ConWebBlog: The Weblog of ConWebWatch

your New Media watchdog

ConWebWatch: home | archive/search | about | primer | shop

Tuesday, September 24, 2013
WND's Farah Returns to Matthew Shepard Revisionism
Topic: WorldNetDaily

We said we'd get back to Joseph Farah's Sept. 18 WorldNetDaily column, and so here we are.

The main thrust of Farah's column is to engage in Matthew Shepard trutherism:

A new book, “The Book of Matt,” written by a sympathetic “gay” man, Stephen Jiminez, finds that virtually everything that has been reported about Matthew Shepard’s death is wrong.

To recap the story, Shepard was a homosexual in Laramie, Wyo., who was unquestionably tortured and murdered in 1998 and left hanging on a fence. It was not until a day later that his body was discovered.

Police found a bloody gun linked to the crime along with Shepard’s shoes and wallet in the trunk of two men – Aaron McKinney and Russell Henderson.

On those facts, there is little question.

But, according to the new book, the story told by the murderers that they killed Shepard because he was a homosexual who came on to them is flat wrong. Shepard was not a martyr in the battle with homophobia. He was simply the victim of consensual homosexual relationship gone bad – as too many do.

Nevertheless, over 15 years, Shepard has achieved a degree of sainthood in the homosexual movement. He became the poster boy for hate-crimes laws, movies, songs, books, scholarships and disinformation galore. He’s been an icon of the phony war on homophobia that has chilled free speech and free association.

It turns out the hero was a meth dealer. He and the lead attacker were also friends and lovers. His death was the result of a squabble over a large amount of meth he had in his possession.

Farah doesn't mention that McKinney -- the person that Shepard was supposedly  in a "consensual homosexual relationship" with -- mounted a "gay panic" defense during his trial, and he doesn't mention that McKinney has denied any such relationship.

Most importantly, Farah doesn't tell you that Jimenez (whose name Farah misspells) served as a producer for a 2004 segment of ABC's "20/20" that first forwarded such reality-denying claims, which set off a wave of Shepard revisionism at WND when it first aired.

Further, as Media Matters points out, Jimenez is also a friend of Henderson's defense attorney, which further raises questions about his objectivity.

Again, Farah also wrote this in his 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 most definitely won't tell you that he will eagerly twist reality and engage in fabrication to get his way politically. And the way Farah wants to push is that gays are lying scum, and he doesn't care about facts that prove otherwise.

Posted by Terry K. at 7:52 PM EDT
MRC Unhappy All Muslims Aren't Being Blamed for Terror Attacks
Topic: Media Research Center

The author of a Sept. 23 Media Research Center item appears to be a little sheepish about her work because it lacks a byline. (The version of it on NewsBusters, however, indicates it was written by Katie Yoder.) And we can see why, given the utter stupidity of this so-called "media research." Here's how it starts:

Dare a top newspaper journalist to play connect-the-dots and chances are he’ll fail miserably – at least with drawing the line between Islam and terrorism. In Nairobi, Kenya last weekend, Islamist militants took over a high-end shopping mall and began executing non-Muslims. In Pakistan, Islamist suicide bombers detonated at a Christian Church on Sunday.

Yet on Monday, September 23, 90 percent of the top ten (via circulation numbers) daily newspapers’ headlines in the United States censored the words “Islam” and Muslim” from Nairobi and Pakistan reports. One – the New York Daily News – didn’t even have a headline for the latest Islamic terrorist attacks. That’s journalism at its finest. 

That's right -- Yoder is complaining  that the media isn't playing guilt-by-association by linking all Muslims to terrorists. That's religion-baiting at its finest.

If that's the way the MRC operates, may we suggest Yoder's next assignment: Count how many newspaper headlines labeled Scott Roeder, murderer of abortion doctor George Tiller, as a "Christian."

Posted by Terry K. at 5:34 PM EDT
WND Lets Anti-Gay Group Mislead About Book Banning
Topic: WorldNetDaily

An unbylined Sept. 20 WorldNetDaily article states:

Librarians across America are set to observe ”Banned Books Week” by highlighting titles that recently have faced censorship.

But the librarians themselves this year are being accused of banning books.

The claim comes from advocates for the community of ex-”gays.”

“Every week is ‘Banned Books Week’ for the ex-gay community,” says Regina Griggs, executive director of Parents and Friends of Gays and Ex-Gays.

“Books about leaving homosexuality are routinely censored in high schools and community libraries across the United States, while gay-affirming books are readily available for any young person questioning their sexuality,” she said.

Strange thing about this article, though: At no point does it mention any specific incidents of ex-gay books being "banned," and it only cites a single incident of these books supposedly being "banned":

“Kristin Pekoll, the librarian in charge of young adult books at the West Bend Community Memorial Library in Wisconsin, advocates for children’s books with gay themes but refuses to accept our donation of ex-gay books for children,” she said. “Public libraries are supported by all citizens, and it is appalling that tax dollars are supporting such narrow minded thinking and viewpoint discrimination.”

WND didn't mention that this case dates back to 2009, or that what opponents of "books with gay themes" wanted to do to them was far worse.

CNN reported that some opponents wanted to hold a "public book burning" of the offending titles, and a man at one public meeting told the city's library director he should be tarred and feathered.

Of course, there's no mention of the other side of the story -- specifically, what Pekoll had to say. In an essay, Pekoll points out that the whole controversy began because the library's website linked to a list of LGBT-friendly books, then moved to a request to remove specific LGBT-friendly titles from circulation or restricting them to adults only even though many were considered books for young adults. Pekoll concluded:

Last year when I decided to stand up for over eighty book in the West Bend Community Memorial Library's young adult collection, it wasn't because I though every single book on the list was gold-star material. It was because I believe that every book has a reader and every reader has a book. When you deny that person, espeically that teenager, his or her book -- when you ban that book -- you ban that kid.

It's hypocritical for PFOX to complain about censorship when apparently endorsed the censorship of books it found offensive. And it's just more bad reporting on WND's part not to tell the whole story. But then, we're used to bad reporting from WND.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:57 AM EDT
Monday, September 23, 2013
Noel Sheppard's Big Ol' Heather-Fest
Topic: NewsBusters

Noel Sheppard's Sept. 18 NewsBusters post came too late to be included in our roundup of Heathering at NewsBusters, but it's instructional in a way because it's basically a one-stop Heathering shop.

Sheppardhas a freakout that MSNBC's Richard Wolffe said that "on his network, Joe Scarborough, former John McCain campaign manager Steve Schmidt, and former RNC chairman Michael Steele represent – wait for it! – conservative views." And Sheppard gets all huffy about it, as he's prone to do:

So Wolffe sees Schmidt, one of the biggest RINOs on television today, as being a conservative voice.

Frankly, Schmidt wouldn't know a conservative view if it hit him in the face. But this is the kind of "conservative" liberal news stations love to bring on to trash Republicans.

No wonder Wolffe and Maddow love him.


Now, I like Michael Steele, but he's not a conservative. Right of center? Yes. Conservative? No.

As such, when you add it all up, the three so-called conservatives Wolffe cited by no means represent conservative views.

Sheppard doesn't explain the difference between "right of center" and "conservative" views -- funny since Sheppard and others at NewsBusters have no problem using "left of center" and "liberal" interchangeably.

Sheppard then declared that it is "after all an immutable fact" that Fox News' Shepard Smith is "left of center." But Sheppard doesn't cite any of those "immutable facts" to back him up.

And then he sinks into MRC dogma-speak, whining that of "major newspapers," only the Wall Street Journal's opinion section "leans to the right, and that somehow compensates for all the others that lean to the left?" Sheppard doesn't back up this claim either.

Sheppard even throws Fox's Bill O'Reilly under the Heathering bus: "Anyone that has watched O'Reilly over the years knows full-well that he is not as conservative as he used to be, and often espouses rather left of center views."

This, folks, is what passes for "media criticism" at the Media Research Center. Though it's occasionally delivered with added anti-Semitism.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:15 PM EDT
WND's Cashill Tries to Distract From Zimmerman's Increasingly Erratic Behavior
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Jack Cashill knows just how to deal with a sticky controversy involving someone he's written a book about: change the subject.

In the face of George Zimmerman's misbehavior and alleged domestic violence involving his estranged wife, Cashill -- who has written a Zimmerman-lionizing book coming out soon -- knew he had to distract by going on offense. He had done that already with Zimmerman's previous peccadilloes, essentially blaming the media for Zimmerman's increasingly erratic behavior.

And that's what he does in his Sept. 18 WorldNetDaily column, declaring that the real issue is Zimmerman's prosecutor:

Here is the state of the major media in a nutshell: George Zimmerman makes national headlines for a speeding ticket and a divorce dispute while a critical state investigation of his prosecutor, Florida State Attorney Angela Corey, goes unreported beyond her Jacksonville, Fla., home.

Cashill does not mention Zimmerman's problems again until the final paragraph, when he declared: "While the left busily fretted about 'ticking time bomb' George Zimmerman, one of its own, Obama supporter Aaron Alexis, actually did blow up. Such is the state of our media."

Such is the state of WND that Cashill thinks he can get away with playing the distraction card to protect the book he has coming out.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:07 PM EDT
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.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:04 PM EDT
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.

Between pathetically cliched headlines, promotion of climate denier propaganda, and just plain getting stuff wrong, Sheppard has been an embarassment to NewsBusters (if a boon to ConWebWatch). Will NewsBusters discipline Sheppard for his reign of error?

Posted by Terry K. at 2:01 PM EDT
Sunday, September 22, 2013
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 notes that 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?

Posted by Terry K. at 5:04 PM EDT
Saturday, September 21, 2013
NewsBusters Defends Catholic League's Donohue, Ignores Conflict of Interest
Topic: NewsBusters

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.

But then, double standards are the coin of the Media Research Center realm.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:30 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, October 14, 2013 1:50 AM EDT
Obama Derangement Syndrome Watch, Supersize WorldNetDaily Edition
Topic: WorldNetDaily

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.

-- Erik Rush, Sept. 4 WorldNetDaily column

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.

-- Alan Keyes, Sept. 5 WND column

Obama is so full of himself, his vision is blurred. He believes what he says and believes that anyone within earshot accepts his words as “gospel.”

And yes, I use that word deliberately because Barack Obama clearly sees himself as some sort of Messiah – put on this planet at this time in history to change the course of civilization.

He told us that during his first presidential campaign. Who can forget the ridiculous line, “This was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal.”

He said it with a straight face.

-- Barbara Simpson, Sept. 8 WND column

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.

-- Pamela Geller Sept. 8 WND column

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.

-- Burt Prelutsky, Sept. 10 WND column

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.

-- Jane Chastain, Sept. 11 WND column

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.

-- Ted Nugent, Sept. 11 WND column

No wonder the world laughs at us – U.S. – all because of the man in the Oval Office, a political incompetent surrounded by an administration filled with similarly unskilled political hacks.

It remains to be seen how all this plays out but it’s still a volatile situation that could, as many have projected, turn out to be a World War III of unimaginable magnitude.

As for how history will describe Obama when it tells his story, I have a summary, from Macbeth:

“… It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”

-- Barbara Simpson, Sept. 15 WND column

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.

-- Joseph Farah, Sept. 15 WND column

If we ever do attack Iran, the outcome must be well-considered, decisive and effective. Those three prerequisites do not belong in the same sentence as the name Barack Obama.

-- Joseph Farah, Sept. 17 WND column

Posted by Terry K. at 3:23 PM EDT
Friday, September 20, 2013
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. 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 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.

Posted by Terry K. at 7:26 PM EDT
WND's Massie Pushes Wildly Inflated Attendance Figure for Biker Rally
Topic: WorldNetDaily

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. News reports 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.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:23 PM EDT
CNS' Jeffrey Wants Boehner To Put His Religion Before Country

Terry Jeffrey uses his Sept. 17 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.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:39 AM EDT
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.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:10 AM EDT
Thursday, September 19, 2013
CNS Pushes False Claims About Navy Yard Shootings

Matt Vespa writes in a Sept. 17 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.

Posted by Terry K. at 7:20 PM EDT

Newer | Latest | Older

Bookmark and Share

Get the WorldNetDaily Lies sticker!

Find more neat stuff at the ConWebWatch store!

Buy through this Amazon link and support ConWebWatch!

Support This Site

« September 2013 »
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30

Bloggers' Rights at EFF
Support Bloggers' Rights!

News Media Blog Network

Add to Google