WND's Klein Baselessly Implicates Obama Nominee In Medicare Fraud, Ignores GOP Gov's Role Topic: WorldNetDaily
Aaron Klein keeps up his long series of dubious hit pieces on the Obama administration in a Nov. 29 article, in which he attacks Marilyn Tavenner, President Obama's nominee to head the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, for her longtime employment at the hospital conglomerate HCA:
Tavenner is a 31-year veteran of HCA. She began with the company in 1981 as a nursing supervisor at Johnston-Willis Hospital in Richmond, Va. After serving in a number of supervisory positions, she became CEO of the hospital in 1993.
In 1996, Tavenner became president of HCA's Richmond Division and in 2001 was appointed the company's Central Atlantic Division president.
In 2004, Tavenner was promoted to group president for HCA's Outpatient Services.
In settlements reached in 2000 and 2002, HCA pleaded guilty to 14 felonies. The company reportedly admitted to overcharging the government by claiming marketing costs as reimbursable; striking illegal deals with home care agencies; and filing false data about the use of hospital space.
HCA also reportedly admitted to defrauding Medicare by billing the agency and other health programs using exaggerated diagnoses and by filing false cost reports.
HCA agreed in 2002 to pay the U.S. government $631 million, plus interest, and pay $17.5 million to state Medicaid agencies, in addition to $250 million paid up to that point to resolve outstanding Medicare expense claims.
First, Klein offers no evidence whatsoever that Tavenner was ever implicated in any of those HCA scandals.
Second, Klein makes no mention of who was the CEO of HCA at the time those settlements over Medicare fraud were reached -- Rick Scott, currently the Republican governor of Florida.
A search of the WND database reveals that WND has never reported on Scott's links to Medicare fraud. But severalarticles have highlighted Scott's opposition to health care reform.
Noel Sheppard Doesn't Know What Crowdsourcing Is (And Neither Does Brent Bozell) Topic: NewsBusters
Noel Sheppard uses a Nov. 28 NewsBusters post to howl that Washington Post is "looking for dirt on the current Republican presidential frontrunner," New Gingrich. How? By tweeting that he is seeking "outlandish/incorrect predictions and quotes from Newt Gingrich's past."
Um, Noel? That's called crowdsourcing. And checking the veracity of statements Gingrich has made in the past isn't "dirt" -- it's fact-checking.
Sheppard went on to howl, "What would one expect from a newspaper that only five months ago called for readers to sift through former Alaska governor Sarah Palin's email messages?" That's crowdsourcing too, Noel. If you had a large cache of documents you wanted to sort through quickly -- like the 24,000 Palin emails -- you would do the same thing.
But because the Media Research Center is so paranoid and unaware of legitimate newsgathering methods, Sheppard's stupid meme was picked up by his boss, Brent Bozell, who went on Fox News to rant about it and demand that Blake be fired:
This is what we've been saying for a year. The Obama team can't run on its message. The only thing they can run on is character assassination. Fine, that's politics. That's something that the Obama team might do. But for the media to be complicity in this, for the media to be participatory. And now you've got this person just putting it out on the Internet in open, help me crucify Newt Gingrich, we want him next. You feel like they got fangs or something and blood coming down the sides of their mouth.
If Bozell is really serious about the media not getting involved in politics, he should tell the person who runs his own "news" organization, Terry Jeffrey of CNSNews.com, to stick to reporting the news and stop his character assassination of President Obama and his wife.
WND's Massie Attacks Colin Powell Topic: WorldNetDaily
Mychal Massie's Nov. 28 WorldNetDaily column is dedicated to bashing Colin Powell for alleging going from "a conservative who saw the world as true conservatives see it" to an "Obama supporter and apologist." Massie ranted about one Powell interview:
Powell's praise for Obama's mythical economic recovery also failed to mention that, instead of focusing on jobs, he was focused on destabilizing the Middle East and squandering money on green technology companies that went bankrupt literally weeks after being given billions of dollars in taxpayer bailouts. He also failed to mention that Obama's was a manic pursuant to seize control of one-sixth of the economy, when the federal government has been unable to run the U.S. Postal Service competently and has mishandled Social Security to the brink of insolvency.
And even more deplorable, his reference to Obama not being "Superman" was code-speak to blacks who could later be told that told Obama hadn't been given enough time.
Massie then attacks Powell for not being as reactionary and close-minded as he is:
Where would Powell be today, and what are the chances that the black family in the White House today would, at best, be there as servants if Lincoln had decided to compromise and let the South and New Jersey have slaves? What would America be today if our Founding Fathers had worked a compromise on taxes and minerals with King George? Obama claims to be a Christian – where would Christianity and God's plan of salvation be if Jesus had decided to compromise on sin and the cross? What if Churchill had compromised with Hitler, telling him he could kill all the Jews he wanted if he didn't advance against England? What if Everett Dirksen had compromised on the Civil Rights Act of 1964?
In every instance above, the groups/persons leading the charge were called extreme right-wing and accused of being unwilling to compromise, but they held their ground and we are better off for it. Compromise has brought us nothing but a downward spiral of society. Compromise has brought us the homosexual agenda and abortion on demand. Compromise has brought to the very brink of destruction of our nation.
Maybe instead of fomenting racial and societal discord, Powell would be better served by remembering there is a reason the military has been inflexible in its training regimens. It's because the military understands that compromise is the surest way to disorder and defeat.
Powell worked his way through the military to become a general, secretary of state, and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Massie writes a hate-filled column for a fringe website. Whose opinion is more trustworthy?
CNS Highlights One Paper's End To 'Ugly' Anonymous Comments -- But Not At CNS Topic: CNSNews.com
A Nov. 28 CNSNews.com blog post by CNS senior editor Susan Jones notes how one newspaper is requiring that comments be made through Facebook, thus minimizing anonymous comments, which the newspaper states has "encouraged a few readers to engage in some pretty ugly behavior."
Jones curiously didn't mention CNS' own comments policy, which allows for anonymous commenters and, needless to say, vile comments.
For example, here are some representative comments from readers of a Nov. 28 CNS article on the retirement of Rep. Barney Frank, the vast majority from anonymous commenters:
Damn...With Ted Kennedy dead and Barney retiring to write his pornographic memoirs...It seems to have left Mass-a-two-shits in a lurch...Oh what a dilemma?
While it is good to say goodbye to this pimp, make no mistake. The state that has sentenced the nation to the likes of John Kerry and Splash Kennedy for all these years will have an ample supply of moonbats taking aim at that seat.
Focus on fighting his AIDS infection, you mean.
Writing what? Homo porn? Bad checks?
Of all the well educated, urbane, Ivy League graduates in Massachusetts it is so hard to believe that this crude, slobbering homo is the best they have to fill a congressional seat.
I'm glad the queer is retiring. He should be in prison, not writing books.
Barney's Book Title "Barney's Frank in Boys Town".
Limp wrist excuses if you ask me. Barney Fagggggggie would never win an election given the redistricting included a conservative area. In any event Mr. Frank, when your signing your new claim to fame academia books and blabbing about how great you are, please pass out raincoats.
I think barney boy is a bottom bunk guy!
Apparently, CNS has no problem with such anonymous slurs residing on its website -- which makes it curious that it would highlight how another website has banned them.
WND Columnist Peddles Falsehoods About Brazilian Companies Topic: WorldNetDaily
Failed Alaskan senatorial candidate Joe Miller writes in a Nov. 28 WorldNetDaily column:
Since taking office in 2009, President Obama has accomplished great things for the economy ... of Brazil, that is. For some bizarre reason, Obama continues to do all he can to help out workers and businesses in South America's largest nation.
We all remember the U.S. Export-Import Bank's multi-billion dollar loan proposal to Petrobras – a large Brazilian oil firm – to aid in the development of Brazil's deep sea oil exploration.
In fact, Obama had nothing to do with the Petrobras loan. The loan process began before Obama was elected, and the Ex-Im bank was controlled by Bush appointees when the loan was approved.
Miller goes on to complain that the Air Force "has turned down the bid from American aircraft manufacturer Hawker Beechcraft to produce a light attack armed reconnaissance aircraft," instead going with "Brazilian aircraft company Embraer and its 'Super Tucano' airplane."Miller went on to complain, " It's odd that the Air Force would prefer U.S. pilots to fly in war zones in planes constructed in Brazil by Brazilian workers."
In fact, according to Aviation Week, the prime contractor on the project, and Embraer's partner, is an American company, Sierra Nevada Corp., and the plane will be built in Jacksonville, Fla.
MRC Tries to Smear Another Cain Accuser Topic: Media Research Center
When accusations of sexual harassment began to pile up against Republican presidential cqandidate Herman Cain, the Media Research Center was quick to defend Cain -- a "personal friend" of MRC chief Brent Bozell -- and smear his accusers.
Now, with a woman stepping forward to claim that she had an affair with Cain, the MRC smear job resumes.
In a Nov. 29 NewsBusters post, the MRC's Scott Whitlock makes a point of highlighting Ginger White's "questionable past" and "past legal problems, which include claims of stalking."
funny, we don't remember the MRC being concerned about Paula Jones' "questionable past."
Meanwhile, Whitlock's boss, Brent Bozell, provides more heavy-handed defense of Cain in his Nov. 29 column, in which he plays the Clinton Equivocation card:
Ginger White’s charges sound a lot like Gennifer Flowers in 1992 saying she has a 12-year affair with Bill Clinton. So many in the press pounce on Flowers as unequivocal evidence of the media’s sense of balance. After all, they will remind us, just look how we covered that scandal!
Yes, look. Because it’s a wonderful exercise in media disinformation. Political junkies remember that Flowers held a <ital>press conference<ital> carried live on CNN on Thursday afternoon, January 23, 1992. It had all the elements for snappy news. She played audio tapes of phone conversations with Clinton. Despite all this, the first network mention was a brief mention by NBC’s Lisa Myers – more than 24 hours later. Other than that, the three broadcast network morning and evening newscasts waited to breathe the name “Flowers” for four days.
And then they dismissed the scandal as a non-scandal.
Bozell didn't mention whether he scrutinized Flowers' past the way his organization is scrutinizing White's. Probably because he didn't.
Bozell also howled: "But when Juanita Broaddick accused Chelsea’s father of raping her in a 1999 Dateline NBC interview, then-anchor Tom Brokaw never allowed one single second of her voice to break into the NBC Nightly News." Bozell ignores the fact that Broaddrick had spent years denying anything that happened with Clinton, making her flip-flop suspect.
And at no point in his column does Bozell mention the pertinent fact that Cain is a friend of his.
WND's Farah Wants to Restrict Muslim Immigration to U.S. Topic: WorldNetDaily
Not only do I – an Arab-American male – agree on the importance of considering the ideological and religious worldview of those being screened for sensitive security jobs and for passenger flights for the safety of all, but I would go much further.
I say it's time to strictly limit Muslim immigration into the United States to avoid the kinds of disasters we're seeing in Europe.
Having said this, I can anticipate the hysterical reactions from the phony civil libertarians who consistently act against America's best interests and vital national security concerns.
"Isn't that religious bigotry and intolerance?" they will say. "Isn't America supposed to be religiously blind and welcome one and all to our shores?"
No, plain and simple. That's their blueprint for America's destruction, not mine. America doesn't owe anyone – no foreigner anywhere – an engraved invitation to be part of our national covenant and community. We've been far too lax in allowing anyone and everyone who flouts the rules entry to this country. That has to stop immediately. The very next step we need to take is to determine what kind of people will help our nation stay true to its Constitution and other founding principles – and what kind of people will not.
It seems obvious to me that anyone who subscribes to Saudi-style Shariah law, as described in the Islamic Quran and Hadith, would not be inclined to swear allegiance to the Constitution – at least not without crossing his fingers taqiyya-style.
But we need to do more than just require immigrants seeking entry to the U.S. as visitors or citizens to swear allegiance to our Constitution. We need to put the burden of proof on Muslims to demonstrate their desire to leave the world of Shariah behind them, to renounce its principles as well as to take a formal oath to uphold and affirm America's national covenant.
Furthermore, we need strict national quotas on immigration by Muslims – even those willing to renounce Shariah and swear an oath to the U.S. Constitution.
Because there are 1 billion Muslims in the world, most of whom simply do not share our Judeo-Christian worldview – the one that separated us from the rest of the nations and made America special and great.
Already, with only a few million Muslims living in America, they are having a disproportionate impact on our culture. Let me give you one example: There are still more Jews in America than Muslims, though the gap is narrowing quickly. Yet, Jews do not use their influence to ensure that Jews and non-Jews alike are forced to eat according to rabbinical kosher rules. However, it is increasingly difficult for non-Muslims in America today to buy a Thanksgiving turkey that has not been ritually sacrificed to Allah. Most of the meat sold in Costco is also halal.
I don't know about you, but I don't want to eat meat sacrificed to Allah. With Islam a tiny minority religion in the U.S., it seems perverse that people like me have to be careful not to eat food ritually sacrificed to this god of the few.
NewsBusters Thinks Coulter's Foul-Mouthed Insults Are 'Irrepressible' Topic: NewsBusters
NewsBusters regularly excoriates people in the media for saying unpleasant things about conservatives, but when right-wingers say vile things about liberals, it's either ignored or encouraged. One beneficiary of this blatant double standard has been Ann Coulter.
In that spirit, Mark Finkelstein performs a similar service with a Noel Sheppard level of fawning in a Nov. 29 post, gushing over how, in an appearance on MSNBC's "Morning Joe," "the irrepressible Ann called Ted Kennedy 'human pestilence.'" Funny, we don't recall Finkelstein or anyone else at NewsBusters describing, say, Bill Maher as "irrepressible."
Further, Finkelstein makes no mention whatsoever of another insult Coulter hurled during the same show that was so vile MSNBC cut off her audio.
Is Finkelstein so gutless that he won't call out Coulter for saying something he'd attack had it come out of the mouth of someone who wasn't a right-wing darling? Apaprently so.
Sheppard, meanwhile, is similarly gutless, since he hasn't said a word about the foul words out of his beloved Coulter's mouth. He was too busy being distracted by Coulter saying something adorable on another channel.
WND Unloads Cain Book While It's Still Worth Something Topic: WorldNetDaily
The Cain-gasm is over.
WorldNetDaily, it seems, has given up on Herman Cain's presidential campaign, which it breathlessly promoted and defended in the face of sexual harassment allegations. Allegations of an affair by Cain, however, seem to be the final straw.
But not until WND can find one final way to cash in on it.
So WND is trying to unload Cain's autobiography while it still might sell for something vaguely close to retail price by portraying it as a "collector's item." But there's resignation in the sales pitch in a Nov. 29 WND article:
It was a bold plan, he told us.
But what might have been bolder than the 9-9-9 economic plan was the audacity of a presidential candidate who didn't realize you can't sweep a 13-year affair under the rug.
With Herman Cain now reassessing his bid for the Republican nomination – and probably no more than hours away from withdrawing from the race – the WND Superstore is commemorating the 9-9-9 plan with a blowout sale on his book, "This is Herman Cain: My Journey to the White House."
You guessed it. The sale price on what is likely to become a collector's item is $9.99 – while supplies last.
"This book is sure to be a collector's item – given the circumstances of his presidential campaign," says Joseph Farah, editor and chief executive officer of WND. "Just look at what presidential memorabilia of the past is selling for these days."
That feels exceptionally cynical and insincere, even for Farah. He knows what doesn't sell now is heading straight for the remainder bin, and he doesn't want to take a bath on the losses.
MRC's Graham: Right-Wing Media Should Only Be Cheerleaders for GOP Candidates Topic: Media Research Center
Tim Graham does have a bad habit of giving away the game of his employer, the Media Research Center. For instance, he has admitted that most news reports the MRC monitors are not biased.
Graham concedes more of the MRC's real agenda in a Nov. 28 NewsBusters post attacking conservative Washington Post blogger Jennifer Rubin for committing the offense of scrutinizing Republican presidential candidates and pointing out that most of the right-wing media is not. Graham lectures Rubin on the proper role of the right-wing media, which does not involve saying anything bad about Republican candidates because that's exactly what the liberal media wants them to do:
Rubin could be right that there's a political danger in reacting over-defensively to liberal media attacks on Republican front-runners. But there is also a political danger in reacting under-defensively to liberal media attacks. Conservatives should recognize that the media isn't carefully vetting Republicans in order to assist GOP voters in making the right choice. It's trashing Republicans to insure a smoother path to re-election for President Obama. If the evidence of the last five years hasn't established for Rubin that the media are overtly pro-Obama, then nothing will.
It's also not "ideologically isolated" to insist on actual evidence against a candidate, like an actual name and a resume, before Republicans throw a Herman Cain under the bus. It's not "ideologically isolated" to think the Post's anti-Perry coverage of the "N-head" rock that can be seen through the white paint was ludicrously oversold. Media criticism and skepticism should not be carelessly dismissed as a denial of "honest analysis and fulsome debate."
In other words: The right-wing media should only be cheerleaders for Republican candidates. The MRC has already demonstrated this by trying to smear the women who accused Herman Cain of sexual harassment despite its previous denouncement of anyone who said something mean about the women who accused Bill Clinton of sexual misconduct. (Did the MRC as for "actual evidence" and "a resume" from Paula Jones before parroting her claims? We doubt it.)
Graham also demonstrates the paranoid attitude of the right by declaring that the only possible reason anyone would want to scrutinize Republican candidates is to destroy them. Does this mean that he will admit that this is what the MRC, through is "news" division CNSNews.com, is trying to do to President Obama?
Ultimately, Graham and thte MRC do not want a balanced media; they want no criticism whatsoever of conservatives in the media. Thanks, Tim, for removing the mask even further.
CNS' Farewell to Rep. Frank Ignores How He Pwned CNS Topic: CNSNews.com
All CNSNews.com could muster upon the retirement of Rep. Barney Frank was a short Nov. 28 article by Eric Scheiner, which weirdly focuses on Frank's claim that he's leaving Congress in order to write.
Unmentioned by Scheiner is Frank's epic pwning of CNS.
As we detailed, then-CNS reporter Nicholas Ballasy tried to play gotcha with Frank by asking him whether he thought gay and straight soldiers should shower together. Frank saw the attack coming and proceeded to mock Ballasy's attitude, then turn the tables on him by asking him the same question.
Maybe CNS is still feeling a bit burned by the incident, which is why it did only a perfunctory story on Frank's retirement.
In a new publicity stunt, the Occupiers and their media allies have been attacking Megyn Kelly of Fox News for discussing the incident at UC Davis and supposedly calling pepper spray a “food product” and playing down its effects. A much-publicized petition was launched to get Kelly to “eat or drink a full dose of pepper spray on national television.”
It doesn’t take a visit to the campus library to determine that pepper spray is a non-lethal agent derived from peppers, as the name implies. What Kelly actually said was that it was a “derivative of actual pepper and a food product essentially.” She went on to say that the nature of the substance was “beside the point” because of its potential impact and that it was “abrasive and intrusive” to those getting exposed to it. So there was no effort to play down the nature of what happened. She pointed out that some of those exposed to the spray went to the hospital, although any injuries they may have suffered are a matter of dispute. The effects of pepper spray are usually temporary and can be washed away with water.
The point of the pepper spray was to get the demonstrators, who had erected an illegal tent city on campus, to leave. They were interfering with the rights of students on campus to get an education and be safe while doing so.
What the leftists really find offensive about Megyn Kelly’s comments is the fact that she defended the police, who used the pepper spray for the purpose of making it easier to remove the protesters. She noted that, from a legal standpoint, the cops can argue that they acted appropriately and did not use excessive force. Pepper spray was used to avoid a more physical confrontation with the people locked arm-in-arm on the sidewalk. Pepper spray is considered a more humanitarian way of dealing with lawbreakers. Batons could have been used as well.
Kelly is being singled out because she defended the police, not because she noted the organic roots of pepper spray.
Kincaid, of course, is merely engaging in wild speculation when he says that Kelly is being criticized because she "defended the police." He has no proof whatsoever to back it up.
Chuck Norris' Nov. 27 WorldNetDaily column bashes the "mainstream media," and goes on to attack what he claims is "The social psychology being used by the progressives and liberal media on many trusting and unsuspecting Americans."
But Norris' media-bashing only goes so far. Norris makes sure to tout "the paperback version of my New York Times bestseller, 'Black Belt Patriotism,' which gives America's founders' solutions for our modern problems." He also highlights "fellow culture warrior and New York Times bestseller Robert Ringer."
So the media is bad, except when you can use them for self-promotion. Got it, Chuck.
Sheppard Dubiously Defends Limbaugh Over Old Allegation Topic: NewsBusters
Noel Sheppard devotes a Nov. 26 NewsBusters post to rehashing a questionable defense of Rush Limbaugh against an accusation that he once referred to Chelsea Clinton as the "White House dog" on his 1990s TV show.
Sheppard asserted that "Limbaugh never referred to Chelsea as the White House dog," then extensively quoted from an anti-Al Franken blog to explain "what really happened back then." That blog post at the Lying Liar webste, however, makes only assertions and quotes without providing links to the alleged source material -- or, more importantly, the original video of Limbaugh's TV show.
If Sheppard was really interested in getting to the bottom of this story, he would demand that Limbaugh release the original video of the incident so people can judge for themselves. He presumably controls that video, so it would be easy for him to release those excerpts, and the corrections he claimed he made, to settle the issue once and for all.
But given that Sheppard is such a slobbering right-wing sycophant that he will desperately smear one of Herman Cain's sexual harrassment accusers, he clearly doesn't have the intestinal fortitude to seek the truth if it means one of his conservative heroes might look bad.
In a Nov. 18 WorldNetDaily article, Bob Unruh recounts a New Hampshire hearing starring Orly Taitz, who was trying to get the state to kick President Obama off the election ballot for 2012 "because of suspicions of fraud" -- in this case, what Taitz claims is "evidence concerning Obama's use of a Social Security number from Connecticut, even though he has no links to the state while growing up." It's a lazy article -- Unruh portrays the hearing as told by Taitz herself in a phone interview. He did note that "A spokesman at the commission's office today told WND that the members had "broken up" their meeting and left immediately, leaving no information about any decisions they made."
Because Unruh was so lazy about covering this, you won't hear about Taitz's latest disrespectful antics.
According to the Concord Monitor, which unlike WND actually covered the hearing, Taitz howled that "This is bigger than Watergate. This is a hundred times bigger than Watergate," and repeated the standard birther argument that Obama's birth certificate is fake: "A child can see this is a forgery."
The New Republic went on to note that after House Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt rejected Taitz's demand that Secretary of State Bill Gardner be removed for failing to address Obama's purported fraudulence, Taitz exhibited the unprofessional behavior she has become known for by going on a tirade:
Mr. Betancourt (sic), my appearance before the committee was not an outburst, but a testimony with an undeniable proof of Barack Obama using a stolen Social Security number, forged birth certificate, committing elections fraud and treason. Your answer shows that you are another corrupt and dirty politician, who is maliciously disregarding the truth and the Constitution of this nation, who needs to be removed from the position of the Republican majority leader and who should be and will be tried for treason against this nation together with other corrupt politicians who put a complete fraud and a criminal wthout any valid US identification papers in the White House.
As Slate's David Weigel notes, that drew this rebuke from Bettencourt:
Your outburst was unbecoming of any legitimate political dialogue, never mind one as ridiculous as the continued obsession over President Obama’s birth place. I have spoken to the Representatives who were present and expressed to them my strong desire that they immediately disassociate themselves from you and this folly. This country has an opportunity in less than a year to replace this President and it is my fervent hope that we will do so. However, I wholeheartedly reject your request to remove Secretary Gardner or any attempt to bring a criminal complaint of elections fraud or treason.
Will WND report Taitz's childish ranting to its readers? Don't count on it.