It's been busy on the gun front at WorldNetDaily lately.
Media Matters reports that the person who offered a resolution at the National Rifle Association expressing opposition to any and all additional restrictions against guns was none other than WND gun columnist Jeff Knox. That would be the same guy who has suggested that Tim McVeigh was set up in the Oklahoma City bombing.
Meanwhile, the Southern Poverty Law Center reports on one Caleb Lee, who sells what he claims is information on how to build a completely untraceable AR-15 assault rifle. One of the outlets Lee has used to market his stuff is, yes, WND. The plans are sold behind web ads like this (which we copied right off WND):
That takes you to Lee's website, which loads a several-minute-long video that's difficultto stop and impossible to rewind, that begins by announcing that the speaker will be put on an "American citizen kill list" by "Obama and his cronies" for dispensing the info that fills the rest of the video.
As the SPLC reports, the information Lee charges $27 for is available elsewhere on the Internet for free, and what potentially useful advice he offers is on the dangerous side. Also, Lee has a documented history of running scams.
This is the caliber (pun sort of intended) of advertiser WND has these days.
Telling the Truth Got Us Banned From NewsBusters Topic: NewsBusters
What's a good way to get yourself kicked out of the NewsBusters comment thread? Tell the truth.
On May 3, Matthew Sheffield wrote a NewsBusters post headlined "Top Magazine Award Given for Fraudulently Edited ‘47 Percent’ Video." Shortly thereafter, the headline was rewritten without explanation to change "Fraudulently Edited" to "Journalistically Questionable." Here's a screenshot from a Google search for the original headline to prove that it did indeed exist, however briefly:
We pointed out the headline change in a comment on the post, which was quickly deleted without explanation.
Sheffield's post criticized the awarding of a magazine award to Mother Jones magazine for its release of the surreptitiously recorded Mitt Romney "47 percent" video. Sheffield claimed that Mother Jones showed "dishonesty" in claiming he had posted the entire video when there was an approximate 2-minute gap due to the recorder being inadvertently turned off. Sheffield then recounted an unproven right-wing conspiracy theory that "the gap in the recording was made during post-production." Sheffield concluded that "In light of all of the above information, it is quite clear that David Corn and Mother Jones should not be given an award for their release of the Romney 47 percent video."
But right-wing videographers have a much deeper -- and documented -- history of selectively editing videos:
James O'Keefe has a history of promoting false claims through his selectively edited undercover videos.
Lila Rose's anti-Planned Parenthood campaign is littered with selectively edited videos that suggest claims not supported by the full video (which, of course, is released some time afterwards).
When we pointed this on in the comment thread, our comments were deleted shortly afterwards. When we asked why our comments were being deleted, we were locked out of the thread, and that comment was deleted as well. See all those "This comment was deleted" statements? Those were ours.
To our knowledge, we did not violate NewsBusters commenting guidelines, nor did we engage in abusive or trolling behavior. There may be, however, some double-secret guidelines prohibiting any criticism or truth-telling about conservatives -- and that's where we may have gotten into trouble.
We've contacted NewsBusters for an explantion but have not received any response. But given that the Media Research Center's primemission the past couple years has been to shout down or censor any criticism of a conservative in the media, no matter how accurate, that may be all the explanation we'll get.
Censoring someone for telling the truth runs counter to the MRC's campaign of attacking others for alleged censorship. Such blatant hypocrisy hurts the MRC's credibility as well, but since when has it been worried about that?
Corsi Still A Birther, Upset He's Been 'Marginalized And Discredited' Topic: WorldNetDaily
Last month, WorldNetDaily's Jerome Corsi appeared on a right-wing radio show ("The Tea Party Power Hour") where he lamented that everything he's written about Obama's "eligibility" had no impact on the election. He also says that the birther issue is "politically a dead horse," and whines that he’s been "completely marginalized and discredited."
Good News On Unemployment Is Bad News at CNS Topic: CNSNews.com
The decrease in unemployment to 7.5 percent -- the lowest rate in four years -- and creation of 164,000 jobs in April was good news everywhere, but you wouldn't know it by reading CNSNews.com.
A May 3 CNS article by Elizabeth Harrington insisted that "overall unemployment remained largely unchanged in April at 7.5 percent" and did not mention that it was the lowest rate in four years. Instead, the thrust of her article was that the unemployment rate for government workers dropped.
And even that's a dishonest claim -- public-sector jobs have been on a steady decline since 2008.
A separate story by Harrington focused on the claim that there were "33,000 more 'discouraged workers' in April " and made no mention whatsoever of the lowered unemployment rate or jobs created.
Such skewed reporting -- which is the sum total of CNS' take on the unemployment numbers -- appears to be part of CNS' anti-Obama agenda, in which it's forbidden to say anything positive about the Obama administration, even when there's positive news to report.
For example, America throws away hundreds of billions annually to people who are functionally illiterate, people who can’t put two sentences together without saying, “uuuhhh,” “aaahhh,” “you know” or excessive stuttering. For bouncing a basketball, throwing a football, hitting a baseball or kicking a soccer ball, America, with Nazi-like efficiency, will search out the worst ghettos and barrios, traverse the deepest, darkest jungles of Africa, South America, Cuba, Haiti, the Caribbean Islands, and promise the world to a black mother while sitting in her living room trying to convince her and her fatherless son that playing basketball for the University of X will guarantee a life of fame and riches.
Come on, America! Without the NBA, Shaquille O’Neill would just be a 7-foot-1, 376-lb buffoon, a janitor who thinks he is a rapper.
-- Ellis Washington, April 26 WorldNetDaily column
MRC Touts Fox's Benghazi Whistleblower, Ignores How He's Been Discredited Topic: Media Research Center
Scott Whitlock wrote in a May 1 Medias Research Center item:
All three network newscasts on Monday and Tuesday ignored the shocking assertions made by a whistleblower who told Fox News that special forces could have responded to the 2012 terrorist attack on Benghazi. He also claimed that the United States knows who perpetrated last year's assault on the U.S. embassy.
MRC chief Brent Bozell similarly complained on Fox News that Fox's whistleblower was being ignored, adding, "This man is disguising his face out of fear. What does that tell you?These are all stories that could be reported."
But so far, neither Whitlock, Bozell nor anyone else at the MRC has mentioned how the anonymous whistleblower's story has been discredited.
National security journalist Thomas Ricks reports that experts he has talked to question the veracity of Fox's source, adding, "What he offers is pure speculation and not based on any real facts as I have heard and appears to be coming from his fourth point of contact. He comes across as just another conspiracy theorist who is taking Fox News for a ride." And Media Matters has detailed five claims that are contradicted by more authoritative reporting.
The MRC loves to complain that the media is "censoring" whatever right-wing talking point they want to get wider coverage, but by their own definition, they are censoring the truth about Fox News' Benghazi "whistleblower." Ironic, doncha think?
Aaron Klein Guilt-By-Association Smear Watch Topic: WorldNetDaily
Under the headline "Obama's czar pick snagged in Castro love fest," Aaron Klein writes in a May 2 WorldNetDaily article:
President Barack Obama’s nominee to head the Federal Housing Finance Agency went on a trip to Cuba in 2009 aimed at opening relations with the communist nation, WND has learned.
According to the Cuban media, Rep. Melvin Watt, D-N.C., along with his wife, was part of a delegation of five other lawmakers from the Congressional Black Caucus who held a four-and-a-half hour meeting in April 2009 with Cuban President Raul Castro, Fidel Castro’s brother.
The delegation was headed by Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif.
Politico reported Lee and others heaped praise on Castro, calling him warm and receptive during their discussion.
Notice what's missing? Any evidence that Watt himself issued any praise of Castro. Klein can't back up his claim of a "Castro love fest" from Watt.
CNS Doesn't Think Government Money Should Be Used to Help Transgenders Topic: CNSNews.com
One of the messages of CNSNews.com 's obsession with documenting supposedly wasteful government spending is that money used to help the LGBT community is inherently wasteful. In March, we noted, CNS complained that government money was being spent to study lesbian health issues.
CNS is now targeting the transgendered:
An April 23 article by Elizabeth Harrington lamented that the government "is spending $152,000 to study 'voice therapy' for transgenders."
A May 1 article by Fred Lucas groused that "The federal government is spending $355,825 in taxpayer dollars to develop a “culturally relevant stigma-reducing intervention” program for the transgender population in India."
Lucas noted that one question he asked the National Institutes of Health regarding this expenditure was, "Since this study focuses on India, what is the benefit to the U.S.? Why is it worthwhile to U.S. taxpayers?" We wonder if Lucas feels the same way about the Bush administration spending billions of dollars combating AIDS in Africa, something even non-conservatives have praised him for.
Erik Rush's Lie: 'I Have No Wish To Persecute Muslims' Topic: WorldNetDaily
Discussing "the obvious antipathy Muslims hold for America" in his May 1 WorldNetDaily column, Erik Rush writes:
I’ve had a crash course in this phenomenon, so to speak, having made a controversial comment online concerning Muslims on the day the bombing occurred. Muslims and many sympathetic (read “deluded”) Americans took great offense. What I find interesting is the fact that out of the tens of thousands of death threats, hate tweets, emails and so forth, not one person wrote to tell me that they were Muslim, but love America, and condemn Islamist terrorism.
Notice that Rush doesn't say what that "controversial comment" was. As we've documented, it was his expressed desire to kill all Muslims, and his after-the-fact declaration that his death threat was merely "sarcasm." That puts the "death threats, hate tweets, emails and so forth" in a little more context, doesn't it?
Then, later in the column, Rush writes: "I have no wish to persecute Muslims." Apparently wanting to kill them all does not qualify as persecution in Rush's twisted, hateful little brain.
The networks adore hidden-camera stories when the targets are conservative. Last September, they gave 88 minutes when Mother Jones reporting Mitt Romney was secretly recorded dismissing the "47 percent" that would never vote for him, which probably cost him the election.
When Mother Jones recently leaked video of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's team talking about the vulnerabilities of actress Ashley Judd as a Democratic opponent, ABC and NBC reported it in the evening and then again the next morning, with CBS just catching up in the morning. ABC's Jim Avila said the Republican leader's "private and politically embarrassing strategy session" showed a "cutthroat attack on a Hollywood opponent."
Undercover videos by conservatives? Those don't deserve the light of day. When Live Action exposed Planned Parenthood clinics in New Jersey and Virginia in 2011, with its clinic staff advising a "pimp" on how to evade the law with underage prostitutes, these three networks simply pretended the tapes didn't exist. When James O'Keefe and his activists exposed the leftist pro-Obama group ACORN with hidden cameras in 2009, the networks waited for days to touch it and then aired just one solitary story (ABC, CBS) or three (NBC) once Congress moved to defund them. But Mother Jones is somehow a non-ideological outfit of journalistic integrity.
Bozell apparently doesn't seem to understand the difference between the two. The Romney and McConnell videos simply involved secretly letting a recording device roll while the speakers said what they would have said whether a camera was there or not.
The ACORN videos were perpetrated by right-wing activists who used deceptive editing to portray ACORN workers in the worst light possible with the goal of destroying the organization. Indeeed, lead perpetrator James O'Keefe agreed to pay one former ACORN employee $100,000 to settle a defamation lawsuit.
As far as the Lila Rose "pimp" sting went -- which also involved deception and possibly entrapment and a right-wing activist motivated to destroy the organization she's targeting -- there was no there there because Rose covered up the fact that Planned Parenthood reported reported to the FBI a "potential multistate sex trafficking ring" after Rose's visit.
The Romney and McConnell videos involve no deception; the Live Action and ACORN videos involved such deception to the point that what the selectively edited videos portray cannot be trusted, and further investigation tends to reveal that the facts are not what those videos portray.
But since Bozell wants those organizations destroyed, he doesn't care about the facts -- odd for someone who runs a "media research" organization.
The comments included during a recent press conference, when “the press noted his unusual glum mood” and Obama wisecracked, “If you put it that way, maybe I should just pack up and go home.”
Wrote Hodges, “His super-intel sees the real issue of his illegal presidency and what he should do – leave office. Obama’s true moral compass cannot stop holding himself accountable even if Congress won’t. In fact, he directed further comments at them.”
Hodges explained that Obama told the press about members of Congress: “They’re elected. Members of Congress are elected in order to do what’s right for their constituencies and the American people.”
At that point, Obama said Congress “should be thinking about what is going to happen five years from now, 10 years from now, or 15 years from now. The only way to do that is for them to engage with me on coming up with a broader deal and that’s exactly what I’m trying to do.”
The WND article, by Bob Unruh, includes what appears to be the only person who vouches for Hodges' projections, and he got that from Hodges' own website:
On Hodges’ website, Steven A. Egger, associate professor of criminology at the University of Houston, Clear Lake, has written that Hodges’ technique is “becoming the cutting edge of forensic science.”
“Dr. Hodges’ investigation of forensic documents in the Natalee Holloway case indicates that his ‘thoughtprint decoding method’ and ‘reading between the lines’ is, in fact, becoming a major contribution to law enforcement tools used by criminal investigators,” wrote Egger.
Needless to say, Unruh makes no effort whatsoever to obtaining an independent opinion of Hodges' methods, which we've noted are less about rigorous scientific methods and more about projecting his own hatred of Obama and/or throwing red meat to the rubes who hate Obama as much as he does.
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.
What has WorldNetDaily's favorite race-baiter, ColinFlaherty, 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.
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.
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.