A Feb. 19 article by CNS editor in chief Terry Jeffrey makes this claim:
Outgoing Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta has unilaterally issued a directive stating that the U.S. military will now extend certain benefits to unmarried domestic partners that were formerly reserved for married couples—but will only do so if the domestic partners certify in writing to the Department of Defense that they are of the same sex.
Heterosexual unmarried partners do not qualify for the benefits—and thus are treated unequally by Panetta’s directive on the basis of their sexual orientation.
Jeffrey conveniently fails to mention that same-sex partners are not permitted to marry in most states, thus being "treated unequally." If same-sex members of the military could legally marry nationwide, there would be no need for this policy.
But that's not all. Look at the picture CNS uses to promote the article on its front page, which also accompanies the article itself:
That's a picture of Panetta and President Obama hugging. Are Jeffrey and CNS trying to insinuate that Obama and Panetta are in a gay relationship?
The hate just oozes off the CNS website, doesn't it?
WND Fearmongers About Sex Ed In Croatia Topic: WorldNetDaily
A Feb. 16 WorldNetDaily article by Bob Unruh carries the headline "6th-grade porn teachers exposed." That's just one of the many misleading claims in Unruh's article.
The focus of the article is sex education in Croatia and a speech by anti-Kinsey obsessive Judith Reisman given there in opposition to it. As is Unruh's modus operandi, he treats the claims of Reisman and sex education opponents as unassailable while making no effort whatsoever to present balance by telling the other side of the story. Apparently, Unruh believes there is nothing legitimate to say in support of sex education.
Unruh calls Reisman a "preeminent American researcher" -- which anyone familiar with her work knows is simply not true. Reisman is so determined to portray sex researcher Alfred Kinsey as a child-molesting monster that she frequently departs from the facts to further her demonization. Even the consrvative-leaning Canadian newspaper the National Post wrote in a December 2004 editorial: "There is little reason to take Dr. Reisman seriously."
But WND does -- it published one of Reisman's anti-Kinsey books, and WND managing editor David Kupelian has approvingly cited her work in his books.
So, we get treated to the spectacle of Unruh uncritically regurgitating Reisman's hatred of Kinsey and her questionable attacks on him.
What does this have to do with Croatia? According to Unruh, she "told WND one of the authors of the proposed sex curriculum in Croatia, Aleksandar Stulhofer, is linked to Kinsey’s research and the ongoing work of an institute that bears Kinsey’s name."
And where do the "6th-grade porn teachers" come in? That isn't even mentioned until the 30th paragraph of Unruh's article, in which he makes the unsupported claim that "Pornography is taught in the sixth grade" of the sex ed curriculum.
In fact, Unruh quotes only "critics" about the details of the Croatian sex ed program. There's no evidence that he made any effort whatsoevder to contact Croatian education officials for a response to the criticism, like a real journalist would.
While Unruh also fails to note any criticism of Reisman, he does tell us that "She’s been listed in “The World’s Who’s Who of Women.”
Unruh wrote that Reisman "was invited to Croatia to speak," he could not be bothered to ask who invited her. But as Richard Bartholomew notes, she was invited by members of the Croatian Democratic Union, a conservative political party.
Unruh also touts a Croatian journalist whose show was canceled after she did a report on the sex education curriculum, citing a Project Censored report claiming that "The program was well researched, professionally produced and of significant interest to the citizens of Croatia." Well, not so much: That report appeared under the title "Pedophilia as the foundation of sexual education?" and earned the journalist an audience with the Catholic archbishop of Zagreb.
Speaking of which, Unruh is silent about the major role the Catholic Church in Croatia is playing in opposing the sex education program. Church officials there reportedly likened the imposition of the curriculum to Nazi Germany and essentially called for armed action against the state over it.
P.S. Ironically, WND editor Joseph Farah has long denounced Project Censored as being run by people who believe that "the U.S. is now in the grip of a cartel of scary clerics, corporate plutocrats, white men in white hoods and gun-loving, misogynist tree-murderers." Presumably, he backed off a little after the project gave an award to WND's Jerome Corsi for his fearmongering over "NAFTA superhighways."
MRC Peddles Dubious Claims About Minimum Wage Hike Topic: Media Research Center
Liz Thatcher uses a Feb. 15 Media Research Center Business & Media Institute article to complain the Huffington Post did an article about "a new study by the George Soros-funded Center for Economic Policy and Research" arguing that the "minimum wage should be $21.72 an hour to keep up with the increase of worker productivity." Thatcher responds by asserting that those calling for a higher minimum wage don't consider "how these increases affect the poor," then parrots a "Senior Policy Analyst in Labor Economics for The Heritage Foundation" who claims that "relatively few minimum wage workers are poor" and many are high school or college students not supporting themselves or a family on their income, and that “higher minimum wages cost some workers their jobs."
In fact, research shows that increasing the minimum wage has no discernable effect on employment, and that the vast majority of people currently earning minimum wage are over the age of 20, and half were over 25. Certainly not everybody over 25 isn't supporting themselves or a family, are they?
Thatcher also quotes a Wall Street Journal writer who claimed that a 2009 minimum wage hike "has driven the wages of teen employees down to $0.00" because numerous jobs were eliminated. But Thatcher fails to mention that the economy was cratering at that time, and the Journal writer fails to make the case that correlation equals causation.
WND Trades Birther Billboards For Ten Commandments Billboards Topic: WorldNetDaily
Remember those birther billboards WorldNetDaily briefly put up in random places across the country? It appears to be another sign of WND's waning enthusiasm for birtherism that it was found something else to make billboards about.
WND announced in a Feb. 15 article that "WND founder Joseph Farah has launched a national billboard campaign featuring the Ten Commandments to help awaken believers and non-believers alike to the evil that abounds in our country."
Farah's moralizing continues:
“The problem is America is not limited to atheists, agnostics, cults and non-believers,” says Farah. “In fact, the biggest problem America has is with those who call themselves believers but who act no differently than the worldliest individuals on the planet. You can call these people backslidden. You can call them false converts. Or you can call them undiscipled, nominal believers. What they all have in common is they are not in obedience to God. They are not even trying to follow the most basic moral law, as Jesus and the prophets all instructed.”
He said the plan is for dozens, if not hundreds, of billboards.
“The goal is two-fold,” Farah says. “I want to prick the consciences of believers and non-believers alike, and I want Americans to see the basis of all our laws as handed down by God at Mount Sinai in hopes they will repent of their sins and turn back to their Creator.”
America has never needed a campaign like this so badly, he says.
“The Ten Commandments have been banished from our schools,” says Farah. “They’ve been banished from our courtrooms and law schools. They’ve even been banished from some of our churches and synagogues. Look what has become of America since. Maybe it’s time to roll them out on highways and byways, in big cities and small towns so no one is without excuse as to the moral code the One True God gave us to govern ourselves.”
While the article claims that "Farah and WND are providing seed money for the launch and publicity," history dictates that that's pretty much the limit for putting their money where their mouths are. Indeed, WND goes on to state that it and Farah "hope that Jews and Christians alike — all worshipers of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob — will donate money to the campaign to erect the messages on public billboards from coast to coast."
And, of course, there's a link to a donation page. And again, if history is a guide, there will be no public accounting for how that donated money is spent -- WND is a for-profit corporation, after all, and it's not averse to fleecing its readers.
A Feb. 17 article declares that the billboard campaign has officially kicked off "with 11 major billboards – all in the heart of what some call 'sin city,' Las Vegas."
We don't think for a minute that Farah himself will follow the moral code he wants to impose on the rest of us by pricking his own conscience and repenting for the sewer of anti-Obama hate and lies WND has become under his leadership since President Obama's election. But we can dream, can't we?
UPDATE: Note that the billboard makes no mention of WND whatsoever, instead promoting the web address thetencommandments.com (which redirects to the Feb. 15 WND article). WND seems to know that its brand is damaged from its birther obsession, and it could be argued they don't want to taint Christianity by linking the Ten Commandments to it.
NewsBusters Finally Finds A 'Technically Correct' Fact It Doesn't Like Topic: NewsBusters
A big part of the Media Research Center's waronfact-checkers was taking refuge in something being "technically correct" while ignoring the broader context of the claim that makes it misleading or false. Now, the MRC has finally found a "technically correct" claim that it doesn't like.
A Feb. 14 NewsBusters post by Jeffrey Meyer takes issue with a claim reported by MSNBC that "Georgia has the lowest minimum wage at $5.15/hr." Meyer retorts: "While technically correct, the graphic being presented to the liberal MSNBC viewers is extremely misleading, as lends the impression that Georgia workers actually earn that little. They don't, because, well, the higher federal wage preempts the state law."
We're not arguing with Meyer's research, just his double standard that turned a blind eye to his fellow NewsBusters turning a blind eye to pesky context in order to embrace "technically correct" claims made by conservatives.
Flaherty works up his best fearmongering over "black mobs" in Detroit in a Feb. 11 article: "Hundreds of black people rampaged through downtown Detroit Saturday night: Breaking things. Beating up people. Throwing chairs inside restaurants. Threatening. Fighting. Running. Much of it on video." He seems more appalled, however, that anyone would dare dispute that "being black had anything to do with the violence and lawlessness." After all, that would run counter to Flaherty's stock in trade.
In a Feb. 14 article, Flaherty obsesses again over the "Knockout Game," of which black people are a crucial ingredient:
The rules for the Knockout Game are simple: First, start with a crowd of black people. Then, find a white person. Beat him until he is unconscious. Or until your arms and legs get tired. Repeat as desired. Some people keep score. Others yell “Knockout Game” and laugh.
Biut as we've pointed out, the "Knockout Game" is not a black thing, it's an inner-city adolescent thing.
On Feb. 15, Flaherty proclaimed a Minneapolis high school food fight that escalated out of control to be an example of racially driven "black mob violence," even though the two main groups of students involved were both black. Or, as Flaherty put it more ominously: "All of violence was from groups of black people."
Flaherty then goes on to described allegations of "groups of blacks marauding through the downtown and other parts of Minneapolis; beating, hurting, destroying and stealing. Sometimes right in front of police."
Remember, Flaherty has a self-published book he needs to sell, so this sort of fearmongering must be reinforced.
Dick Morris Shills Even More For Newsmax Book Topic: Newsmax
We've detailed how the disgraced Dick Morris has returned to shilling for Newsmax in the form of a video promoting a Newsmax-published book bashing Obamacare. Morris has followed up with a Feb. 16 column waxing even more effusively over the book:
So often, books are called “must read.” The ObamaCare Survival Guide is only a must read if you think you will ever get sick!
Obamacare changes the rules of the game totally. I fought this law tooth and nail along with a lot of you. But it’s the law now and Obama’s victory assures that we are not going to be able to repeal it anytime soon. So this book teaches you how to live with it and make it give you the best health care you can get.
Thank the Lord that there is now a non-partisan, non-political book that explains all this in terms we can all understand. Get a copy. It is truly a survival guide.
In fact, the book is not non-partisan or non-political -- Publishers Weekly stated that the book is "boldly one-sided" and "lobs stink bombs from the start at president Obama and the Democratic Party."
Saul Alinsky, renowned commie, author of the 12 Rules for Radicals, Hillary Clinton’s mentor and hero and clearly one of the president’s guiding ideologues, would be proud of President Obama for using Rule 10 and 12 in promoting a ban on so-called assault weapons.
Obama holds a shotgun as if he’s never held a gun in his life. The fingers of his support hand are curled up over the lower barrel of the over-under, where a hot barrel could burn them. The stock is hovering over his shoulder, touching him only barely. He is supposedly shooting skeet, yet firing horizontally instead of at an incline. And he is ramrod straight despite the muzzle gases escaping the barrel, as if the photo were taken in the airless, frictionless world of high school physics test questions. How is it that Obama’s shotgun has no recoil? How did he fit in a skeet session after golfing all day?
We aren’t expected to believe it. Only the “low information voters,” the largely unemployed, uninformed, hopelessly stupid Americans who returned Obama to office are expected to believe it, because they are as ignorant of firearms as is Obama.
To read the headlines about Obama’s use of drones to kill terrorists, he is a real John Wayne. But would John Wayne worry more about the jihadists in Yemen or the ones coming across our southwest border?
I personally picture Barry in a smoking jacket, lounging in an overstuffed, red velvet chair, cigarette in hand, smoke circling up toward the rafters. Eric the Just is passing around a pile of white powder, heaped on the latest drone kill list. Dirty Harry brings greetings from the state legislatures and casino owners, while he sips his pocket flask of whiskey. And John the Gofer, representing we the people in our new role, bows and fetches whatever the other princes ask, constantly updating a list of the new taxes needed to pay for it all.
Gun violence is not really the problem for the transformational socialist. It’s the solution.
And that’s why the Department of Homeland Security is imposing what I call de facto gun control, by buying up automatic weapons it deprives ordinary citizens and purchasing massive amounts of ammunition so there will be less resistance when putsch comes to shove. That’s when the “civilian national security force” comes marching in.
Are these the ravings of a paranoid schizophrenic conspiracy nut?
No, this is simple deduction. One plus one equals two.
Is it hopeless, irreversible? I wouldn’t be writing this column if I thought it was.
Obama has refused to deal candidly with the question of citizenship as it arises in the constitutional provision that raises questions about his own tenure as president of the United States. So it’s more than ironic that Obama should purport to speak as an authority on the meaning of the term. However, he slyly addresses the controversy when he says that the word “citizen” “doesn’t just describe our nationality or legal status. It describes the way we’re made.” In fact, “nature” is the word that refers to the way we are made, not “citizen.” Citizenship is ordinarily an artifact of human law. But according to the Declaration of Independence, the document that declares “what we believe” as Americans, not human law but “the laws of nature and of nature’s God” prescribe the way that we are made. Our rights, therefore, do not arise merely from “obligations to one another and to future generations” but from our obligation to the Creator, whose will has determined the right ordering of our natural and reciprocal human relationships. Nor are our rights simply “wrapped up in the rights of others.” They derive from the debt that, in our very being, we owe to God, who is the transcendent source of the law that supersedes the artifacts of human will.
Contrary to Obama’s vainglorious description of citizenship, our country only works when we acknowledge this debt to God and act accordingly.
It is ironic indeed that just as one socialist dictator, Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, is about to expire of terminal cancer on his deathbed in a Cuban hospital, another one, who is much more powerful, is seeking to extend his control in a Stalinist “gulag style” power grab. Unlike Chavez and his also-dying buddy, Cuban communist strongman Fidel Castro, our fraudulently elected ineligible president is not just some two-bit dictator-terrorist of a Third World country; he is the so-called leader of the free world – an oxymoron if there ever was one since the “mullah in chief’s” apparent plans are to eliminate individual freedoms and instead install a “Big Brother” regime domestically and worldwide through his comrades at the United Nations and their Agenda 21.
I write this column with a certain amount of trepidation, knowing the subject not only believes he has the power to order targeted assassinations of American citizens, but has actually already misused that perceived authority.
So here goes.
I have come to the conclusion that nearly everything Barack Obama does under the color of his authority as president is designed to weaken our country economically, militarily and morally.
I don’t think I could ever make that statement about any of his predecessors – and there have been some real bad ones.
WND has reconfirmed with multiple knowledgeable Middle Eastern security sources that the U.S. special mission in Benghazi was used to coordinate Arab arms shipments and other aid to the so-called rebels fighting in Libya and later in Syria.
Now knowledgeable security sources have reconfirmed WND’s original reporting on the use of the Benghazi mission in aiding the rebels who are known to be saturated by al-Qaida and other Islamic terrorist groups.
If this is such a solid story and these unverifiable anonymous sources are so "knowledgable,", why won't any of them go on the record? And why won't Klein tell us why he's granted these sources anonymity?
NewsBusters Ludicriously Insists Anti-Gay Pastor Isn't Anti-Gay Topic: NewsBusters
Ken Shepherd spends a Feb. 15 NewsBusters post -- in perhaps the blog's most dubious endeavor since arguing that Matt Lauer was expressing sympathy for Palestinians by wearing a checkered scarf -- pretending that an anti-gay pastor really isn't anti-gay or as hateful as his critics have said.
Shepherd is upset that NBC sportswriter Rick Chandler described the Dallas church of Rev. Robert Jeffress, where NFL player Tim Tebow will be speaking in April, "virulently anti-gay and anti-Semitic." Shepherd's retort: "But to back up his assertions, Chandler highlights claims Jeffress made that are either fundamentally doctrinal or political in nature. What's more, Chandler failed to point to any personal animus Jeffress has expressed toward either homosexuals or Jews, which should be incredibly easy to do if Jeffress really is 'virulent' in his hatred of gays and Jews."
Shepherd noted the evidence Chandler cited -- which includes denouncing Islam, Mormonism and Judaism as heretical religions “from the pit of hell" and claiming that “Seventy percent of the gay population” has AIDS -- then parses what Jeffress supposedly actually meant:
Those statements, while controversial, do not prove a hatred of gays nor Jews. When one thinks of a "virulently anti-gay church," one might think of the Westboro Baptist Church cult, which pickets the funerals of soldiers and joyously preaches that "God Hates Fags." The message of Westboro is anti-gay in that it rejoices in the thought of God punishing sinners, rather than joyously proclaiming the freedom and mercy that Christians find in Christ from their sins and from God's just judgment.
As to Jeffress's 70 percent statistic regarding gays and AIDS, yes, that sounds highly dubious, and there's no doubt Jeffress's views on gays in the military are certainly controversial, but they are political and policy concerns, not anti-gay screeds. In Jeffress's mind, he's looking out for the best interests of the men and women in the U.S. military. He may be completely off the mark, of course, but even so, that doesn't mean he's "anti-gay."
Chandler is entitled to his personal opinion about Jeffress and about Tebow, but exercise of restraint and charity with his value judgments is called for. Jeffress is certainly controversial and outspoken on religious and political matters, but to tag him anti-gay or an anti-Semite is unfair and unhelpful to the interests of any rational discussion about the religious beliefs that Jeffress holds.
Shorter Shepherd: For Jeffress, hating gays is just business, not personal.
Shepherd appears strangely incurious about any other possibly offensive things Jeffress might have said, like calling Catholicism representative of "the genius of Satan."
If Shepherd really is unsure that Jeffress truly is anti-gay beyond his religious beliefs -- but how can Shepherd claim that Jeffress' "religious beliefs" are separate from his personal beliefs when he has built an entire megachurch around spreading those beliefs? -- perhaps Right Wing Watch can offer him some clarity:
He has described gays and lesbians as “perverse,” “miserable” and “abnormal” people who engage in an “unnatural” and “filthy practice” that will lead to the “implosion of our country.” Jeffress argues that the gay community employs Chinese “brainwashing techniques” in order to have homosexuality “crammed down our throats.”
We're unclear as to how that can possibly described as merely Jeffress' "religious beliefs."
Shepherd does seem to be conceding that Jeffress hates Mormons, which is somewhat of a surprise given that NewsBusters and the Media Research Center have studiously avoided acknowledging that Jeffress said ugly things about Mormons, except to complain that other media outlets reported what he said.
This isn't the first time Shepherd has run to the defense of Jeffress. In a 2007 post, Shepherd whined that an "anti-Mitt Romney sermon" by Jeffress was reported in a newsapaper "a full 18 days" after the remarks were made, laughably insisting that any controversy in evangelical circles about Romney's religion "might be rather dormant" and blaming the media for "pushing a storyline to influence the presidential election."
WND's Klein Hides Violence By 'Sovereign Citizens' Topic: WorldNetDaily
A Feb. 12 WorldNetDaily article by Aaron Klein begins with as much ominous fearmongering as he could muster:
With almost no media coverage, the White House last week announced its new Interagency Working Group to Counter Online Radicalization to Violence that will target not only Islamic terrorists but so-called violent “sovereign citizens.”
While Klein went on to note that "The FBI warned that sovereign citizens commit murder and physical assault," he essentially dismissed this by adding "Because of the troubling ideology of some Obama officials, the question arises as to exactly which citizens are considered threats by the government" and repeating distorted claims about former Obama adviser Cass Sunstein.
But it's an indisuptable fact that "sovereign citizens" have engaged in acts of violence, including murder. The FBI states:
If someone challenges (e.g., a standard traffic stop for false license plates) their ideology, the behavior of these sovereign-citizen extremists quickly can escalate to violence. Since 2000, lone-offender sovereign-citizen extremists have killed six law enforcement officers. In 2010, two Arkansas police officers stopped sovereign-citizen extremists Jerry Kane and his 16-year-old son Joseph during a routine traffic stop on Interstate 40. Joseph Kane jumped out of the vehicle and opened fire with an AK-47 assault rifle, killing both officers.
Curiously, Klein failed to note any examples of "sovereign citizens" engaging in violence in his article, despite dreging up his old attacks against Sunstein.
Dick Morris Back to Shilling for Newsmax Topic: Newsmax
Before Dick Morris became a fixture at Fox News, he shilled for Newsmax's dubious financial-product schemes. Now that he's off Fox due to his abysmal record of punditry, Morris is going back to what he knows best: shilling for Newsmax.
A Feb. 11 Newsmax article features Morris' "special video commentary" promoting the "Obamacare Survival Guide." Morris asserts, "It is not political or partisan. It doesn't discuss fairness. It is a practical guide to how to survive this new health care law. You must get it to protect your family."
That, of course, is false. As Publishers Weekly states, the book is "boldly one-sided" and "lobs stink bombs from the start at president Obama and the Democratic Party."
Needless to say, Morris fails to mention that the book is published by Newsmax, or that he has a continuing business relationship with Newsmax in the form of managing Morris' email list (which earned him a lot of money during the presidential campaign).
Burt Prelutsky's Double Dose of Derangement Topic: WorldNetDaily
It's not often that someone comes down with a simultaneous dose of Clinton Derangement Syndrome and Obama Derangement Syndrome, but Burt Prelutsky was struck down with that malady in his Feb. 12 WorldNetDaily column:
After watching Barack and Hillary billing-and-cooing for 30 minutes, I suspect that by the time he got home, Michelle was waiting with a rolling pin and a ton of attitude, wanting to know where he got off cozying up to that honky b–ch.
For my part, I will forever regret that I wasn’t on one of those congressional committees questioning her eminence, so that in response to her phony outburst, I could have replied, “For that matter, Mrs. Clinton, what difference does it really make if Bill only cheated with Monica Lewinsky or if he’s cheated on you with a thousand women, including your mother, your best friend, every woman on your staff and the family mutt?”
It appears that Prelutsky has decided to become the WND version of NormanLiebmann.
MRC Self-Unawareness Watch Topic: Media Research Center
Gotta love how the Media Research Center is so self-unaware that it doesn't recognize its own double standards.
In a Feb. 12 TV appearance, MRC chief Brent Bozell ranted about how the negative attacks on President Obama by Ben Carson have not been published in the media to Bozell's satisfaction. (This is noted in the same NewsBusters post by Ken Shepherd that falsely states the nature of the criticism of Carson.) Bozell went on to state that because of talk radio, and the Internet, "the toothpaste is out of the tube" and while it may take longer for more people to become aware of what Carson said, "this story will not stop growing." Bozell added, "This proves why the networks are becoming increasingly irrelevant."
The irony here is that Bozell was making his rant on Fox Business, one of the most irrelevant channels out there. It averages only 14,000 viewers in the key target demographic of adults age 25-54 -- less than a third of its lead competitor, CNBC. The show Bozell appeared on, "Varney & Co.," averages only 20,000 viewers in the demographic.
Meanwhile, Matt Vespa rants in a Feb. 14 NewsBusters post about Kansas City Star editorial cartoonist Lee Judge, who he smeared as a "a left-wing political cartoonist" and "political hack" who "illustrated a depraved caricature depicting the grave of ex-sniper, and Navy SEAL, Chris Kyle – with the caption 'if only there had been a good guy around.'" Vespa further ranted that the cartoonist "transgresses the bounds of decency in service of a left-wing political argument."
But Vespa, for some unknown reason, selectively edited the caption: It actually reads, "If only there had been a good guy around with a gun around."
Vespa also forgets that just a couple of weeks ago, his employer published a cartoon that depicted a "Combat Barbie" with a prisoner-of-war uniform. Apparently, Vespa found nothing at all offensive about that.