WorldNetDaily's love of anonymoussources -- despite WND editor Joseph Farah's dismissal of anonymous claims as "usually quotes made up out of whole cloth to help make the story read better" -- reaches a new level in a Jan. 3 article by Bob Unruh
In the article, Unruh touts the claims of an anonymous man "dentifying himself as a brain surgeon" who called into Mark Levin's radio show and declared that "secret plans being developed by the federal government under the Obamacare law will provide only 'comfort care' for some ailments." The man suggested that he had learned this from "a conference in Washington of an organization of neurosurgeons in which information from the government was presented."
Unruh then cites a statement by the American Association of Neurological Surgeons and the Congress of Neurological Surgeons, which deny that any such presentation took place and stated that "the caller who identified himself as a brain surgeon is not actually a neurosurgeon."
So, we have an anonymous source whose identity can't be verified making a completely unverified claim, and a respected group of surgeons who are on record discrediting the unverified claim. Guess who Unruh and Levin choose to believe?
Levin, however, told WND the denials are not convincing.
“The gentleman used a fake name on the air, so when the associations say they looked into it and could not find that he was at the conference, that is a straw man,” he said.
“My call screener was very comfortable that he was what he said he was, and I have no basis to disparage anything he said. He knew of the conference, he knew who was holding the conference, he knew of the various meetings at the conference, and he knew the subject-matter thoroughly.”
He continued, “It seems to me the focus by the deniers should be on uncovering what HHS is up to. Have they dug into it, have they filed FOIA requests, have they interviewed numerous attendees, etc.?”
Again, neither Levin nor Unruh provide any evidence to prove their anonymous source correct -- but they trust him anyway because he sounded like he knew what he was talking about.
This is WND's standard of journalism. Sad, isn't it?
According to its latest annual report, the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) received $487.4 million in tax dollars over a twelve-month period and performed 329,455 abortions.
As we've pointed out when CNS has previouslymade this claim, these two numbers have nothing to do with each other. The federal money Planned Parenthood receives does not, and cannot by law, pay for abortion services.
At no point does Starr report that in her article. That's simply dishonest of her. But then, she's following in the footsteps of her boss, Terry Jeffrey, who has perpetuated the same deception.
AIM Touts Dubious Attack on IPCC Topic: Accuracy in Media
A Jan. 3 Accuracy in Media column by Rael Jean Isaac promotes a self-published e-book by Donna Laframboise attacking the International Panel on Climate Change and challenging the credentials of those who compile the IPCC's reports.
The claims Isaac and Laframboise make in the column are too vague to fact-check, but Media Matters found inaccurate and deceptive claims in a FoxNews.com article based on Laframboise's book.
Isaac writes: "Laframboise identifies a number of graduate students (at least one without so much as a Masters degree at the time) who served as coordinating lead authors (the most important role, in charge of the entire chapter) or lead authors (responsible for large segments of text)." But this ignores the fact that, according to Media Matters, there are many authors: for the 2007 IPCC assessment, there were 450 lead authors and 800 contributing authors. Additionally, each chapter has at least seven lead authors and goes through two rounds of scientific review.
Using information taken from Laframboise's book, Fox News overlooks facts about some of the IPCC authors, according to Media Matters. One lead author, for example, was dismissed because he had earned a master's degree just two years earlier; in fact, he was already a board-certified doctor at the time he earned that master's degree.
Isaac makes a big deal out of how is Laframboise a "solitary blogger" who relied on the readers of her blog to do the research for her book. Given such apparently shoddy research and Laframboise's own obvious bias -- the thesis of her book is that the IPCC is "a spoiled child" that has "morphed into an obnoxious adolescent" -- it's probably best left as a self-published e-book.
More Plagiarism Uncovered at WND Topic: WorldNetDaily
It seems that Jerome Corsi's adventure with his "trusted Kenyan professionals" is not the only recent instance of plagiarism at WorldNetDaily these days.
Loren Collins at Barackryphal has uncovered more examples of plagiarism at WND:
A Dec. 9 article by Aaron Klein cribs liberally from a CNN op-ed by William Bennett without attribution.
A Nov. 22 column by Joseph Farah copies statements made in articles by the Associated Press and the Los Angeles Times.
We've previously detailed an earlier example of plagiarism by Farah, in which he lifted large parts of a 2005 article from a Reuters piece.
Ironically, Farah had complained in 2003 that the "AP is lifting WorldNetDaily copyright content seemingly at will without attribution or credit" -- exactly what he and Klein are doing to the AP and other news organizations.
Note to Farah and WND: A redesigned website can't hide the fact that you're stealing the work of others.
NewsBusters Plays the Race-Card Card Topic: NewsBusters
In a Jan. 2 NewsBusters post, Noel Sheppard is upset that NBC's Andrea Mitchell made the entirely accurate observation that Iowa can be viewed as not representative of the United States because it is "too white, too evangelical, too rural." Sheppard declared this to be "using the race card," then played his own race card: "Nice way of the NBC Nightly News informing viewers that much as the media did in 2008, the race card will be played whenever possible to assist Barack Obama in getting reelected. Can you imagine any state in the union being referred to as 'too black' or 'too hispanic?'"
Of course, the very next day, Sheppard's NewsBusters colleague Matt Hadro did pretty much that. Hadro bashed a "provocative segment" on CNN in which "CNN's Soledad O'Brien hit Republican candidates for not campaigning in Iowa's first majority Hispanic town."
That's right -- he's playing the race card attacking a town for being too Hispanic. (Not to mention being too small and too Democratic, having "voted heavily for Barack Obama in 2008."
Will Sheppard criticize his NewsBusters colleague for doing exactly what he criticized Mitchell for supposedly doing? Don't count on it -- after all, Sheppard is an MRC team player, and a master of the double standard to boot.
Newsmax Makes Excuses for Gingrich's 4th-Place Finish in Iowa Topic: Newsmax
Newsmax is so solidly behind Newt Gingrich that it's trying desperately to put a positive spin on Gingrich's fourth-place finish in the Iowa caucuses -- a finish that came despite Newsmax buying airtime in the state to run its Gingrich endorsement posing as a "campaign special."
Newsmax touted Gingrich's "solid 4th place" finish in the red breaking-news banner on its front page, appearing even ahead of Mitt Romney's razor-thin victory over Rick Santorum:
In the linked article -- credited to "Newsmax Wires" but reading like a story no real wire service would send out -- Newsmax is in hard spin mode, portraying Gingrich's finish as "a result similar to both Bill Clinton's in 1992 and John McCain's in 2008" and insisting that the this "gives him a solid platform to continue his primary battle." Newsmax then slags the top vote-getters:
Rick Santorum has not weathered the same intense media scrutiny as Gingrich has, nor does he have the national organizational and fundraising base Gingrich has.
On Monday, the Gallup tracking poll had Romney at 24 percent and Gingrich at 23 percent, a neck-and-neck race. Santorum pulled only 6 percent in the Gallup poll.
Romney, who was considered the Iowa front-runner, faces a daunting challenge as the GOP primary calendar unfolds.
He pulled no more votes in 2012 than he did in 2008. He has spent more than $15 million between both races to win Iowa — forking over $500 a vote for the past two elections combined.
Newsmax has to make its investment in Gingrich pay off somehow. But so far, it's going about as well as Newsmax's endorsement of Bill McCollum.
It appears to be hard to overstate how much Mychal Massie utterly hates Michelle Obama. He unloads this pile of Obama derangement in his Jan. 2 WorldNetDaily column:
Michelle Obama and her family are on a $4 million taxpayer-funded vacation, and between her traipsing around in $2,000 dresses, $1,000 skirts and dining at the most exclusive restaurants – she found time to send an email to an Obama mailing list saying, “I hope you’ll close out this year by donating $3 or more to help make sure we’re ready for the next [election].”
At first glance, this could be viewed as nothing unusual. But there is a sinister sensus plenior to the actions of this woman that is going unaddressed, and so certain am I of what it is, I would be willing to bet one of the cigars I was given as a Christmas gift.
In December 2006, I wrote: “Race is the viscous grease Al Sharpton uses to lubricate his flim-flam machine. Adding the ‘Reverend’ moniker affords him cover by having a credible partner, i.e., God, who doesn’t want a cut of his ill-gotten gains. And not atypical of race-hucksters, he makes his choices based on what will garner him the most cachet.” (“Lights, camera … Sharpton,” WND.com)
Insert the name Obama in place of Sharpton, FLOTUS in place of “Reverend,” and “gullible voters” in place of God, and it’s a perfect fit.
I submit that it is the blackness of Michelle Obama that gives credibility to the “blackness” of Obama. This is one of the dirty little secrets white people remain ignorant of, because to accept what I am saying as fact would require them to also acknowledge the depth of contempt many blacks harbor toward them. And it is that contempt the Obamas manipulate to control what is said of them and the extent of media criticism they receive.
Michelle Obama is a world-class conductor of the race-mongers orchestra. And she conducts the symphony with the adroitness that even the most skilled race-monger can take lessons from. In 2000, Al Gore may have gotten little more than prayers and fried chicken, but in 2011-12, Obama – thanks to his wife has figured out how to get juice from that fruit.
Massie, by the way, also loves to call Michelle Obama "Buttzilla," which hardly makes him a credible critic of, well, anything.
Newsmax's Last-Minute Shilling for Gingrich Topic: Newsmax
As we arrive on the day of the Iowa caucuses, Newsmax is keeping up its shilling for Newt Gingrich.
A Jan. 1 article by Gary Cohen laments that "the lion's share of the money" spent by super PACs in this election cycle have targeted Gingrich, incuding his "ties to Freddie Mac, his divorces, and his lengthy Capitol Hill career."
This was followed by a Jan. 3 article by Jim Meyers and Kathleen Walter, in which they quote Republican Sen. Charles Grassley expressing a similar lament:
Grassley does agree that Newt Gingrich has been victimized by negative political ads from other candidates.
“I don’t know why he’s been a target but I do know that those negative ads have worked. And I believe when he goes to South Carolina, or even in New Hampshire, you’re going to find Gingrich using negative ads, assuming he has the money to do it, because I think he has probably realized that not pointing out the faults he felt his opponents had was a mistake.”
Newsmax also touted how Gingrich called Mitt Romney a liar.
Will the slanted coverage and the ads Newsmax bought in Iowa on Gingrich's behalf be enough to put Gingrich over the top? Well, Newsmax's most recent foray into Republican primary politics was a failure -- Christopher Ruddy and Dick Morris hosted a fundraiser for Florida Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill McCollum and slanted its news coverage to hype McCollum and bash his primary opponent, Rick Scott, who defeated McCollum. Newsmax then flip-flopped and promoted Scott in the general election, ignoring the attacks it made on him during the primary, and Scott won.
What Stories Did WND Spike Last Year? Topic: WorldNetDaily
Every year, WorldNetDaily does an "Operation Spike" list of what it claims are "the most underreported or unreported news events of the year – to shine a spotlight on those issues that the establishment media successfully 'spiked.'" As we've detailed, this list is nothing more than the top right-wing stories of the year and a snapshot of WND's own coverage.
Of course, the list ignores the fact that WND spikes stories too, particularly when they are inconvenient to its far-right, Obama-hating agenda. So here's ConWebWatch's own "Operation Spike" list of stories that WND refused to tell its readers about.
1. Compelling evidence that Obama's birth certificate is real. Fifth on this year's list from WND is "Compelling evidence from multiple experts that the birth certificate released by Barack Obama on April 27, 2011, is a fraud." But as even WND has admitted, no certified forensic document examiner will support this assertion, which means that WND has had to scrounge up other so-called "experts" to conform to its version of reality.
A few months back, John Woodman published a book debunking many of the claims promulgated by WND about the supposed inauthenticity of Obama's birth certificate. Not only has WND refused to acknowledge its existence -- not even to debunk its claims, which in itself can be considered evidence of the book's veracity -- but WND's Jerome Corsi has refused to debate Woodman over birther claims. What are Corsi and WND afraid of?
2. WND's creation of legal documents for its sources to sign, which WND then reports on. We reported the story of how prominent birther source Tim Adams has stated that WND-affilated lawyers provided him with an affidavit to sign, in which he made assertions about Obama's birth certificate -- none of which Adams has any firsthand knowledge of. WND then reported on the affidavit without admitting that it supplied him with the affidavit. When we asked WND editor Joseph Farah to confirm that WND did supply the affidavit for Adams to sign, he shut down the press conference rather than answer the question.
3. Key birther conspiracy debunked. On top of all of that, prominent birther Phil Berg has debunked one key birther conspiracy promoted by WND -- that Obama is using a fraudulent Social Security number. Given that this information comes from a prominent birther, you'd think WND would report this to its readers, but it hasn't.
4. The truth about WND poster boys. WND has avoided telling its readers the inconvenient fact that the aforementioned Tim Adams first made his birther claims on the radio show of a self-described "pro-White" host. WND followed this up by defending a stalker and his right to be armed even while he's stalking a woman.
5. WND's agenda echoed by Anders Breivik. Accused Norway terrorist shooter Anders Breivik cites WND six times in his manifesto, and Breivik's anti-Muslim, anti-multiculturalist, and anti-feminist attitudes are regularly reflected on WND's website. WND never told its readers about this.
MRC's Graham: If You Tell the Truth, You're Making Excuses for Obama Topic: NewsBusters
The Media Research Center's Tim Graham becomes the latest NewsBusters writer to embody Stephen Colbert's declaration that reality has a well-known liberal bias.
In a Jan. 1 post complaining about a list of "political misstatements" posted by Politico, Graham complained that Politico "made excuses for Obama." How? By accurately noting that Mitt Romney and Rick Perry were wrong to claim that Obama called Americans lazy, because "Obama was talking about an institutional problem, not about Americans themselves."
That's right -- according to Graham, if you tell the truth about Obama, you're making excuses for him.
Newsmax Touts Far-Right Leader's Endorsement of Gingrich Topic: Newsmax
As part of Newsmax's newly aggressive campaign to push Newt Gingrich in the Iowa caucuses, a Dec. 30 Newsmax article by Paul Scicchitano and Kathleen Walter promotes an endorsement of Gingrich by Donald Wildmon of the American Family Association. Scicchitano and Walter fawningly describe Wildmon as "one of the nation's most respected Christian leaders and has been at the forefront for decades in fighting for traditional values against a rising tide of secularism," omitting Wildmon's extremist crusades.
As Right Wing Watch details, Wildmon is a raging homophobe, asserting that the “homosecularist elite” is using “the schools to indoctrinate children” through “pro-homosexual and anti-Christian” programs to combat school bullying, as well as launching boycott campaigns against TV shows he found objectionable. Wildmon is also endorsing the thrice-marrice Gingrich despite previously arguing that “adultery is destructive to relationships, to families, and to society.”
Scicchitano and Walter don't challenge Wildmon on that hypocrisy:
Wildmon endorsed Gingrich last week, despite his much-publicized personal and marital issues.
Wildmon said he has talked personally with Gingrich and believes his faith in Christ is real and sincere.
“I was with a small group that met with the speaker back in — well, it was four years ago — and he expressed his regret,” Rev. Wildmon recalled.
“He confessed that yes, he did, he had made a mistake. He had done wrong. He had sinned. And he’s been doing that and has lived since that time with a life that points toward family and faithfulness.”
Everybody has faults, Rev. Wildmon said, adding, “I don’t think Jesus is running in this election. But I think [Gingrich] has had enough change in his personal life — and done enough study and research — to see that the family is the most important unit in our society. Without it, if it disintegrates, then there goes our country.”
Newsmax seems surprisingly OK with Gingrich's adultery, despite raging against Bill Clinton's relationship with a White House intern.
WND's Mercer Defends Ron Paul's Racially Charged Newsletters Topic: WorldNetDaily
Most sentient Americans have recoiled from the racially charged content of newsletters issued under Ron Paul's name in the 1990s. But not WorldNetDaily columnist Ilana Mercer. In her Dec. 29 column, she totally agrees with the Paul newsletter's contention that blacks really are more prone to criminality than whites:
Faithful to this legacy, the media monolith has been fulminating over the reference in the Ron Paul newsletters to African-American men as the instigators of the L.A. riots. The "Ron-Paul-Report" quote that has caused consternation is this: "The criminals who terrorized our cities – in riots and on every non-riot day – are not exclusively young black males, but they largely are."
Wikipedia all but seconds this characterization, writing that the "disturbances were concentrated in South Central Los Angeles, which was primarily composed of African-American and Hispanic residents."
The reality, as detailed in this writer's book, "Into the Cannibal's Pot: Lessons For America From Post-Apartheid South Africa," is that young, white and poor Americans are more likely than any other age group to be well-represented among the reported victims of hate crimes. (They are also disproportionately victimized by the racial-spoils system of affirmative action across American universities, in corporations and government.)
On the other hand, as revealed by investigations conducted by the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCV) and the FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting Program (UCR), blacks "are less likely than both whites and Hispanics to be targeted for reasons of racial hatred."
In fact, "A significantly higher percentage of victims of violent racial hatred say their attackers were black. Nine out of 10 of them identify their race as the reason blacks targeted them." More materially, "The number of black hate crime victims was so small – as in statistically insignificant – that it precluded analysis of the race of persons who victimized them."
Mercer goes on to portray "Anglo-Americans" as victims, and that Paul can be the candidate who will speak for them:
Look, whoever wrote the controversial Ron Paul monthly newsletters during the 1980s and 1990s used language that is impolite, impolitic, cruel and crass. For this, Ron Paul might wish to express his misgivings – even apologize, although he has disavowed the letter and spirit of these bygone screeds.
However, the presidential contender has a chance here to show he can lead; to get off his knees, quit groveling and strike a pose against the racial ramrodding Anglo-Americans have been subjected to ever since.
Dr. Paul walked headlong into the political quicksand. He can, however, still do an about face. By rising against – and rejecting – the racial tyranny that prohibits rational discourse about race, Ron Paul stands to earn the undying loyalty of most Americans, bar the traitors at the top.
Paul should stand tall for Middle Americans, who've been cursed collectively with the racist Mark of Cain.
Of course, "anglo-Americans" and "Middle Americans" should be read as "white Americans." Which makes Mercer -- who pines for the days of apartheid in South Africa -- a racialist kin to fellow WND columnist VoxDay.
The New York Times reports that the video ran "throughout the weekend in all of Iowa’s major television markets." We saw it ourselves on a Omaha TV station, which also covers much of western Iowa. The Times notes that because the Newsmax video doesn't explicitly endorse Gingrich, it doesn't blatantly run afoul of election laws, and that Newsmax, as a corporate entity, is much freer to do such electioneering as a result of the Citizens United decision.
Interestingly, Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy admits to the Times that there's something of a quid pro quo in Newsmax's sudden interest in shilling for Gingrich:
Christopher Ruddy, Newsmax Media’s chief executive, said he was inclined to feature Mr. Gingrich in the program because the former speaker was one of only two candidates who agreed to participate in the debate Newsmax planned to host with Donald J. Trump. Mr. Trump pulled out of the debate, and Newsmax canceled it after most of the candidates balked.
“We’re very supportive of Newt,” Mr. Ruddy said Friday. “Newt never asked it, nor did we ever have to do it. But we do feel that Newt really is the conservative standard-bearer right now.”
Mr. Ruddy said the special would run 200 times over the weekend in all of the state’s major media markets, including on stations in Omaha and South Dakota that reach into parts of Iowa.
Newsmax and Mr. Ruddy have soured on Mitt Romney after endorsing him in 2008, when it called him “the Reagan candidate” on its cover.
Mr. Ruddy’s feelings now? He said Mr. Romney has been too dismissive of Newsmax, whereas Mr. Gingrich has not. “So we have a comfort level with Newt. Woody Allen says 85 percent of success in life is just showing up. Well, Newt shows up.”
Newsmax said it considered the video news programming, not political activity.
That's a dubious explanation, because Newsmax does not have its own regularly scheduled video outlet, nor does it produce video for broadcast outlets on a regular basis. Further, the program is not "news" per se -- it's a veiled endorsement of a political candidate who, as it happens, did a favor for Newsmax.
Newsmax has done this sort of electioneering while hiding behind the premise of being a "news" organization before. Before the 2004 election, Newsmax purchased TV time to air the discredited anti-John Kerry film "Stolen Honor."
WorldNetDaily apparently believes that if you repeat a lie often enough, it will come true.
A Dec. 29 WND article by Joseph Arminio serves up a variation of the oft-repeated WND falsehood about what President Obama meant by referring to a "civilian national security force." In his article, which uncritically repeats the ravings of right-wing congressman Louis Gohmert, Arminio references a portion of the health care reform law "that references a new national security force, what some have called Obama's 'private army.'" Arminio continues:
One of those impacts [Gohmert] cites as an example is the "regular corps and ready reserve corps" serving at the whim of the president detailed in the law. On March 30, Gohmert warned the nation from the floor of the House about this new "corps" in the context of the war in Libya and wondered "maybe there's this intention to so deplete the military that we're going to need that presidential reserve officer commissioned corps and non-commissioned officer corps that the president can call up on a moment's notice involuntarily, according to the Obamacare bill."
He's still raising the issue.
Is this "private army" the fulfillment of Obama's campaign promise of July 2, 2008? Obama said at that time, "We cannot continue to rely only on our military. … We've got to have a civilian security force just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded. We cannot continue to rely only on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives we've set."
WND has reported several times on the potential ramifications of such an "emergency health army" or president's "private army."
In fact, the health care reform law did not create a “private army” for Obama. It establishes a “ready reserve corps” of medical personnel inside the Public Health Service to respond to medical emergencies. The corps would be an adjunct of the Commissioned Corps, which has been around for more than 200 years. FactCheck.org and Media Matters shot down this conspiracy theory nearly two years ago, yet WND insists on pretending it's real.
But that's not the only zombie lie Arminio peddles. Later, he writes that Obama "contended that the U.S. Supreme Court under Chief Justice Earl Warren failed in its rulings on civil rights issues in the 1960s because it didn't 'break free from the essential constraints' in the U.S. Constitution."
In fact, as we've detailed, Obama said nothing about the Warren court failing to do anything; he was pointing out that because the court did not get into "the issues of redistribution of wealth, and of more basic issues such as political and economic justice in society," it was not as radical as people think.
CNS' Jeffrey Cherry-Picks More Gallup Data to Bash Obama Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com editor in chief Terry Jeffrey merges two of his favorite interests -- hating Obama and cherry-picking Gallup poll data for anti-Obama tidbits -- for a Dec. 28 article carrying the headline "‘None’ Beats Obama in Gallup’s ‘Most Admired’ Survey."
But buried in the article is the inconvenient fact that "none" typically battles with the president for top billing, and even President George W. Bush was beat out by "none" on a regular basis:
In 2008, "None/No opinion" took 25 percent, bettering outgoing President George W. Bush, who took 5 percent, but not President-elect Obama, who lead the field with 32 percent. In 2009, Obama beat “None/No opinion” again, 30 percent to 25 percent. In 2010, however, Obama lost to “None/No opinion,” 22 percent to 25 percent.
President George W. Bush managed to beat “None/No opinion” in each of his first three years in office. In 2001, he beat “None/No opinion,” 39 percent to 22 percent. In 2002, he narrowly edged “None/No opinion,” 29 percent to 28 percent. And, in 2003, he beat “None/No opinion,” 29 percent to 25 percent.
In George W. Bush’s second presidential term, “None/No opinion” beat him all four years.
Jeffrey apparently hates Obama so much that he'll throw what little journalistic integrity he has out the window in order to publish bitter, misleading stories like this.
If CNS ever was journalistically inclined, it certainly isn't now -- it's nothing more than a right-wing talking point factory.