Craig Bannister writes in a July 26 CNSNews.com blog post: "Yesterday, the Senate passed a bill (S. 3412) to raise the estate (death) tax from 35% to 55%. But, why are the Democrats trying to create a harsher punishment for dying, anyway?"
In fact, the bill Bannister cites does not address the estate tax -- thus, the Senate could not possibly have voted to raise it. While the estate tax is currently set to increase automatically from 35 percent to 55 percent in 2013 if Congress does nothing, that's not what happened here. Not addressing the issue does not equal a vote to "raise the estate tax."
Medal of Honor Recipient Peddles Lies Topic: WorldNetDaily
You'd think a guy whose sole apparent claim to fame is that he's a Medal of Honor recipient would have enough honor to tell the truth, but sadly, this isn't the case.
In a July 25 WorldNetDaily column -- which even sticks "Medal of Honor recipient" in the headline, as if it was a reliable indicator of his veracity -- retired Maj. Gen. Patrick Brady rants about the Supreme Court overturning the Stolen Valor Act, which made it a crime for some to claim they earned military honors that they hadn't. That's fine -- he's entitled to his opinion. But then Brady feels the need to take it further by spewing lies and smears:
Check out these celebrated lawyers who are so spectacularly out of touch with Americans and America. One Supreme Court justice supported lowering the age of sexual consent to 12 years – and the legalization of prostitution. This judge is OK with 12-year-old prostitutes! Another judge banned the ROTC from her campus. None of these people have ever met a payroll, created a job or served in the military.
In fact, as Media Matters detailed, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg -- whom the prostitution remark is about -- never claimed she was "OK with 12-year-old prostitutes" -- or prostitution, period. She stated in a 1974 report that "Prostitution as a consensual act between adults is arguably within the zone of privacy protected by recent constitutional decisions" which was not an endorsement of prostitution's legality. Further, Ginsburg never approved of sexual relations with 12-year-girls, prostitutes or otherwise; she simply complemented the gender-neutral nature of a law that defined age of consent.
Also, Elena Kagan never "banned the ROTC from her campus." ROTC was already banned from using campus facilities at Harvard Law School long before Kagan arrived as dean.
Brady went on to claim: "A further mark of the quality of these folks is how often they turn on the hand that fed them, e.g., John Roberts and David Souter." Apparently, Brady would rather see cases judged on political expediency rather than the law.
If Brady actually had any honor, he would publicly apologize for his lies.
NewsBusters' Double Standard on People's Backgrounds (Again) Topic: NewsBusters
Randy Hall frets in a July 24 NewsBusters post that "the liberal media" is checking into "some of the people who appear in Republican campaign advertisements." Hall cites the case of "Jack Gilchrist, a New Hampshire businessman who states that he, his father and his son -- not the government or the President -- built Gilchrist Metal Fabricating." As it turns out, Gilchrist's business was built on state-issued tax-exempt revenue bonds, and he has also received government contracts.
Coleman went on to approvingly cite John Nolte of Breitbart.com questioning whether it was a "priority" for the New Hampshire Union Leader, which first reported on Gilchrist, to be "digging into the personal lives of private citizens who step forward to let their voice be heard."
But that's exactly what NewsBusters approves of when the private citizen in question is a non-conservative.
Remember Graeme Frost, the 12-year-old who was presented by Democrats as an advocate for a federal program called SCHIP, which helps provide health insurance to needy families with children? Conservatives had no problem with digging into the personal lives of Graeme and his family for committing the sole offense of letting their voices be heard.
John Stephenson proclaimed in a Oct. 7, 2007, NewsBusters post: "Media Fail at Fact Checking on 12 Year Old Voice of SCHIP; Blogs Pick Up Slack." He asserted that media accounts of Frost and his family "were missing greatly in one major thing, facts," which apparenly only right-wing attack blogs were able to provide.
In an Oct. 10, 2007, post, Ken Shepherd proudly noted that "conservative bloggers have been raising questions about the portrayal by Democrats and the Baltimore Sun of the family's financial plight," and he criticized media outlets who weren't sufficiently skeptial of Frost's story of peddling "promoting liberal Democratic talking points."
Five days later, Shepherd again touted "conservative blogs raising questions about the Frost family," insisting that "conservative critique has not fallen on young Graeme, but rather his parents and political exploiters (like Olbermann) on the Left who (should) know better."
NewsBusters similarly fretted in May about non-conservative media checking the backgrounds of someone appearing in a Romney ad.
As we've detailed, the Media Research Center's "Tell the Truth" campaign applies only to liberals; it most definitely does not want the truth about conservatives to be told. Here is just another example of that.
Following up on our post about WorldNetDaily's Aaron Klein giving Mike Zullo a pass on obviously fabricated evidence his Cold Case Posse issued in his latest ibirther press conference, Dr. Conspiracy points out that Klein's claim that he "personally also hired three independent forensic investigators" to examine Barack Obama's birth certificate not only contradicts his initial claim that "this document is absolutely real. There is no evidence that it is not. And there would have to be a grand, crazy conspiracy for the State of Hawaii to be involved in faking a birth certificate," it's also contradicts what he said about his "forensic investigators" at the time.
Indeed, Dr. Conspiracy notes, one of the "forensic investigators" he hired, Ivan Zatkovich, actually concluded that there was "All of the modifications to the PDF document that can be identified are consistent with someone enhancing the legibility of the document." WND cherry-picked his conclusions to make them sound more sinister than they were.
Newsmax Falsely Suggests Chick-Fil-A Controversy Is 'Erroneous' Topic: Newsmax
In a July 24 Newsmax article, Patrick Hobin makes a big deal out of how, he claims, "CNN and other left-friendly media outlets are running full speed with an erroneous story that brands the president of the Chick-fil-A restaurant chain a homophobe because he allegedly told a reporter he is 'guilty as charged' when it comes to his company being opposed to gay marriage." Hobin adds: "A review of the original interview shows he wasn’t even asked a question about gay marriage nor did he say he condemns it."
However narrow the truth of the claim may be, Hobin omits the fact that Chick-fil-A, through its WinShape Foundation, has donated millions of dollars to anti-gay groups like the Family Research Council and Exodus International. That is part of the "support of the traditional family" Hobin notes that Chick-fil-A takes part in.
Hobin also falsely claimed that "the Muppets announced the fast food chain wouldn't be able to license any new toys for their kids meals." In fact, as we've noted, not only were the Muppets never involved in the Chick-fil-A deal, the Jim Henson Co. no longer owns the Muppets; Henson and Chilk-fil-A had partnered on a different line of toys.
The epidemic of black-mob violence now has a soundtrack.
In fact, lots of them: sophisticated, highly produced songs and videos that urge black people to create all kinds of mayhem. From murdering CEOs and delivery drivers to starting riots and engaging in random warfare and everything in between.
Millions of people enjoy them every day; not just as music, but as a lifestyle.
It is not known if any of the 1,000 black people who rioted in downtown Greensboro following the Fourth of July festivities this year were dancing to this kind of music. But there is no doubt they were part of the lifestyle.
Apparently, in Colin Flaherty's eyes, only blacks lead the "mob violence" lifestyle. It's that supposition that underlies every one of Flaherty's articles that makes them race-baiting, WND disclaimer to the contrary.
CNS Pushes Myth That Planned Parenthood's Federal Funding Is 'Fungible' Topic: CNSNews.com
A July 25 article by Fred Lucas repeats CNSNews.com's longtime practice of falsely suggesting that federal money to Planned Parenthood pays for abortions, then goes a bit further by repeating another myth it has peddled before:
In fiscal year 2010, Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) got $487.4 million from the federal and state governments, up from $363.2 million the previous year, making taxpayer funding about one-third of the organization’s $1 billion in assets. According to its fact sheet, Planned Parenthood performed 329,445 abortions in 2010.
Though federal law prohibits tax dollars from directly funding abortions, Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.), chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations is conducting the investigation, said the money is fungible.
As we've noted the last time CNS invoked it, there's no evidence to support the claim. Plus, Stearns has declared that his intention is to defund Planned Parenthood no matter what, so he's hardly an unbiased source for anything regarding the group.
WND Gets It Wrong on Chick-Fil-A Controversy Topic: WorldNetDaily
How many errors and falsehoods can you spot in the headline and beginning of this July 23 WorldNetDaily article?
1) The Muppets aren't involved. The characters the Henson Co. had partnered with Chick-fil-A to feature were from the Jim Henson's Creature Shop line.
2) Not only weren't the Muppets involved, it was impossible for them to be involved. Contrary to WND's claim that The Jim Henson Co. is "owner of the widely promoted Muppets characters," the company sold the rights to the Muppets to the Walt Disney Co. in 2004. Disney was not involved in the Chick-fil-A deal.
3) There was no "bashing" going on. Despite WND's headline "Muppets Bash Chick-Fil-A Over Owner's Faith," not one does the Henson Co. "bash" the "owner's faith." Rather, it stated in a Facebook posting that "we have notified Chick-Fil-A that we do not wish to partner with them on any future endeavors." The statement does not mention any Chick-fil-A owner directly, let alone "bash" them or their faith.
4) Only in WND's fevered anti-gay collective mind is GLAAD "a homosexual promotion organization." Being opposed to anti-gay discrimination is hardly "homosexual promotion."
WND repeats some of these lies in a July 24 article by Bob Unruh, headlined "Playing chicken: Same-sex Muppets vs. Chick-fil-A."
WND falsely claims that Muppets are not involved, while also falsely suggesting there is some sort of adversarial relationship between Henson and Chick-fil-A; in fact, Henson simply chose to end its business relationship with the company. For his part, Unruh accurately states that the Henson Co. "created the Muppets" but not that it no longer owns them.
NewsBusters Promotes Discredited Attack on Obama That Gets The Internet Wrong Topic: NewsBusters
In a July 24 NewsBusters post, Tom Blumer touts a Wall Street Journal column by Gordon Crovitz, who Blumer claimed was serving up "actual history" in asserting that the government didn't invent the Internet. Crovitz asserted that Xerox's PARC research center deserves "full credit" because it developed the Ethernet protocol. Blumer smugly asserted: Yet another liberal and liberal media legend officially bites the dust."
Well, not so much. Turns out Crovitz didn't get his facts right.
Michael Hiltzik -- from whose book on Xerox PARC Crovitz extraopolated his claim that the lab invented the internet -- writes in the Los Angeles Times that "My book bolsters, not contradicts, the argument that the Internet had its roots in the ARPANet, a government project." Hiltzik continues:
But Crovitz confuses AN internet with THE Internet. [Former Pentagon official and ARPANet funder Robert] Taylor was citing a technical definition of "internet" in his statement. But I know Bob Taylor, Bob Taylor is a friend of mine, and I think I can say without fear of contradiction that he fully endorses the idea as a point of personal pride that the government-funded ARPANet was very much the precursor of the Internet as we know it today. Nor was ARPA's support "modest," as Crovitz contends. It was full-throated and total. Bob Taylor was the single most important figure in the history of the Internet, and he holds that stature because of his government role.
Crovitz then points out that TCP/IP, the fundamental communications protocol of the Internet, was invented by Vinton Cerf (though he fails to mention Cerf's partner, Robert Kahn). He points out that Tim Berners-Lee "gets credit for hyperlinks."
Lots of problems here. Cerf and Kahn did develop TCP/IP--on a government contract! And Berners-Lee doesn't get credit for hyperlinks--that belongs to Doug Engelbart of Stanford Research Institute, who showed them off in a legendary 1968 demo you can see here. Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web--and he did so at CERN, a European government consortium.
So the bottom line is that the Internet as we know it was indeed born as a government project. In fact, without ARPA and Bob Taylor, it could not have come into existence. Private enterprise had no interest in something so visionary and complex, with questionable commercial opportunities. Indeed, the private corporation that then owned monopoly control over America's communications network, AT&T, fought tooth and nail against the ARPANet. Luckily for us, a far-sighted government agency prevailed.
Further, Wired points out that Ethernet is not the Internet; it it's a network connection invented by Xerox PARC to connect computers and printers.
Yet another bit of right-wing "media research" at the MRC bites the dust.
WND's Farah Baselessly Brags, Draws The Wrong Lesson Topic: WorldNetDaily
Joseph Farah spends his July 23 WorldNetDaily column bragging about how WND was "the news agency that actually broke the news about HSBC’s money-laundering schemes," based on Jerome Corsi's reporting.
Farah is, of course, lying. While Corsi's first WND article on HSBC was published on Feb. 1, other news agencies were covering the scandal before that.
Bloomberg Businessweek reported on Jan. 25 that HSBC "will co-operate with a probe by the U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations and said it supports efforts to combat money laundering." Marketwatch reported a similar story the same day. The Wall Street Journal reported on it on Jan. 27. British papers the Telegraph and the Independent also reported on the story before WND did.
Corsi's contribution in his Feb. 1 article -- in which he acknowledged earlier reporting on the Senate probe of HSBC -- was detailing the claims of ex-HSBC employee John Cruz, who provided WND with "1,000 pages of evidence" of alleged HSBC wrongdoing. Corsi insisted that Cruz "came to WND ... before the committee’s investigation of HSBC was reported."
It's unclear, however, whether Cruz made any effort to cooperate with the Senate subcommittee investigating HSBC. You'd think that if Cruz was such a credible source, the Senate would be eager to talk to him, but the Senate's report on HSBC makes no mention of Cruz.
Farah went on to complain that "Corsi was fired by another investment firm for his investigative reports into HSBC." As we noted at the time, this raises the issue of why Farah was apparently paying Corsi such a non-living wage that he had to seek another job in addition to his position as a WND "senior reporter." Further, much of Corsi's work at the time he also worked at the investment firm carried a disclaimer that "The views, opinions, positions or strategies expressed by the author are his alone and do not necessarily reflect Gilford Securities Incorporated's views, opinions, positions or strategies," so it wasn't like they were exactly proud to have Corsi in their employ.
Farah went on to declare that Corsi "was right about HSBC," adding:
Could it be these press outlets and government officials don’t want to mention Corsi’s role in the fall of HSBC because of his long-standing association with the Barack Obama identity story?
Where was the rest of the entire press establishment when Corsi, whom many of these entities demeaned as a “conspiracy theorist,” was presenting documented evidence of widespread banking fraud?
Farah seems to have learned the wrong lesson here. It's not just that Corsi has been an unrepentant birther, he's been a birther who has repeatedly and deliberately refused to acknowledge any evidence that conflicts with his increasingly discredited birther conspiracy theories. To this day, WND and Corsi have yet to report on John Woodman's birther book and birther lawyer Phil Berg's claim that Obama is not using a fake Social Security number, among many other inconvenient facts.
Corsi's own track record of dishonest reporting means that intelligent people have no other choice than to look at anything he writes, birther or not, with a skeptical eye. He has so discredited himself that literally nothing he reports can be taken at face value, even when he's on the right track, as he was with the HSBC story.
Perhaps if Farah had insisted on Corsi living up to standard journalistic practices instead of allowing him to act like the right-wing hack he is, he and WND would have been taken more seriously. Instead, Farah has no one but himself to blame.
CNS Refuses to Blame Bush for Pilot Vetting Failures Topic: CNSNews.com
We've detailed how CNSNews.com's Edwin Mora has sought to erase any mention of U.S. troop casualties under President Bush in Iraq when he's pushing troop casualties in Afghanistan under President Obama. Well, Mora has found another way to protect Bush.
IN a July 19 CNS article, Mora highlights how Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano testified before the House Judiciary Committee that the Obama administration "finally 'took steps' in 2010 to vet foreign students applying to U.S. flight schools."
Mora doesn't ask why it took the Obama administration to enforce that vetting. Indeed, the word "Bush" appears nowhere in his article, despite his noting that "the rule set by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to have DHS screen foreign nationals who want flight training was authorized in 2004" and that "a portion of the 25,599 who had applied for Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) pilot licenses from January 2006 through September 2011 had not been vetted properly before taking flight training or receiving an FAA certificate."
It seems that, in Mora's mind, this apparent breach of national security is only the fault of the Obama administration, despite the fact that the Bush administration apparently spent a significant portion of its tenure not enforcing the rules it implemented.
WND's Vox Day: Aurora Shootings May Be A 'False-Flag Operation' Topic: WorldNetDaily
Unfortunately, with an administration that has openly claimed a legal right to assassinate Americans without trial and is known to have engaged in a similar, but much larger false flag operation in “Operation Fast and Furious,” you cannot rule out the possibility that this incident is more than a lucky break for the government. Potential echoes of “Fast and Furious” can be seen in Holmes’ purchase of the weaponry utilized; where did an unemployed graduate school dropout find the money to obtain a rifle that costs around $1,250 and an estimated $1,500 in ammunition? One can’t help but ask such questions in times like these.
If the shootings were a false-flag operation, the Obama administration appears to have badly misread the American people again. Instead of seeing it as an example of the need for more gun control, most Americans have interpreted it as a powerful indictment of gun-free zones and an example of the need for further liberalization of carry laws. It was probably fortunate, for the sake of American freedom, that 71-year-old Samuel Williams happened to use his .38 to shoot two armed teenage thugs at an Internet cafe only a week earlier, thus presenting Americans with the significant distinction between an armed citizenry and an unarmed one.
No doubt many will avert their eyes, turn off their minds and dismiss the possibility of government involvement in the shootings as “conspiracy theory.” But 10 years ago, in a column titled The secret lust for power, I showed how the conspiracy theory of history is the only one that holds up in light of centuries of documentary evidence. Argument from incredulity is a logical fallacy, and as the following quote from a 1,700-year-old conspiracy on the part of the heir to the imperial throne should suffice to illustrate, only the uneducated and the ignorant will simply assume the intrinsic impossibility of false-flag operations.
Were the Denver shootings a false flag operation? It will probably be years before anyone can say decisively one way or the other. But if Holmes commits suicide or otherwise dies in custody, that will be a strong indication that he is one more in a long and suspicious series of lone gunmen.
NewsBusters' Sheffield Tries to Twist Obama Context Debate Topic: NewsBusters
Having been caught taking President Obama's "If you've got a business, you didn't build that" statement out of context, it was time for the Media Research Center to scramble. Their ingenious solution? Declaring that context doesn't matter.
That's what Matthew Sheffield argues in a July 21 NewsBusters post, insisting that putting Obama's words in their proper context makes them equally offensive to the out-of-context version:
President Obama's “you didn't build that” remark about business entrepreneurs touched a nerve on the Right, and sent liberal journalists and bloggers scrambling to explain away his gaffe by asserting that, “in context,” his statements weren't bad at all.
While it is true that Obama's remarks are frequently referred to in a short-hand manner, in their full form, his comments are just as insulting, if not more so. And no amount of media spin can make them otherwise.
No, the liberal media's effort to defend the president by putting his remarks “in context” doesn't help Obama at all, because his “you didn't build that” statement was, in context, even worse than if read as a standalone sentence.
Sheffield's source for this responsiblity-evading claim is the Washington Examiner's Philip Klein. Sheffield omits Klein's pedantic observation that "Obama’s defenders argue the 'that' in 'you didn’t build that' refers to 'roads and bridges.' I’m not so sure we can make that assumption, given that 'business' is the noun that directly precedes the pronoun 'that.' -- which tells you just how hard one must strain to make Obama's in-context arguments a bad thing.
On top of that, Klein's argument is debunked by, yes, putting Obama's words in their full context. David Weigel:
Watch (again, can't believe I'm saying this) the body language. Obama is gesticulating to count off the various ways people have been helped -- great teacher, American system. At 0:44, he says "somebody invested in roads and bridges," and gyrates his arms as if mapping out said roads and bridges. "If you've got a business," he says, making one more gyration, "that -- you didn't build that." The extra "that," a false start, is not captured in transcripts. It really looks like "that" refers to the stuff that business-builders utilized on the way up, not the businesses themselves. Obama switched up, mid-sentence. These things happen.
The fact that Sheffield is making the argument that context doesn't matter after days of the MRC taking Obama out of context is nothing more than an attempt to change the subject from the fact that context obviously does matter.
WND's Klein Doesn't Challenge Zullo's Falsehoods Topic: WorldNetDaily
On his July 22 WABC radio show, WorldNetDaily's Aaron Klein interviewed Mike Zullo on the subject of President Obama's birth certificate, during which he repeated his earlier claim about numbers written on the certificate. From a July 22 WND article summarizing Zullo's appearance:
The number 9 marked in the box containing Obama’s father’s race, however, presents a problem.
“The values were curious,” Zullo told Klein. “If you look at Mr. Obama Sr.’s race, the box says ‘African,’ and that’s always been a point of contention, because in the ’60s ‘African’ wasn’t a race designator. Next to it is the number 9. We learned the statistical codings in the 1960s for the federal government – and actually through the remainder of the decade – number 9 stands for unstated or information not supplied.”
Therefore, Zullo explained, when the number 9 shows up, there wouldn’t have been anything entered into the field, not “African” or “Black” or “Negro” – it would have been left blank.
That is false. As we've documented, Zullo is applying a 1968 coding system to Obama's 1961 certificate. The pre-1968 coding system defined the number 9 as "other nonwhite."
Klein failed to bring up this discrepancy during the interview, despite the fact that the issue of Zullo using the wrong coding system had been raised days earlier -- indeed, Dr. Conspiracy first wrote about the coding systems Hawaii used back in March.
Klein knew, or should have known, that Zullo used the wrong coding system -- which undermines his entire argument -- yet he didn't talk about it. That's either incompetence or deceit on Klein's part.
Klein and Zullo also rehashed another bogus birther claim, that a person can easily get a Hawaii birth certificate that could fraudulently claim a person was born in Hawaii when they weren't. Even the Joseph Farah-founded Western Journalism Center shot that down -- three years ago, by the way -- stating that such birth certificates would not claim a person was born in Hawaii if there was no proof of it.
Klein declared once again that "I personally also hired three independent forensic investigators. ... All three came back with the same conclusion, and that was there was modifications on the PDF file that they could not explain, that are not consistent with a normal scanned document." Klein never identified these so-called "forensic investigators," nor to our knowledge has he public released a full accounting of the conclusions they reached.
Basically, this was one hack interviewing another. Sad, isn't it?
MRC's Funhouse Mirror: Fox's Right-Wing Bias Demonstrates Rest of Media's Liberal Bias Topic: Media Research Center
It's logic that could only apply at the Media Research Center: Fox News' obsession with reporting only negative news about President Obama doesn't mean it has as right-wing bias, it means the rest of the media is liberal.
That's exactly what Clay Waters posits in a July 19 MRC TimesWatch post complaining that a New York Times article accurately pointed out Fox News chief Roger Ailes having "professed to be steering the network toward a 'course correction,' an acknowledgment that it had shifted too hard to the right." But in Waters' funhouse mirror, even Fox admitting its bias doesn't mean it's biased -- rather, it means that all non-Fox media has a liberal bias:
New York Times media reporter Jeremy Peters unwittingly revealed the widespread liberal bias of the media in Thursday's report on how the Fox News Channel has really gotten under President Obama's skin: "Jokes About Fox News Creep Into Obama's Comments as the Campaign Heats Up."
But whether he realizes it or not, Peters' analysis says more about the stark lack of Obama-scandal coverage in the liberal media than it does about slant at Fox News.
And what is the prime example of Waters serves up? "The Media Research Center documented that it took five days for the Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) networks to even notice Obama's remark from last Friday denigrating individual initiative: 'If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that; somebody else made that happen.'"
Needless to say, Waters is displaying his own bias by taking Obama's words out of context. Not that anyone at the MRC thinks that's a bad thing (when it comes to Obama, anyway).