Farah Whines Again About Birther Coverage Topic: WorldNetDaily
Is it time for Joseph Farah to whineabout coverage of the birther movement in news outlets other than his own? Heck, it's always time for that. From Farah's Oct. 1 WorldNetDaily column:
Here's a recent example from the State, a daily in Columbia, S.C.: "The so-called 'birther movement' has questioned the president's citizenship, claiming Obama's birth certificate, issued by the state of Hawaii is a fake."
The paper uses the derisive term "birther movement," the appellation of choice by those who ridicule the curious constitutionalists. The paper suggests the focus of this movement representing 58 percent of the American people, according to the latest CNN poll, is "citizenship," when it is actually "natural born citizenship." The paper suggests a birth certificate has been produced by the state of Hawaii when it hasn't been. And the paper suggests the primary dispute is over whether this unseen document is a fake.
This is but one of hundreds of examples of this kind of distorted press coverage by news agencies big and small all making assertions that are untrue and contemptuous.
This pattern raises two questions in my mind:
Why don't any of these news sources – newspapers, wire services and television networks – bother to talk to anyone from this "movement"?
From where do they get their information, their impressions, their "facts"?
I have practiced the profession of journalism for 35 years. I've never done anything else since becoming an adult. I have literally done everything you can do in the world of daily journalism, from reporting to running major market newspapers. It was always my impression that we were supposed to interview the people we wrote about. But, in the case of the so-called "birthers," or, as I like to put it, the "curious constitutionalists," it seems to be fair game to stereotype their beliefs with broad brush treatment and, most importantly, never to talk to them.
Farah, as always, is being disingenuous. He knows darn well that one significant component of the birther movement is citizenship; it's only been in recent months that he has changed the focus of his jihad from citizenship to "eligibility."Even Farah isn't so stupid to claim WND has never questioned Obama's citizenship and the authenticity of the birth certificate the Obama campaign released, because it has.
Farah's complaint that birthers like him are never contacted for media interviews is also disingenuous. It's not like anyone is barred from reading WND's articles on the issue -- it even conveniently puts them into one place. Plus, telling both sides of the story is not exactly a journalistic virtue WND is known for.
Nevertheless, Farah trudges on:
One mischaracterization leads to another. One factual error leads to another. One derisive term leads to another.
This is actually counterfeit journalism – with each new story on a subject deriving its assertions of "fact" from another.
Farah and WND know all about publishing factual errors, don't they?
CNSNews.com's obsession with body counts of U.S. troops in Afghanistan continues with a Sept. 30 article by Edwin Mora touting how "September 2010 has been the deadliest September yet for U.S. troops in the 9-year-long war in Afghanistan as U.S. troops continued to be killed at a pace of slightly higher than one a day during the Obama presidency."
Mora carefully avoids any mention of the U.S. death toll in Iraq, which dwarfs the current Iraq numbers. The 38 total casualties he tallies in September is less than one-third of the casualties in the deadliest months of the war in Iraq.
And yes, we're still pretty sure that CNS did not have this same body-count obsession when a Republican was president and the main operation was in Iraq.
NewsBusters Keeps Up Defense of Fox News Topic: NewsBusters
The Media Research Center's last round of defending Fox News was over its corporate parent's $1 million donation to the Republican Governors Association. That line of non-reasoning continues in an Oct. 1 NewsBusters post by Lachlan Markay, who insists that "News Corp's political activities have no demonstrable effect on the company's news subsidiaries - no one has been able to point to any instance of such interplay."
Markay also misses the point by pretending to be shocked that Rep. Maxine Waters, given News Corp. chairman Rupert Murdoch's support for "comprehensive immigration reform (i.e. amnesty)," "is suggesting that Murdoch discard any appearance of separation between News Corp's political preferences and its media activities, and begin promoting a political cause not only through the activities of the parent company, but by pushing that cause under the guise of news at News Corp's media holdings." After all, that's what Fox News already does, as reflected by its RGA donation and a subsequent $1 million donation to the Republican-supporting U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
Markay harrumphs: "Liberals are just fine if Fox pushes its corporate parent's political leanings, so long as those leanings are to the left. They should drop the pretense of concern for the neutrality of News Corp's reporting operations and admit it: their objections are nakedly partisan." When will Markay admit that Fox News is nakedly partisan.
An Oct. 2 post by Jeff Poor touts how Charles Krauthammer "takes on" a talk-show panel over Fox News, weirdly claiming that the undisputable fact that Fox news is "a political outlet for Republicans" is nothing more than a "left-wing meme." Poor also whines that the panelists on the show were "ganging up on the lone conservative and often attacking the Fox News Channel or other conservative media outlets like talk radio."
Newsmax Tosses Softballs to D'Souza Topic: Newsmax
An Oct. 1 Newsmax article by David Patten carries the headline 'Author D'Souza Rebuts Critics of His Obama 'Roots' Book." In fact, Dinesh D'Souza does no such rebutting -- he merely rehashes his silly theory that President Obama is motivated by anti-colonialism.
In the accompanying video, interviewer Patten makes no effort to bring up the numerous questions of accuracy that have been raised about D'Souza's book "The Roots of Obama's Rage"; he merely tosses softballs that let D'Souza prattle on about his theory.
Patten even cues up false information, at one point claiming that "almost the first thing" Obama did upon taking office was remove a bust of Winston Churchill from the Oval Office, which allowed D’Souza to spew his fantasy that Obama returned the bust as revenge for his paternal grandfather being tortured by British soldiers during the Mau Mau Uprising in Kenya in the 1950s. This completely ignores the fact that Obama had nothing to do with its return -- it was already scheduled to return to Britain at the end of the Bush administration.
As we've already detailed, Patten is a lousy reporter who is interested only in peddling conservative talking points, so it's no surprise that he would give D'Souza the softball treatment. The sad thing is that Newsmax apparently thinks it can build a journalism brand on such sycophancy.
WND Gives O'Keefe Benefit of the Doubt Topic: WorldNetDaily
Pretty much nobody is supporting James O'Keefe in the wake of his weird, creepy attempted stunt against CNN -- even the Media Research Center was quick to bail on him -- but leave it to WorldNetDaily to give him the benefit of the doubt.
A day after the MRC's abandonment, a Sept. 30 WND article parroted O'Keefe's defense, that he found "highly objectionable and inappropriate" the "work product" of his organization, Project Veritas, that would have had him set up a "pleasure palace" on a boat, where he would try to seduce a female CNN producer.
This came a couple days after WND was touting a CNN documentary on O'Keefe and other right-wing filmmakers. WND described one, Ryan Sorba, as someone who "reveals the truth about the homosexual lifestyle"; if expressing unbridled hatred for gays equals "revealing the truth about the homosexual lifestyle" in WND's eyes, then there's something wrong with WND's definition of journalism, as its willingness to soft-pedal O'Keefe's transgressions demonstrates.
Heck, even O'Keefe's patron, Andrew Breitbart, has (belatedly) turned his back on him, saying O'Keefe owes an explanation for the stunt to his supporters.
Will WND demand an explanation too, or will it continue to blindly defend him?
A Sept. 30 WND column by Franklin Raff gives it a shot by defending the honor not only of the Confederate battle flag but the Ole Miss antebellum mascot Colonel Reb as legitimate symbols as "sacred and most benign symbols of Southern heritage" that are being abandoned by Southerners who "admit a deeper commitment to ignore and let others define, their past."
Raff feels he needs to gloss over the whole slavery thing:
All Americans understand that scores of Union soldiers fought proudly and honorably "to free the slaves," but now Southerners seem to have started to believe, en masse, that their Confederate ancestors raised their battle flag "to defend the institution of slavery." In fact only a miniscule percentage – I have seen estimates lower than 2 percent – of Confederate soldiers were members of slave-owning families, lived or worked on plantations, or were otherwise part of the "antebellum" life painted by Hollywood. Anyone who knows their history knows exactly what most Confederate officers would have told you in the field: "We have no desire for conquest and, as clearly stated by our political leaders, every wish for national reconciliation. The Confederate battle flag represents the fighting spirit of the citizens of these states who are proudly and patriotically rebelling against a central government which has become tyrannical."
Raff complains further how Southerners are running away from their own heritage:
The long, arduous road toward national reconciliation and equal rights need never have included cultural annihilation: historical, symbolic or otherwise. Yet that is what Southerners face today, and it is their own fault.
By failing to educate their children, or by allowing others to mis-educate their children, and as evidenced by their willingness to repeatedly allow the definition of their cultural symbols – from the Confederate battle flag down to a bow-tied, fancified Southern colonel in a funny suit – as symbols of "hate," they are ultimately, finally, characterizing their forebears – soldiers, yes, along with doctors, lawyers, philosophers, scientists, and farmers, free blacks (including slave-owners), businessmen and politicians (many of whom were abolitionists) – universally, as the simple, hateful hicks federal propagandists once made them out to be.
Raff concludes by claiming the ancestors of modern-day Southerners will confront them and whine much like he is about how they have "willingly disgraced not just this cause – which might have been understandable given the terrible complexity of the time – but you have also disgraced almost every vestige of our memory, corrupting even the flags on our graves."
Raff's end-of-column tagline curiously describes him only as "a Virginian" who "lives in Mount Vernon, Va., and Jerusalem, Israel." In fact, Raff is the producer of convicted felon and domestic terrorist G. Gordon Liddy's radio show (where WND editor Joseph Farah occasionallyserves as a guest host) and runs a radio marketing and production operation.
CMI Now Upset That TV Shows Contain Gay Characters Topic: Media Research Center
The MRC's Culture & Media Institute is seriously offended by the mere existence of gay characters in fiction.
Earlier this week, we noted how CMI was annoyed that books contained gay characters. This was followed up with a Sept. 29 article by Krista West making the same complaint about television, apparently disturbed by GLAAD's noting that a mere 3.9 percent of characters on scripted TV shows are gay.
That's apparently 3.9 percent too many for West, who immediately howled about the "gay agenda" and portray that paltry number of gay characters as an attempt by Hollywood to "force widespread homosexual acceptance." West added, "It sounds more like the pro-gay voice in Hollywood is simply getting louder."
It sounds like the anti-gay voice of the MRC is trying to get louder as well.
UPDATE: WorldNetDaily also reports on this, and reporter Brian Fitzpatrick quotes only anti-gay activists in response. Fitzpatrick qutoes Robert Knight saying that if "a Martian sat down and watched TV for a week during this new season, he would conclude that ... a large segment of the population is homosexual," which runs counter to the paltry 3.9 percent of characters that are.
WND's Mercer Nostalgic for Racist Immigration Policy Topic: WorldNetDaily
In her Oct. 1 WorldNetDaily column, Ilana Mercer waxes nostalgic for the days when only white Europeans were allowed to immigrate to the United States:
What Americans ought to be discussing, and are not, is mass immigration (which subsumes illegal immigration) and, in particular, the radical transforming of America through state-engineered immigration policies.
Since the 1965 amendments to the Immigration and Nationality Act took effect – with no real debate or voter participation – immigration to the U.S. has been predicated on a multicultural, egalitarian quota system. The result of this system in practice has been an emphasis on mass importation of people from the Third World. Family reunification supersedes America's economic or cultural interests.
At the time, Congress was more circumspect about the pitfalls of this plan than it is today. Members of the Senate openly conceded in their debates that America had a distinct and undeniable identity, which previous immigration – being mostly from the traditional northern and western European sources – had not altered. The representatives promised (falsely) that the radical new amendments would generally preserve the country's historical and cultural complexion.
So eager was one senator to pass the act – which was to herald the age of mass, indiscriminate immigration – that he vowed: "[O]ur cities will not be flooded with millions of immigrants annually … under the proposed bill, the present level of immigration [will remain] substantially the same," and "the ethnic mix of this country will not be upset." These pre-PC assurances came not from a "nativist" or a member of the Know-Nothing Party, but from no other than then-Immigration Subcommittee Chairman Edward Kennedy.
This was all before it became taboo to discuss openly, as the late senator did on that occasion, the reshaping of America by means of central planning. (Such discussion is now regularly squelched with accusations of racism or via totemic, robotic incantations of "We are a multicultural nation of immigrants.")
In 1965, when Edward Kennedy was promoting his "vision" for America, he candidly acknowledged that (for better or for worse) the country had not always been a mess of multicultural pottage, and that an adventurous immigration policy had the potential to render the place unrecognizable.
The 1965 act has produced a torrential influx of immigrants. Every qualified immigrant holds an entry ticket for his extended family.
Mercer doesn't acknowledge that the immigration policy before 1965 was largely driven by racism and eugenics.
Less than two years into Barack Obama's presidency, America is on fire.
In November 2008, more than half of American voters were hypnotized by this mysterious, messianic figure on whom they pinned all their hopes and dreams. But since then, many have gradually realized their shining savior was really an incompetent, deceptive, pathologically narcissistic man entranced by an evil ideology that has left a trail of unprecedented misery and death for 100 years.
"Change" has indeed come to America, but not the kind most people had "hoped" for.
Moreover, as the stunning October issue of Whistleblower magazine – titled "FUTURE SHOCK" – proves beyond doubt, things are about to become immeasurably worse if Obama's maniacal leftist juggernaut isn't immediately halted and reversed.
-- Sept. 30 WorldNetDaily promotion for latest edition of WND's Whistleblower magazine.
A Sept. 30 CNSNews.com article by Edwin Mora asserts that News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch "supports amnesty for 'law abiding' illegal immigrants." But Mora never quotes Murdoch using the word "amnesty."
In fact, Murdoch said he supports "a path to citizenship for responsible, law-abiding immigrants" that includes "requiring unauthorized immigrants to register, undergo a security check, pay taxes and learn English." That, by definition, is not "amnesty," which CNS has previously defined as a term used only by "critics" and "opponents" of comprehensive immigration reform.
Because CNS is itself an opponent of immigration reform, it is falsely conflating any proposed reform with "amnesty."
UPDATE: The false claim spreads elsewhere in the MRC empire, as NewsBusters' Lachlan Markay claims that Murdoch testified "in support of amnesty for illegal immigrants."
A Sept. 30 NewsBusters post by Lachlan Markay highlights a Weekly Standard item claiming that a Time/CNN poll on the California Senate race showing Democrat Barbara Boxer with a large lead over Republican Carly Fiorina oversampled Democrats. The Weekly Standard recalculated the numbers through "turnout numbers from the past three election cycles" to reach that conclusion. The Standard concluded: "The only way to get a nine-point Democratic lead is to sample a more Democratic electorate than even 2008."
Neither Markay nor the Standard seem to have contemplated the possibility that the percentage of Democrats in California has been increasing. As the Public Policy Institute of California notes, the percentage of Democrats in the California electorate has increase by three points since 2006, and the percentage of Republicans has decreased by 3.5 points.
The MRC haslongquibbledover purported poll bias through oversampling of Democrats, even when the electorate being sample includes more Democrats.
The Horowitz Cult of Personality Strikes Again Topic: Horowitz
As yet anotherreminder that NewsReal is, at its core, designed to cultivate and maintain a cult of personality around David Horowitz, we bring you a Sept. 20 post by Donald Douglas, who gets into a comment-thread slapfight with a blogger who committed the impeachable offense of criticizing Horowitz.
After the blogger also took issue with Douglas' use of the “the freakish nihilism of the radical left” in praising one of Horowitz's books, Douglas responded:
Two things of interest right away: (1) The complete dismissal of David Horowitz’s ideals as sheer lunacy, and (2) the rejection of my use of the phrase “freakish nihilism” to describe the ideological agenda of the left. There’s a word for this: Anti-intellectualism. And that stance marinates in a devilish sauce of hard left-wing hubris and deceit. It’s further soaked in hatred, for to hate one’s enemies is to categorize them as beyond the pale of reason and civilization.
Perhaps there’s some psychology at work for Brendan. Someone as esteemed as David Horowitz, who lived through — in direct participation — all the cultural revolts of the last couple of generations, is ridiculed as a crazed milk crate screamer? Brendan certainly thinks he’s got it all figured out. But I doubt he’s actually read the book in question, Horowitz’s The Politics of Bad Faith.
After the blogger responds back that Douglas' sole argument this far is "Let’s talk about David Horowitz and how great he is!" Douglas takes further umbrage:
And so, David Horowitz, and myself, apparently, are out standing on a corner, on milk boxes, raving like alleged lunatics? This is what Brendan calls debate. As I said, concepts are in play here. Ideas have consequences. Why is it that Democrats utter nary a peep when declared Stalinist ideologues wind up gaining access to the top levels of the Obama administration? These same folks, including many Democrats in Congress — including dozens who have open affiliations with the Democratic Socialist Party of America — call for and implement a Castro-style healthcare regime in the U.S. Of course, these people blow off the mass murder and desolation of the such communist thugs.
The blogger then complains that Douglas has no interest in anything other than "howling how everything Left is irredeemably evil," Douglas goes off on a logic-free tangent:
What you see here is the notion that leftist ideology is UNCHALLENGEABLE. There’s nothing that can penetrate the hard-shell of neo-communist ideology. Anyone with a different idea is literally a “Flat Earther.”
Truly amazing. Meanwhile, these people and their grand schemes for a nationalization of the U.S. health delivery system under ObamaCare socialism are running for the hills. It’s not working. Costs are not going down. Firms are responding by not hiring, precisely at the same time that unemployment keeps rising. It’s statism that’s failing, and the idea that state planning — THE CENTRAL COMPONENT OF ALL SOCIALIST IDEOLOGY — is proving just one more disaster rammed down American throats by the mandarins of the Democrat-Socialist Party in Washington.
I don’t know how old Brendan is. He is idealistic. Perhaps the real world will intrude sometime in his life, and he’ll learn to appreciate an actual argument for what it is an not the twisting evasion of some wingnut hokus pokus.
Douglas concludes by quoting the Scriptures -- er, David Horowitz. Just like a True Believer.
WND Scaremongers About Gardasil Topic: WorldNetDaily
A Sept. 28 WorldNetDaily article by Bob Unruh uncriticially repeats claims by right-wing group Judicial Watch regarding deaths purportedly linked to the vaccine Gardasil, which aims to guard against a form of cervical cancer.
Unruh failed to report that, according to the Centers for Disease Control, no direct link has ever been established between Gardasil and patient deaths:
As of May 31, 2010, there have been 53 U.S. reports of death among females who have received Gardasil. Twenty nine of these reports have been confirmed and 24 remain unconfirmed due to no identifiable patient information in the report such as a name and contact information to confirm the report. Confirmed reports are those that scientists have followed up on and have verified the claim. In the 29 reports confirmed, there was no unusual pattern or clustering to the deaths that would suggest that they were caused by the vaccine.
Since he's slavishly cribbing from a Judicial Watch press release, Unruh also fails to offer any context to the purported death link. One study claims that serious adverse events linked to Gardasil occur at a rate of 3.4 per 100,000 doses; by contrast, gastrointestinal bleeding in children taking ibuprofen occurs at a rate of 17 per 100,000 doses.
CNS' Latest Gotcha Interview of Holdren Fizzles Topic: CNSNews.com
A couple weeks back, CNSNews.com's Nicholas Ballasy played gotcha with right-wing target John Holdren, plucking a line from a book he wrote 30 years ago and asking him to comment on it. Ballasy apparently thought that went so well he gave it another shot. Unfortunately for Ballasy and his right-wing agenda, Holdren didn't feel like indulging him. From Ballasy's Sept. 30 CNS article:
John P. Holdren, director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, said “have a nice day” and otherwise declined to comment on Tuesday when asked about a statement he made that worldwide redistribution of wealth is “absolutely essential” in order to provide all human beings with a decent life.
“Redistribution of wealth both within and among nations is absolutely essential, if a decent life is to be provided for every human being,” Holdren wrote along with Paul and Anne Ehrlich in the final chapter of Human Ecology, a book the three co-authored in 1973. Paul Ehrlich is also author of the famous 1968 bestseller, The Population Bomb. Holdren, President Obama’s top science adviser, advises the administration on issues that include health care and climate change.
CNSNews.com approached Holdren to ask him about his statement on redistributing wealth after he gave a speech on “Science, Technology, and Sustainable Economic Growth” at the Woodrow Wilson Center in the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington, D.C.
When CNSNews.com started asking Holdren about the statement, he said, “I’m not talking to you. Bye bye. Have a nice day.”
CNSNews.com said: “You said in your book Human Ecology, quote, ‘Redistribution of wealth both within and among nations is absolutely essential, if a decent life is to be provided for every human being.’”
“I hope you have a really nice day,” Holdren said as he boarded an elevator, declining further comment.
Ballasy is clearly so unashamed to be a right-wing activist pretending to be a journalist that he seems to think he's not the one who looks bad when his target won't take his bait -- so much so that he devotes an entire story to his failure.