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Wednesday, February 2, 2011
Klein's Attacks On Obama Over Egypt Are Totally Anonymous
Topic: WorldNetDaily

In recent days, WorldNetDaily's Aaron Klein has been accusing the Obama administration of fomenting unrest in Egypt, with the presumed goal of helping the country's Muslim Brotherhood faction. But all of Klein's major claims rely on anonymous sources, and he has given his readers no reason why they should be trusted.

The claims and their anonymous sources:

Jan. 29: "The Egyptian government suspects elements of the current uprising there, particularly political aspects, are being coordinated with the U.S. State Department." Source: "A senior Egyptian diplomat." As we've noted, this same story also misleadingly portrays Mohamed ElBaradei as an "ally of the Muslim Brotherhood" by cropping a quote.

Feb. 1: "The Egyptian government has information a diplomat at the U.S. embassy in Cairo secretly met yesterday with a senior leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, the nation's major Islamist opposition group." Source: "an Egyptian intelligence official."

It sounds like Klein is shilling for the Mubarak regime, doesn't it? Does Klein really despite Obama that much?

In another Feb. 1 article, Klein attempts to build a case that Obama andhis administration "have an extended history of reaching out to the organization representing the main opposition now in Egypt's unrest, quietly building ties to the Muslim Brotherhood and its worldwide allies." But that article is filled with spurious claims as well. Klein writes that "Muslim Brotherhood members reportedly were invited to attend President Obama's 2009 address to the Muslim world from Cairo." In fact, Obama did not invite them as Klein suggests; Fox News reported at the time that "officials said invitations were only sent out by Cairo University and Al-Azhar University."

Klein writes, "Also in 2009, the Egyptian daily newspaper Almasry Alyoum ran a report claiming Obama had met with U.S. and European-based representatives of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood that year." But that report is unsubstantiated; when Haaretz repeated the Egyptian paper's claim, it offered no evidence that the claim was investigated and verified.

Keep in mind that WND has a habit of treating any old claim in a foreign newspaper as true if it conforms to its agenda. Remember how desperately WND clung to the claim that Obama's trip to India cost $200 million a day well after the claim was discredited by every other news organization that cared about facts?

Klein also asserts that 'there have been multiple reports the past two years of behind-the-scenes contact with Hamas, which was founded as an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood." Again, Klein names no actual person making the claim, only "Multiple top leaders of Hamas in Gaza." But if they're terrorists who hate America, why should anyone believe what they have to say? And why is Klein granting anonymity to terrorists in the first place?

Klein his a long history of granting anonymity to anyone who will hurl claims he think will hurt Obama -- even terrorists. Yet he's allowed to appear on Fox News channels to spout fearmongering claims about Egypt.

If Klein will protect a terrorist, what moral authority can he possibly cite for any reader to trust his reporting?

Posted by Terry K. at 3:07 AM EST
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
CNS Baselessly Portrays Health Care Waivers As Political Payback
Topic: has suddenly become desperate to portray temporary waivers to the new health care reform as payback to political supporters. Here are the headlines of three Jan. 31 articles by Fred Lucas:

Of course, Lucas has no proof of any such payback -- all he's doing is embracing the correlation-equals-causation fallacy. Lucas largely ignores the fact that most waivers have gone to businesses, at least some of which, such as restaurants, actually opposed health care reform.

Lucas also lays bare his right-wing, anti-Obama agenda by highlighting in one article how 'Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) recently told he believed a congressional investigation will show the waivers were politicized."

In other words, Lucas is serving as a Republican public relations agent. Is that really the role a self-proclaimed reporter should be taking?

Posted by Terry K. at 2:34 PM EST
Klayman Invokes Vince Foster In Death of Shah's Son
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Larry Klayman uses his Jan. 29 WorldNetDaily column to spin a bizarre conspiracy theory regarding the suicide of Alireza Pahlavi, the son of the exiled shah of Iran. After fluffing Pahlavi as "a dashing heir to the Iranian monarchy" whose "moving and beautiful memorial funeral" he attended, Klayman goes off on a familiar track:

Although the autopsy report is apparently being kept under wraps by the district attorney, I have learned that the both barrels of the double-barrel shotgun used to kill Alireza were found discharged. Firearms experts will tell you that it is extremely difficult if not nearly impossible for a person training a shotgun on himself to pull both triggers at the same time, and that usually the first discharge will incapacitate the suicidal person. Moreover, the way that the body was found was peculiar, reminiscent of what many people thought was the murder of Vince Foster years ago, during the Clinton administration. Foster, a deputy White House counsel who was more than "close" at the time to First Lady Hillary Clinton, was found dead, also allegedly at his own hand, in Fort Marcy Park in McLean, Va. – having gone to the barber and then munched on a cheeseburger just hours before – an unlikely scenario for someone contemplating killing himself. The death was never adequately explained and likely covered up by independent counsel Kenneth Starr, the ultimate establishment judicial "yes man" of the era, despite his later role in the Monica Lewinsky scandal. It would not have been good for Starr's hoped-for chances of being nominated and confirmed as a Supreme Court justice to have ruled the death a murder; the controversy surely would have caused pro-Hillary Democrats to block his confirmation. Of course, after the failed Lewinsky debacle, even the Republicans saw Starr as "radioactive," so he never realized his dream.

Klayman then laughably claims, "I am not equating the death of Alireza to Vince Foster, but instead only pointing out that our government has the motive and means to cover up tragedies such as this."

After smearing President Obama again as the "mullah in chief," Klayman plays the conspiracy card again: "So here is the question: Have President Obama and his government minions also covered up a plausible act of terrorism by Iran on American soil, so as to make it easier for him to continue his failed policy of appeasement toward the regime?"

This is just one reason Klayman's influence is limited these days only to readers of WorldNetDaily.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:11 PM EST
Newsmax Fluffs McCollum Again, Doesn't Disclose Its Donations To Him
Topic: Newsmax

We've detailed how Newsmax heavily slanted its coverage of last year's Florida Republican primary for governor in favor of Bill McCollum -- undoubtedly due to the fact that Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy hosted a fundraiser for him (which he didn't disclose to Newsmax readers). Also undisclosed was the fact that Newsmax donated $500 to McCollum's campaign, on top of a $10,000 donation it made to the Florida Republican Party.

So it's no big surprise that Newsmax would grace McCollum with a flattering Jan. 31 article by David A. Patten and Ashley Martella allowing him to gloat over a Florida judge's decision declaring thte health care reform law unconstitutional. As before, Patten and Martella do not disclose the financial support Newsmax gave to McCollum's failed gubernatorial campaign.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:13 PM EST
AIM To Honor Inaccuracy At CPAC -- Again
Topic: Accuracy in Media

Last year, we noted that Accuracy in Media gave "Reed Irvine Accuracy in Media Awards" at last year's CPAC to Andrew Breitbart and Marc Morano -- two people not exactly known for, you know, accuracy in media. This earned us a shout-out from AIM at CPAC, as well as an offer of a hug from Breitbart.

Well, another CPAC is about to roll around, and AIM is once again handing out awards to people who are better known for inaccuracy:

Accuracy in Media will honor Tucker Carlson and Ken Timmerman for their outstanding contributions to journalism in a ceremony taking place at the 2011 Conservative Political Action Conference.  The Reed Irvine Accuracy in Media Award is named for AIM’s founder, America’s first media watchdog.

“Accuracy in Media could not be more excited for the 2011 Reed Irvine Awards,” Chairman Don Irvine said. “We at AIM have been amazed at Mr. Carlson’s rapid success with the Daily Caller. The D.C. has inspired countless grassroots activists to search for and share accurate news. Ken Timmerman is a respected veteran journalist worldwide. We will be proud to honor his three decades of work covering national security issues.”

The Daily Caller has a record of pushing questionable or false claims. In fact, the very same day that AIM announced it was getting this award, Slate's Dave Weigel reports that the Daily Caller published an article claiming that one attendee at a recent liberal confab was a person who had actually died two years earlier.

As for Timmerman, we've noted that he served as a mouthpiece for former Rep. Curt Weldon's conspiracy theories about national security, failing to fact-check his claims as he was regurgitating them. Timmerman has also promoted the bogus claim that the closings of certain GM and Chrysler dealers while the manufacturers were in bankruptcy were motivated by how much money the dealers gave to Republicans. On top of that, Timmerman is a birther.

But AIM's definition of "accuracy in media" has nothing to do with facts and everything to do with pushing right-wing talking points, so it makes sense that Timmerman and the Daily Caller would be so honored.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:07 PM EST
NewsBusters Avoids Talking About GOP Rape Redefinition
Topic: NewsBusters

There seems to be something the rock-ribbed conservatives at NewsBusters don't want to talk about.

In a Jan. 31 post, Tim Graham highlights a random Daily Kos post that he declares supports "the heroic right to abortion, especially after statutory rape." Later that day, a post by Scott Whitlock highlights how " on Monday republished, then removed an article from Mother Jones magazine on Republicans 'redefining rape.'"

In fact, the Daily Kos post referenced by Graham links to this same Mother Jones story. Whitlock quotes briefly from the story, but not the part that explains what exactly Republicans are doing.

Here's the part Graham and Whitlock don't want you to read:

With this legislation, which was introduced last week by Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.), Republicans propose that the rape exemption be limited to "forcible rape." This would rule out federal assistance for abortions in many rape cases, including instances of statutory rape, many of which are non-forcible. For example: If a 13-year-old girl is impregnated by a 24-year-old adult, she would no longer qualify to have Medicaid pay for an abortion. 

It can be argued that NewsBusters' silence equals assent -- they agree that Mother Jones' characterizaton of the change and its impact on abortion funding is accurate, but they aren't going to admit to supporting such an inflammatory change.

That, of course, is dishonest. Graham and Whitlock shouldn't be suggesting the Mother Jones article is false when they apparently privately concede it's not.

UPDATE: Talking Points Memo reports that NewsBusters is not alone -- few other right-wing groups want to talk about this change.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:28 AM EST
Updated: Tuesday, February 1, 2011 11:05 AM EST
Monday, January 31, 2011
Obama Derangement Syndrome Watch, Supersize WorldNetDaily Edition
Topic: WorldNetDaily

If "It's not over till the fat lady sings," then I submit that "It's not over till the skinny guy cools it."

The one thing Barack Obama didn't do in his speech at the shooting memorial in Tucson was "cool it."

The event at the University of Arizona was supposedly a memorial service for the six dead and 14 wounded from the shooting massacre outside that Safeway in Tucson on Jan. 8.

Instead, with few exceptions, it was a glorification of the lowest common political denominator and a re-election rally stained by the tears of the victims' families.

-- Barbara Simpson, Jan. 24 WorldNetDaily column

I can forgive my public school system for sending me out into the world thinking that Mexico and even countries like Guatemala and Paraguay were just smaller Americas that speak Spanish. No dictators. No poverty. But I cannot forgive this administration for shamelessly presenting China as a "friend." Did Presidents Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon etc. ever tell us the Soviet Union was a "friend"? No. They treated us like grownups. How dare Obama pump all that spray-deodorant on our "friends"! "Kowtow" is a Chinese word, but we do it much better than they do.


Can anybody explain why America's first black president is so eager to kowtow to slave-masters?

-- Barry Farber, Jan. 26 WorldNetDaily column

Speaking of Hawaii, its Democratic governor, Neil Abercrombie, recently admitted that they have been unable to track down Obama's actual birth certificate. And while I acknowledge that even some conservative pundits have joined the left-wing knuckleheads in dismissing a certain number of patriots as "birthers," the fact remains that the Founding Fathers wouldn't have stipulated prerequisites to being president if they hadn't thought it mattered.

The good news for liberals is that even though nobody has been able to turn up the official document, they have sworn testimony by several people who just happened to have been in the Honolulu delivery room on Aug. 4, 1961. They include Rahm Emanuel, Harry Reid, Van Jones, Valerie Jarrett, Henry Waxman, Bill Maher and Chris Matthews. The attending physician was Dr. Keith Olbermann, and the head nurse was Nancy Pelosi.

-- Burt Prelutsky, Jan. 26 WorldNetDaily column

Americans have by now become accustomed to Obama's sniveling obeisance to foreign leaders. It was not a surprise when our community organizer in chief bowed and scraped in greeting Hu, nor was it a shock when Obama claimed the American people "welcome China's rise." There was no doubt in any observer's mind that Obama's warm greeting to Hu was that of a cowed debtor attempting to curry favor with his chief creditor.

-- Phil Elmore, Jan. 27 WorldNetDaily column

Yes, Americans want government out of our personal and private family lives. But government is ordained to protect innocent lives from being destroyed. And that's what happens every time an abortion takes place.

Obama doesn't care about the rights of women. He doesn't care about privacy. He doesn't care about "choice." And he doesn't care about or believe in the sanctity of human life.

-- Joseph Farah, Jan. 28 WorldNetDaily column

The communist has begun his 2012 campaign for the dumb people. Rumor has it that Obama high-fived Michelle backstage after his speech at the Arizona victims' memorial.

The tea party prevented Obama's takeover. People like me are on top of him, watching his every snakey lie. That thing called taqiyya allows Muslims to lie for Allah. (To me, it looked like O choked on the word "God" when he said "God bless America" at the end of his speech.)


What if, just what if, Obama is the enemy, one of the Van Jones/William Ayres/Jeremiah Wright/Jarrett/Soros America-haters who are secretly intent on destroying America from the ground up and the top down? If that is the truth, Obama is succeeding.

You know that little lie detector part of your brain that knew my photograph at the top of this article was not taken in 2011, but in 1980? Use that when you listen to Obama.

-- Victoria Jackson, Jan. 28 WorldNetDaily column

In any event, if you enjoy the theater, you're going to love the next two years. Watching Obama pretend to be a born-again centrist will place him right up there with the best actors who have performed "Othello" on Broadway. Sure, his State of the Union address was a snoozer, but, honestly, he can do much better. Just wait and see.

-- Robert Ringer, Jan. 28 worldNetDaily column

Posted by Terry K. at 3:20 PM EST
MRC's Waters Hides Truth About Museum-Bashing
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center still isn't done pushing its manufactured scandal over a gay-themed art exhibition at a Smithsonian museum.

A Jan. 27 MRC TimesWatch post by Clay Waters bashes a New York Times arts critic for his "snobbish chiding of uncouth American conservatives who helped squelch a video some found sacrilegious, by a featured artist in a Smithsonian gay art exhibit."Waters was further outraged that the critic "was convinced that conservative outrage against the art was politically “orchestrated.”

Of course, Waters doesn't admit that the critic is absolutely correct. It was Waters' fellow MRC co-workers and fellow travelers like the Catholic League's Bill Donohue -- on whose board MRC chief Brent Bozell sits -- that manufactured the outrage over the exhibit, something Waters fails to disclose. The "some critics" Waters mentions as finding the video "sacrilegious" is almost entirely limited to the MRC headquarters.

The MRC's manufactured outrage was a success -- the video got banned from the exhibit. Why doesn't it want to take credit for this?

Posted by Terry K. at 11:05 AM EST
Ellis Washington Thinks He's Socrates
Topic: WorldNetDaily

So now Ellis Washington thinks he's Socrates.

In his Jan. 29 WorldNetDaily column, Washington does one of his "symposiums" in which he purports to examine issues via the Socratic method of the dialectic, "with the ultimate principle of the dialogue being Veritas – Truth." The problem here is that Washington is no Socrates -- we're pretty sure that Socrates wouldn't make as many flamboyantly wrong claims as Washington does -- and Washington's "Socrates" tends to go off on political rants that sound a lot like, you know, Ellis Washington.

So, in his column "symposium" on divine command theory -- "Is what is good, good because God commands it, or does God command it because it is good?" -- "Socrates" rants about liberal politics:

Applying the Euthyphro dilemma to modern America politics, for more than 100 years the progressive revolution has essentially removed God from the marketplace of ideas and replaced "God" with the "god" of humanism or the idea that man is the center and arbiter of all things. Therefore, all public policies are not judged constitutional, moral or true, but whether they are for the common good. Theodore Roosevelt's "Square Deal," FDR's New Deal and welfare state, Truman's "Fair Deal, LBJ's Great Society and Obama's New Deal, Part 2, all confiscated and spent trillions of taxpayers' money to improve the human condition, yet in all respects society is more ignorant, decadent, alienated and poverty-stricken than preceding generations of the past 100 years.

So why did these tyrants pervert the Constitution and make their own citizens slaves to the federal government?

Gee, that doesn't very socratic to us.

As we've previously noted, Washington's "Socrates" has hurled ad hominem Ku Klux Klan smears, which we're pretty sure also violates the Socratic method.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:10 AM EST
Newsmax vs. Newsmax
Topic: Newsmax

As Egypt Explodes, Oil Set to Skyrocket

-- Headline of Jan. 28 Newsmax article

Trump: Mideast Explosion Could Destroy OPEC, Lower Oil Prices

-- Headline of Jan. 30 Newsmax article

Posted by Terry K. at 9:38 AM EST
NewsBusters Promotes Bogus Bachmann Camera Claim
Topic: NewsBusters

Part of the Media Research Center's goal of eliminating all liberal viewpoints in the media is denouncing any criticism of conservatives, even when it's humorous.

So we have Noel Sheppard -- who, as linked above, has asserted that the existence of liberal opinions on TV is "disgraceful" -- dedicated a Jan. 30 NewsBusters post to bashing a "Saturday Night Live" skit about Rep. Michele Bachmann's post-State of the Union speech. Sheppard asserted the skit was "designed to totally trash a conservative woman," adding that "NBC predictably piled on the conservative Congresswoman the media love to defame."

Sheppard then claimed, "In reality, if the folks at SNL had done their homework, they would have known that the real gaffe Tuesday night was made by CNN," citing a post as evidence of this. But Breitbart is wrong; Mediaite has reported that the camera feed CNN used during Bachmann's speech -- which caused a minor controversy because Bachmann didn't look into that camera but, rather, another one providing a web feed -- was a pool camera operated by Fox News, not CNN.

Breitbart has since updated his post to note that "the pool camera providing the feed for CNN was Fox News." Will Sheppard make the correction too?

Posted by Terry K. at 12:49 AM EST
Sunday, January 30, 2011
Bozell Offended Gays Are Depicted On TV
Topic: Media Research Center

Brent Bozell furthers his Media Research Center's anti-gay agenda with his Jan. 28 column, professing to be offended that gays are depicted on TV. He calls "Glee" a hotbed of "gay teen propaganda" and huffed of coverage of the show that insufficiently bashes the gay characters for being gay: "They are not celebrating diversity. They are intimidating dissidents."

Bozell goes on to petulantly call the show "My So-Called Life" a "bomb" (incorrectly conflating lack of popularity with lack of quality, as the MRC is wont to do) and dismissed the show "Degrassi" as a "grope opera" that "has had eight gay characters, and is now normalizing “Adam,” a female-to-male transgender teen." And he's particularly put out that "Most of ABC Family's teen shows seem to have a sympathetic gay character."

Of course, Bozell is opposed to any sympathetic gay character, teen or otherwise.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:43 PM EST
Updated: Sunday, January 30, 2011 11:47 PM EST
WND's Klein Baselessly Attacks Obama, ElBaradei On Egypt
Topic: WorldNetDaily

A Jan. 29 WorldNetDaily article by Aaron Klein asserts that "The Egyptian government suspects elements of the current uprising there, particularly political aspects, are being coordinated with the U.S. State Department." But as is per usual for Klein, he cites no named source for this, only an anonymous "senior Egyptian diplomat."

Klein typically hides behind anonymous sources when he attacks Obama on Middle East policy. In this case, he is suggesting without any credible evidence that Obama is deliberately helping the Muslim Brotherhood, a longtime right-wing smear.

Klein goes on to assert that Egyptian opposition leader Mohamed ElBaradei "is seen as an ally of the Muslim Brotherhood, the main opposition force in Egypt":

Last week, ElBaradei gave an interview to Der Spiegel defending the Brotherhood.

"We should stop demonizing the Muslim Brotherhood. ... [They] have not committed any acts of violence in five decades. They too want change. If we want democracy and freedom, we have to include them instead of marginalizing them," he said.

But Klein edited out statements by ElBaradei that contradict his assertion. From the full interview, with the statements Klein edited out in bold:

We should stop demonizing the Muslim Brotherhood. It is incorrect that our only choice is between oppression under Mubarak and the chaos of religious extremists. I have many differences with the Muslim Brotherhood. But they have not committed any acts of violence in five decades. They too want change. If we want democracy and freedom, we have to include them instead of marginalizing them.

In other words, ElBaradei's full statement, and the entire interview, shows that he is recognizing the Muslim Brotherhood as a part of the political opposition that must inevitably be a part of the country's post-Mubarak future. It's irresponsible of Klein to deliberately hide information from his readersin order to falsely portray ElBaradei as something he's not.

For good measure -- and as further evidence of his anti-Obama pathology -- Klein includes a factual error in order to attack Obama. Klein cited a 2008 incident in which the U.S. government allegedly "helped a young dissident attend a U.S.-sponsored summit for activists in New York" as further evidence of "the Obama administration's alleged interference there."

Of course, there wasn't an Obama administration in 2008, at the time of the alleged incident. The UK Telegraph article he cites as evidence mentions only "the American embassy in Cairo" as helping the dissident and doesn't mention Obama at all.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:29 AM EST
Saturday, January 29, 2011
WND's Halal Food Freakout
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Last October, WorldNetDaily took part in a right-wing freakout over Campbell's Soup offering a line of soups that meet Islamic dietary guidelines of halal, declaring it to be "catering to Islam."

Now, WND has felt the need to freak out some more over halal food with a Jan. 27 article by Joe Kovacs declaring all halal food to have been "sacrificed to idols." Kovacs uncovered an "outspoken American pastor" who is complaining that halal food means that Muslims "have their meat blessed in the name of their god, Allah, adding, "From the Christian standpoint, Allah would be an idol."

Kovacs makes no mention of kosher food, which is subject to similar procedures. It's not until the 20th paragraph, after liberally quoting the panicky minister , that Kovacs gets around to quoting a spokesperson for an Islamic nutrition council calling such panic ridiculous. And it's not until the very last paragraph that Kovacs notes that the minister 'stresses he's not against halal food, halal stores or Muslims."

The more appropritate response to such contrived Muslim-bashing panic, though, comes from Stephen Colbert: "Folks, we are dangerously close to being served Filet al-Fish by Imam McCheese!"

Posted by Terry K. at 10:37 AM EST
Newsmax Rushes to Attack Obama Over Egypt
Topic: Newsmax

As events in Egypt started to escalate, Newsmax wasted no time in finding a way to attack President Obama over it. A Jan. 27 article by David Patten carries the headline, "US Under Fire for NO-bama Response to Mideast Powder Keg."

Surprisingly, the article was not as biased as its headline made it out to be. Patten -- who is typically no slouch in regurgitating right-wing talking points -- admitted that "The administration’s ambivalence stems from the region’s volatility," and nobody Patten quotes echoes the headline's "NO-bama" attack line.

This tells us that Newsmax's only interest was a slapdash attempt get a lead in framing events in Egypt, whatever they end up being, as a failure for Obama -- never mind that things are moving too quickly there for many to get a hold on.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:31 AM EST
Updated: Saturday, January 29, 2011 1:34 AM EST

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