Farah Lives Dangerously, Encourages Palin To Sue McGinness for Libel Topic: WorldNetDaily
The irony positively drips from Joseph Farah's Sept. 26 WorldNetDaily column, in which he claims that "I think Sarah Palin should sue the daylights out of Joe McGinniss and his publisher for their reckless disregard for the truth they showed in his new book –which, for the purpose of this column, shall remain nameless." He continued:
I have to tell you that I have been the victim of vicious lies and smears thanks to my own profile at WND. Some people believe what they read. They assume that if the lies are not countered with a lawsuit (or a duel) that the accusations have at least some truth to them. It's very hurtful and frustrating for anyone who cares about his reputation.
In this case, McGinniss' attack seems determined to do two things: Pad his own bank account and prevent Sarah Palin from seeking and winning the presidency.
Some believe a person like Sarah Palin is virtually libel-proof because her status as a public figure is so high.
But these attacks are so mean-spirited, politically motivated, profit-motivated and made with such malicious intent and reckless disregard for the truth that I think she should sue and should win. It would not only punish the guilty, it would send a loud-and-clear message to other media vultures that freedom of speech has its limits in a truly free and just society.
Of course, by his own standard, Farah and WND can be sued for libeling President Obama. WND has toldnumerouslies about Obama and his administration and smeared him as a Muslim, a Nazi and the Antichrist. There's no question that such attacks are "mean-spirited, politically motivated, profit-motivated and made with such malicious intent and reckless disregard for the truth." Indeed, Farah has already admitted that WND regularly publishes misinformation, which wouldn't exactly aid in his defense.
Further, WND has a documented record of losing libel lawsuits. It settled a lawsuit by Al Gore associate Clark Jones by admitting that "no witness verifies the truth of what the witnesses are reported by authors to have stated" about Jones and that "no document has been discovered that provides any verification that the statements written were true." Given that WND did no independent fact-checking of the claims about Jones before publishing, that's tantamount to admitted it libeled him.
If Palin can sue McGinniss and win, Obama can sue WND and win.
MRC Repeats Bogus Cost-Per-Job Claim Topic: Media Research Center
We've previously noted that the Media Research Center's Dan Gainor uncritically promoted a claim that an Obama administration green-jobs initiative cost $5 million per job created despite the misleading math involved at arriving that figure. The MRC liked that bogus figure so much, it repeated it again.
Julia Seymour asserted in a Sept. 21 MRC Business & Media Institute item: "The Washington Post, the $36.8 billion loan program has created only 5 percent of the 65,000 jobs promised and each job cost more than $5 million." Seymour got the number wrong -- the program has granted $38.6 billionin loan guarantees, not $36.8 billion.
In fact, as former White House economist Jared Bernstein details, the government didn't actually spend $38.6 billion on the loan guarantee program -- that assumes that all the loans will go bad, an extremely unlikely occurrence. The actual cost of bad loans that will result in the government covering for them will likely end up being under $5 billion, which Bernstein points out "gets you into a much more reasonable neighborhood re bang-for-buck."
That the MRC would repeat a figure it must know is a fraud -- and Seymour's own sloppiness in getting one of the numbers wrong -- tells us all we need to know about whether it's a political organization or a "research" organization.
WND's Vox Day Equates Immigrants With Nazis Topic: WorldNetDaily
We thought Vox Day liked the Nazis more than he did immigrants. After all, he regularly goesGodwin, and he proudly offered Nazi efficiency in departing Jews as a prior example for how one could remove millions of unwanted immigrants from a country (a reference even WorldNetDaily couldn't quite stomach).
Now, it appears that Day has reduced the status of Nazis to something equal to immigrants. From his Sept. 25 WND column:
Housing and jobs are two reasons why Republicans reacted so negatively to Rick Perry's declaration that immigrant children need to be educated because otherwise "they will become a drag on our society." Most Republicans, most Americans, don't want Texas to educate immigrant children. They want Texas to send them back to their homelands. It wasn't so much the fact that Perry favors taxpayer spending on immigrant education, or even his claim that those who don't are heartless, that caused such revulsion as his obvious assumption that immigrants and their children will never leave America.
Many, if not most, Americans view the mass invasion of their country by Mexicans and others about as favorably as the citizens of Czechoslovakia, Holland and France viewed the mass immigration of Germans into their countries during the 1940s.
But above all, Day really, really hates immigrants:
The various myths about Ellis Island notwithstanding, the American people have always been moderately anti-immigration. While their political elite has studiously labored to replace them with a new and more dependent people for the last 50 years, Americans have never accepted the general concept of open immigration from around the world. More importantly, they know they have been lied to from the very beginning by the advocates of immigration, and they understand that neither the Democratic nor the Republican Party can be trusted to defend their interests versus the interests of the corporations that seek the ever-lower wage rates that come with the expansion of the labor supply.
However, this American distaste for mass immigration was somewhat concealed by the credit-driven real-estate boom of the previous 20 years. What did it really matter if families of low income, criminally-inclined immigrants from Mexico, Somalia or Pakistan established a beachhead in your neighborhood, so long as you could sell your house and move to a larger house in a nicer neighborhood where you wouldn't have to live next to the newcomers? That this led to the hollowing out of the cities, suburban sprawl, racial segregation and a doubling in the number of vehicles per family was only considered a problem by the sort of hand-wringing social scientists who would tend to prefer it if everyone lived in a totalitarian hive-city ruled by social scientists.
But the relocation retreat ceased to be an option as housing prices began to fall and homeowners who were under water on their mortgages became permanently locked into their locations. Don't like living near a neighborhood that has gradually devolved into an approximation of a dirty, crime-ridden third-world nation? Default or deal with it.
Day's immigrant-bashing is quite ironic because he himself is an immigrant, having fled the U.S. for Italy, where he still resides as far as we know.
MRC's Double Standard on Tabloid Bilge Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center is all huffy about Joe McGinniss' new book on Sarah Palin:
Kyle Drennen declares that the book "amounts to an anti-Palin screed," " smearing the former governor with unsubstantiated allegations."
Tim Graham complains that NBC interviewed McGinniss about the book, "something they did NOT do in 1993 when McGinniss drew universal condemnation for a sleazy Ted Kennedy biography titled The Last Brother." He's even more put out that the "Doonesbury" comic strip excerpted this "tabloid sleaze," taking a personal swipe at artist Garry Trudeau: "It's also odd that Trudeau would mock Palin "flip-outs" if they occurred, since his own wife, former NBC star, Jane Pauley, has been well-known for talking about her diagnosis with bipolar disorder. Does that mean she could never function at the highest levels of NBC News?"
MRC chief Brent Bozell devoted an entire column to denouncing the book as "tabloid bilge" and NBC as "manure spreaders" for interviewing McGinniss.
Of course, the MRC doesn't mind "tabloid bilge" when it's about a Democrat. It's usually begging the media to report that.
We've already documented how the MRC loved tabloid bilge when it involved John Edwards, and demanded that the rest of the media repeat what the National Enquirer had reported on it. During the Clinton years, the MRC wanted every sleazy allegation spread far and wide.
In a February 1998 column, Bozell claimed that President Clinton deserved tabloid-level coverage: "Clinton receives tabloid coverage because he leads a tabloid life. It's that simple." You won't find Bozell saying that about Palin even though, unlike Clinton, Palin has starred in a reality show.
Just add this to the long list of double standards the MRC manages to maintain.
I'm old enough to remember the debate about whether homosexuals should be allowed to be teachers at all, let alone allowed to punish students for disagreeing with the class-time advocacy of their sexual lifestyle. I remember the protestations from the pro-homosexual side, that "gays and lesbians just want the right to be left alone. They would NEVER interject their private lives into the classroom." They all lied, and we believed them, and now our children and grandchildren are being forced to celebrate "gay" culture under penalty of law.
That is the end game for the "gays." The final stage of their agenda, which has always been about taking control of things, is the power to punish dissent: to silence or crush their detractors. They only have this level of control in a few places yet, but they are moving fast to achieve it everywhere, and the momentum is on their side. And wherever they have it, they use it.
This brings me, in conclusion, to the subject of "gay marriage." Huh? How does "gay marriage" in any way relate to homosexual propaganda in schools? Or to Christian parents awakening late to the indoctrination of their children?
It is the same issue, my friends. "Gay marriage," "gay" curriculum, "gay" parades, "gay" TV shows, "gay" soldiers, "gay" adoption, "gay" diseases, "gay" recruitment and on and on. So many seemingly separate issues that are really just one issue: the unnatural, dysfunctional, personally and socially destructive phenomenon of homosexual sin. We are warned clearly and emphatically about it in the Bible. We have seen its corrupting effect in history. And we are literally watching its ethic of sexual anarchy supplant the biblical model of family as the guiding value system of our society.
The homosexual agenda represents an existential threat to Christian civilization and we're in the final phase of the war, losing badly. It all hinges upon you, Christian reader. Either get into the "game" in earnest, immediately, or wave goodbye.
Who Cares What A Foreigner Has To Say About Obama? Noel Sheppard Does Topic: NewsBusters
Noel Sheppard devoted a Sept. 18 NewsBusters post to the rantings of a foreigner, declaring that "Maybe what America's press really need is a Canadian television commentator to explain how atrocious their coverage of Barack Obama has been since the moment he tossed his named into the presidential ring in February 2007."
Does Sheppard offer any evidence that CBC's Rex Murphy has any extensive experience or specific insight into American politics beyond saying what Sheppard wants to hear? Nope. Plus, he's not even an American.
Further, Sheppard doesn't even bother to fact-check Murphy's errors. As Mdia Matters points out, Murphy ludicrously claims that the press “walked right past” the Rev. Jeremiah Wright scandal during the spring of 2008. In fact, Wright was mentioned in the media dozens of times in March and April 2008.
Sheppard concludes by opining: 'Maybe with their help, the media malpractice will be totally acknowledged by the guilty parties, and America will never have to witness such a disgraceful episode again." The "disgraceful episode," of course, being the election of Obama. This seems like the kind of partisan electioneering that doesn't comport with the MRC's non-profit tax status.
Newsmax's Ronald Kessler has been a longtime fluffer of conservative activist, David Keene, giving him a platform to spout conservative talking points, and he does that yet again in a Sept. 22 column letting Keene pontificate on Republican prospects in the 2012 presidential race, declaring that "Gov. Rick Perry is a riskier presidential candidate than Mitt Romney."
Keene peddles establishment conservatism in pushing for Romney, declaring that Perry overextended himself by asserting that Social Security is a Ponzi scheme, and, according to Kessler, thinks that "Perry’s candidacy could help Romney become a stronger candidate."
MRC Praises Author It Denounced For Criticizing Bush Topic: Media Research Center
When Ron Suskind's 2008 book, "The Way of the World," came out in 2008, the Media Research Center was eager to discredit it for its critical view of the Bush administration:
Brent Baker declared that Suskind was a "left-wing journalist," and that outlets that covered the book's allegations that President Bush "knew before the war Iraq had no WMD and that to justify the war the administration forged a letter to prove a connection between Saddam Hussein's regime and al-Qaeda" downplayed "denials from former CIA Director George Tenet" and ignored that "the letter couldn't have impacted the public before the war since it didn't become public until nine months into the war."
Tim Graham claimed that Suskind's "novelistic flair goes overboard" because he "pretends to mind-read what President Bush is thinking." (Never mind that the MRC does this sort of mind-reading all the time.)
Noel Sheppard touted how "both the CIA and its former director George Tenet refuted" Suskind's claims, asking, "Will these rebuttals receive the kind of attention Suskind's allegations did?"
And when Suskind's 2006 book "The One Percent Doctrine" came out, in which the Bush administration also did not come off well,Mark Finkelstein huffed that Suskind is a former Wall Street Journal reporter, where the news pages are "more liberal than even the New York Times," citing a discredited study as evidence.
Now that Suskind has written a new book painting the Obama administration in an unflattering light, the MRC has changed its tune on the author. Far from nit-picking his book or pretending that rebuttal of claims equals a discrediting, the MRC demanded coverage of the book:
Tim Graham highlighted the book's claims, not mentioning his earlier denouncing of Suskind's "novelistic flair."
Noel Sheppard noted how the book "paints an unflattering picture of the Obama White House," failing to note how he portrayed the author's previous work as discredited.
Kyel Drennen presents NBC's Ann Curry confronting Suskind with the Obama White House's rebuttal of Suskind's claims not s a discrediting but as Curry doing the White House's bidding by reading "Obama Press Secretary Jay Carney-approved talking points." The MRC didn't describe the CIA's rebuttal of claims in the earlier Suskind book as "approved talking points."
Funny how, in the eyes of the MRC, an author goes from discredited to lionized depending upon who he's writing about.
WND Falsely Claims Jobs Money Going to Group That Doesn't Exist Topic: WorldNetDaily
A Sept. 19 WorldNetDaily article promoting Matthew Vadum's ACORN-bashing book begins: "President Obama's new economic stimulus package contains as much as $15 billion in payoffs for radical left-wing groups such as ACORN, his former employer."
Just one little problem: ACORN no longer exists. It filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy last December.
WND offers no evidence that the money is specifically earmarked for ACORN (which, again, does not exist). It merely claims that the $15 billion earmarked for "Project Rebuild." would "go to state and local governments and to 'qualified nonprofit organizations' to redevelop abandoned and foreclosed properties." It's not explained how that equals ACORN (which does not exist), or how that means that ACORN (which does not exist) would receive all $15 billion.
Further, no evidence is offered that "qualified nonprofit organizations" with a conservative viewpoint are automatically disqualifed from receiving money.
Later in the article, WND walks that back a little:
Contrary to mainstream media reports, ACORN is very much alive, though in a changed form.
Although the shell corporation that ran the ACORN network filed for bankruptcy in November 2010, ACORN continues to operate. Project Vote and ACORN Housing, renamed Affordable Housing Centers of America, are still is business.
But that's still misleading. In fact, the Government Accountability Office has determined that AHCOA "is not an affiliate, subsidiary, or allied organization of ACORN."
Vadum and WND are misleading readers to prop up a defunct talking point.
CNS Declares U.N. Bashers To Be 'Stellar' Topic: CNSNews.com
The headline on a Sept. 23 CNSNews.com article by Patrick Goodenough on a conference that "raised the issue of ending monetary contributions to the U.N. as long as its actions continue to 'delegitimize' Israel" reads, "Stellar Cast of Critics Slam U.N. As Anti-American, Anti-Israel."
And who is the first person in this "stellar cast" that Goodenough deemed worthy of quoting? Jon Voight. No, really. Indeed, Goodenough didn't explain why any of the critics should be described as "stellar."
Goodenough noted that Voight is an "Academy Award-winning actor," but he didn't describe how that qualifed Voight to be a "stellar" critic of the United Nations.
Of course, had Voight not been spouting conservative talking points, CNS and its parent organization, the Media Research Center, would be attacking him for speaking out.
Aaron Klein churns out yet another guilt-by-association special in a Sept. 22 WorldNetDaily article on Jonathan Greenblatt, head of President Obama's Social Innovation and Civic Participation Council.
As Media Matters details, Klein attacks Greenblatt for having ties to the Aspen Institute, which "works closely with" George Soros, while not mentioning that one member of Aspen's board of truestees is right-wing billionaire activist David Koch. Klein claims that one of those links to Soros is that its conference facilities were "used by" Soros at one time.
Klein also repeatedly attacks Greenblatt for having "several ties to Google," even though WND has a formal business relationship with Google through participation in its AdSense program.
Tim Graham Gives The MRC's Game Away Topic: NewsBusters
Tim Graham probably didn't mean to admit that his employer, the Media Research Center, cares more about political hack work than "media research," but that's what he does in a Sept. 22 NewsBusters post.
Responding to a claim by the Wall Street Journal's James Taranto that it's "dog bites man to complain about "hostile liberal questions" aimed at Republican presidential candidates, and that such questions are "doing the ultimate nominee a favor" by "toughening" them up for the election, Graham asserted:
Groups like the MRC are not around to chronicle "dog bites man, yadda yadda yadda." We are around to underline the point that our "objective" national media cannot be trusted to offer honest information and balanced analysis. They fail easy tests of journalistic professionalism because they want to "make history." See the entire knee-quivering, leg-thrilling, "God Damn America"-excusing 2008 Obama campaign.
Graham has essentially admitted what we've already deduced: that the MRC cares only about pushing the "liberal media" trope and has no interest in things (like Fox News) that don't conform to its hypothesis.
And if Graham cares so much about an "objective" media that provides "honest information and balanced analysis," he and his employer should try operating one sometime, because the MRC-owned CNSNews.com certainly isn't it. Graham has no moral standing to criticize other media outlets for bias when his employer's media outlet is far more riddled with bias.
Thanks, Mr. Graham, for giving the MRC's game away. Now explain why the MRC should be taken seriously amid such blatant hypocrisy.
In his Sept. 21 WorldNetDaily column, Joseph Farah again responds to criticism in his usual thin-skinned way: lots of name-calling refusing to address the actual criticism.
This time, the target is MSNBC's Rachel Maddow, who aired a segment centered on WND's promotion of a self-proclaimed counterterrorism expert who is apparently little more than a Muslim-basher. Farah starts off your basic ad hominem attack, declaring that only watches MSNBC "when it focuses on me" because the alternative is to "suffer through the tedium and infuriation of actually watching a cable network at which the inmates are quite literally running the asylum." He went on to claim that MSNBC "has more in common with the old Soviet-era, official state press organs Izvestia or Pravda than what we once knew, a generation ago, as American-style, professional journalism. He then claimed that "Maddow has a big mouth but very little courage" because she didn't invite him on her show to respond in person. (This from the operator of a website that regularly publishes only one side of a story.)
As he did last week when he bashed Michael Medved for saying mean things about him, Farah uses no direct quotes of what Maddow said, speaking only in generalities. Farah claimed that the author of the article on the counterterrorism expert Maddow featured, Wired's Spencer Ackerman, "defam[ed] a very serious and highly credentialed counter-terrorism expert by the name of William Gawthrop – turning him unfairly into a bigoted cartoon character for his efforts to protect America from future terrorist attacks. There's no scandal in Gawthrop's work or his opinions."
Farah is being disingenous, since he never bothers to explain the source of the controversy over Gawthrop. As Ackerman wrote (in an article Farah failed to link to), Gawthrop was the author of several tracts used in FBI counterterrorism training baselessly claiming that, among other things, the more “devout” a Muslim, the more likely he is to be “violent” and that a “moderating process cannot happen if the Koran continues to be regarded as the unalterable word of Allah.”
Then, as you'd expect, Farah bashes Ackerman:
The focus, rather, should be on the stone-thrower – Ackerman. He should have been fired from Wired a long time ago – or, at the very least, disqualified from covering politics for the magazine. Why? He's most famous not for anything he has ever published, but for things he wrote that he never intended to be published – namely his candid and inflammatory scribblings on the notorious JournoList.
At no point does Farah prove anything Ackerman wrote to be wrong. It's just another rant by a man too thin-skinned to take criticism.
Newsmax Twists Clinton Comments To Portray Him As Opposing Obama Topic: Newsmax
Is Bill Clinton perhaps regretting chumming up to Newsmax's Christopher Ruddy, his former tormenter?
We've documented the Ruddy-Clinton rapprochement when it began in 2007 (even though the rest of Newsmax was not that eager to change its Clinton-bashing stripes). Even though Ruddy had continued to say nice things about Clinton, one had to wonder if it would last, if Ruddy was setting Clinton up.
We have have gotten our answer with a Sept. 20 Newsmax interview of Clinton by Ruddy and Jim Meyers. The headline claim: "Ex-President Clinton to Newsmax: Raising Taxes Won't Work." The lede: "Former President Bill Clinton tells Newsmax that Washington should not raise taxes until the slumping economy is turned around — and says President Obama’s plan to increase taxes on the wealthy won’t solve the debt problem." That got lots of play in the right-wing media, including Fox News.
But as Media Matters points out, 1) Obama never claimed he would solve "the debt problem" by raising taxes alone, as Newsmax suggests, and 2) Newsmax selectively quoted Clinton's response to Ruddy's question to obscure the fact that the full Clinton statement (in the video attached to the Newsmax article) was much more nuanced than Newsmax's screaming headline suggested.
Further, as Media Matters also noted, Clinton gave another interview around the same time as the Newsmax interview in which he expresses support for Obama's plan and points out that it "would not kick in until the economy has growth well under way."
Salon's Steve Kornacki elaborates on Newsmax's deception:
It seems clear that Clinton was talking about the jobs plan, and the issue of what America should be doing right now to stimulate the economy. This isn't in conflict with what Obama is calling for, which is a tax hike-free jobs plan to get the economy moving now and higher taxes on the rich two years from now, in order to reduce long-term deficits.
Newsmax probably knows this, but the headline it has chosen fits perfectly with the message the right is now pushing, and there's no attempt in the article to explain the difference between Obama's jobs plan and his tax plan. Not surprisingly, conservative opinion-shapers are already tweeting out the news that Bill Clinton said something that sounds an awful lot like what Republicans are now saying, and the Republican Party has apparently distributed his quote to the press.
Not that Clinton is blameless here. In the interview, he seemed to be trying to play the statesman/above-the-day-to-day-fray role -- maybe because that's the role he tries to play through CGI, or maybe because he was just happy to have a right-wing media outlet treating him with such respect.
If Ruddy is so eager to twist Clinton's words make a political point, maybe Ruddy is not really the friend to Clinton he claims to be -- and perhaps Clinton will try to make sure he's not taken in next time.
UPDATE: Newsmax columnist Matt Towery buys into the spin, echoing Newsmax's selective quoting by claiming that Clinton "blew off Obama's obsession with tax increases." Towery also declared: "This Newsmax interview can be looked upon as a gentle settling of many scores by Clinton with his fellow Democrats, who have led his party into the land of left-wing loons."
CNSNews.com, it seems, is giving up on the pretense of acting like a unbiased news site. Now CNS reporters are penning opinion pieces -- something parent Media Research Center abhors when it happens in other media outlets.
CNS' recent website redesign reimagined the commentary section in blog format, newly named "The Right Views, Right Now -- Conservative Opinion And Analysis." Popping up there is none other than CNS reporter Pete Winn with a Sept. 21 anti-gay screed:
Yes, Virginia, there is a gay agenda, and a playbook being used to fulfill it.
This week’s change in the law that homosexuality is incompatible with military service – the repeal of the so-called “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy – is not the “triumph for America” that homosexual activists and their supporters in the Senate seemed to say it is.
It represents the "overhauling" of America – by a homosexual activist movement that has been pushing its agenda on the nation for the last 25 years or so.
Since 1987, gay activists have basically been following a playbook.
It first came out in the form of an article in a homosexual magazine called, “The Overhauling of Straight America” – and was later turned into a book called “After the Ball: How America Will Conquer Its Fear and Hatred of Gays in the ’90s."
The article was written by Marshall Kirk and “Erastes Pill.” The book was written by Marshall Kirk and Hunter Madsen (the real name of "Erastes Pill").
That playbook utilizes the power of the media and advertising strategy to advance the gay agenda.
Consider yourself “overhauled,” America.
You've been played, in favor of a behavior that was once criminalized; one that most world religions – which have been around for far longer than this country -- still condemn.
And just think, it has all been done in the name of politically correct "anti-discrimination" law -- which is itself a relatively recent phenomenon -- and allows gay activism to trump anything else, even truth, morality or facts.
Wow! What a winning combination – for homosexual activists, that is.
But what a losing combination for America.
Of course, as we've noted, Winn is a right-wing activist at heart, having been formerly employed by CitizenLink, the political action arm of the right-wing Focus on the Family.
The line between news and opinion at CNS was always blurry -- fellow "news" reporter Penny Starr used a similar opinion piece to smear Harry Reid as a baby-killer. Now it seems CNS, under editor Terry Jeffrey, will no longer bother with the pretense of objectivity and become a partisan right-wing organization fully integrated with its partisan right-wing MRC parent -- just in time for the 2012 presidential election.
Posted by Terry K.
at 9:43 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, September 22, 2011 10:01 PM EDT