivocal no.

This story was accompanied by a poll asking about "Home Depot's embrace of alternative sexual lifestyles." The top answer by far: "I'm taking my business elsewhere. Ace is the place for the heterosexual hardware man."

Schilling followed up with another shot of gay-bashing in a June 24 article, serving again as AFA's PR agent by uncritically repeating AFA claims that the 10-year-old boy named grand marshal for a gay pride in Arkanasas (who made headlines by refusing to recite the Pledge of Allegiance until gays are allowed to marry) is "brain-washed" and a victim of "child abuse."

Schilling put the AFA's attacks on the youth first and foremost; it's not until the 13th paragraph that she gets around to noting why he was named grand marshal.

So, take that, MRC!

Posted by Terry K. at 9:02 AM EDT
CNS Joins in MRC's Anti-Gay Week

NewsBusters is not the only Media Research Center division who's been more anti-gay than usual this week. has ben making its own contributions:

A June 23 article by Penny Starr headlined, "Hillary Clinton Urges State Department Employees to Let Teens Know It's Okay to Be Homosexual." Starr doesn't explain why she apparently believes this to be a bad thing.

A June 23 article by Fred Lucas headlined "Obama Expands His Pro-Homosexual Agenda by Regulation, ‘Interpretation’." Lucas seeks comment only from anti-gay groups, who predictably "criticized the White House for handing out 'political favors' to the homosexual lobby – and vastly expanding presidential power in the process." He made no apparent effort to obtain reaction from the Obama administration or anyone else in response to the criticism.

Meanwhile, back over at NewsBusters, it was happy that the MRC's Dan Gainor was allowed to spew his anti-gay rhetoric on CNN, but complained that it "presented Gainor’s view as the abnormal one." Well, Dan, paranoiacally claiming that "Hollywood has done a great deal of work causing acceptance in American culture for homosexuality" isn't exactly a mainstream view.

In the unsigned post attributed only to "NB Staff" (afraid to put a name on your hate, boys?), NewsBusters then tries to dehumanize the children of gays through faulty math:

Assume for a moment that a full 250,000 children live with gay parents. They would represent 0.003 percent of the 72.4 million children counted in the 2000 Census. The number itself is extremely small, and it’s not even close to proportionate. Commonly cited estimates guess 10 percent of the population is homosexual.

NewsBusters forgot to move the decimal point over on their calculator: 250,000 is actually 0.3 percent of 72.4 million, not 0.003 percent. And the proportionality argument is utterly irrelevant.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:27 AM EDT
Thursday, June 24, 2010
Aaron Klein’s Latest Shoddy Guilt-By-Association Smear
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Guilt by association is the stock-in-trade of WorldNetDaily's Aaron Klein, as we've documented. Since that's what WorldNetDaily is paying him to do despite his shoddy reporting methods being repeatedly exposed, it's no surprise that he goes back to that smear well.

This time, Klein's target is Vartan Gregorian, the head of the Carnegie Corporation whom President Obama appointed in 2009 to the board of the President's Commission on White House Fellowships (he is not a White House Fellow himself, as Klein sloppily suggests).

So where does the smear come in? According to Klein, Gregorian is "closely tied to the Muslim leaders behind a proposed controversial Islamic cultural center to be built near the site of the 9/11 attacks." How so? Klein's primary piece of evidence is that Gregorian is on the board of the 9/11 Memorial and Museum. The museum, according to Klein, is "reportedly working" with the American Society for Muslim Advancement, "whose leaders are behind the mosque, to ensure the future museum will represent the voices of American Muslims."

That's "closely tied"? Really?

Here's a list of some of the other people Klein apparently believes are "closely tied" to the " ‘Ground Zero' imam" through their similar involvement with the 9/11 Memorial and Museum:

  • Michael Bloomberg
  • George Pataki
  • Rudy Giuliani
  • All four living former presidents
  • 9/11 widow Debra Burlingame
  • Billy Crystal
  • Robert De Niro

Does Klein really believe that Republican politicians, actors, former presidents, and a 9/11 widow who works with Liz Cheney are part of some hugely vast Muslim-promoting conspiracy? It would appear so.

But Klein isn't done. He goes on to suggest that Gregorian is some sort of Islamic extremist by highlighting an attack on his 2003 book, "Islam: A Mosaic, Not A Monolith":

According to a book review by the Middle East Forum, Gregorian's book "establishes the Islamist goal of world domination."

A chapter of the book, "Islamism: Liberation Politics," quotes Ayatollah Khomenei: "Islam does not conquer. Islam wants all countries to become Muslim, of themselves." Hassan al-Banna, founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, is quoting stating it "is the nature of Islam to dominate, not to be dominated, to impose its laws on all nations and to extend its power to the entire planet."

Gregorian himself recommends for Muslims a system he calls "theo-democracy," which he defines as "a divine democratic government" that, according to the book review, "would have a limited popular sovereignty under the suzerainty of Allah."

First, the Middle East Forum is a right-wing group headed by activist Daniel Pipes -- who has tried to spread the falsehood that Obama is a Muslim and seems to like the idea of interning ethnic groups for their alleged danger to national security -- so the review of Gregorian's book is hardly objective. Klein and the review baselessly portray Gregorian's quoting of Khomenei and al-Banna as an endorsement of what they said; in fact, Gregorian is merely recounting the history of the Islamic revolution in Iran and the Muslim Brotherhood, respectively -- indeed, Gregorian goes on to note that despite the Muslim Brotherhood's denial of involvement with terrorism and subversion, it has been repeatedly linked to terrorist acts. Also, the term "theo-democracy" is not Gregorian's word, as Klein and the review suggest; he is quoting what one Muslim "traditional political theorist" advocated.

The Middle East Forum's negative attack on Gregorian's book appears to be an anomaly. No less than former Wall Street Journal publisher Karen Elliott House -- who won a Pulitzer Prize for her reporting on the Middle East -- placed it at the top of its list of books that are "essential to understanding Islam," calling it "the perfect primer" on the subject.

Finally, the entire idea that Gregorian is some sort of Islamist extremist, as Klein suggests, is utterly ludicrous. Before heading the Carnegie Corporation, Gregorian was president of Brown University and president of the New York Public Library -- not exactly extremist organizations (except perhaps to people like Klein). And in 2004, President Bush awarded Gregorian the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Here's what Bush said about him:

The life of Dr. Vartan Gregorian began in Iran, in a town called Tabriz. As a boy, he loved books, and was blessed with a wonderful grandmother who encouraged him and inspires him still. His great gift has been to share his love of learning with others, as President of Brown University, President of the New York Public Library, and now as President of the Carnegie Corporation. Along the way, Dr. Gregorian has won the loyal friendship of many students and colleagues, and he has received more than 50 honorary degrees. And today the nation honors one of our most respected academic leaders.

The fact that Klein would try to denigrate such a universally respected scholar as an extremist shows just how desperate and hate-driven he is to attack anyone even remotely connected to Obama. The transparent guilt-by-association smear failed in Klein's anti-Obama attack book (in which he laughably claimed he did not believe in guilt by association), and it fails here.

(Cross-posted at Media Matters.)

Posted by Terry K. at 2:59 PM EDT

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