CNSNews.com has a weird obsession with counting specific words President Obama and other administration officials say -- or don't say. It's at it again in an Oct. 23 article by Susan Jones:
In response to simple questions asked by CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta Tuesday night, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius often appeared vague or uncertain, frequently hedging her remarks with the phrase, "I think." She appeared to "know" very little.
Sebelius used the phrase "I think" or "we think" or "I don't think" 17 times during the interview. In fact, the first words out of her mouth were, "I think what we know is..."
Yes, that's the entire point of Jones' article. The rest of it is devoted to detailing all 17 instances of Sebelius saying "I think."
WND Klein Fearmongers About Foreign Ownership of Electronic Voting Firm (And, Of Course, George Soros) Topic: WorldNetDaily
Aaron Klein sounds quite paranoid in an Oct. 21 WorldNetDaily article:
Scytl, the foreign-headquartered company that recently purchased the leading U.S. electronic voting firm, won an award for potential in growth and innovation.
The judging panel for the award included executives from Microsoft and Google and members of the news media such as analysts for CNN, BBC, USA Today and the San Francisco Chronicle.
The inclusion of Google may be instructive. WND reported in May 2012 that Scytl had announced the successful implementation of technology that allows ballots to be cast using Google and Apple smart phones and tablet computers.
Last week, Scytl was awarded the Longhorns 2013 Bully Award, which seeks Europe’s technology stars whose firms are determined to have demonstrated excellence in innovation and growth potential.
Aaron Klein’s “Impeachable Offenses: The Case to Remove Barack Obama from Office” is available, autographed, at WND’s Superstore
The award is handed out annually by White Bull, a European technology consulting firm.
According to the Bully Award website, this year’s judging panel included the San Francisco Chronicle’s David Einstein; USA Today tech columnist and former Barron’s Editor Mark Veverka; Google’s Yves Cornaz; Microsoft’s Roxanne Varza; Colleen DeBaise of Entrepreneur Magazine; and BBC and CNN analyst Ralph Silva.
Klein doesn't really explain why any of this is a bad thing -- apparently, there is some sort of right-wing alchemy in which a foreign-owned company, electronic voting and mainstream media put together in the way Klein has is supposed to be self-evidently evil, but we're not seeing it.
An Oct. 3 article by Klein on the subject, however, adds an extra ingredient that makes a little more sense from a right-wing paranoia standpoint -- George Soros:
WND has learned the firm vouching for Scytl has links to billionaire activist George Soros.
WND recently reported Scyrl acquired the software division of a non-profit election organization tied to Soros’ Open Society Institute.
WND also reported Scytl announced its technology will be deployed at more U.S. jurisdictions ahead of the 2014 midterm elections.
But that's merely invoking a bogeyman. Klein's efforts to insert Soros into the story proves nothing -- other than WND's desire to fearmonger.
NEW ARTICLE: Newsmax's Peter King Presidential Boomlet Topic: Newsmax
Newsmax basically talks the New York Republican congressman into throwing his hat into the ring for 2016 -- then strangely doesn't include him in a Newsmax poll about potential presidential candidates. Read more >>
De Blasio has a great deal to hide: He has had a number of aliases and name changes. And it’s not surprising that he would want to cover up his past. He’s continuously scrubbing his past.
Even aside from the mystery surrounding his name, what we know about Bill de Blasio is bad enough. He stands by his fervent support for the vicious communist Sandinistas in the 1980s – even the New York Times expressed concern about de Blasio’s communist activism. De Blasio said last week that he could not celebrate Columbus Day, as “there are some troubling things in his history.” Funny, the same can be said of “Bill AKA Warren de Blasio AKA Wilhelm AKA Warren de Blasio-Wilhelm AKA Bill de Blasio.”
Geller goes on to bash de Blasio as "seditiou," and a "terror-supporting Marxist," and she promotes an anti-de Blasio press conference she will be holding with Accuracy in Media's Cliff Kincaid and foreigner Trevor Loudon later this week.
One of them is Heathering. An Oct. 21 post attacks Business Insider's Josh Barro for deviating from the right's anti-Obamacare dogma by dismissing him as someone "who has masqueraded as the left’s favorite conservative."
Another one is promotion of discredited sources. An Oct. 22 post by Paul Bois goes after MSNBC's Chris Matthews' denial of FreedomWorks' Matt Kibbe's claim that polls showing the American public blaming Republicans for the government shutdown can be blamed on media bias:
This probably would've been a good time for Kibbe to suggest that Matthews head down to his local bookstore to pick up a copy of Left Turn by Tim Groseclose. Indeed, the book's studies reveal the heavy sway media bias (left leaning) has on the average American -- 25 points on a scale of 100 to be exact.
As we've documented, Groseclose's book -- which was promoted by NewsBusters and others in the ConWeb upon its release in 2011 -- uses a methodology that is highly flawed. Under its definition, the National Rifle Association is only slightly more conservative than the American Civil Liberties Union, and the Drudge Report "leans left" because the methodology doesn't take into account Drudge's biased presentation of the news.
The capper: Even though imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, the Media Research Center has yet to acknowledge TruthRevolt's existence.
WND Publishes Birther's Book on Fringe Christian Conspiracy Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily has another dubious fringe Christian book to promote, as detailed in an Oct. 17 article by Joe Kovacs:
Not since Paul of the New Testament was struck blind by the risen Jesus on the road to Damascus has a Jewish man’s vision of the Messiah created such a buzz.
But the story of Yitzhak Kaduri, a legendary rabbi who died at age 108, is about to take the world by storm.
A brand-new book and video titled “The Rabbi Who Found Messiah” tells the story of the venerated rabbi who, on the Day of Atonement in 2005, had a vision that until now has received scant attention by the global media.
In the book, author Carl Gallups goes into detail concerning the startling event on that biblical holy day.
Your first warning flag is the book's author. Carl Gallups is better known as the force behind PPSimmons, the "online ministry" that's little more than an anti-Obama propaganda mill. Through PPSimmons, Gallups has promoted the idea that Obama is the Antichrist, and he is so friendly with birthers that Mike Zullo, leader of the increasingly discredited "Cold Case Posse" purporting to investigate Obama's "eligibility," is a regular guest on his Internet radio show. Gallups once used that show to invite any "Obot" to call in and prove that Obama is a citizen; when one did, Gallups cut him off.
The fact that Gallups is a rabid birther should be enough to disqualify anything he has to say, but Richard Bartholomew raises questions about the central claim anchoring Gallups' book:
Gallups’ version of the story includes the detail that Kaduri supposedly saw the Messiah “in a vision”, thus giving the tale a supernatural aspect that ties in with Christian hopes that Jesus will reveal himself to the Jews; but in 2005 I noted a slightly different version, in which Kaduri simply announced that the “soul of the Mashiach has attached itself to a person in Israel”. Kaduri also denounced “the current fascist regime” running Israel, called for the country to become a monarchy, and predicted that Ariel Sharon would be the last prime minister. That’s not how it turned out, but Gallups believes that Kaduri was referring to Sharon’s death; thus the return of Jesus related to when Sharon is finally released from his current lingering vegetative state. This is, of course, highly idiosyncratic and rather distasteful, and it has little to do with historic Christianity, Judaism, or anything even halfway reasonable.
The idea that Kaduri’s “mystical kabbala culture” could take a hold not just in Israel, but among fundamentalist Baptists in Florida and from there to a wider US Christian Right is apparently not so unlikely as one might have thought. It should be remembered that Farah is great enthusiast of “Hebrew Roots”, which seeks to appropriate aspects of Judaism within Christianity. Working with Stephen Strang of Charisma magazine, Farah has also heavily promoted Jonathan Cahn, whose book relating 9/11 to Biblical prophecy has become a bestseller.
This is basically shakily sourced claims by fringe Christian activists who also happen to be birthers. WND will probably sell a few books to its target audience of fringe Christians and/or birthers, but it's not trustworthy enough for anyone else to bother with.
The government shutdown delayed release of the monthly unemployment numbers for a few weeks, but now that they're finally out, CNSNews.com has worked its usual cherry-picking magic to play up unfavorable numbers and hide the favorable ones.
The barrage this time around comes from Terry Jeffrey and Ali Meyer:
Let me say this as politely as I’m inclined to allow my consternation to suffer. The Republican Party violated true conservatives, and thus the nation also, just as much as if a fraternity of mobocrats had hijacked you in a parking lot, and then, despite all of your protests, they proceeded to have their way with you. And when they had had their way with you they proceeded to tell you how good it was for you while the president of the mobocratic fraternity smiled through cigarette-stained teeth and promised to increase the cost of treatments for the injuries you sustained during the violent attack.
Yeah, I know that’s still pretty graphic, but you don’t sugarcoat the political equivalent of being sexually violated, especially when it is forced upon you by a gang. And that’s exactly what Republicans did to We the People last Wednesday evening. My question is: Are you going to punish them or turn a blind eye and say, “They really didn’t mean it; after all, I think they like me”? Or perhaps you’ll say, “It was my fault,” which would be closer to the truth because if We the People had voted them out in 2012 instead of rewarding their treachery with re-election – Sens. Ted Cruz and Mike Lee might have had help in defending We the People from reprehensible and morally opprobrious Philistines committed to opposing our will.
NewsBusters Still Freaking Out About Redskins Criticism, Ignoring That Prominent Conservative Agrees Topic: NewsBusters
The Media Research Center continues to rage against critics of the Washington Redskins name. Randy Hall ranted in an Oct. 21 NewsBusters post:
Just when you think you've seen it all, along comes a political cartoon in the New York Daily News attempting to change the name of a National Football League team that's not even in their city.
The illustration posted on Thursday featured three flags, the first containing the swastika symbol of the Nazis, then the star-filled banner of the Confederates from the Civil War, and finally the logo of the Washington Redskins with a caption that read: “Archaic Symbols of Pride and Heritage.”
Of course, if liberals with too much time on their hands and members of the tiny Oneida Indian Nation succeed in getting the Redskins’ name changed, what other sports teams are next? The Cleveland Indians? The Atlanta Braves? The Kansas City Chiefs? The possibilities for extracting sports fans’ fun are endless!
Hall joins with his fellow MRC critics in failing to note that one of those "liberals with too much time on their hands" isn't a liberal at all. As we've documented, Charles Krauthammer -- such a rock-ribbed conservative that the MRC gave him its “William F. Buckley Jr. Award for Media Excellence” last month -- endorsed a name change because word meanings have changed over the years.
There is, however, a post by Brent Baker about how Krauthammer "is capable of delivering funny lines and humorous anecdotes."
Of course, mentioning that one of its favorite conservatives has taken a position it opposes, and was not doing so using funny lines and humorous anecdotes, would be inconvenient to its agenda. So the MRC remains silent.
WND Promote Bogus Story To Smear Transgenders Topic: WorldNetDaily
An Oct. 19 WorldNetDaily article certainly does its best to make transgender teens sound scary and perverted:
Girls at a Colorado high school are being forced to allow an older boy to use their bathrooms as the result of a policy of transgender accommodation, and the girls say they are being threatened with punishment if their complaints don’t stop.
The debate is happening at Florence High School in Florence, Colo., located near Colorado Springs. Matthew McReynolds, staff attorney at the Pacific Justice Institute, told WND parents of several girls are seeking a legal remedy after their daughters were required to share bathrooms with a male who maintains his true gender identity is that of a woman.
“First of all, it’s our position that a teenage boy’s presence into the bathroom for teenage girls is inherently harassing,” said McReynolds, who is representing the families of the girls involved. “It’s inherently violative of their privacy rights. It’s also intimidating when you have a boy like this, who is not a freshman, going in there with younger freshman girls. They feel violated. They feel intimidated, and that’s been expressed to us.”
Strange thing, though: Nowhere in the article do McReynolds cite any specific, documented instances of behavior the transgender teen is alleged to have engaged in.
That's because there aren't any. The unbylined article waits until the 20th paragraph to mention the school district's response to the claim:
In an interview with The Transadvocate, a transgender advocate blog, School Superintendent Rhonda Vendetti claimed only one parent has complained about a transgender student using girls’ bathrooms:
“Nothing has actually been verified with us,” she said. “This is one parent basically bringing their viewpoint about this situation to the media because they weren’t getting the responses that they hoped they would get from the district, from parents of students at the high school, or from the board and myself. So I think it’s just an attempt to elevate the situation to a point where maybe some more attention can be drawn to that in the hope of having a different outcome. But to our knowledge and based on our investigation, none of those things have actually happened. We do have a transgender student at the high school, and she has been using the women’s restroom. There has not been a situation.
“All the students of these parents who say they feel uncomfortable just about the fact that the student is allowed to go into the restrooms at the high school, into the stalls, they don’t believe that that is appropriate. That’s where it stems from. … The vast majority of our parents are supportive of the student.”
WND made no apparent effort to contact the school district for an opportunity to respond to McReynold's claims. Instead, it quotes another PJI official as attacking the superintendent for speaking with a particular news outlet: "It is very revealing that the superintendent is seeking sympathy from transgender activists instead of addressing the serious concerns raised in our letter."
After Jane came out to her parents, she then began the process of transition. “It’s not like one day you’re a boy and then the next you’re a girl, my daughter went through a process to become who she is. Over that summer, she fully transitioned and returned to school as my daughter instead of having to hide who she is.”
When she went to her old school as herself, Jane flourished. When asked if she had experienced any bullying at the time she said, “Just some name calling.” Jane’s mother elaborated, “Before she transitioned, we would go to shopping and when she would try to use the male restroom, they would make rude comments.” I asked her if she meant that men in the restrooms would verbally abuse her daughter before she ever transitioned because she was perceived to be female even when trying to present as male. “She was scared to use the restroom. They made rude comments, language that she didn’t need to hear just because she was trying to go to the bathroom that she thought she had to be in.”
“Since she changed, she’s comfortable with life. She’s really feminine, but doesn’t do tons of makeup each day. She’s just a normal girl. If people see her on the streets, people don’t… didn’t know, you know? Before all of this stuff happened, none of this bothered anyone.”
“Jane is private about everything. She’s timid and shy and tends to be afraid to talk to people. That they’re saying that she’s going around harassing people… it’s just not true. The people who are doing these stories need to realize that the kid behind these stories has feelings and gets hurt.”
WND isvirulentlyanti-gay -- it has even served as an apologist for anti-gay activist Scott Lively's links to a proposed law in Uganda that would permit the execution of homosexuals -- so maybe its reporters think it will pick up some sort of tranny cooties if they talk to a transsexual or even somebody related to one.
Still, the fact that WND is uncritically promoting the PJI's discredited and dishonest take on this case is yet another reason why nobody believes WND.
Newsmax's Hirsen Rushes to Defend Ted Cruz Topic: Newsmax
James Hirsen devotes his Oct. 21 Newsmax column to defending Ted Cruz from that mean ol' liberal media:
The latest target of the news and entertainment media’s poison arrows is Sen. Ted Cruz.
The mainstream news media have joined forces with entertainment shows in a multi-pronged attack on Cruz that is reminiscent of the treatment meted out to former GOP vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin.
The tactics being employed by the mainstream news media in attacking Cruz were exemplified by ABC News as it conducted the first interview with the Texas senator since the partial government shutdown came to an end.
The so-called journalist declared to Cruz, “You more than any single individual were seen as the one that triggered this crisis to begin with,” and continued with his loaded questioning by asking, “How much do your colleagues just despise you right now?”
On an equally left-tilted mainstream media Sunday show, CBS’s “Face the Nation,” Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank snidely characterized Cruz as “a complete phony” who is just riding the tea party to get “really famous.”
Liberal cable news networks quickly jumped on the Cruz-bashing bandwagon.
Hirsen's response to this? Recite Cruz's resume:
After the overt display of broadcast malpractice, particularly on the part of the mainstream news media, perhaps the professionals involved might consider reporting on some of the factual background of Cruz.
Cruz’s resume contains a list of educational achievements and professional accomplishments of which few in our society could ever boast.
The senator graduated cum laude from Princeton University and magna cum laude from Harvard Law School. As so many of the journalists who have tried to “cross-examine” him have discovered, he possesses superb debating skills and for such he has been widely recognized.
Hirsen's appeal to authority doesn't address any of the media coverage he criticizes.
Ellis Washington: Still Flamboyantly Wrong Topic: WorldNetDaily
What is it with WorldNetDaily columnists getting their history wrong? First it was Barry Farber; now Ellis Washington writes in his Oct. 18 column:
President John F. Kennedy, on March 6, 1961, signed Executive Order 10925, which created affirmative action and required that government employers “not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of race, creed, color, or national origin” and “take affirmative action to ensure that applicants are employed, and that employees are treated during employment, without regard to their race, creed, color, or national origin.”
Actually, Kennedy's executive order is a straightforward non-discrimination provision, and it does not define what "affirmative action" meant. As one history of affirmative action details, Kennedy's order was superceded by one issued in 1965 by Preident Lyndon Johnson that defined what kind of "affirmative action" was to be taken.
Washington's column is, of course, an anti-affirmative action rant, and of course he makes it about himself:
My strong contention in this column is to demonstrate that affirmative action is nothing but affirmative slave chains attached around the neck, wrists, ankles and minds of my people; that for over 50 years progressive whites have cynically used tokenism, race statists and quota systems to allow certain blacks to prosper (Democrats) – but for those people like myself (conservatives), affirmative action has done nothing to help us become fully integrated commensurate with our education achievements. The result is that I, and doubtlessly millions of other hardworking minorities, have had to eke out an existence on the margins of a society called America the Beautiful.
In a previous biographical essay about my own 30-year struggles to be judged not by the color of my skin and ideological worldview, but by the content of my character and actual scholarly achievements, I explain the things done in my career that no sitting member of the U.S. Supreme Court nor any law professors I know of have done, accomplished apart from affirmative action. Yet good non-racist white liberals, progressives and even establishment Republicans ignore these real achievements by blacks like me and hundreds of thousands or perhaps millions of other minorities of every variety because their achievements were outside the affirmative action slave system; therefore, their accomplishments in the minds of white progressives aren’t “authentic” and thus unworthy of notice, respect and emulation (e.g., Justice Clarence Thomas, Thomas Sowell, Star Parker, Allen West, Alan Keyes, Pastor Levon Yuille, Shelby Steele, etc.).
Given that Washington started this rant with an incorrect claim and has a history of irrational hatred of liberals in general and President Obama in particular, as well as a penchant for getting stuff wrong and masquerading (poorly) as Socrates, it appears that Washington has never considered the possibility that he has, in fact, been judged on the content of his character and his (scant) scholarly achievements -- and found wanting.
MRC Still Complaining That GOP Is Accurately Blamed For Shutdown Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center, it seems, still can't handle the fact that the media is accurately reporting that Republicans are to blame for the recent government shutdown.
On the heels of his earlier mini-study complaining about this accurate reporting, Rich Noyes has cranked out a larger Oct. 17 study saying exactly the same thing. For the first time that we can remember, Noyes attempts an explanation for why the MRC focuses so narrowly on the TV networks and ignores cable news:
For millions of Americans, big political contests such as presidential elections and pivotal congressional hearings are still largely witnessed through the lens of ABC’s, CBS’s and NBC’s evening newscasts. According to Nielsen Research, more than 20 million viewers tuned in over the past two weeks for the Big Three’s take on the shutdown drama.
Noyes isn't going to tell you, of course, that the main complicating factor in complaining about cable news bias is Fox News, which like the MRC is a proud shill for the Republican Party, as well as pretending that Republicans had nothing to do with the shutdown.
As before, Noyes never why Republicans are not to blame for the shutdown -- he merely complains that they're being blamed and Democrats aren't. He never stops to consider that this may be because these news outlets are reporting facts and that it's false equivalency to claim otherwise.
Noyes finally conceded the possibility of some GOP responsibility at the very end of his study, then tries to take it back:
As the shutdown neared its end, the networks’ polls found the American public more critical of the GOP than either Democrats or the White House. While some blame can perhaps be assigned to Republicans’ lack of a unified conservative message, the incessant drumbeat of hostile, and slanted, media coverage surely took its toll as well.
Earth to Noyes: "Lack of a unified conservative message" was not the problem; conservatives' insistence on deviating from longstanding practice by trying to defund an approved program by holding the rest of the government hostage was.
WND's Barry Farber Botches Facts Topic: WorldNetDaily
Barry Farber's Oct. 15 WorldNetDailiy column is headlined "Obama's ham-handedness on Egypt." In it he writes:
Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood apparently won the post-Mubarak election fairly. Despite Obama’s claims that this is tangible proof of cleanliness and godliness, let’s remind each other of two leaders who started out by winning free elections, namely, Hitler and Mussolini.
First, Obama was more about praising the fact that Egypt had successfully conducted its first-ever democratic election than the specific result. The Obama administration called for Morsi to form a government with "mutual respect" for all and "respecting the rights of all Egyptian citizens – including women and religious minorities such as Coptic Christians."
Second, Hitler wasn't elected. As we've previously noted, Hitler was never elected president of Germany -- he was appointed chancellor, then assumed the power of the presidency.
Perhaps Farber should re-title his column "Farber's ham-handedness with the facts."
MRC Hides Conservative's Endorsement Of Redskins Name Change Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center got all huffy over the past few weeks as more people argued that the Washington Redskins is a name that is somewhere between insensitive and racist and should be changed:
NewsBusters' Tom Blumer grumbled that the Associated Press did "an 880-word writeup on this breathtakingly important subject" of President Obama's opinion on changing the team name.
Matt Philbin ranted: "Well Redskins fans, it’s over. The ruling has been handed down from on high – The Washington Post and USA Today. They’ve got a foam finger for you, but it’s not the index and you’re certainly not #1 to them, and they’re the ones who matter. They’ve decided your team name will change."
Tim Graham complained that the Washington Post did an article on an online contest to pick a new team logo.
Philbin did more ranting, declaring that the Post "has dedicated at least 31,562 print and online words to its crusade" and wants to be "the paper that brought down a mascot."
MRC chief Brent Bozell decried the "liberal media agitation" for changing the name, howling: "The word 'Redskins' is so apparently offensive they’ve made the team sound like a porn film. Here is the insanity: They'd be less offended -- and in some circles of the libertine community, openly supportive – if Snyder renamed the team the 'Foreskins.'"
Graham complained further that sportscaster Bob Costas expressed his opposition to the name, which he dismissed as "another liberal rant with no rebuttal."
But changing the name is not just a liberal idea -- but the MRC won't tell you that.
Conservative commentator Charles Krauthammer -- normally a friend to the MRC -- opined on Fox News that while he's "in low dudgeon over this," he supports changing the name because the word's meaning has evolved: But if it were personally my choice, I think it’s over the line. I do think, because of its history, it’s something that if you can change, you would change."
Krauthammer expanded on his views in his Washington Post column:
This is a matter of usage — and usage changes. If you shot a remake of 1934’s “The Gay Divorcee,” you’d have to change that title too.
Not because the lady changed but because the word did.
Strangely, Graham has not seen fit to attack Krauthammer for this view the way he did Costas. Then again, the MRC did give Krauthammer its “William F. Buckley Jr. Award for Media Excellence” last month with special praise for "his trenchant dry humor and perfectly-timed zings at various liberals in the media."
Krauthammer offered none of that in his support for changing the Redskins' name, apparently, so down the MRC memory hole it went.