Fellow Conservatives Call Out NewsBusters For False Claim Topic: NewsBusters
It's rare for conservative websites to point out another website's errors, but that's what NewsBusters is currently on the receiving end of.
A Feb. 25 NewsReal post by David Forsmark points out that a NewsBusters post by Brent Baker falsely attacks the TV show "The Good Wife" for a character who tries to link tea party activists to racism. In fact, Forsmark, writes, it is a "rather slimy Leftist lawyer pressing the bogus race-baiting lawsuit," adding that "the whole thrust of the episode tore a new one in the idea of race-based lawsuits based purely on numbers and quotas, and gave those who bring them an, excuse the expression, a black eye."
Forsmark followed up on March 1, noting not only that Baker and NewsBusters have done nothing about the false claim, but that "The Good Wife" writer Robert King even posted on the comment thread of Baker's post explaining the reference:
The episode didn't impugn the Tea Party. A character in the episode (in fact, an opposition lawyer and a bad guy) impugned the Tea Party, and he did it for a reason (defending a cop-killer) that was clearly unsympathetic. In fact, the Tea Party was strongly defended by the sympathetic characters on the show. This was in a section of the episode you didn't include (except in an edited transcript).
And I should just add: the point of this episode was not to defend the Tea Party. The point of the episode was to show how two people who come from the exact opposite end of the political spectrum could look past that and come to respect and love each other.
No one at the MRC responded to King, and Baker's post remains uncorrected.
It's the start of a new month, and you know what that means: a new Afghanistan body-count report from CNSNews.com's Edwin Mora. As usual, Mora doesn't utter the word "Iraq" -- that, of course, is because the casualty rates for U.S. troops in Iraq under a Republican president was much higher than it currently is in Afghanistan under President Obama.
It's not that Mora is incapable of comparaing Afghanistan deaths to something; it just has to be politically advantageous for him and his employer to do so.
That seems to explain a Feb. 25 article by Mora noting that "More civilians were killed last year in Ciudad Juarez, the Mexican city across the border from El Paso, Texas, than were killed in all of Afghanistan." CNS liked this comparison so much, in fact, that it ran the story again on March 3.
Fox Pushes WNDs Loopy Obama-Has-Ties-To-Gahdafi Attack Topic: WorldNetDaily
On the March 3 edition of Fox Business’ "Follow the Money," Eric Bolling devoted a segment -- complete with lame bobblehead-esque animation -- to the idea that President Obama is somehow linked to Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi through a series of guilt-by-association connections, like being pictured together with Louis Farrakhan on the cover of a magazine with 17 other people.
An anti-Obama attack this loony and desperate could only come from one place: WorldNetDaily. As we've noted, it did indeed originate with WND’s Aaron Klein, who went even further by suggesting that Obama was being “cautious in his criticism” of Gadhafi because of these supposed links. Of course, Klein didn’t mention that the caution in Obama’s initial statements about the uprising in Libya was intended to ensure the safety of thousands of Americans who were still there.
The lame animation wasn’t enough for Bolling -- he invited Klein on the show to discuss it further. Klein quickly got lost in ranting about Jeremiah Wright and his “anti-white, anti-American, Nation of Islam-linked ideology,” and Bolling had to prompt him to talk about Libya. Needless to say, Klein offered up no substantive evidence beyond his convoluted guilt-by-association links.
As part of his kitchen-sink attack, Klein threw out another claim: that Obama, while he was a state senator in the mid-1990s, had employees who belonged to Farrakhan’s Nation of Islam. But Klein’s 2008 WND article on the incident shows that his main source was “a former key Obama insider ... who spoke on condition of anonymity” and who also peddled the story to far-right blogger Debbie Schlussel. (Schlussel howled that Klein stole the story from her.)
An anonymous “insider” who was pushing his story to far-right bloggers and websites? Not exactly the most reliable sourcing.
The only attempt in the segment to contradict Bolling’s enthusiastic embrace of Klein’s conspiracy theory came from Democratic strategist Regina Calcaterra, who said of Klein: “He’s been spending the past few years focusing on President Obama, trying to make a disingenuous connection like he is, especially saying that because Obama walked in the Million Man March that there’s a connection between him and Gadhafi via Farrakhan. ... And he denounced Farrakhan on national TV.” But Bolling quickly moved to interrupt and talk over her.
Klein has been making increasingly frequent appearances on Fox Business lately, despite his history of desperate smears and fraudulent reporting.
(Cross-posted at Media Matters, where you can find video of Klein's appearance.)
Newsmax Cherry-Picks Unemployment Stats to Attack Stimulus Topic: Newsmax
A Feb. 27 Newsmax "Insider Report" item tries to work up outrage over a claim that "jobs that were created and saved by the economic stimulus legislation that President Barack Obama signed in February 2009 cost at least $228,055 each." At the end, it states this: "Footnote: When President Obama signed the stimulus bill, the national unemployment rate was 8.2 percent. In January 2011, it was 9 percent."
That's a highly misleading view of the numbers, falsely suggesting that unemployment gradually went up over the past few years.
Of course, what actually happened is that unemployment rates spent much of that time well over 9 percent, peaking at 10.1 percent in October 2009. Newsmax's take conveniently omits the spike in unemployment between the signing of the stimulus and now.
AIM's Kincaid Enlists Woman-Hater To Attack Obama Topic: Accuracy in Media
Cliff Kincaid devotes his March 2 Accuracy in Media column to the musings of Marc Rudov -- described as "the author and radio/TV personality known as The NoNonsense Man" -- regarding women in general and a newly released White House report on women.
Kincaid doesn't really want to tell you that Rudov is one of the more misogynistic persons you will ever have the misfortune to meet.
As we noted the last time Kincaid approvingly quoted Rudov, he has said such things as:
Claiming that "that most American women are as shallow as" the characters on "Sex and the City."
Asserting that if "the woman is complaining that the man doesn't work enough around the house," it may be because "she said 'I do' at the altar and 'I don't' in the bedroom."
Saying of Hillary Clinton: "The woman is not called a B-word because she's assertive and aggressive; she's called a B-word because she acts like one."
Describing the downside of a woman president: "You mean besides the PMS and the mood swings, right?"
Claiming, against statistical evidence, that "women are equal-opportunity domestic abusers."
Rudov brings that same level of insight to AIM, where Kincaid has quoted him saying of the White House report on women: "I discount any report about women from the White House. ... President Obama has a clear female bias and agenda."
Contrary to his moniker, Rudov seems to be filled with nothing but nonsense -- nonsense Kincaid is more than happy to swallow.
David Limbaugh vs. David Limbaugh Topic: The ConWeb
David Limbaugh wrote in his Feb. 25 column (published at WorldNetDaily):
President Obama's brazenly calculated move to unilaterally abandon the federal Defense of Marriage Act showcases his attitude that he is above the law.
So now we have an imperial president who is refusing to enforce a law passed by powerful congressional majorities while persisting in enforcing a law (Obamacare) that two federal courts have already invalidated. The only common denominator is that Obama believes he is the law.
Limbaugh's opinion appears to conflict with ... David Limbaugh. Here he is in an Aug. 3, 2007, column on the subject of claims of a different president declaring himself to be above the law:
Sen. Patrick Leahy has mounted his high horse again and is on the warpath against all things Bush and all things Republican. It might be instructive to examine certain statements in his tirade disguised as an interview with Politico.
Leahy said, "The president, with others, has stated in effect that he is a law unto himself and the president can overrule the law, the courts and congressional actions. We have seen this with regards to torture, signing statements and the president determining who will be prosecuted."
For Leahy this is nothing new. Like a spoiled kid who can't always have his way, he has been blowing things out of proportion for some time now — turning every political frustration into a supposed constitutional crisis. In early 2006, he betrayed his true colors when he said the constitutional "checks and balances that have served to constrain abuses of power for more than two centuries in this country" are at risk when Republicans control the legislative and executive branches.
To Leahy it was a constitutional crisis for voters to elect Republicans to power in the executive and legislative branches. But what's his excuse now, with Democrats in control of the legislative branch? Instead of admitting he has policy differences with President Bush, he says Bush is abusing the Constitution.
In other words, Limbaugh is acting exactly like the spoiled kid he accused Leahy of being.
That of course, depends on Limbaugh's selective view of constitutional issues, which is skewed to benefit Republican presidents. Limbaugh misleadingly defended Bush’s signing statements in his book “Crimes Against Liberty” by claiming that they were “simply to express objections to bills or parts of bills he was signing” (p. 174).
That contradicts what Bush actually did with the signing statements. From The Boston Globe:
President Bush has quietly claimed the authority to disobey more than 750 laws enacted since he took office, asserting that he has the power to set aside any statute passed by Congress when it conflicts with his interpretation of the Constitution.
Funny, we don't recall Limbaugh denouncing Bush as an "imperial president."
Sheppard Whiffs Again on Huckabee Defense Topic: NewsBusters
In a March 2 NewsBusters post, Noel Sheppard takes another stab at defending Mike Huckabee over his factually dubious remarks about President Obama's background -- and doesn't do much better on the fact meter than Huckabee did.
Sheppard dutifully repeats Huckabee's defense that when he said Obama grew up in Kenya, he really meant to say that Obama grew up in Indonesia, and that in his newly released book, "clearly what I wrote was about his childhood in Indonesia, about his Kenyan father and grandfather who he says was tortured by the Brits during the Mau Mau revolution. All of that is spelled out." Sheppard then relates the story told by Obama's grandmother that his grandfather was jailed during the Kenyan independence movement, adding:
This report was all the rage that month in 2008, even getting quoted by the far-left website the Huffington Post.
As such, all Huckabee was citing in his book and repeated on Monday was established history of Obama’s family.
Is this suddenly verboten? Was Arianna guilty of hate speech for mentioning Obama's Kenyan father and grandfather at her website? Or are only liberals allowed to bring this up?
Both Huckabee and Sheppard get things wrong here. Salon's Justin Elliott, unlike Huckabee and Sheppard, actually researched the issue, pointing out that Obama’s family was never a part of the Mau Mau rebellion, and the prison time his grandfather served took place three years before the rebellion began. Elliott also quoted historian David Anderson about events in 1950s Kenya, when the Mau Mau rebellion occurred:
To portray the Obama family as being part of Mau Mau is stir-fry crazy. Let me explain why: The Obama family come from western Kenya, which is about as different from Nairobi and the Kikuyu area as Utah is from New York City. And it's almost as far way. They come from an area where there was no rebellion, there was no Mau Mau. So while his father and his grandmother may well have been nationalists -- I'm sure they were -- they weren't directly involved in the Mau Mau rebellion.
The other thing is, if you've read anything about Churchill, you'd know that, although he was the head of the government at the time of the Mau Mau rebellion, he was trying as best he could to get the British in Kenya to negotiate and to end the fighting. Churchill was not supporting or condoning the violence. He is actually one of the few British politicians who comes out of this smelling of roses.
Elliott sums up Huckabee’s (and Sheppard's) apparent views on the issue:
So a fleshed-out version of Huckabee's theory would go like this: Obama's grandfather hated the British because he was (supposedly) tortured in prison under the colonial regime a few years before the Mau Mau uprising. Therefore, President Obama must take a different view of the Mau Mau uprising -- in which his family played no part -- than Huckabee, who apparently supports the brutal measures used by the British to defeat the rebellion. And because of all that, Obama replaced a bust of Winston Churchill -- who himself wanted a peaceful solution to Mau Mau -- with a bust of Abraham Lincoln.
All of which makes Sheppard's defense that Huckabee merely made "a simple mistake the man has already acknowledged and apologized for" nonsensical because Obama's upbringing in Indonesia has nothing whatsoever to do with the Mau Mau rebellion.
That makes strike two in Sheppard's defense of Huckabee. Will he give it one more shot -- and, presumably, go down swinging?
Obama Derangement Syndrome Watch, Ben Shapiro Edition Topic: CNSNews.com
During the 2008 campaign, Hillary Clinton suggested that if the emergency phone rang at 3 a.m. in the White House, you wouldn't want President Obama picking it up.
She was wrong. Obama wouldn't pick it up in the first place. He'd let it go to answering machine. He'd be too busy chasing the nearest camera.
Obama is the "Girls Gone Wild" president: Stick a lens in front of him and he'll take off his shirt, mince about like a coed, and babble nonsensical nothings to an audience oddly fascinated by his antics.
Obama's desperate need for attention is clearly a psychological condition. He drinks in applause like a washed-up movie star. It is usual for neglected children to develop narcissistic personality disorder (NPD), typically characterized by an inflated sense of self-importance, a strong sense of entitlement, preoccupations with utopian fantasies, elitism, manipulative tendencies and pathological need for praise.
President Obama was abandoned by his parents during childhood. Now he exhibits the textbook symptoms of NPD. He thinks his powers are godlike in import; "I have a gift, Harry," Obama once told Sen. Harry Reid. He believes he is entitled to positions of power and prestige. He has never worked a real job in his life, yet deigns to tell the rest of us that he embodies our hopes and dreams. He is obsessed with nonsensical utopian fantasies of one-world peace and harmony in which nuclear weapons are beaten into plowshares.
Obama is an elitist through and through, disdaining ordinary Americans as "bitter [people who] cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them." He is manipulative in the extreme, seeing every crisis as an opportunity to magnify his personal power.
Most dangerous, he requires a constant stream of paeans to his persona. Radical Muslims, socialists, anti-Semites — so long as they clap, they're worthy of his warmth. Obama strongly resembles a once-abused puppy; he doesn't care who pets him, so long as he receives the petting.
-- Ben Shapiro, March 2 column published at CNSNews.com
UPDATE: Here's some bonus Obama derangement from Shapiro, posted at Big Government:
So President Obama showed up at the Oscars to announce that his favorite movie song was “As Time Goes By” from Casablanca, which is about as believable as him saying he likes capitalism. By showing up during this broadcast, Obama basically labeled himself a political version of the Salahis – or of Anthony Michael Hall from every 1980s movie where he shows up to bug the cool kids.
Here was my abbreviated reaction (yes, I did shout this out loud):
“Get the hell off my TV. Get the hell off my TV. Get the hell of my TV. You have nothing to do with the Oscars. Nothing to do with any of the nominated movies. Why can’t you leave me the hell alone?! Final Four. Super Bowl. World Series. Little Miss Nevada Contest. It doesn’t seem to matter. I know your parents didn’t love you as a child, and now you need unending streams of attention, but you have nothing to do with this event, and you’re invading my living room … again. So get the hell off my TV!!!”
Non-Manufacturer Farah Bashes Jobs Council For Not Lack of Manufacturing Experience Topic: WorldNetDaily
Joseph Farah is simply deseperate to attack positively everything President Obama does.
Farah's March 2 WorldNetDaily column is devoted to attacking the members of Obama's Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, smearing them as "a rogue's gallery of people woefully ill-equipped with experience in actually creating jobs the old-fashioned way -- by making stuff."
It gets more absurd as Farah details the resume of every member of the council one by one, then huffs that they have no manufacturing experience. For instance:
Steve Case is the chairman of Revolution, a holding company that oversees multiple companies, which include Zipcar, LivingSocial and Everyday Health. He is also chairman of the Case Foundation, a private family foundation he established in 1997 with his wife, Jean. Case co-founded America Online in 1985. (Manufacturing experience: Zero.)
Apparently, creating a service that served as the training wheels for millions of Americans on the Internet -- and without whom many of them, it can be presumed, would not have gotten their first exposure to Farah's website -- counts for nothing.
Other non-manufacturers Farah attacks include the CEO of a major railroad, the CEO of Southwest Airlines, and the chief operating officer at Facebook. The CEO of Facebook, Farah grudgingly concedes, has "some" manufacturing experience.
Of course, by the same standard, Farah doesn't manufacture anything either -- which hardly gives him standing to criticize others for not pumping out widgets or whatever. And how many jobs has he created in the past couple years? None that he has seen fit to brag about that we can recall.
A March 1 Newsmax article highlights "a new Zogby International poll" claims that "Majorities of voters in red, blue, and battleground “green” states want President Barack Obama to modify his agenda to take House Republican proposals into account." Newsmax added that "ATI-News and The O’Leary Report commissioned the poll."
If this reads like a press release, it probably is -- after all, a couple weeks ago Newsmax copied-and-pasted a Rasmussen poll press release and called it "news."
As such, Newsmax won't be telling you about the shoddy record of both Zogby and Brad O'Leary, the right-wing activist who commissioned the poll. As we detailed, Zogby has a long record of dubious polling work, O'Leary pays Zogby to ask skewed questions, and ATI-News isn't a news organization and really doesn't exist at all in any meaningful form these days -- its website is a promotional vehicle for O'Leary's activism.
WND Columnist Falsely Attacks Nintendo Over Game Topic: WorldNetDaily
Chrissy Satterfield was in full frothing moed in her March 2 WorldNetDaily column, headlined "How Nintendo's molesting our kids":
I remember when video games were far and few between. You had a choice of Mario Brothers for Nintendo or Sonic for Sega. Nowadays it's explosions, guns, pimps, hookers and now, with Nintendo's latest creation, "We Dare," we're adding partner swapping and sex. The United States doesn't have to worry so much right now since it's only being released in Europe. But it's only a matter of time before it comes knocking on our liberal door. It even has a 12-plus rating!
Satterfield, however, has misaimed her target, apparently unable to tell the difference between a game manufacturer and a game platform. We Dare is manufactured by Ubisoft for Nintendo's Wii platform. One can fault Nintendo for allowing Ubisoft to develop such a game for Wii, but that's not what Satterfield does -- she calls it "Nintendo's latest creation," which it is not.
Satterfield concludes her column, "That's my does [sic] of honesty for this week." Well, no: Not only does it include honest facts, it also wasn't apparently spell-checked.
NEW ARTICLE: Trashing to the Test Topic: CNSNews.com
Editor Terry Jeffrey leads CNSNews.com in dishonestly reporting on proficiency ratings for Wisconsin students in an apparent attempt to smear teachers fighting to keep union rights. Read more >>
A March 2 Newsmax article by Jim Meyers perpetuates a falsehood about President Obama and a bust of Winston Churchill that was in the Oval Office of his predecessor, George W. Bush.
Discussing the controversy over Mike Huckabee's remarks on Steve Malzberg's radio show, Meyers writes:
Malzberg noted that Huckabee was referring to a bust of Winston Churchill, a gift to the White House from Britain, that Obama ordered returned after he took office.
“The bust of Winston Churchill, a great insult to the British,” Huckabee continued.
“But then if you think about it, his perspective as growing up in Kenya with a Kenyan father and grandfather, their view of the Mau Mau Revolution in Kenya is very different than ours because he probably grew up hearing that the British were a bunch of imperialists who persecuted his grandfather.”
In fact, Obama did not order the Churchill bust to be returned. The British Embassy confirmed that the bust was "uniquely lent" to Bush, and was scheduled to be returned at the end of Bush's term. According to the Associated Press, the bust is now in the White House residence -- in other words, it hasn't been returned at all.
Why would Meyers embrace such an obvious falsehood? Perhaps because Newsmax is where the falsehood got started. As we detailed, a March 2009 Newsmax column by James Humes purported to quote Obama saying of the bust, "Get that goddam thing out of here." But there is no evidence whatsoever to back up Humes' claim that Obama said anything like this. Rather than retract the column and apologize, Humes merely edited his column to state that the claim "was never fully substantiated, despite frequent repetition on radio talk shows." But that's a lie too; Humes never identified any talk show host who made the claim, or where specifically he picked it up from.
Humes even concocted the Mau-Mau theory to back up his illegimate claim: "Perhaps Obama, who grew up in Kenya, took umbrage at Prime Minister Churchill’s actions in 1953 of wiping out the Mau-Mau, the Kenyan terrorists who made a specialty of slitting throats of sleeping white and Black Kenyans."
Humes, as far as we know, was never punished for his falsehood. To the contrary: Newsmax rewarded it by giving him a speaking slot on one of its cruises.
No wonder Meyers thinks the Churchill bust story is true -- his employer let the perpetrator of the falsehood get away with it.
WND Embraces Huckabee's Kenya Remark; NewsBusters Tries to Spin It Away Topic: WorldNetDaily
Mike Huckabee's remarks on Steve Malzberg's radio that President Obama grew up in Kenya delighted WorldNetDaily, where Joe Kovacs devoted a March 1 article to repeating the remarks and how Huckabee thinks growing up in Kenya "has helped form the president's worldview."
One thing Kovacs curiously doesn't do: explicitly state that the claim is false.
While Kovacs does note that Huckabee's spokesman later said that he "meant to say the president grew up in Indonesia," at no point does he state that there's truth to Huckabee's statement that Obama grew up in Kenya. Even WND has not made that claim.
Instead, Kovacs launches into standard WND birther boilerplate. But he's hiding facts here too; Huckabee himself later issued a statement saying that "I don't believe there is an issue with Barack Obama's birth certificate."
While WND is trying to claim Huckabee as a birther, NewsBusters' Noel Sheppard is furiously spinning to deny any such link, howling in a March 2 post that MSNBC hosts "cherry-picked" Huckabee "in order to depict the possible Republican presidential candidate as a birther."
But Sheppard doesn't explain how Huckabee's statement about Obama growing up in Kenya -- which, unlike WND's Kovacs, he concedes is "100 percent wrong" -- is not linked to Huckabee's statement about how Obama "probably grew up hearing that the British were a bunch of imperialists who persecuted his grandfather."
That, of course, is the main thesis of Dinesh D'Souza's discredited book "The Roots of Obama's Rage." As Salon's Steve Kornacki writes:
The problem here is that Huckabee didn't just say that Obama was raised in Kenya -- he made specific reference to the Mau Mau Revolution, claiming that Obama, by virtue of his upbringing, would have a very different understanding of it than Westerners. That's much different than accidentally saying "Kenya" when you meant to say "Indonesia."
And the birther issue is a red herring. This story isn't about whether Huckabee specifically subscribes to the view that Obama wasn't born in the United States; maybe he does, maybe he doesn't. The issue here is that Huckabee has just demonstrated that his main critique of President Obama's foreign policy is rooted in a belief that is demonstrably and laughably false. What other objections to Obama's policymaking does Huckabee have that are based on beliefs like this?
Indonesia used to be a Dutch colony, known as the Dutch East Indies. The British controlled Malaysia, which is kind of close to Indonesia, but the Mau Mau uprising took place in Kenya in the 1950s. Churchill, the British prime minister when the uprising erupted in 1952, put it down and Obama's grandfather, Hussein Onyango Obama, was detained during the conflict.
So Huckabee's whole statement kind of falls apart, especially when Kenya is replaced by Indonesia. What was he really thinking?
Sheppard should explain why Huckabee's embrace of the Mau-Mau theory is a reasonable thing for a potential presidential candidate to believe.