NewsBusters Whines That Woody Guthrie Isn't Described As A Dirty Commie Topic: NewsBusters
The headline on a Feb. 22 NewsBusters post by Mark Finkelstein screams, "Mika Giggles Like Schoolgirl Over Sex In Woody Guthrie Book—Ignores His Communist Ties."
What do the two have to do with each other? Nothing. But Finkelstein really, really wants us to know that Guthrie was a dirty commie:
Woody Guthrie was an American original who wrote some enduring music and did a lot to publicize the plight of the people of the Dust Bowl. There's just one little inconvenient truth about Guthrie: he ran in Communist circles. Though it's reported that he never officially joined the party, he's quoted as saying that the "the best thing that I did in 1936 was to sign up with the Communist Party." He also wrote 174 columns for the Communist Party's Daily Worker newspaper.
But nary a mention was made of Woody's Communist connections on Morning Joe today. Instead, Mika Brzezinski giggled like a schoolgirl over the numerous, explicit sex scenes contained in a recently-discovered novel that Guthrie wrote, House of Earth.
Brzezinski is talking about a novel Guthrie wrote, in which Guthrie's alleged communism has no direct link, if there is any link at all. Finkelstein fails to explain any relevance Guthrie's political views have in discussing a work of fiction. It appears that Finkelstein just wants to red-bait.
Finkelstein fails to mention that much of Guthrie's communist activity occurred in the 1930s, when capitalism wasn't exactly doing well. And as others have pointed out, the Communists wouldn't let Woody be an official Communist, even if he'd really wanted to join, because he was too much of a free spirit.
But facts become inconvenient when Finkelstein is red-baiting, and he complains once again that the dicussion of Guthrie's book was "sanitized to remove Communist references."
Michael Thompson writes in a Feb. 18 WorldNetDaily article:
Hollywood legend Bruce Willis’ latest entry in the “Die Hard” franchise took No. 1 in the box office over the weekend, bucking a trend of flops by his “Expendables” co-stars Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone.
Both Stallone and Schwarzenegger’s recent box office woes came after they labeled the Second Amendment “expendable.”
In contrast to Stallone and Schwarzenegger, Willis, starring in “It’s a Good Day to Die Hard,” had come out in defense of the right to bear arms as Democrats in Washington propose unprecedented restrictions on guns.
But Thompson provides no evidence that the actors' statements on gun control had any bearing whatsoever on the performance of their films.
This is what's known as the correlation-equals-causation fallacy -- claiming that because two events happened concurrently, it means that one directly caused the other. Since Thompson has not demonstrated that one caused the other, he should not have argued that it did.
MRC Unhappy That Coerced Sonograms Are Described As Coercion Topic: Media Research Center
In a Feb. 19 MRC Culture & Media Institute item, Kristine Marsh takes offense at a Huffington Post article about a gay couple viewing the sonogram of the child a surrogate mother is carrying. Why?
It’s strange for HuffPo to celebrate sonograms in this instance, but be so vehemently against them in cases of abortion.
In 2011, the site repeatedly expressed outrage over the proposed pre-abortion mandatory sonogram laws in Texas, and similar measures in four other states, calling such measures “invasive” and “coercion.” HuffPo writer Anu Kumar staunchly opposed any kind of law, like sonograms, that would give more information to the woman who was going to have an abortion.
That's right -- Marsh is complaining that a coerced sonogram is being correctly described as coercion.
Marsh goes on to insult women further:
Without seeing that obviously human and moving being inside her, a pregnant mother is kept from seeing what the pro-abortion side is hiding. Namely, that their logic is laughable and the idea that one person has the right to decide whether or not someone else gets to live is a travesty.
Does Marsh think women are so stupid that they must be forced to look at a sonogram to know that they're carrying a fetus? Apparently so.
First up, lying preacher Bradlee Dean revealed that he spent $77,000 on his failed, Klayman-represented lawsuit against Rachel Maddow. He finally gave up because the judge in the case refused to let Klayman transfer the lawsuit from a Washington, D.C., court to a federal court -- a move being done for the sole reason of depriving Maddow of one avenue of defense -- unless Dean paid $24,000 to Maddow's lawyers to mount a new defense.
Presumably, Klayman got a good chunk of that $77,000. Seems that Dean has a case for getting some of that money back by suing Klayman for incompetent representation. Also, there's the question of Dean got that $77,000 in the first place, given that he's supposed to be a nonprofit preacher.
(Meanwhile, a Dean representative sent a cease-and-desist letter to Wonkette trying to claim that Dean's reference to "the rod of correction" doesn't mean that he "advocated the beating of children." It also notes that Dean has retained an attorney in the case who is not Klayman.)
Then, Klayman lined up a new sucker -- er, client. He's now representing a group called Citizens To Protect Fair Election Results, which is trying to stop a recall campaign against Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio.According to the Arizona Republic, Klayman has sent a cease-and-desist letter to recall organizers, claiming that “There are no valid reasons for this recall petition" because Arpaio was just re-elected and that it's illegal anyway because Arizona prohibits the circulation of recall petitions against an official until he or she has held office for six months.
Just a couple of problems with that. First, legal experts (which Klayman is clearly not) agree that the recall prohibition limit doesn't apply to incumbents (which Arpaio is).
Second, Klayman has shown no interest in giving President Obama the same post-election deference he demands for Arpaio. Two days before Obama was inaugurated, Klayman was ranting that "its time to legally remove the tyrant Obama from our body politic and cleanse the nation of his evil and destructive march to abolish our liberty and freedoms."
Not only is Klayman an incompetent lawyer, it seems his moral standards are extremely flexible depending on who he's going after.
Oh, needless to say, Bob Unruh's WND article on the Arpaio recall petition fails to mention the conflict of interest that Klayman has also represented WND, nor does it note that Klayman is completely wrong about the petition being illegal.
UPDATE: The Phoenix New Times reports that Citizens To Protect Fair Election Results is headed by the leaders of the Surprise Tea Party, to whom WND's Jerome Corsi gave a birther presentation that led to a request from the group to Arpaio to investigate Obama's "eligibility" to be president. Funny how that goes around.
NewsBusters' Sheffield Knows Conservative Papers Need Sugar Daddies Topic: NewsBusters
In a Feb. 21 NewsBusters post, Matthew Sheffield highlights the New York Times Co.'s intention to sell the Boston Globe, adding: "Now here would be a nice opportunity for a conservative billionaire to actually have a real asset instead of some junk mail and some worthless TV ads. Are you listening, guys?"
This is actually an extension of a January post in which Sheffield called for "top-dollar donors on the right" to invest in media properties that "can serve as intermediating institutions for our ideas to the masses" instead of 'TV campaign ads, junk mail, and white papers that no one ever reads."
These posts show that Sheffield is implicting acknowledging a proven fact: A conservative newspaper can't survive in the free market on its own and needs a sugar daddy.
The four most prominent conservative newspapers in the country -- the Washington Times, the Washington Examiner, the New York Post and the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review -- have been perpetual money pits, even when the newspaper industry as a whole was going gangbusters, that have been subsidized by wealthy, ideologically driven owners (or, in the case of the Post, subsidized by more profitable divisions of News Corp.).
This plight even afflicts conservative papers owned by for-profit conservative companies, as illustrated this week with the announcement by Eagle Publishing that it will either sell or close the weekly right-wing paper Human Events. If even a sympathetic right-wing publisher can't keep a right-wing paper alive, why would one get in the market now?
That's why Sheffield called for a "conservative billionaire" and not a for-profit company.
Sheffield's biggest obstacle to getting (more) right-wing billionaires to buy newspapers is convincing them they're not flushing money down a rathole given the current state of the newspaper industry as a whole and the historic financial performance of conservative papers. Which means that Sheffield needs to find some conservatives with more money than brains.
WND Columnists: Ben Carson for President! Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily columnists are joining in the cheerleading of Dr. Ben Carson's partisan attack on President Obama's policies in front of Obama at the normally nonpartisan National Prayer Breakfast -- so much so that they want him to run for president.
Jane Chastain gushed in her Feb. 20 WND column that Carson is "a gifted neurosurgeon who has a way with words as well as a scalpel," further gushing: "Yes, we could use a doctor – or two – in the White House. A Ben Carson/Tom Coburn ticket perhaps?"
Robert Ringer also endorsed the idea of a Ben Carson president, albeit in a fashion dripping with his usual infection of Obama Derangement Syndrome.
Ringer listed Carson -- whose "slash-and-burn comments" demonstrated that "he’s not interesting in tiptoeing or making nice to the left-wing enemies of freedom"-- among three candidates who could stop a third term for Obama.
Yes, you read that right. That's where the Obama derangement kicks in:
With far-left crazies calling for an Obama dictatorship, it doesn’t take much of an imagination to picture the presidential pretender declaring a state of emergency and “postponing” the 2016 election. Nevertheless, I still believe there’s a 50-50 chance that won’t happen.
But even if the 2016 election is not quashed, I believe the odds of Der Fuhrbama’s running for a third term are probably in the area of 80 percent. What’s that you say? The 22nd Amendment limits a president to two terms? Oh, yeah, I forgot. After all, BHO would never dream of violating the Constitution, right?
Ringer's column moniker "A Voice of Sanity" grows increasingly inaccurate with every column he writs.
MRC Writers Bash Abortion Movie, Won't Condemn Murder of Abortion Doctor Topic: Media Research Center
Brent Bozell isn't the only Media Research Center writer who is bashing a new documentary about abortion after the death of George Tiller without expressing any disapproval of Tiller's murder.
A Feb.18 MRC Culture & Media Institute item by Katie Yoder complain that the documentary "After Tiller"didn't paint doctors who perform third-trimester abortions as "murderers," ghoing on to rant that one of them, Dr. Leroy Carhart, is "a man who murders babies old enough for birth."
Yoder notes only that Tiller is "deceased" but not how he got that way -- being shot to death in church by anti-abortion extremist Scott Roeder. Given that she applies "murderer" to Carhart but not Roeder, it seems that Yoder would like Tiller's fate to befall Carhart.
And in a Feb. 19 CNSNews.com column, Rev. Marcel Guarnizo denounced "After Tiller" as "a great work of propaganda," smearing the doctors depicted in the film as "soulless" being who were "taught the deadly art of late term abortion by George Tiller." Guarnizo wasn't moved to condemn the murder of Tiller as the work of a "soulless" being.
As we've noted, the MRC endeavored immediately after Tiller's murder to distance Roeder from the anti-abortion movement, even though he had ties to a very significant anti-abortion group, Operation Rescue. CNS' Penny Starr insisted in 2010 that Roeder is "a mentally unstable man" despite the fact that Roeder did not mount an insanity defense at his trial and a psychologist hired by the defense found Roeder competent to stand trial.
WND's AAPS-Linked Doctor Finally Finds A Vaccine She Likes (And Isn't Needed) Topic: WorldNetDaily
Lee Hieb -- the WorldNetDaily columnist who's a past president of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, a right-wing group that opposes health care reform and mandatory vaccination, doesn't think doctors should be punished for massively overprescribing pain pills, and pushed Clinton conspiracy theories -- starts her Feb. 19 column by pretending she's not as anti-vaccine as she is, and she still comes off as anti-vaccine:
As any reader of this column must know by now, I am skeptical of modern government vaccination programs and violently object to mandates. I marvel at the purported horrible epidemic of flu we are supposedly currently experiencing – an epidemic so bad that anyone not getting vaccinated is labelled some sort of bourgeois anti-social criminal. Wait … where are all the supposed desperately ill people?
Well, according to the Centers for Disease Control, more than 8,300 people have been hospitalized for influenza since October, and the proportion of influenza-related deaths "remains above the epidemic threshold."
But Hieb -- who has declared that mandatory vaccination violates the Nuremburg Code -- eventually avers that there is one vaccine she supports everyone getting: smallpox. And she fearmongers to make her case:
While it is true that smallpox has been eradicated in the wild, it is not gone. As smallpox came under some control, samples from the disease were given to the Center for Disease Control in Atlanta and to Biopreparat/Vector in the Soviet Union. Just as Oppenheimer thought it would be a more stable world if both sides had nuclear bombs, the World Health Organization thought it was only fair that both the democratic U.S. and the totalitarian Soviets should have samples of the world’s deadliest disease.
We know for a fact, however, that when Nixon signed the treaty with the Soviets in the early 1970s that was to have halted all offensive bioweapons research and deployment, the Russians went right home and created the largest bioweapons program known to mankind.
According to Ken Alibek (his Americanized name), himself a defector and the No. 2 man at “Vector,” the Soviet Union had vats filled with over 20 tons of India-11 smallpox prepared for delivery in warheads. Our intelligence services had witnessed testing of ICBM reentry vehicles with nose-cone cooling, something only needed for bioagents. And we know that at the fall of the Soviet empire the bioweaponeers disappeared, along with their agents – presumably to the highest bidder.
So here is the scenario in a nutshell. Smallpox virus survives in freezers all over the world – not just in friendly hands. The virus that was manufactured by the Soviets was about 60 percent lethal, and the amount to start a world wide contagion may be stored in a single chicken egg.
But Alibek is not exactly a credible source on the issue. According to the Los Angeles Times:
His most sensational research findings, with U.S. colleagues, have not withstood peer review by scientific specialists. His promotion of nonprescription pills -- sold in his name over the Internet and claiming to bolster the immune system -- was ridiculed by some scientists. He resigned as executive director of a Virginia university's biodefense center 10 months ago while facing internal strife over his stewardship.
And, as Alibek raised fear of bioterrorism in the United States, he also has sought to profit from that fear.
By his count, Alibek has won about $28 million in federal grants or contracts for himself or entities that hired him.
Alibek also promoted the idea that Iraq's Saddam Hussein possessed smallpox -- something that has never been proven -- and claimed to have conducted research showing that a smallpox vaccine might increase a person's immunity to HIV. The later claim has never been replicated by other researchers, and attempts by Alibek to publish his findings in medical journals failed peer review, according to the Times.
Hieb conspiratorially added:
The government owns all smallpox vaccine in America. None is available for purchase by physicians or patients. I have talked to several naïve public health officials who assure me that, at the state level, the vaccine is stored and will be distributed if an outbreak occurs.
Hieb also ranted that "West Nile Virus was never seen in this continent until it appeared in birds in the Brooklyn Zoo (strange place) coincidentally just after a visit to New York City by Castro’s science adviser." This conspiracy theory was promoted at Newsmax in 2002 by another AAPS-linked doctor, Miguel Faria.
The fact that Hieb would launch a fearmongering crusade based on the fanciful claims of a discredited researcher (not to mention her close association with AAPS) tells us all we need to know about the level of medical standards Hieb practices.
UPDATE: More proof that Hieb didn't very hard for the "desperately ill people" stricken by the flu: The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that more American workers called in sick in January than during any month in nearly five years, due in no small part to the flu.
Just how mendacious are Terry Jeffrey and his band of merry reporters at CNSNews.com?
A Feb. 13 CNS article by Patrick Burke carries the mendacious headline "Administration Will Spend $1.8B to Build 20-Mile Railroad on 30-Mile-Wide Island."
In fact, what's not being built is a "railroad" but a light-rail public transit system on the Hawaiian island of Oahu, running from Honolulu to Kapolei via the Honolulu airport.
At no point does Burke explicitly state that this is a light-rail public transit system or that it's for the exclusive use of people. He does, however, baselessly insinuate that this is some kind of political-crony deal by President Obama by noting that one end of the line stops "approximately 1-3 miles from the University of Hawaii and Punahou School, the high school once attended by President Obama."
WND's Ted Nugent Loves Black People (Except Obama And Those Who Like Him) Topic: WorldNetDaily
Ted Nugent declares in his Feb. 20 WorldNetDaily column that "Barack Obama, the guy who received roughly 93 percent of black American votes, is the clear and present engineer of the destruction of black America." But, apparently, they're too stupid to figure this out:
The truth is that the Democratic Party has been the engineer of the destruction of black Americans, and everyone knows it except the very people who need to know it the most – black Americans.
The turbo-destruction will continue for black Americans until they realize that dirty Democrat politicians are their true enemy, not their salvation. Fortunately, some are beginning to embrace this self-evident truth.
Then, having just insulted blacks, Nugent declares his love for them:
Indeed, the tapestry of black America is rich and vibrant. I don’t celebrate Black History Month. I celebrate it every day, as my very black-inspired musical dreams could not have been successful were it not for black Americans.
My fire-breathing musical career was literally launched by black musical thundergods such as Bo Diddly, Little Richard, James Brown, Wilson Picket, Sam & Dave, Albert King, BB King, Freddie King, the mighty Funk Brothers, and the epitome of Rock ‘n’ Roll Gods, the master, Chuck Berry. The music these gentlemen created gave birth to my music and all great, moving, soulful music. We owe it all to them.
Yes, Nugent is so steeped in black culture that he misspelled the names of Bo Diddley and Wilson Pickett.
But Nugent wasn't done loving black people:
There is no doubt that my 2013 tour will be the best of my life. With world-class virtuosos paying tribute to our black heroes nightly, it is only fitting that this year’s tour is aptly titled, “Ted Nugent Black Power 2013.” Say it loud: my music is black and I’m proud!
He's so proud, in fact, that his band has no black members.
MRC Blowing More Money On Times Square Billboards Topic: Media Research Center
Remember last year how the Media Research Center dropped $180,000 on a Times Square billboard as part of spending $5 million to demand that the "liberal media" tell "the truth" -- much of that money seemingly going more for show and less toward actual media watchdogging, undermined as it was by the MRC's efforts to intimidate reporters into not telling the truth about Republicans?
Well, the MRC has determined it needs to blow even more money on Times Square billboards.
A Feb. 20 CNSNews.com article by Michael Chapman details how the MRC has rented a cluster of five billboards in Times Square to push its new message demanding that the "liberal media" "stop censoring the news." It's acccompanied, of course, by a rant from you-know-who:
Brent Bozell, president of the MRC, said in a statement, “During the 2012 election, the liberal media moved beyond bias. They actively and repeatedly censored any story that could have jeopardized Barack Obama’s re-election. Now in 2013, they’re censoring any story that could slow his administration’s second term agenda. Their behavior is as disgraceful as it is unprecedented.”
“These billboards – located in the hub of the liberal media’s nerve center – put them on notice,” said Bozell. “The American people are sick and tired of the establishment media’s collusion with the Obama administration, and won’t stand for a corrupt press willing to censor the news.”
Bozell's definition of censorship is not that of most people -- when he says "censorship," he really means "uncritically promote the right-wing agenda."
But the vast majority of Times Square pedestrians are not familiar with the way things work in the right-wing media bubble, so they won't understand the billboards' definition of "censorship," since no actual censorship as most Americans understand it is not happening, and thus will dismiss the billboards as crazy rantings.
Of course, by Bozell's own definition, Fox News is an even bigger censor than the "liberal media" is, but Bozell would never admit that in public.
These new billboards have double the square footage of the single billboard it rented last year, which means that the MRC has spent at least $360,000 on this campaign. Additionally, the MRC is paying an undisclosed amount of money to right-wing radio host Mark Levin to promote this campaign.
As we noted last year, a static billboard -- even five of them, arranged in a way that's not terribly compelling -- is a miniscule presence among the flashing neon and giant video screens of Times Square. Plus, February isn't exactly a peak month for tourism, so it's questionable whether it will be viewed by the "1.4 million onlookers" that the MRC claims. And these billboards will be forgotten as soon as they are taken down.
Is this really an effective way to spend a nonprofit group's money, or is the MRC just doing it for show in order to create the illusion for its funders that it has some real-world impact so they'll donate more money? The MRC's annual budget is $10 million, which means it has blown approximately 5 percent of it on this campaign already with 10 more months to go in the year.
WND's Unruh Hides Anti-Muslim Bias of Disciplined Instructor Topic: WorldNetDaily
Bob Unruh uses a Feb. 18 WorldNetDaily article to serve up his usual brand of slanted reporting, lavishing attention of a right-wing legal group coming to the defense of an instructor at the National Defense University who was disciplined for "teaching an approved course on Islam."
Nowhere is it stated who "approved" what Matthew Dooley taught in his Islam, and Unruh can't be bothered to report exactly what Dooley taught that got him disciplined.
The course instructed senior officers at the lieutenant colonel, commander, colonel and Navy captain level that “there is no such thing as ‘moderate Islam,’” and that wartime protections against civilians of Islamic countries were “no longer relevant.”
Materials distributed by Dooley’s guest lecturers suggested inaccurately that President Obama is a Muslim. Similar material taught to the FBI in 2011 compared Islam to the Death Star in Star Wars. Dooley himself taught, “Your oath as a professional soldier forces you to pick a side here.”
Dooley considered the reduction of Islam to a “cult status” an acceptable outcome of what he considered a civilizational war. Accordingly, his instructional material is reminiscent of The Innocence of Muslims, the anti-Islam video that was used as a pretext in the Middle East over the past week for anti-American protests.
In other words, Unruh is trying to hide the fact that Dooley's course was virulently anti-Muslim and factually inaccurate. You know, just like WND.
Mychal Massie Rewrites Declaration of Independence To Attack Obama Topic: WorldNetDaily
In the course of our current human events, it has become necessary not simply to remind people why we must dissolve the political bands that connect us to the Obama federal government but to publish and declare our intent to do so.
There are two constants that have remained throughout all of history: good ultimately overcomes evil, and ultimately, the people rise up against their oppressor. The Obama administration is evil, and the first attempt of the people to rise up against it – vis-a-vis the tea-party movement – was so successful that it was not Obama who rose to defeat the movement but rather Karl Rove and other Republicans who feared that the success of the tea-party movement would deprive them of their spoils.
I submit that a rewriting of the closing paragraph of the Declaration of Independence should read:
We, therefore, the people of the United States of America, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of our belief in the Constitution and The Declaration of the United States, solemnly publish and declare, that We the People of The United States are united in our right to be free and independent citizens under the authority of our States, and that we declare ourselves absolved from all allegiance to the Obama government, and that all connection between the Obama federal government is and ought to be totally dissolved, and that as free citizens we have the power to self-determination, to contract alliances, to establish commerce, to do all other acts and things which independent states may of right do, and, if it becomes necessary, to defend our rights in whatever way the situation may demand. And for the support of our Declaration, with firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.
When We the People commit to that movement we will not only reclaim our government, but we will also reclaim our constitutional rights. We need a movement of NO. No more Obama and no more government intrusion. History shows that movements of the people to dethrone potentates and reclaim individual rights have succeeded.
Noel Sheppard Gets Huffy About Accurate Description of Fox As Candidate Training Ground Topic: NewsBusters
In a Feb. 14 NewsBusters post, Noel Sheppard got all huffy about former White House communications director Anita Dunn claiming "What you're seeing now with Fox is that that alternative Fox universe that they created for four years is crumbling" and that "there are not a lot of news networks that have on their payrolls as Fox did two years ago the bulk of the people who are planning to run for president in a political party."
Cue Sheppard's huffiness: "At the start of the last presidential campaign cycle, there were eleven Republican candidates. Only two - Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum - had previously worked for Fox." But Sheppard didn't mention that Fox also employed three others who were considered potential 2012 Republican candidates but who eventually decided not to run -- Mike Huckabee, Sarah Palin and John Bolton. Huckabee and Bolton remain with Fox.
But Sheppard wasn't done being huffy:
Of course, Dunn didn't say anything about her former co-worker Robert Gibbs going to work for MSNBC.
I'm sure she sees no problem with that, or with former Clinton adviser George Stephanopoulos being a prominent figure at ABC News or former Democratic presidential candidate Al Sharpton being a host of his own MSNBC program. She also failed to mention that Sharpton's colleague, Chris Matthews, very publicly discussed running for Senate in Pennsylvania as a Democrat.
Let's take these point by point:
1) Stephanopoulos was a staffer and never claimed to be a presidential candidate.
2) Sharpton's presidential candidacy was in 2004, a full eight years before he joined MSNBC, and he has not expressed any desire to run again that we know of.
3) Matthews talked about running four years ago, and ultimately decided against it. He already had his MSNBC show for several years before that.
By contrast, all of the folks linked to Fox are currently viable candidates.