ConWebBlog: The Weblog of ConWebWatch

your New Media watchdog

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

Thursday, September 11, 2014
Meanwhile ...
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Dr. Conspiracy uncovers a video WorldNetDaily's Jerome Corsi made in January advising people to pull their money out of stocks because the stock bubble was about to burst. Corsi advised moving money to bonds and money market accounts -- neither of which made as much money as the Dow Jones Industrial average did in the past eight months.

Corsi has presented himself as something of a financial guru though he was more on the marketing side of things, and he has been involved with failed investments in the past.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:30 PM EDT
Wednesday, September 10, 2014
MRC Complains About Coverage Of Speech Obama Hadn't Given Yet
Topic: Media Research Center

A Sept. 10 Media Research Center item by Curtis Houck carries the headline "ABC, NBC Ignore Lack of Specifics in Previewing Obama’s ISIS Speech." Houck goes on to write:

On Tuesday night, ABC’s World News Tonight with David Muir and NBC Nightly News omitted from their coverage any mention that President Obama’s upcoming speech to the country on Wednesday night will not include some crucial details on how he plans to go about defeating the Islamic terrorist group ISIS.

Think about that for a second. The MRC is criticizing coverage of a speech that, at the time Houck's item was posted, hadn't been given yet.

The hook for Houck's item was a claim by CBS' Major Garrett that the speech "appears short on specifics." Still, that's pretty thin gruel, and it shows just how desperate the MRC is to invent any excuse to attack Obama.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:41 PM EDT
WND Adds A Conspiracy-Monger (And Ben Carson)
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Only at WorldNetDaily would a top conspiracy-monger be a prize "get." Thus, WND touts in a Sept. 7 article its latest addition:

Late at night, on roughly 600 radio stations across North America, the strange, the suspect and the unexplained come alive, stories the mainstream media refuse to cover, on George Noory’s wildly popular “Coast to Coast AM” radio program.

Noory captivates over three million listeners nightly with his discussions of paranormal phenomena, time travel, alien abductions, conspiracies and all things curious and unexplained. He is driven, he has said, by the desire to solve the great mysteries of our time.

“I’ve wanted to cover stories that the mainstream media never touch – the unusual, the paranormal,” the broadcaster says, “I learned that broadcast was the best business for exploring these issues, and I’ve been doing it for 33 years.”

And now, through Gaiam TV, Noory explores the unknown in “Beyond Belief,” a television program where Noory hosts some of the world’s leading experts on the world’s most mysterious subjects.

Better yet, through an exclusive partnership with WND, visitors to the WND Diversions page can watch excerpts of these interviews, getting a glimpse into a world other news outlets are too afraid to touch.

The meat of Noory's radio and TV shows are the paranormal and conspiracy theories, and the inaugural segment combines them both:

In the debut episode of “Beyond Belief” on WND, join Noory as he interviews exopolitical activist Stephen Bassett.

Bassett has made it his life’s work to break the “truth embargo” about the presence of extraterrestrial intelligence on earth. He is working to force governments to disclose the truth he says they have been hiding from us all.

That's right --  WND has now dedicated part of its website to speculating about UFOs. Yet this is not that much of a surprise: WND has touted how "Noory has featured key WND personalities on “Coast to Coast,” including Jerome Corsi, Michael Maloof and David Kupelian." Corsi in particular is a favorite Noory guest -- they both love conspiracies, after all.

WND has also floated the idea of Noory running for president. So, yeah, these two deserve each other.

In a related development, WND has also added Dr. Ben Carson, the conservative darling who's being floated as presidential material -- as a columnist as well. This isn't an exclusive deal -- his column is syndicated, though WND won't tell you that.

How does Carson feel about his column appearing alongside UFO speculations, birther conspiracies and the rantings of WND's very own real-life Uncle Ruckus, Mychal Massie? We'd love to find out.


Posted by Terry K. at 6:06 PM EDT
Tuesday, September 9, 2014
CNS-Mark Levin Logrolling Watch
Topic: CNSNews.com

A few weeks back, we detailed how the Media Research Center promotes the pearls of wisdom that drip from Mark Levin's mouth -- and shield him from criticism of the more offensive things that spew from it -- without disclosing that the MRC pays Levin to promote it on his radio show.

The MRC continues to show no interest in doing that basic bit of disclosure -- not even its ostensible news division CNSNews.com, which by pretending to be a journalistic organization is actually obligated to disclose such conflicts of interest.

A Sept. 4 CNS blog post by Michael Morris transcribes Levin's claim that any American who fights with ISIS automatically relinquishes their U.S. citizenship. Morris followed up with a Sept. 9 blog post in which he plays stenographer to a Levin rant about the IRS.

Neither of Morris' posts mention the fact that the MRC and Levin have a business relationship. Some things never change.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:28 PM EDT
WND's Farah Still Can't Take Criticism Well, Lies To Defend Himself
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Joseph Farah has a notoriously thin skin when it comes to criticism of himself and WorldNetDaily, and it was on full display yet again in his Sept. 4 WND column.

Farah was lashing out at John Avlon's profile of WND in a excerpt from his updated book "Wingnuts" published at Salon. As usual, Farah belittled his critic, noting the low Amazon ranking of Avlon's book and mocking the "deranged" headline on the excerpt, adding, "Remind me to give you a lesson in headline-writing someday." Of course, writers rarely get to write the final headlines for their articles; that's what editors are for -- even at an organization like WND.

But in his ranting quest to correct the alleged "errors" in Avlon's piece, Farah spreads his own lies.

He rants: "Yes, I did serve as the editor-in-chief of the Sacramento Union, and I did persuade Rush Limbaugh to write a daily column for the paper. But, as I told you in the perfunctory interview you conducted with me (Were you listening, John?), circulation did not decrease, it increased dramatically as the paper served as an alternative voice to the McClatchy flagship Sacramento Bee." In fact, as we pointed out when Farah tried to push the same lie in a rant against us, the Oct. 17, 1991, Los Angeles Times article on Farah's resignation from the Union (accessed via Nexis) reported: "The paper, which reported a circulation of 72,000 before [Farah's] appointment as editor in July, 1990, reported a circulation of 52,000 last week." We challenged Farah to back up his claim that circulation increased under his stewardship; to date, he has provided none.

Farah went on to rant:

You claim I investigated “a conspiracy theory that longtime Clinton aide Vince Foster had not committed suicide but had been murdered with the White House’s knowledge – a theory determined to be false by three official reports.” Complete bunk. I have never said or written anything remotely along these lines. If you are referring to the work of Christopher Ruddy, now the owner of Newsmax.com, a direct competitor of WND, yes, my organization did sponsor his investigation into the strange death of Vincent Foster, but neither he nor I nor anyone else associated with me ever suggested he was murdered – with or without the White House’s knowledge. And the fact that three official law-enforcement probes were necessary to address the questions raised by the reporting is a testament to the seriousness of those questions – many of which have never been answered.

But if you reject the idea that Foster committed suicide -- which Farah most certainly does -- the only other logical explanation is murder. Pretending otherwise by refusing to say the word "murder" as it relates to Foster doesn't make it any less true.

Farah writes:

You claim WND has repeatedly published a thoroughly discredited drifter’s claim that “he took cocaine in 1999 with the then Illinois legislator [Obama] and participated in homosexual acts” with him. Yes we did report that claim – once – under the headline labeling it a “sleaze charge” and only after Larry Sinclair filed a high-profile civil rights lawsuit against Barack Obama’s inner circle. (I guess your standards of journalism would not permit the reporting of such a lawsuit.)

Farah is lying here too. As we documented, WND published three articles -- not one -- highlighting Sinclair's lawsuit at the time it was filed, and Farah wrote a column defending publication of Sinclair's claims. Farah boasted that Sinclair's claims "has been reported in only one news venue – WND." None of these articles gave any indication that WND bothered to investigate the veracity of Sinclair's charges.

By contrast, WND did not publish anything about the press conference in which Sinclair proved himself beyond a doubt to be the "thoroughly discredited drifter" that Farah apparently now concedes he is. Instead, Jerome Corsi took up Sinclair's cause, publishing numerous WND articles uncritically rehashing Sinclair's claims.

Farah was not done huffing:

You write: “But the real growth industry for WorldNetDaily in 2009 was the enthusiastic advocacy of Birther claims that Obama was not born in the United States and is therefore ineligible to be president.” Let me straighten you out again. I know this must be complicated for you. It’s called journalism. WND has never made the assertion that Obama was not born in the U.S. What we did, through countless investigative reports, was demonstrate that Obama had steadfastly refused to release his birth certificate as his opponent in the 2008 election did when his “natural born citizen” status was questioned – by Democrats, the New York Times, USA Today and many other mainstream news outlets. This after Obama had for years claimed to be from Kenya – when it was advantageous for him to do so. By the way, the only law-enforcement investigation to examine the document Obama was ultimately forced to release through our investigative efforts deemed it to be a bad forgery.

Farah doesn't mention that WND has studiously avoided reporting anything that contradicts  its birther conspiracies, nor has it acknowledged that a former member of that "only law-enforcement investigation to examine the document Obama was ultimately forced to release through our investigative efforts" -- that is, the "Cold Case Posse" probe run by Mike Zullo and authorized by Joe Arpaio -- has exposed the utter sham that investigation was, admitting that "The Hawaii Verification of Birth, certifies that Obama was born in Hawaii and he is therefore a US citizen."

Perhaps Farah can take a break from sending us cease-and-desist letters on the down-low and respond to the facts I've laid out here. That is, if he has the guts.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:11 PM EDT
Monday, September 8, 2014
WND Columnist: Ice Bucket Challenge Is Satanic
Topic: WorldNetDaily

I also thought about why people would pour water over their heads. Sometimes the participants drench themselves, but typically someone else is designated to this task. Now I realize that being immersed in ice-cold water is quite a challenge to take, and it would definitely attract attention; I get it. However, I couldn’t put my finger on why this didn’t feel right to me – then I saw this video on Facebook. In the video, Evangelist Anita Fuentes breaks down an assortment of cryptic and cultic messages hidden in the IBC. It’s worth watching to decide for yourself if evil influences and symbolism are embedded within the IBC, or if Fuentes – as well as myself – is looking for ghosts behind every bush and a conspiracy behind every popular fad.

In particular, Fuentes’ video depicts the world-renowned cultic queen of talk, Oprah Winfrey, taking the IBC. Winfrey precedes her dousing with the words, “In the name of ALS and the Ice Bucket Challenge. …”[emphasis mine] Interesting choice of words.

Winfrey’s proclamation hit a nerve with me because Christians, myself included, routinely pray and make decrees “in the name of Jesus.” We specify whom we worship when we invoke prayer in Jesus’ name. However, because Oprah mistakenly believes the One True God is jealous of her, and the well-known fact that she denounces Jesus as the only way to God and basically considers herself to be a god, I found this statement to be very cultic in nature.

She has influence over millions, but what does she really believe? Get Josh McDowell’s expose ” God: A Dialogue on Truth and Oprah’s Spirituality”

Fuentes also addresses the matter of pouring water over ones head and how that act directly correlates with water baptism and syncs the IBC with the sacred Christian deed of cleansing and purification, albeit, in a sacrilegious manner. She also delves into deep issues of rituals stemming from dark, cultic practices that encompass the IBC and which symbolically place America and Americans in a satanic ritual – with or without their knowledge.

Satanic ritual? Yes. Rituals abound in “Christian” America. Whenever spectators watch singers like Beyonce, JayZ, Rihanna, Lady Gaga and especially Nicki Minaj, they are indoctrinated and involved with blatantly satanic rituals that stem from the deep abyss of the occult. Some of these very same artists have taken the ALS IBC. Gaga doesn’t utter a word as she baptizes herself, arrayed in a sexy black leotard, sporting black lips, perched in an ornate black chair. Gaga doesn’t use a bucket; she instead uses a large silver bowl associated with pagan worship. Do you think she would take the IBC if it didn’t meet her pagan criteria? Not a chance.

The ALS IBC is ritualistic in nature. People are chosen to undergo a form of water baptism with cultic god Oprah leading the charge “in the name of ALS.” The Bible is clear: “You shall have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20:3). Oprah is a god to millions of Americans, and those who follow her doctrine and antics have tossed Jesus off the throne of their hearts – perhaps not intentionally … or perhaps so. Yet by following her seemingly innocent IBC decree, knowingly or not, they have cast Jesus off symbolically.

-- Selena Owens, Sept. 2 WorldNetDaily column


Posted by Terry K. at 6:37 PM EDT
CNS Gives Ben Carson's Obama Falsehood A Pass
Topic: CNSNews.com

When conservative darling Ben Carson dishonestly claimed that President Obama said that America is “not a Judeo-Christian nation,” CNSNews.com managing editor Michael Chapman wasn't going to correct him. In fact, he put the claim in the headline of his Sept. 2 article on Carson's remarks:

Chapman went on to present Carson's claim as fact:

Neurosurgeon and best-selling author Dr. Ben Carson said that although President Barack Obama has claimed America is “not a Judeo-Christian nation,” he is not the one to decide that point, we the people “get to decide that.”

“We as Americans have certain beliefs and cultures that led us to the pinnacle of the world,” said Dr. Carson while speaking at the 8th Annual Defending the American Dream Summit on Friday in Dallas, Texas.

“One of those things is that we are a people of faith,” he said.  “I know the president has said that we are not a Judeo-Christian nation. But guess what? He doesn’t get to decide that, we get to decide that.”

[...]

President Barack Obama has on several occasions stressed his belief that America is not a Judeo-Christian nation.

It's not ubntil the very last paragraph that Chapman hints -- but won't actually say -- that Carson's words were inaccurate and out of context:

Back on April 6, 2009, during a press conference with the president of Turkey, President Obama said, "Although as I mentioned, we have a very large Christian population, we do not consider ourselves a Christian nation or a Jewish nation or a Muslim nation. We consider ourselves a nation of citizens who are bound by ideals and a set of values. I think modern Turkey was founded with a similar set of principles.”

Chapman, mind you, is CNS' managing editor. The fact that he privileges a falsehood says a lot about how CNS operates and how little its journalism can be trusted.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:03 PM EDT
Sunday, September 7, 2014
WND Pretends Aaron Klein Isn't A Birther
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Aaron Klein has a new book coming out, and WorldNetDaily desperately wants to present him as a serious writer. So much so, in fact, that it's freaking out about Media Matters reminding people of who he works for and what he's done.

So WND devoted a Sept. 7 article to responding to Media Matters' claims by trying to explain away Klein's extremism. It claims:

Media Matters also takes issue with factual articles penned by Klein regarding the general legal definition of “natural born citizen,” the constitutional requirement to serve as president.

Media Matters wrongly claimed those articles makes Klein a “birther” who doubts Obama’s citizenship.

Klein only cited legal arguments about the constitutional definition of “natural born citizen,” pointing out some mainstream scholars believe both parents must be U.S. born.

Regarding Media Matter’s false “birther” charge, in Klein’s book, “The Manchurian President,” he wrote there is “no convincing evidence that Obama was born in Kenya, nor that his birthplace was any place other than Hawaii, his declared state of birth.”

WND is lying. First, a onetime concession that Obama was born in Kenya doesn't make him not a birther. Second, he has effectively retracted that concession.

As we documented, Klein declared on a July 2012 edition of his radio show that "I personally also hired three independent forensic investigators. ... All three came back with the same conclusion, and that was there was modifications on the PDF file that they could not explain, that are not consistent with a normal scanned document."

Klein never identified these so-called "forensic investigators," nor has he ever publicly released a full accounting of the conclusions they reached. Nor, we can probably assume, has Klein ever conceded the fact that those purported "modifications" in the PDF scan have been easily reproduced through the use of a Xerox scanner.

It says something about the state of WND's reputation that it has to defend one of its writers by insisting he's not a birther. Mostly, that nobody believes WND, and it's people like Klein who have helped make sure of that.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:06 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, September 7, 2014 11:07 PM EDT
Saturday, September 6, 2014
CNS Unemployment Numbers Distortion Watch
Topic: CNSNews.com

It's a new month, which means it's time once again for CNSNews.com to find ways to avoid reporting good news about the economy.

Instead of reading that 142,000 jobs were created and that the unemployment rate dropped to 6.1%, here's what CNS wanted to report instead:

None of these articles noted the number of jobs created or the drop in the unemployment rate.

If there's good news about the economy under a Democratic president, you'll never read about it at CNS.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:57 PM EDT
Friday, September 5, 2014
Climate Change Misinformation Spreads To Another MRC Website
Topic: Media Research Center

One thing about the Media Research Center's multiple web platforms is that it provides more opportunities to spread misinformation. Mike Ciandella writes in a Sept. 2 MRC post:

The same year that former Vice President Al Gore predicted that the Arctic sea ice could be completely gone, the ice has actually reached its highest point in two years. This revelation comes from a report by the Danish Meteorological Institute.

According to the report, which was cited by the British publication the Daily Mail, “[t]he Arctic ice cap has expanded for the second year in a row.”

As we documented when fellow MRC employee Tom Blumer parroted the Dail Mail report at NewsBusters, Slate's Phil Plant debunked the Daily Mail's reporting, pointing out that Arctic ice reaching "its highest point in two years" is a meaningless claim given the overall decades-long trend of declining Arctic ice:

Like Blumer, Ciandella makes no effort whatsoever to fact-check the Daily Mail, choosing instead to bash perennial right-wing punching bag Al Gore.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:54 PM EDT
CNS Promotes Scientology-Linked Attack On Psychiatric Drugs
Topic: CNSNews.com

Barbara Hollingsworth devotes a Sept. 4 CNSNews.com article to Dr. Bart Billings, "a retired Army psychologist who has treated thousands of veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder," who claims that "there is 'a direct correlation' between the increased use of psychiatric medications to treat PTSD and the high rate of military suicides."

As per usual, Hollingsworth fails to allow anyone to rebut Billings' views. Perhaps she should have. This is how she ends the lengthy article:

Billings was the recipient of the 2014 Human Rights Award by the Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR), which has produced a documentary, “The Hidden Agenda,” on the use of use of psychiatric drugs in the military.

Hollingsworth doesn't mention that CCHR was created by the church of Scientology with the goal of attack the field of psychiatry. Despite the name, as Stephen Wiseman points out, it's not a human rights organization at all.

And the CCHR has returned the love, reprinting Hollingsworth's article on its own website.

Ironically, earlier this year CNS' Penny Starr criticized U.S. Health and Human Services and Planned Parenthood officials for holding an event about birth control at the Church of Scientology’s National Affairs Office in Washington, D.C.

CNS certainly knows what Scientology is all about. So why is it promoting a Scientology-linked attack on psychiatry?


Posted by Terry K. at 10:38 AM EDT
Thursday, September 4, 2014
NEW ARTICLE: Public Relations, Not News, At WorldNetDaily
Topic: WorldNetDaily
WND teams up with the right-wing Rutherford Institute to tell the story of a supposedly wronged ex-Marine, ignoring inconvenient facts about the case along the way that make the client look bad. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 8:26 PM EDT
Wednesday, September 3, 2014
MRC's Graham Disingenuously Scoffs At Notion Conservative Publisher Influences His Publication
Topic: Media Research Center

Tim Graham writes in a Sept. 2 NewsBusters post:

The Washington Post reported on Tuesday morning that publisher Katherine Weymouth was stepping down (as Amazon tycoon Jeff Bezos is now the owner), and former Politico executive Frederick Ryan is taking her place.

Post technology reporter Craig Timberg implied that the important/interesting part of Ryan’s resume is his “years rising in the Reagan administration, eventually becoming a top presidential aide and key leader in the construction of his presidential library and numerous other initiatives after Reagan left office in 1989.” This, he reports, will “raise questions about the direction” of the allegedly “nonideological” Post:

[...]

Laugh track, please, for the "nonideological" Post. Start with the incessant daily front-page coverage of former Republican governor Robert McDonnell's trial in Virginia right now, for example.

Remember, Graham doesn't think a high-ranking Republican accused of corruption is news.Which must be why the MRC has censored the story of McDonnell's trial.

Graham is being quite disingenuous about a newspaper publisher's politics not mattering because he's conservative. In a May 2012 column, he -- under the pen name of his boss Brent Bozell -- called New York Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger a "liberal twit." There would be no need to add that modifier to his insult of Sulzberger if politics didn't matter, right?

And the politics of the Post's owner certainly matters to Graham as well. In an August 2013 column, Bozell-slash-Graham wrote that the Graham family, in selling the Post to Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, "were confident that he had all the right political values and social liberalism."

Funny how, according to Graham, the liberal politics of media owners always infuses the media the run, while conservative media owners never does. Apparently, Graham has never read the Washington Times or the New York Post.


Posted by Terry K. at 5:09 PM EDT
Meanwhile ...
Topic: WorldNetDaily
Salon has published an excerpt from the new edition of John Avlon's book "Wingnuts" that focuses on WorldNetDaily. Avlon quotes Farah portraying himself as not as extreme as his website but also defending likening Obama to Hitler (which WND loves to do): "Well, if the analogy fits, it would be irresponsible not to make it."

Posted by Terry K. at 8:23 AM EDT
Tuesday, September 2, 2014
NewsBusters' Blumer Repeats Misleading Claim About Arctic Ice
Topic: NewsBusters

Tom Blumer is very excited in an Aug. 30 NewsBusters post:

Ice, ice baby. That's what they have a lot more of in the Arctic.

The UK Daily Mail, one of those British tabloids the left has despised going back to the Clinton administration and its paranoia about a right-wing media conspiracy, reports from authoritative sources — the kind the U.S. establishment press uses when it seems to support the hoax known as human-caused global warming — that the Arctic ice cap has expanded rapidly in the past two years. In doing so, it has made up all of what was lost between 2009 and 2012 with a slight margin to spare. Seven years ago, former Vice President and leading global warming false alarmist Al Gore predicted that "It could be completely gone."

Because this makes Al Gore look bad, the story is too good for Blumer to fact-check. Maybe he thinks he doesn't need to because the Mail's sources are so "authoritative" that they don't need fact-checking. Slate's Phil Plait does a fact-slap on the Daily Mail, which he points out is "to scientific accuracy what a sledgehammer is to an egg":

This claim is a humdinger, and typical denial double-speak. It’s technically true, but also really wrong. It’s like examining someone who has a 106° fever and saying it’s really made their skin glow. 

[...]

Mentioning Gore is at best a distraction, red meat to the deniers. Gore isn’t a climate scientist, and as we well know actual climate scientists overwhelmingly agree that the world is warming. One of the outcomes of this is the decline of Arctic sea ice.

Briefly: Arctic sea ice reaches a minimum in late September every year. The overall trend for the amount of ice at that time is decreasing; in other words, there is less ice all the time. Some years there is more than others, some less. But the trend is down, down, down.

In 2012, a mix of unusual causes created conditions where the minimum reached a record low, far below normal. The next year, in 2013, the ice didn’t reach quite so low a minimum extent, and this year looks very much the same as 2013. But saying the ice is “recovering” is, to put it delicately, what comes out the south end of a north-facing bull. You can’t compare two years with a record low the year before that was due to unusual circumstances; you have to look at the average over time.

Of course, if you do, your claims that global warming isn’t real melt away.

Plait cites actual authoritative sources, unlike the Daily Mail sources Blumer places his faith in, and even supplies a chart demonstrating the trend of declining Arctic ice over time and, thus what a bunch of bull the Daily Mail article is:

Since Blumer claims to know his authoritative sourcees, perhaps he can explain why "authoritative sources" that conform to his right-wing agenda are so much better than actual authoritative sources who don't.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:07 PM EDT

Newer | Latest | Older

Bookmark and Share

Get the WorldNetDaily Lies sticker!

Find more neat stuff at the ConWebWatch store!

Buy through this Amazon link and support ConWebWatch!

Support This Site

« September 2014 »
S M T W T F S
1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30

Bloggers' Rights at EFF
Support Bloggers' Rights!

News Media Blog Network

Add to Google