Irony: Serial Liar Bozell Denounces Brian Williams' Falsehood Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center was quick to pounce on NBC anchor Brian Williams' apology for falsely claiming he was under enemy fire in an incident during the Iraq War. MRC chief Brent Bozell tweeted, "Brian Williams has to go. NBC's credibility is completely shot."
That's right -- the guy who lied twice a week for more than 15 years by presenting his syndicated column as being his creation when, in fact, it was written by his deputy Tim Graham ... is bashing Williams for telling a falsehood. If Williams' credibility is "completely shot" by telling a falsehood, why isn't Bozell's?
If Bozell wants to set an example Williams should follow and prove that his words have meaning instead of being empty partisan attacks, he should abjectly apologize for deceiving the public for years -- Bozell has yet to speak publicly about his years-long deception -- and resign as MRC president. But he doesn't have the guts to live up to his own rhetoric.
Meanwhile, the Washington Examiner's Paul Bedard uncritically promoted Bozell's tweet without mentioning Bozell's record of lying.
UPDATE: The MRC has sent out an email campaigning for Williams to be fired:
The MRC does not mention Bozell's record of lying or why he has been allowed to keep his job despite that.
P.J. Gladnick writes in a Jan. 29 NewsBusters post:
Is Newsweek contributing editor Catherine Ostler winking at us?
One has to ask that question because of the way she speculates as to what Bill Clinton could have possibly been doing at the Sex Fiend Island luxury home of registered pedophiliac sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. Among the observations she makes about Jeffrey Epstein who comes off as very creepy in the extreme, Ostler, with what must have a twinkle in her eye as she eye makes this rather narrow list of activities that Clinton could have participated in at Sex Fiend Island, discussing theoretical physics or getting massages from pretty girls [.]
Gladnick is being rather selective in his reporting on "Sex Fiend Island." He doesn't mention it, but another prominent figure who has been linked to alleged activities there -- as stated in the Newsweek article on which Gladnick based his post -- is lawyer Alan Dershowitz.
Gladnick is thus following in the footsteps of WorldNetDaily, which has also failed to mention Dershowitz while reporting the allegations involving Epstein. As with WND, the reason for Gladnick's silence is likely because Dershowitz has voiced some conservative-friendly opinions.
For instance, NewsBusters repeatedlytouted how the "liberal" Dershowitz defended Texas Gov. Rick Perry against a supposedly "politically motivated" indictment, and Gladnick even took perverse delight in the idea that Dershowitz may have made a panelist cry during a TV debate.
While Dershowitz has vehemently denied any involvement, a newly released court document by one of the woman linked to the alleged Epstein scandal claims to detail sexual encounters with Dershowitz and others.
Interesting that Gladnick pounces on the Clinton allegations for salacious value -- even though he has yet to be implicated in any bad behavior on "Sex Fiend Island" -- but censors Dershowitz's alleged involvement even though his name has explicitly come up regarding bad behavior.
It seems Dershowitz is feeling the Sharyl Attkisson effect -- if you say things conservatives like, the Media Research Center has your back no matter how horrible you are.
WND Cozies Up To Yet Another Murderous Dictator Topic: WorldNetDaily
It may be hard to believe, but WorldNetDaily has found yet another murderousdictator to cozy up to. Jerome Corsi writes in a Feb. 2 WND article:
A former Republican congressman provided details of his efforts in 2011 to negotiate with Moammar Gadhafi an offer to step down as president of Libya in an effort to prevent the Libyan war.
“There was no doubt Gadhafi wanted to abdicate,” said Curt Weldon of Pennsylvania in a WND interview.
Weldon, who served as vice-chairman of the Armed Services Committee and the House Homeland Security Committee, told of his private trip to Tripoli in April 2011.
“Was Gadhafi prepared to leave office?” Weldon asked rhetorically. “Absolutely, unequivocally, without any doubt in my mind, Gadhafi was ready to leave office. There were no other conditions except he wanted to leave Libya with what he called ‘dignity.’”
Instead of negotiating Gadhafi’s removal, however, the U.S. decided to arm al-Qaida-affiliated Libyan militia in a NATO-backed “rebellion” to oust Gadhafi by military force. Some critics of Obama’s policy have charged the administration “switched sides in the war on terror,” as WND reported.
Both Weldon and Corsi, however, are silent on why we should believe anything Gadhafi had to say. After all, as the Weekly Standard notes, Gadhafi was one of the world’s foremost sponsors of terrorism , most notoriously sponsoring the bombing of Pam Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland. While Gadhafi had tempered his terrorism activity in recent years, the Weekly Standard notes that he "was not a true partner against global terrorism in the post-9/11 world" because "terrorism is in his blood. It is a tool he uses quite naturally in the pursuit of his political and personal agenda, as capricious as that may be."
So why is Weldon so eager to paint Gadhafi as a pussycat who wanted to leave his murderous dictatorship with "dignity"? Because he was trying to do business in Libya and fluffing Gadhafi was part of the deal. The Huffington Post reports:
Former U.S. Congressman Curt Weldon, currently in Tripoli on a self- described "private mission" to urge Muammar Gaddafi to step down, has long tried to cultivate personal and business ties with the Libyan regime.
The ex-lawmaker, whose legislative career was marked by several criminal probes over influence peddling, visited Washington last week to discuss his forthcoming trip with members of the foreign policy establishment. Weldon led the first congressional delegation to Gaddafi's Libya in 2004 and traveled to Tripoli three more times, in 2004, 2005 and 2008.
While there, he developed a close relationship with the Gaddafi family, and during the recent unrest that has upended the country, he has remained in touch with Gaddafi's son and longtime heir apparent, Saif, sources close to Weldon tell The Huffington Post.
The ex-congressman's ties to the onetime pariah state extend beyond his time in office, which lasted until 2007. Soon after his most recent trip to Libya in 2008, in which he bragged that he had become the "1st non-Libyan Board Member of the Ghadaffi Foundation [sic]" and introduced several American businessmen to Libyan government officials, a defense manufacturer which counted Weldon as a key executive and adviser drafted a proposal to "refurbish the country's fleet of armored vehicles, including its T-72 tanks, BMP-1 infantry fighting vehicles, and BTR-60 armored personnel carriers," reported Wired.com in 2008. (The deal was never carried out, and Defense Solutions' CEO claimed his signature on the proposal was a forgery.)
In a report he wrote after his 2008 trip, Weldon proudly noted his two-hour meetings with Gaddafi in 2004 and 2005, a private dinner in London with Saif in December 2003 and his "1st and only speech by an American" to Libya's annual Great Jamahiriya, televised live on al-Jazeera TV.
We reported in 2006 how right-wing reporter Ken Timmerman, then with Newsmax, uncritically peddled Weldon's conspiracy theories and dubiously sourced attacks.
Needless to say, Corsi mentioned none of this. Anyone who attacks Obama is worth promoting no matter how non-credible they are -- andthe fact that it means siding with a murderous dictator in the process is irrelevant.
MRC Buries Its Anti-Vaxxer Ties Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center has been working overtime to keep conservatives from taking the blame for promoting anti-vaccination claims. Typical is a Feb. 3 NewsBusters post by Kyle Drennen, who complained that media outlets "jumped on potential Republican 2016 contenders Chris Christie and Rand Paul being sympathetic toward parents skeptical of child vaccinations" while they "ignored Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton holding the same positions in 2008."
Drennen conveniently ignores the fact that the debate over vaccines was much different in 2008, when Obama said in a campaign appearance that the link between vaccines and autism was "inconclusive" (a statement Drennen bizarrely claims is "anti-vaccine rhetoric"). As the Washington Post notes, a Lancet article claiming such a link was hotly debated at the time, but it would be another two years before it would be retracted. Drennen omitted that crucial piece of context from his post.
Drennen also omits the fact that his employer, the Media Research Center, has ties to anti-vaxxers.
We've documented how the MRC engages in its own selective anti-vaccination rhetoric by fearmongering about Gardasil and other vaccines designed to prevent HPV infections that can cause cervical cancer.
Further, the MRC has become a staunch defender of former CBS correspondent -- and prominent anti-vaxxer -- Sharyl Attkisson now that she has become a reliable anti-Obama activist. While the MRC has criticized her anti-vaxxer rhetoric in the past, it has notdone so since she became a right-wing cause celebre.
That makes Drennen's pearl-cluching about supposed (and out-of-context) liberal questions on vaccination more than a little hypocritical.
Black WND Columnist Tells Blacks To 'Get Over Their Blackness' Topic: WorldNetDaily
Jesse Lee Peterson has gone full Mychal Massie, exercising his black conservative privilege of saying things that would be considered horribly racist if he was white. Peterson rants in his Feb. 1 WorldNetDaily column:
Black History Month is dumb. And it provides no value for black Americans or anyone else.
In reality, black history is American history, and any attempt to detach the two separates blacks from their country and empowers useless black “leaders.”
Instead of celebrating Black History Month, I challenge black Americans to get over their “blackness” and start building character this month!
Over the past 50 years, blacks have been seduced away from character and truth. Their “leaders” have convinced them that their struggle is a physical battle with whites and that America is a racist nation. The truth is that there is good and bad in every race, and every human being is engaged in a spiritual battle of good versus evil.
Blacks in the United States are the freest and wealthiest group of blacks anywhere. If black America were a country, it would be the 15th wealthiest nation in the world.
Blacks who are caught up with their skin color and think they need a Black History Month foolishly believe they are righting past wrongs. The sad truth is that they’re wasting their time and building false pride.
Focusing on color is a losing proposition. The obsession with race leads to anger, blame and bitterness, which ultimately destroys people. The time and energy wasted on hatred leaves little time and energy for productive living; whereas building a life based on character and love will help one succeed in life.
Focusing on color over character gave us Barack Obama – the worst president in U.S. history.
Of course, if Peterson has truly gotten over his blackness, he wouldn't be saying such things. Instead, he does, knowing he would be treated differently than if he wasn't black.
And a man who has issues with women thinks he an tell others to "start building character"? Please. He needs to get over his female issues before he has any moral standing to lecture others.
NewsBusters Endorses Intimidation of Abortion Doctors Topic: NewsBusters
Anti-abortion activist Jill Stanek is a regular NewsBusters blogger, and her Jan. 31 post gave her -- and, thus, NewsBusters' -- enthusiastic approval to a scheme designed to intimidate abortion doctors.
Stanek's post touted the intimidation scheme of fellow anti-abortion activist Eric Scheidler, who mailed a set of plastic handcuffs to every abortion provider in the U.S., suggesting they will eventyually be arrested simply for providing abortion (which, of course, is the goal of Stanek and Scheidler).
As befits someone with a dubious history of anti-abortion activism -- her career-making claim of allegedly having seen fetuses who survived an abortion left to dies was never substantiated -- Stanek saw nothing wrong with this, stating that it's a "stretch" to call Scheidler's scheme indimidation. Stanek then claimed that anti-abortion activists who cross the line into actual harrassment of abortion providers aren't "real harassers."
It appears that Stanek -- and, thus, NewsBusters -- have a double standard of what constitutes initmidation and harrassment depending upon who's doing it.
WND Won't Blame Anti-Vaxxers For Measles Outbreak (But Will Blame Obama And Immigrants) Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily has always had a strong anti-vaccination streak. This pops up again in its coverage of the Disneyland-related measles outbreak, in which WND writers blame everyone else but those who refused to vaccinate their children.
A Jan. 31 WND article promoted a rant by far-right radio host Michael Savage (who's so buddy-buddy with WND that it hosts Savage's website) claming that the outbreak is President Obama's fault somehow: “Measles had been nearly eradicated until about 15 years ago. When Clinton busted our border with Mexico, the floodgates were opened to infected migrants. Measles, TB, even malaria is returning! This is a form of medical genocide.” The article was silent on anti-vaxxers.
Barbara Simpson's Feb. 1 WND column -- headlined "Obama's plague" -- takes a similar tack by blaming Obama and immigrants for the outbreak:
We’re told it all started in Disneyland and that it surely originated with a foreign visitor, but that the worst of it, is because of those retro-parents who didn’t vaccinate their children. On top of that, many doctors are saying they will not accept any patients who are not vaccinated.
With all the epidemic hoopla, there is one source that’s totally ignored.
Why is it assumed a “foreign visitor” brought it to Disneyland? Why couldn’t it have been an illegal alien, who perhaps works at Disneyland or was a visitor there?
But Simpson also displays her anti-vaxxer streak:
The move to immunize children from whatever diseases someone developed a vaccine against has resulted in parents’ concerns about the components in the shots and their side effects.
If recommendations are followed, children would get 49 doses of 14 vaccines before the age of 6. There’s even one, for hepatitis, that is supposed to be administered within 12 hours of birth!
Along with so many vaccines, there’s been the astounding increase in the number of cases of autism. We know what it is, but we don’t know why it is, where it comes from or how to prevent it.
So parents decide: Vaccinate their child and risk autism and other side effects, or avoid vaccines altogether.
Before you condemn those parents, consider that the government has a national Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System to report side effects of vaccines. On top of that, you might ask why the vaccine manufacturers are relieved of any liability for any negative side effects of their products.
Of course, Simpson is silent about the millions of lives that have been saved by vaccines.
CNS Censors Probe That Discredits Attkisson Topic: CNSNews.com
Brittany Hughes was eager to serve as Sharyl Attkisson's stenographer in a Jan. 30 CNSNews.com article, uncritically repeating her claims at a confirmation hearing for attorney general candiate Loretta Lynch that "she was subjected to numerous phone calls from federal officials attempting to keep her quiet; had her Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests 'stonewalled'; was denied access to government buildings; and she even believes the government 'compromised' her personal computer."
Hughes won't report, however, that Attkisson's claim about her computer being "compromised" has been completely discredited.
A report by the Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General found no evidence to support Attkisson's claim of her computer being compromised, noting that a video Attkisson posted purporting to show the hacking take place instead showed a stuck backspace key and"a standard error prompt."
Despite the fact that the DOJ IG report was made public the same day as Attkisson's testimony -- and, in fact, was put into the public recoprd as part of her testimony -- Hughes makes no reference to it in her article, instead sticking with simple stenography of her discredited claims.
But then, the MRC lovesAttkisson (and vice versa), so she will not be the subject of critical reporting at CNS as long as she's following the MRC's anti-Obama agenda. So the IG report must remain censored.
WND's Klein Is Trying To Influence Another Israeli Election Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily's Aaron Klein has never been interested in reporting fairly on Israeli politics -- he may as well be a paid operative of the conservative Likud Party (if he isn't actually one).
In 2006, Klein wrote numerous articles attacking liberal-leaning Prime Minister Ehud Olmert but reported nothing negative about Likud candidate Benjamin Netanyahu. And in 2012, Klein and WND all but ignored Likud member and Israeli President Moshe Katsav's rape scandal despite obsessing over sex scandals involving non-conservatives like Bill Clinton.
Netanyahu is the prime minister now, an election is coming up, and he faces a serious challenge. Thus, it's time for Klein to run to the aid of Likud.
This explains Klein's articles freaking out over a new coalition, known as V15, seeking to defeat Likud and Netanyahu getting advice from a U.S. political consulting firm made up of former staffers for President Obama's re-election campaign.
A Jan. 27 WND article by Klein proclaims this "Obama's army" despite the fact nobody is actually quoted in the article using the term. Klein also baselessly implies the consulting firm's involvement is directly tied to Obama's decision not to meet with Netanyahu during an upcoming visit to the U.S. on the invitation of Republican House speaker John Boehner in order to avoid influencing the upcoming election.
The next day, Klein published an article about his interview with the head of the V15 coalition. His attempts to denigrate the group's efforts stumble on contradictory language in describing the group's offices; in the lead paragraph, he describes them as being located off a "posh" Tel Aviv street, but later he describes the offices as being "on the second floor of a decrepit building" that "one m[u]st walk down an uninviting alleyway into a poorly lit entrance and up a flight of exposed concrete stairs" to get to. Klein feigned offense the the group is "decidedly anti-Netanyahu."
A Feb. 1 article by Klein shows him in full partnership with Likud; it touts how Likud "shared with WND" its complaint against V15's "international" funding. The next day, Klein wrote an article claiming that V15 is "primarily financed by an American billionaire and a Mexican entrepreneur who is a U.S. resident."
Needless to say, Klein is engaging in no small amount of hypocrisy when reporting on outside assistance in Israeli elections. The Jerusalem Post reports that conservative American political strategists have regularly worked for Netanyahu's campaigns, and an American consultant currently working for Likud was reportedly sent to Israel at the behest of U.S. Republicans.
Klein hasn't reported a thing about that, of course. He won't report anything that might damage Likud.
MRC's Graham Complains Politico Following In MRC's Footsteps Topic: NewsBusters
The Media Research Center's Tim Graham complains in a Jan. 28 NewsBusters post:
Noah Rothman at Hot Air called out Politico for badly mangling remarks by potential presidential candidate Mike Huckabee. In his new book, Huckabee devoted a chapter to "The Culture of Crude." On Wednesday morning, they tweeted out this attention-grabbing headline: ["Mike Huckabee complains of ‘trashy’ women at Fox News."]
But after clicking through to the article by reporter Adam Lerner, the reader discovered that Huckabee never mentioned Fox, just being in a "professional setting"[.]
Of course, the main reason Huckabee has spent so much time in New York was to shoot his Fox News show, so it's highly logical to assume that he was talking about women at Fox News. Unless, of course, Graham doesn't think Fox News is a "professional setting."
Besides, it can be argued that Politico was simply using the MRC's own journalistic ethics in reporting the story. As we've detailed, the MRC's "news" division, CNSNews.com, insisted in 2005 that Democratic strategist Paul Begala claimed that Republicans "want to kill" Americans when, in fact, the full context of the Begala statement makes it clear that he was saying terrorists -- not Republicans -- want to kill Americans. When Begala called CNS out on its error, then-CNS editor David Thibault (a Republican activist like the intern who originally reported the story for CNS) called Begala a liar. Needless to say, CNS never apologized for its falsehood.
By contrast, the seeming accuracy of the way Politico reported Huckabee's remarks was backed up by how a Fox News host responded to them.
Appearing on Fox News to discuss the remarks (which he denied were targeted at Fox News women), Huckabee found himself on the other end of a mini-lecture from Fox host Megyn Kelly: "Well, I do have some news for you before I let you go. We're not only swearing. We’re drinking, we’re smoking, we’re having premarital sex with birth control before we go to work, and sometimes boss around a bunch of men. ... That's just the reality, Guv."
Curiously, neither Graham nor anyone else at any MRC website has reported Kelly's retort to Huckabee. Apparently, a Fox News host, especially one as reliably conservative as Kelly, deviating from the right-wing script of promoting a persecution narrative -- and, even worse, point out that women behave like human beings -- is simply not news at the MRC.
If and when Iran means to strike, it knows it must do it before Jan. 20, 2017.
Barack Obama made clear in his State of the Union address that he would veto any additional sanctions bill. Perhaps Congress will have a large enough majority to override the mullah’s veto. But whether it does or not, it is clear: If and when Iran strikes, it will be with the knowledge that Obama will do nothing. If Israel needs emergency backup, Iran knows that Obama will not provide it.
The message Obama is sending to Iran and the entire devout Muslim world is, “I am with you. Allahu akbar.”
In the famous 1997 movie comedy “Liar Liar,” actor Jim Carrey plays a lawyer who, as a result of his young son’s birthday wish being magically fulfilled, cannot tell a lie – he can only tell the truth – for 24 hours. Let’s imagine that such a wish forced President Obama to do the same, not for 24 hours, but only during his State of the Union address.
Here is what he said followed by what he would have said if he could only tell the truth.
Last week, we were once again treated to another presidential malfunction. Hours after Obamas State of the Union speech, the country of Yemen went into meltdown. This was one of the places that he had touted as a huge success story for us in the Middle East, and now it was being overrun by Shiite Houthi rebels who had succeeded in overthrowing one of the only friendly governments that we had in the region. The media ran footage of angry rebels shouting “Death to America!” and raising their weapons in defiance. Humiliating? I would say so.
With Yemen in tatters and ISIS and al-Qaida growing stronger by the day, Obama seemed oblivious to anything except his agenda.
If he actually qualified as a real leader, Mr. Obama would hold a press conference immediately where, surrounded by all our military top brass scowling at the camera, he states unambiguously that it is our clear and present objective to kill every Islamic vermin on the planet.
Once he’s done talking there should be a big television screen behind him with a live video of a missile or bomb blowing up some voodoo vermin training location.
First – when did this man who has has never held a real job become an expert in Criminal Justice? Harvard Law graduates do not summarily qualify as such, and Obama’s records from Harvard have been sealed anyway. His law degree could be as legitimate as Elvis Presley’s black belt for all we know.
Second, they’re going to put federal muscle behind those recommendations.
Recalling Obama’s advocacy for a civilian police force as well-equipped as the military during his 2008 campaign, we should have seen this coming, yes? While fomenting racial tension has had its uses for the administration, in the context of demonizing the police, there is an additional objective.
Try to imagine what it would have been like if Barack Obama were running things at the start of World War II.
After Pearl Harbor, he would have denied the Japanese were the enemy.
“It couldn’t be the Japanese that were the problem,” he might say. “The people commanding those planes and aircraft carriers were not Japanese. They couldn’t have been. After all, the Japanese people are good people. This attack must have been committed by some rogue elements – probably folks who don’t understand the peaceful nature of the Japanese culture and religion.”
Obama would then declare war not on Japan, but on sneak attacks.
Well, that didn’t take long. This summer after Barack Obama inexplicably (and illegally) freed five of the Taliban’s most deadly terrorists in exchange for army deserter Bowe Bergdahl, I asked a burning question – a question that remains unanswered: “What will it take for our spineless U.S. Congress to impeach this tyrant? This is way beyond partisan politics. This is about justice. This is about the safety of the American people. Barack Hussein Obama is America’s biggest threat to national security. He is ‘an enemy within.’”
Long gone are the days when calling an American president a tyrant and accusing him of treason amounted to political hyperbole. Just a few short decades ago this anti-American Marxist would not only have been accused of treason, he would have been tried for it.
But alas, inaction and injustice are the lawless hallmarks of today’s political milieu.
We’ve become “fundamentally transformed,” all right.
MRC Promotes Mark Levin's New Contract, Ignore His Racist Comment Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center loves Mark Levin -- so much so, in fact, that it will hide his most disturbing and inflammatory remarks from the MRC's readers.
Thus, you will not hear a thing about Levin's racist attack on CNN host Fareed Zakaria, mocking his "broken English."
You will, however, read at both NewsBusters and CNSNews.com all about Levin re-upping his radio show with syndicator Westwood One. At CNS, Barbara Hollingsworth serves up the gushy detail that "The news was hailed by leading conservatives, including fellow talk show host Sean Hannity, who called Levin 'a national treasure'." NewsBusters couldn't be bothered to put a byline on its Levin-fluffing, instead proclaiming that the contract extension is "Good news for Mark Levin fans."
Of course, neither post from the MRC subsidiaries informed readers that Levin is in business with the MRC -- Levin does live-reads for the MRC on his radio show, and the MRC runs ads touting Levin's endorsement of various MRC operations.
Reality, in the form of Levin's offensive words, can't be allowed to intrude on this little lovefest.
WND Still Hiding Evidence of Fraud In Houston Anti-Gay Petitions Topic: WorldNetDaily
We've detailed how WorldNetDaily refuses to acknowledge evidence of fraud in petitions seeking to overturn Houston's non-discrimination ordinance. That tradition continues in a Jan. 28 WND article by John Griffing.
Griffing is purporting to report on a trial over the petitions, and the bias is evident from the get-go. The headline of the article reads, "Big-city mayor calling own citizens 'criminals'" -- a blatant lie. The first paragraph makes it clear that one of the anti-gay ministers trying to overturn the non-discrimination ordinance is merely accusing Houston Mayor Annise Parker (who, in grand WND tradition, Griffing makes sure to inform us is a lesbian)of saying that. At no point does Griffing directly quote Parker making such a claim.
WND does have a problem of falsely quoting Parker, repeatedly asserting that she claimed the ordinance is "all about me."
Griffing can't be bothered to directly quote -- or even to identify by name -- any of the attorneys for the city cross-examining the anti-gay ministers trying to overturn the ordinance, but he gives one of those ministers, former WND columnist Dave Welch, plenty of space:
Welch told the court there may have been a mistake over the course of collecting tens of thousands of signatures.
“One petition page is far from being ‘rife with’ fraud. … These are citizens doing this, and someone may add on a signature not realizing something may not be notarized. It is a matter of investigative intent and process, and I have no issue with the process,” he said.
But when city attorneys started going through multiple pages of signed petitions, asking Welch to determine forgery, fraud or accident, he responded.
“I am not going to ascribe motives or intent to the individuals who collected these signatures,” he said. “Do you want me to keep repeating myself? This is a matter of process and enthusiasm of people getting out and getting signatures. A referendum drive like this has not been done in the city for many years.”
But nowhere in his article does Griffing explain what the petition issues are. World Magazine, a conservative Christian outlet, does a much better job than WND at doing so:
The definition of “signature” and where it should be located on the sworn affidavit portion of the petition represented two of the city’s major points of contention and most potent means of eliminating signatures. Before submitting their petition pages, each circulator was required to present them to a notary public, before whom the circulator would sign a sworn oath stating all of the signatures had been collected in his or her presence. The bottom portion of the petition page was reserved for that documentation and the notary’s signature and seal.
Welch testified he created the petition page by copying relevant elements gleaned from the Houston City Charter provided in a link on the city’s official website.
That proved problematic.
Welch left out a line in the notary verification portion of the document he said appeared “superfluous.” Harrison insinuated the line was for the circulator’s signature. Without a notary-certified circulator signature, the entire petition sheet with all its signatures was unacceptable, he said. That charge alone invalidated 1,268 petition pages containing 6,443 signatures.
In other words, there are clear issues with the petitions, not to mention the evidence of forged signatures. But Griffing has decided to put right-wing ideology over reporting the facts -- just the way WND likes it.
AIM, MRC Have No Problem With GOP Governor's State-Run Media Outlet Topic: Accuracy in Media
The ConWeb loves to echo Rush Limbaugh's contention that any media outlet that fails to bash President Obama to the satisfaction of right-wingers is "state-run media." But when confronted by actual state-run media -- run by a Republican governor, no less -- the ConWeb is much less disapproving.
In a Jan. 27 Accuracy in Media blog post, Don Irvine touts Republican Indiana Gov. Mike Pence's plans to start a "state-run, taxpayer-funded news outlet that would compete with the local media," proclaiming it a "decisive and bold measure" and that journalists who are complaining about it "have only themselves to blame" because their "biased reporting" all but forced Pence to do it.
The Media Research Center's Scott Whitlock approved of the move as well, trying in a Jan. 28 post to liken it to public broadcasting and chiding PBS host Charlie Rose for criticizing it.Whitlock huffed that "PBS received about $445 million in taxpayer money in 2012" and sneered that "Rose is worth an estimated $23 million, some of which came from his work on PBS."
Of course, unlike public broadcasting, whose mandate is to focus on educational, information and arts programming that mass media outlets ignore, the Pence's news service explicitly stated it would compete with established news outlets and would "function as a news outlet in its own right."
After all the negative criticism -- though not from anywhere in the ConWeb -- Pence endeavored to walk the plan back and eventually pulled the plug on his planned news outlet. Irvine and Whitlock are probably heartbroken.
WND's Evidence for 'No-Go Zones' Cites Repudiated Evidence Topic: WorldNetDaily
As Jerome Corsi has demonstrated, WorldNetDaily has been rather desperate to promote the idea that there really are "no-go zones" in Europe where non-Muslims are prohibited from entering, no matter how shaky. But other WND writers have botched the story even worse than Corsi (shocking, we know).
Art Moore tried to bolster the "no-go zones" claim -- infamously promoted by self-proclaimed Middle East expert Steven Emerson in a Fox News appearance for which Fox later issued an abject apology -- in a Jan. 20 WND article:
The French government lists on its website 751 Zones Urbaines Sensibles, or Sensitive Urban Zones, that the state does not fully control, notes Middle East foreign policy expert Daniel Pipes, director of the Middle East Forum.
The French zones, which have specific street demarcations, were first identified by the government in 1996. An estimate that is now 10 years old found 5 million people living in the zones, Pipes noted.
Pipes, who was one of the first to use the term “no-go zone” in reference to Muslims in Europe, noted in 2006 that France’s Sensitive Urban Zones ranged from two zones in the medieval town of Carcassonne to 12 in the heavily Muslim city of Marseilles, with hardly a town in the country lacking one.
Pipes has continuously updated his original 2006 post, citing references by politicians, civil leaders and journalists to “no-go zones” in Britain, Germany and Sweden, as well as France.
Since 2007, Pipes has visited largely Muslim areas of Paris, Copenhagen, Malmö, Stockholm, Berlin and Athens to find out for himself what is happening. He explained that for “a visiting American, these areas are very mild, even dull.”
“We who know the Bronx and Detroit expect urban hell in Europe too, but there things look fine. The immigrant areas are hardly beautiful, but buildings are intact, greenery abounds, and order prevails,” Pipes said.
“These are not full-fledged no-go zones,” he explained, “but, as the French nomenclature accurately indicates, ‘sensitive urban zones.’ In normal times, they are unthreatening, routine places. But they do unpredictably erupt, with car burnings, attacks on representatives of the state (including police), and riots.”
But Moore omits one key observation Pipes made: that the "sensitive urban zones," or ZUS, aren't no-go zones, even though he stated it in that "continuously updated" post Moore cites. Pipes wrote:
Before my travels, I expected these areas to be similar to the worst areas of the United States, such as the Bronx or Detroit, where buildings are decrepit, streets menacing, and outsiders feel distinctly unwelcome.
My experiences starting in 2007 belied this expectation. All the immigrant areas turned out to be well maintained, with safe streets, and no sense of intimidation. I walked around, usually with camera in hand, and felt at ease. I encountered no difficulties at all.
That said, there is a reason why the French government calls these regions sensibles (sensitive, delicate). They contain many social pathologies (unemployment, drugs, political extremism), they seethe with antagonism toward the majority society, and are prone to outbreaks of violence.
So, from an American point of view, these areas are a bit confusing: potentially dangerous, yes, but in normal times very ordinary looking and with no sense of foreboding. Thus, the term no-go zone does not accurately reflect the situation.
A Jan. 22 WND article by Bob Unruh apparently cribbed from Moore's article in suggesting that Pipes has called the ZUS areas "no-go zones" when he has repudiated the claim.
Unruh simply stole from Moore's article because he's just that lazy of a reporter, but what's Moore's excuse? There's no way he couldn't have read it, so we can probably assume his selective editing of Pipes was deliberate.
Don't expect a Fox News-like apology from WND -- it really doesn't do such things unless it's too painfully false to ignore (like it did in 2012 when it falsely claimed that Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly believed the Bible prohibited interracial marriage).