CPAC is dead to WorldNetDaily's Joseph Farah -- and he spends his entire March 8 column explaining why.
Most of the reason is that CPAC wouldn't let Farah speak about President Obama's birth certificate, which he blames on conservative blogger Jon Henke, who raised the idea last year of getting conservatives to not advertise on WND because of its embrace of conspiracy theories (like birtherism). Farah even gives a shout-out to Media Matters for noting Henke's boycott idea:
It began when Republican blogger Jon Henke declared an ill-fated boycott of WND. I say ill-fated because WND had a banner year for revenues and traffic. That should tell you something about his level of influence in the world of politics and news. Henke did his best to get the Republican Party to withhold advertising from WND, never thinking, of course, to suggest the same to the Democrats, who outspent Republicans nationally and in WND in the election year 2008.
Nevertheless, Henke was rewarded with multiple appearances on MSNBC and became a darling of the George Soros-backed slime machine Media Matters as a result of his attack on WND.
His next step was calling CPAC to ensure that I would be banned from speaking there in 2010.
Meanwhile, Henke tells the Washington Independent's Dave Weigel that he appeared on MSNBC only once. Further, regarding Farah's claim about Democrats advertising at WND, it's misleading at best. What Farah has usually offered to back up this claim is contextual advertising through Google AdWords -- in which the ads that appear in the Google ad space are driven by the content of the page they appear on -- which is not the same as directly purchasing ad space from WND. (It's ironic that Farah would defend hosting Google-generated ads on WND, given that he devoted an entire chapter of his 2007 book Stop the Presses! to bashing Google as an "immoral" company that "may not be able to discern right from wrong.")
Farah goes on to trash CPAC director Lisa De Pasquale for blocking his birtherism, calling her an "arrogant, know-it-all wannabe" who exhibits "ill manners, unprofessionalism and condescension."
But being denied a forum to spread his birtherism is not the only reason Farah is shunning CPAC. He's also annoyed that CPAC "made the conscious decision to include in its sponsors for 2010 a group promoting same-sex marriage. How stupid is that?"
There's a third reason as well: WND is creating its own activism conference. The first Taking America Back National Convention (named after Farah's 2003 manifesto) gathers in September in Miami. The list of speakers is mostly the usual WND suspects -- Farah, Jerome Corsi, Alan Keyes -- as well as one CPAC holdover, WND columnist Tom Tancredo, whose CPAC appearance was notable for his insulting the intelligence of Obama voters and calling for a "civics literacy test" as a requirement for voting.
Farah makes clear how his shindig will be different from CPAC:
This one is about the ultimate issues of God, the Constitution, the tea-party uprising, freedom and justice.
There will be no two-headed monkeys.
There will be no same-sex marriage sponsors.
But there will be free and open discussion of issues like the constitutional eligibility of the man occupying the White House.
Of course, when you're paying for the venue, you can talk about any goofy thing you want.
At least 80 advertisers have reportedly dropped their ads from Glenn Beck's Fox News program since he called President Obama a "racist" who has a "deep-seated hatred for white people." Here are his March 8 sponsors, in the order they appeared:
With all the companies that have pulled their advertising from Glenn Beck, it's understandable that many of those still advertising with him aren't exactly blue-chip enterprises. Regardless, you've got to give it to the folks at Survival Seed Bank - who advertised on Glenn Beck's March 8 broadcast - for meshing quite nicely with the host's apocalyptic visions of the future.
There's nothing wrong with a business that serves some kind of demand in the marketplace, but it goes without saying that fearmongering about economic collapse followed by food shortages and citing World Net Daily for "strong evidence" is big time black helicopter stuff.
No wonder they're advertising on Glenn Beck.
Living up to its name, HotAir embedded a ridiculous YouTube clip into a March 8 post to falsely claim that the Senate health care bill expands federal coverage of abortion beyond current law. The clip, titled "They Lie," shows an image of subsection 1303(b)(2) -- named "Abortions for Which Public Funding is Allowed" -- to prove that there is public funding for abortions. After all, the very title of the section says so!
However, the sleuths at HotAir (and their "Salem colleague Greg Hengler") neglected to mention that the subsection allowing for public funding of abortions is "based on the law as in effect as of the date that is 6 months before the beginning of the plan year involved." The "law as in effect" is the Hyde Amendment, which currently prohibits federal funding for abortions, except in cases of rape or incest or when the pregnancy endangers the life of the mother. This is not a new revelation; federal funding for these specific cases of abortion has been allowed under the Hyde Amendment consistently since 1993. And as Media Matters for America has noted -- ad nauseam -- neither the Senate nor House health care bills provide federal funding for abortions beyond the Hyde Amendment.
But, to the right-wing noise machine, it seems that every little blatant distortion helps when trying to sabotage the health care debate.
In his new memoir Courage and Consequence, Karl Rove slams President Barack Obama as a hypocritical Chicago politician who "plays fast and loose with the facts" (pg. 514). The accusation is particularly rich coming from Karl Rove -- a man who has made a post-White House career out of launching countless falsehoods and smears against President Obama and his administration. From the archives:
Newsbuster Scott Whitlock offers a lame attack on David Shuster for questioning the NRCC's habit of referring to Charlie Rangel as a "Harlem Democrat":
MSNBC's David Shuster on Monday attacked Republicans as racist for calling embattled Congressman Charlie Rangel a "crooked, Harlem Democrat." Talking to ex-Virginia Governor Doug Wilder, the host complained about a press release by the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC): "They could have called him the crooked New York Democrat. They could have called him a crooked Democrat." [Audio available here.]
Shuster continued, "Why crooked Harlem Democrat? And did you see that as being racially tinged?" Clearly, the provocative part of the NRCC's press release was labeling Rangel corrupt. How is it inaccurate to refer to the Representative as a "Harlem Democrat?" Harlem is in his district. [Emphasis added]
Is it even possible that Whitlock doesn't understand that this defense falls apart unless the NRCC regularly refers to members of Congress by towns and neighborhoods in their districts?
This NRCC press release criticizing Rep. Suzanne Kosmas doesn't refer to her as a "New Smyrna Beach Democrat." This one criticizing Rep. Michael McMahon for not calling for Rangel's resignation refers to McMahon as a "New York Democrat" rather than a "Staten Island Democrat" -- even as it calls Rangel a "Harlem Democrat." This release twice calls Rangel a "Harlem Democrat," but this one about Earl Pomeroy doesn't say anything about a "Bismark Democrat," and so on.
None of which proves that the NRCC is "racist," of course. There could be a perfectly good reason why they treat Rangel and McMahon differently. Then again, Shuster didn't call them "racist," despite Whitlock's claims. Shuster asked why the NRCC insists on identifying Rangel as a "Harlem Democrat," and whether doing so was "racially tinged." Whitlock's childishly simplistic response that "Harlem is in his district" doesn't undermine Shuster's question -- not when the NRCC doesn't similarly identify McMahon as a "Staten Island Democrat."
Newsbuster Brent Baker complains:
Not the biggest deal, but emblematic of how the Washington press corps consider anyone to the right of center, no matter if barely so, to be a "conservative," while anyone who strays at all from a perfect liberal line is not worthy of an ideological label.
Setting up Sunday's Face the Nation, CBS's Bob Schieffer described guest Evan Bayh simply as "the Indiana Democrat" while tagging Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, who is every bit, if not more, off the conservative reservation as Bayh is off the liberal one, as a "conservative Republican."
Baker didn't provide a shred of evidence for his claim that Graham and Bayh are equally divergent from their parties' ideological mainstream. Turns out there's good reason to describe Graham as a "conservative Republican" and Bayh merely as a "Democrat": Evan Bayh is not particularly liberal, while Lindsay Graham is a conservative Republican.
Political scientists Jeff Lewis and Keith Poole rank each member of Congress in order from most liberal to least liberal based on the votes they cast. For the 111th Senate, Lewis and Poole find that Bayh has the 59th most liberal voting record, while Graham's is tied for 83rd. For the 110th Senate, Bayh was the 51st most liberal, while Graham was 88th. For the 109th, Bayh was 28th most liberal, while Graham was 94th. For the 108th, Bayh was 42nd most liberal and Graham was 92nd.
So for every Senate in which they both served, Evan Bayh's voting record placed him far closer to the center of the Senate than Lindsay Graham. Bayh's voting record has never placed him among the most most liberal Senators; Graham's has typically placed him among the most conservative.
Maybe Baker is confused about this because Graham is often -- and inaccurately -- described by the media as "moderate"?
The headline on Porter Stansberry's March 5 WorldNetDaily "Investor Insights" column reads: "Stocking up on meds and ammo, NOW!" The actual article manages to be even crazier than that.
Stansberry kicks off with a bit of fear-mongering:
Show me the example in history where a nation survives without a violent revolution after adopting paper money as its only standard, ringing up enormous foreign debts while fighting multiple wars, and relying on a tiny fraction of its population as its revenue base. Or ... simply show me any democracy in history that survived after more than 50 percent of its population stopped paying taxes.
Actually, from payroll taxes to state sales taxes, pretty much everyone pays taxes. But Stansberry isn't done fear-mongering yet:
Over the next 10 years (if not much sooner), the reality of our fiscal situation will become impossible to hide. And whom will the masses blame for the resulting chaos? What would happen, for example, if inflation went to 20 percent annually and interest rates soared to 30 percent to 40 percent annually? What would happen in that situation if someone blew up a bomb in the capital?
I don't know if any of these things will happen, of course.
Then why bring them up in the first place?
Stansberry then gets around to the point raised in the headline, an idea he has apparently endorsed in his newsletter (which is sold through WND). He adds, "If I'm wrong and there is no crisis, doing these things won't hurt you. There's no downside to owning foreign real estate, saving gold, or having an emergency stockpile of food, ammunition, and medicine."
Here's where it gets even crazier:
As for me, I'm not buying ammunition. I'm built for pleasure, not for fighting. So I've simply designed an "escape pod." I have a nice boat on the dock right behind my house in Miami. I can safely leave the country -- at any time -- with most of my wealth, within 24 hours. I'm building a house on the water in a safe foreign country that doesn't have any ties to America (Nicaragua). I've moved a significant amount of my savings out of the country -- legally. I'm pursuing a diplomatic passport to ensure any attempt to restrict travel out of the country won't stop me.
Lots of folks might be critical of these steps. Believe me, I could not care less about what they think. It's not my job to save the U.S. from its own folly. It's my job to make sure that my family is safe. Only an ignorant fool would look at what's happening with our finances, our military, and our government and not realize we're moving in a dangerous direction that's not likely to have a happy ending.
So we have a financial adviser who has already moved "a significant amount" of money out of the United States and is prepared to flee the country at a moment's notice to a locale "that doesn't have any ties to America." This is the person WorldNetDaily promotes as someone whose "insight" is worth publishing.
Last week, right-wing bloggers were frantically trying to claim that John Patrick Bedell, who was killed after he opened fired on Pentagon security officers, was a loony liberal and that Bedell's attacks had nothing to do with the increasing bouts of anti-government violence spreading on the far-ring end of the political spectrum.
The supposed proof of Bedell's liberal leanings seemed pretty thin. But this one concocted by Jim Hoft at Gateway Pundit was almost comical in the sheer dishonesty of the charge [emphasis added]:
UPDATE: So... Will the state-run media report this?
The Pentagon shooter is linked to several gay rights groups along with PETA, NPR, various drug legalization orgs, Greenpeace and Al Franken.
Oh my, Bedell was linked to lots of liberal groups and even a lib senator. But when readers clicked on the Gateway Pundit link, they ended up at Left Coast Rebel, which tried to deduce all kinds of information about Bedell from his Facebook page:
I don't have access or visibility to Bedell's profile or friends. What I do have though is a list of the friends that his profile is linked to. Right off the bat I see several middle eastern sounding names many students. A large number of Bedell's friends seem to be of Indian descent - not surprising considering John Bedell's tech/science background. I even see actress Mary Bradley on here as well.
I found friends of Bedell were linked to several gay rights activist groups along with PETA, NPR, various drug legalization organizations, Greenpeace, Al Franken and a whole bunch of other stuff.
The right-wing blogger didn't have access to Bedell's FB profile, but the blogger did get to poke around Bedell's friends and found out Bedell's FB friends linked to some liberal orgs and pols. So what does Gateway Pundit do? He announces that Bedell was "linked" to the liberals outposts and politicians. Why? Because Bedell's FB friends had associations with them.
That's right, according to Hoft's fool-proof logic, every Facebook user is now "linked to" every group and interest that their hundreds, or perhaps thousands, of FB friends connect to.
Nifty trick, eh?
Behold "conservative journalism."
From a Media Matters news release:
Today, Media Matters for America announced the hiring of Joe Strupp as Investigative Reporter and Senior Editor. Strupp comes to Media Matters after 10 years as a senior editor at Editor & Publisher magazine. He will be the organization's first Investigative Reporter, and his original work will appear on his new Media Matters blog "Strupp," also launching today.
"Hiring an investigative reporter is a new step for Media Matters, but it is one we're confident will pay off," said Eric Burns, President of Media Matters. "Joe has more than 20 years of reporting experience and is an expert on the media industry. I am thrilled he is leading us in this new endeavor."
"I am excited about joining Media Matters, which I believe does a wonderful service for press coverage and balanced reporting," said Strupp. "I believe my work will be a great addition to an already valuable and remarkable team. I can't wait to provide daily media information along with original reporting of the ups and downs of the media industry."
Strupp is up with his first report which opens:
Did Newsday reassign two reporters after receiving complaints from Steve Levy, the county executive of Suffolk County, New York?
Significant evidence suggests that the newspaper -- the largest daily on Long Island -- did, including Levy's own admission that he urged the paper to reassign one of the reporters.
This raises serious concerns for the paper's readers and local community leaders, who must be able to trust Newsday's coverage of politics and government.
More about Joe Strupp:
Joe Strupp comes to Media Matters as an investigative reporter and senior editor with 21 years of news experience across newspapers, magazines, television, radio, and the Internet. Most recently, he was a senior editor at Editor & Publisher magazine, from 1999 to late 2009, writing for its print edition, website, and blog.
Strupp, 44, started his career at The Daily Journal in Elizabeth, New Jersey. He has also worked at The Argus in Fremont, California; The San Francisco Independent; and The Press-Enterprise of Riverside, California.
He has appeared on Fox News, MSNBC, National Public Radio, and Air America Radio, among other local broadcast outlets. He also spent time as a reporter and anchor at Pacifica Radio in Berkeley, California.
Strupp has earned awards from the New Jersey Press Association, Society of Professional Journalists, Jesse H. Neal Business Journalism Awards, and Folio. He lives with his wife, Claire, and their two children in Northern New Jersey.