Media Matters highlights WorldNetDaily's latest desperate attempt to stop Elena Kagan from becoming a Supreme Court justice (and, not so coincidentially, continue to fleece its readers of $24.95 for mailing letters to senators): hauling out the laughable Larry Klayman to claim he's planning to get Kagan disbarred for allegedly having "altered an official scientific report used as evidence by the Supreme Court to persuade the justices to overturn bans on partial-birth abortion."
Of course she didn't. Nor did she "ban the U.S. military from recruiting on campus." Nor is she "anti-military."
In this silly little promotion of Klayman, WND once again breached journalistic ethic by failing to disclose that Klayman has done legal work for WND, most recently its crybaby lawsuit against the White House Correspondents Association for failing to give WND as many tables as it demanded for the correspondents dinner.
WND's Conspiratorial Freak-Out Over Compulsory Service Idea Topic: WorldNetDaily
Chelsea Schilling gets downright conspiratorial in a July 27 WorldNetDaily article claiming that Rep. Charles Rangel introduced a bill reinstating "compulsory military draft during wartime and require U.S. citizens not selected for military duty to perform a 'national-service obligation' – as defined by President Obama – for a minimum of two years."
Schilling's first response to the bill was to invoke a conspiracy website: She wrote how "Prison Planet writer Rob Dew" wrote, "This echoes the sentiment of President Obama who asked Congress in February 2009 to send him a bipartisan bill in the spirit of national service."
Prison Planet is the website of conspiracy theorist extrordinaire Alex Jones. And Dew said a lot more about the bill than what Schilling quoted:
But even Emanuel aims low looking at only 18 to 25 year olds for three months of compulsory service. Under this new legislation nearly all, able bodied Americans will be sentenced to two years of forced labor. The infrastructure is already in place for those unwilling to participate in mandatory service and now the army is looking to fill it’s ranks with Interment/Resettlement Specialists.
There are very few loopholes to opt of out national service, even CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTORS (SEC. 109) will be forced to choose the mandatory option of A. noncombatant service (as defined by the President) or B. national civilian service. It seems the congressional commission on civic service will no longer be needed thanks to the hard work of a suspected Congressional tax cheat from New York.
The slavery bill is currently in debate in the House Committee on Armed Services chaired by Rep Ike Skelton a democrat from Missouri. Those who oppose mandatory slavery should contact Rep. Skelton. Many bills die in committee and this bill should meet the same fate.
Schilling didn't link to Dew's post. We can't imagine why.
But Schilling -- who as we've detailed is not unfamiliar with quoting conspracy theorists -- wasn't done.
As first reported by WND during Obama's presidential campaign, Obama himself called for a "civilian national-security force" July 2, 2008, in Colorado Springs, Colo.
"We cannot continue to rely on our military in order to achieve the national-security objectives that we've set," he said. "We've got to have a civilian national-security force that's just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded."
This is in reference to a favorite bogus WND story -- that Obama wants to start his own private army. In fact, Obama was talking about beefing up the diplomatic corps so that it's "able to deploy teams that combine agricultural specialists and engineers and linguists and cultural specialists who are prepared to go into some of the most dangerous areas alongside our military."
New Article: A Libel Lawsuit Waiting to Happen Topic: Media Research Center
Media Research Center chief Brent Bozell acts recklessly by smearing Shirley Sherrod as a racist based only on Andrew Breitbart's misleadingly edited videos. Not only won't he apologize, the rest of the MRC is trying to change the subject. Read more >>
A July 27 WorldNetDaily article rehashes birther-related claims made in Aaron Klein's Obama hate book, "The Manchurian President." There are a couple things missing.
WND repeats Klein's contention that "Obama may not fit the constitutional eligibility requirement that stipulates only 'natural born' citizens can serve as U.S. president." But as we've detailed, Klein is merely repeating arguments made by birther lawyers promoted by WND, and he makes no mention whatsoever in his book of legal arguments that contradict his claim that Obama is not a "natural born citizen."
WND makes an omission of its own: As we've also detailed, Klein wrote in his book that he found "no convincing evidence that Obama was born in Kenya, nor that his birthplace was any place other than Hawaii, his declared state of birth." That statement is nowhere to be found in the WND article -- perhaps because it contradicts WND's own reporting.
The MRC vs. Pop Music Topic: Media Research Center
July has been I Hate Pop Music Month for the professional prudes at the MRC's Culture & Media Center.
A July 9 CMI article by Katie Bell criticized NBC's "Today" for allowing Lady Gaga to perform:
Gaga’s “Today” show performance would have been best suited for an evening concert in which the kiddos were left with grandparents or sitters. Many young children were present at the July 9 outdoor morning performance.
But “Today” did not seem to mind the tawdry costumes and suggestive dance moves.
Bell was further offended that Lady Gaga "still managed to squeeze in her gay agenda, and the family-friendly Today Show allowed it."
On July 15, Alana Goodman got offended by what she thinks she heard -- not what was actually there -- in an M.I.A. song:
A controversial new pop song might have young music fans unwittingly singing about burkas, the Taliban and, especially, loving Allah.
Pop singer phenomenon Maya Arulpragasam, also known as M.I.A., has released a new song called “Lovalot” that has raised eyebrows among music reviewers, some of whom say the lyrics show M.IA.’s sympathy for radical Muslim suicide bombers.
Probably one of the most controversial parts of the song is the chorus, where M.I.A. repeats the phrase “I really love a lot” in such a way that it undeniably sounds like “I really love Allah.”
It was back to more Gaga-bashing, with Sarah Knoploh excoriating Newsweek for committing the offense of saying something nice about her music videos. The writer, Knoploh huffed, "point out how inappropriate her music videos truly are."
The video for the song "Telephone," Knoploh declares, is "full of nudity and suggestive dancing" and "is so inappropriate that YouTube requires viewers to confirm they are 18 years old to view it." Knoploh seems not to understand that mature scenes are not necessarily synonymous with lack of quality.
Knoploh has a funny definition of "inappropriate," given that she considers condoning the deaths of abortion doctors to be entirely appropriate.
Newsmax Slow-Walked Gibson, Pounces on Stone Topic: Newsmax
We recently noted how it took Newsmax more than two weeks to report on Mel Gibson's latest hateful tirade -- and even then, James Hirsen was making excuses for him. Other celebrities don't get that kind of protection.
So when director Oliver Stone blamed a focus on the Holocaust on "Jewish domination of the media,” Newsmax was Johnny-on-the-spot with a July 26 article.
Hirsen was quick on the draw as well, mixing Stone with his latest apologetic Gibson coverage -- in fact, his item is built around Stone's prediction (which echoed Hirsen's own fervent desire) that Gibson's career hasn't been completely destroyed by his hateful rantings, which Stone agrees with. To his credit, Hirsen writes that Gibson is "a business associate and friend," disclosure he wasn't interested in making when he was playing defense for Gibson over "The Passion of the Christ" and his previous hateful rantings.
Hirsen actually doesn't mention the remarks that drew interest on Newsmax's news side but, rather, another comment that government should be in charge of health care and energy. "This is unabashed Marxism," Hirsen harrumphed. So this just may be extrordinarily bad timing on Hirsen's part -- Stone is probably the wrong guy to vouch for Stone this particular week.
WND Elevates Anonymous Comment to Headline Topic: WorldNetDaily
Here's the latest banal, biased White House press briefing question from Les Kinsolving, per a July 26 WorldNetDaily article:
Kinsolving asked, "What assurance has the president received from his secretary of state that in 2012 she will not run for president?"
"I am unaware of any assurance that this president needs about his secretary of state," responded Gibbs, declining even to mention Clinton's name.
Of course, Kinsolving didn't use Clinton's name either, so pointing out that Gibbs didn't use it is utterly irrelevant.
But here's the headline on this article: "Democrat says he'd pick Hillary, Satan before Obama." Surely it must have been an at least somewhat prominent Democrat making this statement, given that WND elevated it to headline status. Um, no:
Wrote one forum participant at the U.S. News & World Report magazine website, "If Hillary Clinton is not the Democratic nominee in 2012 I am voting for the Republican. I don't care if the Republican is Satan. Obama stole the nomination from Hillary Clinton in 2008. I once was a Democrat. I will never vote for another Democrat if they don't get it together."
That's right -- WND turned an anoymous comment in a comment thread into a headline. WND puts a lot of stock in anonymous sources, despite -- or perhaps because of -- editor Joseph Farah's statement that they are "usually quotes made up out of whole cloth to help make the story read better."
AIM Baselessly Defends Breitbart Topic: Accuracy in Media
A July 23 Accuracy inMedia article by Roger Aronoff runs to the defense of Andrew Breitbart, who is "now accused of starting this fire and fanning the flames" of the Shirley Sherrod story by the "mob mentality":
First, there is no evidence that Breitbart “heavily edited” the piece, as a number of sources have charged. And secondly, the larger point he was making is correct. The NAACP had made a decision a week earlier to brand the Tea Party Movement as racist, and in the final draft of a resolution at their annual convention, backtracked slightly to say that the Tea Party movement should repudiate the racist elements in its midst.
Aronoff goes on to approvingly quote National Review's Andy McCarthy whitewashing things: “Clearly, there were parts of the tape left on the cutting room floor that should have been considered in conjunction with the parts Andrew published—and knowing Andrew, he would have published them if he’d had them."
Whether Breitbart personally "heavily edited" the Sherrod video is beside the point -- he posted the misleading video knowing he did not have the full tape and likely knowing the story it told was false.
But Aronoff is not done sucking up:
Breitbart is a good man who has created a cutting edge New Journalism franchise. AIM honored him this year at CPAC, and here was his speech on the bias and corruption of the mainstream media upon accepting the award, primarily for his role in helping to expose ACORN as a corrupt organization. Watch this before judging him too harshly.
Aronoff doesn't mention that those ACORN videos were heavily edited too, in a way that distorted the truth -- law enforcement officials agree.
Apparently, Aronoff thinks it's OK to lie and deceive as long as the conservative agenda is advanced in doing so. After all, he does work under the same roof as Cliff Kincaid.
MRC Offended By Factual Description of ACORN Videos Topic: Media Research Center
In the midst of a July 26 MRC TimesWatch item taking umbrage at the New York Times for highlighting the media's "misleading coverage" of the Shirley Sherrod story (which he treats as yet another reason to bash the Times' purported liberal bias), Clay Waters complained that the Times described Andrew Breitbart's ACORN videos as "heavily edited tapes":
"Heavily edited tapes" seems to be the liberally approved phrase to place in front of mentions of the ACORN scandal these days. It's cropped up in several recent Times stories, including Stelter's.
For all his complaining, Waters doesn't deny the claim -- because he can't. The videos were indeed heavily edited, and Breitbart has so far refused to publicly release the unedited videos. Authorities in New York and California, in declining to press charges against ACORN, have pointed out that, in the words of one official, Breitbart, James O'Keefe and Hannah Giles "edited the tape to meet their agenda."
Waters is not the only MRC employee to take offense at accurate descriptions of Breitbart's ACORN tapes. A July 25 NewsBusters post by Tim Graham, responding to Rachel Maddow pointing out that "ACORN has been exonerated by prosecutors in New York City and by the attorney general of California and by the U.S. Government Accountability Office. Not that you've heard any of that reported on Fox," by trying to change the subject:
(Here's what you didn't hear reported on Maddow. Jerry Brown, the leftist Attorney General of California, denounced "partisan" media in his report on ACORN, but also "pointed out that ACORN probably violated state civil laws by disposing of thousands of pages containing confidential information about employees, members and other individuals in a trash bin, failing to file a 2007 state tax return and engaging in four instances of possible voter registration fraud in San Diego." That's hardly an "exoneration" you boast about.)
What you won't hear about from Graham is that Breitbart and Co. originally claimed that his crew's dumpster-diving uncovered evidence of "obstruction of justice" -- a charge ultimately not supported. Or that the Breitbart crew may well have broken the law by breaking into a caged dumpster to steal those ACORN documents.
A Proposition for Brent Bozell Topic: Media Research Center
Last week, the Media Research Center issued a press release designed to ride the wave of (manufactured) conservative outrage over Journolist, the left-of-center listserv that purportedly allowed journalists to collaborate in attacking conservatives -- never mind the cherry-picking of carefully selected emails out of thousands upon thousands that is being done in order to push the claim.The press release claimed that the Journolist emails shows "blatant intentions of covering up the Rev. Jeremiah Wright news in 2008 to protect Obama" -- again, never mind that this was occurring well after the story had exploded in the media.
Remember, MRC chief Brent Bozell doesn't care about facts, especially when he has a good froth going:
“The revelation of these e-mails simply proves that we have been right all along. The liberal media have no interest in being fair or unbiased. In fact, they are deliberately violating any sense of journalistic ethics.
“There is no excuse – none – for the attitudes and lack of professionalism these so-called journalists displayed not only in these e-mails but in their reporting. Any member of the media that was privy to these Journolist emails, and remained silent, is just as much to blame as the folks that crafted these e-mails. Their silence indicts them.
“We said in 2008 that the media were making excuses for Jeremiah Wright and now we have the proof. And we learned from the Daily Caller that these people went so far as to say that Rush Limbaugh ‘deserves’ their hate.
“Sadly, I am not surprised, as this is what we have been exposing year after year about the media. And it’s exactly why Americans refuse to trust them.”
Of course, this outrage is utterly hypocritical. As Salon's Joe Conason details, off-the-record planning meetings to set agendas are popular on the right wing, the most prominent of which are the Wednesday morning meetings led for more than two decades by the Club for Growth's Grover Norquist.
As it so happens, one member of the Club for Growth's Founder's Committee has been none other than Brent Bozell. This is relevant because Bozell operates a "news"organization, CNSNews.com, that is much more biased than the mainstream media he loves to attack ever dreamed of being.
If Bozell really wants us to believe he has any moral ground on this issue, he must disclose all of his dealings with secret agenda-setting groups like Norquist's Wednesday morning meetings and the ultra-secretive Council for National Policy of which he is also a member. Bozell must also disclose the contacts between such organizations and CNS editors and reporters, including editor in chief Terry Jeffrey, as well as how this agenda-setting manifested itself in CNS "news" stories.
Then, and only then, will Bozell have any credibility to criticize Journolist. After all,, why should anyone trust his judgment on journalistic issues when his own news organization operates in such a biased manner?
So what do you say, Brent? Do you have the guts to tell the truth, or will you continue to hide your agenda-setting machinations in the darkness?
Corsi's New Employer Distances Itself From His Personal Views Topic: WorldNetDaily
Apparently, being WorldNetDaily's senior staff reporter isn't exactly the high-paying gig one would think such a pretigious position would be.
A July 19 WND tease for Corsi's Red Alert newsletter (subject: the Bilderberg Group naming names of who runs this "assembly of powerful elite," accompanied by a tease for Corsi's book "The Late Great USA,"a book about the careful deceptions of a powerful elite who want to undermine our nation's sovereignty") states that "In addition to serving as a senior staff reporter for WorldNetDaily, Corsi is a senior managing director in the financial-services group at Gilford Securities." This is followed by a lengthy disclaimer and disclosure statement, in which Gilford disavows itself from Corsi's views:
Disclosure: Gilford Securities, founded in 1979, is a full-service boutique investment firm headquartered in New York City providing an array of financial services to institutional and retail clients, from investment banking and equity research to retirement planning and wealth-management services. The views, opinions, positions or strategies expressed by the author are his alone and do not necessarily reflect Gilford Securities Incorporated's views, opinions, positions or strategies. Gilford Securities Incorporated makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, currentness, suitability or validity of any information expressed herein and will not be liable for any errors, omissions or delays in this information or any losses, injuries or damages arising from its display or use.
The disclaimer is repeated in a July 24 Red Alert promotion.
WND, of course, has no problem with Corsi's personal views, to the point that it refused to report on the most offensive of them when they became an issue in 2004 in the wake of his anti-Kerry book.That was when it was disclosed that Corsi made numerous bigoted remarks on the right-wing website Free Republic. Corsi is also an enthusiastic birther who has repeatedlylied about President Obama.
But the fact that Gilford Securities feels the need to make Corsi add this lengthy disclaimer every time he writes an article -- and it can be presumed that Corsi wouldn't be doing this unless his new employer asked/told him to -- makes you wonder why they hired him in the first place.
Newsmax's Ponte Brings the Democrat Derangement Topic: Newsmax
Newsmax's Lowell Ponte has long suffered from Democrat Derangement Syndrome -- withness his bizarre, falsehood-riddled attacks on Dems before the 2008 election. Now, the prospect of Democrats losing seats in Congress has Ponte so giddy that the old derangement has flared up again.
In his July 23 Newsmax column, Ponte goes nuts once more. He starts off with a few insults:
But congressional Democrats, having played out Karl Marx's first two acts — tragedy and farce — have one more scene with which to cling to power, and one potentially ugly post-election encore before their power vanishes.
Clearly the Democrats aim to fight.
The Democratic Party, the party of the slave owners, Ku Klux Klan, Jim Crow and Bull Connor, has conned more than 90 percent of African-Americans into voting for its divide-and-conquer demagogues instead of the party of the Great Emancipator Abraham Lincoln who freed their ancestors.
Ponte then claims that Dems will unleash "a mind-boggling October surprise designed to shock and awe the masses, seize media attention, and transform the entire national mood and political environment days or weeks before the election." He even helpfully lays out the scenarios:
Scenario One: Terrorists are captured crossing the Mexican border with some sort of weapon of mass destruction, chemical, biological, or nuclear.
In favor of this scenario: President Obama could take credit for saving the nation, being a heroic leader, and protecting the border.
Negatives: It could remind Americans that our border remains porous, Obama has opposed sealing it, and Democrats keep us at risk.
Scenario Two: Iranians somehow attack Americans and, in a Persian-Gulf-of-Tonkin action, President Obama retaliates with a massive strike against Iranian nuclear facilities, perhaps toppling Iran's dictators and liberating its people.
Pros to this scenario: President Obama would turn from a weakling to Superman overnight. His standing with independent and Jewish voters might skyrocket.
Arab nations would secretly thank him for de-fanging or removing Persia's fanatical regime. Americans might rally around Obama and the Democrats as bold wartime leaders against whom any criticism would seem unpatriotic.
Negatives: Iran's wild-card reactions might involve terrorism here or attacks on Israel or others. Gasoline prices could double or worse, so any such strike should either come days before November's election before prices spike, or months earlier so prices can come back down.
Democrats would risk alienating their anti-war, America-hating left wing and getting criticism from liberal allies around the world. Billionaire financier George Soros might withdraw his funding.
Scenario Three: A tiny group attacks, or is intercepted with plans to attack, one or more prominent Democratic leaders. This group, perhaps secretly encouraged and funded by operatives, is reported by the liberal media to be right-wing domestic terrorist assassins, heavily armed, involved with the tea parties and driven to hatred and violence by conservative talk radio and the Fox News Channel.
Pros: It can be used to distract, discredit and silence critics of the Democrats. It could frighten moderates into distancing themselves from everything on the right. It could win sympathy votes for Democrats.
Cons: It risks chaos if evidence emerges that Democratic operatives were behind the terrorists, although the liberal media will as usual spike any damaging information and attack those who report it. It also risks giving terrible ideas to crazy people.
There you have it: If anything bad happens that might cause people to vote Democrat in November, it's because the Obama administration has either willed it or worked behind the scenes to make it happen.
WND's Dishonest Semantics Attack on Obama Topic: WorldNetDaily
Bob Unruh turns in another lazy one-source WorldNetDaily article, quoting an official from the right-wing Faith and Freedom Institute attacking President Obama for referencing "freedom of worship" instead of "freedom of religion," uncritically repeating the institute's claim that the two terms are somehow different.
If Unruh had bothered to do anything more than stenography with his article, he would have found that Obama is far from the only president to use the term. According to Arkansas Democrat-Gazette religion editor Frank Lockwood, it's not just Democratic presidents who have used the term but Republican presidents as well, including, yes, Ronald Reagan.
As State Department spokesman Andy Laine told Christianity Today, “the terms 'freedom of religion' and 'freedom of worship' have often been used interchangeably through U.S. history, and policymakers in this administration will sometimes do likewise."
WND and right-wingers (like Glenn Beck) are trying to create a controversy where none exists by playing a bogus game of semantics. It's the kind of dishonest journalism Unruh would not be allowed to practice were he still with the Associated Press, but WND loves dishonest journalism, especially when Obama is the subject.
WND's Welch: Gay Marriage, Transgender Rights 'Evil,' Should Be 'Crushed' Topic: WorldNetDaily
In his July 24 WorldNetDaily column, Dave Welch cites legal cases regarding gay marriage and transgender rights, then writes:
What is "the way home" of those pushing this agenda, referencing the Hart quote above? I submit that their conquest is not marriage or gender identity as much as continued perversion of all moral standards, destruction of absolute truth and rejection of the Author of that truth.
In other words, the battle over gender identity is really only about whether the words, "…male and female He created them" (Gen. 1:27), the book that contains those words and the God Who spoke them are real, relevant and worthy of reverence.
Here is the conundrum. In the "Art of War," Sun Tzu asserted:
Military tactics are like unto water; for water in its natural course runs away from the high places and hastens downwards. So in war, the way to avoid what is strong is to strike what is weak.
If the United States was morally strong, these efforts would have been crushed at their first evil emergence. Of course, the U.S. as a nation cannot be morally stronger than the collective state of its institutions, determined solely by the morality of the people – all utterly dependent on being nurtured by the supplier of moral truth.