MRC's Gainor Goes To Bat For For-Profit Colleges Topic: Media Research Center
Dan Gainor's Aug. 25 Media Research Center article is a lengthy puff piece masquerading as "media research." He complains:
The Obama administration continues its push to regulate for-profit colleges and national media outlets have joined in and overwhelmingly taken the side of bigger government.
Three top newspapers – The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times and USA Today – portrayed for-profit education negatively by a factor of 15-1 in roughly three years of news coverage.
The outlets have been laying the groundwork for more regulations, repeatedly painting for-profit education as a problem in need of solutions. The industry has been criticized for “exploitive and fraudulent practices” that “prey on veterans with misleading ads.” The colleges were bashed for their cost, their lobbying and “woefully inadequate education.” Journalists paid little attention to the challenges of educating students that more traditional schools would not accept.
Gainor spends the rest of the article bashing those newspapers for reporting the facts about problems with for-profit schools and ignoring the actual problems.
Gainor attacked the New York Times for covering the issue, complaining that "It even called them 'predatory schools' in April 2014, and 'predatory colleges' in May." Perhaps that's because that's what some of them are. One of the Times editorials Gainor criticized highlighted one analysis finding that "of the 4,420 career programs ... examined, 114 (all at for-profit institutions) had higher loan default rates than graduation rates — a situation created in part by schools that enroll poorly prepared students who can’t do the work but who borrow to pay tuition before eventually dropping out." These schools are "predatory," the Times explained, because they "rely on federal student aid for up to 90 percent of their revenue and are well versed in the art of evading the law."
Gainor went on to portray one for-profit operator, Corinthian Colleges, as the victim of a government conspiracy to run them out of business:
Corinthian Colleges, Inc. was one of the largest companies in the for-profit education field. But government had set out to take it down. It largely succeeded in July 2014.
The Los Angeles Times reported heavily on problems at the Santa Ana, Calif.,-based company – 11 full stories about what the paper called on July 16, 2014, “one of the most problematic players in the troubled for-profit college industry.” The stories featured complaining former students and angry former employees, along with the occasional comment from a company executive.
But Gainor neglects to mention the actual allegations the former students and employees made against Corinthian and outlined in that article. They include predatory marketing practices and falsely inflating placement rates.
Gainor also makes sure to skew his methodology for full propaganda impact:
The Media Research Center’s Business and Media Institute analyzed education stories in three top general interest newspapers. The MRC examined USA Today, The New York Times and Los Angeles Times. The other two papers landing in the top five for circulation are The Washington Post and Wall Street Journal. The Journal was not included because it focuses mostly on finance. The Post was deliberately excluded because it had close financial ties with the industry for part of the study period.
Gainor didn't mention that the Wall Street Journal is owned by News Corp., which also operates Fox News and, thus, automatically gets a pass. While it's true that the Washington Post did have "close financial ties with the industry" -- until Jeff Bezos bought the paper in 2012, its ownership group also ran the Kaplan for-profit schools -- one suspects the Post's coverage of the issue was actually a little too balanced to fit snugly in Gainor's propaganda piece.
The issue of for-profit colleges has been essentially ignored by the MRC until Gainor's piece. That screams of Gainor either being asked, or paid, by the for-profit college industry to write it.
Any chance Gainor will explain what's really behind his sudden interest in the issue? Don't count on it.
MRC Thinks Jon Stewart Was Serious Topic: Media Research Center
Anyone who has ever watched "NewsBusted" knows that the Media Research Center is humor-challenged. But MRC writer Kristine Marsh may very well be the most humor-challenged of the bunch.
In an Aug. 27 MRC item, Marsh somehow chooses to interpret a "Daily Show" segment on the Ferguson, Mo., shooting by declaring that "Jon Stewart had a lot of hate to unload on Fox News, and a lot of sanctimonious posturing on race." Marsh added: "Stewart condescendingly lectured Sean Hannity, saying 'Do you not understand that life in this country is inherently different for white people and black people?'"
But Marsh failed to include the context of that statement -- the accompanying video clip includes only that statement. In fact, Stewart was responding to Hannity's statement that he would simply lift his shirt to let an officer know he had a gun if he were ever stopped by police.
Marsh then demonstrated her utter lack of a sense of humor:
All standard fare for the media’s race baiters, but then Stewart pushed the boundaries of reason and claimed that racial discrimination was something every black person in America faced on a constant hourly basis.
“I guarantee you that every person of color in this country has faced an indignity — from the ridiculous to the grotesque to the sometimes fatal — at some point in their … I’m going to say last couple of hours because of their skin color.”
It’s hard to argue with such an absurd statement that Stewart could obviously know nothing about, much less, “guarantee.”
Marsh has obviously never heard of exaggerated claims being the base of humor. Marsh's huffing that Stewart was making "such an absurd statement" contrasts with Rush's Limbaugh regulardefense of his repeated offensive remarks by claiming he was merely illustrating absurdity by being absurd.
How is it that Marsh can presumably see Limbaugh's absurdity for what it is but not Stewart's?
WND's Cashill Hides The Truth Of Activists' Fraudulent Liens Topic: WorldNetDaily
In his Aug. 20 WorldNetDaily column, Jack Cashill tries to besmirch Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon by recounting a story from his past:
For Heather Johnson* and 14 other Missouri citizens, there is no forgetting and no forgiving. Allow me to explain.
On March 30, 1996, the 22-year-old Heather happily shucked her apron at the suburban Kansas City McDonald’s where she worked and headed out with her fiancé to a potluck dinner at a Knights of Columbus Hall in mid-Missouri.
The potluck was organized by a group of folks who took the state and federal constitutions as seriously as fundamentalist do the Bible.
That evening they were holding what they called a “common law grand jury” to assess certain police actions in the area. They were one short of the necessary 24 and cajoled the apolitical babysitter into sitting in.
One fellow appeared before the jury to protest a judge’s treatment of his 17-year-old daughter after a traffic stop. The grand jury had also invited the judge to come explain his action.
Not surprisingly, the judge blew the constitutionalists off, and the grand jury decided in the plaintiff’s favor. They told the plaintiff that under Missouri law he had a right to file a lien against the judge’s property. He promptly did just that.
Bad move. Nixon, eying a Senate run, was looking for an opportunity to strut his anti-terror stuff, a then-fashionable strut among the party faithful.
Some months passed before Heather learned of Nixon’s ambitions, and she learned the hard way. The state police came to her home late one night, handcuffed her and hustled her off to jail.
The frightened burger-flipper would soon learn that she had “tampered with a judicial officer by engaging in conduct reasonably calculated to harass [the judge], namely, filing a lien with the Lincoln County Recorder of Deeds on the property of [the judge.]”
The fact that the lien had been immediately expunged did not deter Nixon. Nor did the fact that Heather had not signed the lien or filed it.
At the time of the incident, in fact, Heather did not know what a lien was. She would tell me later, in a St. Joseph prison, “The word had yet to come into my vocabulary.”
This was a real prison, by the way, a Show-Me Guantanamo with coiled razor wire on the tops of the walls and big fat mommas in orange jump suits wandering the halls.
Heather had already served one year of a two-year sentence when I interviewed her for a local TV station. (I still have the tapes.)
She had been tried as a group with 14 others in Lincoln County. Curiously, the two men who actually filed the lien were not charged.
Another curiosity was that the lien was technically legal at the time it was filed – the legislature would not ban common law liens until August of that year.
Given the thinness of the charges, Heather and the 14 others fully expected to be exonerated. They chose to defend themselves.
“We range from ages 23 to 78,” a Vietnam vet told the jury in his opening statement. “We are farmers, mechanics, carpenters, truck drivers, equipment operators, a cross section of America.” But they were also all white. So no one in the media gave a damn.
Nixon had no pity on these “paper terrorists,” the preferred media term of the day. Before a jury pulled from a well poisoned pool, Nixon and his crack team of assistant AGs hammered the 15.
All of them were convicted. Thirteen received two-year sentences. The two presumed ringleaders were given seven years each and denied bail, all for inconveniencing a judge.
This being Cashill, he's hiding the facts of the story that don't conform with his agenda.
This "group of folks who took the state and federal constitutions as seriously as fundamentalist do the Bible" are better known today as soverign citizens who believe they are above the law. And the "inconveniencing" of the judge for which they were sentenced was, in fact, the filing of a malicious, fraudulent multimillion-dollar lien on the judge's property.
The Associated Press reported in 1996 that the group of 13 men and two women Cashill is writing about "were part of a common-law court group that filed a $10.8 million claim in Lincoln County Circuit Court against Associate Circuit Judge Patrick Flynn. Prosecutors called it an attempt to harass Flynn, who was scheduled to preside over a traffic charge against another member of the movement."
Malicious, fraudulent liens against government officials are a common tactic by "soverign citizens" to take revenge on a government they reject. Far from being the mere inconvenience Cashill claims they are, they can tie up property and keep rightful owners from doing anything with it until the lien is dealt with. The New York Times reports that one couple who lost their home to foreclosure filed more than $250 billion in liens against local officials. One sheriff who was victmiized by a lien says, "“It affects your credit rating, it affected my wife, it affected my children. ... We spent countless hours trying to undo it.” The FBI has labeled the strategy “paper terrorism.”
Cashill's benign description of the malicious, fraudulent lien being a noble protest of "a judge’s treatment of [the protester's] 17-year-old daughter after a traffic stop" also belies the facts. Here's what really happened, according to a court proceeding:
The record viewed in the light most favorable to the verdict reveals that on February 3, 1996, Highway Patrol Officer David Flannigan (Flannigan) issued two traffic tickets to Amanda Brook Lenk (A.Lenk), which were assigned to the Honorable Patrick S. Flynn, Associate Circuit Judge of Lincoln County. On February 28, 1996, A. Lenk's maternal grandfather George Castle and Charles Detmer informed Judge Flynn in his chambers that it would be in his best interest to dismiss the case against A. Lenk and if he did not do so “․ they would have to proceed with their proceedings in their court.” Sometime on February 28, Judge Flynn received a document entitled “Caveat and Demand to All Public Officials” from Castle and Detmer informing Judge Flynn that he and all public officials would be violating her constitutional rights under 42 U.S.C. Sections 1983-1986 and 18 U.S.C. 41, 242, 2381, if they proceeded in the case of State of Missouri v. Amanda Brook Lenk. Judge Flynn did not dismiss the case.
On March 12, 1996, A. Lenk appeared with her father, Melvin Lenk (M.Lenk), Castle, Detmer, and Hobbs before Judge Flynn. A. Lenk stated that she represented herself and moved that the charges against her be dismissed because she had chosen not to live under the laws of the United States through a Declaration to Quiet Title. Hobbs informed Judge Flynn that he was there as A. Lenk's “counsel” but was not allowed to represent her because he was not a licensed attorney. Hobbs informed Judge Flynn that he had no jurisdiction, the case should be dismissed and Judge Flynn would be brought before “their court” if he did not dismiss the case.
On or about March 25, Judge Flynn received documents entitled “Order to Appear,” ordering him to appear before “Our One Supreme Court ․ at the Knights of Columbus Hall in St. Clement, Missouri at 7:00 p.m., March 13th․ If you do not appear at the time, date and place so ordered[,] a default will be entered on your behalf and judgment entered against you in the sum ․ of ten million eight hundred and four thousand dollars of United States of America currency.” Judge Flynn received two of these “orders,” one on behalf of A. Lenk and the other on behalf of Hobbs, each of which had affidavits attached from M. Lenk and Hobbs and a list of “jurors” who entered the order.
In other words, the protester was taking revenge on the judge for not dismissing a minor traffic ticket against his daughter. No evidence was offered that the events resulting in the ticket did not happen; rather, it was claimed that the judge had no jurisdiction and would be tried in the protester's own made-up court as punishment.
As for Cashill's claim that "Heather," his pseudonymous so-called victim, "had not signed the lien or filed it," the court proceeding notes that 24 members of this "sovereign citizen" group were "jurors" that signed the order authorizing the lien against the judge. "Heather" is in all likelihood one of them. The order rather laughably stattes that the order is "not reviewable by any other court of the United States as set forth under the 7th Amendment, nor subject to trespass upon the case, by the Judicial Power of the United States, per 11th Amendment, our national Constitution."
Cashill noted that "I have changed Heather’s name to protect her but no other detail." Given the the names of the defendants' names are all a matter of public record as a result of the court proceedings and were reported in contemporaneous news accounts, it's rather silly for Cashill to hide her identity. All were identified by name in a 1996 St. Louis Post-Dispatch article (retrieved via Nexis); given that we know two of the 15 defendants were women and one of them is identified in the article as a grandmother, we can deduce that the other named woman is Cashill's mysterious source: Ima D. Conklin.
Cashill has a habit of sidingwithcriminals while whitewashing their crimes, and this is just another example.
NEW ARTICLE: The Medicine of Fear Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily gives AAPS-affiliated doctor Elizabeth Lee Vliet plenty of space to fearmonger about disease-ridden immigrants and how Ebola will kill us all. Read more >>
The latest step is Newsmax giving Kerik a lengthy Aug. 24 column in which he opines on "What the Deaths of Michael Brown and James Foley Can Teach Us." Kerik defends the militarization of police forces, though he concedes that the Ferguson, Missouri, police overreacted to initial protests of Brown's death.
The vast majority of Kerik's column is defending militarization of police; despite the headline, he doesn't get to Foley until the last few paragraphs and he doesn't say what his death can teach us, only that "there is a lot for us to learn from what happened to James Foley."
The byline of Kerik's article, in addition to misspelling his first name, identifies him as "Police Commissioner – City of New York (Retired)." That's quite an appeal to authority there, especially given that Kerik was commissioner for only 16 months.
Honestly, it boggles the mind why any male employer would hire a feminist. They are walking, talking, breathing lawsuits. They are harassment litigation with hairy armpits.. They are, in short, Trouble with a capital T.
Feminists carry a burden of hatred everywhere they go. While they are scornful of women who don’t fall in line with their cause, they save their most lethal contempt for men. Feminists gleefully strip men of their masculinity, their livelihood and often their children … and call it progress.
Feminism long ago left the realm of admirable and entered the realm of evil. No longer does feminism claim to correct the powerlessness too many women suffered through history. The movement has been hijacked by those who merely long to demonize half the population. This, more than anything else, is worthy of mockery.
Feminists can keep their menstrual activist gear, their love of murder (aborting five-month fetuses?), their hatred of men, their “feminist biology” and their disgusting tampon earrings.
Decent women will earn respect by their words, behavior and attitude. Feminists will earn dislike and resentment, even hatred, of men and women alike.
People don’t have to look very far to find feminists to mock. They invite it so readily.
The byline of Bob Unruh on a WorldNetDaily article pretty muchguarantees a biased, one-sided view of whatever he's writing about, while ignoring inconvenient facts that conflict with his far-right Christian worldview.
And so it is with Unruh's Aug. 17 WND article designed to fearmonger about a long-existing law that prohibits ministers from making partisan political endorsements from the pulpit:
Imagine uttering the words “pro-life” in your church and finding yourself targeted by an investigation from the feared and reviled Internal Revenue Service.
An expert on the First Amendment conflict between pastors and the federal agency, which says it is investigating speech delivered from pulpits, confirms that’s possible.
As per usual with Unruh, he quotes only right-wing sources who are all to happy to join in the fearmongering, and he makes no effort to talk to anyone at the IRS about the regulation.
And it's not until the final paragraph that Unruh concedes, although somewhat obliquely, that the regulation in question has existed since 1954. Which means that, far from imposing new impositions, the agreement the IRS made with the Freedom From Religion Foundation is about enforcing existing law. As the FFRF has pointed out, the IRS has not been enforcing the regulation (known as the Johnson amendment) with regard to churches.
Even though the FFRF press release can be easily found on the Internet, Unruh couldn't lift a finger to find it and quote from it to provide some semblence of balance to his article. But then, WND isn't paying him to be fair and balanced.
NewsBusters Makes Anti-Obama Screed Quietly Disappear Topic: NewsBusters
Mark Finkelstein used a Aug. 20 NewsBusters post to promote an anti-Obama screed:
Weak Sauce: Obama White House 'Appalled' By ISIS Beheading of Journalist
"Appalled"? Really? Gee, why didn't President Obama go all out and announce that he was "dismayed" by the ISIS beheading of an American journalist. Was "appalled" really the strongest reaction this administration could muster? Apparently, yes. Here was the White House statement: "we are appalled by the brutal murder of an innocent American journalist, and we express our deepest condolences to his family and friends."
Let's try out a statement that an American president who truly represented our nation's values and interests might have issued: "The search is underway for those who were behind these evil acts. I have directed the full resources of our intelligence and law enforcement communities to find those responsible and to bring them to justice. We will make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbor them." Oh, wait. Can't have that. That was the statement that President George W. Bush delivered on September 11, 2001. More after the jump.
Guess President Obama didn't want to incite or offend the terrorists. So rather than expressing anger and the determination to avenge this murder, Obama contents himself with such weak sauce. That's not how you deal with and defeat terrorists. Will this president ever figure that out?
A day later, however, Finkelstein's screed disappeared. Why? Perhaps because it was so blatantly partisan, and such partisan activity violates the tax-exempt status of its parent, the Media Research Center -- something the MRC occasionally has troubleunderstanding.
NewsBusters didn't explain any of that to its readers, though -- it simply deleted Finkelstein's post without explanation or apology, and the URL for the post returns only an "Access denied" message. Talk about weak sauce.
It's still in Bing cache, though, so read it while you can. Oh, and here's a screenshot for posterity:
It is long past time to speak the truth. The blacks rioting and looting in Ferguson, Missouri, are not oppressed, frustrated people. They are a pernicious and hardly secretive camorra. The rioters and looters didn’t steal food, or medicine for sick children; they stole televisions, clothing, DVDs, CDs, jewelry, cigarettes and the like. There exists no acceptable excuse for their behavior. Ergo, there remains only the truth: They are an ungodly, stiff-necked lot given over to rage and evil behavior.
Even more egregious is the fact that they are encouraged and given emotional sanctuary for their condemnable actions by those who benefit from their animus. These blacks, those like them and those who sympathize with them, are equivalent to toxic allergens making blacks allergic to civilized behavior.
Suppose the Ku Klux Klan went on a murderous rampage burning and destroying cities every time blacks murdered, raped, or viciously assaulted an innocent white person. Speaking of the KKK, I say it is time for blacks to be treated as the KKK have been, i.e., let rioters, their families and those who support/encourage their malevolent and destructive behavior be held financially responsible for the damage they inflict.
Then, for some reason, Massie starts ranting about abortion:
Approximately 1,876 unborn black children are murdered by abortion every day. How many of those 1,876 black children are murdered at the Planned Parenthood abortion mill located in St. Louis? Ergo, who is really feasting on the blood of innocent blacks?
When blacks aren’t killing one another they are being murdered by abortionists. And all Obama, Holder, Jackson et al. can find to condemn is that a black thug was shot and killed by police. Why weren’t they upset about the 80 people (nearly all black) who were shot, 12 of whom died, in Chicago the Fourth of July weekend alone? The black population in America has been decreased by well over 25 percent. Black women may be only 13 percent of the child-bearing population, but they are responsible for over 35 percent of the unborn children murdered by abortion.
Blacks are being encouraged to riot about the wrong issues. They riot over a “gangsta’ wannabe” but express no outrage whatsoever as their population is being systematically eliminated by abortionists with the approval and applause of Obama.
You'd think that Massie would approve of abortion since they apparently get rid of the kind of black people he despises so much.
It's either a slow news week, or CNSNews.com managing editor Michael Chapman was feeling particularly hateful. Those are pretty much the only logical explanations for Chapman's Aug. 20 CNS article, in which he rehashes "a recent commentary in the Wall Street Journal" by "Dr. Paul R. McHugh, the former psychiatrist-in-chief for Johns Hopkins Hospital and its current Distinguished Service Professor of Psychiatry," who claims that "transgenderism is a 'mental disorder' that merits treatment, that sex change is 'biologically impossible,' and that people who promote sexual reassignment surgery are collaborating with and promoting a mental disorder."
Note Chapman's vaguery about McHugh's commentary being "recent." That's because it originally appeared more than two months ago, on June 12.
Since McHugh's op-ed has been sitting around for two months, you'd think that Chapman would have had more than enough time to go beyond stenography and note the fact that some commentators disagree with McHugh's analysis. One of these is from Mari Brighe, who points out that "McHugh has decided to ignore the growing body of neurological and genetic research providing evidence of a biological basis for gender dysphoria" and is "selectively reading the literature to support his own agenda." Brighe also notes that "Missing entirely from McHugh’s analysis is any understanding or even mention of the tremendous discrimination, harassment, violence, and economic stability faced by the transgender community" and then "goes on to attempt to break down transgender individuals into three wide and poorly defined categories- with absolutely zero research or evidence other than his own personal say-so." Brighe concluded by noting that "the opinions of Dr McHugh fly in the face of currently accepted medical practice and the positions of many major medical associations" and "do not represent the views of the mainstream medical establishment, rather they are the erroneous, bigoted beliefs of a scientist who appears far too invested in his own antiquated, disproven theories and his anti-LGBT political position than the current state of medical affairs."
But Chapman can't be bothered to include a fair and balanced view -- he simply summarizes McHugh's op-ed. Which suggest that Chapman's view of transgenders mirrors that of McHugh.
Obama Derangement Syndrome, Wayne Allyn Root Edition Topic: WorldNetDaily
Obama Derangement Syndrome victim Wayne Allyn Root has a new book out, and he's making the rounds of the ConWeb spreading more Obama derangement.
In an Aug. 5 WorldNetDaily column, Root declared that the economy was not recovering, citing as evidence that "40 percent of American workers now earn less than the minimum wage in 1968."
Of course, one way to do something about that is to raise the minimum wage to its 1968 equivalent. But Root opposes that. He's quoted in an article from just two months earlier:
"The truth is, forcing millions of small, medium and large U.S. businesses to artificially raise wages will end up costing everyone more money - but it will especially hurt lower and middle income families by raising consumer prices via the 'hidden' tax of inflation - which is anti-growth, anti-economic and un-American," warns Root.
"Politicians love playing Robin Hood, but lack real concern for America's poor. Instead they want wealth redistribution costs to be passed onto business owners and customers as an 'invisible' tax."
"Free markets thrive on competition, not regulation," explains Root, "and raising the minimum wage is a proven formula to further crush the U.S. middle class, which is the true goal of the Obama Administration, as explained in my new book, THE MURDER OF THE MIDDLE CLASS (July 2014, Regnery).
Leave it to Root to turn an attack into a book plug.
Meanwhile, Root's Aug. 19 WND column goes full on into Obama derangement (with added book plug, of course):
The unrest and rioting is getting worse in Ferguson. Get used to it. More unrest is on the way … soon to a street near you. Obama never lets a good crisis go to waste. For Obama, this is the perfect crisis.
August 9. That was the day that a young black male was shot and killed by police in Ferguson, Missouri. That was 10 days ago. The situation has smoldered for 10 long days. Monday night two people were shot, 31 arrested.
This situation could have been defused 10 days ago with an appearance by the president. Barack Obama isn’t just any president; he’s the first black president. The young man killed by police was a black male. The smoldering town is predominantly black. The angry crowds are black Americans. A few words from Obama while standing on the ground in Ferguson could have put this smoldering fire out days ago.
Obama could have stopped this fire from getting out of control at any time of his choosing. So where was Obama? Why doesn’t he want to put the fire out?
My new book, “The Murder of the Middle Class,” is all about the accelerating decline and destruction of America under Barack Obama. Nothing Obama does is by mistake. Everything has a purpose. Everything fits an agenda to “fundamentally change America.” Obama never lets a crisis go to waste. He uses every crisis to distract the people. Don’t look now, but Ferguson is the perfect crisis, at the perfect time. This one came on a silver platter!
Just as Obama never lets a crisis go to waste, Root never lets an opportunity to shill for his book go to waste.
MRC Doesn't Fact-Check, Tries To Create Scandal Where None Exists Topic: Media Research Center
Mike Ciandella does his best to make his Aug. 13 Media Research Center article sound like a real scandal:
A new report suggested that liberal billionaire Tom Steyer’s hedge fund profited from a $1 billion San Francisco light rail project pushed by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. Steyer was also a big supporter of Pelosi.
Despite being quick to criticize conservative political donors, the morning and evening news shows on ABC, CBS and NBC have all ignored the allegation since the Washington Free Beacon broke the story Aug. 12.
According to Washington Free Beacon, Pelosi “steered more than a billion dollars in federal financing” to a transportation project to provide light rail access to the Mission Bay neighborhood in San Francisco. This access helped cause the property value of land owned by Steyer’s hedge fund, Farallon Capital Management, to spike. Farallon has since sold all but two of those properties. Steyer gave at least $5,000 to Pelosi in 2011 alone.
But a closer look into the facts -- which Ciandella apparently didn't do -- disproves his suggestion of a direct quid pro quo.
The light-rail line began construction in 2002, two years before Steyer’s Farallon hedge fund bought into Mission Bay. The majority of the line -- known as the Third Street Light Rail project -- including the part that goes past Farallon’s property, was completed in 2007, and it benefited an entire section of San Francisco, not just the land Farallon owned. Also, the line in question is pretty long, about 5 miles, and Farallon had 30 acres at most. And the Free Beacon concedes that Pelosi was securing funds for the project before Farallon bought land there, which Ciandella didn't note.
The Free Beacon also notes that the $967 million Pelosi helped obtain for the line -- the vast majority of the money Ciandella is writing about -- came in 2012. But that money is for an extension of the line (called the Central Subway) and would not run past Farallon-owned land.
Then, for some reason, Ciandella starts ranting about George Soros: "Media is home turf for Soros. He has poured more than $65 million into media and journalism groups through his Open Society Foundations since 2000." But as we've noted, that's less than what conservative billionaires Richard Mellon Scaife, Rupert Murdoch and Sun Myung Moon have spent each year over the past couple decades to keep afloat the three right-wing newspapers they respectively control (the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, the New York Post and the Washington Times).
WND Can't Stop Trying To Perpetuate Its Birther Delusion Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily's increasingly sad and desperate -- and discredited -- birther crusade continues in a Aug. 15 article by Bob Unruh, in which he touts "a friend-of-the-court brief submitted to the U.S. Supreme Court by the constitutional experts at William J. Olson, P.C. and the United States Justice Foundation" designed to establish legal standing to challenge Obama's "eligibility" by setting up a man who had to pay $90 more in fees at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office as the result of an act “purportedly enacted into law in September 2011 by Congress and the president.”
As he has done in the past, Unruh simply rehashed once again all of WND's birther evidence without mentioning that it's all been debunked.
Meanwhile, the evidence against the birthers keeps piling up, and WND continues to pretend it doesn't exist. Another recent piece of birther news WND won't tell its readers about comes from Brian Reilly, who was heavily involved in the Surprise Tea Party group that talked Joe Arpaio into having his Cold Case Posse investigate the birth certificate. Reilly explains his role in the birther scheme and how central to it WND's Jerome Corsi was:
As a Surprise Tea Party Patriots member, in July of 2011, I developed and initiated the plan to petition Sheriff Arpaio to investigate the authenticity of the Barack Obama PDF birth certificate. The plan was mine and mine alone. Dr. Jerome Corsi was just a part of my plan. My wife and I invited Dr. Corsi to present his findings to an August 17, 2011 meeting of the Surprise Tea Party to discuss his newly released book, “Where’s the Birth Certificate?” My wife, Denise and I paid for all of Dr. Corsi’s travel expenses. During our meeting we obtained 242 signatures on a petition that I had written to Sheriff Arpaio.
But as the so-called investigation ground on, he became disillusioned: "I worked with Dr. Jerome Corsi, Commander Mike Zullo and Sheriff Joe Arpaio until June 30, 2012 at which time I chose to resign and I hung up my spurs." Reilly also dishes on a falling out between Corsi posse leader Mike Zullo:
It was shocking to watch Zullo verbally unload on Corsi in the MCSO conference room in front of Arpaio. Corsi had made a video report from Hawaii on the Internet without Zullo’s knowledge or approval during Zullo’s first Hawaii trip. I’ll never forget Zullo screaming at Corsi, Zullo’s freaky, bulging red eyes, and Arpaio asking me to do something about the conflict. Corsi sat at the conference table looking at his laptop sheepishly saying, “I’m fired…I’m fired.” At one point, Corsi didn’t want to be left alone in the same room with Zullo and Corsi accompanied me out to the parking garage to find his glasses on top of the patrol car. It was a memorable Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde moment in the conference room.
Reilly highlights more erratic behavior by Zullo, but the final straw was Zullo disregarding Hawaii's verification of Obama's birth:
The Hawaii Verification of Birth verifies that Barack Obama was born within the jurisdiction of the United States and, according to Mr. Zullo’s own November 9, 2012 affidavit, Mr. Obama is therefore a “natural born citizen.” Game. Set. Match.
Strangely -- or perhaps not so strangely -- WND has been utterly silent on Reilly's renouncing the birther conspiracy, even though in 2011 WND published a fluff article on a car Reilly owns that was once used in the original "Hawaii Five-O" series. (The article curiously carries no byline or any identifying information about Reilly.)
It appears that WND will never admit it was wrong about its birther obsession -- and that's just one more reason nobody believes WND.
Newsmax Still Portraying Admitted Criminal D'Souza As Victim Of A Conspiracy Topic: Newsmax
An unbylined Aug. 17 Newsmax article pushes the conspiracy that "When they can't beat Republicans at the polls, they try to indict them in criminal court." The star of the article is Rick Perry, of course, but a supporting character is another familiar conservative:
Filmmaker and author Dinesh D'Souza was forced to plead guilty in May to illegally funneling approximately $20,000 through third parties to help a friend running for U.S. Senate in New York.
His plea agreement calls on him not to challenge a prison sentence of 10 to 16 months.
D'Souza has been a frequent critic of Obama, releasing two documentary films on him. The first, "2016: Obama's America," was released in 2012. His film "America: Imagine the World Without Her," was released this summer.
Criminal experts have said that considering the small amount of money involved, the federal government would typically not even investigate the matter.
"This is clearly a case of selective prosecution for one of the most common things done during elections, which is to get people to raise money for you," famed law professor Dershowitz said at the time of the D'Souza indictment.
"If they went after everyone who did this, there would be no room in jails for murderers."
Slate's David Weigel has a response to Dershowitz that Newsmax ignored:
D'Souza, who's been a laughingstock for longer than he's been a rising star, made a huge mistake and turned it into an opportunity to rally conservatives and make accusations about the Obama administration. After all, just because he's pled guilty doesn't disprove the Dershowitz theory that, while a crime, D'Souza's offense might not have attracted the feds had he not been infamous.
Newsmax has served as a home for D'Souza to spin his right-wing conspiracies, and Newsmax columnists are eager to portray D'Souza as a victim despite his obvious guilt.
WND's Vliet Goes Doctor-Shopping To Help Her Fearmonger About Ebola Topic: WorldNetDaily
Elizabeth Lee Vliet's schtick these days is to fearmonger about Ebola, as befits a WorldNetDaily columnist and a doctor affiliated with the far-right-fringe Association of American Physicians and Surgeons. Just one problem, though: American public health officials aren't playing along with her fearmongering.
What's a fact-averse doctor to do? Find a country whose health warnings about Ebola are somewhat closer to her own. Thus, an Aug. 8 WND article by Leo Hohmann quotes Vliet bashing the U.S. Centers for Disease Control for not fearmongering and praising Canadian health officials for more closely aligning to her agenda:
[Vliet] also pointed to a 2012 Canadian study in which healthy and infected monkeys were housed side by side in cages but had no physical contact. The healthy monkeys contracted Ebola.
And, according to a Canadian public health advisory, airborne spread of the virus among humans is “strongly suspected, although it has not yet been conclusively demonstrated.”
Generally, it takes far more than one to 10 organisms to transmit a virus.
“That’s one reason the virus is so out of control, is it takes so few particles,” Vliet said. “Dr. Hatfill, and the Canadian public health advisory, which is more detailed than the CDC, they talk about airborne transmission in much more specific terms than the CDC does.”
Ebola virus also stays active longer in body fluids such as blood and semen than most other viruses.
According to the Public Health Agency of Canada fact sheet on Ebola, the virus remains communicable “as long as blood, secretions, organs, or semen contain the virus.”
The Canadian alert also states that Ebola virus can remain active in a man’s semen 61 days after the onset of illness, and transmission of the disease through semen has occurred up to seven weeks after a man has recovered from the illness.
“This is why I’m concerned, as a physician, that perhaps our hospitals are not as well prepared as we would like to think. Because if other doctors don’t know this and if the CDC is not saying anything, if somebody recovers from Ebola and 60 days later the man ejaculates, he could infect his partner,” Vliet said. “I just think it’s huge. I think they are really underestimating the risk. I understand they are not wanting to create panic, but if doctors are not used to treating Ebola and they’re not getting the same information from the CDC as the Canadian doctors are getting … I’m not trying to create a panic. I’m just saying let’s get the information out.”
Hohmann also quotes Dr. Jane Orient doing more fearmongering, but he fails to identify how both Vliet and Orient are associated with AAPS and its politics-driven medicine.