WND Still Pushing Matthew Shepard Revisionism Topic: WorldNetDaily
Art Moore writes in a Feb. 28 WorldNetDaily article:
The Associated Press reported the Brooklyn Nets’ Jason Collins, who signed a 10-day contract with the team Sunday, met after his game in Denver Thursday night with the parents of Matthew Shepard.
The AP, in its recounting of the horrific 1998 assault, stated matter-of-factly that Shepard “was tortured and murdered in 1998 because he was gay.”
However, a book by an accomplished, openly gay journalist published last fall presented documentary evidence that the murder of Matthew Shepard had nothing to do with hatred of homosexuals.
It was so convincing that the Advocate, which calls itself the “world’s leading source for LGBT news and entertainment,” published a positive review of the book titled “Have We Got Matthew Shepard All Wrong?”
In “The Book of Matt: Hidden Truths About the Murder of Matthew Shepard,” author Steve Jimenez contends Shepard not only knew his murderers, he engaged in homosexual acts with them. They also bought drugs from each other and partied together.
Jimenez speculates Shepard’s killers, Aaron McKinney and Russell Henderson, wanted a stash of methamphetamine they believed Shepard possessed. McKinney, according to Jimenez, was on a prolonged meth binge that made him prone to extreme violence.
Ten years ago, the ABC News program “20/20″ interviewed the convicted killers, who, like Shepard, were both 21 at the time of the murder.
As ABCNews.com summarized, they told ABC’s Elizabeth Vargas “that money and drugs motivated their actions that night, not hatred of gays.”
But what Moore claims is the "truth" about Shepard is extremely dubious. Media Matters points out that despite Jimenez's claim, quoted by Moore, that he "didn’t write the book from a political point of view," his objectivity is questionable, most notably because he is a friend of the defense attorney of one of the killers.
Moore doesn't mention that Jimenez was the person responsible for that 2004 ABC story, and that he had already decided that Shepard's death wasn't a hate crime before doing that story.
And as we've previously noted, the killers' claim that Shepard's death was fueled by drugs and not hate belies the fact that one of the killers mounted a gay-panic defense during his trial.
Moore's boss, Joseph Farah, similarly tried to revive Shepard revisionism last fall when Jimenez's book came out.
Bozell Using His 'News' Organzation To Forward His Anti-CPAC Agenda Topic: Media Research Center
Brent Bozell has shown he has no problem using his Media Research Center to advance his personal political agenda -- which currently involves attacking CPAC for briefly inviting an atheist group to take part in its annual conservative confab. Now Bozell is using his "news" division, CNSNews.com, to hammer home his animus toward CPAC.
A Feb. 27 CNS article by Barbara Hollingsworth and Michael Chapman features a CPAC board member criticizing the since-rescinded invitation to American Atheists, and trying to get other CPAC board members and sponsors to answer whether CPAC "should insist on an official policy guideline making it clear that groups that are openly hostile to any one of the four major pillars of conservative thought--including traditional values--will not be allowed to participate in future CPACs." The authors couldn't be bothered to contact American Atheists for a comment.
CNS editor in chief Terry Jeffrey also did his boss' bidding with a blog post quoting William Buckley's "God and Man at Yale" and declaring:
There are Americans today, holding themselves up as conservatives, who argue that one can be both an atheist and a conservative. This is absurd.
There is a God, He made us and all things, and His immutable moral laws apply to all men, in all nations, at all times. These fundamental truths--recognition of which is not confined to any particular religious denomination--were embraced by our Founding Fathers. A social and legal order consistent with these fundamental truths is at the very heart of what modern conservatives seek to conserve.
Must the modern Conservative Movement be a classroom in which young Americans can be schooled in how to fight and defeat the forces of atheism so manifestly gaining ground in our society today? Of course.
Jeffrey didn't mention the CPAC controversy, but he didn't have to.
WND's Cashill Blames Everyone But George Zimmerman for Trayvon Martin's Death Topic: WorldNetDaily
Jack Cashill's Feb. 26 WorldNetDaily column is headlined "2 years post-Trayvon and nothing learned." That's not quite true -- along with fellow WNDer Colin Flaherty, Cashill has learned how well race-baiting plays with WND readers.
Indeed, the first thing Cashill tells us is that blacks are just a bunch of thugs, even if President Obama doesn't agree:
Like all men of color, said Obama, he knew what it was like to be followed in a department store or have women clutch their purses upon seeing him enter an elevator.
Even if true, Obama neglected to mention the motive behind this seeming bad behavior. Like Obama’s own grandmother, even the relatives of young black men know that they commit more than their share of crime, far more.
Obama did acknowledge that young men black men “are disproportionately both victims and perpetrators of violence,” but he abandoned this thread prematurely.
Although he had the opportunity to shake up the debate, he instead pulled his ultimate punch, not in what he said, but in what he did not say. He let the idea stand that Martin was one of the victims of violence, but not one of the perpetrators.
If the president had called attention to the fractures in Martin’s domestic life, his suppressed criminal record, his all but unseen descent into drugs and violence, and especially his reckless attack on Zimmerman, Obama might have lent a dollop of moral seriousness to his remarks.
Continuing his defense of George Zimmerman -- whom he lionizes in his recent book -- Cashill tells us that everyone but Zimmerman was to blame for Trayvon Martin's death:
Here is the real injustice. In the two years since Trayvon Martin died, roughly 15,000 black Americans have been killed by other African-Americans.
If asked, I doubt if Barack Obama could name a one of them. I doubt if Holder could either. In these last two years, in these last five, neither has made a serious inquiry into why young black males kill and get killed at such a frightening rate.
It is so much easier and so much safer to blame George Zimmerman.
Yeah, putting blame on the guy who had a gun and shot Trayvon Martin to death is just too easy.
CNS Ignores Extreme Anti-Gay Nature of Pastors Group It Promotes Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com's Penny Starr manages to get three articles out of a press conference from a group of African-American pastors:
The main story, about how the pastors are calling for the impeachment of Attorney General Eric Holder for allegedly violating his oath of office by trying "to coerce states to fall in line with the same-sex 'marriage' agenda."
A second article featuring group leader Rev. Bill Owens, bashing President Obama by claiming that he "has done more to hurt the American people than any president, as I see it, in my lifetime and in history.”
Three days later, Starr wrote another article from the press conference featuring Owens claiming that the Obama administration’s alleged promotion of abortion “is promoting murder.”
Starr quoted Owens claiming that Planned Parenthood clinics are "all in black neighborhoods" without noting that the claim is false. According to the Guttmacher Institute, the majority of abortion clinics are located in majority-white neighborhoods, while only 9 percent are located in majority-black neighborhoods.
In none of these three articles, however, did Starr explain what Owens' Coalition of African American Pastors is, perpetuating the notion that it is a mainstream group.
CAAP's claim that it is "not affiliated with any political party" is undermined by its political stances, such as wanting to impeach Holder and Owens' assertion that the Democratic Party is a "demonic party." Further, according to USA Today, Owens has longstanding ties with Republican politicians, and CAAP has been criticized as a right-wing front group.
WND Lets Steven Seagal Lie About Obama Topic: WorldNetDaily
A Feb. 28 WorldNetDaily article quotes the following from a Steven Seagal speech at the rant-y and race-y Western Conservative Conference last weekend:
“Never in my life did I ever believe that our country would be taken over by people like the people who are running it this day,” said Seagal.
“I think that when we have a leadership that thinks the Constitution of the United States of America is a joke, when we have a president who has almost 1,000 executive orders now, when we have a Department of Justices that thinks that any kind of a judicial system that they make up as they are going along can get by with whatever they decide that they want to do – like Ted Nugent said the Fast and the Furious, what’s happening with the Fast and the Furious? What’s happened with the truth about any of the greatest scandals of American history that have happened right before our eyes?” Seagal said.
In fact, as of January, Obama has issued only 168 executive orders, not "almost 1,000."
Seagal's misinformation appears to stem from a chain email that makes numerous false claims about executive orders. That WND didn't see fit to correct Seagal's falsehood is just another reason why nobody believes WND.
Imagine: American soldiers aim their rifles and handguns at enemy fighters running toward them across the battlefield. But when they pull their triggers, none of the weapons fire. Within moments our troops are shot down by the onrushing enemy.
Border patrol agents under attack by a Mexican drug gang likewise find their handguns suddenly inoperative, as if turned off at a distance by the criminal gang advancing and firing on them.
Could this be the future, if the advocates of "smart guns" get their way?
A California smart gun start-up named Yardarm, reports the Post, has developed a technology so that "Users can even remotely disable their weapons." If owners can do this, who else can?
The inevitable question: Given this potential to turn off smart guns at a distance, thereby de facto disarming the users, will the politicians who require us to have smart guns also require that these same "safer" smart firearms be used by our soldiers in combat, by the Border Patrol, and by local and state police?
This columnist has long said that progressive presidents eager to impose gun control should lead by example. Presidents who say Americans need no guns to defend themselves should first disarm their own heavily armed Secret Service bodyguard.
For Farah, WND's Web Traffic Still Trumps Ideology Topic: WorldNetDaily
Joseph Farah has long pretended that his duty as a journalist keeps him from dropping Ann Coulter from the roster of WorldNetDaily columnists. That's a lie, and he's still lying about it.
Farah turns in his latest bill of particulars against Coulter in his Feb. 23 column, complaining about how she favors "electing Republicans – any and all Republicans. It doesn’t matter where they stand on the issues. It doesn’t matter how effective they have been in office. It doesn’t matter if they have betrayed those who elected them or the Constitution." But Coulter's latest betrayal of right-wing principles is still not enough for Farah to drop her column, and he does hint at why:
When Coulter hurled those invectives my way in 2010, many WND viewers urged me to dump her column and stop offering her books for sale.
As anyone can see, her column still runs in WND every week, the place more people read it than anywhere else.
Some wonder why.
Because agreement with me is not a requirement for being a WND commentator. In fact, WND boasts the broadest spectrum of political opinion among its dozens and dozens of columnists. And I have a very thick skin.
By bragging about how WND is "the place more people read [Coulter's column] than anywhere else," Farah is essentially admitting that Coulter drives too much traffic to his website to even consider dropping her. And his claim of WND having "the broadest spectrum of political opinion" is largely window dressing; there are only two explicitly liberal columnists, Bill Press and Ellen Ratner, and the rest of the "dozens and dozens" are definitely on the right-wing tilt.
As we are wellaware, Farah claim that he has "a very thick skin" is a complete lie. That's not the only lie he tells here:
I started to see some warning signs that Coulter was losing her principled edge just three years later in 2009, when she led a vicious public assault against “birthers,” as liberals and Democrats dubbed those who asked very tough questions about Barack Obama’s constitutional eligibility for the White House – questions that have still never been answered, by the way.
Actully, those questions have been answered -- Farah has simply chosen not to report those answers to his readers.
AIM Co-Sponsors Right-Wing Confab Filled With Rants, Racial Humor Topic: Accuracy in Media
For the past several weeks, Accuracy in Media has had on the front page of its website a promotion for the Western Conservative Conference (see right), which was held in Phoenix this past weekend. AIM served as a co-sponsor of the event.
And what did AIM get for its co-sponsoring money? A lot of right-wing ranting and racially charged so-called humor.
The racially charged humor came from Arizona State Rep. John Kavanagh during a roast of sheriff Joe Arpaio:
Early in his tour de force monologue, Kavanagh riffed, “It’s okay. I’m not the federal monitor. How many Hispanics did you pull over on the way over here, Arpaio, huh?” The crowd roared.
Then he pivoted to an immigration joke, “Sheriff Joe is the kind of guy that you gotta love. As long as you have papers.”
Soon he was making light of the controversy around the “religious freedom” bill SB 1062, which would allow businesses to refuse service to gay and lesbian couples. Kavanagh, who supports the bill, dismissed the criticism with a joke at the expense of Muslims and Arpaio:
Now a lot of people claim that SB 1062 is gonna cause discrimination based upon religion in Arizona.
And I scoffed at that until tonight. When a Muslim waiter serving up here walked up to Sheriff Joe, wouldn’t give him his dinner ’cause he said ‘I don’t serve swine.’
The crowd reacted with some shock, but not about the Muslim remark. Arpaio covered his face with his napkin. Kavanagh quipped that it “wasn’t quite a burka.”
The entire Western Conservative Conference was a hub of activity for far-right activists. As Media Matters notes, the conference was hosted by Floyd Brown, who has turned the Joseph Farah-founded Western Journalism Center into a hotbed of Obama-hating conspiracists (not that Farah probably thinks there's anything wrong with that). The conference also included other far-right fringers like Trevor Loudon and Russell Pearce.
These are the kind of people AIM was hanging out with in Arizona this past weekend.
WND's Unruh Still Can't Be Bothered To Report Both Sides Of A Story Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily's Bob Unruh has neverbeeninterested in reporting with any modicum of fairness on views he doesn't agree with (when he mentions those views at all), and that tendency shows up again in a Feb. 25 article.
In it, Unruh frames the issue of transgender rights for public school students through the eyes of its opponents, as the lead paragraph of his article makes all too clear:
Opponents of California’s radical “coed bathroom law,” which allows public school students to choose whether to identify themselves as boys or girls, are vowing to continue their fight even though state officials claimed they did not turn in enough signatures to have voters decide the issue.
WND has regularlyparroted right-wing fearmongering about transgenders by uncritically portraying the issue as being about "coed bathrooms" and showers.
Unruh lavishes attention of the anti-transgender views of Brad Dacus of the right-wing Pacific Justice Institute, a serial misinformer who peddles anti-gay views. Unruh makes no effort whatsoever to talk to a supporter of transgender rights.
Unruh also throws in the views of his equally anti-gay superior at WND, David Kupelian, complaining that transgenderism is being "de-pathologized" and no longer considered a "mental disorder."
NewsBusters Thinks George Takei Was Shrieking And Ranting On MSNBC Topic: NewsBusters
Jeffrey Meyer writes in a Feb. 25 NewsBusters post:
Actor and gay rights activist George Takei is known for his outspokenness when talking about gay marriage. As a result, the former "Star Trek" cast member felt the need to jump into the debate surrounding Arizona’s new religious freedom bill.
Appearing as a guest on The Last Word w/ Lawrence O’Donnell on Monday night, Takei expressed his outrage with the Arizona bill and proclaimed that not only is Arizona’s SB 1062 “not a religious freedom bill at all” he shrieked that “religious freedom is just a cloak for prejudice.”
Takei continued his rant against the Arizona bill by pushing the liberal line that “They're trying to write their prejudice into civil law… But it's these right-wing religious extremists that seem to dominate in the legislature.”
Instead of acknowledging that private businesses are being sued for refusing to service gay weddings, the actor chose to make a blanket disparaging statement that religious freedom doesn’t really exist and instead is “just a cloak for prejudice.” Takei concluded his tirade by pronouncing that SB 1962 is “really a disgraceful repugnant bill that is trying to hide under the cloak of religious freedom.” [emphasis added]
We watched the video attached to Meyer's post (it's an edited one-minute clip plucked from a nine-minute segment) and we didn't see any "shrieking" or "ranting" by Takei, or even a "tirade." He spoke in a sonorous, steady tone -- the guy was Sulu on "Star Trek," after all -- and did not even raise his voice.
Did Meyer watch the same video we did? Or is he simply trying to discredit Takei's argument by falsely portraying him as a crazy ranter?
WND's Corsi Doesn't Understand How A Law Firm Works Topic: WorldNetDaily
Jerome Corsi coinspiracy-mongers in a Feb. 26 WorldNetDaily article:
Perkins Coie, the Seattle-based law firm that has defended Barack Obama in lawsuits challenging the authenticity of his birth records, has emerged as the muscle for Federal Communications Commission threats against media that run advertising critical of Obamacare and of Democrats running for election in November 2014.
Corsi falsely suggests that the same lawyers who worked for the Obama campaign are also working for the Democratic congressman on whose behalf Perkins Coie sent the letters to the TV stations about the inaccurate ad, but at no point does Corsi name the lawyers who sent the letter.
Perkins Coie is a very large law firm, with more than 900 lawyers in 19 offices across the United States and Asia, so it's extremely unlikely the exact same lawyers worked on both cases.
Corsi seems unable to comprehend that a law firm, especially a large one like Perkins Coie, can more than one client and more than one lawyer, and they usually don't work as a cabal.
CNS' Starr Has Another Anti-Gay Freakout Topic: CNSNews.com
Penny Starr is CNSNews.com's leadhomophobe, and she shows it again in a pair of recent articles.
Starr used a Feb. 24 CNS article to inform us that "Former Olympic figure skating champion Johnny Weir has not tried to hide his homosexuality as NBC’s daytime figure skating analyst. He has worn bright pink and huge, sparkling jewelry as he and former champ Tara Lipinski commentated on this year’s skaters at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia." Because wearing flashy clothing could only mean that Weir is gay.
In another Feb. 24 article, Starr complains that an "American Idol" contestant has two moms:
MK Nobilette is “making history” as the first openly lesbian contestant on "American Idol," but she is also the first contestant to have two lesbian mothers supporting her in the audience.
Nobilette, 20, was selected to go to Hollywood during the San Francisco, Calif., audition, where she lives with her girlfriend. On Thursday, she was named as one of the Top 13 on the show.
A Feb. 19 article on the 429 website noted Nobilette’s “two mothers.”
“Following her first performance of John Legend’s ‘All of Me’ on Tuesday, February 18, the San Francisco-raised Nobilette received a standing ovation from the crowd—which included her two mothers, one of whom was unable to hold in happy tears,” the article stated.
Starr must have had to work hard to find a news article that mentioned Nobilette's parents so she could work up the proper outrage. 429 is not even a news organization per se -- it's a website serving as "a go-to destination for the LGBTA professional set." It probably pained Starr to comb through that website as it did to say something positive about a gay person.
Starr ironically closes the article by quoting Nobilette as saying of her sexuality, "I hope in 10 years we won't even have to talk about this." Not if Starr and CNS have anything to do with it, and continue to feel they can get away with creating opportunities for their right-wing audience to mock and slander gay people -- as the comment thread on both articles indicate.
NEW ARTICLE: WND Becomes Steve Stockman's PR Shop Topic: WorldNetDaily
Garth Kant leads WorldNetDaily in serving as the (presumably unpaid) press agent for the Texas congressman's run for a Senate seat. Read more >>
Newsmax's Editorial Content Promotes An Advertiser Topic: Newsmax
Newsmax is pulling out all the stops to promote the new film "Son of God" -- and it couldn't possibly have nothing to do with the fact that the film is being advertised on Newsmax.
A Feb. 26 article by Melissa Clyne carries the hyperbolic headline "'Son of God' Set to Blow Away Box Office Projections."
Newsmax has also posted a Feb. 26 Reuters article featuring Anti-Defamation League National Director Abraham Foxman claiming that "Son of God" will be "the antidote to the poison that 'Passion of the Christ' became" due to claims of anti-Semitism and excessive violence.
Note the sponsor line "See the Son of God and Watch the Story of Jesus Come to Life in Theaters" at the top of both of those articles. The producers of "Son of God" has apparently bought that strip, which appears at the top of all Newsmax articles -- the link goes to a website promoting the film.
Whether it may or may not actually be the case, Newsmax has created the appearance that it has adjusted its news content to be complementary to its advertising.
Things You Won't Read At WND, Patrick Henry College Edition Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily is a good buddy of evangelical Christian, homeschooler-friendly Patrick Henry College -- it has served as aPRagent for the school, at least one child of WND editor Joseph Farah has attended the school, and founder Michael Farris always gets good press for his homeschooling activism.
Which is why you are extremely unlikely to read this story at WND, reported by the New Republic, of PHC's callous attitude toward female students who have been sexually assaulted:
Researchers estimate that one in five American women is sexually assaulted in college, and Patrick Henry College’s unique campus culture has not insulated the school from sexual violence. In fact, it puts female students, like Claire Spear, in a particular bind: How do you report sexual assault at a place where authorities seem skeptical that such a thing even exists?
When Claire told Dean Corbitt what had happened in John’s car that night, she says, “it felt like I was just talking to a brick wall.” The administration “basically told me that they couldn’t do anything because none of the details of my story could be proven.” It seemed to her that the school was far more concerned about her underage drinking than it was about an allegation of sexual assault. Corbitt forced Claire to call her mother to tell her she was in trouble for alcohol—and told Claire to be careful because she had put herself on the dean’s “radar.” Claire says PHC administrators never mentioned the possibility of involving the police. The administration was supposed to be a second parent, Claire says, but “they didn’t take me seriously.”
Claire was not the first female student to leave PHC disillusioned with the administration she had trusted to protect her. Other female students who say they reported sexual assault or harassment to the administration also left feeling that school officials blamed them instead of holding the accused male students accountable. The administration, they say, seemed much more concerned with protecting Patrick Henry’s pristine public image.
PHC officials denied the claims made in the article (though those same officials mostly refused to talk to the New Republic for the article), and Farris posted a response on his personal Facebook page (later deleted) in which he claimed there was "reliable evidence" that the reported sexual behavior was "consensual," that he is not a part of the Quiverfull movement (despite having 10 children), and that he has no role inoperating PHC despite the fact he's the school's founder and chancellor.
If WND bothers to report on this at all, it will be from the perspective of Farris and PHC defending itself against scurrilous accusations, and it certainly won't consider the possibility that the former students' stories are true.