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Thursday, June 30, 2011
The WND Birther Lawsuit Dog and Pony Show (And The Question Joseph Farah Won't Answer)
Topic: WorldNetDaily

From left: Larry Klayman, Joseph Farah, Mara Zebest and Jerome Corsi.


We've noticed the increasing irrelevance of WorldNetDaily, due to the overall vengeful yet factually dubious nature of its reporting. We saw firsthand another example in the press conference WND held June 29 to formally announce its defamation lawsuit against Esquire magazine over a piece of satire WND didn't find funny.

To put a patina of credibility on the proceedings, WND rented a small conference room (this one) at the National Press Club in Washington. Pretty much anyone can rent a room there -- remember, the utterly discredited Larry Sinclair discredited himself even more there. WND paid a few hundred bucks for a room with a flat-screen TV in order to make its little dog and pony show look professional.

Indeed, WND tries to ride the supposed credibility of location in its own article on the press conference, with the headline "Eligibility takes center stage at National Press Club." In fact, there were much larger events going on at the NPC at the same time, one of which was using the actual "center stage" of the NPC ballroom.

Inside the Bloomberg Room, members of the press were far outnumbered by people affiliated with WND. In fact, there were only two members of the press there: a writer for AdWeek and myself. (AdWeek's article on the press conference is here.) Another person appearing to be a reporter asked questions, but she was apparently affiliated with WND as well.

Before anyone could ask any questions about the lawsuit, though, WND felt it had to push its birther agenda in order to provide what WND editor Joseph Farah called "very important background" to the lawsuit. First up was Jerome Corsi, who took credit for forcing President Obama's release of his long-form birth certificate, going on to declare that "a person we've had in the Deartment of Health in Hawaii who has been a mole to us, giving us information, said that the birth certificate had been forged and was now the logbook." Corsi asserted that "with the release of that document, the entire future of the Obama presidency depends on the authenticity of that document."

Corsi went on to declare that the patient records of Obama's mother or the doctor that delivered him because they "remain under seal as part of a continuing cover-up" -- apparently unaware that all  American's health records "remain under seal" because of federal privacy laws for health records.

Next up was Mara Zebest, who had produced an analysis of the PDF file of the birth certificate released by the White House that WND had promoted earlier that day. After a bit of fumbling around on the laptop computer for the proper files, Zebest served up examples of why she thinks the certificate was "manufactured digitally." (The Obama Conspiracy blog has a quick overview of why she's wrong.) Zebest was introduced as an expert on Adobe software, but like WND's previous Adobe "expert" Gary Poyssick, the three books listed under her name at (where's she's also listed as Mara Zebest Nathanson) are about Photoshop, not Adobe Acrobat or the PDF format. (Zebest claimed later in the press conference, in answer to a question from me, that she has expertise in Acrobat and PDFs.)

Corsi and Zebest try to solve an computer issue with Zebest's presentation on why the long-form birth certificate Obama released is a fraud.


Later, in an attempt to portray Zebest as something other than politically motivated, Farah said that Zebest "is a lifelong Democrat. In 2008 she was a Hillary supporter." Farah didn't mention that birther lawyer Philip Berg was a Hillary supporter too, which undercuts his argument.

Finally, 21 minutes into the press conference, it was time for the main event. Larry Klayman, WND's lawyer, took the podium to pontificate about the lawsuit. Klayman asserted about the Esquire article: "It was amateur. It was rank. It hurt." Klayman then dramatically read through the entire Esquire post, than asserted that the satire piece "was obviously calculated with malice to destroy not just the book and its sales but to destroy the reputations of Mr. Corsi and Mr. Farah. The stupidity of this is beyond belief. The legal actionability of this is believable." Klayman claimed that the book "hasn't nearly sold as well as it would have soldif the damage had not been done by Esquire and [blog post author Mark] Warren."

Klayman then explained the charges under which he's seeking damages: defamation, invasion of privacy, false light, tortious interference with business, and violation of the Lanham Act for "false advertising." WND is seeking a total of at least $225 million from Esquire for actual and punitive damages on the five counts. (We didn't get a chance to ask how that figure related to the still-secret amount of money WND had to pay Clark Jones in an out-of-court settlement to settle a libel lawsuit, in which WND also admitted it published numerous false claims about Jones.)

Klayman also claimed that "neither Mr. Farah or Mr. Corsi or WorldNetDaily Books or WorldNetDaily wished to engage Esquire, Mark Warren, or the Hearst Corporation on any of these issues. They were forced into this." But later in the press conference that he made no effort to contact Esquire or Hearst regarding the issue before filing the lawsuit, stating that Farah's threats to sue Esquire "was an invitation for Mr. Warren, Esquire and Hearst to contact us and say, hey, you know, we did something wrong here."

Finally, it was question time. In addition to claiming that she has experience in Acrobat and PDFs, Zebest claimed in another question from me that she examined the PDF file in the program it was originally created in. But has Obama Conspiracy noted, Zebest stated in her analysis that "she believed that the document was created in Adobe Photoshop, ignoring that the document properties say it was made by Mac OS X Quartz PDFContext, an inexcusable omission and mark of a sloppy analysis."

Farah said that 65,000 copies of Corsi's book were printed and distributed. He claimed that one retail shop returned its copies of the book in response to the Esquire article.

Klayman asserted that the fact the Esquire blog post was tagged as satire was not a mitigating factor in his lawsuit. Farah said the post's reference to "Capricorn One" -- a movie about a faked moon landing -- was not a sufficient clue to the satirical nature of the post because so much of the article was untrue. This led to a mini-rant by Klayman about the falsehoods in his Wikipedia profile "which we have not been able to correct." (Note to Klayman: That's not how Wikipedia works.)

I asked Klayman why he thinks he will do better in this lawsuit than he did in the lawsuit he filed on WND's behalf last year against the White House Correspondents Association over its refusal to sell WND as many tickets as it demanded for the annual correspondents' dinner, a lawsuit that was swiftly tossed out of court. Klayman brusquely replied: "Well, first of all, we decided not to pursue that. But the issue here is this case, not that case, so if you want to relive that case, we'll do that some other time."

I pointed out to Corsi that, his and Farah's assertions to the contrary, there are people who will defend the authenticity of the PDF birth certificate or at least rebut its attackers, such as Dr. Conspiracy's detailed rebuttal of the Ken Vogt analysis that Corsi devoted three WND articles to. Corsi's response was a curious one: After calling Dr. Conspiracy "one of my favorites," Corsi said, 'I'll be writing about Dr. Conspiracy in the next few days. I'll be exposing his background, his entire credentials, his involvement with his company. I've got a detailed -- I just haven't had time to write it up."

When I asked Corsi why he's personally attacking his critics by digging into their backgrounds, Corsi suddenly softened his tone: "I'm sorry, I said I would evaluate his credentials. It's not a personal attack, but we're going to evaluate his credentials in his point-by-point."

Finally, I tried to ask Farah if he could confirm Tim Adams' assertion that the affidavit he signed claiming that he had been told that no copy of Obama's birth certificate existed in state files was created by WND-affiliated lawyers. Here's how that exchange went:

FARAH: I really don't -- Terry, If you want to obsess about stuff like that, I invite you to do so. I would really like to focus on why the president of the United States and the White House are issuing bogus birth certificates rather than why somebody at WorldNetDaily, which lawyer they consulted to --

ME: But if you're creating news to forward the story -- 

FARAH: Terry, we all know your work.

ME: You're creating news and not reporting it.

FARAH: We appreciate all of the attention that you devote to Thanks very much.

And with that the press conference came to an abrupt end.

Given Farah's abject refusal to answer such a simple question, we suspect Farah really doesn't appreciate the kind of attention from us that forces him and his website to be held accountable for their actions.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:09 AM EDT
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Newsmax Columnist Rants: "Every Single Thing' Immigrants Do 'Hurts American Citizens'
Topic: Newsmax

Usually James Walsh is the immigrant-bashing ranter at Newsmax, but Chris Freind has decided to give a try in his June 27 Newsmax column:

In an act that simply defies comprehension, State Rep. Tony Payton of Philadelphia just unveiled a bill that “would allow undocumented immigrant students to pay in-state tuition” at any Pennsylvania state school, community college, or state-related university (similar to the proposed federal law known as the DREAM Act).

Why the handout to those who least deserve it? Because “undocumented students are not eligible for federal financial aid, (so) college is often extremely expensive and simply out of reach for many of these students," he explained.

Oh, the tragedy.

Of course, there’s a reason why federal financial aid — political code speak for American taxpayer dollars — is not available to these folks. They’re ILLEGAL. As in, they have broken the law to get here, and are breaking the law being here.

Every single thing they do hurts American citizens and throws our nation deeper into the red.

Aiming for Walsh's job there, Chris?

Posted by Terry K. at 12:57 PM EDT
WND Flip-Flops On Author's Non-Disclosure Agreement With CAIR
Topic: WorldNetDaily

When WorldNetDaily published the anti-CAIR book "Muslim Mafia," one key bone of contention in CAIR's legal actions against WND, book co-author David Gaubatz and his son, Chris -- who went undercover at CAIR and pilfered numerous documents that formed the basis of the book -- was whether Gaubatz's son signed a confidentiality agreement when he became employed at CAIR. As we've documented, the Gaubatz-WND legal team had historically avoided directly answering that question, which suggests that Gaubatz's son did, in fact, sign such an agreement (CAIR says it cannot find a copy of it).

But Gaubatz appears to have changed its tune. A June 12 WND article by Art Moore decides to answer that question:

CAIR alleges Chris Gaubatz signed a confidentiality agreement when he worked as an intern for six months, but Gaubatz denies it, and CAIR reportedly says it has no copy of any agreement.

If Chris Gaubatz never signed the agreement, why has Chris Gaubatz and his legal team spent the past year and a halfrefusing to give a definitive answer to whether he did? And why is it being so definitive now? Is it taking refuge in CAIR's apparent inability to unearth a copy to claim it never existed?

The abrupt switch from refusing to answer the question to definitively answering it is suspicious. Since WND is also a defendant, don't expect Moore to explain it.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:20 AM EDT
MRC's Weiner 'Reality Check' Ignores Breitbart's Lack of Credibility
Topic: Media Research Center

A June 22 Media Research Center "Media Reality Check" by Tim Graham purported to compare coverage of the Anthony Weiner scandal with that of the 2006 scandal involving Republican congressman Mark Foley. Graham declared that "the networks did not attack" the Weiner scandal, while they exhibited "a real feeding frenzy" in the Foley case; Graham asserted that such disparate treatment "underline[s] how politicians know the media is liberal."

As befits the shoddy legacy of the MRC's so-called media analysis, Graham makes no mention of one key factor in the initial lack of coverage of Weiner: the lack of credibility in the outlet breaking the story, Andrew Breitbart's network of websites.

Breitbart's embrace of James O'Keefe's deceptively edited ACORN videos and another deceptively edited video in the Shirley Sherrod case made it clear that Breitbart put partisan hackery ahead of the truth. Given that Breitbart has declared war on the "Democrat-media complex," and Weiner was a forceful advocate for liberal views who appeared frequently on TV, there was no reason not to assume that Breitbart's attacks on Weiner was anything other than politically motivated and, therefore, suspect. Breitbart's later declaration that he "loved every second of" Weiner's downfall negates any credibility he might have gained from getting a story correct for once.

The Foley scandal, by contrast, was broken by a nonideological (to all but the hardcore right-wingers at the MRC) reporter, Brian Ross, at a nonideological (to all but the hardcore right-wingers at the MRC) news outlet, ABC News. 

In short: Ross is a trustworthy reporter, Breitbart is not. That Graham refused to acknowledge this confirms that the MRC's media analysis is no more trustworthy than Breitbart's reporting.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:16 AM EDT
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
WND Anti-Gay Freakout Watch, New York Gay Marriage Edition
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Obama said he looks forward to the day "when every single American, gay or straight or lesbian or bisexual or transgender, is free to live and love as they see fit [sic]."

The president stopped short of giving a thumbs up to same-sex marriage, although everyone knew he would be fine with that, and I'm sure he's congratulating New Yorkers right now. Besides, with the above comment, he has given us so much more.

This historic sound bite provides another glimpse into the working ideology of the free-world leader and his liberal fellow travelers. Long before he was fixing the finest health-care system on the planet, spending us into financial ruin and calling it progress, he taught us about "spreading the wealth." He's happy with people spreading other things, apparently, wherever they want.

This "freedom" will include much more than a perpetual pansexual pagan party. It will, and already does, include libel, slander, intimidation, corruption of youth, revolt in congregations, suppression of parental rights, revision of language, disease, loss of employment and loss of life.

Oh, and did I mention public sex, the porn explosion and public nudity?

Welcome to entitlement sex.

-- Linda Harvey June 27 WorldNetDaily column

On June 25, 2011, MSNBC and the other undereducated, misinformed and politicized news media proclaimed, "N.Y. becomes sixth and largest state to legalize gay marriage." Of course, this is the same group of fellow travelers and useful idiots who misapply the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution to the respective states, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion," to deny Christians and soon Jews the freedom of worship, when the clause plainly recognizes the inalienable freedom of worship.

Either of these distortions of real truth is more of the same Marxist double speak. The New York state government has no authority to legalize homosexual marriage, whether the government was conscious of the Marxist thrust of its illegal actions or just being a useful idiot in the advance of Marx's goal to destroy the family.

Pages could be, have been and should be written about the progressive Marxist destruction of the American constitutional republic. And pages could be, have been and should be written about the destructive nature of the homosexualization of the culture.

-- Ted Baehr, June 27 WorldNetDaily column

Posted by Terry K. at 8:23 PM EDT
Sheppard Buries Context Of Michelle Obama's Media Remark
Topic: NewsBusters

Noel Sheppard put out a June 25 NewsBusters post with the headline "Michelle Obama Tells CNN 'Fortunately We Have Help From The Media'." Sheppard's first paragraph reads: "In today's "Truer Words Might Never Have Been Spoken" segment, Michelle Obama told CNN's Robyn Curnow Friday, 'Fortunately we have help from the media.'"

It's not until the ninth paragraph, after a transcript of the interview, that Sheppard admits the uncontroversial truth, which he still tries to portray as controversial:

Now, in fairness, she was talking about how the media handle her children.

Even so, could you imagine a Republican president's wife saying, "Fortunately we have help from the media?"

On the other hand, you have to respect her for not only recognizing it, but actually saying it during an interview with CNN.

Makes you wonder how this didn't end up on the cutting room floor.

You don't, however, have to wonder why Sheppard chose to bury the full context of Obama's statement and begin his post by making readers think it meant something different -- it gives him another reason to bash the media, no matter how specious.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:42 PM EDT
CNS' Jeffrey Discusses Presidential War Powers, Ignores Bush

A June 24 article by Terry Jeffrey highlights an interview Jeffrey did with constitutional scholar Louis Fisher, in which he claimed that there is "a concentration of power in the president which is not constitutional." Focusing on President Obama's launching of military action in Libya without obtaining congressional approval first, Fisher said: "I’m not going to recommend that the House Judiciary Committee hold impeachment hearings. But I would like members of Congress and the public to say that nothing would be more impeachable than a president who takes the country to war without coming to Congress, who does it unilaterally."

Curiously omitted from Jeffrey's article on the Fisher interview was any mention of President Bush. Why is that curious? Because Fisher has written an entire book focused on expansion of presidenial power under Bush.

From the description of Fisher's book "The Constitution and 9/11: Recurring Threats to America’s Freedoms" by its publisher the University of Kansas Press:

Distilling more than two centuries of history into a panoramic and compelling narrative, Fisher chronicles the longstanding tension between protecting our constitutional rights and safeguarding national security, from the Whiskey Rebellion to the McCarthy hearings to George W. Bush’s “War on Terror.” Along the way, he raises crucial questions regarding our democracy’s ongoing tug-of-war between secrecy and transparency, between expediency and morality, and between legal double-talk and the true rule of law.

Fisher focuses especially on how the Bush administration’s responses to 9/11 have damaged our constitutional culture and values, threatened individual liberties, and challenged the essential nature of our government’s system of checks and balances. His close analysis of five topics—the resurrection of military tribunals, the Guantánamo detainees, the state secrets privilege, NSA surveillance, and extraordinary rendition—places into sharp relief the gradual but relentless erosion of fundamental rights along with an enormous expansion and concentration of presidential power in the post-9/11 era.

Further, the Fisher book discussed during the interview, "Presidential War Power," also addresses the subject of Bush. From a review of Fisher's book at the Law & Politics Book Review:

In the case of the recent Iraq War, Fisher argues that George W. Bush effectively manipulated Congress by pushing through a resolution just before a mid-term election and before developments in Iraq had ripened.  Fisher suggests that Congress should have waited until after the election and until the UN Security Council had considered the matter.  He points to the contrasting circumstances of the 1991 Persian Gulf War, when Congress did not act until after the UN and after opening its new session in January. This example is hardly reassuring, however, since the 1991 vote came too late in the day, just before the January 15th deadline for Iraqi capitulation set by George Bush, Sr. By that time it appeared to observers such as myself that America’s commitment to military action was a foregone conclusion.  (George H. W. Bush, like his son, denied that he needed congressional approval.)  In order to be effective, Congress needs to act with deliberation but before presidential initiatives have all but decided the issue.  The historical record does not offer much support for this possibility. 

In the 33-minute video of Jeffrey's interview with Fisher, the majority is spent discussing the historical background of presidential war powers. Jeffrey then said, making a 200-year leap over Bush: "Let me kind of make a jump from John Adams and the Congress of the late 1790s to today. If Congress in -- if the president of the United States and Congress in the late 1790s, a decade after the Constitution was written and ratified, believed that the Congress must authorize the president even to allow action against a French ship on the high seas, is that analogous to the president needing an authorization of Congress now to take action against Moammar Gadhafi in Libya?"

Even Fisher himself seems to consciously skip over Bush, at one point stating that "after World War II we had moved to a situation of Truman going to war on his own, never coming to Congress, Clinton repeatedly using military force, and we are to me acting unconstitutionally."

It's not until nearly 30 minutes into the 33-minute video that Jeffrey asked Fisher about Bush. Jeffrey said that Bush went to Congress for authorization for war in both Afghanistan and Iraq, then added, "Do you believe that the genie was being put back in the bottle at that point, that whether or not George W. Bush wanted to go to Congress, the fact that he did and he got the authorization was starting to recontstruct an original understanding of the Constitution?" Fisher responding that while Bush "did a lot of things unilaterally," he did indeed go to Congress regarding Iraq and Afghanistan. And then they moved on to whether Obama's actions were impeachable.

Even that little snippet of discussion didn't make Jeffrey's article.

It's absurd for Jeffrey and Fisher to discuss alleged abuses of presidential war powers by Obama without having anything beyond a perfunctory conversation about the actions of Obama's immediate predecessor.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:05 AM EDT
WND's Mercer, Condescending Apartheid Apologist
Topic: WorldNetDaily

It seems Ilana Mercer is still pining for the good old days of apartheid in her native South Africa.

Mercer's June 24 WorldNetDaily column attacks Michelle Obama and her daughters for visiting the Apartheid Museum during their visit to South Africa. Mercer writes that "Apartheid was a contemptible caste system," but then she shifts into full condescending apologist mode (italics hers):

What else will the proprietors of the thoroughly Americanized Apartheid Museum fail to divulge? As is chronicled in Chapter 5 of [Mercer's book] "Into the Cannibal's Pot":

"Had the sainted Mandela ascended to power in the 1960s instead of languishing on Robben Island and in Pollsmoor Prison [Mrs. Obama's destinations in Cape Town], he would have nationalized the South African economy and banned private enterprise. That's what the ANC's Charter called for in 1955. That's what South Africa's black-ruled neighbors to the north did."

Except for Rhodesia before Robert Mugabe, minority-ruled South Africa, with all its problems, offered Africans more than any other country on the Dark Continent.

Mercer never criticizes apartheid as racist, which it most certainly was. Indeed, she makes it clear that she thinks blacks in Africa are too stupid and/or corrupt to govern themselves:

In the "first 23 years of apartheid, between 1948 and 1981, the South African economy grew at a rate of 4.5 percent." Of course, in the famous words attributed to both Disraeli and Mark Twain, there are lies, damned lies and statistics. Duly, Marxists put the high-growth rate down to exploitation.

However, when "exploitation" was replaced with "liberation" – and Africans broke free of the colonial yoke to gain political independence – they promptly established planned economies, in whose shadow nothing could grow, plunging their respective countries into despair and destitution.

To the liberal West, Kenneth Kaunda and Julius Nyerere were the faces of black liberation, but both leaders cut a swathe of destruction through the rural economies of their respective countries, Zambia and Tanzania.

While South Africa is not quite a one-party state, it is a dominant-party state. Demographics dictate that Mandela's African National Congress will likely never lose an election to one of the country's tiny, tokenistic opposition parties. One shudders to think what the ANC – now slowly Sovietizing South Africa – would have wrought on the sophisticated, industrialized economy of the country had it been given the opportunity circa 1960.

Mercer concludes by noting something she claims is "air brushed out of a slanted historical presentation": "By staving off crime and communism, the apartheid regime, a vast repressive apparatus though it was, saved black South Africans from an even worse moral and material fate."

For Mercer, it seems, the end justified the means. And it appears she doesn't want to concede that apartheid was racist because she harbors the same racism that fed the regime.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:19 AM EDT
Monday, June 27, 2011
NewsBusters: Believe Anonymous Person, Not The Victim
Topic: NewsBusters

NewsBusters' Tom Blumer has been quick to run to the defense of Wisconsin Supreme Court Judge David Prosser, who has been accused of attempting to choke another Supreme Court justice, Ann Walsh Bradley. He devoted a June 26 post to complaining that the Associated Press was reporting "only one side of the story."

The side of the story the AP is telling is Bradley's first-person account of the alleged attack. The side Blumer wants told is that of some anonymous source who was defending Prosser. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel described this anonymous person as "a source who spoke to several justices present during the incident."

Let's see ... we have a first-person account fromthe alleged victim vs. a secondhand account from an anonymous who was apparently not present during the alleged attack. Which one of those is more credible?

Blumer apparently believes it's the anonymous guy. He doesn't explain why the anonymous source should be trusted over the alleged victim's own account -- or why it should be trusted at all.

Blumer does love his anonymous sources, though. In 2009, he touted an anonymous, unverified attack on President Obama.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:06 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, June 27, 2011 9:09 PM EDT
WND's Unruh Launches Anti-Gay Attack: Cubs 'Encouraging Homosexuality In Kids'
Topic: WorldNetDaily

A June 24 WorldNetDaily article by Bob Unruh keeps up its gay-hating agenda at the very top: the headline reads, "Chicago Cubs go to bat for kids' homosexuality," and the opening paragraph asserts that the Cubs are "encouraging homosexuality in kids."

How is it doing such a thing? By making a video for the "It Gets Better" series. That's it. Unruh, of course, sees only horrible things, making sure to note that team co-owner Laura Ricketts is "a lesbian."

Unruh quotes notorious gay-hater Peter LaBarbera attacking the "It Gets Better" campaign, but makes no apparent effort to contact anyone with the Cubs organization to respond to the criticism. Unruh also uses the pejorative term "homosexual lifestyle" twice in his article.

Adding insult to injury, Unruh identifies the Cubs as a "perennial also-ran."

Unruh even rehashes "information from the International Journal of Epidemiology that estimated from a review of the 'gay' population of Vancouver, B.C., that HIV/AIDS costs homosexuals up to 20 years of their lives on average." (Yes, WND insists on putting scare quotes around "gay.") As we pointed out the last time when Unruh brought up this study earlier this month, its findings are irrelevant to today; it examined data from more than 20 years ago, before anti-AIDS drugs were developed. Fhe authors of the study have since said that the longevity gap between gays and straights has since narrowed, and that they also rejected attempts of anti-gay organizations to construe its earlier study to justify denigration of gays -- which, of course, is exactly what Unruh is doing.

Unruh, it seems, wants gay teens to kill themselves. That's the only conclusion that can reasonably be drawn from his willingness to launch such a unfair attack on the "It Gets Better" campaign.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:27 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, June 27, 2011 2:29 PM EDT
CNS' Jeffrey Ignores Religious Exemptions In NY Gay Marriage Law

A June 25 article by editor-in-chief Terry Jeffrey uncritically reports a claim by New York's Catholic bishops that in the wake of the passage of a gay marriage law in New York, "they now expect efforts to enact laws that go after churches that insist on teaching the 'timeless truths' about marriage and family."

Jeffrey did not mention that the New York gay marriage law contains numerous exemptions for religious organizations. From The Advocate:

The bill, which legalizes civil same-sex marriages in the nation’s third most populous state, passed the Democratic-controlled Assembly last week with exemptions for religious institutions and benevolent organizations, such as the Knights of Columbus, that do not wish to solemnize the same-sex marriages or provide their private facilities for the events. Republican leaders in the Senate demanded stronger protections, which resulted in more than one week of negotiations between three of their members and Cuomo's office.

The negotiations yielded revised language introduced Friday in a chapter amendment by Assembly member Daniel O’Donnell, the gay Manhattan lawmaker who sponsored the legislation, at the request of the governor. In addition to the religious corporations and benevolent organizations submitted in the original bill, the amendment adds non-profit corporations under their control and employees. It further stipulates that refusal to solemnize same-sex weddings or provide services in connection with them will not result in “any state or local government action to penalize, withhold benefits or discriminate” against the entities.

Jeffrey also failed to cite any existing examples of states that have passed "laws that go after churches that insist on teaching the 'timeless truths' about marriage and family" in the wake of approving gay marriage -- perhaps because no such examples exist.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:24 AM EDT
Ellis Washington's Sleazy (And False) Obama-Hitler Comparison
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Ellis Washington joins WorldNetDaily's resurgence in likening Obama to Hitler in his June 25 column:

Borrowing a page from Hitler's playbook, Barack Obama, in a speech delivered in Colorado Springs on July 2, 2008, called for his own personal police force:

We cannot continue to rely on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives we've set. We've got to have a civilian national security force that's just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded [as America's combined military forces].

Few Americans realize that truly Obama fulfilled that campaign promise and today has legions of paid bureaucrats ("Brownshirts") sworn to his allegiance just like Hitler's Brownshirts and Gestapo of the 1920s and '30s.

Not only is Washington's attack sleazy, it's also completely false. As we've repeatedly pointed out, Obama was talking about increasing the size of the Peace Corps and the foreign service, not creating "his own personal police force."

Washington can't leave the lie alone, however; he has to embellish it by claiming that all government workers are "brownshirts" who are "sworn to his allegiance." He offers no evidence of this, of course -- there isn't any. How about producing a copy of that nonexistent oath of allegiance, Ellis?

What else can we expect from someone who not only gets things not just wrong but flamboyantly wrong? This particular lie is no less flamboyant, but it is much more sleazy.

UPDATE: Washington's so-called evidence that Obama "fulfilled that campaign promise" of creating "his own personal police force" is a blog post fearmongering about the Ready Reserve Corps clause in the health care reform bill. In fact, the Ready Reserve Corps is a group of health professionals that can be call upon in times of national emergency, and has existed in various forms for more than 200 years. So Washington is even more wrong than usual.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:02 AM EDT
Updated: Monday, June 27, 2011 8:37 AM EDT
Sunday, June 26, 2011
NewsBusters' Sheppard Can't Stop Making Meaningless Attacks on Jon Stewart
Topic: NewsBusters

NewsBusters' Noel Sheppard continues to beclown himself in attacking Jon Stewart.

We've noted the childish manner in which Sheppard accused Stewart of being "childish" in responding to accusations that he falsely claimed, in a "Fox News Sunday" interview with Chris Wallace, that Fox News were "misinformed" by pointing out the numerous false claims made on Fox News. But Sheppard's entire response to Stewart in defense of Fox News has been one of juvenalia.

a June 21 post by Sheppard claimed that Stewart "cherry-picked thirteen seconds out of a 24 minute interview to accuse 'Fox News Sunday' host Chris Wallace of claiming, 'We don't tell both sides of the story.'" Sheppard went on to huff:

Wallace didn't say, "We don't tell both sides of the story." He said, "We tell the other side of the story." That certainly doesn't preclude one from telling both sides.

The point Wallace was making was that outlets like NBC News only give the liberal viewpoint, and that Fox by comparison does tell the conservative side as well.

But Sheppard is accepting Wallace's premise that NBC "only give[s] the liberal viewpoint" -- and Fox News always tells both sides of the story -- without providing evidence that that is the case. Even Wallace has admitted he could have made that point a little better.

Sheppard also failed to note that Fox edited out of the broadcast version of the interview Stewart's reference to the most compelling piece of evidence that Fox News is not "fair and balanced": memos by Fox News executive Bill Sammon instructing his reporters and hosts on the political slant to include on news stories.

Sheppard also touted an interview Wallace did with Don Imus in which Wallace brushed off criticism of the editing job on the broadcast version of the interview without addressing the Sammon emails. Sheppard game him a pass for that, too.

Then, in another attack on Stewart, Sheppard asserted as fact in a June 23 post that "Jon Stewart earlier this month did a segment on "The Daily Show" wherein he impersonated Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain using an Amos and Andy voice." But the NewsBusters post Sheppard cites as evidence for this claim makes no mention of Amos and Andy -- Sheppard seems to have plucked that description from Imus' interview with Wallace.

As we've noted, NewsBusters' claim that Stewart's attempt to mock Cain over his blustery declaration that as president he wouldn't sign a bill longer than three pages (which he now, after the fact, is claiming was a joke) was racially motivated is an invented attack not based in reality, seemingly to distract attention from an actual racially motivated attack on President Obama by Fox Business host Eric Bolling.

Sheppard also seems unaware of the nonsensical nature of his smear of Stewart. If Stewart was going to deliberately mount a racial attack against Cain, why would he do it with an allusion no viewer under 60 would understand? That defeats the point of kind of pop culture-based comedy Stewart trades in.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:43 PM EDT
MRC's Graham: "New York Has Joined The 'Sodom And Gomorrah States' "
Topic: Media Research Center
As befits the Media Research Center's anti-gay agenda, MRC director of media analysis Tim Graham isn't taking New York's approval of gay marriage well. Media Matters notes that he tweeted: "So New York has joined the 'Sodom and Gomorrah states.' How proud."

Posted by Terry K. at 11:15 AM EDT
Your WND Birther Roundup
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily keeps up its deceitful birther ways in a spate of recent articles.

A June 21 WND article by Jerome Corsi makes a big deal out of how "The computer graphics expert Fox News relied upon to claim the birth certificate the White House released April 27 was legitimate insists that the network must retract the story, claiming it deliberately misquoted him." Corsi quotes Jean Claude Tremblay at length grumbling about Fox News. But as the Obama Conspiracy blog notes, Corsi also quotes Tremblay as saying:

"First, I never thought that what I saw in the Birth Certificate PDF was a proof of its authenticity," he wrote. "For me, what I have seen does not prove that it is legit, nor that it is a fake, nor that there has been any tampering whatsoever," he wrote. "The title of the blog does not represent my conclusion. It would be unprofessional and simplistic within my area of competence to come to a conclusion one way or the other."

Which means he's not calling the certificate a fraud, which is the thrust of most WND birther reporting these days.

Then, a June 23 article by Corsi presents the opinion of Gary Poyssick, whom Corsi presents as "an expert on Adobe Systems Inc. software" who "has written more than 50 titles about Adobe software, the printing industry, coding and programming, website development and workflow management," about the birth certificate. Through that description, Corsi implies that Poyssick is an expert on the PDF format created by Adobe, the form in which the long-form birth certificate was released to the public.

That would be false. A listing of Poyssick's books currently available on lists no titles involving PDF or Adobe Acrobat, the program historically used to create PDFs. The only Adobe programs Poyssick has apparently written about are Photoshop and Illustrator, the most recent of those titles appearing in 2006.

Of course, all of WND's obsessing over combing through every bit and pixel of the PDF is just meaningless birther masturbation -- it's not the paper certificate.

Meanwhile, Joseph Farah declared in his June 24 WND column that "every document expert WND has conferred with scoffs at the preposterous notion that the document is somehow valid on its face." That's easy since WND has apparently gone out of its way to make sure it talks only to people who will declare the certificate invalid. As we've noted, Corsi has studiously avoided talking to the Obama Conspiracy blog, which has compiled a detailed rebuttal to the rantings of Doug Vogt, to whom Corsi devoted a three-article series.

UPDATE: A ConWebWatch reader noticed that Corsi's article has been changed from its original. Corsi originally claimed, as noted in this copy-and-paste of the original article, that Poyssick was "an early employee" of Adobe and that he "was at the San Jose-based tech company when it counted no more than 14 employees." The reference to Poyssick being an "early employee" of Adobe has been removed, and the article now states that "Poyssick had a working relationship with the San Jose-based tech company when it counted no more than 14 employees." As per WND style, readers were not alerted to the change and no correction was issued.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:31 AM EDT
Updated: Sunday, June 26, 2011 7:40 PM EDT

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