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Friday, June 3, 2011
Gainor's Disclaimer Didn't Disclaim Enough
Topic: Media Research Center

The final installment of Dan Gainor's intellectually dishonest series on George Soros alleged influence in the media focuses on how a "George Soros-funded 'echo chamber'" is perpetrating a "war" on Fox News. Gainor concludes it with this disclaimer:

Disclaimer: This writer has been on Fox News numerous times and writes a column that often runs on Foxnews.com. He has never received any compensation from Fox.

That would seem to undercut Gainor's attack, whether or not Fox has ever compensated him. But his disclaimer isn't nearly long enough. He doesn't mention that his boss, Media Research Center chief Brent Bozell, conducts reguiar weekly segments on the MRC's brand of so-called media bias on two Fox News shows, "Hannity" (Thursday) and "Fox & Friends" (Friday). Bozell appears solo in those segments, and no opposing view is allowed.

Further, the MRC is a reliable defender of Fox News, and its NewsBusters blog links to Johnny Dollar's Place, a right-wing blog whose main mission is to serve as a Fox News apologist.

Gainor's disclaimer was a good start, but it didn't come close to fully explaining the relationship between his employer and Fox News.

(And now, for my own disclaimer: I'm employed by Media Matters, one of the organizations Gainor cites in his article, but Media Matters has no editorial control over ConWebWatch.)


Posted by Terry K. at 12:02 PM EDT
Fact-Challenged Corsi, O'Leary Team Up for Obama-Hating Book
Topic: WorldNetDaily

If there was anyone who believed Jerome Corsi was acting out of anything but hatred of President Obama when he wrote his dubious birther book, those illusions should be completely dismantled by Corsi's newest work.

Yes, less than two weeks after "Where's the Birth Certificate" was released, WorldNetDaily is publishing another book by Corsi: "How Obama Can Be Defeated in 2012: A Battle Plan Based on Political Statistical Realities," co-authored with Brad O'Leary.

WND is even promoting it as "a kind of sequel to" Corsi's birther book, and it quotes Corsi as saying, "This may be the last best hope for ensuring Obama is not back in Washington in 2013," so they're not even bothering to keep up any pretense that Corsi doesn't have an biased anti-Obama agenda.

The book supposedly contains "the most extensive polling of likely voters conducted by anyone," which supposedly proves that "Obama is very beatable in 2012 – if Republican candidates and strategists follow some simple cues":

Polling for this mammoth research project was commissioned by "The O'Leary Report" and conducted by IBOPE Zogby International. It surveyed 10,000 likely voters – a massive sample size that you simply will not find in other polls due the high cost and sophistication required to pull it off. In contrast, your typical New York Times poll, which serves as fodder for daily talk shows and opinion columnists, has a sample size of fewer than 1,000 people and frequently surveys adults as opposed to "likely voters."

As we've detailed, however, Zogby has a lengthy history of inaccurate polling, and the Zogby polling O'Leary has previously paid for is filled with slanted questions and misleading premises designed to provide the results he's paying Zogby to produce. There's no reason not to think this polling is any different.

WND's suggestion that O'Leary spent a large amount of money to obtain a sample size of 10,000 for his presumably skewed questions is likely not true. As Zogby itself states:

Zogby has amassed a database of respondents that numbers in the hundreds of thousands and is growing by the day. These people have agreed to take online surveys from time to time, for no compensation whatsoever. They never know when they will be invited to take a survey, nor do they know the subject. This database is constantly expanding, and Zogby technicians are constantly cleaning the database of obsolete entries and updating data points on respondents.

When a survey is initiated, a random sample is drawn from this pool of potential respondents, and Zogby sends them an invitation to participate in a survey via email, which includes a link that will take them to the survey on Zogby's own secure servers. The link expires after one use, which is just one of many security measures Zogby has in place to guarantee the veracity of the polling methodology.

One can probably assume that Zogby's method of gathering a database of "hundreds of thousands" predisposed to answer polling (as opposed to the time-honored method of a random sample from a cross-section) does not generate costs exponentially more than a typical sample size. And as analyst Nate Silver points out, Zogby's online method has generated results more inaccurate than even other interactive online polling.

Given that neither Corsi nor O'Leary are known for their scrupulous factual accuracy, this joint effort is probably twice as inaccurate than either man working separately.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:33 AM EDT
Detecting A Theme
Topic: Newsmax

The following Newsmax headlines were taken from stories and columns appearing on the front page on June 2:

Obama Dragging Economy Toward a Great Depression

Obama's Policies Causing the Economy to Sink

Norquist: Obama Taking Country 'Right Off' Financial Cliff

Economic Downturn Could Doom Obama Re-election Hopes

Public’s Fear of Economic Meltdown Could Propel Romney Into White House

And Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy: The Great Meltdown

Anyone detect a theme here?


Posted by Terry K. at 12:22 AM EDT
Thursday, June 2, 2011
Les Kinsolving Whining Watch
Topic: WorldNetDaily

The whining continues in a May 31 WorldNetDaily article complaining that White House press secretary Jay Carney didn't answer a question that WND White House correspondent Les Kinsolving didn't ask, once again dishonestly framing it by baselessly suggesting Carney knew what Kinsolving's question was.

The article notes that "A second question prepared by Kinsolving involved an evaluation of Carney's performance by former White House correspondents."  Yeah, displaying utter contempt for the press secretary is an excellent way to get him to call on you, Lester.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:00 PM EDT
Corsi's 'Expert' Birth Certificate Complaint Is Demolished
Topic: WorldNetDaily

This week, Jerome Corsi promised a three-part WorldNetDaily series on a claim by "international expert on scanners and document-imaging software" Doug Vogt that "the long-form birth certificate released by the White House is criminally fraudulent" in the form of a 22-page document Vogt claims to have filed with the FBI.

Obama Conspiracy, meanwhile, pretty much demolishes Vogt's assertions, not to mention his claimed credentials.

Don't look for Corsi to write about that, since telling the truth isn't part of his agenda.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:39 PM EDT
CNS Body Count Watch
Topic: CNSNews.com

Memorial Day has given CNSNews.com an additional reason to rush out its monthly body-count tally of U.S. troops killed in Afghanistan. Not only does Edwin Mora begin by highlighting that "The Defense Department announced 8 new U.S. casualties in Afghanistan over the Memorial Day weekend," he blames Obama for "62 percent of the total" casualties in Afghanistan.

As per usual, the word "Iraq" is nowhere to be found in Mora's article, thus hiding from his readers the fact that the troop casualty rate in Afghanistan is far outpaced by the peak casualty rate during the Iraq war. 


Posted by Terry K. at 8:45 AM EDT
Farah Reassures His Gullible Readers They're Not Gullible
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Joseph Farah spent his May 30 WorldNetDaily column being offended that the author of the Esquire satire post Farah plans to sue over "terribly gullible." Farah quickly reassured his readers that they are not gullible, that they are, in fact, "anything but gullible."

Then he begged them for money. We'll let World O'Crap handle the rest.

As for more emperical  evidence of WND readers' gullibility, we need only go to a WND reader poll from earlier this week asking the question, "At this point in time, where do you think Barack Obama was born?" A whopping 67 percent say Kenya, even though WND itself has conceded there's "no proof" to support the claim. Of course, lack of proof hasn't stopped WND from suggesting it's so.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:10 AM EDT
Wednesday, June 1, 2011
Barabara Simpson Feeds WND's Misinformation Machine
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah admitted his opinion columnists put misinformation in their columns, and we see it yet again in a May 30 column by Barbara Simpson.

Simpson rehashes the hoary falsehood that returned a bust of Winston Churchill to England, but that's just the start of her parade of misinformation. She goes on to write:

Even his condolences after natural disasters sound robotic. His words are predictable after the floods and the tornadoes. Expected words, yes, but he hasn't said a word about Texans who are enduring fires which have blackened millions of acres destroying agriculture, burned thousands of homes, businesses and uncounted out-buildings and fences, killed thousands of farm animals and left at least two firefighters dead.

Gov. Rick Perry requested a disaster declaration but got no response at all.

Since Texas is a GOP state, it's clear why Obama ignored Perry. But in doing that, he also ignored every Texan, regardless of party.

Then, Houston was ignored as a permanent location for a retired space shuttle. Since Houston has been the heart of the space program, Obama's refusal to honor it is another act of petulant retribution more fitting for an adolescent who didn't get his way rather than the president of the United States.

Simpson is lying when she claims that Texas "got no response at all" to the wildfires there. In fact, the federal government, through FEMA, has provided the state with Texas with 22 Fire Management Assistant Grant declarations, which reimburses much of the state's costs in fighting the fires.

Simpson offers no evidence whatsoever that Houston was denied a space shuttle because Obama is engaging in "petulant retribution" against a "GOP state." NASA, not the White House, was in charge of deciding who got space shuttles, and NASA officials have insisted that they "completely followed" congressional directives in awarding them.

Speaking of petulant retribution, Simpson engages in that herself with more than a little Obama derangement:

Some call Obama the "man-child" in the White House. They're right. He's in over his head. He's so unequipped to do the job the presidency demands that the rest of the world laughs at him, and he's an embarrassment for all Americans and certainly, those we honor on Memorial Day.

As we've noted, that's the Obama-hating red meat Farah wants from his columnists -- not facts.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:07 PM EDT
WND's Massie Revives Bogus “Whitey” Tape Claim
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Much of Mychal Massie’s May 31 WorldNetDaily column is your typical right-wing rant that Michelle Obama is a “bitter harridan” who “has a deep contempt for white people in America.” But Massie also tries to revive one of the more discredited myths about her:

A tape that was reportedly filmed in 2004 during the Rainbow/Push Coalition Conference at Jeremiah Wright's Trinity United Church has mysteriously disappeared from public view. The tape allegedly showed Michelle Obama hysterically ranting about "Whiteys" and savagely attacking Bill Clinton as responsible for African genocide. The wife of Louis Farrakhan was one of the honored guests.

Massie seems not to have considered the possibility that the purported tape has “mysteriously disappeared” because it never existed in the first place. Obama’s campaign has stated that “No such tape exists. Michelle Obama has not spoken from the pulpit at Trinity and has not used that word.” Even conservative blogger Michelle Malkin noted that the purported tape was being hyped by “buffoons” whose claims about it were constantly shifting.

If Massie is going to embrace the idea of something that has shown no evidence of ever existing, it’s also likely that he’s not going to be too concerned about getting actual, provable facts straight. Indeed, Massie falsely claims that Michelle Obama’s Princeton thesis “was made unavailable until Nov. 5, 2008 (interestingly the day after the election).” In fact, Politico published it in February 2008 after receiving it from the Obama campaign  -- which Massie should know since he cited the Politico article in his column.

Massie, however, appears to be too busy bashing Michelle Obama as a would-be “hybrid Leninist” and President Obama himself as having “genetic predisposition to embrace Leninism” to get his facts straight.

(Cross-posted at Media Matters.)


Posted by Terry K. at 11:30 AM EDT
NEW ARTICLE: The MRC's Anti-Gay Agenda
Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center defines any depiction of gays or gay-related issues as "liberal bias" if they aren't denigrated in the process. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 7:31 AM EDT
Ellis Washington Serves Up Another Right-Wing Rant Masquerading As Socratic Dialogue
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Ellis Washington's stacked "dialectics" -- in which he pretends to be Socrates -- typically violates the spirit of a real dialectic by putting words, in the form of Washington's personal views or caricatures, into the mouths of those he purports to be speaking for, thus creating straw men for Washington, as the self-proclaimed Socrates, to knock down.

Washington blows it even more egregiously than usual in his May 28 WorldNetDaily column, which presents itself as a "dialectic" over a Supreme Court decision upholding a California ruling to release thousands of prison inmates to relieve overcrowding. Washington makes it clear he will stack thedeck early on by presenting a gross caricature of Justice Anthony Kennedy, who he claims is saying in an "arrogant tone":

As the moderate, or "swing vote," on this court of last appeal, I am in essence a one-man dictatorship. If I choose to vote with the conservatives, then the Framers' original intent will be the law. If I choose to vote with the socialist wing of the court, then socialism, communism, anarchy and genocide will be the law of the land.

The law, the Constitution, is what I, Justice Anthony Kennedy, say it is!

Not only does Washington baselessly portray Kennedy as a raging egomaniac -- he presents no evidence that this caricature has any basis in reality -- he similarly baselessly frames the argument as "the Framers' original intent" versus "socialism, communism, anarchy and genocide." 

Washington goes on to misinterpret President Obama's 2001 statements about the Warren Court's failure to "break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution" as a "socialist judicial philosophy" rather than what it actually is: an explanation that the Warren Court wasn't as radical as right-wingers like Washington like to believe it is. Washington then throws in Cloward and Piven for no apparent reason other than claim (again, baselessly) that they support the prison release because, somehow, "Total annihilation of all wealth is the final phase of the Cloward Piven strategy."

Washington also largely ignores the root cause of the release -- overcrowding. As the Los Angeles Times article Washington links to points out, California's prison population is 32,000 people over its authorized capacity limit, with prisoners being bunked in gymnasiums. Washington's only reference to it is more non-realistic words he  puts into Kennedy's mouth: "History won't blame me for the mayhem and murder my opinion will surely unleash upon my own country, for I insisted that for the state to make 54 prisoners use one toilet amounts to an Eighth Amendment prohibition against 'cruel and unusual punishment.'"

Further, Washington needlessly inflames the argument by claiming the prisoners to be released are "hardcore" (in the purported words of Justice Antonin Scalia) and "thousands of murderous criminals" (in the purported words of Socrates). But as he himself noted, the Supreme Court granted more time to California officials to implement the release, so since nobody has actually been released yet, Washington has no way of knowing if they are "murderous criminals" or not.

Besides, does Washington really think that the state will release convicted killers over, say, someone in jail on a low-level drug offense? That defies the logic that Washington presents himself as an advocate of. (Of course, Washington's fellow WND columnist Jack Cashill has a convicted killer he'd like to see roaming the streets.)

In between all of this laughably illogical "dialectic," Washington feels the need to attack legendary Supreme Court Justice John Marshall as a "radical judge" who "tried to usurp powers not expressly enumerated to the judicial branch by the Constitution." Washington cited just two cases for this view, decisions in Cherokee Nations v. Georgia (1831) and Worcester v. Georgia (1832) in which "Marshall upheld the Cherokee Indians' rights to lands within Georgia." Washington's two excerpts explaining the rulings, by the way, appear to have been taken from a Yahoo Answers page.

Washington doesn't explain how Marshall's rulings in those cases -- which upheld, respectively, that Indian tribes had the right to the land they occupied until they voluntarily ceded it to the federal government and that Indian tribes are not subject to state governance of the use of their land -- were a usurpation of powers. Nor does he mention why it's a bad thing to let Indian control their own destiny and not be forcibly removed from their lands by the federal government without a treaty. 

This all culminates in a decidedly non-Socratic rant coming from the mouth of Washington -- er, Socrates:

Just as my people, the ancient Greeks allowed systemic moral, religious and political perversions to rot the city-states from the inside out, so likewise has America allowed a small, cloistered, treasonous oligarchy to pass insanely pathological laws like freeing thousands of murderous criminals upon society. To add injury to insult, the justices fear no retribution upon their heads by the people. This criminal judicial decree violates every natural law in that the intended effect is to collapse American society in socialism, anarchy, nihilism and national suicide.

We Greeks called the release of such gargantuan wickedness upon society opening Pandora's box.

During this decadent age of effeminate, cowardly and ignorant men whose principles shift with the winds, what man, what heroic figure will stand tall, strong and true and say without equivocation like Achilles, like Hercules, like Prometheus … like President Andrew Jackson, who said in 1832 what needs to be said this day regarding the naked judicial activism of Chief Justice John Marshall? – "[Justice Anthony Kennedy] has made his decision; now let him enforce it!"

Actually, historians believe Jackson never actually said that about Marshall. Presumably, the real Socrates would be more careful about his facts -- since they form the foundation of logic -- than Washington is.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:29 AM EDT
Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Who Is WND's Supposedly 'Reliable' Birther Source?
Topic: WorldNetDaily

A May 26 WorldNetDaily article declares:

Nearly two months before Barack Obama released what he claims is his valid Hawaii long-form birth certificate, a document met with accusations of fraud by experts, WND was warned by an intelligence source in contact with Hawaii officials that a forged version would be released.

No story was published in WND, because the unnamed confidential source's story could not be corroborated.

The article then quotes WND editor Joseph Farah as saying that this source "had provided reliable information in the past about the controversy over Obama's eligibility."

if this anonymous "intelligence source" -- the latest in a long parade of anonymous sources WND relies on, despite Farah's own admonition that anonymous sources offer up only "quotes made up out of whole cloth to help make the story read better" -- was so reliable, why couldn't WND corroborate his claim? (WND's suggestion that Obama has released a fraudulent certificate is largely based on really stupid evidence.)

Further, WND should be able to detail the "reliable information in the past about the controversy over Obama's eligibility" this source has provided, so that its readers can judge his or her reliability for themselves.

Also, at no point does WND explain why this supposedly reliable source -- who, again, made claims WND couldn't independently corroborate -- was granted anonymity. That raises red flags and suggests that, like Farah warned us, this anonymous source is only serving up "quotes made up out of whole cloth to help make the story read better."

WND has given its readers little reason to trust it in the past. Why start now?


Posted by Terry K. at 7:10 PM EDT
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

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