WND's Unruh Links To, But Does Not Quote From, Court Ruling He Disagrees With Topic: WorldNetDaily
Bob Unruh uses a May 23 WorldNetDaily article to crank out one of his one-sidedspecials, this time regarding the case of a police captain ordered to attend an "Islamic mosque where Muslims 'discussed Islamic beliefs, Muhammad, Mecca, and why and how Muslims pray' in addition to encouraging officers 'to buy' Islamic books and pamphlets that were for sale."
Unruh links to the judge's ruling in the case but, curiously, does not directly quote from it anywhere in his artice. Instead, much of the article is dedicated to bashing the ruling andtelling the case from the side of the plaintiff and his attorneys at the right-wing American Freedom Law Center.
As such, Unruh's readers don't get to read the reason that Capt. Paul Fields' lawsuit was dismissed in the full words of the judge who dismissed it:
First, the Attendance Order did not burden Fields’s religious rights because it did not require him to violate his personal religious beliefs by attending the event; he could have obeyed the order by ordering others to attend, and he has not contended on appeal that he had informed his supervisors that doing so would have violated his religious beliefs. Second, the order did not violate the Establishment Clause because no informed, reasonable observer would have perceived the order or the event as a government endorsement of Islam. Third, the order did not burden Fields’s right of association because it did not interfere with his right to decide what organizations to join as a member. Fourth, Fields’s equal-protection claim duplicates his free-exercise claim and fails for the same reason. And fifth, the district court did not abuse its discretion in denying Fields’s motion to amend the complaint to add ORFA and free-speech retaliation claims because the amendment would have been futile. He has provided no reason why his ORFA claim could succeed when his religion claims under the First Amendment do not. And his retaliation claim would fail because the interests of the Tulsa Police Department (TPD) as an employer outweighed Fields’s free-speech interests in filing his suit.
Because the Attendance Order did not violate Fields’s right to the free exercise of religion, TPD could lawfully punish him for violating it. An invalid religious objection to an order that does not burden your free exercise of religion does not immunize you from punishment for violation of the order.
The judge also shot down AFLC's (and, thus, Unruh's) suggestion that the event was solely about prostelyzation. In fact, the mosque was hosting a law-enforcement appreciation event:
No informed reasonable person could view the purpose or effect of TPD’s attendance at the event as suggesting that Islam is a preferred religion. Officers attending the event were not required to attend a religious service (and the timing of visits ensured that no officer would be required to be there during a service), read Islamic literature, or even discuss Islam. Those who wished to learn more about Islam could do so. The Establishment Clause does not prohibit governmental efforts to promote tolerance, understanding, and neighborliness. There is no evidence in the record of any attempts to convert officers to Islam, as opposed to providing information. And in any event, if perhaps some representatives of the Center crossed the line, there is nothing that would suggest to a reasonable observer that such conduct had received governmental endorsement.
But since Unruh is such a lazy and biased reporter -- and WND is paying him for that laziness and bias -- his readers won't know the full truth about this case.
CNS Blogger Cheers Putin's Disrespect of Obama Topic: CNSNews.com
Barbara Boland devotes a May 23 CNSNews.com blog post to expressing her pleasure that Russia's Vladimir Putin dissed President Obama and got cheered for doing so:
Russian President Vladimir Putin responded to Obama's accusations that he's lied about the Ukraine with: "Who is he to judge? Who is he to judge, seriously? If he wants to judge, why doesn't he get a job in court somewhere."
Putin's answer brought cheers and clapping from the crowd at the St. Petersburg economic conference where he was interviewed.
The CNBC interviewer asked Putin: "You have said 'we are a room full of adults,' so let's have an adult conversation. President Obama has accused you of untruths, as you know, when it comes to supporting some of the separatist groups in the Ukraine..."
Putin responded through an interpreter:
"Who is he to judge? Who is he to judge, seriously?" The crowd began to laugh and clap. "If he wants to judge people, why doesn't he get a job in court somewhere?"
"I don't think he accused me," Putin added for emphasis. "It's his point of view. And I have my point of view when he comes to certain things."
Then, after a pause, "What is it that interested you about what [Obama] said?"
At that point, both the interviewer and the crowd broke out in laughter.
Boland certainly does not disapprove of Putin's insult. Perhaps she should move to Russia if she prefers him as a leader.
WND's Farber Finds New Heroes In Fringe Fox Newsers Topic: WorldNetDaily
Barry Farber excitedly writes in his May 27 WorldNetDaily column:
Fox News has come up with the best political show on television. It’s called “The Political Insiders,” and you’ll never see an ivory tower, self-proclaimed political “consultant,” “strategist” or political “expert.” All three partners on the show have been muddied and bloodied in the political trenches for real. They are Doug Schoen, former pollster for the Clintons; Pat Caddell, former pollster for Jimmy Carter; and John LeBoutillier, former congressman from New York.
Each open-handedly and fist-clenchedly bashes his own party without hesitation or apology. When you watch “The Political Insiders,” you may feel like a resident of Communist Europe hearing Radio Free Europe for the first time!
We've previously noted that Pat Caddell hasn't done anything for Democrats for years, if not decades. Similarly, Doug Schoen is a "Fox News Democrat" who has raised funds for Republicans.
LeBoutillier, of course, is the former Newsmax columnist who got too ridiculous for them even as they were still a rabidly anti-Clinton operation, refusing to publish a column of his making sleazy allegations about Gary Condit's sex life. LeBoutillier also co-wrote a bizarre novel based on Obama birther conspiracy theories.
These are the people Farber considers to be his new heroes.
Melanie Batley writes in a May 27 Newsmax article:
President Barack Obama's reluctance to approve the Keystone XL Pipeline, despite widespread popular support for the project, is not only hindering America's energy independence but driving up the price of gas for American consumers.
According to a column in Forbes Magazine by Kathleen Hartnett White and Vance Ginn, experts at the Texas Public Policy Foundation, recent geopolitical instability and disruptions and bottlenecks in the supply of Brent crude oil from the North Sea have driven up costs for American refiners, leading to higher retail prices at the pump.
Batley doesn't mention that the Texas Public Policy Foundation is a right-wing think tank that pays its analysts to come up with opinions like that.
Batley also ignores that other experts hold other opinions on the Keystone pipeline's effect on oil prices.
The Washington Post has noted that not even the company that wants to build the pipeline is claiming that it will lower gas prices. And another Forbes columnist suggests that the pipeline might actually raise gas prices.
But most experts agree that the Keystone pipeline will little to no effect on gas prices in the U.S., since it's unlikely that oil companies will pass on their pipeline-derived savings to consumers.
WND Remains A Fact-Free Zone For Birther Conspiracy Theories Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily is a world where the most ridiculous claims about President Obama's birth certificate have never been challenged and WND's crediiblity hasn't been irrevocably ruined by peddling increasingly outlandish claims about the president.
Which explains why WND's Unruh still considers Donald Trump to be a credible source on birther conspiracies. Unruh writes in a May 28 article:
Billionaire Donald Trump has revealed he offered Barack Obama a $50 million donation to the president’s favorite charities in exchange for releasing his personal records, but Obama never responded.
“I would take it, and I’d give it to Chicago charities, and I would give it to all sorts of charities,” Trump said at a recent appearance at the National Press Club. “And they can use the money.”
Trump originally offered to give $5 million to Obama’s pick of charities if he would release his college and passport records.
WND reported that Trump wanted to know the place of birth Obama claimed when applying for college admission and aid.
But there was no deal.
Unruh doesn't mention any evidence Trump offered to back up his claim. Instead, he rehashes Trump's previous birther rantings and recycles the WND version of birther history, which conveniently omits the fact that most of it has been discredited.
Is Unruh really that lazy of a reporter, or is he so far in the WND bubble that the truth can't reach him anymore?
MRC's Sharyl Attkisson Dissonance Continues Topic: Media Research Center
A May 15 Media Research Center item by Sean Long does something we weren't sure the MRC was going to do -- call out its new BFF, former CBS reporter Sharyl Attkisson, for her shoddy reporting on vaccines:
More than simply covering the connection, some reporters, including former CBS reporter Sharyl Attkisson who reported anecdotes and interviewed many families convinced that vaccines caused their children’s autism.
Attkisson was particularly prone to report such anecdotes. Some segments, such as May 18, 2004, “Evening News” began and ended with minute long interviews with parent who blamed vaccines for their children’s autism. She even ended that story by asking, “How can it be wrong to err on the side of caution?”
In a similar broadcast on June 12, 2004, Attkisson included an anti-vaccination parent at a rally who claimed, “The CDC is going to become the Enron of the vaccine industry.” The Enron Corporation had recently collapsed in part due to fraudulent financial practices.
Years later, on April 21, 2014, Attkisson defended her vaccine reporting to CNN’s “Reliable Sources,” calling them “some of the most important stories I’ve done.”
But being the MRC, this only goes so far. Not only does Long fail to reconcile this criticism of Attkisson with the MRC's praise of her self-proclaimed martyrdom for her coverage of the Obama administration, the MRC has approvingly added an Attkisson quote about how her former CBS bosses were purportedly "ideologically entrenched" to its "Journalists Admitting Liberal Bias" page.
There seems to be a bit of cognitive dissonance here -- the MRC can't bash Attkisson for her shoddy vaccine reporting and at the same time praise her for her similarlyshoddyreporting on the Obama administration. Shouldn't the same standard be applied to all of Attkisson's reporting?
Ah, but if there weren't double standards, it wouldn't be the MRC.
Logrolling In Our Time, Jim Fletcher Edition Topic: WorldNetDaily
Another Jim Fletcher column, another round of praise for a WorldNetDaily-published book he doesn't disclose is published by the same folks that publish his column:
Frankly, there is widespread dread in this country. Nothing feels the same anymore. Much of this has to do with the current occupant of the White House.
Surveillance, disregard for traditional American values and now – reports that the First Lady is asking school kids to monitor their parents – all add up to a scary new reality in which the State controls all.
Is this America?
Cheryl Chumley wondered and her research led to a new book, “Police State USA: How Orwell’s Nightmare Is Becoming Our Reality.” It is a chilling account of how this country became a “de facto” police state. In other words, that’s already a reality, not merely possibility.
I found “Police State USA” to be hugely informative, even hopeful and buoyant as a call to action (dare I say, call to arms?) in protecting the precious freedoms that have made America … yes, exceptional.
MRC's Bozell & Graham Mansplain Feminism Topic: Media Research Center
Shailene Woodley is fast-rising movie star, and at age 22, she's already thrown the country's most uptight feminists into a tizzy.
Time magazine asked Woodley: "Do you consider yourself a feminist?" To say she didn't give the Hollywood answer would be an understatement.
"No, because I love men, and I think the idea of 'raise women to power, take the men away from the power' is never going to work out because you need balance."
Many women continue to reject "feminism" because it evokes an ideological rigidity grounded in the hostility toward men. That, in turn, drives feminists around a bend.
This sputtering is a bit amusing. Feminists insist you support their entire agenda or you're guilty of waging a "war on women." Apparently a woman who isn't a feminist is anti-woman.
Feminists insist they care only for equality between the sexes, but if that were so, why would so many women balk? Because they hate themselves? Or because after 40 years of screaming, it is pretty apparent that activist feminists in academia, the media, and politics will never stop complaining. Forty years from now they will still be waging a war on intolerable "patriarchy."
It's becoming faddish again to mentally bra-burn. The Times found twenty-something feminist actresses who are perpetually outraged at people's failure to bow to feminism.
Many people don't accept the term "feminist" because it sounds like a very serious kind of pagan religion, with its own dogma and doctrinal enforcers. Others find feminists to be boors, pure and simple. Still others see the hypocrisy of it all. If feminists really believed women should be liberated to make their own path, wouldn't they embrace a debate over feminism? Such is the world of the "tolerant" left.
NEW ARTICLE: The Worldview Review Topic: WorldNetDaily
Drew Zahn's movie reviews for WorldNetDaily are as much about reinforcing his employer's right-wing right-wing Christian agenda as they are about the film he's ostensibly reviewing. Read more >>
CNS' Starr Upset Abstinence Not Mentioned As Solution To Sexual Disease Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com reporter Penny Starr -- who likes to make false, alarmist claims about how morning-after pills cause abortion -- has a freakout about someone else's supposed alarmist claim in a May 19 CNS article:
Dr. Vanessa Cullins, vice president for external medical affairs at the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, says in a video that the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is a sexually transmitted disease that everyone will contract.
“In terms of sexually transmitted diseases, expect to have HPV once you become sexually intimate,” says Cullins, who is an obstetrician and gynecologist. “All of us get it.”
Starr's only source of rebuttal is Dr. Donna Harrison, "executive director and director of research and public policy at the American Association of Pro-life Obstetricians and Gynecologists," so you know it's biased:
Harrison said an HPV diagnosis can “change a woman’s life forever.”
Harrison said she also is sexually active as a married woman but she has not contracted the virus because she is in a monogamous relationship.
“That is the safest way to avoid sexually transmitted diseases,” Harrison said.
Neither Harrison nor Starr mention Gardasil, a vaccine that can prevent HPV infections, but Starr's fellow Media Research Center co-workers have been busy fearmongering about that. Her article, oddly, includes a picture marked as "HPV vaccine."
Starr doesn't seem to be upset that Planned Parenthood may be overstating the prevalence of HPV -- even she concedes that "79 million Americans are infected with the virus" -- but, instead, she's upset that Planned Parenthood and the Centers for Disease Control are living in the real world, not in her right-wing Christian world, and do not mention absinence as a way to avoid catching HPV.
Also, this Planned Parenthood video Starr is writing about is not a new one -- it was released in 2009. Starr does not explain why it took her five years to write about it.
WND's Erik Rush: My Conspiracy Theories Are True! Topic: WorldNetDaily
In his May 21 WorldNetDaily column, Erik Rush bashes a Newsweek writer's attempt to shoot down various conspiracy theories (though, characteristically, he doesn't provide a link to this article so his readers can see for themselves), complaining that Newsweek's Kurt Eichenwald "mixes lies with the truth, in that he similarly mocks both the most preposterous, nearly universally rejected conspiracy theories and those that have already been proven to be factual."
He's particularly upset that Newsweek dismisses right-wing Agenda 21 freakouts as a conspiracy theory:
The “award-winning plan” to which he refers was indeed a United Nations Agenda 21 design. Like Smart Meters mandated in municipalities and then installed in private homes while local law enforcement stands menacingly by, there are literally hundreds of Agenda 21 “suggestions” in regulatory queues across America, sponsored politically and financially by radical local politicians and ideological millionaires. In my community, we certainly know who they are.
But Rush never responds to what Eichenwald has to say in debunking the Agenda 21 conspiracies:
The idea was simple: Under the auspices of the U.N., those countries expressed their interest in managing urban development and land-use policies in ways that minimized the impact on the environment. At the time, mainstream conservative and liberal politicians considered the concept to be fairly inconsequential.
No more. Extremist organizations latched on to Agenda 21 as an attempt by the U.N. and the “New World Order” to seize private property to advance the causes of communism and to crush all dissent. Death maps will be created to determine where people will be allowed to live, some of the theories go. Trees will be given the same rights as humans. Electricity companies will conduct surveillance on customers.
By 2012, the Republican National Committee—overlooking that a Republican president had signed Agenda 21—adopted a resolution slamming the document as an “insidious scheme” designed to impose a “socialist/communist redistribution of wealth.” That language was toned down by the time of the Republican National Convention, but wild claims about Agenda 21 survived, saying the barely financed, unenforceable declaration was “insidious” and “erosive of American sovereignty.”
Today, the Agenda 21 conspiracy is raised around the country when local zoning boards—many of whom have never even heard of the U.N. statement—attempt to adopt development plans that control willy-nilly construction while considering environmental impact.
Rush goes on to stick to one of his more outlandish conspiracy theories:
Back in March, I revealed that a source in the intelligence community had informed me that Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 was hijacked in a Central Intelligence Agency-sponsored operation reeking of corporate and government intrigue, that the airliner had not crashed and that the manufacturer, Boeing, had likely been involved due to the technical implications of such an undertaking.
I was roundly ridiculed, of course, yet this week Malaysia’s influential former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad accused the CIA and Boeing of having done just that, describing the very scenario I outlined, and detailing how it might have been accomplished in the same way it was initially explained to me. Mohamad also charged that the missing aircraft’s current whereabouts are known to the alleged conspirators.
This is just one of the recent “conspiracy theories” and “phony scandals” that have either borne out in truth, or appear to contain more than an element of truth.
Just because a public official (or, in this case, a former public official) echoes your conspiracy theory doesn't mean that it has been "borne out in truth." You know, just like Joe Arpaio spouting birther conspiracy theories doesn't mean they've been proven true.
Cheryl K. Chumley writes in a May 20 Newsmax article:
While the United Nations and the Obama administration assert that climate change is settled science and requires dramatic regulatory oversight, 31,072 U.S. scientists have signed the Petition Project, saying the issue remains decidedly unsettled.
"There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gases is causing or will in the foreseeable future cause catastrophic heating of the Earth's atmosphere and disruption of the Earth's climate," the petition says.
Urgent: Who Is Your Choice for the GOP's 2016 Nominee?
"The purpose of the Petition Project is to demonstrate that the claim of 'settled science' and an overwhelming 'consensus' in favor of the hypothesis of human-caused global warming and consequent climatological damage is wrong," the petition asserts. "No such consensus or settled science exists."
Over 9,000 of the petition's signatories have a Ph.D. in a scientific field.
We first wrote about this petition in 2008, when the number of signees was also at around 31,000. As we noted then, few of those signees have degrees in fields related to climate science. Further, there have been more than 10.6 million science graduates as defined by Robinson's group since the 1970-71 school year, making the 31,000 on the petition a tiny fraction of that -- 0.3 percent, to be exact -- small enough that one could call it "fringe."
The rest of Chumley's article consists of right-wing talking points by climate change "skeptics."
WND's Farah Still Clings To Clinton Conspiracy Theories Topic: WorldNetDaily
The Daily Beast talked to some of the most notorious Clinton-haters of the 1990s, and finds that many of them have kept their hatred stoked for lo these many years. At the top of that list, of course, is WorldNetDaily's Joseph Farah, who still clings to many of the old Clinton conspiracies, like the death of Vince Voster:
“We were simply asking questions about the death of a high-ranking administration official in very peculiar circumstances, and we were just supposed to accept the conventional answers even though when you look at the forensic evidence there were a lot of questions,” said Joseph Farah, the editor of WND.com and the former head of the Western Journalism Center
In 1996, the Columbia Journalism Review described the WJC as dedicated to “trying to inject the dark view of Foster’s death into mainstream reporting and thinking. Last year, to this end, the Center bought full-page ads in several major newspapers, including The New York Times… to offer for sale special Vince Foster reports.”
That Foster was murdered, Farah says now, “is not something you will ever see me saying. I am a journalist. I don’t draw conclusions unless there is proper evidence for it. I don’t what happened but I don’t think he committed suicide in Fort Marcy Park.”
Of course, Farah is being utterly disingenuous. If you reject the idea that Foster committed suicide, the only other possible conclusion you can come to is that he was murdered.
But that's not the only thing Farah is willing to lie about. He even denies being a Clinton-hater, even though WND's early days were dripping with hatred for Clintbn:
“They called us Clinton-haters. I was never a hater,” Farah says. “But you could certainly say I was one of his enemies.”
And even with the remove of two decades, Farah stands by his reporting—although he acknowledges that not all of it was in the tradition of even-handed journalism.
“Accurate? Yes. Fairness is a nice thing that we try to do in journalism. We don’t want to smear people. We don’t want to be untruthful. But the most important thing is holding power accountable, and that is what we tried to do.”
As we have seen with WND's coverage of Obama, Farah has absolutely no problem smearing people and being untruthful.
By contrast, Newsmax's Christopher Ruddy has tried to distance himself from his Clinton-era excesses:
“At the time, I think I was just trying to do a good job as a journalist, but it was to just get caught up in this anti-Clinton movement and belief that he was a bad guy no matter what he did,” said Chris Ruddy, CEO of the conservative media company NewsMax, and close ally at the time of both Scaife and Farah.
“It becomes almost like trench warfare. You have a permanent stalemate and a permanent sense of war and anger and it keeps escalating and there is nobody to bring a truce,” Ruddy said.
He found his way out of the hysteria, he says, during the Bush years, a period which by comparison made Clinton look sober and judicious. At New York City Mayor Ed Koch’s urging, Ruddy and Scaife reached out to Clinton, and met with him for lunch at his Harlem office in 2007.
Now, he says, “I don’t feel like I did anything wrong. I think that at the time I was acting as the opposition press. Do I think it was over the top? Yes. This was 20 years ago. It was my first big adventure in journalism. I was caught up in the moment. You live and learn and you grow. Do I think it was a mistake to be attacking the president? Um… Yes, in the way I did, yes.”
Of course, true believer Farah was having none of that:
“Scaife and Ruddy have run from what they did,” said Farah. “Without any real explanation that makes any sense. You won’t see them talking about Vince Foster any more. They think Clinton has grown up since leaving the presidency, that he is somehow a changed man. Well, maybe they are the ones that changed.”
Farah has not changed -- he's as willing to spew hate and lies as ever.
Terry Jeffrey rants in a May 21 CNSNews.com column:
Two Senate committees held hearings this month on the nomination of Office of Management and Budget Director Sylvia Mathews Burwell to succeed Kathleen Sebelius as secretary of Health and Human Services, the federal agency most responsible for overseeing implementation of Obamacare.
In these two hearings, according to transcripts published by CQ Transcriptions, the senators and the nominee spoke approximately 49,000 words. Not one of these words directly addressed the contraception-sterilization-abortion-inducing drug regulation that Sebelius issued under Obamacare and that is now the target of more than 90 lawsuits.
The central question in the lawsuits filed against Sebelius is whether the federal government can force Americans into complicity with the taking of innocent human life by compelling them to buy or provide health insurance that covers abortion-inducing drugs.
As the enforcer, Burwell will effectively tell Americans: Under Obamacare's individual mandate, you must buy health insurance, and under our regulation, that insurance must cover abortion-inducing drugs.
As we've repeatedlydocumented, no drugs that fit the medical definition of "abortion-inducing drugs" are covered by Obamacare.
Why must Jeffrey and CNS continue to lie about this provision?
WND Thinks People Getting Robbed Is 'Delicious' Topic: WorldNetDaily
A May 21 WorldNetDaily article by Jay Baggett carries the headline "Delicious irony at 'no guns allowed' restaurants." What was that "delicious irony"? A robbery:
The armed robber who shot and robbed a 20-year-old man outside this Houston Jack in the Box Sunday probably didn’t know the fast-food chain had only nine days earlier banned guns at their restaurants.
Or maybe he didn’t care.
Or maybe he realized his chances of encountering meaningful resistance were slim.
The shooting came on the heels of the chain capitulating to demands by the anti-gun activist group Mothers Demand Action that law-abiding gunowners be banned from bringing their weapons into the restaurants.
“Creating a warm and inviting environment for all of our guests and employees is a top priority for Jack in the Box,” read the corporation’s news release. “The presence of guns inside a restaurant could create an uncomfortable situation for our guests and employees and lead to unintended consequences. While we respect the rights of all our guests, we would prefer that guests not bring their guns inside our restaurants.”
Unfortunately, defenseless customers create a “warm and inviting environment” for the wrong people.
How callous and amoral is WND that it finds schadenfreude in someone being the victim of a crime?