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kevinmc's Journal - Archives
Posted by kevinmc in General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009)
Wed Sep 30th 2009, 02:59 AM
Breitbart burns Beck, Dobbs, right-wing media with false claim of "Community Organizers Pray TO" Obama

http://mediamatters.org/items/200909290055

Glenn Beck, Lou Dobbs, and prominent conservative bloggers followed the lead of conservative website Breitbart.tv after the site falsely claimed that an online video showed community organizers from the Gamaliel Foundation "pray" to President Obama. Breitbart.tv subsequently updated the original post with an editor's note acknowledging that "there is a debate over what is actually being said" and that the crowd may, in fact, be saying "oh God" rather than "Obama"; the Gamaliel Foundation subsequently stated that "at no time have we prayed to President Obama" and that in the video, the organizers "can be heard saying, 'Hear our cry oh God,' 'Deliver us oh God,' etc."

Breitbart.tv claims Gamaliel organizers "Pray TO" Obama, later to walk back claim

Breitbart.tv claims "Community Organizers Pray TO President-Elect Obama." As Media Matters for America noted, on September 29, Breitbart.tv -- published by Matt Drudge protégé Andrew Breitbart -- embedded a video with the headline "Shock Discovery: Community Organizers Pray TO President-Elect Obama." The video included captions such as "Deliver Us Obama" and "Hear Our Cry Obama," suggesting that the crowd was "pray" to Obama.

Post states organizers are members of Gamaliel Foundation, which "helped sponsor Barack Obama's initial work in Chicago." The Breitbart.tv post stated:

The Gamaliel National Clergy Caucus held "a New Orleans style funeral procession as they deliver a casket symbolizing the death of old ways of providing health care and pray for a new day for health care in America."

The Gamaliel Foundation is the community organizing group that helped sponsor Barack Obama's initial work in Chicago.

Editor's note: "Does the crowd say, 'Hear our cry, Obama' and 'Deliver us Obama?' Or are they saying 'Oh God?' " Breitbart.tv later "updated" the post with "the longer version of the original event" -- a video that did not include the captions -- and added an editor's note acknowledging that "there is a debate over what is actually being said" and that the crowd may, in fact, be saying, "Oh God," rather than "Obama":

Editor's note: We've updated this post with the longer version of the original event. As you'll see in the comments and related links there is a debate over what is actually being said. Does the crowd say, "Hear our cry, Obama" and "Deliver us Obama?" Or are they saying "Oh God?" In the longer version the first two repetitions seem to have a distinct "uh" sound at the end that resonates as "Obama." The later repetitions are a little fuzzier. Did some of the religious leaders present become uneasy? Or was there a mix of what was being said? Read some of the blogger analysis below. What do you think?

Beck jumped on Breitbart story, suggested organizers "just mocking God by faking a prayer to Obama"

Breitbart.tv's Baker: "I think you could only characterize it as a prayer to Obama" During the September 29 edition of his nationally syndicated radio program, Glenn Beck hosted Breitbart staffer Scott Baker, who stated that the video "ust went up seconds ago" on Breitbart.tv and asserted: "I think you could only characterize it as a prayer to Obama. Not for Obama. They're literally chanting and saying, 'Deliver us, Obama.' 'Hear us, Obama.' "

Beck: "Link to the front-page top story on the front page of GlennBeck.com." Beck then asked executive producer Steve "Stu" Burguiere to tell the show's webmaster, Chris Brady, to post the video "on the front page of GlennBeck.com" and to "make sure that it is also included in our email newsletter."

Beck: hey're mocking God" At one point during the segment, Beck suggested that the participants were "just mocking God by faking a prayer to Obama."

Baker highlights Gamaliel ties to Obama. Baker stated:

Gamaliel is -- here's why Gamaliel is important. They were a community organizing group based in Chicago. They now have a national reach. But when Barack Obama got out of Columbia, right -- so this goes back to some of the earliest days for him -- it was the Gamaliel Foundation that essentially brought him to Chicago. It was -- you know, they interviewed him. They, in fact, on their website, say he was an organizer and trainer for us. They used Woods Fund money to sponsor the subsidiary group that Obama worked on.

Baker later added of the organization that a "very important person there was Celia Muñoz, who is now in the White House. She's the director of intergovernmental affairs." Beck replied: "So, wait a minute. The lady who used to run this group, that was praying to Obama, is now in the White House?"

Video posted on Beck's blog. At 10:39 a.m. ET, video of the participants was posted on Beck's blog with the text: "Is this group saying a prayer to Barack Obama? Glenn is skeptical. Are they saying 'Obama' or 'Oh God?' Are they praising the president or just mocking religion? Turn up the volume and see what you hear. (Unless you're at work, where you would look a little nuts.)"

Gamaliel Foundation responds: "At no time, however, have we prayed to President Barack Obama." Beck's blog post was later updated with the Gamaliel Foundation's response, in which they stated:

As a faith-based organization, it is customary for Gamaliel Foundation affiliates to begin and end every action with prayer. At no time, however, have we prayed to President Barack Obama. In the form of call and response, those who took part in the UnitedHealthcare action can be heard saying, "Hear our cry oh God," "Deliver us oh God," etc.

It is obvious that those who took the time to distort our sincere action for healthcare reform, by posting their own edited version on the Internet, are against what we believe is a fundamental right. It is also obvious that those who are against healthcare reform will stoop to any level to stop what Dr. Martin Luther King called, one of the greatest forms of inequality.

Beck relies heavily on Breitbart in attacks. In recent weeks, Beck has been credited with precipitating the resignation of White House "green jobs" adviser Van Jones, the reassignment of National Endowment for the Arts communications director Yosi Sergant, and the amplification of an anti-ACORN video produced by a conservative filmmaker. In all three instances, Beck has credited the "instrumental" work of conservative columnist and Web publisher Andrew Breitbart, who has a history of smearing progressives and making inflammatory statements.

Lou Dobbs claimed video of people "literally praying" to Obama "exposes, again, very dangerous forces at work in this country"

Dobbs urged his listeners to watch the "stunning new video" of organizers "literally praying to" Obama. From the September 29 broadcast of Dobbs' radio show:

DOBBS: Well, a stunning new video uncovered by the good folks at Breitbart. Go to LouDobbs.com to see our full video, and we urge you to see it, because it exposes, again, very dangerous forces at work in this country, supporting our supreme leader. Are you getting the feeling that Senator Hillary Clinton did not quite know who she was up against?

Now, this video shows members of the community organizing group the Gamaliel Foundation literally praying to our supreme leader over health care back in December of 2008. You've got to hear this. Well, before, let me just set it up a bit.

The president has, throughout his career, made repeated references to his time as a community organizer on the South Side of Chicago. Well, the Gamaliel Foundation is a community organizing group that helped sponsor Obama's initial work in Chicago. And on LouDobbs.com, we posted for you the full connection between Obama and Gamaliel. He was a director, by the way, of a Gamaliel affiliate. He has supported Gamaliel throughout the years, conducting training at their national leadership training events, at the African-American Leadership Commission, and he's attended their public meetings. Their website says, "We are honored and blessed by the connection between Barack and Gamaliel."

And according to their 2007 tax-return files -- now, get ready for this -- the money from the organization comes from several leftist sources including the Open Society Institute -- of George Soros -- Arka Foundation, the Bauman Family Foundation, Marguerite Casey Foundation, the Ford Foundation for Freedoms Fund, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the Surdna Foundation, the Tides Foundation, Peter B. Lewis, and others.

Wow. That's a home run list of left-wing power in this country.

With that, listen to, "Hear our cry, Obama."

UNKNOWN WOMAN: We are here for the healing of the nation.

CROWD: Yes.

UNKNOWN WOMAN: To the prophet Jeremiah, we cry out.

DOBBS: Well, that is a remarkable, remarkable -- you've got to see this. Go to LouDobbs.com to see the whole tape. It will, I guarantee you, put chills down your back.

Dobbs also posted video of "group pray *to* Obama." A September 29 "On Lou's Radar" post to Dobbs' blog -- headlined "Hear Our Prayer, Obama!" - stated, "You must see this video from Dec. 4, 2008, this group prayed *to* Obama to pass health care reform: Deliver us, Obama!" The post included embedded video of the organizers praying.

Dobbs walks in Beckstep. This is only the latest example of Dobbs following Beck's lead in his reporting. Lou Dobbs has recently pushed a number of the same right-wing narratives that have been aggressively championed by Beck, has defended Beck's remarks, and has praised his reporting. In recent weeks, Dobbs -- like Beck -- has called for a "rigorous investigation" of ACORN and said that unless there is a "full-blown FBI investigation," then it will amount to "a sham"; has pushed the conservative attack that the NEA is "politicizing the arts"; has decried as "propaganda" a documentary video; and has defended Beck's comments that Obama is a "racist" with a "deep-seated hatred for white people."

Prominent conservative blogs also ran with the video

Michelle Malkin posts, then questions video. Fox News contributor Michelle Malkin linked to the Breitbart.tv post and posted the video to her website under the headline "Creepy O-cult video of the day: 'Deliver us Obama!' " She subsequently updated her post, writing, "Ed Morrissey asks if it's just bad acoustics. Are they saying 'Obama' or 'Oh, God?' "

HotAir.com's Ed Morrissey posts, then walks back the claim. After posting the video under the headline, "Video: Community organizers pray to their new deity, or something," Morrissey added the following update: "Or do they? After a couple of repetitions, I'm not sure if they're saying 'Obama' or 'Oh God'." He then posted a poll to "see what everyone thinks" about who the Gamaliel Foundation was praying to.

Gateway Pundit: "Stunner. Community Organizers Pray to Obama (Video)." From the blog Gateway Pundit

Townhall.com's Greg Hengler: "Community Organizers Pray To President-Elect Obama: 'Hear our cry Obama!' 'Deliver us Obama!' " From Townhall.com

Atlas Shrugs: "Video: Praying to Obama: 'Deliver Us Obama.' " From the blog Atlas Shrugs

RedState: Community Organizer Group Prays to Obama <...> This is unbelievable." From RedState.com

From the September 29 broadcast of Premiere Radio Networks' The Glenn Beck Program:

BECK: Let me go to Scott Baker now from Breitbart.tv. Scott, welcome to the program.

BAKER: Hey, Glenn. How you doing?

BECK: I saw this video yesterday, and disturbing, disturbing stuff. Is it up on the website yet?

BAKER: Just went up seconds ago. I'm making sure that it's still there, and it is. Yeah, it's the top left story on Breitbart.tv right now.

PAT GRAY (contributing editor): Scott, you lie. This didn't happen. It did not happen.

BURGUIERE: It's not there.

BAKER: Well, now, after the --

BURGUIERE: It's not there.

BAKER: I mean, I know, Pat, that you probably have a prayer closet where you kneel to chant to the president.

GRAY: Well, only in secret, though. I don't, you know --

BAKER: Right. Out in public -- I mean, that's a different thing.

BECK: Scott, tell me about --

BAKER: Isn't this the case that after we've seen all these videos of the kids being used to sing and chant these praises that -- last night, we discovered video from when the president had been elect-- he was the president-elect. This was last December. And the Gamaliel Foundation, a very important organization in Obama's life, they were having an organizing conference in the Washington area. And this video shows the group in a demonstration for health care in an event that you have -- I think you could only characterize it as a prayer to Obama.

BECK: Could you --

BAKER: Not for Obama. They're literally chanting and saying, "Deliver us, Obama."

BECK: Hold on just a second.

BAKER: "Hear us, Obama."

BECK: Hold on just a second. Stu, get Chris Brady on the phone. Link to the front-page top story on the front page of GlennBeck.com to this video and then make sure that it is also included in our email newsletter, which is now, I'm told, 30,000 away from beating the subscription of The New York Times. Unbelievable.

BECK: Here is the video now. Now, Scott, they're chanting what when they come in originally?

BAKER: The -- there's a -- as I said, it was a health care demonstration. So this is -- and it was a gathering of religious leaders. All right? So, the Gam-- because the Gamaliel Foundation has its organization in organizing faith-based groups.

BAKER: So here are the religious leaders. They're coming to call for health care reform. They're at this leadership assembly. It's in D.C. Early December. And they come in -- and I've been trying identify who the woman is. But as they come in, they're going, "Everybody in; nobody out." This is their "health care for all" slogan.

BECK: OK.

BAKER: I don't know if the woman is a minister, but she's dressed like one.

BECK: OK.

BAKER: She's got kind of a white robe.

BECK: Now, is she the one that is the shorter one and has this, like, green or blue -- I don't even know what you would call them -- but the things that come around the --

BAKER: Vestments, I guess?

BECK: Yeah, the vestments.

BAKER: I was a Baptist. We didn't have -- they didn't wear the robes, but -- so, I'm less familiar with the

BECK: So, yeah. She's got those big, long things -- I can't remember what -- and here I was raised Catholic. I can't remember what they were. But she has them around her neck, and she's in white robes. And then who is the guy standing next to her? Do you know?

BAKER: Don't know yet. We're just going through some of the material. Literally, this was -- either the video has been up on the site for a year. Didn't have hardly any views. I found maybe one site that had put a link to it a couple of months ago, but it didn't seem to get any play. And then last night, one of the people that watches our B-Cast show put it into one of our forums and said -- a forum that our viewers kind of create -- and said, "Hey, check this out." And we'd already been working on stuff about Gamaliel.

BURGUIERE: What is Gamaliel?

BAKER: Gamaliel is -- here's why Gamaliel is important. They were a community organizing group based in Chicago. They now have a national reach. But when Barack Obama got out of Columbia, right -- so this goes back to some of the earliest days for him -- it was the Gamaliel Foundation that essentially brought him to Chicago. It was -- you know, they interviewed him. They, in fact, on their website, say he was an organizer and trainer for us. They used Woods Fund money to sponsor the subsidiary group that Obama worked on.

BECK: OK. That is the one where he served on the board with Bill Ayers.

BAKER: Right, right. And while a lot of this is -- you know, beyond just the shock of, like, "I cannot believe you people are standing there saying" -- I mean, literally, the prayer is -- and I don't know how audible it'll be on the radio.

BECK: Let's -- you know what? Here it is, here it is. Play a little bit of this here, Pat.

UNKNOWN WOMAN:

CROWD: Yes.

UNKNOWN WOMAN: To the prophet Jeremiah, we cry out, "Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician here? Why then has the health of my poor people not been restored?"

CROWD: Hear our cry, oh God.

BECK: Stop, stop, stop, stop, stop. What did they just say here, Scott?

BAKER: "Hear our cry, Obama."

BECK: Play it back, please. Go back. And she's saying, "Why is there no health care?" Or -- do you have the transcript?

BAKER: I've just started to transcribe it, so I'm not done yet. And as soon as I have the full transcript, I'll put it onto the post on Breitbart TV.

BECK: All right.

UNKNOWN WOMAN: "Why then has the health of my poor people not been restored?"

CROWD: Hear our cry, oh God.

GRAY: "Hear our cry, Obama," I think.

BAKER: Yeah, it's like, "Why has not the health care of our people been the story?" And it looks like to me -- I don't know if, to you -- if you can see this. They have a -- there was a fellow playing a trombone --

BECK: Yes.

BAKER: -- as they marched in, much kind of like a funeral march you might see in New Orleans.

BECK: Yes.

BAKER: And it looks like they were carrying a casket.

BECK: Casket.

BAKER: Right.

BECK: OK. So, hang on just a second. So, what could be said is that this is just a mock funeral. That's all this is. This is just a mock funeral. These people are -- they're not really ministers, and there's not really a casket there. This is just a mock funeral, and they're -- are you ready for this? Like it makes it better. They're just mocking God by faking a prayer to Obama. Making him God, but only in a mocking sort of way.

BAKER:

BECK: I mean, you get the golden calf.

GRAY: Oh, that's a lot better. That's --

BECK: That's a lot better, isn't it?

GRAY: That's way better.

BECK: Yeah.

<...>

BAKER: Well, here's the -- and I'm going to look at that immediately when we get off. One of the things that you're going to see is, we'd -- what we'd already been working on and with a piece that we're going to have done maybe tonight that goes back and looks at all -- tries to tie together a lot of the threads of things you've been talking about, about Wade Rathke and ACORN and how he had this idea to pull together these groups and how they kind of created the factory that built the vehicle that Obama rode to the White House. But Gamaliel from -- this group that you're looking at, very important person there was Celia Muñoz, who is now in the White House. She's the director of intergovernmental affairs. And so I think that it -- it's like you keep wondering --

BECK: OK.

BAKER: -- when you uncover the next stone --

GRAY: Good God.

BAKER: -- we've got to have already seen it all. But each time you do, there's more there.

BECK: So, wait a minute. The lady who used to run this group, that was praying to Obama, is now in the White House?

BAKER: Yes. Yeah. I'm trying to look at what her title was at Gamaliel. It might take me a second. I do know -- and this was another interesting --

BECK: Good God almighty.

BAKER: This was another interesting principle. In -- I found this Investor's Business Daily article about Gamaliel.

BECK: Hang on just a second, hang on. We've only got 10 seconds. I'm going to take a break. Back with Scott Baker from the -- from Breitbart.tv. And new footage out on prayer to Obama.

<...>

BECK: Let me go to Scott Baker, who's from Breitbart.tv. And Scott, are you -- can you be ready tonight and join me on tonight's television show just to talk about who this woman is. What is her name again?

BAKER: Cecilia Muñoz. And I was able to pull some stuff together during the break. The tie here is that she, actually, for a long time, had been the senior VP at the National Council of La Raza. That was a group that came up in part during the Sotomayor hearings because of her work with them.

BECK: In case you don't --

GRAY: They're a lovely group.

BECK: Well, in case you don't speak Spanish, that would be "the race."

GRAY: "The race." Where their slogan is, "For the race" --

BAKER: Right.

GRAY: -- "all, and if you're not of the race, nothing." Something like that. It's loosely translated.

BECK: Oh, well that's good.

GRAY: Yeah.

BAKER: And she -- what the importance here on Gamaliel -- and -- because I was crossing one name with another. She organized a meeting at the White House for Gamaliel. I'm trying to look for the date here. Brought them -- you know, Gamaliel put out on their newsletter that a delegation from Gamaliel, the group that had been praying to Obama in that video, just six months earlier went to the White House this last June and the -- what we're looking at again is the relationships. This is relationships and patterns. I found another -- just an interesting --

BECK: Hold on just a second. What was her title -- before you move on -- what was her title at La Raza?

BAKER: She was senior vice president, I think.

BECK: Senior vice president. Isn't this the group that believes that California should be returned to Mexico? What is the name of that?

GRAY: Azlan.

BECK: Azlan.

From the September 29 broadcast of United Stations Radio Networks' The Lou Dobbs Show:

DOBBS: Well, a stunning new video uncovered by the good folks at Breitbart. Go to LouDobbs.com to see our full video, and we urge you to see it, because it exposes, again, very dangerous forces at work in this country, supporting our supreme leader. Are you getting the feeling that Senator Hillary Clinton did not quite know who she was up against?

Now, this video shows members of the community organizing group the Gamaliel Foundation literally praying to our supreme leader over health care back in December of 2008. You've got to hear this. Well, before, let me just set it up a bit.

The president has, throughout his career, made repeated references to his time as a community organizer on the South Side of Chicago. Well, the Gamaliel Foundation is a community organizing group that helped sponsor Obama's initial work in Chicago. And on LouDobbs.com, we posted for you the full connection between Obama and Gamaliel. He was a director, by the way, of a Gamaliel affiliate. He has supported Gamaliel throughout the years, conducting training at their national leadership training events, at the African-American Leadership Commission, and he's attended their public meetings. Their website says, "We are honored and blessed by the connection between Barack and Gamaliel."

And according to their 2007 tax-return files -- now, get ready for this -- the money from the organization comes from several leftist sources including the Open Society Institute -- of George Soros -- Arka Foundation, the Bauman Family Foundation, Marguerite Casey Foundation, the Ford Foundation for Freedoms Fund, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the Surdna Foundation, the Tides Foundation, Peter B. Lewis, and others.

Wow. That's a home run list of left-wing power in this country.

With that, listen to, "Hear our cry, Obama."

UNKNOWN WOMAN: We are here for the healing of the nation.

CROWD: Yes.

UNKNOWN WOMAN: To the prophet Jeremiah, we cry out.

DOBBS: Well, that is a remarkable, remarkable -- you've got to see this. Go to LouDobbs.com to see the whole tape. It will, I guarantee you, put chills down your back.

In another note, the Gamaliel Foundation is a sponsoring organization of the Immigrant Workers Freedom Ride Coalition, which is trying to secure ever-expanding rights, civil liberties, protections for illegal immigrants and policy reforms that diminish or eliminate restrictions at all on immigration.

And by the way, the Open Society, one of their former top people is on a group that is trying to get me, that's come after me from the left. By the way, that would be a registered left-wing foreign agent, called The Atlantic Philanthropies, involved in that demonstration suggesting that I am somehow racist because I oppose illegal immigration in this country.

Their reasoning is pretty straightforward: I oppose illegal immigration and open borders. Most of the people crossing our borders and most of the illegal immigrants in this country are Hispanic. Therefore, I am not illegal -- anti-illegal immigration, not anti-open borders, I'm anti-Hispanic. And, by the way, they wonder why they can't sell that nonsense to anyone but a very closed loop of left-wing bizarros.


Read entry | Discuss (6 comments)
Posted by kevinmc in General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009)
Sat Aug 02nd 2008, 05:01 PM
THE BASICS
Here are a few ways you can learn more, get the latest news, and share information with friends:

MEET BARACK
Watch a brief video and learn about Barack's early years, his education, his work as a community organizer and civil rights attorney, and his years in the Illinois and U.S. Senate. This is a great introduction to share with your friends:
http://my.barackobama.com/meetBarack

OFFICIAL CAMPAIGN BLOG
Catch up on the latest news, photos, and videos from the campaign trail and share your thoughts on our official campaign blog:
http://my.barackobama.com/blog

ISSUES
Learn more about Barack's positions on a variety of issues, from his opposition to the war in Iraq to his plan for universal health care:
http://my.barackobama.com/issues

VIDEOS
Watch a few of the more than 1,100 videos from the campaign trail on our YouTube channel:
http://my.barackobama.com/youtubechannel

OBAMA MOBILE
Our movement is ready to go wherever you are. Text HOPE to 62262 (OBAMA) to receive text updates on your mobile phone and advance notice about local Obama events:
http://my.barackobama.com/mobile

ORGANIZING
Barack Obama got his start as a community organizer on the South Side of Chicago, and since he declared his candidacy in 2007, a nationwide network of supporters has taken this campaign into its own hands, organizing online and in local communities. Here are some ways to get involved:

LOCAL GROUPS AND EVENTS
My.BarackObama is an organizing tool that empowers you to take this campaign into your own hands. Connect with other supporters in your area and find out about local events, or create your own organizing group and schedule your own events:
http://my.barackobama.com

SPREAD THE WORD
Introduce your friends, family, neighbors, or coworkers to Barack Obama. Let them know why you support Barack and encourage them to join our movement for change:
http://my.barackobama.com/invite

BLOGS
There are more than 60,000 supporter-created blogs on My.BarackObama, where people chronicle their campaign experience and interact with other supporters. Find one for your community or launch your own today:
http://my.barackobama.com

ONLINE PHONEBANKING
Use our online phonebanking tool to thank your fellow supporters for their involvement in this campaign and ask them to participate in Vote for Change to register new voters:
http://my.barackobama.com/call

POSTERS, FLYERS, AND ORGANIZING RESOURCES
Print your own posters, flyers, fact sheets, supporter cards, and dozens of other resources from our online resource library:
http://my.barackobama.com/resources

COMMUNITIES
Women for Obama and People of Faith for Obama are just two of the many communities large and small supporting Barack Obama. Explore a few of them here:
http://www.barackobama.com/people

FUNDRAISING
Barack Obama does not accept donations from Washington lobbyists or special interest groups. Instead, we depend on a network of grassroots supporters giving whatever they can afford.



PERSONAL FUNDRAISING PAGE
Take the fundraising process into your own hands. Help support the campaign by reaching out to people you know and asking them to give through your personal fundraising page:
http://my.barackobama.com/outreach

MATCH SOMEONE'S DONATION
This campaign has always been about reaching as many people as possible and bringing them into the political process. When you make a matching donation, you'll learn the name and hometown of the person whose gift you match, and even exchange a note with them through our unique system:
https://donate.barackobama.com/match

STORE
Let everyone in your community know that you support Barack. All purchases through our online store go to support our campaign and are considered political donations. Show your support in style:
http://store.barackobama.com

As we prepare for the general election, a strong grassroots network will be crucial to our success.

Take a moment to visit www.BarackObama.com and get involved today.

Thanks,
Obama for America
Read entry | Discuss (10 comments)
Posted by kevinmc in General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009)
Sat Aug 02nd 2008, 03:51 PM
Publisher's promotional materials for Corsi's Obama Nation echo falsehood and baseless charge in book

http://mediamatters.org/items/200808020003

Promotional materials by Simon & Schuster for author Jerome Corsi's recently released book, The Obama Nation: Leftist Politics and the Cult of Personality, echo Corsi's false claim that Sen. Barack Obama's Global Poverty Act of 2007 "would commit the U.S. to spending 0.7 percent of Gross Domestic Product on foreign aid." Simon & Schuster's materials falsely assert that Obama has a "radical plan to tax Americans to fund a global-poverty-reduction program."

The Simon & Schuster release also states that "in this stunning and comprehensive new book, the reader will learn about ... Obama's naïve, anti-war, anti-nuclear foreign-policy, predicated on the reduction of the military, the eradication of nuclear weapons and an overconfidence in the power of his personality, as if belief in change alone could somehow transform international politics, achieve nuclear-weapons disarmament." In his book, Corsi asserts that "Obama embraces a 'no nukes,' antiwar, antimilitary posture that places him even further left than Senator George McGovern." But contrary to Corsi's characterization of Obama's views on nuclear weapons as far left, in an essay, published in the January 4, 2007, Wall Street Journal, former Secretaries of State Henry Kissinger and George Shultz, Hoover Institution senior fellow William J. Perry, and former Sen. Sam Nunn (D-GA) proposed nuclear weapons policies similar to those Corsi quotes Obama supporting.

Global Poverty Act

In his book, Corsi writes that the Global Poverty Act, sponsored by Obama, would "increase taxes on U.S. citizens to pay for world poverty through the United Nations." As evidence, Corsi quotes a February 12 column by Accuracy in Media editor Cliff Kincaid, which falsely asserted that the bill "would commit the U.S. to spending 0.7 percent of gross national product on foreign aid, which amounts to a phenomenal 13-year total of $845 billion over and above what the U.S. already spends." But as Media Matters for America has repeatedly documented, the bill does not impose a tax or allow any other body to impose a tax on the United States. Further, the bill would establish no specific funding source and would not commit the United States to any targeted level of spending.

The bill directs the president, acting through the secretary of state, to develop a strategy to meet the goal of reducing poverty. It also states that strategy "should include" among its components "improving the effectiveness of development assistance and making available additional overall United States assistance levels as appropriate," but it does not require that foreign aid be increased or mandate a funding level for foreign assistance. The Global Poverty Act is currently pending on the Senate floor after the Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved the bill with amendments on April 24. The amended bill also does not establish a specific funding source or commit the United States to any targeted level of spending. A companion version of the bill, introduced in the House of Representatives by Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA), passed the House by voice vote on September 25, 2007.

Nuclear Weapons

In The Obama Nation, Corsi refers to a YouTube video in which Obama asserts: "I will set a goal of a world without nuclear weapons. To seek that goal, I will not develop new nuclear weapons. I will seek a global ban on the production of fissile material. And I will negotiate with Russia to take our ICBMs off hair-trigger alert and to achieve deep cuts in our nuclear arsenals." Corsi writes that, in making those comments, "Obama embraces a 'no nukes,' antiwar, antimilitary posture that places him even further left than Senator George McGovern, the last openly antiwar presidential candidate put forth by the Democratic Party page 2." But Kissinger, Schultz, Perry, and Nunn offered a very similar outline for a nuclear arms proposal in their Wall Street Journal op-ed:

What should be done? Can the promise of the NPT and the possibilities envisioned at the 1986 U.S.-Soviet summit in Reykjavik be brought to fruition? We believe that a major effort should be launched by the United States to produce a positive answer through concrete stages. First and foremost is intensive work with leaders of the countries in possession of nuclear weapons to turn the goal of a world without nuclear weapons into a joint enterprise.

Additionally, Kissinger, Schultz, Perry, and Nunn proposed "a series of agreed-on and urgent steps that would lay the groundwork for a world free of the nuclear threat," which include: "Initiating a bipartisan process with the Senate, including understandings to increase confidence and provide for periodic review, to achieve ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty"; "halting the production of fissile material for weapons globally"; "changing the Cold War posture of deployed nuclear weapons to increase warning time and thereby reduce the danger of an accidental or unauthorized use of a nuclear weapon"; and "continuing to reduce substantially the size of nuclear forces in all states that possess them."

Obama highlighted the proposal by Shultz, Perry, Kissinger, and Nunn in a January 17 press release, in which he asserted:

I welcome the renewed call by Sam Nunn, George Shultz, Henry Kissinger, and William Perry to urge the United States to support a world free of nuclear weapons. These four Americans have shown leadership on this issue for many months, and I have embraced this goal throughout my campaign. As I said in a speech on October 2 2007: "Here's what I'll say as President: America seeks a world in which there are no nuclear weapons."

From Kissinger, Shultz, Perry, and Nunn's January 4, 2007, op-ed in The Wall Street Journal:

What will it take to rekindle the vision shared by President Ronald Reagan and Mr. Mikhail Gorbachev? Can a world-wide consensus be forged that defines a series of practical steps leading to major reductions in the nuclear danger? There is an urgent need to address the challenge posed by these two questions.

The Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) envisioned the end of all nuclear weapons. It provides (a) that states that did not possess nuclear weapons as of 1967 agree not to obtain them, and (b) that states that do possess them agree to divest themselves of these weapons over time. Every president of both parties since Richard Nixon has reaffirmed these treaty obligations, but non-nuclear weapon states have grown increasingly skeptical of the sincerity of the nuclear powers.

Strong non-proliferation efforts are under way. The Cooperative Threat Reduction program, the Global Threat Reduction Initiative, the Proliferation Security Initiative and the Additional Protocols are innovative approaches that provide powerful new tools for detecting activities that violate the NPT and endanger world security. They deserve full implementation. The negotiations on proliferation of nuclear weapons by North Korea and Iran, involving all the permanent members of the Security Council plus Germany and Japan, are crucially important. They must be energetically pursued.

But by themselves, none of these steps are adequate to the danger. Reagan and General Secretary Gorbachev aspired to accomplish more at their meeting in Reykjavik 20 years ago -- the elimination of nuclear weapons altogether. Their vision shocked experts in the doctrine of nuclear deterrence, but galvanized the hopes of people around the world. The leaders of the two countries with the largest arsenals of nuclear weapons discussed the abolition of their most powerful weapons.

...

What should be done? Can the promise of the NPT and the possibilities envisioned at Reykjavik be brought to fruition? We believe that a major effort should be launched by the United States to produce a positive answer through concrete stages. First and foremost is intensive work with leaders of the countries in possession of nuclear weapons to turn the goal of a world without nuclear weapons into a joint enterprise. Such a joint enterprise, by involving changes in the disposition of the states possessing nuclear weapons, would lend additional weight to efforts already under way to avoid the emergence of a nuclear-armed North Korea and Iran.

The program on which agreements should be sought would constitute a series of agreed and urgent steps that would lay the groundwork for a world free of the nuclear threat. Steps would include:

* Changing the Cold War posture of deployed nuclear weapons to increase warning time and thereby reduce the danger of an accidental or unauthorized use of a nuclear weapon.

* Continuing to reduce substantially the size of nuclear forces in all states that possess them.

* Eliminating short-range nuclear weapons designed to be forward-deployed.

* Initiating a bipartisan process with the Senate, including understandings to increase confidence and provide for periodic review, to achieve ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, taking advantage of recent technical advances, and working to secure ratification by other key states.

* Providing the highest possible standards of security for all stocks of weapons, weapons-usable plutonium, and highly enriched uranium everywhere in the world.

* Getting control of the uranium enrichment process, combined with the guarantee that uranium for nuclear power reactors could be obtained at a reasonable price, first from the Nuclear Suppliers Group and then from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) or other controlled international reserves. It will also be necessary to deal with proliferation issues presented by spent fuel from reactors producing electricity.

* Halting the production of fissile material for weapons globally; phasing out the use of highly enriched uranium in civil commerce and removing weapons-usable uranium from research facilities around the world and rendering the materials safe.

* Redoubling our efforts to resolve regional confrontations and conflicts that give rise to new nuclear powers.

Achieving the goal of a world free of nuclear weapons will also require effective measures to impede or counter any nuclear-related conduct that is potentially threatening to the security of any state or peoples.

From The Obama Nation:

YouTube Video:

"In 52 Seconds, Why Barack Obama Cannot Win a General Election"

On the screen we see Barack Obama, wearing a business suit, white shirt, and dark tie. Behind him at right are the red and white stripes of an American flag. Obama is not wearing an American flag lapel pin.

In the head shot, Obama is looking directly into the camera, speaking deliberately, careful to articulate his words precisely. He has a positive but firm look to his face. The video clip looks as if it might have been prepared for a television ad.

"Without any introduction, Obama begins, "I am the only major candidate to oppose this war from the beginning and, as president, I will end it.

"Second," he continues, "I will cut tens of billions of dollars in wasteful spending. I will cut investments in unproven missile defense systems. I will not weaponize space. I will slow our development of future combat systems and I will institute an independent defense priorities board to ensure that the quadrennial defense review is not used to justify unnecessary spending.

"Third," he says, without pausing, "I will set a goal of a world without nuclear weapons. To seek that goal, I will not develop new nuclear weapons. I will seek a global ban on the production of fissile materials. And I will negotiate with Russia to take our ICBMs off hair-trigger alert and to achieve deep cuts in our nuclear arsenals."

Given the title, "In 52 Seconds, Why Barack Obama Cannot Win a General Election," the poster appears to believe that this one short video would provide Obama's Republican rival in the 2008 presidential election with enough ammunition to defeat him.

Why? The video begins with Obama posturing himself as the most antiwar candidate on the left, opposing U.S. involvement in the Iraq War. Without mentioning her name, Obama reminds us in the first seconds of the video that Hillary voted for the war, no matter what she said later about her supposed opposition to it.

From there, Obama embraces a "no nukes," antiwar, antimilitary posture that places him even further left than Senator George McGovern, the last openly antiwar presidential candidate put forth by the Democratic Party.

In the 1972 presidential election, at the height of the Vietnam War's unpopularity, McGovern lost forty-nine states to President Richard M. Nixon. The only state McGovern carried was Massachusetts, which then, as now, was so "peacenik" that many Republican Party loyalists derisively referred to it as the "People's Republic of Massachusetts." Page 1-2

...

Obama's Global Poverty Act

As the Democratic primaries were winding down in May 2008, Obama quietly steered his Global Poverty Act, known as S. 2433, through the Senate. Obama likes to characterize S. 2433 as requiring "the president to develop and implement a comprehensive policy to cut extreme global poverty in half by 2015 through aid, trade debt relief, and coordination with the international community, businesses and NGOs (non-governmental organizations)." Obama clearly hopes he will be in his second term as president by then, so reduction of global poverty by half can be traced back to his co-sponsorship of this visionary piece of legislation.

Critics on the right, who were anything but enthusiastic, sarcastically renamed the bill the "Global Poverty Tax." Getting past the typical lofty language of the press release quoted above, Cliff Kincaid, writing in Accuracy in Media, noted the legislation "would commit the U.S. to spending 0.7 percent of Gross Domestic Product on foreign aid, which amounts to a phenomenal total of $845 billion over and above what the U.S. already spends." Of course, the bill would be paid by the U.S. taxpayer, in what amounts to a redistribution-of-income plan, not from the U.S. haves to the U.S. have-nots, but from the U.S. haves to the world have-nots. Evidently Obama's "Audacity of Hope" extends to giving the U.S. taxpayer the added burden of halving poverty worldwide. Forget about expanding productive business activity to the third world; Obama would end global poverty by largesse.

Moreover, the global poverty reduction goal was mandated by the United Nations General Assembly in its Millennium Declaration of 2000. The declaration specifies, "No individual and no nation must be denied the opportunity to benefit from development," with no particular expectation that each individual or every nation would contribute to economic development. Conservative stalwart Phyllis Schlafly saw Obama's bill as imposing a UN tax on the United States with no concern that "U.S. handouts go into the hands of corrupt dictators who hate us and vote against us in the UN, and that only 30 percent of American foreign aid ever reaches the poor." Schlafly also sees the Global Poverty Act as advancing an undeclared but determined objective of Obama to place the United States under international controls, seriously compromising U.S. sovereignty. Calling the bill anti-American in intent, Schlafly wrote, "The Global Poverty Act would be a giant step toward the Millennium Goals of global governance and international taxes on Americans."

The Millennium Project is monitored by Jeffrey D. Sachs, an economist who directs the "Earth Institute" at Columbia University. In 2005, Sachs presented then-UN secretary-general Kofi Annan with a three-thousand-page report specifying a series of lofty development goals the United States was committed to bring about through the United Nations as part of the Millennium Development Plan.

Reviewing Sachs's book The End of Poverty in the Washington Post, New York University economics professor William Easterly severely criticized Sachs for being naive, describing him as "simply the world's greatest economic reformer," who had no compunction about enlisting U2 lead singer Bono to pen the book's introduction. Calling Sachs a "utopian," Easterly ridiculed him, explaining that Sachs's plan "covers just about everything in mind-numbing technical jargon, from planting nitrogen-fixing leguminous trees to replenishing soil fertility, to antiretroviral therapy for AIDS, to specially programmed cell phones that pro- vide real-time data to health planners, to rainwater harvesting, to battery-charging stations, and so on." Easterly further noted that under Sachs's scheme "the UN secretary general personally runs the overall plan, coordinating the actions of thousands of officials in six UN agencies, UN country teams, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund." Easterly expressed surprise at how unaware Sachs was of the extent to which his plan resembled other well-intentioned but ill-fated grand plans to eliminate poverty that were championed through inter- national organizations in the 1950s and 1960s.

In the end, Sachs's and Obama's scheme amounts to little more than resentment against the United States for the extent of economic development and standard of living enjoyed in this country. Conservative commentator Lee Cary shared the observation, writing in the American Thinker about Obama's Global Poverty Act, that "those who feel like victims want the guilty exposed and loathed."43 In this context. Car)' noted the Obama campaign was airing radio ads in Texas in which Obama claimed that "some CEOs make more in 10 minutes than some American workers make in a year," arguing that this was somehow un- fair. Cary noted that Obama did not include in this derision his endorser, television talk show host Oprah Winfrey. Calling Obama the "Global Candidate," Cary concluded his goal was to "cite multinational corporations as the leading exploiters of the worlds poor, with Wall Street's favorites leading the pack."

When we examine where Obama has gotten most of the funds to run his 2008 presidential campaign, we find that hypocrisy is evidently not a fault Obama minds having. According to watchdog OpenSecrets.org. Wall Street investment firms and U.S. law firms representing multinational U.S. corporations in their global operations lead the list of Obama bundling contributors. At the top of Obama's contributor list is Goldman Sachs, followed by UBS, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Lehman Brothers, and Morgan Stanley. Among the law firms leading the list of Obama 2008 campaign contributors are New York-based Skadden, Arps; Los Angeles-based Latham & Watkins; Chicago-based Kirkland & Ellis and Sidley Austin, the law firm where Michelle Obama was an associate and met her future husband.

America's middle-class voters, already feeling the economic squeeze from globalization and the outsourcing of U.S. jobs to India and China, would probably not appreciate Obama's plan to increase taxes on U.S. citizens to pay for world poverty through the United Nations. Their resentment could be expected to grow after realizing Obama himself liberally takes campaign contributions from the very investment bankers and law firms benefiting from globalization and outsourcing. In this context, Obama's railing against the rich appears little more than a leftist resentment traceable to his days in Hawaii and in college, smoking marijuana and drinking liquor while listening to the likes of aging communist poet Frank Marshall Davis rail against capitalism. Page 250-253
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Posted by kevinmc in General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009)
Wed Jun 04th 2008, 06:36 AM
Remember when McCain labeled an "excellent question" a query from a supporter who asked, "How do we beat the bitch?" Video

That was recently. But do you remember when McCain apologized for telling a Republican fund-raiser that Chelsea Clinton was "so ugly" because "she's the child of Janet Reno and Hillary Clinton"?

Here are more examples of McCain's problems with women....

McCain Called His Wife A C**t and a Trollop

A new book by Cliff Schechter has the inside scoop on John McCain. And if you want to know why John McCain was called "McNasty" in high school, read this.

At one point, Cindy playfully twirled McCain's hair and said, "You're getting a little thin up there." McCain's face reddened, and he responded, "At least I don't plaster on the makeup like a trollop, you cunt." McCain's excuse was that it had been a long day. If elected president of the United States, McCain would have many long days.

This event was witnessed by 3 reporters and two aides of John McCain, Doug Cole and Wes Gullett.



***********************

Q: Did John McCain divorce his first wife Carol?

A: Short answer...Yes, John McCain divorced his first wife. He evidently cheated on her numerous times after he came home from Vietnam. She had been in a horrible car accident while he was in Vietnam and was disfigured. He filed for a divorce after he met his current wife who was a much younger (17 years) lass and heiress to the 3rd largest Anheiser-Busch distributor in the US.

**********************

McCain opposes equal pay bill in Senate

NEW ORLEANS — Republican Sen. John McCain, campaigning through poverty-stricken cities and towns, said Wednesday he opposes a Senate bill that seeks equal pay for women because it would lead to more lawsuits.

Senate Republicans killed the bill Wednesday night on a 56-42 vote that denied the measure the 60 votes needed to advance it to full debate and a vote. Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., had delayed the vote to give McCain's Democratic rivals, Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama, time to return to Washington to support the measure, which would make it easier for women to sue their employers for pay discrimination.

McCain skipped the vote to campaign in New Orleans.

"I am all in favor of pay equity for women, but this kind of legislation, as is typical of what's being proposed by my friends on the other side of the aisle, opens us up to lawsuits for all kinds of problems," the expected GOP presidential nominee told reporters. "This is government playing a much, much greater role in the business of a private enterprise system."

The bill sought to counteract a Supreme Court decision limiting how long workers can wait before suing for pay discrimination.

It is named for Lilly Ledbetter, a supervisor at the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.'s plant in Gadsden, Ala., who sued for pay discrimination just before retiring after a 19-year career there. By the time she retired, Ledbetter made $6,500 less than the lowest-paid male supervisor and claimed earlier decisions by supervisors kept her from making more.

The Supreme Court voted 5-4 last year to throw out her complaint, saying she had waited too long to sue.

Democrats criticized McCain for opposing the bill.

"Senator McCain has yet again fallen in line with President Bush while middle-class families are falling by the wayside," Clinton said in a statement following the vote. "Women are earning less, but Senator McCain is offering more of the same.".......

***********************

McCain now supports the immediate overturn of Roe v Wade

St. McCain really is crashing and burning on his supposed principals trying to woo the right wing extreme Christian wing of the GOP. Now he says he wants to immediately overturn Roe v Wade after he was against it.

Salon:

But certainly in the short term, or even the long term, I would not support repeal of Roe vs. Wade, which would then force X number of women in America to (undergo) illegal and dangerous operations."

ABC's THIS WEEK:

MCCAIN: I don't think a constitutional amendment is probably going to take place, but I do believe that it's very likely or possible that the Supreme Court should — could overturn Roe v. Wade, which would then return these decisions to the states, which I support.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And you'd be for that?

MCCAIN: Yes, because I'm a federalist. Just as I believe that the issue of gay marriage should be decided by the states, so do I believe that we would be better off by having Roe v. Wade return to the states. And I don't believe the Supreme Court should be legislating in the way that they did on Roe v. Wade.
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Posted by kevinmc in General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009)
Fri Jan 11th 2008, 08:35 AM
PBS-NOW


Smear campaigns are nothing new in U.S. politics, but during the 2008 presidential race, the Internet has assumed a bigger role in transmitting misinformation and negative claims about candidates. The lightning speed at which these rumors spread and the lack of scrutiny they receive threaten to seriously undermine public discourse. The good news is that this campaign season the public has access to a slew of fact-checking websites, including FactCheck.org, PolitiFact.com, and Snopes.com that are squelching Internet rumors and separating fact from fiction.


To illustrate how a rumor based on falsehoods can spread, NOW takes a look at one claim that has received a lot of media attention recently: the "Barack Obama is Muslim" rumor. This unsubstantiated claim originated from chain e-mails that started circulating some time in 2006. They contend that Obama is a Muslim (false) and that Obama attended a radical Muslim school (false). There's also a more recent rumor that Obama did not have his hand over his heart during the Pledge of Allegiance.



Timeline of a Smear



2006: The first chain e-mail circulated on the Internet contending that Obama is Muslim. (Politifact and other fact-checking websites have been unable to pinpoint the exact date)



Jan. 17, 2007: A discredited news story from InsightMag.com, "Hillary's team has questions about Obama's Muslim background," reported that Obama had attended a madrassa, an Islamic religious school, as a child.



Jan. 19, 2007: Fox News' Fox & Friend First and Fox & Friends highlighted the report from InsightMag in its coverage without discrediting it. The weblog Think Progress noted that Fox even took caller comments about the allegations.



Jan. 20, 2007: New York Post article titled 'Osama' Mud Flies at Obama quoted Clinton spokesman Howard Wolfson saying, "We have no connection to this story."



The week of Jan. 20, 2007: CNN, ABC-TV and the Associated Press sent reporters to the school Obama attended and reported that it was not a religious school but a public school.



Jan. 23, 2007: Washington Post article by media columnist Howard Kurtz, "Headmaster Disputes Claim That Obama Attended Islamic School", reported that the school Obama attended was not a religious school but a public school.


Jan 28, 2007: Washington Post editorial, "Sticks, Stones and Mr. Obama; Misleading aspersions about the senator's background only make the perpetrators look bad", criticized the Insight Magazine article.



March, 15, 2007: A Snopes.com website article titled "The Enemy Within" dispelled the claim that Obama is a "radical, ideological Muslim."



Sept. 16, 2007: A photo of Obama that would later be used as the basis for another negative rumor was taken in Indianola, Iowa, at the Harkin Steak Fry, an annual political event hosted by Sen. Tom Harkin. The caption on the Time photo read, "Respect: Senator Barack Obama, Governor Bill Richardson, Senator Hillary Clinton and Ruth Harkin stand during the national anthem."



Oct. 2007: The first chain e-mail accompanying some version of an e-mailed photo circulated on the Internet questioning Obama's patriotism based on its contention that Obama refused to put his hand over his heart during the Pledge of Allegiance. One of the e-mails read: "He refused to not only put his hand on his heart during the pledge of allegiance, but refused to say the pledge ... how in the hell can a man like this expect to be our next Commander-in-Chief?"



Oct. 27, 2007: Snopes could not find any information substantiating the claim that Obama refused to put his hand over his heart during the Pledge of Allegiance. However, they did say that the following claim, "Photograph shows Barack Obama without his hand over his heart while the U.S. national anthem is being played," is true.



Nov. 9, 2007: The St. Petersburg Times publishes an article "E-mail assailing Obama's patriotism misses mark" pointing to the original Time photograph as evidence that the e-mail rumor makes a false claim. The article also discusses the new phenomenon of chain e-mails "ricocheting" around Internet.



Nov. 11, 2007: A video from ABC News confirmed that the photo was taken during the singing of "The Star-Spangled Banner."



Nov. 29, 2007: The Washington Post publishes an article, "Foes Use Obama's Muslim Ties to Fuel Rumors About Him", by political reporter Perry Bacon Jr. exploring the rumors that Obama was Muslim. The article did not explicitly dispel those rumors.



Dec. 9, 2007: Taking issue with Bacon's story, Washington Post columnist Deborah Howell looks at how mainstream journalists tackle stories about rumors. In "Refuting, or Feeding, the Rumor Mill?, she writes: "My problems with the story...were that Obama's connections to Islam are slender at best; that the rumors were old; and that convincing evidence of their falsity wasn't included in the story."



Dec. 13, 2007: Despite being debunked by mainstream news organizations, the claim that Obama didn't place his hand over his heart during the Pledge of Allegiance is repeated on Bill O' Reilly's show. In response to a caller who says she's disturbed by Obama's alleged action, O'Reilly doesn't correct her and, according to MediaMatters.org, replies: "I think that Obama needs to answer some questions about his point of view, not only on the USA, but on a lot of
things."



Damage Lasts Longer Than Rumors Themselves


Taken together, InsightMag.com's anonymously-sourced report inspired numerous "baseless" accusations about Sen. Barack Obama in the media and widespread coverage from mainstream news sites and other news sources. Whether this rumor had any significant negative impact on Obama's campaign is unclear.


One of the most frustrating things about rumors on the Internet is that it is often impossible to pinpoint their origin, particularly since chain e-mails can come from multiple people. Another challenge is that they circulate under the radar for so long.


But some websites are working to combat rumors with truth and correction. Politifact.com features a "Truth-o-meter" section that examines who laid claim to a rumor, who the rumor is about, the extent to which the rumor is true and what was alleged by the informant. The Truth-o-meter recently dispelled the Obama "hand over his heart rumor" by giving it a "false" rating. Snopes.com, the site with a reputation for debunking urban legends, has a similar system of checking rumors, but they do it through a "ratings key" which allows for more ambiguity in the case of rumors that are partially based on truth, but ultimately incorrect. The audience for these websites remains marginal. Only when major media outlets take it upon themselves to verify a rumor before repeating it or invest resources in debunking it, as CNN did with the Obama-is-Muslim rumor, will the power of unfounded rumors and smear campaigns dissipate.


Sources: Information for this article is based partly on a timeline from MediaMatters.org's timeline of the smear and leads from Politifact.com.

2008 Election Debunking Resources


FACTCHECK.ORG: Analysis of ads and statements



POLITIFACT.COM: Analysis of attacks and statistics



COLUMBIA JOURNALISM REVIEW: Fact checking the Media


SNOPES.COM: Urban Legends Reference Pages



WASHINGTONPOST.COM: The "Pinocchio" test



FactChecker: The Washington Post Fact-Checker



MEDIA MATTERS: Media Matters for America
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Posted by kevinmc in General Discussion (01/01/06 through 01/22/2007)
Tue Apr 11th 2006, 01:30 AM
Times, UK

PHARMACEUTICAL companies are systematically creating diseases in order to sell more of their products, turning healthy people into patients and placing many at risk of harm, a special edition of a leading medical journal claims today.

The practice of “diseasemongering” by the drug industry is promoting non-existent illnesses or exaggerating minor ones for the sake of profits, according to a set of essays published by the open-access journal Public Library of Science Medicine.

The special issue, edited by David Henry, of Newcastle University in Australia, and Ray Moynihan, an Australian journalist, reports that conditions such as female sexual dysfunction, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and “restless legs syndrome” have been promoted by companies hoping to sell more of their drugs.

Other minor problems that are a normal part of life, such as symptoms of the menopause, are also becoming increasingly “medicalised”, while risk factors such as high cholesterol levels or osteoporosis are being presented as diseases in their own right, according to the editors.

“Disease-mongering turns healthy people into patients, wastes precious resources and causes iatrogenic (medically induced) harm,” they say. “Like the marketing strategies that drive it, disease-mongering poses a global challenge to those interested in public health, demanding in turn a global response.”........

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,3-...
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