Following polls showing that an increasing number of Americans wrongly believe President Obama is a Muslim, right-wing media figures have used the opportunity to continue to sow doubts about Obama's religious convictions.
In an August 20 Washington Times op-ed, Jeffrey Kuhner wrote that President Obama is "a cultural Muslim who is promoting an anti-American, pro-Islamic agenda." Kuhner also stated that Obama is "openly anti-Israel" and that Obama's recent comments about the proposed Islamic center "unmasked him as a president who favors Muslim interests over those of the American people."
The Washington Times also included this illustration:
Behind Obama Muslim myth stands the right wing
Kuhner's latest anti-Obama tirade: Obama is a "cultural Muslim" who is "betraying the Jews"
Wash. Times' Kuhner baselessly smears NYC imam as an "unrepentant militant Muslim"
On August 4, WorldNetDaily published an article by executive news editor Joe Kovacs (reproduced here) asserting that newly minted Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan, while serving as solicitor general, "has actually been playing a role for some time in the dispute over whether Obama is legally qualified to be in the White House," adding that "A simple search of the high court's own website reveals Kagan's name coming up at least nine times on dockets involving Obama eligibility issues."
One little problem: Not a shred of that is true.
As the urban legend-busters at Snopes detailed, none of the nine lawsuits Kovacs references have anything to do with "Obama eligibility issues." Even the one involving a group called "The Real Truth About Obama, Inc." is centered on an allegation that the Federal Election Commission "chilled its right to disseminate information about presidential candidate Senator Obama's position on abortion."
After the Snopes debunking, WND quickly backpedaled. Snopes added in an update: "Immediately after we published this article, WND scrubbed all reference to the original article without explanation. Three days later, WND replaced the original with an article on a completely different topic."
Indeed, the WND article is completely rewritten, focusing on the insignificant "Real Truth About Obama, Inc." case. It now begins with a correction (though it's not called that):
The "summer of rage" heats up in The Washington Times' editorial pages today, with two op-ed contributors -- who both suffer acutely from Obama Derangement Syndrome -- calling for President Obama's impeachment.
First up is former GOP Rep. Tom Tancredo, who has previously said that Obama was elected due to the lack of a "civics literacy test" requirement for voting. In his Washington Times op-ed -- titled, "The case for impeachment" -- Tancredo calls Obama "a more serious threat to America than al Qaeda" who "consciously and brazenly disregards his oath of office to protect and defend the Constitution."
The crux of Tancredo's "case for impeachment" would be laughable if it wasn't so dishonest. Tancredo argues that Obama's "most egregious and brazen betrayal of our Constitution was his statement to Sen. Jon Kyl, Arizona Republican, that the administration will not enforce security on our southern border because that would remove Republicans' desire to negotiate a 'comprehensive' immigration bill."
Why is this so dishonest? Because not only has the White House flatly denied Kyl's accusation, but Kyl himself reportedly walked back that accusation, saying that his comments were "taken a bit out of context" and referred to "the president's base" and not the administration.
Tancredo's "case for impeachment" is further undermined by the fact that the Obama administration -- as Media Matters has documented -- has taken numerous steps to boost border security and immigration enforcement. Indeed, the Los Angeles Times reported in June that the Obama administration "has outdone its predecessor on border enforcement spending and on deportations."
That brings us to chronic ODS sufferer Jeffrey Kuhner, whose unhinged attacks on Obama have found a welcome home in The Washington Times. In his latest anti-Obama screed, Kuhner declares: "Obama has betrayed the American people. Impeachment is the only answer. This usurper must fall."
Kuhner's case for impeachment is predictably based on a litany of falsehoods. He falsely claims that the health care reform bill included the infamous "Cornhusker Kickback" -- which, in reality, was removed from the bill. He falsely suggests that the health care bill contains federal funding for abortion, which he insists will result in "a cultural civil war." Kuhner falsely claims that the compensation fund agreed to by BP and the Obama administration for those affected by the oil spill was an example a private company's assets being "raided to serve a political agenda." He then completely baselessly asserts that "much of" the money will be distributed "to Democratic constituents."
And Kuhner's just getting started.
From the July 16 edition of Premiere Radio Networks' The Glenn Beck Program:
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In a July 15 WorldNetDaily column, Corsi asserts that President Obama has an "association with the New Black Panther Party." How so? Because the NBPP once had a user-generated page on the website for Obama's 2008 presidential campaign. No, really, that's all Corsi has for "proof."
Then, Corsi approvingly cites David Duke to make a "point":
The New Black Panther Party posting as an Obama fan on the campaign website was clearly polarizing, drawing at the time the criticism of yet another racial extremist in the person of David Duke, the Louisiana former state representative who discredited himself as an outspoken white supremacist and former grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan.
"Now that Obama has a real chance to be president and needs white support, he claims to condemn Rev. Wright," Duke wrote on his website March 25, 2008. "In fact, Obama's official website even welcomes the support of a racist, communist black organization such as the Black Panthers, an organization with a long history of violence against white Americans."
The point is not that David Duke is right. Clearly, Duke's racism demands to be condemned just as does the racism of the New Black Panther Party.
The point is that instead of making race a non-issue, President Obama's record is that he polarizes race issues, perhaps because deep down he intellectually agrees with the radical polemics he admits in his autobiography were his intellectual pillars growing up -- including anti-white firebrands such as Malcolm X and Frantz Fanon.
Is David Duke really the best example Corsi could come up with to validate his "point"? If so, that would seem to be further evidence of something we already knew about Corsi -- that he's all too comfortable around white supremacists.
Aaron Klein's July 13 WorldNetDaily article carries the headline "Felonious assault on U.S. elections," so you'd think there would be something, you know, felonious being detailed. Instead, it's just another guilt-by-association smear job by WND's master of them.
Here's how Klein begins his article:
A federal bill that seeks to restore voting rights in national elections to felons released from prison previously was a pet project of the radical Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, or ACORN.
Meanwhile, Barack Obama's 2008 presidential campaign was briefed on state laws governing voting-rights restoration for former felons encountered during general voter-registration drives.
The information comes as a study released this week by Minnesota Majority, a watchdog group, found the six-month election recount that determined Al Franken won the Minnesota Senate seat may have been decided by convicted felons who voted illegally.
The bill Klein is referring to in the first paragraph is the Democracy Restoration Act (House version/Senate version), which indeed would do what Klein said it would. Why is that a problem? Klein never says -- he just plays guilt-by-association by irrelevantly claiming that it was a "pet project" of ACORN.
What does the Obama campaign being briefed on voting rights for felons have to do with this? Nothing. The campaign did nothing illegal, and even Klein doesn't claim otherwise. Again, it's guilt-by-association.
From the July 8 edition of MSNBC's Hardball:
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From the June 29 edition of Fox News' Hannity:
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Guilt by association is the stock-in-trade of WorldNetDaily's Aaron Klein, as Media Matters has ably documented. Since that's what WorldNetDaily is paying him to do despite his shoddy reporting methods being repeatedly exposed, it's no surprise that he goes back to that smear well.
This time, Klein's target is Vartan Gregorian, the head of the Carnegie Corporation whom President Obama appointed in 2009 to the board of the President's Commission on White House Fellowships (he is not a White House Fellow himself, as Klein sloppily suggests).
So where does the smear come in? According to Klein, Gregorian is "closely tied to the Muslim leaders behind a proposed controversial Islamic cultural center to be built near the site of the 9/11 attacks." How so? Klein's primary piece of evidence is that Gregorian is on the board of the 9/11 Memorial and Museum, which, according to Klein, is "reportedly working" with the American Society for Muslim Advancement, "whose leaders are behind the mosque, to ensure the future museum will represent the voices of American Muslims."
That's "closely tied"? Really?
Here's a list of some of the other people Klein apparently believes are "closely tied" to the " 'Ground Zero' imam" through their similar involvement with the 9/11 Memorial and Museum:
Does Klein really believe that Republican politicians, actors, former presidents, and a 9/11 widow who works with Liz Cheney are part of some hugely vast Muslim-promoting conspiracy? It would appear so.
WorldNetDaily editor and CEO Joseph Farah devoted his column today to attacking MSNBC, calling its programs "agitprop" and a "bad joke" where there's "no attempt at balance. There's no attempt at fairness. There's no concern for the truth."
What Farah doesn't say: Agitprop that disregards the truth is WND's territory.
Take, for example, this column elsewhere on today's WND commentary page by Pieder Beeli, in which he purports to do "an inferential or forensic analysis" of President Obama by analyzing "what is implied rather than what is explicitly stated." You know, because mind-reading is more important than actual words. Beeli comes to the shocking conclusion that Obama has a "preference of Islam over Christianity," adding that "his fealty toward Islam and multiculturalism far exceed his fealty toward Christianity.
But Beeli -- whose listed qualifications for doing such an analysis are that he "has a Ph.D. in physics and has been previously published in right-to-life newsletters, blogs, online letters to the editor and student newspapers" -- uses a litany of lies and false attacks to reach his conclusion.
For instance, Beeli writes, "I have not heard Obama affirm the central Christian tenet, 'The love of God was revealed to us on the cross of Jesus Christ.'" Here's what Obama said in a January 2008 Christianity Today interview: "I am a Christian, and I am a devout Christian. I believe in the redemptive death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. I believe that that faith gives me a path to be cleansed of sin and have eternal life."
Beeli went on to complain that Obama has referred to the Quran as "holy," claiming, "one does not expect a Christian to suggest that the Quran is holy, because the Quran and the Bible contradict each other." But as BeliefNet's Steven Waldman noted, President Bush made several references to the "holy Quran" in speeches.
Right-wing media have falsely suggested that in an interview with Politico, President Obama equated the disasters of 9-11 and the Gulf oil spill. In fact, Obama said the oil spill is likely to shape future environmental and energy policy, similar to how U.S. foreign policy was shaped by the 9-11 attacks.
From the June 11 edition of Clear Channel's The War Room with Quinn and Rose:
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We've previously detailed how Newsmax uses anti-Obama scaremongering (and Dick Morris) to sell its financial schemes. Now Newsmax is apparently cooking up another scheme -- and it has enlisted another Fox News personality to help sell it.
A June 3 email sent to Newsmax's mailing list promotes something called the "Economic Crisis Summit," starring Morris (of course), but also "Premier Guest" Bill O'Reilly:
The purpose of the "summit" is described this way:
From the May 29 edition of Fox News' Forbes on Fox:
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