AIM's Unhappy Its Benghazi Kangaroo Court Was Mocked Topic: Accuracy in Media
Roger Aronoff devotes a Sept. 19 Accuracy in Media column to complaining about how the Washington Post's Dana Milbank mocked AIM's "Citizens' Commission on Benghazi." Aronoff does his best to bolster the panel's alleged credibility:
Now take a look at the biographies of the people on the Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi, people who Milbank delights in belittling: people like Clare Lopez, a long-time CIA officer. The commission also includes people like Admiral James Lyons (Ret.) and Retired Generals Tom McInerney and Paul Vallely. There are 13 of us altogether, including 12 who were either top CIA agents, or high-ranking military officers, collectively with hundreds of years of service to the security of this country.
And as we've documented, McInerney and Vallely are birthers, two of at least four birthers on AIM's panel. Lyons, meanwhile, is a conspiracy-monger who claims that the scandal involving an extramarital affair by David Petraeus was a cover for Benghazi. Most of the rest are either anti-Muslim, anti-Obama or both.
In short, hardly an objective panel. But Aronoff desperately wants you to believe otherwise.
And so does Cliff Kincaid, who uses his Sept. 20 AIM column to highlight how "speakers" at the "Citizens' Commission" kickoff "said that the scandal could implicate the President in illegal operations that are international in scope." That's a statement show that the panel expects to put partisan attacks on Obama ahead of any actual fact-finding.
NewsBusters' Sheppard Runs Anti-Semitic Image -- Again Topic: NewsBusters
Last year, NewsBusters associate editor Noel Sheppard was forced to apologize for using an anti-Semitic image of President Obama in a post he wrote (shown at right). Sheppard's apology stated that "the original article included a doctored picture of Obama and others that turned out to have anti-Semitic imagery that I didn't notice when I incorporated it into the piece. Those familiar with my work know that's not something I would intentionally do. I apologize to anyone with better eyes than I have that noticed the imagery and was in any way offended."
Well, Sheppard has managed to do it again -- with the exact same image.
Media Matters once again caught Sheppard using the very same image -- which shows Obama with a Star of David-patterned tie and an Israeli flag lapel pin, as well as former Sen. Joe Lieberman with a Israeli flag-themed tie -- in a Sept. 21 NewsBusters post.
The image has since been removed from Sheppard's post, but no apology was offered even though Sheppard has previously called the offending image anti-Semitic.
Sheppard's new use of the image is inexcusable, and it calls into question his earlier claim that his earlier use was unintentional and the result of not having better eyes. And the lack of an apology for using it is just as disturbing given NewsBusters' profuse apology last time.
The Birther Blackout Continues At WND Topic: WorldNetDaily
Joseph Farah writes in his Sept. 18 WorldNetDaily column:
But there’s a lesson to be learned here for those who prefer the truth to actions based on lies: Some unscrupulous people will twist and distort reality to achieve their objectives. In fact, some will do anything to get their way politically. They will use any means necessary – including, but not limited to, total fabrication.
Farah is writing about coverage of Matthew Shepard -- which he's wrong about, and which we'll cover in another post -- but he might has well be talking about himself and the website he runs regarding President Obama's "eligibility."
We've documented how WND has utterly refused to report facts that debunk its birther conspiracy theories -- the very definition of unscrupulous behavior. And WND has kept quiet about the most recent piece of evidence that utterly destroys its work over the past several years.
In June, the blog Native and Natural Born Citizenship Explored demonstrated how the layers birthers found in the PDF image of Obama's long-form birth certificate-- which they claim are evidence that the document is a fake -- were replicated by scanning the document normally into a Xerox Workcentre 7655 multifunction printer.
Not only has WND failed to report this development, the Obama Conspiracy Theories blog notesthat Sheriff Joe Arpaio's Cold Case Posse has been silent about it as well.
Farah goes on to write:
Once truth is no longer important, people are incapable of governing themselves effectively. They become irrational. They make decisions based purely on emotional reactions unconnected with reality.
Is there any more persuasive evidence of irrational behavior unconnected with reality than WND's birther obsession, where the truth is no longer important, if it ever was?
At NewsBusters, Matt Hadro rushes to defend the Catholic League's Bill Donohue from less-than-fawning interview on CNN:
CNN's Chris Cuomo turned a discussion on Pope Francis' recent interview into an ugly personal attack and sharp lecture of his guest, the Catholic League's Bill Donohue, on Friday's New Day.
The fracas began when Cuomo lectured Donohue on the Pope's statement that the ultimate focus of the church is "salvation" and not one particular moral issue. He said "it really sounds like you're one of the people [Francis] is sending this message to, to be fair, Mr. Donohue, isn't it?" Cuomo clearly had a bone to pick with his guest. [Video below the break. Audio here.]
"I mean, you have bashed on these issues for years and years, most infamously recently saying that the church had a homosexual problem, not a pedophile problem. I mean really incendiary, flagrant, divisive stuff," Cuomo continued.
Hadro didn't mention that Donohue's remarks about homosexuality and pedophilia are not just "incendiary, flagrant, divisive," they are completely wrong. Experts -- including those who worked on a study of sexual abuse in the Catholic church that Donohue has previously touted -- agree that homosexual acts do not necessarily correlate to a homosexual identity, and that same-sex pedophilia does equal homosexuality.
Hadro then huffed that "Cuomo repeatedly drew from Donohue's past statements in an effort to attack him for being so controversial. He did no service to any CNN viewers who were hoping to gain insight on Pope Francis' words." But Hadro doesn't explain why Donohue shouldn't be held accountable for his inflammatory rhetoric.
One reason for that also went undisclosed by Hadro -- his boss, Brent Bozell, is on the board of advisers for the Catholic League. That's a clear conflict of interest that should have been disclosed.
And for someone who purports to abhor "ugly personal attacks," Hadro sure didn't hesitate to engage in one against Cuomo's family:
Cuomo's brother Andrew is the Democratic Governor of New York who supports abortion rights, pushed for gay marriage, and lived with an divorced woman while he himself was divorced. All of the above are serious violations of church teaching and are public scandals.
A lot could happen between now and the time Obama secures the green light to attack Syria from Congress. Could this be part of the reason for Obama determining to seek congressional approval after all? For example: There have been reports of the Muslim Brotherhood’s displeasure with Obama in light of former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi being deposed; perhaps they expected more, shall we say, support from Obama in preventing Morsi’s ouster. Perhaps the recent reports coming out of Egypt identifying Obama as a card-carrying member of the Muslim Brotherhood are a thinly veiled threat.
On many fronts, the Obama/GOP quisling faction has launched a general offensive against the constitution and self-government of the American people. Any precedent that confirms the false notion that the president of the United States has unchecked unilateral power to keep the nation perpetually involved in military conflict must be regarded as part of that offensive.
The Senate now plans to vote to authorize Barack Obama to use U.S. military force in Syria on Wednesday. That is, Sept. 11. Surely G-d is a comedian playing to an audience with no sense of humor. The perverse horror.
Along with everything else, things only got worse once Obama was elected. He not only went on a barnstorming tour of the Middle East, pretty much adding his voice to the chorus of mullahs condemning us as the Big Satan; he went to Cairo and delivered a speech that appeased our enemies and confounded our allies. He even went so far as to state that Muslims had played a major role in the creation of our nation, only stopping short of mentioning the unforgettable contributions of Muhammad Washington, Abdullah Jefferson and Osama bin Hamilton.
It only took him another four years before he deigned to visit Israel, and even that came only after he voiced strong objections to Israel erecting apartment houses in their own country and parroting Islamic demands that they draw back to pre-1967 borders.
Like Clinton, Obama is trying to wag the dog. For now, he has been forced to embrace the plan for Syria put forth by Russian President Vladmir Putin. But make no mistake. Obama is not happy about it because he needs a little war.
What the president is doing is hoping the Syrian bombing debacle fades into the sunset so that he doesn’t have to make a decision. He’s hoping the whole thing will fall off the front pages and that the next three years pass by as quickly as possible so that he can hop on the $200,000-a-speech circuit.
Take his proposed itsy-bitsy war on Syria, for instance.
What was this all about?
It was about doing the bidding of Saudi Arabia. It was about turning the U.S. military into the regional police force of unscrupulous Wahhabi oil sheikhs who have the money but not the guts to do their own fighting.
And I strongly believe it had another motivation that was even more immoral. It was a wag-the-dog war effort to distract the American public and Congress from a slew of Obama scandals that have dropped from the headlines and the agendas of congressional investigators. In that sense, even Obama’s failed attempt to go to war with a nation that poses no national security threat to the U.S. accomplished its objective.
MRC Still Thinks Pravda Is A 'Communist Newspaper' Topic: Media Research Center
Scott Whitlock complains in a Sept. 19 Media Research Center item that "The three networks on Thursday morning allowed a scant 65 seconds to Senator John McCain's "blistering" op-ed published in the communist newspaper Pravda, featuring a call for freedom and tolerance in Russia."
Unfortunately for Whitlock and McCain, that's not what Pravda is these days. Dave Weigel explains:
Pravda, the Communist Party organ, was shut down briefly during the fall of Communism but now exists as a paper that publishes in a vastly reduced form. Pravda.ru is a spinoff founded by journalists who used to work for the paper, and it's basically Russia's version of World Net Daily.
So, as Hudson points out, Roberts is a 9/11 Truther who writes for Pravda.ru because it's got a famous name, and who else is going to run him? Pravda's editorial board, recently, has been assuring readers that the evidence of Syrian chemical weapons use is fake.
And so on like this -- click around and you pine for the glory days of Communist news. It's not a government site, but a sadder private venture that feeds off conspiracy theories about Americans.
We've previously caught various corners of the ConWeb endorsing a Pravda article by 1 9/11 truther who claims the world is about to enter another Ice Age. If it was ever a reputable publication in the days of Soviet Communism, it certainly isn't now.
Mychal Massie writes in his Sept. 16 WorldnetDaily column:
You want to know just how biased and disreputable the media are? Consider this past week.
Approximately 1.2 million, if not more, motorcyclists rode into Washington, D.C., to show respect and remembrance for those who were murdered by Muslim terrorists on Sept. 11, 2001. We’re talking a line of bikers 55 miles long and four bikes across. The deafening silence of the media pursuant to reporting on this epic show of determinism and patriotism is morally opprobrious even by the media’s own low standards.
The over 1 million motorcyclists were, in effect, the antimycin to the fungus of arrogance by Muslims who had planned to hold a march on Washington to protest how unfairly they are being treated in America. And to do so, they chose the day their own kind had murdered innocent Americans in 2001 and had murdered again in 2012.
Massie's count of motorcyclists in Washington is off by, oh, about a million. Newsreports cite only "thousands" of bikers taking part, and nobody can legitimately claim that more than a million took part. Massie's count -- he doesn't say from which oriface he pulled his number -- would have doubled the population of Washington and seriously snarled traffic.
As it so happens, in real life we commute to a job in downtown D.C. from the Washington suburbs, and we hardly noticed an increase in the number of motorcycles on the road, and rush-hour traffic was no worse than usual.
By contrast, the annual "Rolling Thunder" gathering brings approximately 500,000 bikers into Washington each Memorial Day weekend. If Massie wants to see what just half of the number of bikers he claimed attended the 9/11 event actually looks like, he can look here.
But he won't. The only person revealed to be "biased and disreputable" here is Massie.
CNS' Jeffrey Wants Boehner To Put His Religion Before Country Topic: CNSNews.com
Terry Jeffrey uses his Sept. 17 CNSNews.com column to rant yet again that Catholics are being forced to pay for "sterilizations, contraceptives and abortion-inducing drugs" under Obamacare. He goes farther than usual by declaring that if the provision stands, Obama "will have succeeded in outlawing the practice of Catholicism in the United States":
Let me repeat that: Obama will have outlawed the practice of Catholicism in the United States.
Yes, Catholics will still be allowed to receive the sacraments inside their churches — they will retain what Obama calls the "freedom of worship" — but they will not be able to legally practice their faith, as God requires them to, in the way they live their entire lives.
Catholics will be forced to defy the government or defy their faith and submit to the government's demand that they do what is morally wrong.
The proper response to this profoundly evil and un-American demand by Obama and his bureaucrats is: Never!
Jeffrey then went even further by demanding that House Republican Leader John Boehner put his religion before the country by supporting a bill allowing people to opt out of Obamacare on moral objections:
Since March, this writer has asked Boehner's spokesman Michael Steel on multiple occasions whether the speaker will follow through on Cardinal O'Malley's request and attach H.R. 940 to "must-pass" legislation. Steel has never directly answered.
Now the question is whether Boehner, a Catholic, will protect even his own religious liberty, let alone that of other Americans, against a direct and unambiguous attack by the Obama administration.
John F. Kennedy famously had to deny that he would put his Catholic faith before the good of the country. Jeffrey is insisting on the opposite.
WND's Latest Discredited Source on Syria Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily loves to hide behind unverifiable anonymous sources to attack President Obama and bolster thuggish regimes in Syria and Russia. But the very few named sources it uses -- i.e. Walid Shoebat and Larry Johnson -- lack credibility as well.
Another of these highly dubious sources shows up in an unbylined Sept. 11 WND article:
Everyone in Syria, but especially its Christian population, is endangered by the growing surge of violence and atrocities perpetrated by the rebels who are challenging President Bashar al-Assad, according to a Catholic nun who has served community members in Syria for more than two decades.
Mother Agnes Mariam el-Salib, the mother superior of St. James Monastery in Qara who previously has served as a source of information for WND, describes the horrors to which she was witness. One was the threat from Muslims that Christians of Maaloula would be beheaded if they did not convert to Islam.
In a question-and-answer interview with RT recently, she voiced doubt about the validity of rebel statements protesting the Aug. 21 gas attack near Damascus and expressed outrage at the “massacre” of civilians by members of Jabhat al-Nusra, the most influential of the rebel groups fighting Assad.
But Mother Agnes is simply not credible. The New York Times points out that she is "a Carmelite nun born in Lebanon who is frequently quoted in the Russian media, and by American critics of Islam, defending the Assad government." The Times goes on to deconstruct her claims:
Mother Agnes has not presented any concrete evidence on the attack and was not nearby when it was carried out. (Her monastery is north of Damascus, not near the site of the attack.) Instead, she has written a rambling, 50-page analysis of the video posted on opposition YouTube channels that contains nothing but speculation that some or all of it was staged.
It seems likely that the nun’s idiosyncratic study of the video evidence would have attracted little attention, but for the fact that she was subsequently presented as an expert witness to events by Russia Today, the Kremlin-owned news network that is promoted on the Russian foreign ministry’s Web site.
In an interview with RT two weeks ago, Mother Agnes said that she was convinced, based on her study of the footage posted online, “that the whole affair was a frame-up. It had been staged and prepared in advance with the goal of framing the Syrian government as the perpetrator.”
“The key evidence is that Reuters made these files public at 6:05 in the morning,” she continued. “The chemical attack is said to have been launched between 3 and 5 o’clock in the morning in Ghouta. How is it even possible to collect a dozen different pieces of footage, get more than 200 kids and 300 young people together in one place, give them first aid and interview them on camera, and all that in less than three hours? Is that realistic at all?”
However, a close look at what appears to be the early Reuters report Mother Agnes cited as evidence suggests that her suspicion was ill-founded. The report’s time stamp indicates that it was posted online on Aug. 21 at “6:05 a.m. EDT,” or Eastern Daylight Time, the time zone used in New York, which is seven hours behind Syria. That means that the report, based on video of the attack’s victims, appeared just after 1 p.m. in Syria that day — 10 hours, not 3, after the first video of the victims was posted online.
WND won't tell you any of this, of course -- like Mother Agnes, it too is on the side of Assad and Putin.
CNS Pushes False Claims About Navy Yard Shootings Topic: CNSNews.com
Matt Vespa writes in a Sept. 17 CNSNews.com blog post:
The Navy Yard shooting brings up the legitimate issue of carrying - and using - firearms on military installations.
Back in 1993, the Clinton administration virtually declared military establishments "gun-free zones." As a result, the policy banned "military personnel from carrying their own personal firearms and mandates that 'a credible and specific threat against [Department of the Army] personnel [exist] in that region" before military personnel 'may be authorized to carry firearms for personal protection."
In fact, Clinton had nothing to do with the policy Vespa cites. It was enacted by the Defense Department as the result of a directive issued under the George H.W. Bush administration. And if that policy really made the Navy Yard a virtual "gun-free zone," why were the first people Aaron Alexis assaulted armed security personnel?
Vespa also uncritically repeats a claim from dubious researcher John Lott that "every public shooting since at least 1950 in the U.S. in which more than three people have been killed has taken place where citizens are not allowed to carry guns." In fact, Mother Jones' database of mass shootings cites not a single case of a mass shooter choosing a target specifically because it was a gun-free zone, and Mayors Against Illegal Guns states that less than one-fourth of mass shootings occurred in public spaces that were so-called "gun-free zones."
Vespa's post was later updated to concede that gun regulations on military bases began under the first President Bush and that "There are two mass public shootings that have occurred in places that allowed concealed carry."
The correction laughably includes "We apologize for this omission." Don't believe it -- they are only apologizing for getting caught forwarding false claims, which could have avoided entirely had Vespa bothered to do actual research instead of repeating NRA-friendly talking points.
Michael Reagan Screws Up Median Household Income Attack Topic: Newsmax
Michael Reagan writes in a Sept. 18 Newsmax column:
When my father was president in 1989 the median household income was $51,681. In 2012 — 23 years later and five years into the current Age of Obama — the median household income is $51,017, which is $664 less.
But that figure understates the magnitude of the Obama administration’s economic failure. When we account for inflation during those 23 years the disparity is shocking. Using the handy calculator at westegg.com, we find that simply allowing for inflation, with no economic growth, the median household income would have to be $94,234 to equal what Americans were earning under my father, the man Schultz slanders as “Mr. Trickle-Down Economics.”
Looking at the numbers another way, the Obama median household income would only have the buying power of $27,612 in 1989 and that’s almost half of the Reagan economy total.
That would be concerning -- if any of it were true.
Reagan took his $51,681 figure from a newly released Census Bureau report. The chart it comes from states at the top that the income figures are in "2012 CPI-U-RS adjusted dollars." And the very first footnote in the report elaborates:
All income values are adjusted to reflect 2012 dollars. The adjustment is based on percentage changes in prices between 2012 and earlier years and is computed by dividing the annual average Consumer Price Index Research Series (CPI-U-RS) for 2012 by the annual average for earlier years.
In other words, Reagan adjusted a number that was already adjusted for inflation.
And as Media Matters points out, Reagan completely ignored the the fact that the 2012 number is a reversal of the recession-driven downward trend.
Because we don't trust Newsmax or Reagan to make an honest correction or apology, here's a screenshot of Reagan's botched column for posterity:
WND's Race-Baiters Weigh In on Navy Yard Shooting Topic: WorldNetDaily
A single comment by a friend of Navy Yard shooter Aaron Alexis that he allegedly "felt a lot of discrimination and racism with white people especially" was all WorldNetDaily needed to bring out its chief race-baiters to comment:
Colin Flaherty, who has documented hundreds of cases of black-on-white violence in recent years in his book “White Girl Bleed A Lot: The Return of Racial Violence to America and How the Media Ignore It,” said it’s not surprising that a facet such as antipathy over race would be overlooked or played down.
“Many people may remember Salon magazine’s famous pronouncement: ‘Let’s hope the Boston Marathon bomber is a white American,’” he said, “Strange how anyone in the reporting business would hope for anything except getting the story straight.”
Flaherty said regarding the Naval Yard shooting that “this kind of ‘hope’ turned a white officer on duty with a weapon into gun-toting suspect wearing camos, as was reported.”
“The press cannot help it: They constantly misreport or ignore anything to do with race and violence,” he said.
Investigative reporter and author Jack Cashill, whose book “If I Had a Son” tackles the broader implications of the Trayvon Martin case in Florida, said the evidence suggests whatever problems Alexis had “were aggravated by the message that the Democratic-media complex has been steadily pumping out, namely that a black American can never expect justice.”
Cashill pointed out that racial tension has only increased under the first black president.
Cashill seems not to think that this racial tension has been caused in part by people who are unhappy about a black president.
Cashill elaborated further in a Sept. 18 WND column:
Although there are as many reasons for the decline in those numbers as there are for the decline in Alexis’ mental health, one fact seems undeniable: The media have continued to drum into the head of African-Americans the pervasiveness of racism in America, Obama’s election notwithstanding.
Indeed, by repeatedly interpreting criticism of Obama as racially based, the media have aggravated the tension between blacks and non-blacks.
WND's Meaningless Secret Source on Syria Topic: Western Journalism Center
A Sept. 17 WorldNetDaily article by Michael Maloof touts how a secret, anonymous "U.S. military source" claims that "there was no intelligence reporting on the Syrian government firing the artillery armed with poison gas."
Well, so what? Maloof has given us no reason to trust his anonymous source. He doesn't even bother to try to build up hissource's credibility by calling him "trusted" or "highly placed," as WND is wont to do.
This appears to be just another attempt by WND to further its anti-Americanagenda by siding with Bashir al-Assad and Russia on the question of Syria. Maloof previously accepted at face value a Russian report blaming Syrian rebels for the chemical weapon attack, failing to mention that Russia is an ally of Assad and the Syrian government, as well as analysis from a former intelligence official who has been chattering for years about the existence of a secret tape of Michelle Obama saying "whitey."
Do Maloof and WND hate President Obama so much that they will side with an enemy of the United States in order to destroy him? It appears so.
CNS Pushes Myth That Congress Exempted Itself From Obamacare Topic: CNSNews.com
Jeffrey Meyer writes in a Sept. 17 CNSNews.com blog post:
Members of Congress love to remind their constituents that they are just like us because they like beer, music and greasy food. Thankfully, the folks at Bankrupting America, a project of the organization Public Notice, have exposed the congressional myth in a new online ad titled "Inconvenient."
In a short thirty-second animated ad, consisting of nothing more than stick figures, Public Notice mocks how members of Congress have exempted themselves from the burdens of ObamaCare while pretending to be just like their constituents.
"After realizing how much the new health care law would cost them, Congress pushed for special rules protecting themselves from higher prices yet leaving average Americans without any similar help," the ad proclaims before ending with the on-air graphic "Congress: They're just like you. Unless it's inconvenient."
In fact, Congress did not exempt itself. FactCheck.org explains:
Congress isn’t “exempt” from the law. It wasn’t exempt back in 2010, when we first debunked such a claim; nor were lawmakers exempt in May when the bogus bit surfaced again. Three months later, they’re still not exempt. In fact, as we’ve said before, lawmakers and their staffs face additional requirements that other Americans don’t. And the “special subsidy” to which Pittenger refers is simply a premium contribution that his employer, the federal government, has long made to the health insurance policies of its workers.
Our readers may recall that before this provision was created, there were claims circulating that Congress was “exempt” from the law. This twisted reading of the legislation was based on the fact that originally Congress, like other Americans with work-based insurance or Americans on Medicare and Medicaid, wouldn’t be eligible for the exchanges. In other words, Congress was supposedly “exempt” when members couldn’t participate in the exchanges, and now that they are required to do so, they’re still somehow “exempt” from the law. Neither of these convoluted claims is true.
But it's good right-wing politics for Meyer to perpetuate this falsehood, so don't expect a correction anytime soon.