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Monday, October 25, 2010
Caruba Ignores the Obvious

Alan Caruba writes in his Oct. 25 column:

Big Government kept getting bigger as agencies such as the Security Exchange Commission increased its budget by twenty percent to $1.2 billion, more than triple its size in 2000. It is expected to increase by more than one thousand people to about 4,700 regulators, a 36% increase from 2007.

This is the same SEC that failed to spot Bernie Madoff’s $50-billion Ponzi scheme and which failed to do anything about the “toxic assets” that led to the government bailout of banks, investment firms, and AIG, an insurance company.

Did Caruba not consider the possibility that the reason the SEC is expanding is in order to address deficiencies that kept it from adequately recognizing the Madoff scandal, et al?

One can only marvel at folks like Obama who are so caught up in their hatred that they overlook the obvious.

Posted by Terry K. at 7:28 PM EDT
WND's Evidence-Free War on Kinsey
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Over the past week, WorldNetDaily launched its latest salvo against long-dead sex researcher Alfred Kinsey, this time promoting a claim by a woman who says Kinsey paid her father "to rape her and then report to him on the attacks." But the story lacks evidence to support it, and reporter Brian Fitzpatrick makes no effort to contact the Kinsey Institute for a response.

In one interview transcript, the woman, using the psuedonym "Esther White," makes the allegation based on childhood memories. The woman's statements are littered with qualifiers (emphasis added):

  • "I think that's when they made the deal to use the information they got before for Kinsey's second book, the one about women."
  • "I think the Kinsey people at IU talked my grandfather into getting involved."
  • "He realized he had been duped by Kinsey, I think."
  • "They had to do the charting first, then they got paid for it. The check was probably $6,000."

There's no mention by Fitzpatrick of any evidence that would substantiate the woman's claims; Fitzpatrick and WND are merely taking the woman at her word.

Fitzpatrick's lack of curiosity goes further: At no point in any of the several articles he wrote in his series of attacks does he even bother to contact the Kinsey Institute for a response. Instead, he repeats previous claims by the institute that Kinsey "did not carry out experiments on children; he did not hire, collaborate, or persuade people to carry out experiments on children." Fitzpatrick did, however, find time to contact numerous Kinsey critics to further the anti-Kinsey attacks.

Nevertheless, WND's Joseph Farah chimes in to portray the woman's unsubstantiated claims as "fully documented" -- even though not a shred of documentation has been presented.

All of this, of course, is in the service of trying to sell you something -- in this case, Judith Reisman's latest, WND-published anti-Kinsey screed. As we've previously detailed, Reisman has largely been discredited due to her own hateful obssession with Kinsey being put before sound research.

A real reporter would have noted Reisman's credibility problems, and also would have demanded actual evidence from the woman concerning the Kinsey link to her alleged molestation. But Fitzpatrick is not a real reporter.

But since WND is not a real news organization, he fits in perfectly.

UPDATE: Actually, WND's being even more dishonest than usual. Contrary to its portrayal of the "Esther White" story as something new, Reisman wrote in her 2003 book "Kinsey: Crimes and Consequences" that she interviewed White in 1997, and that she hadtold her story in a British documentary, "Kinsey's Paedophiles," that Fitzpatrick identified as airing in 1998.

The only thing new that WND adds to the story is Fitzpatrick's own presumably recent interview with "White." 

Like WND, Reisman indicates no substantive documentation to support the charges made by "White," only a "sworn statement" that she offered no further details about.

(Thanks to alert ConWebWatch reader L.C. for the tip.)

Posted by Terry K. at 2:17 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, October 25, 2010 9:08 PM EDT
Patten's Unsubstantiated Attack on Dems
Topic: Newsmax

An Oct. 24 Newsmax article by serial misleader David Patten carries the headline, "2010: Democrats Set Records for Dirtiest Election Ever." Too bad that Patten doesn't actually prove this and conducts no emperical analysis to demonstrate any "records" were set.

Patten references the "extraordinarily negative tone that political campaigns are striking this year," adding:

Faced with an angry electorate and a poisonous anti-incumbent zeitgeist, many Democratic incumbents feel they have no choice but to launch personal attacks against their opponents.

While Republicans have been taking aim at Democrats voting record, including their backing a $787 billion stimulus that failed to produce the promised jobs and a $500 billion cut to Medicare for Seniors, Democrats have gotten mean with ad hominen [sic] attacks.

But Patten never offers anything beyond cherry-picked anecdotal evidence to support his claim. None of the people he quotes specifically make the claim that Democratic candidates have been more negative than Republicans.

Patten concludes:

The worst-ad award may go to a group called Latinos for Reform. It targets Hispanics in Nevada, complaining of Democrats' broken promises. But the ad urges Hispanics in both English and Spanish to stay home on Election Day. "Don't vote this November. This is the only way to send them a clear message: You can no longer take us for granted. Don't vote." Hispanic organizations are blasting the ad as a blatant attempt at voter suppression.

But the man behind Latinos for Reform is a Republican activist. Doesn't that pretty much undermine Patten's entire premise?.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:06 PM EDT
Shocker: WND Debunks False Claim About Obama
Topic: WorldNetDaily

It's ultimately self-serving, but WorldNetDaily did something extrordinary last week: it debunked a false claim about President Obama. From an Oct. 21 WND article:

A video by the Republican National Trust has falsely accused President Obama of accepting campaign contributions from the Hamas terrorist organization.

In a blast e-mail, the GOP Trust, an ally of the website, has touted a newly released, 25-minute video as capable of "chang[ing] this election and catapult[ing] Conservatives into Congress if enough voters see it before Election Day."

"Our film is the ONLY strategy for Conservatives that NATIONALIZES this election," continued the GOP Trust e-mail.

The GOP Trust e-mail went on to spell "aggressive" wrong: "THIS IS THE MOST AGREESIVE ELECTION STRATEGY EVER LAUNCHED."

The entire film is based on news stories that have already been reported, with some of the stories first breaking at WND. Many of the stories have received wide attention on talk radio and the Fox News Channel.

The video accuses Obama of taking money from Hamas.

"During his presidential election," begins the narrator, "he wound up with a record shattering $750 million in his campaign. To this day, he refuses to report from whence it came. One reason might be that some of it comes from Hamas, which also endorsed Obama for president."

Hamas, however, has never been accused of funding Obama's presidential campaign.

The ad apparently confused a different report – that Palestinian brothers inside the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip illegally contributed to Obama's campaign.

So not only does WND get to tweak a competitor in linking GOP Trust to Newsmax, the article goes on to rehash its own out-of-date reporting. Then, because the GOP Trust ad referenced "the radicalism of some of Obama's 'czars,'" the article goes on to take credit for Anita Dunn leaving the the White House because she "stepped down immediately after WND released a video of her boasting how Obama's presidential campaign 'controlled' the media."

As we've previously detailed, Politico reported months before WND focused on Dunn that she was filling her White House job on an interim basis. And WND's framing of the quote is false as well -- Dunn is talking about efforts by political campaigns to manage media coverage of their candidate, which every political campaign of any size tries to do. There's nothing remotely surprising about that at all.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:43 AM EDT
Bozell Takes the Taliban Approach to Art
Topic: Media Research Center

Brent Bozell writes in his Oct. 22 column:

But what makes this story different is that Kathleen Folden, bless her heart, entered the gallery, broke into the artwork with a crowbar and ripped it to pieces. She didn’t really destroy the art, since it was one of several prints, but she did express a rebuttal of sorts to the constant artistic besmirching of Jesus. Someone offended back.

But as Oliver Willis points out, that's pretty much what the Taliban did to art it didn't like:

In Afghanistan recently, supreme Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar issued an edict against un-Islamic graven images, which means all idolatrous images of humans and animals. As a result, the Taliban are destroying all ancient sculptures. Explosives, tanks, and anti-aircraft weapons blew apart two colossal images of the Buddha in Bamiyan Province, 230 kilometers (150 miles) from the capital of Kabul.

Way to side with our enemies, Brent.

UPDATE: Sadly, No! gets into a Twitter fight with the MRC's Tim Graham over Bozell's column.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:39 AM EDT
Updated: Monday, October 25, 2010 7:37 PM EDT
Sunday, October 24, 2010
Portraits of (Right-Wing) Success
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily's latest book is something of a vanity project, written by a WND columnist and profiling people like WND editor Joseph Farah.

WND enlisted the notoriously hateful and fact-averse Burt Prelutsky to write "Profiles of Success," in which Prelutsky interviews "writers, actors, athletes, politicians, entrepreneurs, developers, directors, musicians, evens an animal therapist" about how they "successfully pursued their dreams."

The list of interviewees, however, appears to fall into two main categories: Right-wingers, and friends and acquaintances of Burt Prelutsky. Farah is joined on the right-wing side by the likes of Newt Gingrich, Ralph Peters, Jesse Lee Peterson, Michele Bachmann and Andrew Breitbart. Many of the celebrities he picks are also right-leaning, such as Pat Boone, James Woods, Curt Schilling and Orson Bean (who also happens to be Breitbart's father-in-law).

There's not an obvious liberal to be found -- which was probably the point.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:08 PM EDT
AIM's Kincaid: Palin "Had Every Right To Question" Manhood of Writer
Topic: Accuracy in Media

Cliff Kincaid writes in the "Cliff's Notes" section of the Oct. 22 Accuracy in Media "AIM Report" that the writer who did a profile of Sarah Palin for Vanity Fair is "not a man in the traditional sense" because he's gay, and thus "
Palin had every right to question his manhood":

Ruth Marcus of The Washington Post accused Sarah Palin of offending homosexuals when she remarked that the author of a Vanity Fair hatchet job about her was “impotent and limp and gutless.” Marcus wrote, “The Vanity Fair writer, Michael Joseph Gross, is gay, which makes matters worse —conjuring the stereotype of ‘limp-wristed.’ But whatever the sexual orientation of the offending reporter, Palin should not have been questioning his manhood.”

Palin had every right to question his manhood, since he is not a man in the traditional sense and wrote a cowardly piece. But her remarks were probably directed at his “journalism,” which Marcus admits was sloppy and full of unverifiable and anonymous quotes. Nevertheless, Gross was on the CBS News “The Early Show” with his “revelations.” Host Erica Hill, who substitutes for Katie Couric on the CBS Evening News, called the article “fascinating.”

Marcus was more concerned with Palin’s response to the shoddy article than with the fact that it was written by a homosexual journalist with an axe to grind. Palin has long opposed gay marriage, which makes her an obvious target for homosexuals like Gross.

The Marcus criticism of Palin shows how “sensitive” the Post has become on matters involving homosexuality. The paper does not tolerate any criticism of the homosexual lifestyle. It has been a cheerleader for gay rights for years and was one of the first newspapers to run announcements of gay “unions” as if they were marriages. It is sad that this once mighty newspaper has degenerated into a mouthpiece for the homosexual movement.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:16 PM EDT
NewsBusters Shocked-By-The-Unshocking Watch
Topic: NewsBusters

Usually it's Noel Sheppard who's shocked by the unshocking. Now, his fellow NewsBusters mate Tim Graham tries to horn in on the action with an Oct. 20 post headlined "Shocking: Maria Shriver's Daughter Excited Over Jon Stewart-Stephen Colbert Rally."

Even if Graham meant this sarcastically -- Graham went on that this admission "must thrill liberal hearts, who want something (anything) that fires up liberal young people" -- so what? Why attack Maria Shriver's daughter? What did she ever do to Graham beyond committing the apparent sin of liking Jon Stewart and being the daughter of someone he despises?

And conservatives complain about liberals engaging in personal attacks.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:29 AM EDT
Saturday, October 23, 2010
WND, Newsmax Spin Conspiracy Over Williams Firing
Topic: Newsmax

NPR's firing of Juan Williams has kicked the ConWeb into baseless conspiracy-mongering over whether it was done on the orders of George Soros, who recently made a sizable donation to NPR.

In an Oct. 21 Newsmax article, headlined "A Soros Connection to Juan Williams Firing?" Jim Meyers claimed Williams' firing "has raised speculation that liberal NPR patron George Soros may have influenced the media organization’s decision to ax Williams on Wednesday." But Meyers cites nobody speculating that.

The conspiracy-happy Joseph Farah at WorldNetDaily, meanwhile, had no problem being more explicit: "This is a very big deal and suggests a totalitarian mindset is very much in control of NPR – not surprising given the additional support it receives from George Soros."

Farah goes on to falsely claim that "NPR concedes Williams was fired only for this comment." In fact, as the Washington Post reported, "NPR said it fired commentator Juan Williams because of a pattern of commentaries that violated the news organization's guidelines, and not solely because of Williams's statements about Muslims and terrorism on a Fox News program." The Post adds: "NPR officials say they have repeatedly told Williams that some of his statements on Fox violate NPR's ground rules for its news analysts. The rules ban NPR analysts from making speculative statements or rendering opinions on TV that would be deemed unacceptable if uttered on an NPR program."

He also calls NPR a "government media source" that is "state-sponsored, taxpayer-supported media propaganda" without offering any evidence of such "propaganda."

Posted by Terry K. at 11:54 AM EDT
Klayman's Race Card: Obama Rules 'His People,' Not White People
Topic: WorldNetDaily

There's garden-variety Obama derangement at WorldNetDaily, and then there's Slantie-level Obama derangement. Larry Klayman brings the latter by playing the race card in his Oct. 22 WND column:

But in the last two years, this pride has turned to deep-seated resentment and horror – as we have witnessed Obama seemingly favoring his own race and true religious allegiance over whites, Christians and Jews. On the eve of the congressional elections of 2010, when most experts predict that Obama's Democrats will lose control of at least the U.S. House of Representatives, it has become increasingly clear to not only tea partiers, but also most of the white Judeo-Christian electorate, that President Obama is not a ruler for all of the people, but rather "his people."


Suffice it to say that the majority of white Christians and Jews no longer see Obama as the president of "We the People" but instead "his" people. And, while the Republican Party may rejoice at this given its prospects in the upcoming congressional elections, there is no reason to be pleased for the country. For President Obama has not united the races and religions, but instead divided and pitted them against each other. The level of hostility one sees "in the streets," with a reverse backlash against blacks and Muslims, is frightening and potentially explosive.

When the leader of the United States ceases to be the ruler of all the people, but only a select few, the nation stands even more – particularly during a severe continuing economic depression – on the precipice of chaos, rebellion and ultimately revolution.

President Obama, even though you – given your dismal record of governance – may be our president for only another two and one half years, I implore you, as a white Christian and Jew, to be the leader of all of us.

Klayman is projecting. He's the one who's injecting race into things by insisting that Obama rules only "his people."

Posted by Terry K. at 12:38 AM EDT
Updated: Saturday, October 23, 2010 12:46 AM EDT
Friday, October 22, 2010
MRC's Poor Upset That Newspaper Covers Local News
Topic: Media Research Center

The MRC's Jeff Poor has issued this tweet: "Really Washington Post? You dedicate 1/3 of your Metro frontpage to Prince Georges Co. getting a Wegman's grocery?"

Well, gosh, we wouldn't want a newspaper to report on anything happening in its readership area, would we? Especially the creation of 650 jobs in a down economy by a retailer with cachet in an area of the Washington region that has traditionally not attracted such retailers? Nah, that's not worth front-page coverage at all.

Wait -- doesn't Poor work for the MRC's Business & Media Institute, which you'd think would be excited about positive economic news in the newspaper? He sure does. Now we remember: Poor and Co. are not interested in positive economic news if the president is a Democrat.

Posted by Terry K. at 7:03 PM EDT
Teacher Derangement Syndrome Watch
Topic: WorldNetDaily

The last thing the left always destroys is trust. No better example of this has surfaced in recent days than the Cincinnati teacher who bussed his students to the polling place – after showing them only a Democratic sample ballot. "Oh – and ice cream for all after we vote (Democrat)."

At one time, parents could have trusted the integrity of most any teacher. Today, one wonders if teachers have any integrity to trust. Illicit sex-ed classes, illicit abortions, illicit sex with students, political indoctrination, historical revisionism, enviro-pseudo science that makes a mockery of the scientific method and the putrid undercurrent of statist dependency at every turn. Oh – and now forced voting. Welcome to "education" in the Democrats' brave new world.

Teachers, not so long ago, did it "for the children." It was a personally rewarding, intellectually fulfilling and modestly paying job – with a nice, long vacation (during which many teachers worked at summer jobs, because they wanted the extra money).

Today, teaching is a dangerous, thankless job. Classrooms are infested with political and anti-religious ideologues, union seniority rules and burned-out careerists. The most disruptive and violent inmates (students) now run the asylum (school) – courtesy of the leftist fools teachers unions have elected to local, state and federal office. Teachers and administrators endure it because of the money, benefits and retirement. In other words, the system is filled with people there for all the wrong reasons – like the teacher who lacked the integrity to separate his own political views from the civics lesson he was trying to teach – a failure who will ultimately go far, if his Marxist palls are re-elected.

The left is all about rhetoric. Fine-sounding words, strung together in a clever turn of phrase – always with the iron heel of the state ready to descend on your throat, should you be so "uneducated" as to disagree with the policies of statist enslavement. "Do it for the children" has become "do it to the children," provided it will advance the communist agenda.

-- Craige McMillan, Oct. 21 WorldNetDaily column

Posted by Terry K. at 2:22 PM EDT
CNS Finally Does Article About MRC Protest

How proud can the Media Research Center be of its hastily organized little protest in New York if its own news service takes three days to write up a story about it?

An Oct. 20 CNS article by Michael Chapman claims that "about 175 people attended the protest" three days earlier, but he offers no description of how he arrived at that estimate. He portrays the protest being led by TeaParty365 and the MRC was merely "invited to participate," even though he adds that the protesters "carried MRC signs addressed to the New York Times and NBC."

As opposed to the mysterious disappearing video of the protest posted and then deleted from the MRC's video site, Eyeblast," a new Eyeblast video is attached to Chapman's story -- a short, heavily edited video that includes only about 10 seconds of chanting and the rest edited clips of protesters over added music. There's no way to tell from that video that 175 people attended.

Chapman's article is pure sycophancy, uncritically and unironically repeating claims of "liberal bias" while he makes no effort to correct his own right-wing bias. There was no real work involved here outside of gathering quotes to plug into the story.

So why did it take three days to slap this together? Perhaps because everyone at CNS is otherwise occupied trying to identify words President Obama said or didn't say.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:21 AM EDT
Meanwhile ...
Topic: WorldNetDaily
Richard Bartholomew catches WorldNetDaily distorting a report of an alleged "Taliban-type culture" at Britain's universities. The Oct. 19 WND article describes a "top-secret report" gathered by "undercover agents" that allegedly "contains a stark warning from the MI5 chief." In fact, the report is publicly available, says nothing about "Taliban-type" culture, and information was gathered from interviews undertaken by a graduate researcher, not "undercover agents." And the quote WND attributes to MI5 head Jonathan Evans probably isn't accurate either.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:53 AM EDT
Thursday, October 21, 2010
CNS' Jeffrey Botches Deficit Numbers

Terry Jeffrey declared in an Oct. 18 article:

It's official: The Obama administration has now borrowed $3 trillion, according to the U.S. Treasury Department.

It took from 1776, when the United States became an independent country, until 1990, the year after the Berlin Wall fell signaling victory in the Cold War, for the federal government to accumulate a total of $3 trillion in debt, according to the Treasury Department. It only took from Jan. 20, 2009, the day President Barack Obama was inaugurated, until Oct. 15, 2010, for the Obama administration to add $3 trillion to the federal debt.

Actually, not so much. As Media Matters details, comparing the amount of debt accumulated in the past two years to that of the first 214 years of the United States is absolutely meaningless, because one dollar today is equal to a lot less than a dollar in 1776, and it represents a drastically smaller share of the economy.

Plus, Jeffrey falsely equivocates the national debt increasing by $3 trillion (which is true) with the Obama administration being responsible for it. It appears that Jeffrey is blaming Obama for all of the FY 2009 deficit, which paid for actions (like TARP and the Bush tax cuts) that occurred under the Bush administration.

Posted by Terry K. at 7:53 PM EDT

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