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Thursday, May 2, 2013
Newsmax Just Can't Quit Trump
Topic: Newsmax

Newsmax was the chief promoter of Donald Trump's (ultimately unfulfilled) presidential ambitions in the 2012 campaign. Despite getting burned by its affiliation with Trump in an ill-fated attempt to co-host a presidential debate with him, Newsmax is touting Trump as president again.

"Trump Making GOP Speech — Is 2016 in the Cards?" reads the headline on an April 30 Newsmax article by Jim Meyers, who takes over where Ronald Kessler left off as chief of Trump-fluffing:

Donald Trump is scheduled to deliver a major address at the largest Republican gathering in Michigan, raising the question: Is Trump planning to run for president in 2016?

Trump will be the keynote speaker at the 124th Annual Oakland County Lincoln Day Dinner in Novi, Mich., just outside of Detroit, on May 21.

Observers are wondering why the billionaire mogul has agreed to travel to Michigan for the event. Some say Trump still has a taste for the presidency after talking about a run last year.

Meyers offers no evidence that speaking at "the largest Republican gathering in Michigan" is the springboard for anything, let alone an election that's more than three years away. But he and Newsmax certainly want you to think it does.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:39 AM EDT
Your WND Race-Baiting Update
Topic: WorldNetDaily

What has WorldNetDaily's favorite race-baiter, Colin Flaherty, been up to lately?

A couple weeks back Flaherty was on something of a roll, listing the cities where "large-scale black mob violence" was allegedly occurring. He went on to complain: "More and more local news sites are allowing fewer and fewer comments from readers about the racial violence. Some shut down the comments altogether when the topic is race. Others purge comments frequently."

(Meanwhile, WND has banned me from commenting on its article, possibly because I will do things like point out Flaherty's blatant race-baiting.)

The next day, Flaherty penned a column describing "the Top 10 excuses often heard in the media for the epidemic of black mob violence … without ever mentioning the words 'black mob violence.'" The real reason, apparently, is simply that they're black, as his quotation of the Dr. Dre lyric "When niggaz get together they get mad" exemplifies.

Flaherty began the column by adapting a lyric from the song "Dancing in the Street," then lamented that "Michael Jagger is not available to update us on his classic Rolling Stones paean to street crime." In fact, the song was never recorded by the Stones, nor did Jagger write it; it first became a hit for Martha and the Vandellas in 1964, and Jagger recorded a cover version with David Bowie in 1985. Also, the song is not a "paean to street crime"; it's about, well, dancing in the street.

For his April 30 article, Flaherty returned to what he does best: portray black people as inherently prone to forming violent mobs, and express his disgust that people less into race-baiting than he is won't toss around the term "black mob violence" like he does.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:29 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, May 2, 2013 3:30 AM EDT
Wednesday, May 1, 2013
AIM's Kincaid Promotes Debunked Saudi-Boston Conspiracy
Topic: Accuracy in Media

The fact that the idea of a Saudi national having participated in the Boston bombings has been discredited apparently isn't going to keep Cliff Kincaid from ranting about it.

So Kincaid starts his April 30 AIM column this way:

The possible involvement of a Saudi in the Boston terror attacks is being curiously ignored or downplayed by most of the mainstream media. Steve Emerson, Glenn Beck, and others have pressed for answers, however. Beck has issued a full report with updates on the controversy. 

Nothing like picking the even more conspiracy-addled Beck to vouch for your own conspiracy, Cliff.

Nevertheless, Kincaid continues:

Fox News reporter Bret Baier looked into the alleged Saudi role in the bombings and said the Saudi student became the subject of an “internal document” and put on the “no fly list” because of “an abundance of caution and out of diligence,” according to U.S. officials. However, Baier echoed officials as saying there was no evidence of the man’s involvement in the bombings.

Columnist Diana West says we can’t trust Fox News on this matter, since it is part-Saudi-owned.

West is another conspiracy-addled birther dead-ender who's not exactly the most trustworthy person Kincaid could have chosen. Unless Kincaid was looking for people who make him look sane, that is.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:56 PM EDT
From WND To The Daily Beast
Topic: WorldNetDaily

On April 30, WorldNetDaily published the latest unverifable article by the fake-name fearmonger "Reza Kahlili":

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was arrested and held for seven hours Monday and warned to keep his mouth shut about matters detrimental to the Islamic regime before he was released, according to a source within the Revolutionary Guard’s intelligence unit.

Crazy, right? Well, some out there don't think so.

Kahlili's article was copied mostly word-for-word by a website called the Guardian Express, which originally published it without giving WND credit. The article now states that Kahlili " is the primary contributor of this article." The Guardian Express calls itself "a legitimate online newspaper" in Las Vegas.

From there, the article took a weird leap to the Daily Beast, a normally reputable website, which originally erroneously credited the article to "The Guardian," which most people think of as the British newspaper. The article has since been update to properly credit the Guardian Express, but that "the sourcing of the Guardian Express article could not be confirmed."

There's lots of irresponsibility to go around here -- WND, for publishing Kahlili's ravings in the first place without any apparent fact-checking; the Guardian Express, for stealing  WND's content (not that WND is any less guilty on that count); and the Daily Beast, for confusing a rinky-dink website in Las Vegas with a major British newspaper.

Posted by Terry K. at 4:42 PM EDT
David Limbaugh Repeats Discredited Claim About Military Blocking Church Website
Topic: WorldNetDaily

David Limbaugh wrote in his April 25 WorldNetDaily column:

America’s political and cultural left is, step by step, demonizing and marginalizing Christians and Christian values, to the point that even the congenitally apathetic should be concerned.

Fox News’ Todd Starnes reports that the U.S. military has blocked access to the Southern Baptist Convention’s website on an undetermined number of military bases because it supposedly includes “hostile content.”

Just one little problem: It's not true.

The Tennessean reports that the reason the SBC website was blocked was because military software filters had detected potentially harmful malware on the site, and that the site was unblocked after the malware was removed.

Will Limbaugh correct his column and tell his readers the truth? Don't count on it.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:25 PM EDT
NEW ARTICLE: Beyond Belief in Boston
Topic: WorldNetDaily
What does it say about WorldNetDaily that its chief sources on the Boston bombings are the discredited Reza Kahlili, Walid Shoebat, and Steve Emerson? And that WND is defending Erik Rush's anti-Muslim tweets? Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 10:06 AM EDT
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
DID CNS Spend Only One Day Covering Gosnell Trial In Person?

We've detailed how the Media Research Center has been haranguing other media outlets to cover the trial of Kermit Gosnell while not sending its own reporter to cover the trial until weeks after it began. But it appears the one day a reporter from the MRC-operated attended the trial may be the only day an MRC employee was there.

Gosnell's trial began in Philadelphia on March 18. MRC writer Matt Philbin indicated to ConWebWatch that the first day  an MRC attended the trial in person was April 17, as described in an April MRC Culture & Media Center item. That day, a CNS article by Elizabeth Harrington ablout the trial carried a Philadelphia dateline, an indicator that she was there.

But Harrington had not covered the Gosnell trial before that article, and all of her subsequent articles on the trial (including two published on April 18) carry no datelines, which indicates that she is apparently covering the trial from the MRC's offices in Alexandria, Va., not from Phihladelphia.

Indeed, Harrington managed to find time away from her Gosnell coverage to write up an April 23 article complaining that the government "is spending $152,000 to study 'voice therapy' for transgenders." That follows in Harrington's obsession with portraying the government as wasting money to benefit gays.

You'd think that an organization with a $12 million budget could afford to send someone to drive 2 1/2 hours away, give them a laptop and put them up in a motel room to cover a trial that it has deem so important. But apparently not.

On top of being cheap, it's hypocritical. The MRC has been screaming that the Gosnell trial is so important that it demands national coverage, but it couldn't be bothered to send its own reporter to cover it in person for more day? Puh-leeze.

The MRC did not respond to a query from ConWebWatch about how many days an MRC employee covered the Gosnell trial in Philadelphia.

UPDATE: Harrington has responded, saying that she has been covering the trial from Philadelphia since April 17.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:35 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, April 30, 2013 4:31 PM EDT
WND Rehashes Anti-Planned Parenthood Propaganda
Topic: WorldNetDaily

An April 28 WorldNetDaily article by Dave Tombers is basically a regurgitation of American Life League's anti-Planned Parenthood jihad, framed around the New York Times' rejection of an ALL ad designed to smear Planned Parenthood.

Tombers uncritically repeats ALL's assertion that the ad, which purports to show "the methods Planned Parenthood uses to target young kids," was rejectedas "'too graphic' and 'shocking' for their adult readers," ignoring the common-sense fact that graphic images have a place in sex education but not in a general-circulation newspaper.

Tombers also uncritically repeats the wildly hateful anti-PP rhetoric from ALL and its president, Judie Brown:

“Parents tax dollars are being used to turn their own children into Planned Parenthood’s future sex customers,” says Brown. “Their abortion business is based on exploiting young minds and filling those minds with all manner of sex instruction.

“It is a grisly trail, but it leads from sex instruction to contraception to abortion when contraception fails,” she says. “That is the Planned Parenthood recipe, and the media likes it.”


“For the past 40 years we have faced a media hostile to telling the truth about Planned Parenthood and specifically about the manner in which they literally rape the minds of our children,” Brown told WND.

Tombers made very little effort to fact-check anything he regurgitated from ALL; at the bottom of his article is the brief note "Messages to the New York Times for comment were not returned."

Posted by Terry K. at 2:38 PM EDT
MRC Upset CNN Described Historic Event As Historic
Topic: NewsBusters

Matt Hadro devotes an April 29 NewsBusters post to complaining that "After NBA player Jason Collins came out as gay on Monday, CNN hyped the announcement as a 'bombshell,' a 'big deal,' and one for the 'history books.'" Hadro didn't explain why Collins' coming out is not historic.

Hadro also complained that "CNN's open support of gay rights advocates is no secret, as it has already picked sides in the gay rights debate." But Hadro's main job at the Media Research Center is to be upset every time a gay person is not disparaged on CNN, so he would say something like that.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:14 PM EDT
WND Peddles False Welfare Attack
Topic: WorldNetDaily

An unbylined April 27 WorldNetDaily article uncritically repeats a claimfrom the right-wing Judicial Watch that "the U.S. Department of Agriculture is working with the Mexican government to promote the U.S. food stamp program to illegal aliens." The article goes on to quote Judicial Watch head Tom Fitton asserting, "The revelation that the USDA is actively working with the Mexican government to promote food stamps for illegal aliens should have a direct impact on the fact of the immigration bill now being debated in Congress."

But what Judicial Watch is claiming is false. The program being referred to was begun under the Bush administration, and only legal immigrants who have been in the U.S. for at least five years are eliginble for it.

A little simple fact-checking would have proven this story false, but that's not what WND does -- if a false story hurts the Obama administration more and the truth can be ignored, WND will go with the falsehood.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:44 AM EDT
Monday, April 29, 2013
Newsmax Takes Obama Joke A Little Too Seriously
Topic: Newsmax

Paul Scicchitano and Todd Beamon take a joke by President Obama at the White House Correspondents Dinner a little too seriously in an April 28 Newsmax article:

It may have been the first time President Barack Obama acknowledged what must have been a painful truth in front of an audience of millions.

“How do you like my new entrance music?” the president said gleefully after making his way to the podium of the Washington Correspondents’ Association gala on Saturday with rap music thumping in the background.

“Rush Limbaugh warned you about this — Second term baby,” he conceded to a wave of laughter.

Scicchitano and Beamon ultimately concede that "it was all good fun in an annual tradition that brings Hollywood to the Potomac and humbles not only the opposition, but also the jokester in chief in what can best be described as a uniquely American political experience."

Posted by Terry K. at 3:16 PM EDT
Obama Derangement Syndrome, Larry Klayman Division
Topic: WorldNetDaily

We hardly know where to begin with Larry Klayman's April 26 WorldNetDaily column -- all of it's pretty insane. But here are a few highlights:

In sum, Obama is actually in practice and in his “heart” a Muslim “turned inside out.” As president of the United States and leader of the free world, he is thus potentially even more dangerous than al-Qaida, Hamas, Hezbollah, the mullahs in Tehran, or any terrorist group or nation state, combined. That is why I have not lightly labeled him “our” “Mullah in Chief.”

Note to Klayman: Putting things in scare quotes doesn't make them any less libelous. Also: Really? Obama is "more dangerous than al-Qaida, Hamas, Hezbollah, the mullahs in Tehran, or any terrorist group or nation state, combined"?

Klayman also clings to his utterly baseless theory that Muslims blew up that Texas fertilizer plant:

Given that former President George W. Bush is perhaps the most hated man in “Obama’s Muslim world” of the Middle East, and among mosques here in the United States, and that West, Texas, where “W” grew up is only 30 miles as the crow flies from his Crawford ranch, how is it that even the possibility of Muslim terrorism was again not raised? Indeed, during yesterday’s dedication of the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum, “W” remarked about this closeness to his ranch in Crawford, Texas, where one must have surely felt the massive explosion. And, the explosion at the fertilizer plant in West, Texas, comes on top of the proximity in time to the Muslim terrorist bombings in Boston.

Couple this with the historic fact that fertilizer bombs are widely used in the Middle East and have also been used here in the United States by Muslim terrorists, and Obama’s silence becomes even more deafening and frightening.

As one commenter points out, Bush did not grow up in West, Texas. And if Muslims blew up the fertilizer plant to send a message to Bush, 30 miles is still pretty far away. Why wouldn't they have picked a location closer to the ranch, or the ranch itself?

Those are the kinds of questions that further demonstrate how Klayman is a failed lawyer.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:22 PM EDT
NewsBusters Decides: Only Positive Things Should Be Reported About Bush
Topic: NewsBusters

Apparently, the media was not supposed to say anything bad about President Bush on the occasion of his presidential library dedication -- the folks at NewsBusters had a fit any time the media strayed from being less than fawningly positive.

Jeffrey Meyer set the narrative: "Previewing the opening of the George W. Bush Presidential Library on Thursday, rather than positively reflect on the legacy of the Bush presidency, MSNBC unsurprisingly chose to mock and minimize his eight years in office." In short, no criticism of Bush was going to be tolerated (like it ever has been at the MRC).

Kyle Drennen complained that "On the eve of the dedication of George W. Bush's presidential library, NBC's Meet the Press moderator David Gregory appeared on Wednesday's Nightly News to tear down the former president's legacy, beginning the report by remarking that it was 'difficult to remember' Bush's popularity after the September 11th attacks."

Paul Bremmer huffed about "the media’s rampant anti-Bush attitude" and how an ABC reporter unleashed "an onslaught of negative questioning" about Bush to Karl Rove. Bremmer added:

What’s more, President Bush’s reputation is already on the mend. A recent ABC News / Washington Post poll showed that Bush’s job approval rating has risen from 33 percent when he left office to 47 percent now. So if anything, the “early indication” is that history may end up being kinder to President Bush than many of today’s commentators are.

Bremmer seems to have overlooked the fact that Bush has not been president for four years, so perhaps that "job approval rating" is an expression of approval that he wasn't doing it.

Tim Graham also got in on the act, asserting that the Bush Library dedication should have only been about "dignity":

One might think the opening of George W. Bush’s presidential library in Dallas was an occasion for dignity. But Bill Clinton didn’t think so. On CNN yesterday, Jake Tapper asked former Bush chief of staff Andy Card about “an interesting moment” in Clinton’s remarks.

What's so dignified about demanding that only positive things be reported about Bush?

Posted by Terry K. at 11:40 AM EDT
WND Is Still Whitewashing Scott Lively's Anti-Gay Activity
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily has long been an apologist for anti-gay activist Scott Lively, pretending he really doesn't viciously despise gays. That includes whitewashing the facts about the lawsuit filed against him by Sexual Minorities Uganda accusing Lively of fostering an atmosphere that led to the creation of a proposed law in Uganda that would permit the death penalty for mere homosexuality.

WND keeps up the whitewashing in an unbylined April 17 article that again uncritically repeats Lively's defense against the lawsuit while misrepresenting the claims SMUG has made.

The unknown WND writer claimed that "SMUG alleged Lively criticized homosexuality and that constituted 'crimes against humanity' in violation of 'international law' and his speech must be punished." In response, according to WND, Lively's attorneys at the right-wing Liberty Counsel "explained that SMUG would allow people to express an opinion against homosexuality, but they would not be allowed to take any action."

But the issue is not Lively merely having "criticized homosexuality." As SMUG's response to Lively's request to dismiss the lawsuit states, Lively, "through his coordinated campaign tosilence, criminalize and eradicate the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex ('LGBTI') community in Uganda, who violates fundamental constitutional and human rights norms, bydenying to this group one of the most sublime benefits of free and equal speech – the right tochange people’s minds."

SMUG's response also points out that Lively's defense is disingenuous in portraying Lively as an ordinary citizen merely expressing his personal opinion:

Far from merely contributing fairly and honestly to the marketplace of ideas, Defendant has actively sought to implement a concrete and coordinated strategy via real legislation, policy and practice to deprive LGBTI persons of their elementary human right to equal coexistence. His protestations are also ironic in light of his leadership role in implementing this long-term, multi-faceted strategy to criminalize the expression of viewpoints because they are contrary to his own, and to strive for a regime of de jure or de facto forms of discrimination and oppression of a disfavored group.

Further, according to SMUG, Lively is on record denouncing homosexuality as "'evil,' pedophilic, fascist, genocidal and as a 'highly organized army," continuing: "These theories are not merely the ravings of an idiosyncratic editorialist – they are deployed specifically as part of a broader campaign to repress LGBTI persons – a central premise in his push for concrete mechanisms to deprive LGBTI persons of their right to equality and equal expression.

Unsurprisingly, WND mentions none of this. Also unmentioned by WND is Lively's relationship with Martin Ssempa, who has played a key role in whipping up anti-gay sentiment in Uganda and a supporter of the proposed "kill the gays" law. Lively considers Ssempa a friend -- so much so that Ssempa delivered a letter from Lively to the Ugandan parliament. In that letter, ironically, Lively makes clear that he opposes the capital punishment provision of the bill not out of personal beliefs but because it will make Uganda look bad: "Advocating the 'death penalty' for 'mere' sexual crimes evokes such a severe negative reaction in most Western nations that all other aspects of the law, and the rationale for drafting it is ignored, and very 'gay' movement we seek to oppose is strengthened by public sympathy they would not otherwise enjoy."

WND, of course, won't tell you that either -- it would rather have you buy a copy of Lively's discredited anti-gay screed "The Pink Swastika," a link to which WND helpfully embeds in the article.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:03 AM EDT
Sunday, April 28, 2013
CNS Calls Floyd Corkins -- But Not Scott Roeder -- A 'Domestic Terrorist'

An April 25 article by Fred Lucas asserts that Floyd Corkins, who has pleaded guilty to shooting a security guard at the Family Research Council headquarters, is a "domestic terrorist" who "found the Family Research Council as a target because they were listed online as an 'anti-gay' group by the Southern Poverty Law Center."

That's a change of pace from how CNS treated another domestic terrorist -- Scott Roeder, an anti-abortion zealot who murdered abortion doctor George Tiller during a Sunday church service in 2009.

As we noted at the time, CNS labored intensely to disassociate Roeder from the "mainstream"  anti-abortion movement. CNS also played down Roeder's ties to the anti-abortion group Operation Rescue, which were much stronger than those of Corkins to the SPLC. (The father of Brent Bozell, leader of CNS parent Media Research Center, led an early anti-abortion crusade of the kind that Operation Rescue would become known for.)

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.

So why won't CNS portray Roeder as the domestic terrorist that he is? Perhaps because he was doing what Brent Bozell and Co. secretly wanted to do to Tiller.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:15 PM EDT

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