Right-wing media outlets have used a National Science Foundation grant awarded to Pennsylvania State University scientist Michael Mann to study the effects of climate change as an excuse to revive debunked claims about emails that were stolen from the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia, some of which were written by Mann. Those debunked claims include: that Mann used "'tricks' to finesse his data"; that scientists including Mann discussed "efforts to interfere with the peer review process to stifle opposing views"; and that climate scientists like Mann have "knowingly perpetrated a fraud on the global community" with regard to climate change.
Right-wing media outlets have continued to attack Democratic Massachusetts Senate candidate Martha Coakley for her recent comments about terrorism in Afghanistan, often by distorting her remarks on the subject. But the context of Coakley's comments make clear that she was referring to Al Qaeda's presence in Afghanistan -- echoing numerous military experts' statements regarding Al Qaeda's diminished presence in Afghanistan.
Jim Hoft falsely claimed that Democratic Massachusetts Senate candidate Martha Coakley said that the "Taliban" are no longer in Afghanistan, and Hoft added that Coakley is "not just wrong- She's dangerous." In fact, the context of Coakley's comments makes clear that she was talking about Al Qaeda, not the Taliban; indeed, military experts, including Gen. David Petraeus and national security adviser James Jones, have stated that Al Qaeda's presence is diminished in Afghanistan, and intelligence officials reportedly estimate that there are fewer than 100 Al Qaeda members there.
FoxNews.com, Fox Nation, and Gateway Pundit's Jim Hoft have cited a Mail on Sunday article suggesting that climate scientist Mojib Latif predicted a "mini ice age" over the next 20 or 30 years, with Hoft asserting that global warming is "junk science." But Latif has since challenged the Mail article's use of his research, and at the U.N. climate conference the Mail article references, Latif stated that while temperatures could "cool" temporarily "relative to the present level" due to natural climate variability, there is a clear "long-term warming trend" that is "manmade."
Jim Hoft falsely claimed that Department of Education official Kevin Jennings "Personally Pushed Books That Encouraged Children to Meet Adults at Gay Bars For Sex," citing anti-gay "hate group" Mass Resistance's falsehood that a book Jennings recommended to high school and college students "encourage[s] teens to, among other things, go to gay bars and have sex with adults to see if they like it." Media Matters for America has reviewed the book, compiled all references to gay bars, and determined that the book at no point encourages teens to "go to gay bars and have sex with adults"; in fact, a majority of the youth testimonials included in the book that mention gay bars refer to them negatively.
Conservative media figures, including Rush Limbaugh and Jim Hoft, have suggested that the recent escape of three prisoners from the privately managed Tri-County Detention Center in Illinois demonstrates that Guantánamo detainees should not be moved to Illinois' Thomson Correctional Center, as the Obama administration has proposed. But federal officials have stated their intention to enhance the Thomson facility's security to levels exceeding that of the Supermax prison in Colorado, which currently holds numerous terrorists and from which there has never been an escape; moreover, a 2001 Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) study found that privately managed prisons have higher escape rates than federal prisons.
Echoing a press release from the conservative and ExxonMobil-funded National Center for Public Policy Research, several right-wing media figures, including Sean Hannity and the Fox Nation, have baselessly asserted that the CIA has "diverted" intelligence resources to climate change. In fact, federal officials have reportedly said that the program, which allows the scientific community to gather data from CIA equipment, "has little or no impact on regular intelligence gathering."
On the January 3 edition of Fox News Sunday, Brit Hume commented that his "message" to Tiger Woods -- who Hume mentioned is "said to be a Buddhist" -- would be to "turn to the Christian faith, and you can make a total recovery and be a great example to the world." Since then, several conservative commentators have endorsed Hume's remarks or defended them from criticism.
From Jim Hoft's January 3 Gateway Pundit post, headlined "After Passenger Saves Plane From Terrorist Bombing- New Rules Require Heroic Passengers to Stay Seated During Last Hour of Flight":
It's an Obama World... Up is down, big is small, losing jobs is creating or saving jobs, and heroes are asked to be seated.
Yesterday, Jasper Schuringa, a video director and producer from Amsterdam, told CNN how he helped the cabin crew to subdue Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the 23-year-old who reportedly ignited a small explosive device on board the plane Friday as it prepared to land in Detroit.
In response to this courageous act of heroism, the Obama Administration enacted new policies today. The new rules will force heroic passengers to stay in their seats for the final hour of their flight before landing.
Taking a cue from Andrew Breitbart's BigGovernment.com, several conservative media outlets have reported on three ornaments on the White House Christmas tree depicting President Obama's face superimposed on Mount Rushmore, Mao Zedong, and Hedda Lettuce. Despite the suggestion that those three Christmas tree ornaments (out of hundreds) indicated a "political statement" by the White House, according to the first lady's office, the tree was decorated by community groups, and the White House was unaware of those specific ornaments.
From a December 20 post by Gateway Pundit titled, "DC cop brings gun to snowball fight (video)":
Barack Obama gave his marching orders this year:
Obama: "They Bring a Knife...We Bring a Gun"
Obama to His Followers: "Get in Their Faces!"
Obama on ACORN Mobs: "I don't want to quell anger. I think people are right to be angry! I'm angry!"
Obama To His Mercenary Army: "Hit Back Twice As Hard"
It looks like some people took him seriously.
A DC cop pulled a gun at a snowball fight in Washington DC yesterday.
Right-wing blogs Gateway Pundit and Say Anything recently seized on an Associated Press article which reported that 20 states facing budget strains have cut back on free cancer screenings, such as mammograms, to claim that the declines followed recommendations made by the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) in November. In fact, as the AP article made clear, this statistic came from an American Cancer Society's Cancer Action Network survey, which was conducted from July 2008 to April 2009, months before the USPSTF issued its recommendation.
Yesterday, we pointed out that Fox News' unofficial gay-baiter Maxim Lott had followed up on his false allegations against Department of Education official Kevin Jennings - which resulted in a humiliating retraction - with a new smear piece.
In an article headlined "Obama's Safe Schools Czar Tied to Lewd Readings for 7th Graders," Lott reported that Jennings "is under fresh attack after it was revealed that the pro-gay group he formerly headed recommends books his critics say are pornographic." Lott buried the group's disclaimer that those books recommended for grades 7-12 "contain mature themes" and the recommendation that "adults selecting books for youth review content for suitability," grossly distorted the contents of those books, and at least two of the "critics" he cited are anti-gay bigots.
In short, he did an atrocious job. But hey, if there's anything we've learned over the past months, it's that there's a market for smears of Jennings; no matter how dubious, the right-wing fever swamp will run with it.
And so, Gateway Pundit - who's been channeling Jennings smears from the anti-gay "hate group" MassResistance for the past few weeks -- quickly picked it up:
And, of course, it's currently the top story on Andrew Breitbart's BigGovernment.com:
Oh, by the way, neither Hoft nor BigGovernment are acknowledging that Lott actually debunks one of the false smears they pushed - that "fisting kits" were distributed at a 2001 GLSEN event. According to Lott, "The kit was actually for making a "dental dam" -- designed to prevent STD transmission during oral sex." Which, of course, was pretty obvious, given that the kit reportedly consisted of "a single plastic glove, a package of K-Y lubricant," and instructions titled "How to Make a Dental Dam From a Latex Glove."
Gateway Pundit's Jim Hoft is again attempting to link Department of Education official Kevin Jennings to a workshop for high school students which included explicit discussions of sex that took place at a 2000 GLSEN/Boston conference. Hoft's new "Explosive" claim is that a Massachusetts teacher who "wanted to remain anonymous out of safety considerations for herself and her family" claims "that there is 'no way' that Obama's Safe School Czar did not know about the pornographic and sexually explicit material that was presented and discussed at the conference." Of course, neither Hoft nor the anonymous teacher provide any actual evidence that Jennings knew the specific explicit content that would be discussed at that workshop When Jennings was made aware after the fact, he reportedly criticized it.
In his latest smear of Department of Education official Kevin Jennings, Gateway Pundit's Jim Hoft wrote that Jennings' "Teen Conference Literature Pushed Anal S*x in Parks With Strangers," citing a booklet that he claims "children who attended Kevin Jennnings' GLSEN 2005 Conference also left with."