The latest target in the Glenn Beck-driven conservative media witch hunt for Obama administration "czars" is Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools director Kevin Jennings. In their attacks on Jennings, numerous conservative media figures have resorted to thinly veiled homophobic appeals to paint Jennings, who is gay, as a "radical" "gay activist" with an "agenda" of "promoting homosexuality in schools," and have misrepresented or distorted Jennings' previous comments about religion and tolerance.
From Roger Hedgecock's September 28 WorldNetDaily column, headlined, "Dead Census worker: Victim of open borders?"
Two weeks ago, Census taker Bill Sparkman died choking, hands and feet bound, hanging naked from a tree in a remote site in Daniel Boone National Forest in Clay County, Ky. Someone had scrawled "fed" on his chest with a felt-tipped pen.
Last week, Sparkman's death became fodder for more attacks on "right-wing violence." Bloggers wanted to "send the body to Glenn Beck," and a Time magazine piece speculated that Sparkman was a victim of the culture of another McCain-voting Southern state
Now it looks more like Sparkman was yet another victim of illegal drug operations on national forest land, and possibly also a victim of our still open border with Mexico.
Taking the Census in our national forests is dangerous business. Law enforcement sources say meth labs and marijuana plantations are "prevalent" in the area of Sparkman's death. Did he stumble across a drug operation in the Daniel Boone National Forest? No one is saying for sure, but the locals believe it.[...]
Our open border with Mexico has been changing American society in a number of unpleasant ways. These fires, these destroyed national forest lands, and maybe even Bill Sparkman's death, may just be the latest way.
BigGovernment.com is currently touting a post by Matthew Vadum -- who has a history of overheated attacks on Obama -- profiling the Right's latest target: Obama White House political affairs director Patrick Gaspard.
"Evidence shows that years before he joined the Obama administration, Gaspard was ACORN boss Bertha Lewis's political director in New York," Vadum writes, working under then-state leader and current ACORN CEO Bertha Lewis. "Obama's statement that he's barely aware of ACORN's problems is nothing short of ridiculous, especially so because Patrick Gaspard was a political director for ACORN New York."
Curiously missing from Vadum's post are the exact dates that Gaspard was political director for ACORN New York -- he states only that it was "years before." That omission tells us that we can presume it was many years before.
Nevertheless, Vadum takes this opportunity to ramp up the crazy: "With Gaspard at work in the White House, Lewis might as well be speaking to President Obama through an earpiece as he goes about his daily business ruining the country." Manchurian candidate, anyone?
Meanwhile, WorldNetDaily is claiming that it has "unearthed!" Obama's "twisted ACORN roots." Actually, there's no new information in this article -- it's all compiled from previous reports. And some of those claims are false or misleading:
Responding to President Obama's September 8 back-to-school address, the text of which was posted online on September 7, several conservative media figures have echoed Florida Republican Party chairman Jim Greer's assertion that Obama altered his speech after "the White House got their hand in the cookie jar caught." Numerous media conservatives, as well as Greer, had previously made the baseless charge that Obama would use the speech to push an ideological agenda or indoctrinate children.
The Next Right's Jon Henke -- who called for a conservative boycott of WorldNetDaily and conservative groups who support it through advertising and renting its mailing list -- has tried to get a response out of the Republican National Committee, one of the groups that has rented WND's mailing list, "to inquire about it and encourage them to stop."
It's not going well. The first response was: "Pls note that we have already weighed in on the birther issue -- weeks ago. Thanks." To that was appended a New York Times article containing another response to the birther issue. Henke nnotes:
So, the sum total of the RNC's response was (a) Obama is "a U.S. citizen", but (b) we want to ignore this Birther story, (c) we're not saying whether or not we're working with the Birthers, and (d) we're just going to completely ignore the actual question you asked.
Henke then sent more questions, to which the RNC has yet to respond. Henke concludes:
In the 1960's, Goldwater and a few Republicans had the integrity and guts to denounce the irresponsible fringe in the fevered swamps of the Right. Today, as far as I can tell, the Republican National Committee works with them.
From Erik Rush's September 3 WorldNetDaily column:
Football legend and actor O.J. Simpson was a truly beloved American icon. The quintessential American success story, he projected an amicable, wholesome, larger-than-life figure. His triumphs were even more noteworthy because he was a black man who had risen to fame and fortune during the Civil Rights Movement era.
In 1995, Simpson was put on trial for the murders of Nicole Brown (his second ex-wife) and a male friend. As a result, authorities and the press were able to delve into his affairs as no one had previously done. Only then did Americans learn that he was a beast and a brute, an obsessively controlling, chronic wife beater, emotional abuser and philanderer. In short, he was a pathological narcissist for whom whimsy, pleasure and image were paramount. Worse, his behavior had been validated and reinforced by the fact that he had been catered to by those around him, personally and professionally, for decades. After beating the murder rap, Simpson continued to manipulate and bully those around him. Twelve years later, his capricious conduct earned him a lengthy prison sentence for numerous firearms charges, robbery, burglary, assault and kidnapping.
Many Americans, and even a few trained in behavioral science, have identified President Obama as a deeply pathological narcissist. He has also managed to masterfully control his environment. While his detractors contend that his façade has been maintained by a complicit press, this may only be partially true. According to experts, the profoundly narcissistic frequently astonish casual observers when the extent of control they have been able to maintain over their environment (primarily, people close to them) is finally revealed ... Given the determination with which our president has hidden certain other personal information, it is probable that there are a few aspects thereof that he perceives might damage him politically, if not personally or even legally.
Rush has also likened Obama to a "cellblock rapist" and called Attorney General Eric Holder "another floatie in the septic tank that is the Obama administration."
(h/t Right Wing Watch)
WorldNetDaily founder and editor Joseph Farah is responding to news of a conservative boycott against supporters of his "news" organization in the expected way -- by demonstrating why conservatives would want to boycott WND in the first place.
In his Sept. 1 WND column, Farah dismisses the Next Right writer who proposed the boycott, Jon Henke, as "this fellow I have never known nor associated with nor even heard of," then misportrays Henke's post, suggesting he was moved to support a boycott solely "because of an article he read in the Boston Herald last week." In fact, it's clear from Henke's post that the Herald article was merely the last straw, not the entire rationale.
Farah then complains that the Boston Herald article in question offered only a "partial quote," taken "out-of-context," from a Feb. 1 WND article by Jerome Corsi suggesting that the federal government wants "to create the type of detention center" that "could be used as concentration camps for political dissidents, such as occurred in Nazi Germany." Corsi, Farah insisted, offered a "much more nuanced and accurate statement."
But actual nuance would have required Corsi to tell all sides of the story -- not just the point of view of "those concerned about use of the military in domestic affairs" but what the sposnor of the bill in question, Rep. Alcee Hastings, has said about it.
On Jan. 22 -- nine days before Corsi's article was published -- Hastings issued a press release on his sponsorship of the National Emergency Centers Establishment Act, which would "create six National Emergency Centers throughout the United States to better respond to national emergencies":
The Centers would provide temporary housing, medical, and humanitarian assistance, including education for individuals and families displaced due to an emergency. In addition, the Centers will also serve as a centralized location for the training and coordination of first responders in the instance of an emergency.
"The lack of natural disaster preparedness efforts and temporary housing options for disaster-stricken citizens has only exacerbated an unbearable situation. Deficient recovery responses have led to elongated recovery rates in my district and across this nation," said Congressman Hastings.
"We have an obligation to better prepare and more adequately respond to the needs of communities hit by natural disasters. We have a responsibility to ensure that basic needs of disaster victims are met immediately following the devastation. Our nation was not prepared for the disastrous hurricanes that struck Florida and the Gulf Coast in 2004 and in 2005. The enactment of this legislation will help to ensure that our government is able to adequately respond to families and individuals displaced due to an emergency."
Corsi reported none of this. Instead, the only quote of Hastings in his article was of a 2008 statement critical of Sarah Palin -- which is completely irrelevant to the bill in question. Corsi's only goal in this article was to ridicule Hastings and fearmonger about the bill he introduced.
Farah goes on to complain that other organizations reported on the boycott, including Media Matters. He then defends the organization he founded:
I didn't found WorldNetDaily to be esteemed by my colleagues.
I didn't found it to make People for the American Way or Media Matters happy.
I didn't found it because I wanted to be part of the "conservative" movement.
I founded it because there was a crying need for an independent brand of journalism beholden only to the truth.
Farah concludes: "I hope you appreciate that WorldNetDaily difference." Of course, "that WorldNetDaily difference" -- fearmongering, hatred and falsehoods -- is exactly why people like Jon Henke want to boycott WND.
Numerous conservatives have claimed that President Obama's upcoming September 8 speech about "persisting and succeeding in school," along with classroom activities about the "importance of education," will "indoctrinate" and "brainwash" schoolchildren. Conservatives have compared Obama's address to Chinese communism and the Hitler Youth, while also calling for parents to "keep your kids home" from the "fascist in chief."
How far out there is right-wing website WorldNetDaily? So far out that most of its fellow conservatives are not only disassociating themselves from it as fast as it can, but are actively figuring out how to boycott it. From an Aug. 31 post by Jon Henke at The Next Right noting WND's embrace of the claim that the federal government is building concentration camps for U.S. political dissidents:
The Birthers are the Birchers of our time, and WorldNetDaily is their pamphlet. The Right has mostly ignored these embarrassing people and organizations, but some people and organizations inexplicably choose to support WND through advertising and email list rental or other collaboration. For instance, I have been told that F.I.R.E (The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education) -- an otherwise respectable group that does important work -- uses the WND email list. They should stop.
No respectable organization should support the kind of fringe idiocy that WND peddles. Those who do are not respectable.
I think it's time to find out what conservative/libertarian organizations support WND through advertising, list rental or other commercial collaboration (email me if you know of any), and boycott any of those organizations that will not renounce any further support for WorldNetDaily.
Ouch. That's gonna leave a mark -- well, it would if Joseph Farah, Jerome Corsi and crew had any sense of shame.
Oh, and one of the organizations that has rented WND's mailing list is ... the Republican National Committee. Here's a screenshot from an RNC email sent out August 27 on the WND list:
Following the military's job listing for the position of "INTERNMENT / RESETTLEMENT SPECIALIST," conservatives have pushed the conspiracy theory that the Obama administration is planning to "round up American citizens" into "internment camps." However, the military under both President Bush and President Obama has regularly referred to "internment" and "resettlement" while discussing "detainees" and "enemy prisoners of war," and one prominent conservative blog has even debunked the theory, referring to the job listing as "completely innocuous."
From Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson's August 4 column on WorldNetDaily, headlined "Obama hates the white man":
Barack Obama hates white people -- especially white men. Sorry folks, but the truth will set you free!
Why else would Obama falsely accuse Sgt. James Crowley and other Cambridge Police officers of "racial profiling" and claim they "acted stupidly" -- creating a national racial controversy?
For months, I have said that Barack Obama was elected as a result of white fear (guilt) and black racism. Whites voted for him because of guilt and the fear of being called "racist." And the 96 percent of blacks who voted for the "Messiah" did so because of his race and his "spread the wealth" notions.
Barack Obama is Jeremiah Wright Jr. He is the NAACP and the Congressional Black Caucus! He embodies the aspirations of every left-wing black group that wants to tear down this country and take power away from the "oppressive" white man. He's not an obvious race hustler like Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson; but Obama is a smooth pathological liar -- with a wicked heart.
Both Obama and his friend Henry Louis Gates are racist. Keep in mind also that Gates' attorney, Charles Ogletree, was Barack Obama's law professor at Harvard. We're dealing with liberal-elite, cunning black intellectuals.
Sgt. James Crowley said after the "beer summit" that there were no apologies, but that he will meet with and listen to more about Gates' views. Listen to what? How to hamstring cops from doing their jobs? Are you kidding me?
I realize that Crowley was under a great deal of pressure to get along, but he should have had the courage to demand an apology and tell the president and Gates: 1) They were wrong, and 2) Their phony photo op and "beer summit" at the White House won't cleanse their racist hearts.
Early this morning, we (along with others) noted that the purported Obama birth certificate posted by WorldNetDaily says that it was issued by the "Republic of Kenya" on February 17, 1964, but that Kenya did not become a republic until December 12, 1964.
Well, here's WND's response:
Media Matters wrote, "Sorry, WorldNetDaily: Kenya wasn't a republic until Dec. 1964."
But Kenya's official independence was in 1963, and any number of labels could have been applied to government documents during that time period.
At Ameriborn Constitution News, the researcher noted that the independence process for the nation actually started taking as early as 1957, when there were the first direct elections for Africans to the Legislative Council.
"Kenya became an Independent Republic, December 12, 1963, which gives more [credibility] that this is a true document," the website stated.
The 1963 independence is corroborated by several other information sources, including the online African History.
Even the People Daily news agency cited, on Dec. 12, 2005, the "42nd independence anniversary" in Nairobi. "The country gained independence from Britain on Dec. 12, 1963," the report said.
An online copy of the Kenya Constitution, "adopted in 1963, amended in 1999," states: "CHAPTER I - THE REPUBLIC OF KENYA, Article 1, Kenya is a sovereign Republic. Article 1A, The Republic of Kenya shall be a multiparty democratic state..."
It was in November 1964 when the region voluntarily became a one-party state, according to an online source.
There are a couple points to be made here.
First, WND's focus on the date of Kenyan independence is a straw man. No one is disputing that Kenya gained independence in 1963. But that isn't the same as when it became a republic. Indeed, the December 12, 1964, Washington Post article we posted reported: "Kenya became the newest republic within the British Commonwealth at midnight. ... Kenya became independent in December, 1963 and has now shed its dominion status, while remaining in the Commonwealth" [emphasis added].
Second, on the issue of Kenya's constitution "adopted in 1963," here's how the CIA's World Factbook describes Kenya's constitutional history:
12 December 1963; amended as a republic 1964; reissued with amendments 1979, 1982, 1986, 1988, 1991, 1992, 1997, 2001; note - a new draft constitution was defeated by popular referendum in 2005
That's consistent with news reporting from the time. An October 27, 1963, Washington Post article describing Kenya's initial constitution reported that "Britain ... has left a loophole insuring that the whole constitution will be rewritten in a year or so. The country is being given dominion (monarchial) status but its leaders have said that they intend to make it a republic."
A year later, the Post reported in a November 11, 1964, article: "Within a few hours after" Kenyan opposition leader Ronald Ngala's November 10, 1964, announcement that he was dissolving his party, "the Senate unanimously passed the second and third readings of a bill to give the country a republican constitution to take effect Dec. 12." According to the Post, that vote "eliminated any need for a referendum to decide whether the country should become a republic." The Post added that "Ngala's party has been increasingly weakened recently by a rash of desertions during consideration of the government's bill to make Kenya a republic Dec. 12."
WorldNetDaily and the right-wing fringe are very excited about their scoop that Orly Taitz has "released a copy of what purports to be a Kenyan certification of birth" for President Obama. According to WND, "Taitz told WND that the document came from an anonymous source who doesn't want his name known because 'he's afraid for his life.' " So in order to believe Taitz and WND, one would have to assume that this document was requested 45 years ago, preserved that entire time, withheld through the entire election and transition period, and yet somehow ended up in the hands of someone sympathetic to Orly Taitz.
DailyKos' David Waldman has identified what appears to be an even more glaring problem with WND's latest smoking gun. The document posted by WND purports to have been produced by the "Republic of Kenya" on February 17, 1964. But Kenya didn't even become a republic until December 12, 1964. An article from that day's Washington Post, for example, reported that "Kenya became the newest republic within the British Commonwealth at midnight."
On Hardball, G. Gordon Liddy falsely claimed that there is "a deposition ... from the stepgrandmother, who says, 'I was present and saw [President Obama] born in Mombasa.' " In fact, while WorldNetDaily claims to have affidavits from two people purportedly involved in an interview with Obama's stepgrandmother, those individuals' accounts have been discredited, and even WND does not claim to have a sworn statement from the stepgrandmother herself.
In light of Lou Dobbs' recent promotion of birther theories, Media Matters presents a look at some of the leading figures within the birther community and the views they've espoused.