Geller Isn't Bringing Her A-Game Crazy To WND Columnist Gig Topic: WorldNetDaily
Pamela Geller never made sense as a Newsmax columnist. Her rabid anti-Muslim tirades and birther leanings conflicted with Newsmax's attempts to present itself as a moderate conservative voice -- and they demonsrated a more natural fit at WorldNetDaily. And lo and behold, a few weeks back that came to pass: Geller is a WND columnist.
Thus far, Geller has let her WND readers see only bits of her weapons-grade crazy. Her most high-profile controversies have yet to see the light of day at WND.
For instance, Geller has been defending accused Serbian war criminal Ratko Mladic by downplaying the number of Muslims killed in a massacre in Srebenica and by claiming that Mladic is actually being accused of "daring to fight back when Muslims attacked."
Most recently, Geller has been trying to figure out what to do about her steadfast support for the English Defence League, a far-right British anti-Muslim group long associated with violent attacks and long accused of having racist elements. After the head of the EDL's Jewish Division, Roberta Moore, resigned from the group complaining of "Nazis" in the EDL ranks, Geller first declared that she was withdrawing her support from the EDL, then flip-flopped the next day, insisting that "There is a struggle for the soul of the EDL" and that she still believes the EDL is "noble and true."
C'mon, Pam. If Ilana Mercer can use her WND perch to defend apartheid, certainly you should be able to hold forth at length on the virtuousness of Mladic and the EDL.
Tim Graham Has Another Anti-Gay Freakout Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center has spoken: The Washington Post is not allowed to write about gays on Sunday.
In the tradition of the MRC's history of dictating what can be covered and when, the increasingly homophobic Tim Graham complains in a July 3 NewsBusters post that the Post used "Sunday, the Lord’s Day," to publish an article about gay-themed art. Graham wrote in his headline that Post art critic Philip Kennicott is claiming that "'Overt Bigotry' in the Overwhelmingly Gay Art World Must Be Banned," but it's clear that what Graham wants banned is gay art itself.
Graham smears an exhibit of gay-themed art at the Smithsonian last fall as "tawdry" because it was "often pornographic, or at least nude." Graham repeated the MRC's contention that a video removed from that exhibit was "mocking Jesus," ignoring the fact that the artist himself said it wasn't. Graham also failed to discloses that it was his employer that manufactured the controversy that led to censoring that piece of art.
Graham is really offended, though, at the idea that gay artists have had influence in art history, and that Kennicott had the temerity to point that out and state that it is an "overt sin of omission" not to acknowledge such themes in art. Graham huffed: "See how the notion of 'sin' gets turned upside down?"
Graham then went nuts over Kennicott's claim that as a result of the manufactured controversy over the Smithsonian exhibit resulted in an "emerging consensus" that "the acceptable level of anti-gay bigotry at an institution such as the Smithsonian is now zero." That prompted Graham to rant:
Translation: The “emerging consensus” is "Shut up, conservatives and Christians! You have no right to tell us what to do with your tax dollars!"
Kennicott, like many arts advocates and critics, believe that the art world is the educated avant-garde which forces progress on society. If the art world can’t yet banish “homophobia” to the ash heap of history, at least it ought to be drummed out of the art world.
Meanwhile, the emerging consensus is that the acceptable level of anti-gay bigotry at the MRC is 100 percent.
Another WND Birther Attack Falls Apart On The Slightest Examination Topic: WorldNetDaily
Bob Unruh dedicates a July 1 WorldNetDaily article to uncritically repeating a claim by Carl Gallups, "the senior pastor at Hickory Hammock Baptist Church for more than 24 years with a long history of community and law enforcement involvement," that since 2003 there has been an "organized strategy" to install Barack Obama in the presidency through attempts by members of Congress to explicitly define, or remove, the constitutional requirement that the president be a "natural born citizen" that was occurring "during the years Barack Obama was developing a power base and running for president."
Since Unruh is regurgitating instead of reporting, it comes as no surprise that any actual look into the claim shows how flimsy and fraudulent it is.
For instance, the first four efforts Unruh and Gallups cite occurred during the 2003-04 session of Congress, before Obama had even run for a U.S. Senate seat. Unruh also does some selective editing of the sponsors of those resolutions. For instance, the only sponsor Unruh lists for H.J. Res. 59 (which Unruh incorrectly identifies as "HJR 59") is Democratic Rep. Vic Snyder, failing to mention that another sponsor was Republican Rep. Darrell Issa -- hardly the kind of congressman who would be interested in paving the way for a Democrat to be president. Similarly, the only sponsor Unruh lists for S. 2128 (which Unruh incorrectly identifies as "S.B. 2128") is Republican Sen. Don Nickles, not mentioning that a co-sponsor was his fellow Oklahoma senator and notoriously right-wing James Inhofe.
Unruh makes no mention of what was going on in 2003 that was the actual motivation for such bills. It has more than a little to do with a certain famous actor who had just been elected California governor as a Republican. Snyder said during a October 2004 Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the proposals (retrieved from Nexis):
Finally, with regard to the 20 versus 35 years, I certainly will be supportive of a 20-year amendment if that's what comes to the floor of the House and what comes out of this Congress. There are some issues, does that get into discussions about personality. I personally think both Governor Granholm and Governor Schwarzenegger ought to be eligible to be president. Some people may decide that that would be better having a longer period of time so we eliminate individuals. But I applaud you for your efforts here today and appreciate the opportunity to testify.
Republican Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, who sponsored another related resolution, had this to say during the hearing:
And, of course, this hearing would not be complete unless the name of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger was not mentioned at least once. But, of course, he is just one famous example, as has been pointed out here today.
And so, another birther conspiracy completely implodes upon the slightest examination. The main goal of those bills was to elect a Republican -- not a Democrat -- who didn't current presidential standards.
And Joseph Farah wonders why WND is being ignored on the birther stuff. It couldn't possibly have anything to do with his repeatedly embarrassing himself by his insistence on publishing laughable tripe like this.
It wasn't the end of the month when CNSNews.com's Edwin Mora wrote a body-count article last week to attack President Obama's announcement of withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan, so Mora had to churn out another one to adhere to his monthly body-count mandate.
Check out the headlines on Mora's article from last week and this week:
Under Obama, U.S. Casualty Rate in Afghanistan Increased 5-Fold
2011 On Pace to Match Deadliest Year in Afghanistan for U.S. Troops
Gotta love the faux-peacenik sentiments CNS is promoting here, eh?
Needless to say, the word "Iraq" is nowhere to be found, which means that Mora has failed yet to explain that the casualty rate in Iraq at the height of that war is more than double that of the current casualty rate in Afghanistan.
David A. Patten, Newsmax's go-to guy for slavish adherence to right-wing talking points, serves up a fawning farewell tribute to Glenn Beck's Fox News show in a June 30 article.
Patten uncritically repeats Beck's claim that he wasn't fired from Fox News, and goes on to sycophantically tout Beck's accomplishments:
That Beck’s program accomplished what most critics considered impossible for a 5 p.m. cable talk show is virtually undeniable. Viewership for his program exceeded 3 million per night at one point, astounding most media analysts.
Indeed, his program typically attracted more viewers than CNN, CNBC, and MSNBC combined, and he had the third-most-watched program on cable news, with 2.2 million viewers, before announcing in April that he would be moving on to other ventures.
Beck was occasionally compared throughout his tenure with Howard Beale, the unhinged anchor Peter Finch played in the 1976 movie "Network," who urged viewers to go to fling open their windows and yell, “I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!”
But where the Beale character was irate, Beck proved himself to be one of the savviest stars in the media stratosphere in communicating with a devoted core audience.
In addition to his Fox program, Beck hosted the nation’s third-most-listened to radio programs in the nation and published a string of best-selling books, including "The Christmas Sweater," "Glenn Beck’s Common Sense," and "Arguing With Idiots." He also presented popular on-stage programs that toured from city to city.
Part of Beck’s magic with viewers was his tendency to eschew glitz in favor of talking in a personal, often emotional tone connected with viewers as if he were speaking with them one-on-one. And in that sense, Thursday’s farewell program was vintage Beck.
Patten claimed that "by some accounts" Beck's 8/28 "Restoring Honor" rally "attracted more than half a million people." In fact, that "some accounts" are largely that of Beck himself; professional crowd-counters estimated that between 78,000 and 96,000 attended.
Patten went on to noted that Beck "unveiled a list of names written on his iconic chalk board, speaking from a now-barren set and sharing the credit for the program’s remarkable accomplishments with all those who helped him to produce it" without mentioning that Beck misspelled the name of his own production company on the blackboard.
Bozell Falsely Claims Chris Matthews Would Never Insult Hillary Topic: Media Research Center
During his complaining about Chris Matthews' criticism of Michelle Bachmann, Media Research Center chief Brent Bozell said on the July 1 edition of "Fox & Friends": "He would do that to Hillary Clinton. He would never in a million years wage that kind of insulting attack on Hillary Clinton."
Of course, Matthews has insultingly attacked Hillary Clinton -- which Bozell would have known if he had read his own website.
A January 2008 NewsBusters post by Geoffrey Dickens notes that "Matthews spent the first five minutes of Thursday night’s 'Hardball' personally apologizing to Hillary Clinton for insinuating that she owed her political success to sympathy derived from having endured Bill Clinton’s unfaithfulness." And a November 2008 post by P.J. Gladnick highlighted how Matthews, during a train trip, complained about President Obamaselecting Clinton as his secretary of state: "Why would he pick her? I thought we were done with the Clintons. She'll just use it to build her power base. It's Machiavellian. And then we'll have Bill Clinton, too. I thought Obama didn't want drama. ... She's just a soap opera. If he doesn't pick her, everyone will say she's been dissed again, we'll have to live through that again."
Bozell's false statement about Matthews, needless to say, wasn't noted in the NewsBusters post about Bozell's appearance. Then again, given that he hates Hillary even more than Matthews, maybe Bozell didn't consider Matthews' remarks to be insulting.
Obama Derangement Syndrome Watch, Joseph Farah Edition Topic: WorldNetDaily
Joseph Farah rants in his July 1 WorldNetDaily column:
Think about what I am saying here: The White House has issued a phony, bogus image it claims represents an accurate representation of Obama's birth certificate. That's the conclusion of the experts. But no one in the entire media establishment outside of WND will even take a second look.
A nation with political and cultural institutions in such a state of denial and decay is surely on the verge of some kind of judgment. That's the only conclusion I can make.
Isn't this a scandal bigger than Watergate? Isn't this bigger than the Teapot Dome?
Where are the calls for congressional investigations?
Why aren't subpoenas being issued?
Why hasn't a single story (outside of WND) been written or broadcast about what appears to be the biggest political scandal in American history?
Well, let's see ... because it's not? Because WND has no credibility? Because WND hates Obama so much that its work can't be trusted? Because WND is ignoring the evidence of experts who say the PDF isn't fake? Because WND is looking at an electronic file and not the physical certificate?
MRC Seems Fine With Calling Obama A Dick (But Can't Spell It Out) Topic: Media Research Center
Writers for the Media Research Center has said a lot of things about Mark Halperin calling President Obama "kind of a dick" on the June 30 edition of MSNBC's "Morning Joe." None of them criticized Halperin for doing so, and all of them were unable to spell out the word "dick."
In the first NewsBusters post on the incident, Mark Finkelstein -- who spelled it "d--k" -- appeared to react to Halperin's insult the way he attributed to "Morning Joe" hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski: "shocked amusement."
In a follow-up NewsBusters post noting that Halperin had been suspended from MSNBC over the remark, Tim Graham went the euphemism route, substituting "[Short for Richard]" and "[male appendage]" for "dick."
The MRC then went the usual equivocation route, with Geoffrey Dickens complaining that nobody on MSNBC was suspended for "particularly distasteful things to say about a then sitting President George W. Bush." But Dickens joined his MRC in colleagues in censoring Halperin's word, this time as "d-ck," while did not censor any of the "particularly distasteful things" he claimed were said about Bush.
Noel Sheppard, meanwhile, completely avoided any sort of direct quote, saying only that Halperin made "an intemperate remark."Then he ranted that MSNBC is "the leading television propaganda outlet for this White House" and that "MSNBC was making it quite clear that until Election Day has passed, MSNBC personalities and contributors better be very careful what they say about the current White House resident."
If the MRC can't even fully enunciate what Halperin said because they think it's so distasteful, doesn't that definitively demonstrate the offensive nature of the remark and justify Halperin's suspension? Apparently not -- after all, the MRC won't criticize Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter over their long records of offensive statements.
A June 29 CNSNews.com article by Penny Starr carries the headline "'Thou Shalt Not Steal': Durbin Concedes 10 Commandments is Perfect Law--In Push for Amnesty." But Starr does not quote Durbin using the word "amnesty" -- in fact, that word appears nowhere in Starr's article.
What Durbin is discussing is the DREAM act, which, in Starr's words, "would allow an illegal alien to gain legal status if he came to the United States with his parents at age 15 or younger; if he has been in America for at least five years prior to the bill’s enactment; and if he meets certain education or military service requirements." Because the DREAM Act imposes certain conditions on acquiring citizenship through it -- and it imposes further conditions that Starr did not identify -- it cannot by definition be "amnesty," as we've documented, and CNS is perpetuating a falsehood by doing so.
Les Kinsolving's Stupid Question Topic: WorldNetDaily
Les Kinsolving's June 28 WorldNetDaily column was devoted to recounting a pair of "senior-citizen sex scandals" -- a professor a New Jersey's Fairleigh Dickinson University (which Kinsolving misspells) who was allegedly running a prostitution ring in New Mexico, and a former president of the University of New Mexico who was arrested as part of the prostitution sting. Kinsolving concluded by stating, "This begs the question: How much in federal funding goes to Farleigh-Dickinson University and to the University of New Mexico? And will either of these institutions lose any such money because of their professor's and their former president's involvement in prostitution?"
But Kinsolving doesn't explain why either university should lose any federal funding, which he seems to be rooting for. He provides no evidence that either man used university resources in their alleged prostitution ring, or that university officials had any knowledge whatsoever of the men's alleged activitites. Given the apparent absence of both, the only logical answer to Kinsolving's question is no.
Kinsolving, of course, would have known this had he bothered to do even the most basic research into answering the question he raised.
MRC Insists That Obama Apologized For America Topic: Media Research Center
President Obama went on an apology tour, and nobody's going to tell Matt Philbin any differently.
In a June 28 MRC Culture & Media Institute article ostensibly about how the "liberal media" is just not that into American exceptionalism, Philbin asserted that "resident Obama has shown ambivalence toward the notion that America is exceptional" and "is as comfortable apologizing for its sins as touting its virtues," then scoffed at the idea that Obama wasn't apologizing for America because he never used any form of the word "apology":
In February in his "Fact Checker" column, Sargent's Post colleague Glenn Kessler wrote, "it is an article of faith among top Republicans that President Obama has repeatedly apologized for the United States and its behavior. Even more, the argument goes, he does not believe in American strength and greatness. The assertion," Kessler wrote darkly, "feeds into a subterranean narrative that Obama, with his exotic, mixed-race background, is not really American in the first place."
What Kessler was fact-checking was "Obama's Apology Tour," when in his first overseas visits he showed undue deference to other powers and talked too much about American "arrogance." Kesler quibbled over whether Obama had actually used the word "apology" and spun most of the President's suspect remarks as "trying to draw a rhetorical distinction between his policies and that of President Bush."
That may be so, but the President and the first lady have a history of actions, statements and acquaintances that make it hard to give him the benefit of the doubt. There was his pastor of 20 years who was given to saying "God damn America" and characterized 9/11 as "America's chickens coming home to roost." There was his friend Bill Ayers, who had bombed the Pentagon and maintained in 2001 that he wished he's done more bombing.
Senator Obama ostentatiously refused to wear a flag pin on his lapel because "it became a substitute for, I think, true patriotism," he said, which he defined as opposing the invasion of Iraq. On the campaign trail, Mrs. Obama said that "for the first time in my adult life I am proud of my country because it feels like hope is finally making a comeback." She also found America "just downright mean."
If you want to run a nation, is it too much to ask that you pretend to like it?
What's this attack on the president doing in what's supposed to be a critique of the media? Isn't that a violation of the MRC's nonprofit tax status as a 501(c)3 organization? Somebody might want to check into that.
ConWebWatch On the Radio Topic: WorldNetDaily
ConWebWatch's Terry Krepel be on Reality Check Radio tonight at 9 p.m. ET to talk about yesterday's WorldNetDaily press conference, among other things. Listen here.
More Misinformation from WND Columnists Topic: WorldNetDaily
Remember when WorldNetDaily's Joseph Farah admitted his columnists publish "misinformation"? Well, here's some more.
Larry Klayman screeches in his June 25 WND column:
Last but not least, President Obama ordered last Thursday that the nation's strategic petroleum reserves be drawn down to put more oil on the market, just temporarily lowering the price of gasoline for the summer months. Americans are overwhelmingly upset with Obama at his failure to curb the increase in gasoline prices. This executive order would jeopardize our emergency reserves at a crucial time when the Middle East is in turmoil, Libyan oil has stopped flowing to world markets, and the region may explode in war – cutting off oil supplies almost totally.
First, Klayman is trying to have it both ways -- he attacks Obama for not doing anything to "curb the increase in gasoline prices," and also attacks him for doing something. Klayman also claims that the release will "jeopardize our emergency reserves"; in fact, the release is only 5 percent of the total amount of the reserve.
Meanwhile, Henry Lamb writes in his June 25 column, after first becoming the latest WND columnist to play the Nazi card in recent days by saying that Obama's invoking of the Commerce Clause to require Americans to have health insurance "is the same power exercised by the governments of Hitler, Stalin and all other despots who have denied freedom to their citizens":
What happened to freedom? It was erased, little by little, until we no longer have a choice among the types of light bulbs we buy. Government has dictated that its citizens can no longer buy a 40-cent incandescent light bulb; after Jan. 1, formerly free people living in a formerly free-market system will be forced by government to buy a $4 light bulb, probably made in China.
In fact, incandescent light bulbs have not been outlawed; they have simply been ordered to be more efficient. The new bulbs, whether they be incandescent or fluorescent, might cost more at the outset, but they pay for themselves in lower energy usage over the life of the bulb, meaning that they cost less in the long run. Apparently, saving money and energy is something Lamb is opposed to.
Sticking close to its parent organization's anti-gay agenda, CNSNews.com has been making a notable effort in recent days to highlight what it apparently considers excessive gayness in the world.
A June 24 article by Katie Bell highlights how grocery chain Food Lion "is celebrating June as "LGBT Pride Month" by inserting a message championing the 'Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgendered (LGBT) community' in flyers advertising a weekly list of product deals." More importantly, Bell highlights a right-wing organization's efforts to "e-mail Food Lion’s president, Cathy Green, to let her know that they object to the food chain endorsing homosexuality."
A June 27 article by Penny Starr stated that "Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Monday that the State Department played an instrumental role in 'sealing the deal' for pop-rock star Lady Gaga to perform at a gay pride rally in Rome, Italy." Starr goes on to quote lyrics from Lady Gaga's song "Judas," which she said "sparked controversy."
Starr followed that up with an article the next day quoting Clinton as saying that "officials meeting with 'sex workers' in the cause of protecting LGBT rights is an example of 'people-to-people diplomacy at its best.'"
Meanwhile, a June 30 article by Fred Lucas begins: "At the urging of homosexuals gathered at the White House on Wednesday, President Barack Obama praised gay 'spouses' in his speech marking lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender 'Pride Month.'"
These articles were written not because CNS isinterested in celebrating gay rights; rather, it opposes gay rights, and is simply attempting to rile up homophobia in its readers. That's all too clear in the comment threads on the articles. One comment on the Food Lion story reads: "Will they support 'shoplifter pride' next? Kleptomania, as well as LGBT-lifestyles, should be remedied, not celebrated."
Is fomenting hatred something a responsible news organization should do? We don't think so.