ConWebWatch home
ConWebBlog: the weblog of ConWebWatch
Search and browse through the ConWebWatch archive
About ConWebWatch
Who's behind the news sites that ConWebWatch watches?
Letters to and from ConWebWatch
ConWebWatch Links
Buy books and more through ConWebWatch

Update: They DO Dare Call It Treason, Part 2

WorldNetDaily teams up with a Moonie publication for a ham-handed attack on Hillary. Plus: WND puts its congressional press pass to dubious use, NewsMax's Clinton Exception, the definition of incompetence, and more.

By Terry Krepel
Posted 12/15/2003

It looks like Insight, the Moonie-owned magazine WorldNetDaily has a content-sharing agreement with, is picking up some bad habits from its partner (or maybe it's the other way around).

The two decided to engage in a little speculative, wishful Hillary-bashing in a Dec. 11 article penned by Insight writer Kenneth R. Timmerman that ponders whether Hillary Clinton's trip to Iraq, overshadowed by President Bush's Thanksgiving trip the previous day, was treason.

(This, by the way, from a Web site that has stayed far away from the arguably more treasonous seller-of-secrets-to-the-Chinese Katrina Leung ostensibly because she moved in Republican circles before she got caught. Only Democrats, it would seem, are permitted to be accused of treason, as the ConWeb loves to do.)

A hint of what Timmerman has decided the answer is comes with the very first sentence, which quotes discredited, toe-sucking former Clinton adviser Dick Morris.

What follows is a highly selective distortion of what Clinton said during her visit. Timmerman writes that Clinton "insisted that she had come to Baghdad to tell the troops that 'Americans are proud' of them. But, she added, back home "many question the administration's policies.' Then she launched into a personal attack on the president for having been 'obsessed with Saddam Hussein for more than a decade.' It was not exactly what you'd call a morale booster, and the troops hated it."

Not only does Timmerman not offer any evidence that "the troops hated" Clinton's visit, he fails to report that she did indeed have lots of kind words to say to the troops -- but you have to go to more credible, less biased news sources for that. Among Clinton's remarks: "I wanted to come to Iraq to let the troops know about the great job they're doing" and "I have heard some wonderful stories about the kind of work that captains and majors are doing out there helping people... I think that this is a story that needs to get out."

Yet, despite the absence of facts supporting his thesis, Timmerman goes on to call Hillary's visit "a replay of actress Jane Fonda's infamous "Hanoi Jane" stunt at the peak of the Vietnam War" and exhumes the names of Tokyo Rose and Axis Sally.

Finally, Timmerman finds an alleged expert who called her trip "typically Clintonesque. It was overtly political, it was disloyal and it was pathetic. But it was not treason."

This is the kind of thing that passes for "news" these days at WorldNetDaily (and, it would appear, at Insight). At least some of WND's employees have the good sense to remove their bylines from such slanted work.

* * *

After that long, bitter fight to get a permanent congressional press credential from the Senate Press Gallery, how is WorldNetDaily's Paul Sperry making use of it? (That is, when he isn't writing stories to sell his WND-published book.)

Not well, apparently. The latest urgent dispatch from Sperry details a false fire alarm that forced the evacuation of the Capitol building.

Certainly we're all sleeping better at night knowing Sperry is on the false-fire-alarm beat, leaving those lame stories like the Bush administration outing a CIA operative (which WND has yet to do an original article on) to the amateurs.

* * *

Speaking of WorldNetDaily writers underutilizing their talents, Art Moore provides an update on the "potentially crippling sanctions" beat, where two "pro-life attorneys" who were the subject of two previous Moore articles were threatened with sanctions for allegedly frivolous lawsuits against Planned Parenthood. In the latest installment, Moore informs us that the attorneys have indeed been ordered to pay $15,000 to Planned Parenthood, and yes, said sanction remains "potentially crippling."

In keeping with the WND slant, Moore's story is not only tilted to the pro-life attorneys, but the headline is misleading. It states that "Sanctions could 'destroy' pro-life attorneys" (the damage level adjusted from previous headlines, which called the potential sanctions "crippling" and "devastating," respectively), but the story doesn't say that. The only use of the word "destroy" in the article comes from one of the attorneys, who is quoted as saying that the Planned Parenthood lawyer "has made it clear that he wants to destroy" him, his fellow defendant and the nonprofit legal organization they run.

Again, there's no plausible explanation of why a $15,000 judgment would "destroy" or "potentially cripple" these two attorneys beyond saying that their organization doesn't charge for its services and relies on donations, followed by the plea: "We now need the help of the pro-life community."

The only thing missing is a link from the story to a donations page, which Moore should have added since his story has only the barest pretense of fairness in the first place.

* * *

The Dec. 9 edition of NewsMax's "Left Coast Report" (written by James Hirsen, who has managed to turn uninspired, kneejerk conservative bashing of Hollywood liberals in not only a book but a radio show as well) complains about the alleged "Rush Limbaugh exception to the compassion rule":

  • In a lefty celebrity world, compassion has partisan overtones and doesn't extend from lib to conservative, even when the addiction stems from a relief-of-pain pursuit.
  • Let's take a stroll down left-wing memory lane for a moment. Throughout his entire time in public office, Bill Clinton refused to produce his medical records. And his defenders didn't care a whit.
  • Rush, who holds no public office, has now had his confidential medical records seized by the police. And the same folks somehow think it's way cool.
  • The Left Coast Report has a play on lib words for would-be Rush detractors: The Maharushie's conduct doesn't rise to the level of prosecution.

The funny thing, of course, is that NewsMax has been operating under the "Clinton Exception," in which allegations against the Clintons were handled differently than similar allegations against Republicans.

Take, for example, the medical records issue. NewsMax made a big stink over the years about Clinton not releasing his to the public -- a July 2000 article is a fine example of the Clinton Exception in action. But, to the best of our knowledge, George W. Bush hasn't released his medical records to the public either, and where's NewsMax's outrage about that? Nowhere.

And then there's Hirsen's silly statement that Limbaugh's "conduct doesn't rise to the level of prosecution." He doesn't know that since the investigation has not been completed.

Hirsen overlooks the fact that Limbaugh admitted an addiction and news stories abound of apparent illegalities committed in feeding that addiction, making an investigation all but necessary. Hirsen would never be so charitable if it was a "lefty celebrity" instead of Limbaugh -- he wouldn't get paid for that.

Then again, when has actual evidence ever mattered to NewsMax? (Vince Foster, take a bow.)

* * *

So, a guy who hasn't worked for ABC News in more than a decade thinks Peter Jennings is "incompetent" for running an allegedly biased report on obesity.

Really? If running biased articles makes you "incompetent," what does that make Scott Hogenson, Christopher Ruddy and Joseph Farah (and Jon Dougherty and Paul Sperry and Jim Burns and ... )?

Just askin' ...

Send this page to:
Bookmark and Share
The latest from

In Association with
Support This Site

home | letters | archive | about | primer | links | shop
This site © Copyright 2000-03 Terry Krepel