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Sunday, March 24, 2013
Newsmax Wants Us To Know 'What Really Happened' With Trump's CPAC Appearance
Topic: Newsmax

Ronald Kessler may be gone from Newsmax, but his brand of Trump-fluffing lives on there.

A March 22 Newsmax article by Bill Hoffman is dedicated to counterspinning Donald Trump's sparsely attended appearance at CPAC by telling us "what really happened":

According to sources, organizers of the Conservative Political Action Conference placed Trump on the schedule for an 8:45 a.m. speech.

But this year, CPAC was located at Maryland’s National Harbor, well outside of downtown Washington, D.C., and some 30 minutes drive time during rush hour for many CPAC attendees who stayed in D.C. hotels.

To add further confusion, CPAC scheduled its prayer breakfast at the same time Trump was to speak. And the attendees who made it early to the convention site at the Gaylord National Resort were under the mistaken impression that Trump was speaking at the prayer breakfast, not in the ballroom.

“The organizers didn’t inform people that Mr. Trump was going to be at a separate forum. A large crowd went to the prayer breakfast thinking he would be there,’’ a CPAC organizer said, explaining the faux pas to Newsmax.

But it turns out that Trump, still one of the most popular figures among tea party conservatives, had the last laugh.

Much of the press that covered CPAC attended Trump’s event and missed the prayer breakfast.

Then, following his speech, the star of NBC’s smash show “All-Star Celebrity Apprentice’’ held the largest press conference of any of the guest speakers who attended CPAC’s three-day event.

“Not only were the national press in attendance, but Trump had a huge number of international press there,’’ the source said.

Yes, Hoffmann couldn't even get this but of fluff on the record -- he had to quote an anonymous "CPAC organizer." Sad, isn't it?

Posted by Terry K. at 10:39 PM EDT
WND Misleads About Alleged Government Bullet-Hoarding
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Garth Kant surely must be pleasing his new bosses at WorldNetDaily with the amount of misinformation he's generated in his short time as a WND reporter. On top of fearmongering about vaccines, Kant has turned his attention to suggesting that the government wants to kill you.

Kant writes in a March 21 WND article:

Members of Congress are demanding the Obama administration explain why it is stockpiling a huge arsenal of ammunition and weapons.

The Department of Homeland Security bought more than 1.6 billion rounds of ammunition over the last year, as well as thousands of armored vehicles.

First, DHS is not stonewalling. It responded to similar questions from Sen. Tom Coburn back in early February. DHS explained that it purchased fewer rounds of ammuntion in fiscal year 2012 than it had in the two previous years.

Second, as DHS noted, DHS did not buy "more than 1.6 billion rounds of ammunition over the last year," as Kant claimed. As the Associated Press reported, that number is for use over the next five years, not a single year, and it saves the government money by buying in bulk.

We thought WND opposed government waste. Apparently not.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:43 PM EDT
MRC's Philbin Has Anti-Gay Freakout Over "'Glee' On the Gridiron"
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Matt Philbin has a notable gay-bashing record: He turns a blind eye to anti-gay slurs, thinks a young boy with brightly painted toenails is "transgendered child propaganda," and he's opposed to gays or anyone who looks like they might be gay from being depicted in advertising.

Philbin takes his hatred and fear of gays to a new, silly level in a March 20 MRC Culture & Media Institute post, headlined "‘Glee’ on the Gridiron?" in which he fearmongers about the unmanly specter of openly gay athletes:

If liberals in the sports media have their way, your favorite sporting event will soon be a little more like an episode of “Glee.” Writers and talking heads at outlets from ESPN to NBC Sports are in a full-court press. They want to see openly gay athletes in American sports, no matter what it means for the games, the fans, or the athletes themselves.

Perhaps envious that their news colleagues get to cover – and advocate for – what a Washington Post reporter recently called “the civil rights issue of our time,” sports journalists have been long been obsessed with gay athletes. Commentator after commentator have taken to ESPN’s website to assure us “the issue of sports and homosexuality isn't going away,” to call a football player “intelligent and articulate athlete when he made a stand for gay rights,” and to wonder where the gay Jackie Robinson is.

Yes, it seems Philbin really thinks that, say, a single football player who makes his homosexuality public means the entire team will break out into show tunes on the field.

Philbin's level of thinking doesn't go far beyond that. He complains about how "CNN’s pro-gay bias is well established" -- actually, that's more about Philbin's fellow MRC employee Matt Hadro studiously documenting every time gays fail to be bashed on CNN -- then asserts that "bias is more like obsession when the network can’t do a sports interview one of the best pitchers in baseball (who lost the World Series in October) without bringing up – apropos of nothing – gay rights. But there was CNN’s Carol Costello asking Detroit Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander if he’d have problems playing with an openly gay teammate." But Philbin ignores that 1) the idea of gays in sports had been talked about in the media in previous months, and 2) Costello began the interview with an even more apropos-of-nothing question: Verlander's golf game.

It seems that the only person obsessed with homosexuality here is Philbin.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:05 AM EDT
Saturday, March 23, 2013
Aaron Klein Anonymous Source Watch
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Aaron Klein dipped into his presumed retinue of untraceable, anonymous sources in honor of President Obama's trip to Israel this past week.

A March 20 article cited a "Palestinian official, who asked that his name be withheld" to claim that "In a conversation with the Palestinian Authority, a White House official apparently compared Israel’s Knesset, or parliament, to the gravesite of late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat," claiming that "just as Obama won’t address the Knesset, which is a symbol of Israeli nationalism, so too he won’t visit the grave, a symbol of Palestinian nationalism."

The next day, Klein followed that up by claiming a "top PA negotiator" said that "Palestinian Authority leaders are disappointed with what they heard in a private meeting" with Obama.

Is there any reason readers should blindly trust Klein or his sources? No. Klein is an inveterate Obama-hater who, as we've noted, is using Palestinians' words against themto forward his own right-wing agenda> Further, he rarely uses named sources to advance his smears, which makes us "reporting" extremely suspect.

UPDATE: A March 24 WND article by Klein cites "a top Syrian official" and  "informed Mideast security officials" to claim that "It was the Syrian opposition and not the Syrian government behind the firing Sunday and yesterday at the Israeli border" and that "it appears the rebels are attempting to create a humanitarian crisis to precipitate the deployment of NATO to fight the Assad regime."

Posted by Terry K. at 10:07 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, March 24, 2013 2:13 PM EDT
Friday, March 22, 2013
CNS Cites Conspiracy Theorist To Fearmonger Over DHS Supposedly Hoarding Bullets

Gregory Gwyn-Williams Jr. buys into the government ammunition-hoarding conspiracy in a March 22 blog post, uncritrically repeating a claim that "the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has failed to respond to multiple members of Congress asking why DHS bought more than 1.6 billion rounds in the past year."

The link to back up his claim goes to Infowars, the notoriously conspiratorial website operated by conspiracy-monger Alex Jones. That suggests the level of credibility this little rumor has.

Gwyn-Williams is also wrong that DHS has never responded to questions about its ammuntion purchases. In January DHS responded to Republican Sen. Tom Coburn's questions, which he posted on his website. DHS states that , contrary to the rumor-mongering, it purchased 103 million rounds of ammo in fiscal year 2012, which is actually a smaller number than was purchased in the previous two years. Those rounds were accounted for for training and operational purchases.

But why should Gwyn-Williams care about facts when he was able to get a Drudge link -- as the top story, no less -- out of his post?

Posted by Terry K. at 11:56 PM EDT
WND Anti-Vaccine Fearmongering Watch
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily's Garth Kant keeps up his anti-vaccine fearmongering in a March 20 article claiming that "the federal government has now paid almost $6 million to victims of the [HPV vaccine] shot – including at least two who died after receiving it."

As always, Kant fails to provide any meaningful context, such as the fact that more than 35 million doses of HPV vaccine have been administered, making such a settlement rate extraordinarily low. Kant also claims "thousands of adverse reactions" to the vaccine without mentioning that the vast majority of them are minor and the scary ones he lists -- "seizures, paralysis, blindness, pancreatitis, speech problems, short-term memory loss, Guillain-Barré syndrome and even death" represent "no statistically significant increased risk" according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Kant also treats discredited claims that vaccines cause autism is true, even though the most prominent study making the link has retracted by the medical journal that published it.

Kant, by the way, is apparently a new WND writer. His WND bio claims "he spent five years writing, copy-editing and producing at "CNN Headline News," three years writing, copy-editing and training writers at MSNBC, and also served several local TV newsrooms as producer, executive producer and assistant news director. He is the author of the McGraw-Hill textbook, 'How to Write Television News.'"

The fact that Kant is no longer working in TV news but has descended to fearmongering at a bottom-feeding website strongly suggests he couldn't hack it in the big leagues and, like fellow real-media refugee Bob Unruh, decided to work at a "news" organization where things like truth and balance don't apply.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:32 PM EDT
ConWeb Latches Onto Misleading Claim About MSNBC
Topic: The ConWeb

The ConWeb readily embraced a too-good-to-check statistic from a Pew Research Center study of the media: that 85 percent of MSNBC's airtime is devoted to "opinion."

WorldNetDaily's Drew Zahn dishonestly rounded up the number to "nearly 90 percent" -- of course, it's equally near to 80 percent, but Zahn clearly didn't want to go there. Newsmax's Bill Hoffmann asserted, "If you’re looking for straight and unbiased news reporting, you may want to avoid MSNBC."

And the number was practically made for the Media Research Center, and indeed, Brent Bozell issued a snotty press release on the subject:

“Pick any Orwellian nickname you want: the Ministry of Truth, the Department of Agitation and Propaganda, but don’t dare call MSNBC a news organization. No legitimate news outlet spends 85% of its airtime pushing leftist commentary. Pravda would be proud.

“Both CNN and Fox News have close to a 50/50 news/commentary split. We have said time and time again that MSNBC in not a news network. Their absurd 15/85 split is a vindication of every single criticism we’ve leveled against them.

“MSNBC is a deeply unserious organization and should never have been placed under the ‘news’category on any cable system’s guide. They’ve Lean[ed] Forward right off the cliff of credibility. What a farce.”

Since that number was too good to check, the ConWeb couldn't be bothered to do one simple thing: find out how Pew made this determination.  Salon's Alex Pareene did:

That’s a bit of a misuse of the word “opinion,” which does not, in this case, refer to liberal punditry, but rather to all interviews and other segments that involve people talking instead of live reports or reported “packages.” That kind of programming is common because it’s cheap, and MSNBC and Fox do not actually pay many people to do “reporting” — they are cable “talking about the news” channels, basically. But don’t assume reported pieces are intrinsically superior to commentary. Some of that “opinion” programming is informative and useful in a way that live shots of, say, poop boats are decidedly not. And some of that programming is “Morning Joe,” the talking head equivalent of a poop boat.

It also overlooks the fact that, even though Pew gives Fox News credit for 45 percent of its content being "factual reporting," that does not equal unbiased reporting. Fox's ostensible "news" anchors are prone to spouting biased opinions, and it has a history of shortchanging the Obama administration on airtime.

But thte ConWeb doesn't care about facts, not when it has an official-sounding number.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:49 AM EDT
WND's Klein Peddles Zombie Lie To Link Obama, Alinsky
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily sure loves to tell lies long after they've been debunked.

The latest instance is a March 21 WND article by Aaron Klein, who asserts that Saul Alinsky's book "Rules for Radicals" is "dedicated" to Lucifer. It's not -- it's dedicated to "Irene." There is an "over-the-shoulder acknowlegement" to Lucifer for being "the first rebel," but it's not a dedication.

Klein also claims that President Obama's speech in Israel "channeled Saul Alinsky" by referring to "the world as it is" and "the world as it should be." While Klein quotes Alinsky making a similar reference, he offers no evidence that the concept originated with Alinsky -- meaning Klein is merely speculating that Obama was "channeling" Alinsky.

The rest of Klein's article is devoted to his usual guilt-by-association attempts to link Obama to Alinsky, along with descriptions of a fantasy version of Alinsky as described by David Horowitz.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:04 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, December 11, 2014 12:34 PM EST
Thursday, March 21, 2013
Noel Sheppard Endorses Ted Nugent Smearing People As 'Subhuman'
Topic: NewsBusters

We've documented how NewsBusters associate editor Noel Sheppard cares about political civility only when liberals are the ones who aren't being civil -- conservatives are allowed to be as incivil as they want to be.

He's at it again in a March 19 post, approvingly quoting Ted Nugent calling Michael Moore and Piers Morgan "subhuman punks" for for expressing their constitutionally protected opinions gun rights, even agreeing with Nugent that Moore's remarks in particular 'brings into question his humanity."

Sheppard also reiterated his one-man good cop/bad cop routine regarding Jay Leno's monologue in a March 20 post, complaining that he made a Dick Cheney joke:

Will Dick Cheney is evil jokes ever go out of style?


Now in fairness to Leno, he has been quite an equal opportunity offender in his monologues in recent months.

As NewsBusters readers are well aware, Leno's even been taking shots at President Obama.

My beef here is more with the sophomoric, almost archaic nature of the joke.

Cheney is too evil to be Satan? Isn't that political satire's penultimate "Been there, done that?"

Sheppard is being disingenuous -- he hates it when Leno jokes about a conservative.

Posted by Terry K. at 6:33 PM EDT
NEW ARTICLE: Goodbye, Les Kinsolving
Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily's biased, whine-prone White House reporter hangs it up. But don't worry -- we'll still be treated to his homophobic rants in his WND column. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 3:09 PM EDT
CNS Won't Blame Bush For Troops Killed In Iraq, But Want Him To Get Credit For War
Topic: has a lot of trouble admitting that thousands of American troops were killed in Iraq under President Bush, even as it runs monthly body counts of troops killed in Afghanistan under President Obama. But by golly, CNS wants to make sure Bush gets credit for killing Saddam Hussein!

A March 19 CNS article by Fred Lucas states:

President Barack Obama issued a statement today, the 10th anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, that praised U.S. troops but did not mention President Bush’s decision to invade Iraq in 2003, and White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, after being pressured by a reporter, only said there was a “causal relationship” between Bush’s decision to invade and Saddam’s ouster.

A reference to the American troops killed in Iraq comes only in quoting Obama noting "the nearly 4,500 Americans who made the ultimate sacrifice to give the Iraqi people an opportunity to forge their own future after many years of hardship."

Lucas also endeavors to justify the war, claiming that "At the time, U.S. intelligence believed that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, as did many in the international community, including opponents of the U.S.-led invasion."

Posted by Terry K. at 12:20 PM EDT
WND Raising Money To Help Arpaio (And His Birther Friends) Fight Recall Election
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily has long been cozy with Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio, working closely with him to make sure his cold case posse's "investigation" of President Obama's birth certificate stuck to WND's birther conspiracies and ignored inconvenient facts. Now, it appears the ties have grown closer than ever.

On March 20, WND sent out an email (screenshot below) to its "a subscriber to the Offers from e-mail list or past customer" soliciting donations to a fund to defend Arpaio against a recall effort. The email's text echoes a Feb. 21 WND article by Bob Unruh announcing the creation of a "citizen coalition," Citizens to Protect Fair Election Results, to defend Arpaio against the recall.

In fact, the "concerned citizens" behind the group are the birthers from the Surprise Tea Party who petitioned Arpaio to do his birther investigation following a presentation by WND's Jerome Corsi. And as we've previously noted, the group is represented by none other than failed lawyer Larry Klayman, who is forwarding the false legal argument that Arpaio can't be recalled until six months after starting his new term, a requirement that applies only for an elected official's first term. Like Unruh's article, the flawed legal reasoning is repeated in the email and the group's birther ties are not mentioned.

The email, which lists Klayman as its author, concludes by stating: "I urge you to make a donation to support Sheriff Joe Arpaio right now – no matter the amount. If everyone who reads this appeal gave the minimum amount of $5, it would raise the considerable necessary resources to protect Sheriff Arpaio."

That text links to a page at the WND online store where one can donate to Citizens to Protect Fair Election Results.

This raises all sorts of red flags. First, the email is not listed as paid for by Arpaio, CPFER, or Klayman, which means that WND is, for all intents and purposes, donating to a political campaign.

Second, as the Arizona's Politics blog details, CPFER is registered with Arizona state corporation officials as a limited liability corporation, or LLC. In other words, it's a for-profit corporation. As far as we know, it's highly unusual for a political action group to be an LLC.

While we're unclear on how the law works, we suspect this means that not only are donations to CPHER not tax-deductible, there is no requirement for the group to disclose its donors. As Arizona's Politics, the LLC filing largely protects group members from individual liability should, for instance, it be required to pay legal fees in the event of an unsuccessful legal action. But it will likely not stand as an LLC because of its political activities -- it should eventually be turned into a political committee that is required to disclose donors and finances.

In other words, it's a very shady thing all around, and WND's direct involvement in the group is very much a red flag for possible election law violations. And remember that Klayman is also WND's attorney, which raises conflict-of-interest issues.

So it seems WND isn't completely ready to give up on the birther stuff just yet.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:16 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, March 21, 2013 3:18 AM EDT
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
At The MRC, Reporting Facts = Contempt
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center is taking the Colbert axiom that facts have a liberal bias to the next level: It's an expression of contempt to merely report facts.

Kyle Drennen wrote in a March 19 MRC item, headlined "Report on Iraq War Anniversary By NBC's Richard Engel Drips With Contempt" (boldface is his):

In a report on the tenth anniversary of the Iraq War for Tuesday's NBC Today, chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel was unable to conceal his contempt for the conflict: "Iraq's oil money was supposed to pay for the war. It didn't work out that way. From now on, the war set its own agenda, an insurgency erupted that became a religious civil war....Iraqis accuse the United States of invading to find weapons of mass destruction that were never there, and destroying a delicate religious balance."

Engel continued: "The [Bush] White House stopped claiming all was well in Iraq, and thousands more troops surged. The violence dropped, and Americans left. Nine years, almost 4,500 troops killed, 32,000 wounded, 130,000 Iraqi civilians killed. The cost, according to a new study, nearly $2 trillion."

How did Drennen read Engel's mind to confirm the "contempt" in his heart? He doesn't say. And Drennen never contradicts anything Engel reported.

That means Drennen is holding Engel in "contempt" for reporting the truth. That's what passes for "media research" at the MRC.

Posted by Terry K. at 4:52 PM EDT
The Month in Joseph Farah's Gay-Bashing
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah has been on quite the gay-bashing tear of late.

In a March 5 column, Farah called gay marriage "one of the most radical ideas considered since child sacrifice." A week later, Farah denied he was likening gay marriage to child sacrifice -- "Of course I didn’t say they were the same. I just proclaimed them radical ideas" -- but then writes, "I didn’t intend to link child sacrifice with same-sex marriage. Yet they are linked. They are inextricably linked as behaviors characterized as abominations by the God of the Bible. They both emerge right from the pit of hell."

On March 18, Farah took aim at Sen. Rob Portman changing his mind about gay marriage because his son is gay: "I guess we should all be grateful Rob Portman’s son didn’t choose to become a polygamist or a serial killer."

And on March 19, Farah rants about proposed laws against anti-gay conversion therapy, declaring that "The homosexual lobby is powerful and forceful in the world of psychology, psychiatry and counseling."

But Farah ignores how some of that "conversion therapy" is conducted -- one gay teenager recounted how he received electroshock therapy, was ordered to masturbate to images of women, and was forced to medicine to induce vomiting when a therapist flashed a photo of two men holding hands.

Apparently Farah approves of such coercive tactics, perhaps reasoning that merely being gay is much worse than the psychological damage inflicted by such treatment.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:26 PM EDT
CNS Wants You To Think Lesbians Are Fat And Drunk
Topic: has been in quite the lesbian-denigrating mood of late.

A March 11 CNS article by Elizabeth Harrington complained that the National Institutes of Health "has awarded $1.5 million to study biological and social factors for why 'three-quarters' of lesbians are obese and why gay males are not." Harrington followed that up with a March 18 article grousing that the NIH "has awarded $2.7 million to study why lesbians are at a higher 'risk for hazardous drinking.'"

Given the anti-gay agenda of CNS and its Media Research Center parent, it's not a stretech to surmise that one purpose of Harrington's articles is to hold lesbians up for ridicule. Indeed, the comment threads of both articles are littered with hateful anti-gay invective, and no apparent attempt has been made to moderate the thread or delete extremely homophobic comments.

This combination of gay obsession and refusal to police its readers' invective reveals just how hateful and homophobic CNS employees are.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:15 AM EDT

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