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Sunday, May 26, 2019
CNS Flip-Flops on the Logan Act
Topic: CNSNews.com

Managing editor Michael W. Chapman intones in a May 10 CNS article:

Speaking with reporters on Thursday, President Donald Trump said that former Secretary of State John Kerry had "violated" the Logan Act by frequently communicating with Iran's government since leaving office in 2017, and he "should be prosecuted on that." 

The Logan Act, enacted in 1799, states that private citizens not authorized to do so are not permitted to communicate or negotiate with foreign governments that are in a dispute with the United States. Iran is in a dispute with the United States over its nuclear program and the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, which was partly negotiated by Secretary of State John Kerry and which President Trump repudiated in 2018.

“What I would like to see with Iran, I’d like to see them call me," President Trump told reporters on Thursday. "You know, John Kerry speaks to them a lot. John Kerry tells them not to call. That's a violation of the Logan Act. And, frankly, he should be prosecuted on that."

"But my people don't want to do anything that's -- only the Democrats do that kind of stuff, you know," said Trump. "If it were the opposite way, they’d prosecute him under the Logan Act. But John Kerry violated the Logan Act."

"He's talking to Iran and has been, has many meetings and many phone calls, and he's telling them what to do," said the president. "That's a total violation of the Logan Act."

Patrick Goodenough repeated Trump's accusation in a May 13 article about Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, linking to Chapman's article and writing: "Asked whether Kerry should potentially be prosecuted under the Logan Act – as President Trump suggested last week – Pompeo said he would 'leave to the Department of Justice to make decisions about prosecutions.'"

This isn't the first time CNS has promoted such attacks on Kerry. Last October, a stenography piece on Mark Levin's interview with Newt Gingrich quoted Gingrich as saying that Kerry "was never really the American Secretary of State. He was a world Secretary of State, doing good things on behalf of the world. And which is why I don't think you can charge him with the Logan Act because you'd have to be an American in order to be charged with the Logan Act, and Kerry is not psychologically an American." And in a January 2018 column, Allen West argued that Kerry "may very well be in violation of the Logan Act, a punishable felony offense."

But none of these CNS writers mentioned that this "news" organizaiton felt much differently about the Logan Act not that long ago -- when a Trump ally was accused of violating it.

When Michael Flynn -- Trump campaign official who was briefly Trump's national security adviser -- was charged with lying to the FBI regarding his contacts with Russian officials, CNS promoted writers who not only attacked thte idea that Flynn might have violated the Logan Act, they attacked the Logan Act itself.

A February 2017 column by Cully Stimson and Hans von Spakovsky defending Flynn pooh-poohed the very existence of the Logan Act:

No one has ever been prosecuted under that act (18 U.S.C. §953), which has been roundly (and rightly) criticized by distinguished legal scholars from the left and the right as a content-based restriction on First Amendment rights under the U.S. Constitution.

Keep in mind that this law was passed just a year after the Alien and Sedition Acts.

The Sedition Act of 1798 is probably one of the worst violations of the First Amendment ever passed by Congress. The Logan Act follows pretty closely behind the Sedition Act in its basic abrogation of First Amendment rights and has never been used against the many Americans who may have technically violated it.

Von Spakovsky repeated his attack on the Logan Act in a May 2018 column: "Many are questioning the legitimacy of the FBI’s questioning Flynn, since the questioning was apparently based on a potential violation of the Logan Act, which makes it a crime for unauthorized people to negotiate on behalf of the United States with foreign governments. No one has been successfully prosecuted under the Logan Act since it was passed in 1799. Many scholars believe it is unconstitutional."

And in a December 2018 "news" article, Susan Jones rehashed Fox News host Laura Ingraham's defense of Flynn: "That was a leak of a phone call on American citizen that he had every right to make. It wasn't just that he was a national security advisor. Any American has the ability to talk to any ambassador that they want. They used a law from the 1700s, the Logan Act, that had never been used."

CNS has published no attacks on the Logan Act since Trump's remarks about Kerry.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:38 PM EDT
Saturday, May 25, 2019
Acosta Derangement Syndrome Watch, MRC Edition
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's near-pathological hatred of all things Jim Acosta hasn't exactly abated. An April 17 post by Corinne Weaver ranted that Acosta was to win an award:

CNN’s most obnoxious White House correspondent is about to get rewarded again from his peers for his unprofessional behavior. According to a press release on April 12, the New York Press Club will give Jim Acosta their “Truth to Power” journalism award.

The Wrap reported that the award honors “an individual whose body of work challenges the power establishment and/or defends journalists.” The establishment being, the Trump administration of course.

[...]

“We are proud to honor a man such as Jim Acosta, who has proven himself throughout his storied, decades-long career to be a journalist of the utmost integrity, ” Jane Tillman Irving, president of the Press Club, said in the release. “For his unwavering commitment to fact and journalism, we are pleased to add to Jim’s many accolades with the Gabe Pressman ‘Truth to Power’ award.”

Facts and journalism? How about bbullying, over-inflated ego, and petty meltdowns? That seems more like what Acosta is known for than being a “truth teller.” Just about every chance he gets in the press briefings, he tries to hog the spotlight and frequently misconstrues situations for his benefit.

His combativeness and rough handling of a White House intern during one such briefing last November even got his White House press credentials temporarily revoked.

It seems bad behavior is a badge of honor to the left-wing media.

And it seems unprofessional name-calling is a badge of honor at the MRC.

Not to be outdone in the name-calling department, the MRC's chief Acosta-hater, Curtis Houck, just can't stop spewing juvenile insults:

All set with his hair sloshed to one side (presumably by the wind), CNN chief White House correspondent and carnival barking extraordinary Jim Acosta reported on Wednesday’s Situation Room ahead of a Trump rally that the President has plunged America “toward a constitutional crisis” while solidifying a reputation as a con-man, turning “the art of the deal...into the art of the conceal.”

[...]

Clearly locked and loaded (while feeling quite proud of himself), Acosta parroted House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) in telling viewers that “President Trump appears to be heading toward a constitutional crisis with House Democrats as he continues to hide the Mueller report as well as his tax returns from lawmakers.”

[...]

After recapping the Trump controversies concerning the Mueller report, whether Don McGahn should testify before Congress, and the President’s tax returns, Acosta ruled as if he weren’t alive in 2015, 2016, or even three decades ago: “Mr. Trump's steep losses in real estate call also into question his main pitch to voters in 2016, that he was a business genius.”

In the next hour, Acosta reiterated his nonsense about “a constitutional crisis” and “the art of the conceal.” How cute.

Houck clearly feels quite proud of himself, thinking in his own mind how cute all those sick burns of Acosta are. Of course, in reality, he just comes off as a right-wing hater.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:27 AM EDT
WND Thinks Larry Klayman And 'Serious Lawsuit' Are Synonymous
Topic: WorldNetDaily

If you have to try and sell the idea that someone's lawsuit is serious, it probably isn't.

A May 13 WND article carries the headline Ilhan Omar in U.S. illegally? Serious lawsuit seeks answer." But it soon becomes clear that there is a serious question about just how "serious" the effort is:

Former Justice Department prosecutor and Freedom Watch founder Larry Klayman, who previously petitioned the Department of Homeland Security and the House of Representatives to investigate Rep. Ihlan Omar, D-Minn., to determine her eligibility for naturalization, now has gone to court.

The Muslim freshman lawmaker has drawn rebuke from her own party leaders for anti-Semitic tweets while in office. And before she was elected, she tweeted, “Israel has hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel.”

Klayman in March petitioned DHS and the House for an investigation of Omar on several grounds.

Now he’s filing a complaint with U.S. District Court in Washington seeking a court order that would require DHS to investigate.

[...]

He alleges Omar committed “marriage fraud,” which, according to the Immigration Marriage Fraud Amendments Act of 1986, is punishable by five years in prison for any person “who knowingly enters into a marriage for the purpose of evading any provision of the immigration laws.”

Those two llittle words -- Larry Klayman -- tell us all we need to know. The terrible lawyer whose far-right obsessions trump his legal sense has struck again.

As befits both Klayman and WND, things do go into the conspiratorial weeds pretty quickly. Klayman claims that the "marraige fraud" comes from the never proven claim that Omar married her brother, a never-proven claim WND has pushed before.

There's another conspiracy theory thrown into the mix: that Omar also somehow committed fraud by misrepresenting herself because at the time the Somali refugee was granted asylum, she was in "the resort city of Mombasa, Kenya, famous for its magnificent beaches on the Indian Ocean, and a magnet for wealthy tourists from Europe and around the world," purportedly meaning that "she was not living in a dangerous environment that would qualify her for entry into the U.S." In fact, Omar was in a refugee camp near Mombasa, not freely living in the city -- a disease-ridden place that is the complete opposite of Klayman's fanciful description.

This is the "serious lawsuit" Klayman and WND think we're supposed to take seriously? Really?


Posted by Terry K. at 1:36 AM EDT
Friday, May 24, 2019
CNS' Jeffrey Still Reluctant To Blame Trump, GOP For Federal Budget Issues
Topic: CNSNews.com

We've documented how CNSNews.com editor in chief has largely refused to single out President Trump and his Republican-controlled Congress to blame for rising federal deficits, though he had no problem blaming Democrats for it when President Obama was in office. Well, Jeffrey has done it again in a May 11 article:

The federal government spent $2,573,708,000,000 in the first seven months of fiscal 2019 (October through April), setting an all-time record for real federal spending in the first seven months of a fiscal year, according to data published in the Monthly Treasury Statements.

Prior to this fiscal year, the most that the federal government had ever spent in the first seven months of a fiscal year was in fiscal 2011, when it spent $2,476,257,690,000 in constant April 2019 dollars (adjusted using the Bureau of Labor Statistics inflation calculator).

As before, the words "Trump" and "Republican" appear nowhere in his article. But Jeffrey tries to implicitly spread the blame around by including a photo of Trump and House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi, even though neither she nor Democrats are mentioned in his article either.

Jeffrey's article concludes with a tag stating that "The business and economic reporting of CNSNews.com is funded in part with a gift made in memory of Dr. Keith C. Wold." Do Wold's heirs know his gift is funding such dishonest reporting?


Posted by Terry K. at 3:23 PM EDT
MRC Can't Quite Admit That Far-Right Figures Are Far-Right
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Alexander Hall wrote in a May 3 post:

Instagram and its parent company Facebook have purged several what it called “extremist” figures ranging from controversial Jewish activist Laura Loomer to anti-Semitic hate preacher Rev. Louis Farrakhan. 

In the latest round of tech bans, Facebook and Instagram have deplatformed conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, Infowars, Milo Yiannopoulos, Paul Joseph Watson, Loomer and Farrakhan. According to The Atlantic, the ban on Infowars is the strictest, in that they will remove “any content containing Infowars videos, radio segments, or articles (unless the post is explicitly condemning the content).” In addition, any groups set up to share Infowars content on Facebook or Instagram will also be removed[.]

The headline of Hall's item reads "Facebook Purges ‘Dangerous’ Farrakhan, Controversial Activists." But as the item's URL indicates, it originally carried the headline "Facebook Purges ‘Dangerous’ Farrakhan, Far-Right Figures." The item otherwise applies no ideological labels on the non-Farrakhan figures, despite the fact they are indeed on the far right.

Hall goesa on to add that "Loomer was one of the early examples of big tech deplatforming and depersoning on multiple platforms." We've documented how the MRC has downplayed how extreme and rabidly Islamophobic Loomer is in order to portray her as a victim of social media "censorship" against conservatives. Hall goes on to repeat Loomer's lament that "I am banned by Uber an [sic] Lyft" without mentioning that it's because she went on an Islamophobic rant complaining that the ride-sharing services employ Muslim drivers.

Similarly, the MRC has tried to mainstream Jones' Infowars (of which Watson is a part) by ridiculously claiming it's no different than CNN -- all the better to shoehorn it into that victimhood narrative.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:20 AM EDT
Thursday, May 23, 2019
CNS Complains About Barr Contempt Citation -- But Cheered GOP Contempt Vote Against Holder
Topic: CNSNews.com

When the Democratic-led House was considering issuing a contempt citation against Attorney General William Barr for refusal to make the full unredacted Mueller report available to members of Congress, the pro-Trump stenographers CNSNews.com were quick to object:

  • Susan Jones highlighted how one Republican congressman called the contempt citation a "public show" to "discredit" Barr.
  • Michael Morris dutifully transcribed right-wing radio host Mark Levin ranting that Barr was being held in contempt for "following the law."
  • Jones returned to tout former Republican Attorney General Michael Mukasey claiming that Democrats are crossing a legal line, "because the point of this is not to find out facts."
  • Another Jones article lamented that the House Judiciary Committee "will vote along party lines to recommend that Attorney General William Barr be held in contempt of Congress."

By contrast, in 2012 when then-Attorney General Eric Holder faced a contempt vote for alleged failure to release enough documents to the Republican-controlled House regarding the Fast and Furious controversy, CNS cheered it all the way. CNS cheered it on as early as February 2012, then cranked up the coverage with a decided anti-Holder bias, even in the articles that don't show one in the headline, when the vote arrived a few months later:

It's as if CNS' news coverage is heavily driven by ideology, or something.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:57 PM EDT
MRC's Graham Nitpicks Over Trump Crossing 10,000-Falsehood Threshold
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Tim Graham spent an April 30 post complaining that the Washington Post had counted 10,000 false or misleading claims made by President Trump. At one point he groused that "Trump haters quickly say '10,000 lies' instead of the milder 'false or misleading statements' line. 'Facts First' types messed up."

Of course, Graham may as well be talking about himself -- he's just as sloppy about the distinction between the two. Back in 2008, Graham got mad at us for pointing out that his insistence that Hillary Clinton should have been indicted for making what were found to be false statements in the White House travel office controversy runs counter to the findings of the independent counsel, which brought no charges because there was no evidence the statements were deliberately false.

Graham then expanded his complaint into a column for Brent Bozell to slap his name on. They handwaved Trump's history of lies, then portrayed the count as a liberal conspiracy: "Everyone knows the president can unload a whopper, like when he recently suggested of wind turbines, 'they say the noise causes cancer.' But the Post's 10,000 is a Democratic Party talking point, a marketing strategy to build a liberal subscriber base." Graham and Bozell then provide a list of reasons why the list means we shouldn't take the Post seriously. Most of it is your usual anti-media whining -- two of the five items on the list are about whining that Post fact-checker Glenn Kessler is "nitpicking" -- but this one stood out to us:

4. Lack of transparency. The Posties have dramatically increased the rate of the "false claims" it is finding. In announcing the 10,000 number, it claimed, "the president racked up 171 false or misleading claims in just three days, April 25 to 27." It admits that's a bigger number than it used to find in a month.

It claims Trump has literally said a falsehood a minute, counting 45 in a 45-minute Sean Hannity interview, 17 falsehoods in a 19-minute Mark Levin interview and 61 false claims in the president's Saturday night rally in Green Bay, Wisconsin. But the Post doesn't list them individually so you can check its work.

Funny, that's the same exact complaint we've repeatedly made about the MRC's so-called "media research" -- it almost never makes public the raw data it uses to reach its almost preordained conclusions.

Graham and Bozell are effectively complaining that the Post's research standards are the same as the MRC's. That doesn't seem like a smart argument to make.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:00 AM EDT
Wednesday, May 22, 2019
AIM Does A Lame Resume Defense of Barr
Topic: Accuracy in Media

Accuracy in Media's Carrie Sheffield spent a May 2 post being mad that Democrats have criticized Attorney General William Barr, and she defends him by ... copying his resume and repeating nice things people said about him 29 years ago:

The mainstream media has been repeating calls by Democratic lawmakers for Attorney General William Barr to resign, yet they are ignoring Barr’s long career of being esteemed in high regard by both parties – having been confirmed twice as attorney general on bipartisan votes.

Earlier this year, Barr was confirmed by the Senate 54-45, with multiple Democrats voting in his favor, and in 1991, Barr was unanimously confirmed as attorney general under President George H.W. Bush by a Democrat-controlled Senate by voice vote. Barr was also confirmed to the positions of Deputy Attorney General and Assistant Attorney General under Democrat-controlled Senates. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) called Barr an “independent voice for all Americans” and then-Sen. Joe Biden (D-Del.) referred to Barr a “heck of an honorable guy.”

Even as MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski questions Attorney General Barr’s physical and mental health (something which senators approving him this year weren’t concerned about), Barr is unquestionably qualified to lead the Department of Justice, having previously serving as attorney general – a qualification above all others. Barr is also a widely respected legal mind with unrivaled experience, having held multiple positions in the Department of Justice and earned the respect of the career attorneys who served with him. During his previous stint leading the Justice Department, Barr was praised for establishing innovative programs to combat violent crime and illegal immigration.

Barr has practiced law at the highest levels, including serving as General Counsel and Executive Vice President for Verizon and its predecessor company for over a decade. The Attorney General has litigated cases before the most influential courts in the world, including the United States Supreme Court and the European Commission.

As mainstream media liberals decry a lack of civility and bipartisan comity, it appears their criticisms are one-directional, choosing to attack the attorney general through the politics of personal destruction.

Actually, the 54-45 vote to confirm Barr was hardly "bipartisan," as Sheffield insists it was; only three Democrats voted to support him. And the same day that Sheffield touted Biden's decades-old praise of Barr, Biden was calling for Barr to resign, accusing Barr of caring more about defending the president than fairly evaluating the Mueller report.

If all Sheffield can do is rehash Barr's resume as a defense, that is very lame indeed.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:53 PM EDT
NEW ARTICLE -- NewsBusted: The Sports Blogger Files
Topic: NewsBusters
One recent NewsBusters sports blogger hid behind a "pen name," while the current one has no media presence outside the blog so that may be a fake-name writer too. Not that the content differs all that much. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 3:26 PM EDT
WND Freaks Out Over Canadian Coin Marking Decriminalization of Homosexuality
Topic: WorldNetDaily

As a reiminder that it still hates gay people, WorldNetDaily had a "homosexual agenda" freakout over a Canadian coin commemorating the 50th anniversary of homosexuality being decriminalized in the country:

The homosexual agenda is now being thrust directly into the money system, at least in Canada.

The Royal Canadian Mint on Tuesday put into circulation a new coin, celebrating the “decriminalization of homosexuality in Canada.”

Valued at one Canadian dollar, the coin, known as the “loonie,” features the words “Equality-Egalite” with the artwork of Vancouver-based artist Joe Average.

The debut of the newly minted coin is not without controversy.

“This is state-operated propaganda, pure and simple, using our money system,” Jack Fonseca of Campaign Life Coalition, Canada’s largest pro-life group, told the Daily Caller.

“It’s Orwellian. Something you’d expect from a dictatorship like Communist China, the former Soviet Union …

“What [Prime Minister Justin] Trudeau has done in putting homosexual propaganda on our coinage is really beyond the pale. Justin’s father famously said that the state doesn’t belong in the bedrooms of the nation. Justin is doing the opposite of what his father preached, and imposing the bedroom on our currency! It’s outrageous … This really is a brain-washing exercise, using our currency to indoctrinate all of society with Justin Trudeau’s personal beliefs about homosexuality.”

“We encourage Canadians to boycott the gay loonie. If offered the coin as change, Canadians should say, ‘No, please give me real currency.’”

Needless to say, WND didn't find anything to copy-and-paste into its article that expressed support for the coin -- apparently because it spent so much time hunting down the most hateful, gay-bashing take it could find.

By contrast, WND had no problem with some right-wing Israelis issued a coin likening President Trump to the biblical leader Cyrus.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:57 AM EDT
Tuesday, May 21, 2019
Naked Athlete-Hating NewsBusters Blogger Dances on ESPN Magazine's Grave
Topic: Media Research Center

The past two years, mysterious NewsBusters sports blogger Jay Maxson had a meltdown over ESPN magazine's annual "Body Issue," featuring photos of naked athletes (with the naughty bits tastefully covered). So it's no surprise that when ESPN announced it would stop publishing the print edition of the magazine later this year -- but not before only final "Body Issue," Maxson was eager to dance on its grave with a special meltdown directed at, yes, those nekkid athletes:

Come September, ESPN The Magazine will take its place in the ash heap of history. The Worldwide Leader in "Progressive Sports and Naked Athletes" is discontinuing the magazine this fall, after 21 years in operation, but will make sure it ends with one final edition featuring nude athletes. When its business was flagging, ESPN The Magazine merely resorted to glorifying athletes out of uniform, and the strategy still didn't prevent it from going under.

The late F. Darrin Perry designed the magazine's format in 1998 as something akin to "a Rolling Stone of sports magazines, in which athletes were presented as rock stars," wrote The New York Times' Steven Heller in Perry's 2004 obituary. He placed an unconventional emphasis on big and dramatic photos that drew more attention -- especially to those naked athletes, one-upping Sports Illustrated's swimsuit editions.

[...]

ESPN spokesperson Paul Melvin said, “Storytelling is central to what we do and ESPN The Magazine drives some of the best sports writing and storytelling in the world. The Magazine has just enjoyed its finest creative year and we’re looking forward to a tremendous 20th year of more award-winning narratives, features, imagery and reporting.”

Journalists? Storytelling? There are no journalists telling stories behind the cameras at the naked body shoots, where no extravagance was spared. Those appeals to viewers' prurient interest will likely continue to appear on the main ESPN website. Javier Baez standing naked holding a baseball bat, Colin Kaepernick walking naked on a beach, softball player A.J. Andrews sailing over baked desert ground with glove outstretched don't even constitute "photo journalism."

The 2018 Body Issue featuring the raw variety of sport utilized 352 employees requiring months of preparation and multiple shooting locations. Apparently draining the bank in the process.

The Chicago Tribune's  Phil Rosenthal wrote with a straight face that the body issue is intended to showcase athletes’ toned bodies. Fitness Magazine shows toned bodies; ESPN's Body Issue peddles bare flesh. Some sports media refuse to stick to sports; ESPN refuses to stick to clothing, and it's not working.

Reprising his anger at people in sports  whocommit the offense of talking about things that don't involve sports, Maxson alsohuffed that "ESPN The "Woke" Magazine is where one could go to read about U.S. Olympian fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad saying minority athletes must look up to (disgraced) 1968 Olympic protester John Carlos, Kaepernick, Serena Williams, Megan Rapinoe and so many activists in the WNBA.

By contrast, Maxson was never bothered by fleshiness of Sports Illustrated's swimsuit issue. Perhaps fearing the loss of something to write about with the ESPN magazine's imminent demise, Maxson redirected his ire at SI's swimsult models:

The idea of actually covering sports has become so passé for two iconic sports media organizations that they've devolved into a lusty competition to determine which can one-down the other in so-called artistic nudity. ESPN presents full buff arrays of athletes "performing" their respective sport, and Sports Illustrated is pulling out every PC trick in the book — hijabs and burkinis, painted ladies and politically correct subjects bearing virtue messages on their naked flesh — to gain attention. All in the name of progressive art moving sport and society forward toward the nirvana of diversity.

Just days ago, ESPN fired the latest shot in the woke/buck naked photo wars with its 2019 deviation from sport to hedonism. Seeking to maintain relevance, Sports Illustrated answers with woke, politically correct displays of flesh, only now with hijab- and burkini-clad, plus-sized and nude models adorned only with words like "tolerance" and "diversity."

Maxson was put out that SI's models include a plus-size woman -- purportedly evidence that SI is "trying to divert readers' attention from the fact that the magazine is leaving sports to the wind, wallowing in PC and starving for relevance -- and an out lesbian.But Maxson was really freaked out by one particular model:

The conflicted messages of the 2018 SI "#MeToo" Swimsuit photos cannot go unmentioned either. That's when several women posed completely naked with words written on their bodies. Aly Raisman, the Olympic gymnast who suffered sexual abuse at the hands of former Team USA Dr. Larry Nasser, inconceivably disrobed for this issue. Her body was "tattooed" with the words "abuse is never okay," "live for you" and "trust yourself." She's figuratively saying "I was abused ... but look at my body!" Unbelievable.

Actually, Raisman is saying "being a survivor is nothing to be ashamed of, and going through a hard time does not define you," and that "women do not have to be modest to be respected. We are free to draw confidence and happiness in our own way, and it is never for someone else to choose for us or to even judge us for that matter."

Clearly, Maxson is more than happy to judge and demand that Raisman live her life the way Maxson deems appropriate.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:02 PM EDT
Dishonest WND Portrays Women Who Threatened To Blow Up Church As 'NBC Producer'
Topic: WorldNetDaily

The article trying to blame a journalist's sexual orientation for his suicide is not the only recent example of WorldNetDaily misleading about people involved in journalism. An April 24 WND article by Joe Kovacs carries the headline "Mom who threatened to blow up church was NBC producer." But Kovacs walks back that headline over the first three paragraphs of his article:

A woman “claiming to be the Messiah” who threatened to blow up a California church on Easter Sunday while carrying her baby and a gun is a former digital producer for the NBC-TV affiliate in San Diego.

Anna Conkey, 31, was tackled by her fellow churchgoers during the April 21 incident at the Tsidkenu Church in the Clairemont area of San Diego.

NBC 7 says Conkey is also a former intern at the station, as well as a U.S. Navy veteran and graduate of San Diego State University.

So Conkey wasn't an "NBC producer" after all -- she was some undetermined point an intern working in digital production for the NBC affiliate station in San Diego.

Kovacs does make it clear further in the article that the woman was apparently having mental health issues -- which means her media work had nothing to do with the incident and that WND's hook of portraying her as a journalist who hated religion enough to threaten to blow up a church is doubly dishonest.

No wonder WND is losing readers (and money).


Posted by Terry K. at 3:49 PM EDT
CNS Misreports Warren's Tax Form Actions
Topic: CNSNews.com

Craig Bannister writes in an April 29 CNSNews.com blog post:

“Big financial corporations like TurboTax shouldn’t be able to scam consumers like this,” Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) declared Monday:

“Outrageous. Filing taxes should be simple and free. Big financial corporations like TurboTax shouldn’t be able to scam consumers like this—and my Tax Simplification Act would fix that.”

Warren made the claim on Twitter, linking to an April 26, 2019 ProPublica article – which was updated on April 28 to report that TurboTax had already abandoned the practice Warren was condemning:

“Update, April 28, 2019: Intuit has changed the code on its Free File page so that the actually free version of TurboTax is no longer hidden from Google and other search engines.

“This week, we reported on how TurboTax uses deceptive design and misleading advertising to trick lower-income Americans into paying to file their taxes, even though they are eligible to do it for free.

“There’s a new wrinkle: It turns out, Intuit, the maker of TurboTax, is deliberately hiding the truly free edition — TurboTax Free File — from Google Search.”

In fact, Intuit's action does not mean it had "abandoned the practice Warren was condemning." As ProPublica also reported, the main TurboTax website -- where most people expect to go to use its tax software -- does not allow people to use the free version of the program and pushes uses into its paid tax-filing software. Intuit hiding the free version of TurboTax from Google is only one issue that was raised. Even the ProPublica article Bannister stated that Warren cited also states that Intuit "uses deceptive design and misleading advertising to trick lower-income Americans into paying to file their taxes, even though they are eligible to do it for free."

Bannister then goes on to describe a bill Warren introduced that proves she's trying to do more than Intuit fixed, contrary to what he insinuated earlier in his article. Among other things, it would permit the IRS to offer a "free, online tax preparation and filing service," which is currently prohibited from doing because Intuit and H&R Block have heavily lobbied the government to keep it from happening.

This is part of a recent pattern by CNS to attack and belittle Democratic politicians and presidential candidates.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:10 AM EDT
Monday, May 20, 2019
Trump-Fluffer Kessler Goes Into Full Apologist Mode
Topic: Newsmax

Ronald Kessler is a Trumpophile from way back, and while he was a full-time writer for Newsmax, he promoted Trump's presidential ambitions as early as 2011. Kessler is still a Trump apologist, as he demonstrates in an April 23 column complaining that the FBI opened an investigation into Trump because he said in an interview that the "this Russia thing" was why he fired FBI Director James Comey. Commence apologist mode:

With those confusing words, it sounded as if Trump was saying he fired Comey because the FBI director was pursuing the Russia investigation and Trump wanted to stop it.

But Trump made it clear to aides afterward that he meant quite the opposite — that he was aware that firing Comey could prolong the Russia investigation. What Trump said in the interview immediately after his comment about “this Russia thing” confirms that and exposes [Andrew] McCabe’s rationale for opening the investigation of Trump as a fraud[.]

Trump went on to say to Holt that he supported a full investigation into Russian interference in the election. He said he never tried to pressure Comey into dropping the existing FBI probe of Russian interference in the election — a legitimate investigation that never specifically targeted Trump.

[...]

The media largely ignored Trump’s statement making it clear that he realized that by firing Comey, he was probably prolonging the existing FBI investigation rather than obstructing it. Nor, in all the endless stories about the Russia investigation did the media point out that Trump never actually interfered with the FBI investigation, that he was not a target of an FBI investigation when he fired Comey, and that he did not corruptly cover up, destroy evidence, or make false statements to mislead investigators, all of which happened during Watergate when President Nixon clearly obstructed justice.

But as the Mueller report made clear, "the Russia thing" did clearly play a role in Trump firing Comey. Trump was angry that Comey would not publicly say that Trump was personally not under investigation, and Comey's alleged behavior during the FBI investigation, as stated in Ron Rosenstein's letter providing justification for the firing, was never the main factor.

Kessler, like a good apologist, was still mad that Comey's firing did commence an FBI investigation into Trump, ranting that "Not since Hoover opened FBI investigations into anyone who criticized the government and blackmailed presidents and members of Congress has the FBI so outrageously abused its authority."

(Photo: Ron Kessler and his wife, Pamela, with Trump, from Kessler's 1999 book "The Season," about the Palm Beach social scene.)


Posted by Terry K. at 6:29 PM EDT
MRC Falsely Puts A Swear Word In A Commentator's Mouth
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Brad Wilmouth was in full rage mode, and it seemed justified at first (by right-wing standards, anyway). Under the screaming headline "Heilemann Slams 'Big Fat Steaming Plate of Hannity,' 'Pig in ****'," Wilmouth huffed in a May 3 post:

On Wednesday's The 11th Hour with Brian Williams on MSNBC, during a discussion of Fox News reaction to Attorney General Bill Barr's testimony on the Mueller report, John Heilemann derided FNC host Sean Hannity as a "steaming, hot pile of Hannity" who is as "happy as a pig in ****" as the MSNBC national affairs analyst seemed annoyed at having to react to the conservative Fox News host's commentary.

Just one problem: Heilemann never said the swear word that Wilmouth portrays him as saying. As Wilmouth later writes in his piece, Heilemann actually said: "There's a phrase, people talk about a 'pig in,' you know. That's Sean right now -- he's happy as a pig in, you know."

So Wilmouth is lying. There's a difference between implying a swear word and speaking around it -- which Heilemann did -- and actually saying the word, which Heilemann did not but Wilmouth portrays him as doing.

Wilmouth's sloppiness goes even further. His first paragraph misquotes Heilemann by claiming he referred to a "steaming, hot pile of Hannity," when Heilemann actually said "a big, fat, steaming plate of Hannity." Doesn't anybody edit anything at the MRC these days? (Ask Tom Blumer.)

As of this writing, the MRC has not acknowledge Wilmouth's falsehood or issued a correction. Its failure to do so hurts whatever credibility it has.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:04 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, May 20, 2019 3:09 PM EDT

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