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Tuesday, May 31, 2011
ConWeb Editor Smackdown on Medicare
Topic: The ConWeb

CNSNews.com editor Terry Jeffrey mounted a major defense of Rep. Paul Ryan's proposed changes to Medicare in his May 18 column. Insisting that "Ryan's Medicare reform plan is not radical change," Jeffrey wrote:

First, it would not in any way impact Medicare for people 55 or over today. They would keep the current system.

Second, younger Americans would have more than a decade to get ready for the new system.

[...]

This does not get America back to 1965, when seniors were not dependent on the government for health care. They will still be dependent.

But it will introduce a little market discipline into the system, where instead of having the government ration care -- like they do in completely socialistic systems -- people will have some latitude to pick and choose what type of plan they want to purchase.

Not so eager to defend Ryan's Medicare plan, however, is Newsmax editor Christopher Ruddy, who in his May 26 column certainly does not agree with Jeffrey that this is "not radical change":

Unfortunately, not only does the Ryan Medicare reform package fail to provide the safeguards that, to my mind, are essential if we are to fulfill our nation’s commitment to seniors, but also it actually proposes that the current Medicare program be replaced with a new “premium support” voucher system for all those currently under age 55.

Today, Americans in the Medicare program are able to get basic coverage, which they can supplement with Medicare Advantage or private health insurance if they choose. But under the Ryan plan, this system will end in 2021 and all Americans who turn 65 that year and after will be given vouchers to purchase health insurance on their own.

If this plan is enacted into law, Medicare eventually will become fully privatized after the current program, which will remain in place for all those age 55 and over, is phased out.

An obvious question immediately arises when considering Ryan’s plan: Will the dollar amount of the vouchers enable the seniors of tomorrow to buy a level of health care that today’s Medicare beneficiaries enjoy? The answer to that is no.

According to the Congressional Budget Office’s analysis of the Ryan plan, “Beneficiaries would . . . face higher premiums in the private market for a package of benefits similar to that currently provided by Medicare. Moreover, the value of the voucher would grow significantly more slowly than CBO expects that Medicare spending per enrollee would grow under current law.”

Simply put, the Ryan plan will cut Medicare spending dramatically by reducing the level of care that the program provides to current beneficiaries. It effectively shifts more of the financial burden onto the shoulders of the private sector and forces individual seniors to pay more out of pocket for their healthcare than they do today.

Ruddy goes on to assert that "Congressional Republicans should take a common-sense approach to reform," adding: "In my view, rampant fraud, abuse, and waste have been the hallmarks of the Medicare system. It is poorly administered. If Congress and the states worked diligently in reducing these excesses, the program would work effectively."

Media Research Center chief Brent Bozell, meanwhile, is just making stuff up. In a May 27 appearance on "Fox & Friends," Bozell claimed that Ryan's plan provides "a 70 percent increase in Medicare," while "Obama is taking $500 billion out of Medicare." In fact, Ryan's plan keeps Obama's cuts and increases out-of-pocket costs for seniors.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:45 AM EDT
WND's Vox Day Warns Men Not To Marry 'Career' Women
Topic: WorldNetDaily

He doesn't like that women can vote. He considers women's rights "a disease that should be eradicated." So it's no surprise that Vox Day would turn in yet another misogynistic WorldNetDaily column, this time warning young men not to marry "career" women because they have a bad habit of having their own thoughts:

So, what is a young man who wishes to be a happy and productive member of society but does not wish to find himself locked into a life of post-divorce serfdom to an ill-tempered, overweight woman with a legal obligation to children who may not even belong to him? Fortunately, the answer is both clear and easily applied. To increase your chances of marital and familial success in life, it is vital to stay away from what are known as "career" or "working" women.

While this will not eliminate all the risks of what has become known as Marriage 2.0, it will return a man's probability of successful marriage to that of the earlier, more marriage-friendly era. Marriage to a stay-at-home wife rather than one with a full-time job reduces the risk of divorce by nearly one-third. Just the simple act of avoiding romantic involvement with working women is nearly enough on its own to again make marriage a viable option for young men.

Moreover, stay-at-home mothers make for much better mothers as they spend 91 percent more time with their children than working mothers do. The most remarkable observation is that stay-at-home mothers spend 12 more minutes per day on the physical care of their children than working mothers spend with their children in total; the net result of this insufficient attention is that the children of working mothers are 23 percent less likely to pass college entrance exams, 29 percent more likely to be unemployed and are more likely to be overweight by age 11.

Day laughably adds: "Although it may appear to be disturbingly like one, this column is not intended as an indictment of career women or working mothers. The facts are what they are, and my only objective is to point out to men that it is a mistake to conclude the societal changes of the last 40 years have rendered all American women equally unsuited for marriage." Then he even more laughably likens career women to drug addics:

No one would dispute that the odds of successfully raising a family with a meth head or crack addict tend to be on the low side, and no one should be upset by the statistically observable fact that men who wish to marry and have children will have a significantly greater probability of success if they choose to marry women who are dedicated to making a career of being a wife and mother.

The only suitable woman for Day, apparently, is one who lives only through her children and husband and has no independent thoughts of her own.

We'd ask whether Day's anger toward women who think for themselves has an inverse relationship to his sex life, but that would be a cheap shot.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:48 AM EDT
Meet Michael Maloof, WND's Newest Reporter, And His Sketchy Past
Topic: WorldNetDaily

A May 22 WorldNetDaily article announced that F. Michael Maloof will be "a senior reporter in WND's Washington bureau." WND calls Maloof "a former senior security-policy analyst in the Office of the Secretary of Defense with almost 30 years of federal service in the U.S. Defense Department and as a specialized trainer for border guards and Special Forces in select countries of the Caucasus and Central Asia," while WND editor Joseph Farah calls him "a veteran journalist and national security expert."

Those "veteran journalist" credentials, however, seem a little sketchy -- as do other things.

WND claims he was "a special correspondent for the Detroit News," but searches of Google and Nexis turn up no Detroit News articles under his name. WND also notes that Maloof was "Washington correspondent for the Union Leader in Manchester, N.H.," but that appears to have been three decades ago; a Decemter 1981 UPI article (found via Nexis) states that at the time he was working as a part-time correspondent for the Union Leader, Maloof was also on the payroll of the Commerce Department writing "issue papers" in the office of assistant commerce secretary Lawrence J. Brady. Maloof ultimately quit the government job to avoid a conflict of interest. An October 1983 UPI article (via Nexis) noted that Maloof "praised Brady in his articles," and at the time of the article had apparently left the newspaper and was working for Richard Perle, then an assistant defense secretary in the Reagan administration.

The Perle connection will come up again. WND vaguely describes Maloof's later work this way:

Following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attack on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, Maloof was detailed back to the Office of the Secretary of Defense to prepare analysis of worldwide terrorist networks, determine their linkages worldwide and their relationship to state sponsors.

Specifically, Maloof was a member of the "B Team" unit commissioned by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and set up by Douglas Feith and Paul Wolfowitz, to re-examine intelligence on terrorism. According to History Commons, the unit was hostile to the CIA and pushed the discredited idea that Iraq's Saddam Hussein was linked to the 9/11 attacks. Maloof's former boss, Perle, supported the operation.

Maloof was stripped of his security clearance in December 2001 (and upheld on appeal in 2003, despite letters of support from Perle and Feith) after being accused of associating with Imad El Haje, a Lebanese-American businessman who was under federal investigation for possible involvement in a gun-running scheme to Liberia, then involved in a civil war. Maloof's supporters contended his clearances were pulled in retaliation for challenging the official assessment that there were no operational terrorist links between al-Qaida and Iraq. Newsweek reported in 2004 (found via Nexis) that Maloof "was investigated for years for security leaks."

Unsurprisingly, Maloof was, and remains, a neocon darling. Washington Times reporter Rowan Scarborough's book "Sabotage" painted Maloof as a victim of political revenge, although he notes that Maloof was involved in a romantic relationship with a woman from the Republic of Georgia whom intelligence agencies were trying to recruit as a asset.

Those neocon credentials, it seems, are more important to WND than Maloof's dubious, long-ago journalism experience. Maloof is described as "a frequent ... contributor" to Farah's subscription-only G2 Bulletin "intelligence news" website. 

Could it be that Maloof was leaking things to Farah while he was working in the government? Those two might want to explain that.

Maloof appears to have the same Obama-hating credentials Farah wants in his so-called reporters. A June 2010 WND article by Maloof touts the then-upcoming Rolling Stone article featuring candid comments by then-Afghanistan commander Gen. Stanley McChrystal. And in June 2009, Maloof made a big deal out of the Obama administration's filing to "protect Saudi Arabia and four of its princes from being held accountable for their alleged role in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attack on the United States" from a lawsuit seeking damages from Saudi Arabia over the 9/11 attacks, failing to explain that the stance was a continuation of Bush administration policy on the issue and that no judge had ruled in favor of the plaintiffs.

So, to sum up: WND has hired as a reporter someone who lost their federal security clearance, who has been accused of leaking information and working outside official channels to peddle dubious intelligence, and whose only relevant recent "journalism" experience is working for another WND division.

And Farah wonders why WND isn't taken seriously.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:18 AM EDT
Monday, May 30, 2011
Farah: Global Warming's A 'Phantom,' But Obama Speech On Israel Caused Joplin Tornado
Topic: WorldNetDaily

In his May 18 WorldNetDaily column, Joseph Farah declared global warming to be a "phantom crisis," and that Newt Gingrich's endorsement of it "demonstrated that he had gone over to the politically correct dark side. That was a disqualifier for me."

No, it seems Farah doesn't believe that global warming affects weather, but he thinks that the level of perceived U.S. support for Israel does. From Farah's May 28 column:

Just days after Obama insisted Israel must give up lands it won through military victory with its enemies, some 200 people were killed by a tornado in Joplin, Mo.

There's a pattern here.

We saw it in Katrina, when George Bush forced Israel's withdrawal from Gaza. In fact, as everyone from Israeli rabbis to U.S. senators have noted, it seems to happen every single time the U.S. pressures Israel to divide the land.

In short: Farah puts alleged Bible prophecy over science.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:52 PM EDT
NewsBusters Invents A Nazi Smear
Topic: NewsBusters

NewsBusters' Alex Fitzsimmons devises a new way to invoke Godwin's law: declare there's a Nazi link to a common phrase.

In a May 26 post, Fitzsimmons declares that an NBC correspondent's description of the disputed Arizona immigration law, SB 1070, as the "show us your papers law" is "Nazi terminology." He doesn't explain why this is so.

Fitzsimmons didn't mention that since the law does, in one provision that has since been suspended, require that legal immigrants carry their citizenship papers at all times, calling it the "show us your papers law" is an entirely accurate description.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:54 AM EDT
Sunday, May 29, 2011
CNS Adds Bias to AP Headline
Topic: CNSNews.com

The original headline the Associated Press supplied for a May 29 article reads "Obama travels to Missouri to view tornado damage." But when CNSNews.com put the article on its website, it made that headline a subhead and gave it a new, more subjective headline: "Obama Will Visit Joplin, Missouri Today to Belatedly View Tornado Damage."


The AP article mentions nothing about Obama visiting "belatedly," only that it comes "comes a day after he returned to Washington from a four-country tour of Europe." CNS is simply adding anti-Obama bias where none existed -- and, presumably, where AP would not approve.

CNS has done this before: It changed another AP headline to denigrate students at a colleges who had available therapy dogs to alleviate stress during final exams as "coddled."


Posted by Terry K. at 10:44 AM EDT
WND's Misinformation Machine Rolls On
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Remember when WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah admitted his opinion columnists put misinformation in their columns? Well, here's a prime example. From a May 25 WND column by Michael Master:

Last week, USA Today stated that 485,000 workers had been terminated from the auto industry while only 67,000 had been rehired with the $85 billion bailout from the government.

Some pundits and lots of the media are pointing to the fact that manufacturing is hiring again. Those media and pundits are feeding us more junk. They are looking at one little fact and ignoring the elephant in the room. The elephant is that the most successful of the automakers is Ford, which did not terminate many employees and did not take the bailout. Instead, Ford renegotiated union contracts and replaced many union workers with non-union employees. At $85 billion for 67,000 rehires, that is more than $1 million per rehire for the auto bailouts at GM and Chrysler. More than $1 million per rehired worker is a horrible return on investment!

We couldn't find any USA Today article that made the claim Master asserts. The closest we found was a May 20 article stating that the auto industry lost 332,000 jobs in the recession, followed by 42,000 rehires, and it didn't mention the cost of the bailout (which CNN pegs at $80 billion, meaning Master got that number wrong too).

Also, measuring the money spent on the auto industry bailout by the number of people rehired is a meaningless metric given that the point of the bailout was to save hundreds of thousands of other jobs by keeping GM and Chrysler (as well as their suppliers) in business.

Master also ignores that the federal government will recoup much of the money it spent saving GM and Chrysler. Indeed, the same day Master's column appeared, Chrysler repaid $7.6 billion in loans, with interest, to the U.S. and Canadian governments, and Fiat agreed to buy the federal government's ownership stake in Chrysler, giving Fiat a 46 percent stake in the company.

But factual accuracy isn't Master's bag. he just wants to bash Obama:

It is clear that Obama hurt this economy: pandering to unions, printing money, pushing interest rates too low, deficit spending, expanding government and implementing the same socialism that is killing Europe – while granting more than 1,300 exemptions to Obamacare (including an exemption to AARP, the biggest supporter of the law).

If nothing else, Obama exacerbated the problems. He has been horrible for America. His economic plans are disastrous. He polarized the country rather than unite it. And he is leading America in a socialist direction, like Europe, rather than setting the pace for the world with capitalism.

And why? Because Barack Obama lacks any executive experience or respect for capitalism that is required for the president.

Compare Obama to Cain, Pawlenty, Christie, Huntsman, Romney, or Trump who all have educations at least equal to Obama in business and economics and have executive experiences that make Obama look woefully inadequate.

Obama has been a horrible experiment in affirmative action that has cost America a tremendous amount, economically and to her unity.

No wonder Farah doesn't bother to fact-check his columnists. As long as they pump out the Obama-hating screeds, that's good enough for him.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:18 AM EDT
MRC: No One May Praise Obama (Or His Wife)
Topic: Media Research Center

Brent Bozell's May 25 column carries the headline "No One May Lecture Obama." He, like most conservatives, misled by claiming that President Obama claimed that he wants Israel to "retreat behind pre-1967 borders." In response to Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu's criticism of that misinterpreted stance, Bozell huffed that "Our media feel President Obama's pain so intensely that they can't bear the thought that someone would say an unkind word to him, especially with their cameras rolling."

The official MRC policy, of course, is that no one is allowed to say anything nice about Obama and to attack anyone who does -- and that goes double for his wife.

This was illustrated in a May 25 NewsBusters post by Mike Bates aghast that people would say something nice about Michelle: 

The mainstream media are demonstrating that their fawning coverage isn't limited to President Barack Hussein Obama.  The establishment press loves Michelle LaVaughn every bit as much.

Bates' gratuitous use of middle names is indicative of his hatred for the couple. Another is his nitpicking of one AP article's statement that Michelle Obama "gained more fans during her state visit to the U.K.": "How does the AP know that Mrs. Obama gained fans?  Did they take a survey pre- and post-warm handshake?"

Bates is even shocked that that avatar of journalistic objectivity, Access Hollywood, said nice things about her.

This isn't media criticism; it's just hate.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:07 AM EDT
Saturday, May 28, 2011
WND Labeling Bias Watch
Topic: WorldNetDaily

A May 25 WorldNetDaily article by Aaron Klein is quick to label Media Matters (disclosure: our employer) as a "liberal advocacy group funded by philanthropist George Soros," but none of the conservative organizations Klein cites to attack Soros and other related groups -- such as the Media Research Center, the Capital Research Center, and FrontPageMag -- are identified as conservative. Even UndueInfluence.com, which bills itself as "Ron Arnold's Left Tracking Library ...because something just doesn't feel RIGHT," gets no ideological label.

Klein cites a Capital Research Center report on ProPublica claiming that it "churns out little more than left-wing hit pieces about Sarah Palin and blames the U.S. government for giving out too little foreign aid," laughably ignoring the fact that the CRC report is itself a right-wing hit piece -- it largely complains that ProPublica doesn't uncritically push right-wing talking points -- and ignoring that ProPublica has won two Pulitzer Prizes on subjects other than Palin and foreign aid.

Klein's attack on the Center for Public Integrity is even more laughable:

CPI regularly churns out partisan pieces. One widely debunked Center for Public Integrity study from 2008, covered extensively by the AP, claimed it found President Bush and top administration officials had issued hundreds of false statements about the national security threat from Iraq as "part of an orchestrated campaign that effectively galvanized public opinion and, in the process, led the nation to war under decidedly false pretenses."

Klein seems to have forgotten that WND published a lengthy series of articles attacking Al Gore before the 2000 election that began life as a CPI project (CPI ultimately parted ways with the authors). Of course, this was the same series that drew a libel lawsuit against WND by Gore associate Clark Jones, which WND ultimately settled out of court just before it was to go to trial by, in part, admitting that it made false claims about Jones. There was presumably also a financial consideration paid to Jones as part of the settlement, but that has been kept secret.

Klein also offers no evidence to back up his claim that the CPI report on the Bush administration's false statements about Iraq was "widely debunked"; the only purported debunking we could find was focused on semantics, claiming that "Being proven wrong is not 'lying.'" Maybe Klein's researcher, Brenda J. Elliott -- who helped put together Klein's factually deficient smear piece -- could enlighten us.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:39 AM EDT
CNS' Starr Shills for Oil Industry
Topic: CNSNews.com

The Media Research Center has received $412,500 in funding from ExxonMobil since 1998. This money presumably manifests itself in things like CNSNews.com reporter Penny Starr essentially doing PR work for the oil industry through "news" articles.

Take, for example, a May 26 article by Starr that uncritically reports on a PowerPoint presentation given by the John Felmy, chief economist at the American Petroleum Institute, the lobbying and promotion arm of the oil industry:

Armed with a Power Point presentation to illustrate the state of American energy, John Felmy, chief economist at the American Petroleum Institute (API), said the majority of “big oil” and natural gas ownership is in good hands – the hands of the American people.

According to a report published in 2007 by Sonecon, an economic advisory firm that analyses U.S. markets and public policy, corporate management owns only 1.5 percent of the U.S. oil and natural gas industry.

The rest is owned by tens of millions of Americans through retirement accounts (14 percent) and pension funds (26 percent).  Mutual funds or other firms account for 29.5 percent ownership and individual investors own 23 percent of oil stock holdings.

Institutional investors hold the remaining 5 percent.

[...]

As for the profits made by U.S. oil and natural gas companies that have been cited by congressional Democrats as reason to end tax incentives for the industry, Felmy put those earnings in perspective when it comes to high gasoline prices.

“If you took 100 percent of the earnings of the oil industry, you’d save 30 cents on the gallon,” Felmy said.

Starr makes no effort to seek out anyone who might be critical of the API's claims. Failure to pursue such an journalistic effort, one can easily assume, is why ExxonMobil is giving the MRC all that money.

Starr also shilled for the oil industry in a May 20 CNS article, in which she also repeated the API line about ownership and taxes. Starr also tried to play gotcha with Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill -- who has been leading a call to investigate possible price-fixing of gasoline by U.S. refineries -- by asking her if she knew how many oil refineries were owned by the top five oil companies. She didn't know, which caused Starr to gloat that "the five largest oil companies own 23 percent, or less than one quarter, of the 141 oil refineries operating in September 2010."

A more meaningful figure than the number of oil refineries owned, however, is the amount of refinery capacity controlled. According to Public Citizen, the five largest oil companies control 56.3% of domestic oil refinery capacity; the top ten refiners control 83%.

Starr does seem to be relying on the API as her main source on oil-related issues. A March 17 article featured "reaction from the oil and natural gas industry on both sides of the U.S. and Canadian border," including the API, on federal delays in approving a new oil pipeline between the two countries. Starr touted how "pipeline advocates" claim the pipeline will bring "economic growth and revenue growth through taxes on the project."

Starr plugged the API again in a January 5 article, in which she touted API president Jack Gerard's claim that "if the Obama administration and Congress would allow the industry access to domestic oil and natural gas reserves, the United States would get the energy it needs, create hundreds of thousands of jobs, and the government would add more than $1.7 trillion to its coffers." Like the earlier article featuring the API's Felmy, Starr sought no dissenting views.

By contrast, a May 12 article by Starr which began by stating that "Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV (D-W.Va.), a great-grandson of oil tycoon John D. Rockefeller who once controlled 90 percent of U.S. oil production, criticized the CEOs of the top U.S. oil corporations for being “out of touch” and compared their business practices to Saudi Arabia at a hearing on Thursday of the Senate Finance Committee," made sure to include Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch's statement that Democrats were trying to “exploit high gas prices for political gain” and that they have “no energy policy whatsoever.”

With Starr serving as the oil industry's shill, it seems ExxonMobil is getting its money's worth.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:25 AM EDT
Friday, May 27, 2011
Is WND Conceding Mike Guzofsky Is A Terrorist?
Topic: WorldNetDaily

A May 24 WorldNetDaily article boosts Michael Savage's continuing crusade against the United Kingdom's ban on his entering the country, repeating a claim by Republican Rep. Allen West that "Savage was put on the U.K.'s banned-entry list with 'ruthless criminals,' including a Hamas terrorist and Russian skinhead" and Savage's own statement that the list includes "actual murderers and terrorists."

It can be argued that WND is now implicitly conceding that far-right Israel extremist Mike Guzofsky is a terrorist.

As we've detailed, when the banned-entry list first came out, WND originally described Guzofsky (aka Yekutel Ben Yaacov) as a "Jewish extremist," but then retroactively changed it to "Jewish nationalist." WND's Aaron Klein -- who has previously whitewashed Guzofsky's connections to the banned far-right movement Kahane Chai and has admitted that he "agree[s] with some of the sentiments of Rabbi Meir Kahane" -- ran to Guzofsky's defense, claiming that he's merely a dog trainer, ignoring the Kahane movement's history of violence.

Oh, and about Guzofsky's dogs? He told the New Yorker in 2004 that they're for scaring Arabs:

“We don’t want the dogs to kill the Arabs, just immobilize them,” Guzofsky said. He said that the dogs could smell the difference between an Arab infiltrator and a Jewish resident. “The adrenaline of the Arabs, they can detect it. The Arabs are very scared of dogs. Muslims think they’re unclean.”

WND, as has become regular procedure, didn't name Guzofsky among the people on the UK's banned list. But the fact that it's willing to call the non-Savage people on the list terrorists suggests that it may be getting tired of defending Guzofsky.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:35 PM EDT
Ben Shapiro: Jews Who Vote for Obama are 'Jews In Name Only'
Topic: CNSNews.com

In 2008, Obama grabbed 78 percent of the Jewish vote. Even the most wildly optimistic polling today shows that Obama's support remains high among Jews. It's a result that Republicans simply can't understand – why do so many Jews continue to support a president who has shown time and again that he stands against the State of Israel?

Why the reflexive lever-pulling on behalf of a man who appoints anti-Semites to positions of high power, attends a virulently anti-Semitic church for 20 years, and sees Israel as the cause of the West's conflict with the Muslim world?      

The answer is deceptively simple: the Jews who vote for Obama are, by and large, Jews In Name Only (JINOs). They eat bagels and lox; they watch "Schindler's List"; they visit temple on Yom Kippur – sometimes. But they do not care about Israel. Or if they do, they care about it less than abortion, gay marriage and global warming.  

[...]

Being Jewish is not like being black or Asian or Hispanic. It comes with certain attendant ideological responsibilities. There is no logical or inherent connection between skin color and liberalism or conservatism – melanin has no political playbook. Jewish identity, however, does. There is more to being truly Jewish than being born into a Jewish family, just as there is more to being Christian than being baptized.  

Being truly Jewish requires allegiance to basic Judaic principles; the first and foremost of which is identity with the Jewish people and its enlightened national aspirations. In the Tanach (the Jewish canon, including the Old Testament, the Prophets and the Writings), when Ruth converts to Judaism, she states, "Your people will be my people and your God my God."
The connection between Jews and the land of Israel is the running theme of the Old Testament. Any Jew who does not take these principles seriously – more seriously than global warming or affirmative action, for example – is a JINO.     

And voting for Obama is a violation of those principles.

[...]

Simply put, Obama is an enemy of the Jewish people and the State of Israel. And any Jew who votes for him betrays his or her brothers and sisters at home and abroad. By definition, a vote for Obama is a vote against the truly Jewish part of Jewish identity. There is a reason that the observant Jewish community votes overwhelmingly Republican – they vote on Jewish principle.

-- Ben Shapiro, May 26 column, published at CNSNews.com


Posted by Terry K. at 10:33 AM EDT
MRC's Double Standard on Sex Allegations Continues
Topic: NewsBusters

Tim Graham complains in a May 24 NewsBusters post how Time magazine's Nancy Gibbs described sexual misbehavior allegations against Arnold Schwarzenegger and Dominique Strauss-Kahn as "an abuse of power and a betrayal of trust" but said Bill Clinton was, in Graham's words, " miraculous politician who deserved forgiveness."

Graham seems to have forgotten that his employer worked to minimize groping allegations against Schwarzenegger when they surfaced in 2003. As we documented, rather than portray it as, say, "an abuse of power and a betrayal of trust," the MRC insisted that nothing he did was as awful as what Clinton was accused of, and Graham himself complained that the story surfaced in the first place.

Graham huffed that Time "didn't care to investigate the claims of Juanita Broaddrick in 1999," ignoring that Broaddrick has a history of contradictory statements that undermine her story.

Graham's refusal to criticize Schwarzenegger severely undercuts his moral authority to criticize Democrats, then or now.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:55 AM EDT
Intra-Birther Smackdown! Trump vs. Corsi
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily's big birther scoop is turning into a war of words between Donald Trump and WorldNetDaily's Jerome Corsi.

A May 24 WND article by Bob Unruh touted how Corsi, author of the dubious birther book "Where's the Birth Certificate," claimed that Trump 'reached out" to him "with a long list of questions about where the [birth certificate] issue is, and where it seems to be going":

Corsi said Trump specifically wanted to know what will happen next in the campaign to reveal the truth about Obama.

"He asked, 'aren't you discouraged?'" said Corsi.

"But why should I be discouraged? There's breaking news about Obama's eligibility, the book is selling well," he said.

[...]

"I told him he needs to publicly say that the document in the vault, the original long-form birth certificate, needs to be exposed and examined independently," Corsi said. "The doctor's records, the Kapiolani records of Ann Dunham to corroborate she was in that hospital."

"I told him if you don't press these issues you can't be surprised if there are those who think you're working with Barack Obama [on the dispute]," Corsi added.

WND embeds a YouTube video of a Corsi radio interview in whichhe made the claim, but curiously does not identify whose radio show it was. Perhaps because it was on the radio show of Alex Jones, an even bigger conspiracy-monger than Corsi.

Why is WND afraid to credit Jones with the interview? Are they afraid that associating with Jones will make him look even more discredited than he already is?

This was followed up the next day with an unbylined article claiming that, "in a telephone call to WND senior reporter Jerome Corsi, Ph.D.," Trump "says he believes the 'birth certificate' released by the White House is forged," adding that "Trump told Corsi his own computer expert told him at the release that it was a computer-generated document."

Then, one little problem surfaced in Corsi's story: Trump denied Corsi's version of events. Trump issued a statement to Mother Jones:

I am proud of the fact that I was able to get President Obama to release his birth certificate. President Clinton couldn’t do it, Senator McCain couldn’t do it—no one else could do it! Frankly, many people were surprised that it took so long for this to happen. Is his birth certificate legitimate? I hope it is for the good of the country, but that’s for experts to determine—not me. I have not read the book written by Jerry Corsi nor did we discuss whether or not the birth certificate was computer generated or in any way fabricated. I merely asked him how his book was doing and wished him good luck.

WND has responded to this exactly the way you'd expect them to: by getting all pissy about it.

A May 26 WND article notes Trump's claim not to have read Corsi's book "despite having his staff sign a non-disclosure agreement to get the book three weeks before it was released May 17."

The article also states: "Corsi says Trump repeated a conversation he had weeks ago in a conference call with WND Editor and Chief Executive Officer Joseph Farah in which the building magnate said he is concerned about the validity of the document released April 27 by the Obama White House. Farah confirms Trump questioned the authenticity of the birth certificate and said others around him do as well."

Wait -- wasn't Farah denying that he had ever spoken to Trump just a few weeks ago (despite previously stating that he had)? Yes, he was.

WND then goes off on a conspiratorial tear:

Farah wonders aloud why Trump would ask for a copy of a book he had no intention of reading – even going to the extent of having his organization sign a non-disclosure agreement to get an early electronic copy.

"If he wasn't going to read the book, why go to the trouble of requesting a PDF copy and having your representative sign an NDA for it?" asked Farah. "Was his intent all along to violate the NDA and give it to someone else? Was his intent other than what he represented to us – to go to school on the eligibility issue? Trump needs to explain himself to someone other than Mother Jones. That doesn't sound like good faith to me."

Farah and Corsi say Trump talked about a golf course designer he works with – someone Trump described as a "genius" on the computer – who shared with him his expert opinion that the birth certificate was a fraud. Trump said he was considering renewing his calls for Obama to establish his eligibility, but wanted more to go on.

"He kept urging us to hold press conferences – assuring us he'd be right behind us, holding our coats, so to speak" said Farah. "When I pushed him to join us, he quickly backed off – saying he couldn't jump back into the issue right now. I have strongly begun to suspect that Trump had other motives than seeking the truth about Obama. I think he was pumping Corsi for information for some other purpose than being on the right side of history."

This actually falls in line with how the Alex Jones crowd promoted Corsi's interview with him. An article on Jones' Infowars site sums it up by noting that in his interview with Jones, "Corsi sensationally accused short-lived Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump of 'working with Obama' to neutralize the birther controversy."

Who's telling the truth here? We have no idea -- neither Trump nor Corsi are famous for their truth-telling, and Farah can't keep his story straight either.

As we've noted, WND is essentially betting it all that the birth certificate Obama released is forged, and it's going to some absurd lengths to keep that angle alive. Trump was a somewhat credible ally for WND to have on the issue.

With Trump bailing on them, WND seems to think it's more important to get in a pissing match with him rather than act like a real news organization. Then again, that's pretty much how WND has always operated.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:16 AM EDT
Thursday, May 26, 2011
CNS Instructs Right-Wing Media On How To Make Obama Look Bad
Topic: CNSNews.com

A May 24 CNSNews.com article by Susan Jones noting that President Obama "as sent his "deepest condolences" to the people in tornado-devastated Joplin, Mo." while he "heading to London for a visit with the British royals" begins with a curious editor's note:

According to the White House Web site, President and Mrs. Obama will take part in an arrival ceremony at Buckingham Palace Tuesday at 7:20 a.m. Washington time. They will then have lunch with Her Majesty the Queen. At the same time, the morning news shows in the U.S. will continue their live coverage of the devastation in Joplin, Mo., which could make for jarring side-by-side images of royal pomp in London and dreadful circumstance in Joplin.

It's as if CNS was sending marching orders to Fox News and other right-wing media to start creating those "jarring side-by-side images." There's no reason for CNS to point that out other than to prompt its ideological allies to make Obama look bad.

CNS was only slightly less obvious in its marching orders in a May 25 article by Jones in which she actually complains that the media isn't portraying Obama as a " blundering fool" over a couple minor gaffes during his visit to Britain:

Imagine the newspaper headlines if President George W. Bush had written the wrong date in the Westminster Abbey guest book; or if he had continued toasting the Queen of England after the British national anthem started playing.

Obama did both of those things on Tuesday, and while media outlets reported the incidents, there was no suggestion that he is a blundering fool.

Is this sort of thing really the job of a "news" organization? Not that we're aware of.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:02 PM EDT

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