Farah Still Dubiously Claiming WND Is Bigger Than MSNBC Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily marked its 14th anniverary in a self-congratulatory May 3 article in which Editor Joseph Farah makes this boast:
"WND burst onto the Internet scene in 1997 – a completely different environment that it is today," said Joseph Farah. "Back then there were no bloggers – the word was unknown. MSNBC was the largest website in the world. Today it ranks well below WND in traffic."
As we pointed out the last time Farah claimed this, the available evidence shows quite the opposite. A September 2010 report by Hitwise places MSNBC third among news sites and makes no mention of WND. eBizMBA also ranks MSNBC third among news sites, while WND did not make the top 15. On the eBizMBA list of political websites, Newsmax is ranked fifth but, again, WND did not make the top 15.
Any chance Farah will inform his readers of the basis for his claim and publish the data to back it up? Don't count on it.
Farah is also quoted as saying:
WND had almost no detractors for the first couple of years of its existence. Today there are websites solely devoted to attacking and criticizing virtually everything WND publishes. It's a completely different world.
That's presumably a reference to us -- we are, after all, the first and largest website dedicated to critiquing right-wing news websites. But Farah couldn't even get that right: We are not "solely devoted" to WND. There's lots of stuff about Newsmax and the Media Research Center here too.
Still, we appreciate the stealth mention. This means Farah knows we exist and that he reads us (or, at least, pays someone to read us).
MRC: "J. Crew Goes Gay Crew" Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center is not done slapping around clothing retailer J. Crew for not being heterosexual enough.
In a May 3 MRC Culture & Media Institute article, Matt Philbin declared that CMI 'was onto something" with its ranting last month about how a picture of a boy with pink toenails in a J. Crew ad was "transgendered child propaganda." How so? Because J. Crew has used an actual gay person in an ad!
A May 2, 2011, online story places 'J. Crew at Center of Gay Economics With Openly Gay Model.' The company's May 2011 catalog 'features employees as models, including a gay designer with his boyfriend, who are described as 'Happy Together.''
Although J. Crew didn't comment, ABC's report noted that 'gay advocates applaud what they say is a strong message.'
Philbin concluded: "So J. Crew is consciously angling for the 'LGBT' market, but there's no agenda behind marketing materials featuring a little boy with hot pink toenails?"
Philbin doesn't explain why gay people, perceived or otherwise, are not allowed to be depicted in advertising.
Trump Gains Another Newsmax Champion Topic: Newsmax
Newsmax has yet another emerging champion of Donald Trump's presidential ambitions: James Hirsen.
In an April 25 column, Hirsen touted how "it seems that even if Trump weren’t serious when he initially began talking about the GOP nomination, he is now," adding that the Republican establishment "have had to come to grips with the Trump reality."
Hirsen fawned almost Ronald Kessler-like over Trump, stating that "Trump has skillfully injected into the public discussion an air of legitimacy" on the birther issue, and that "voters are largely resonating to his appealing rhetorical spunk, which is perceived to be sorely lacking in the GOP leadership as well as in several of the other Republican alternatives."
Hirsen continued his Trump-fluffing in his May 2 column, coming to his defense from the Trump jokes at the White House Correspondents Dinner. Hirsen declared the jokes to be "an assault from the president himself," naming celebrities who "snickered on cue" at the "unimaginative one-liners." Hirsen huffed, "What is significant is that the WHCD has traditionally been used to poke fun at members of the media and at the White House, not at an outside third party."
Because of these so-called attacks, Hirsen wrote, "Trump is now able to relate to Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann in a way few others can."
Hirsen, it seems, really wants to give Kessler a run for his money in the Trump-fluffing department.
The whining continues: A May 3 WorldNetDaily article complains that "The White House has bypassed a question about what the Arab world thinks regarding the reported death of Osama bin Laden over the weekend" from WND's Les Kinsolving, adding that "Press spokesman Jay Carney declined to allow the question to be asked."
As before, WND offers no evidence that Carney deliberately passed up Kinsolving because he knew Kinsolving would ask that question, as the article suggests. Also as before, WNDoffers no evidence that Kinsolving has earned the noblesse oblige to called on at every single White House press briefing, no matter how inane or biased his question is likely to be.
NewsBusters Unhappy People Are Saying Nice Things About Obama Topic: NewsBusters
At the Media Research Center, saying something nice about President Obama is the same thing as being liberally biased -- even when it involves the death of Osama bin Laden. So the boys at NewsBusters are strictly policing that:
A May 2 post by Tom Blumer complained that the New York Times was "not waiting for history to play out" because a photo caption stated that "there was little question that Mr. Obama's presidency had forever been changed" because of bin Laden's death.
Mark Finkelstein got all huffy when Donny Deutsch declared that "I have never seen a more commanding Commander-in-Chief": "But presumably Donny was sentient in 1982 when Reagan told Gorbachev what to do with his wall. And surely Deutsch was around in 2001 when George W. Bush made his impromptu bullhorn speech at Ground Zero itself."
Noel Sheppard was perturbed that the Huffington post's Howard Fineman declared that "Obama just proved himself -- vividly, in almost Biblical terms -- to be an effective commander-in-chief of the armed forces of the United States." So he dismissed the idea that killing bin Laden was important: "The man seen by some as the biggest threat to international security was taken out Sunday, and markets collectively yawned. Quite contrary to Fineman's raves, this was hardly Biblical. Traders of oil - and, in particular, gold - certainly didn't feel our world suddenly became safer without bin Laden's existence."
Matthew Balan groused that NPR called the death of bin Laden a "game changer politically."
NewsBusters is just as upset that former President Bush might be taken to task for not capturing bin Laden under his watch. Ken Shepherd expressed annoyance that Time's Joe Klein noted that Bush "deserves both credit and blame" for bin Laden's capture, the blame part coming from "Bush's decision to divert attention from the goal by going to war in Iraq."
Shepherd responded: "But if Afghanistan was and always has been a special forces war -- even under Bush -- how was engaging in a more conventional military operation in Iraq a diversion?" Gee, perhaps because Iraq was a much larger operation and troops were pulled from Afghanistan to focus on Iraq?
Shepherd continued: "Even if it diverted public attention, is Klein arguing the U.S. military and U.S. intelligence establishment cannot handle two military theaters of operation at a time?" Given that the Taliban re-established itself in Afghanistan while the U.S. was focusing on Iraq, that could be a valid argument.
Kyle Drennen similarly complained that NBC's Richard Engel called the Iraq war "a distraction from the United States' original mission to find Bin Laden, stop Al Qaeda, and prevent another 9/11," adding that "Anchor Brian Williams did not label the piece as commentary." Does Drennen really think that is merely an opinion rather than documented fact?
NEW ARTICLE: Newsmax Gets Trumped Topic: Newsmax
Led by Ronald Kessler, the website has been an enthusiastic promoter of Donald Trump's presidential ambitions, a connection that appears to be fueled by more than a little behind-the-scenes schmoozing. Read more >>
WND Clings To Layers Conspiracy On Birth Certificate Topic: WorldNetDaily
On April 28, WorldNetDaily shot down the idea that the existence of layers in the PDF version of President Obama's long-form birth certificate was evidence of fraud. It even stated, "While there may be other challenges to the document's authenticity that bear further scrutiny, it appears that the 'layer argument' can be easily explained," and cited a commenter at the far-right website Free Republic as backup.
Well, forget about that. WND -- in an apparent desperate attempt to find something, anything to discredit Obama -- has changed its mind.
A May 1 WND article by Bob Unruh quotes a "computer document expert" claiming there are "anomalies inconsistent with a simple scanning process, and there is evidence it has been manipulated, but there's no way to determine exactly what may have been modified." But buried in Unruh's article is the evidence that destroys the big conspiracy, citing the report by "expert" Ivan Zatkovich:
"All of the overlays were of a higher resolution than the background layer," the report said. "This suggests that the overlays [were] created to enhance that content (i.e. make the text darker and/or the edges sharper). The only two plausible explanations for this pattern of layers is: 1. Someone was changing the content of both the text and the stamps. 2. Someone was systematically enhancing the black text layers for legibility, and then enhancing the stamp overlays separately for legibility."
Zatkovich told WND that the White House image "has specific content extracted from that base layer and enhanced."
He said, "This was done through an explicit operation to edit and/or enhance the printing in the document. There is no ambiguity here. There was an explicit action by a person to modify the document. … Mostly like to enhance the legibility, but still an explicit action none the less."
In short: The certificate was scanned into a computer and sharpened in Photoshop before being saved as a PDF. Of course, Unruh waits until the 17th paragraph -- well after the scaremongering about alleged manipulation -- before bothering to report that.
Meanwhile, a separate May 1 article attempted to discredit one expert who was "the first forensics analyst to weigh in on the validity of the document" by digging up a positive review of a book about Obama's presidential campaign he allegedly wrote on Amazon.com.
Of course, by the same standard, WND is not credible because it puts its anti-Obama agenda before the truth. But don't look for WND to apply that standard to itself.
AIM Ramps Up Its Birther Conspiracy Topic: Accuracy in Media
WorldNetDaily is not the only ConWeb outlet for which the release of President Obama's long-form birth certificate will not be enough. Carol A. Taber keeps the conspiracy going in an April 29 Accuracy in Media column.
Taber asserts that Obama's birth certificate being supposedly "out of sequence with the Nordyke twins’ numbers" is an "iindication of forgery," then claims (italics hers):
So why did he fight not to release it? It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that Obama wasn’t hiding anything that is on the present long form birth certificate. The evidence indicates that what he is hiding is that his long form birth certificate may not be genuine.
Previously, Taber was cheering on Donald Trump to go even more birther than he already was.
We've documented how Newsmax's Ronald Kessler was promoting Donald Trump's presidential ambitions as early as 2006. But Kessler's links to Trump -- and fawningly writing about him -- began long before that.
In 1999, Kessler published a book called "The Season: Inside Palm Beach and America's Richest Society" (the paperback edition punched up the subtitle, changing "Inside Palm Beach" to "The Secret Life of Palm Beach") in which, according to the book jacket, Kessler "brought his charm, insight, and award-winning investigative skills, and came to know Palm Beach, its celebrated and powerful residents, and it exotic social rituals as no outside writer ever has."
Kessler's history of fluffing conservatives gives you a good idea of what's in this book. A Salon.com review states that Kessler "kneels to billionaires, dowagers, bimbos, 'escorts' and lounge lizards" in the book, adding: "Kneels to them and gives them 'a Lewinsky,' as the saying goes." Kessler's chief beneficiary of that treatment is Donald Trump.
Kessler devotes two chapters of his book to Trump, focusing on his purchase of the Mar-a-Lago estate and his transformation of it into a private club that, unlike other hoity-toity clubs in Palm Beach, admitted blacks and Jews.
Here's how Kessler introduces Trump in a chapter called "The Trumpster," in which he references how he few to Palm Beach with Trump on his private jet:
People descend on the island in yachts, Lear jets, and Rolls-Royces for the season, but few arrive in their own commercial-size jets. For the Trumpster, as he is often called, the season began when he left his black stretch limo on the tarmac at LaGuardia Airport a week before Christmas and stepped into his Boeing 727-100. Donald Trump would continue to commute almost every weekend during the season, staying at Mar-a-Lago. Besides Trump, the only other passenters that Friday evening on the flight to Palm Beach were his fifteen-year-old son, Eric, Pam [Kessler's wife], and me. The cost for jet fuel alone for the flight to Florida and the return on Sunday night would be $40,000 -- ten thousand dollars per person.
Smiling as if he had just made a few extra billion, Trump stood in the galley of his 727 and offered us pretzels. In person, Trump is younger, thinner, and blonder than in his photos. He likes to wear his hair long at the neck. His typical facial expression is to set his mouth in a moue, somewhere between a pucker and a pout. It says, "I'm a handsome guy. I'm going to WIN."
Later, Kessler describes how "I sunned myself at the ninety-degree pool" at Mar-a-Lago and sat in on a meeting of his staff members to discuss further plans for the estate.
Of the 16 pages of color photos in Kessler's book, six-plus pages of them are devoted to Trump-related activites, from pictures of the opulent Mar-a-Lago to shots of Kessler and his wife hanging out with Trump and the gang:
Kessler and his wife with Trump.
Kessler (right) with the pilot of Trump's jet.
Kessler and his wife sitting in on Trump's "strategy meetings with lawyers, architects, and staff at Mar-a-Lago.
Kessler and his wife with Trump's butler and another woman "after Donna Summer sang at Mar-a-Lago on New Year's Eve."
Kessler to the left of Trump, Pamela Kessler to the right of Jay Leno.
By contrast, of the non-Trump-related photos, Kessler appears in only two.
In the ackowledgments section, Kessler writes that "My friend and fellow author Edward Klein introduced me to Donald Trump." That, presumably, is the same Edward Klein who penned a hatchet job against Hillary Clinton a few years back, which Newsmax coveredup for.
The Salon review noted that the only person who "emerges as a hero" in Kessler's book is Trump. It turned out to be prescient, since Kessler's doing the exact same thing for Trump now.
It all starts with stopping the lies. That requires eliminating from the political arena the purveyors of lies. The grandest of which is Barack Hussein Obama.
Therefore, after watching this speech, I will now be voting for anyone other than BHO. I never voted for him in the first place. And now America has had a taste of what a real leftist would do to our nation.
So give me Trump, Palin, Pawlenty, Daniels, Huckabee, Romney or Mickey Mouse – anybody but Obama.
Sometimes it seems that the man who is president of this country has his head – well, not on his shoulders but not connected to his brain.
I know he has a brain because anyone savvy enough to get elected to the highest office of the land with virtually no experience, with an invisible background and no paper trail has to have a brain.
The dilemma for Americans is that it's almost impossible to figure out what's going on in the brain of Barack Obama.
He promises and then reneges. He flips and then flops. He exaggerates and then ignores. He says one thing, but his actions speak of other intents.
It takes a lot of that kind of subterfuge to lead people to raise serious questions about a leader, especially in this country. We don't always have presidents we like or support wholeheartedly but because of our system of government, because of our Constitution, we expect our president to level with us on important issues.
Not all do, but without question Barack Obama takes the cake for being a walking, talking enigma.
Unfortunately for him and us, that's led many people to ask a penetrating question: "Whose side is he on?" Unfortunately, because of much of what he's done and not done, it appears to many Americans that he really doesn't have the wellbeing and security of this country at heart.
At a time when many Americans can barely afford Burger King and a movie, Obama boasts of spending a billion dollars on his re-election campaign. Questioned at a recent appearance about the spiraling fuel costs, Obama said, "Get used to it" – and with an insouciant grin and chortle, he told another person at the event, who complained about the effect high fuel prices were having on his family, to "get a more fuel-efficient car."
The Obamas behave as if they were sharecroppers living in a trailer and hit the Powerball, but instead of getting new tires for their trailer and a new pickup truck, they moved to Washington. And instead of making possum pie, with goats and chickens in the front yard, they're spending and living large at taxpayer expense – opulent vacations, gala balls, resplendent dinners and exclusive command performances at the White House, grand date nights, golf, basketball, more golf, exclusive resorts and still more golf.
Expensive, ill-fitting and ill-chosen wigs and fashions hardly befit the first lady of the United States.
No wonder Obama aims to raise at least $1 billion to finance his campaign. You can just hear media outlets across the country salivating at the prospect of all those advertising dollars, to say nothing of those who will be beneficiaries of campaign largesse.
Not bad for a little kid from – oh, somewhere – who just managed to get to the finest schools, make high level social connections, leapfrog from street activist to national politician and end up in the White House with all the power that entails.
Not bad for a guy who never held a job in his life and now finds himself consorting with kings and sheiks, politicians and international activists, dictators and tyrants.
I am not a xenophobe. I have married foreigners, represented them legally as an international lawyer and I speak four languages – some people think even English. All of my beloved grandparents emigrated from other countries. But the actions of Obama, which further an Islamic revolution, coupled with the possibility that he was foreign born in Kenya to an anti-American communist and Muslim father, seem to square with his designs and actions. It lends credence to our constitutional edict that the American president be born here, to American parents. Put simply, Obama's traitorous actions may very well stem from his identifying with his foreign rather than his alleged American roots.
This president has to stop or be stopped before he crushes the middle class he claims to be protecting. Watching our dollar fall in value like a lead weight while Bernanke fuels a rally in the stock market exploding yearly Wall Street bonuses doesn't feel like protection to me. If it is, then we need to have unprotected relations with our government going forward. Protect us not, Mr. O.
If Mr. Obama continues in his pursuit of a socialist utopia where he and the bureaucrats run the country, he will surely be a one-term president – regardless of how much the "watchdog media" excuses or covers for his recklessness.
One term is just fine with me, and I don't think I'm alone. America has awakened to the ineptitude and folly of this president. As I said a few weeks ago, America is now fully engaged. Americans' attitudes for 2012 is like mine.
Anybody but Obama!
The only question left unanswered is how much damage can he do between now and January 2013. I suppose time will tell.
Oops! Chuck Norris Declares Islamic Extremists Are 'Well-Pleased' With Obama Topic: WorldNetDaily
Chuck Norris picked the wrong day to rant that President Obama is a Muslim sympathizer.
In his May 2 WorldNetDaily column, the plagiarism-prone columnist asserted that "There is no greater proponent of the partnership of America and Islam (and therefore Shariah) than President Obama himself. I'm not saying he is a Muslim but a Muslim advocate and apologist." He added, "I'm certain that many Islamic extremists are well-pleased with the progress they are making in America."
Why doesn't Norris ask Osama bin Laden about how pleased he is? Oh, wait, he can't.
Ellis Washington Again Lies About Supposed School Failures Topic: WorldNetDaily
Ellis Washington writes in his April 30 WorldNetDaily column that "Obama's secretary of education, Arne Duncan, recently said that up to 80 percent of all public schools will fail within a year."
As we detailed the last time Washington asserted this, the supporting link hesupplies doesn't claim that; rather, it states that Education Secretary Arne Duncan said that the number of schools that will be classified as "failing" under the No Child Left Behind law will rocket from 37 to 82 per cent in 2011, which indicates a problem with NCLB.
The rest of Washington's column is his usual disjointed anti-communist ranting, in which he states that "Since about 1937 when FDR's 'New Deal' programs were ruled constitutional, America has gradually devolved into a socialist nation which if Obama gets re-elected in 2012 will push our nation totally into communism."
Newsmax's Hirsen Sneers At Actors As Immigration Advisers Topic: Newsmax
James Hirsen writes in an April 29 Newsmax article:
President Obama is turning to Hollywood for the best possible advice on all things immigration. And he's contacting all the pros: Eva Longoria, America Ferrera, and Rosario Dawson. Obama's slipping grip on the key Hispanic voting community may be a reason why.
The White House had previously announced that Obama would meet with “influential Hispanics from across the country to discuss the importance of fixing the broken immigration system.” The discussion was intended to focus on creating “a constructive national conversation on this important issue” and ultimately “work to build a bipartisan consensus in Congress.”
The brain trust that met with Obama and his aides in the White House Roosevelt Room included the following renowned immigration “experts”: Longoria of ABC’s “Desperate Housewives” fame, “Ugly Betty” show star Ferrera, “Sin City” movie actress Dawson and Emilio Estefan, the producer-musician husband of singer Gloria Estefan.
But as Media Matters notes, Longoria, Ferrera and Dawson have all been involved in immigration issues, from acting roles to actual activism; Dawson is the co-founder of the Hispanic activist group Voto Latino.
Nevertheless, Hirsen sneered that "To his credit Obama has met with officials who are close to the issue," including "politicians, religious clerics, law enforcement officials and business, labor, and civil rights figures." Hirsen added that Obama's "continued relationship with Hollywood celebrities" is "critical to the president’s securing of a second term."
WorldNetDaily has the occasional issue of stealing the work of others without credit -- when CEO Joseph Farah does it, it's bound to trickle down. Let's take a look at some WND-related plagiarism scandals that are bubbling up.
Last week, Wonkette discovered that Chuck Norris -- whose column was launched by WND and is now in syndication -- copied parts of his April 25 column word-for-word from other sources without giving them credit. Wonkette later learned that Norris plagiarizes on a surprisingly regular basis.
Now, Wonkette has deduced that Norris doesn't even actually write his columns, plagiarized or otherwise; his pastor, Todd DuBord, does. If that name sounds familiar, it's because WND has promoted his claims that religion (specificallly, Christianity) is being whitewashed out of historical sites like the Supreme Court and Jamestown, and not-so-historical sites like the Capitol visitor's center. WND has also touted how DuBord has tallied the supposed "ongoing trend" of President Obama not directly quoting references to God in the Declaration of Independence.
Interestingly, that's not the only allegation of plagiarism that's floating around WND. The Barackryphal blog has documented how Brad O'Leary, in his factually challenged, WND-published Obama attack book "The Audacity of Deceit," lifted several paragraphs of a WND article by Aaron Klein almost word-for-word without attribution.
There's even some plagiarism going on the birther front. Barackryphal catches some irregularities in the affidavit of Kweli Shuhubia, a translator enlisted by Obama-hating Anabaptist minister Ron McRae in his notorious phone call to Obama's grandmother in Kenya. WND's Jerome Corsi has touted the affidavits by McRae and Shuhubia as evidence that the grandmother said Obama was born in Kenya. Not only is Shuhubia a psuedonym and his affidavit un-notarized, part of it appears to be cribbed from McRae's own affidavit.
With the release of Obama's long-form birth certificate, McRae and "Shuhubia" are completely discredited. With such close association to documented plagiarizers, WND is too.