WND's Klein Backtracks On ISIS Training Claim, Won't Admit He Was Wrong Topic: WorldNetDaily
In June, WorldNetDaily's Aaron Klein made the inflammatory claim (citing his usual untraceable anonymous sources) that "dozens of ISIS members" were trained by "U.S. instructors working at a secret base in Jordan" -- something that the on-the-record evidence he cited did not back up.
Interestingly, after we highlighted Klein's dubious claim, WND altered Klein's article, adding a editor's note stating that "this story has been corrected to clarify that the fighters trained in Jordan became members of the ISIS after their training." But, again, none of the on-the-record evidence Klein cited backs this up.
That means Klein's article is still wrong, since he can't prove anything on the record and offers nothing but anonymous "informed Jordanian officials" who may have their own agenda.
Fast forward to a Sept. 11 WND article by Klein, in which he quotes a "senior Jordanian security official" -- anonymous, of course -- claiming that "The Kingdom of Jordan is deeply concerned about the Obama administration’s renewed plan to train 'moderate' rebels in Syria, believing the Syrian rebels are mostly extremists who espouse radical al-Qaida-like ideology." Klein then rehashes some of his earlier reporting -- but only some of it:
In February 2012, WND was first to report the U.S., Turkey and Jordan were running a training base for the Syrian rebels in the Jordanian town of Safawi in the country’s northern desert region.
The report has since been corroborated by numerous other media accounts.
Last March, the German weekly Der Spiegel reported Americans were training Syrian rebels in Jordan.
Quoting what it said were training participants and organizers, Der Spiegel reported it was not clear whether the Americans worked for private firms or were with the U.S. Army, but the magazine said some organizers wore uniforms.
The training in Jordan reportedly focused on use of anti-tank weaponry.
The German magazine reported some 200 men received the training over the previous three months amid U.S. plans to train a total of 1,200 members of the Free Syrian Army in two camps in the south and the east of Jordan.
Britain’s Guardian newspaper also reported last March that U.S. trainers were aiding Syrian rebels in Jordan along with British and French instructors.
Reuters reported a spokesman for the U.S. Defense Department declined immediate comment on the German magazine’s report. The French foreign ministry and Britain’s foreign and defense ministries also would not comment to Reuters.
There's no mention of his earlier report that U.S. officials were training ISIS militants, or even his altered claim that people trained by the U.S. later joined ISIS.
Klein's silence is a concession that he never could back up his earlier claim. Yet rather than issuing a full correction and retraction, he apparently just wants to pretend that he never made such a claim in the first place, despite the fact that his erroneous article remains live on the WND website.
Klein has always been a sloppy reporter who puts his right-wing ideology ahead of the facts. Remember some of his other blunders -- he falsely linked an Islamic charity group to terrorists, and he falsely suggested that Fox News paid a ransom to free two kidnapped journalists.
This is why WND's desperate efforts to portray Klein as a credible writer -- such has falsely denying he's a birther -- are doomed to failure. The fact that Klein remains a prominent WND employee despite his lengthy history of blunders speaks for itself.
NEW ARTICLE: The MRC's Sharyl Attkisson Dissonance Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center loves the former CBS correspondent's anti-Obama reporting, but it's trying to forget that it criticized her for promoting anti-vaccine conspiracy theories. Read more >>
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.
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.
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 favoriteNooryguest -- 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.
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.
WND's Farah Still Can't Take Criticism Well, Lies To Defend Himself Topic: WorldNetDaily
Joseph Farah has a notoriouslythinskin 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.
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 publishedthreearticles -- 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 numerousWNDarticles 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.
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.
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.
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 remindingpeople 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.
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.
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?
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 >>
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.