The headline of a Sept. 7 CNSNews.com article by Terry Jeffrey reads, "Obama Used ‘Invest,’ ‘Investing,’ or ‘Investment’ Seven Times in Labor Day Speech to Describe Federal Spending and Special-Interest Tax Loopholes."
MRC Flails to Portray Couric As Biased Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center has long tried -- and failed -- to paint Katie Couric as an unrepentant liberal and her stewardship of the "CBS Evening News" as an unrelenting font of liberal bias.
The MRC tries yet again in a new "Profile in Bias" to mark Couric's fourth year at CBS. It begins by citing its own report after her first year -- which, as we detailed, could only come up with a dozen instances of "liberal bias" from 200-plus shows. (Media Matters, meanwhile, found 17 instances of "conservative misinformation" from Couric during the same time period.)
The new report claims to serve up "Katie Couric's top forty most biased quotes from her four years at CBS." That's much less impressive than it sounds -- it amounts to less than one a month.
Actually, it's even less than that, since the MRC is also counting things Couric wrote on her blog or did, other CBS shows, and even a Facebook chat. We counted 12 non-"Evening News" attacks, which makes the instances of alleged "Evening News" bias much closer to one every two months.
For most people, that would be a pretty good record. But the MRC tolerates no deviance from the right-wing agenda, so even just one instance would be sufficient to brand Couric as "liberal."
Of that paltry evidence of "liberal bias," it's unsurprising that some examples are hypersensitive takes. For instance, two entries are questions to President Obama deemed insufficiently hostile. One was simply Couric's repetition of New York Times columnist Tom Friedman's statement that Obama is "better at making us smarter than making us angry."
That, apparently, is the best the MRC can do in trying to brand Couric as biased, telling us that its researchers had to seriously struggle to come up with 40 examples.
Ronald Kessler's Sept. 7 Newsmax column presents the idea that Saddam Hussein wanted to develop nuclear weapons as some sort of recent revelation. Kessler proclaimed that the Iraq war "eliminated a nuclear threat," adding that "the mainstream media largely ignored Saddam’s admitted plans to pursue nuclear weapons."
Of course, it's not news that Saddam wanted to have nuclear weapons. The more important question was whether he had the capability to do so. Kessler, however, seems to be conflating ambition with capability -- and Kessler ignores evidence that Saddam lacked the capability to do so in any quick fashion, despite Kessler's unsuported statement that Saddam planed to develop "nuclear capability within a year."
As the CIA points out, Iraq's nuclear weapons program was dismantled in 1991. While Saddam likely intended to resume the nuclear program once sanctions were lifted against the country, those sanctions never were lifted. Saddam attempted to keep his nuclear scientists together and even ordered key equipment buried in one scientist's garden in anticipation of the day that sanctions were removed, the Iraq Survey Group report noted that Iraq's nuclear capability had decayed, not grown, after 1991. As ISG head David Kay stated:
Despite evidence of Saddam's continued ambition to acquire nuclear weapons, to date we have not uncovered evidence that Iraq undertook significant post-1998 steps to actually build nuclear weapons or produce fissile material. However, Iraq did take steps to preserve some technological capability from the pre-1991 nuclear weapons program.
Desire to have nuclear weapons is not the same thing as having the capability to do so. Kessler's attempt to pretend they are is dishonest.
NewsBusters' Double Standard on Juvenile Taunts Topic: NewsBusters
Mark Finkelstein devotes a Sept. 7 NewsBusters post to complaining that MSNBC's Ed Schultz "no fewer than four times referred to FNC host Steve Doocy as Steve 'Douche-y.'" Finkelstein -- who headlined his post "Schultz Goes Below Belt with Juvenile Name-calling of Fox's Doocy" -- sniffed that this was "middle school-worthy mispronunciation."
Of course, NewsBusters is no stranger to juvenile name-calling. For instance, a September 2008 post by Noel Sheppard is headlined, "Did MSNBC Throw Matthews Out With The Bathtub Boy's Water?" Sheppard helpfully explains: "Finally, for those scratching their heads about the headline, 'Bathtub Boy' is Fox News John Gibson's pejorative nickname for Olbermann."
Apparently, name-calling is only juvenile when liberals do it.
NewsBusters Feels Sympathy for Quran-Burning Pastor Topic: NewsBusters
Matthew Balan, in a Sept. 7 NewsBusters post, portrays Terry Jones, the Quran-burning pastor, as a victim after a CNN anchor dared to criticize him for the planned stunt. Balan wrote that CNN's Kiran Chetry "used General David Petraeus's denunciation of a planned Koran burning by a church to blast the church's pastor for any subsequent deaths of U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan."
Balan, curiously, doesn't highlight exactly what Petraeus said about the Quran-burning, leaving it buried in the transcript: "Their actions will in fact jeopardize the safety of young men and women who are serving in uniform over here, and also undermine the very mission that they're trying to accomplish."
Later, Balan wrote, "Chetry turned theologian and quoted Scripture to Pastor Jones as she continued to question his planned action."
It's not often you see a Media Research Center employee rooting for the burning of holy books, regardless of religion, but Balan -- like WorldNetDaily seems quite willing to acquiesce to this hateful pastor.
UPDATE: NewsBusters did temper things a bit later, with Scott Whitlock declaring unhappiness that the upcoming Glenn Beck-Sarah Palin shindig in Alaska was mentioned in the same sentence as the Quran-burning. "Beck's rally, which will take place in Alaska on Saturday, will obviously not involve the burning of the Koran," he huffed.
WND's Klein Gives Quran-Burning Pastor The Softball Treatment Topic: WorldNetDaily
A Sept. 5 WorldNetDaily article promotes an radio interview by WND's Aaron Klein of Terry Jones, pastor of a Florida church who plans to stage a burning of Qurans on Sept. 11.
The attached audio shows that Klein conducted a softball interview, not really challenging any of Jones' claims, not even the nonsensical one that the burning is geared toward "radical Muslims" and not "moderate Muslims" -- who just happen to follow the same Quran. Klein is also much more interested in the death threats Jones claims he has received over the planned burningthan Jones' lack of concern that the burning might provoke an attack against American interests.
As Klein and WND rush to defend and promote Jones, others are backing away from him. Richard Bartholomew details how the publisher of Jones' screed "Islam Is Of the Devil," Creation House, has scrubbed the book from its catalog and website. Meanwhile, Little Green Footballs notes that Jones has posted a video insisting that the N-word is not racist.The video was posted before Klein interviewed Jones, indicating that Klein either did insufficient research before his interview or that he knew about it and chose not to bring it up.
Heck, even Gen. David Petraeus thinks Jones' Quran-burning is a bad idea.
So, Aaron and WND: Is this a guy you really want to be defending?
CNS Columnist Takes Ginsburg Out of Context Topic: CNSNews.com
In a Sept. 4 CNSNews.com column touting the anti-abortion film he made, "Maafa 21," Mark Crutcher writes:
Ironically, within days after the first edition of Maafa 21 was released, U.S Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was being interviewed by a reporter for The New York Times and made the following statement when asked about Roe vs. Wade – the decision that legalized abortion: “Frankly, I had thought that at the time Roe was decided, there was concern about population growth and particularly growth in populations that we don’t want to have too many of.”
Here is the most radical abortion proponent that’s ever been on the Supreme Court openly conceding that the arguments made in Maafa 21 are absolutely accurate. She is admitting that the legalization of abortion was not about women’s rights or reproductive freedom; it was about eliminating certain groups of people. In other words, it was about eugenics.
In fact, Ginsburg did no such thing -- she attributed that view to others, adding that "There will never be a woman of means without choice anymore" and that a law restricting abortions "affects only poor women, and it can never be otherwise, and I don't know why this hasn't been said more often."
Meanwhile, Crutcher's "Maafa 21" has its own issues. Michelle Goldberg writes that the the film takes Margaret Sanger out of context to falsely claim she specifically targeted blacks for abortion, as well as tells outright lies about Nobel-winning economist and family planning advocate Gunnar Myrdal as some who "believed that not only could blacks not help themselves, he felt that nobody could help them, and the only solution in his eyes was to get rid of them"; in fact, he opposed racism.
WND's Welch Conflicted Over Beck Topic: WorldNetDaily
Dave Welch is conflicted over Glenn Beck in his Sept. 4 WorldNetDaily column. While Welch appears to appreciate some of the things Beck has done, there is the issue of him being a Mormon:
The furor over Glenn Beck's Mormon faith and his defense by some evangelical leaders, following closely on the heels of President Obama being called a "devout Christian," does raise critical questions. How far can we ally ourselves with those who believe differently toward common goals without compromising our convictions? Does it matter what we believe?
We can and must stand together with Mormons on a cultural/political level as we have in particular on sanctity of life and defense of marriage issues. I pray that one day the evangelical churches will exhibit one half as much commitment of manpower and money to those causes. However, we are not just different denominations.
I'll restate that active Mormons are not America's problem – inactive, weak and compromised Christians are. Pastors who stay safely in their stained glass towers are. However, Mormonism is not Christianity.
The fact is that by any definition of historic Christian doctrines and theology as compared to those that of LDS adherents, we are on a different planet.
Welch goes on to affirmatively cite a pastor who wrote that 'Mormonism is correctly categorized as a CULT." Welch adds, "Mormonism is not Christianity, and anyone who asserts differently is either ignorant or dishonest."
Glenn Beck could certainly be a follower of Jesus … but which Jesus? It matters. Regardless, he can be a patriotic, God-fearing American who understands the vision of our founding fathers and has given a voice and platform to strong, dynamic Christians like David Barton, Jim Garlow and others who present the real Jesus.
WND has a history of promoting people who have issues with Mormonism.
The Media Research Center has longcomplained about the supposed "revolving door" for people whose jobs shift between news organizations to liberal groups or Democratic administrations. It has even kept a list of "major media journalists who have joined the Obama administration."
What the MRC doesn't want to admit is that there's also a revolving door to conservative advocacy at its news operation, CNSNews.com. Here is an incomplete list of CNS staffers who have made the leap from right-wing journalism to right-wing advocacy (like there's a difference):
Scott Hogenson: He made significant use of CNS's revolving door. He worked for the Republican National Committee before joining CNS, where he eventually became editor, was CNS editor until 2004, when he left to be radio services director for the RNC during the 2004 presidential campaign. After briefly returning to CNS after the election, he left again in 2005 to become deputy assistant secretary for public affairs at the Department of Veterans Affairs. He's now at the PR damage control firm Dezenhall Resources and hangs out at the right-wing Leadership Institute.
David Thibault: Like Hogenson, Thibault worked for the RNC prior to joining CNS, as well as working for Republican Sen. Judd Gregg. He filled in as editor during Hogenson's 2004 sabbatical and ascended to the post after Hogenson left for good. He died in 2007.
Marc Morano: Like Hogenson, Morano was a right-wing activist before joining CNS, having worked for Rush Limbaugh's TV show. Morano left CNS in 2006 to join the press office of Oklahoma Sen. James Inhofe, where he regularly peddled (often in a factually challenged manner) the position of global warming skeptics. Morano now runs the Climate Depot website for the right-wing think tank Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow.
Jim Burns: He was a CNS reporter until leaving in 2003 to become press secretary for Rep. Steve Pearce (R-N.M.). He had to leave that job after it was revealed that he copied large parts of a op-ed issued under Pearce's name from the Heritage Foundation.
Nathan Burchfiel: He didn't have to go far to move from news to activism -- in fact, he didn't have to leave MRC headquarters. After serving as a CNS reporter, he moved on to other MRC divisions and is now an assistant editor for MRC's Culture & Media Institute.
Robert Bluey: He's a former CNS reporter -- where he was an early promoter of the Swift Boat Vets attacks on John Kerry -- who left to join Human Events. He's now at the Heritage Foundation, as director of its Center for Media and Public Policy.
WND Conference Is 'All About Debate'? Topic: WorldNetDaily
A Sept. 5 WorldNetDaily article announces that WND's Joseph Farah will debate Christopher Barron, head of the "homosexual activist group" GOProud, at WND's upcoming "Taking Back America" conference. Farah goes on to explain:
"This conference has always been about debate," Farah said. "We invited, among others, the American Civil Liberties Union, La Raza, the NAACP and Freedomworks, to come debate the issues of the day with us. To GOProud's credit, it was willing to stand toe to toe with us. I'm looking forward to the challenge. From my point of view, this represents a much-needed opportunity to expose GOProud's actual goals and agenda."
Huh? The conference "has always been about debate"? So why not debate Ann Coulter, whom WND instead dumped as a speaker over her scheduled speech to GOProud?
Farah tries to explain:
Anticipating that critics will lob a "hypocrite" label his way, Farah draws a sharp distinction between his decision to disinvite conservative star commentator Ann Coulter from the Taking America Back Conference for addressing GOProud's 'Homocon' event in New York and inviting Barron to the WND conference to debate GOProud's positions.
"Coulter's paid speaking appearance at GOProud's event serves to validate the group's agenda, which as I've written goes far beyond just tearing down and remaking the Judeo-Christian institution of marriage, attacking free speech with hate-crimes laws or integrating open homosexuality in the military," he said. "With so-called 'conservative' superstars embracing GOProud, a faceoff like this becomes an absolute necessity. If Ann Coulter were going to 'Homocon' to debate and expose GOProud, I would have congratulated her."
That still doesn't explain why WND dumped her instead of turning her GOProud speech into a teachable (albeit anti-gay) moment. On the other hand, as we've detailed, the water has now been poisoned between Coulter and Farah to the point where they will never appear in the same place at the same time for the foreseeable future, if ever. (Farah will still run Coulter's column at WND, though, for the traffic it brings in.)
Meanwhile, we're still awaiting our invitation to debate the issues of the day -- well, actually, we'd like to debate WND's brand of journalism -- at this conference. Must've gotten lost in the mail...
WND's Attack on Removed School Filters Sets Off Reisman Topic: WorldNetDaily
A Sept. 3 WorldNetDaily article by Bob Unruh is mostly a rewritten press release, this time from the UK's Christian Institute, about a school system in Scotland that allegedly lifted its Internet filtering so that students could access government health websites regarding sexual health. Unruh makes no apparent attempt to verify anything the Christian Institute stated, nor did he apparently contact the school system for a response. Unruh also whitewashed the Christian Institute by repeating its own description of itself as promoting "the furtherance and promotion of the Christian religion in the United Kingdom" as well as "the advancement of education." The Wikipedia page for the group, meanwhile, describes it a a "fundamentalist Christian" group that is anti-gay.
If you think Unruh's article was full of distortions, wait 'til you see what Judith Reisman did when she got her hands on it.
In a Sept. 4 WND column, Reisman asserts that Unruh's article was about "Scotland's opening up internet pornography to school children at lunch break thanks to the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child, currently un-ratified by the repressed USA." In fact, neither Unruh nor the Christian Institute offer evidence that the school's Internet filters were modified to permit access to any "sexually explicit" site other than the government health sites.
Reisman then goes on a tirade about the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child, offering up her own -- shall we say -- creative interpretations:
"Article 1 (Definition of the child): The Convention defines a 'child' as a person below the age of 18, unless the laws of a particular country set the legal age for adulthood younger …" This deliberately allows any age child to be redefined as adult.
Translation: Countries with legal prostitution or pornography and younger "age of adulthood," can sell legal child prostitution/pornography. "Rights" authors know adulthood may become any age, depending on the age of the partner(s). Spain's age of consent is now 13, pornography legal and prostitution effectively legal.
Article 17 says: "(Access to information; mass media): Children have the right to get information that is important to their health and well-being …"
Much international pornographic and fraudulent Planned Parenthood material masqueraded as sex education and AIDS prevention are said to be good for children's "health and well being." Similarly, "children's books" lie and sexually violate the child reader.
Article 13 is the pornography access act: "The child shall have the right to freedom of expression … [to] receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of the child's choice."
Article 15 gives children of any age "freedom of association and to freedom of peaceful assembly. No restrictions may be placed on the exercise of these rights" if they are legal and don't violate public safety, etc. It is illegal for parents to stop children from bad actions, etc. Billions can be made via these child "protective" articles.
Article 16: allows the lockup for parents who interfere with a pimp for children are protected against "arbitrary or unlawful interference with his or her privacy … honour and reputation."
Article 24 provides "health care" family planning education and services, "abolishing traditional practices prejudicial to the health of children."
Translation: child contraception, venereal vaccination and abortion as child "protections" in international care documents[.]
Reisman added: "So a Scottish pedophile educator organizes access to 'all' media for any age, one to 18. Free 'expression … regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media,' it's a child's choice."
That's right -- Reisman called some Scottish school official (she has no idea who, since Unruh's article did not name any officials) a "pedophile" for allowing students access to sexual health websites.
Ad on WND Calls for 'Civil War' Topic: WorldNetDaily
This interesting ad popped up on WorldNetDaily (via Google ads) over the weekend:
That's right -- it's claiming that "Only A Civil War Will Save America -- But Only If It Comes Soon!"
The ad links to a website promoting a book called "It's Over" by R. Keith Martin, aka Ron Martin. Martin reprints the book's introduction, which includes this:
America is terminal and its demise is not the result of Al Gore’s global warming or Michael Moore’s phantom conspiracies. Neither is it Iran’s nuke(s), Putin’s reconstituted USSR or China rising. It’s an “in house job” by people whose names you have come to know, but really don’t know at all. For the past 100 years or so they have been called liberals, progressives, statists, communists, Nazis, fascists, socialists, leftists and, most recently, Democrats. Regardless of how Webster defines each of these belief systems they all share the same dream: dismantling our 234 year old democratic republic and replacing it with a serfdom ruled by oligarchic elitists. For simplicity, I will combine all nine of these evils into one and simply call it the “Darkside”, as in Star Wars. Unlike the movie, there is no Darth Vader coming after you, and no Luke Skywalker to save you, and sadly, the good guys don’t win in the end.
I am a Yankee who moved to the segregated South in 1958. I saw the court-ordered end of segregation only to see it re-imposed later, not by the process of law, but by the very people who wanted it to end. I argue that the re-introduction of segregation by the black elite is really a control technique to keep the elite in perpetual power, which it has done. My real ultimate destination in bringing you the “Black Imbroglio” is Obama. Were it not for the inculcated guilt of whites, absorbed from a society dripping with it, and the black elitists institutionalizing black dependency, Obama would never have progressed beyond community organizer.
But, Obama did progress, and he is President. If he was just another black liberal pushing welfare programs or other liberal causes like all black politicians I would not have spent the last year cloistered with my computer. Obama is dangerous - crash and burn dangerous. The deeper and deeper I dug into the Obama machine, and the Darkside, the greater I realized just how much trouble America is in. We have simply never faced such an array of problems, or had to depend for our rescue from the precipice, on someone that is pulling the lifeline away from us as we reach for it. What is even more amazing is that is seems that nobody, or at least very few, really believe that we are very near the point of collapse. What Obama is doing routinely on a daily basis, no other President would have even attempted. Bill Clinton came closest to this chronic criminality with the FBI files scandal, White House Travel Office, Vince Foster, and numerous others, but nothing compared to what Obama and the Darkside are doing every day in every part of his administration.
Martin's book has chapter titles such as "Homosexuals," "The Second Reconstruction," "White Racism Is Rare, Black Racism Is Raging," "The Madhi Cometh," "Body Count Thus Far," "The Final Solution," "The Coming Demicide," and, yes, "Why Obama Must Murder You."
There appears to be little about Martin on the Internet; the Southern Poverty Law Center notes that he distributed a flyer that discussed subjects such as “Race-Based Tyranny” and “Our Black Imbroglio.”
The SPLC called such rhetoric "inspired" by the racially charged attacks on Obama by Fox News; we would add that WND arguably had a hand in shaping Martin's Obama-hate worldview.
Shoebat Falsely Claims Rauf Wrote of Judenrein Israel Topic: WorldNetDaily
Walid Shoebat’s September 3 “open letter” to Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, published by WorldNetDaily, is a barely coherent mess of right-wing anti-Islam talking points and unexplained allusions. In the middle of it, Shoebat sticks in this slur:
You have worked tirelessly for peace. All you wanted was: "an icon [Cordoba Mosque]." My mother asked me: On God's green earth, there is no other place you can put a mosque except by the 9/11 rubble? And since we rejected the mosque idea, will the pool at your center allow Jews to swim, or were you kidding when you wrote the N.Y Times that Israel will be Judenrein (free of Jews)?
“Judenrein” was a term used by the Nazis to describe areas from which Jews had been “cleansed.”
Needless to say, Rauf said no such thing -- there’s no evidence Rauf ever used the term “Judenrein,” in The New York Times or anywhere else. Shoebat appears to be referring to a 1977 letter to the Times in which, according to The Wall Street Journal, Rauf wrote: “In a true peace it is impossible that a purely Jewish state of Palestine can endure. . . . In a true peace, Israel will, in our lifetimes, become one more Arab country, with a Jewish minority.” That is clearly not the same thing as Shoebat’s inflammatory accusation that Rauf declared “Israel will be Judenrein.”
Shoebat’s eagerness to smear Rauf seems to come from ignorance of anything he’s written that didn’t come from anti-Islam activists. For instance, Shoebat asks of Rauf, “I would like to know if your American-style Islamic Shariah would include interest banking since our whole capitalistic system depends on it.” If Shoebat had read Rauf’s book What’s Right With Islam, he would have something of an answer. In it, Rauf asserts that America’s political system is already “Shariah-compliant,” suggesting that he has no particular desire to eliminate the nation’s interest banking system. Rauf also wrote that the corporation structure provided the West “great competitive advantages” over Islamic ways of doing business, adding, “Until the Muslim world finds a way to opening embrace these concepts and ideas in a manner consistent with Islamic law, it will continue to lag economically” [page 210].
But Shoebat hasn’t read Rauf’s book. In a different version of the “open letter” posted on his own website on August 27, Shoebat writes, ”I admit that I failed to read your book ‘What’s Right With Islam.’ “
Perhaps Shoebat -- whose self-proclaimed past as a “PLO terrorist” has raised questions -- should get a copy of Rauf’s book and read it quietly until he is able to offer an informed opinion.
WND's Double Dose of Getting A Name Wrong Topic: WorldNetDaily
Remember WorldNetDaily's sad attempt to tie Discovery Channel building gunman James J. Lee's extremist environmental views to Al Gore, despite the fact that 1) Lee also shares WND's view on the undesirability of "anchor babies" and 2) WND's Bob Unruh couldn't get Lee's name correct ("Jason Jay Lee")?
Turns out that was preceded by a column by Brian Sussman -- extensively quoted in Unruh's article -- attempting to make the same connection. And now we know where Unruh's name screw-up came from:
Yesterday, a gun-wielding, bomb-toting, eco-terrorist – who claimed to have been "awakened" by Al Gore's Oscar winning film, "An Inconvenient Truth" – was shot and killed by police after holding several people hostage inside the Discovery Channel headquarters in Maryland.
Sadly, it's not the first incident of someone going berserk after taking in Gore's work.
This time it was Jason Jay Lee.
As I prove in my book, "Climategate," Al Gore's writings, films, slideshows and speeches are filled with deception. And the scam he spews is scary stuff – so scary that many who believe it to be gospel are often compelled to take action. For some the action entails buying a hybrid vehicle they don't need or can't afford. For others, like singer Sheryl Crow, it means using one square of toilet paper at a time – to reduce thy carbon footprint.
For others, like Jason Jay Lee, it resulted in something unthinkable.
Sussman's inability to nail down basic facts like the gunman's name raises red flags about the veracity of Sussman's WND-published book purporting to expose "the global warming scam." And Unruh's copying-and-pasting of Sussman's wrong name for his own article demostrates what a complete hack he has become at WND.