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Thursday, September 29, 2016
MRC Throws Right-Wing Think Tank Under the Bus to Defend Trump
Topic: Media Research Center

How important is it to the Media Research Center that Donald Trump get elected president? It's even throwing its fellow conservatives under the bus.

In a Sept. 20 post, the MRC's Brad Wilmouth wrote about the tweet by Donald Trump Jr. in which he "analogized accepting Syrian refugees, some of whom might be terrorist infiltrators, to eating from a bowl of Skittles in which a few pieces of the candy are poisoned." After first complaining that CNN's Chris Cuomo called Trump Jr. for dehumanizing refugees by using the analogy, Wilmouth then attacked the conservative Cato Institute, which coincidentally the week before released data pointing out that  the actual chance of American being killed in a terrorist attack perpetrated by a refugee is one in 3.64 billion per year. Wilmouth was having none of that factual undermining of Trump's anti-immigration agenda, insistsing that Cato used the wrong data:

Although it is true that Trump Jr.'s bowl full of Skittles analogy greatly inflates the numbers on what proportion of refugees are likely to be terrorist infiltrators, the CATO Institute numbers cited by Bump are themselves very misleading in trying to make the likelihood of violent problems seem very tiny.

Instead of trying to estimate how many acts of mass violence in public places might be perpetrated by a small number of terrorist infiltrators, the study focused on the odds that an individual person would die from being killed by a refugee, finding the chances to be less than one out of three billion.

[...]

The CATO study -- which examines refugees who entered the country between 1975 and 2015 -- found 20 refugees out of more than three million who turned out to be terrorists. The study did not address whether refugees from a particular region like Syria where the U.S. is in an active war with an enemy that is known for utilizing terrorist attacks in public places night manage to be infiltrated by a larger number of a more determined enemy, with the study leaning on refugees from the past who no doubt came from various regions.

The study also did not address the blatant difference between terrorists killing 10 or 50 or 100 people in a public place, drawing attention and having impact beyond those directly involved, versus the same number of people being killed spread out one a day in completely separate individual crime incidents. Terrorist attacks in public places deserve their own category of analysis because their impact is so much greater.

In other words, Wilmouth wants the data massaged to make the threat from refugees look bigger, even if it's not as big as Trump Jr.'s fraudulent Skittles analogy claims.

Wilmouth didn't mention that Alex Nowrasteh, the author of the Cato paper, explained the reasoning behind his study:

First, last weekend’s terrorists didn’t kill anyone in their attacks. During the time period I studied, 74 percent of all foreign-born terrorists did not murder anyone. We should be grateful that they are so incompetent.

Second, [Minnesota mall shooter Dahir] Adan was a two-year old child when he immigrated with his parents, long before he could harbor the desire to become a terrorist. That’s similar to the case of Shain Duka, Britan Duka and Eljvir Duka, all ethnic Albanians from Macedonia who illegally crossed the Mexican border as young children with their parents in 1984.

The Dukas were three of ten illegal immigrant terrorists in my report and the only three to have crossed the border with Mexico illegally. They were the three conspirators in the planned Fort Dix plot that was foiled by the FBI in 2007. Like Adan and possibly Rahami, they became terrorists at some point after immigrating here and nobody was killed in their failed attacks.

[...]

The U.S. government should devote resources to screening immigrants for the purpose of excluding terrorists. Foreign-born terrorists could become deadlier in the future but we should plan for the world we have and react to challenges when they arise rather than exaggerate hazards—especially when such exaggeration comes at a huge cost. The terrorist attacks in New York and Minnesota, which mercifully resulted in no deaths, fit the pattern of incompetent foreign-born lone wolves. Hopefully, Cato’s new report will put the danger from foreign-born terrorism into perspective in the wake of these two failed attacks.

Nowrasteh adds: "Foreign-born terrorists could become deadlier in the future but we should plan for the world we have and react to challenges when they arise rather than exaggerate hazards—especially when such exaggeration comes at a huge cost." But exaggerating hazards is Job 1 at the MRC, especially when the goal is getting Trump elected president -- and it will throw former allies like Cato under the bus to do it.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:44 AM EDT
Wednesday, September 28, 2016
WND's Lame Attack on Hillary Over Lead In Water
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily's Garth Kant serves up this lame attempt to attack Hillary Clinton in a Sept. 25 article:

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton is making the recent water debacle in Flint, Mich., a big part of her campaign, yet, the expert who sounded the alert on that problem told Congress that Washington, D.C., had a lead problem “20 to 30 times worse” when she was in the Senate.

And there is little evidence she did anything about it.

But there is evidence she has been aware of the ongoing water problem in the nation’s capital.

An email exposed by Wikileaks and forwarded by Clinton’s top aide, Huma Abedin, on Dec. 12, 2012, warned: “Water in DC is NOT/NOT Potable.”

Washington’s own contaminated water crisis peaked in 2004, during the middle of Clinton’s tenure in the Senate, but the problem continues to this day.

Clinton served in the Senate from January 3, 2001, to January 21, 2009. She essentially lived in Washington from 1993 to 2013, as first lady, senator and secretary of state.

By contrast, Kant offers little evidence to back up his claim that anyone  -- not just Clinton -- knew at the time that the District of Columbia's lead issue was as severe as is being currently claimed by Marc Edwards, who is best known for sounding the alarm on the Flint water crisis. Edwards testified before a House committee in March

Kant also offers no evidence whatsoever that any major Republican politician in power at that time -- remember, the White House and both houses of Congress were controlled by Republicans in 2004 --  did anything about the D.C. water crisis at the time.

Will Kant call out those Republicans who ignored the D.C. water crisis the way he's going after Hillary? Of course not -- Kant doesn't actually care about lead in the water, he cares only abouty making a hypocritical partisan attack.

Indeed, toward the end of his article Kant downplays the whole situation in Flint, noting that "2014 data from the Center for Disease Control shows there are 288 counties in the country that have higher rates of lead poisoning than Flint." And he mocks Clinton's campaign promise to completely remove lead from water, soil and paint as "not realistic" because it would cost too much.

Kant's article should be seen as what it is: an empty piece of propaganda designed to fulfill his marching orders in WND's Hillary jihad.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:04 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, September 28, 2016 10:11 PM EDT
MRC's Ref-Working Failed on Lester Holt, So It Declares War On Him
Topic: Media Research Center

We documented how the Media Research Center was in full working-the-refs mode on Lester Holt, moderator of the first presidential debate, trying to brand him as a liberal even though he's a registered Republican and was reportedly chosen as a moderator to appease Donald Trump.

Well, the debate has come and gone, and Trump lost, as many conservatives are even admitting. So, according to MRC logic, that means Trump lost because Holt used his purported liberal-bias mojo on Trump.

Thus, having seen its ref-working efforts fail on Holt, the MRC declared war on him.

Brad Wilmouth was mad that Holt "repeatedly challenged Donald Trump ... but refrained from going after Hillary Clinton in the same aggressive manner. He also complained that others engaged in the same ref-working behavior the MRC did, though with supposedly better results: "Prior to the debate, the Clinton campaign repeatedly worked the refs to get tougher questions for Trump. In the case of Lester Holt, the strategy worked." Geoffrey Dickens served up "questions [Holt] could have asked Clinton, if he had any interest in being fair and balanced" and complained that Holt "repeatedly cross-examined and fact-checked GOP nominee Donald Trump" (no mention of how Trump made so many more false claims during the debate than Clinton did). Curtis Houck complained that during the debate Clinton "implored her friends in the liberal media and especially 'the fact-checkers' to 'get to work' on Trump (again, no mention of how badly Trump needs to be fact-checked, but then, the MRC has also declared war on facts to protect Trump).

But it was MRC chief Brent Bozell who was Trump's chief surrogate on the Holt-bashing front.

Immediately after the debate, Bozell issued a statement whining that "Holt continually challenged, fact-checked, and interrupted Trump and not once challenged Hillary," therefore "Lester Holt failed in his role as a moderator. Period."

Bozell then trotted over to friendly Fox Business to rehash his whining, adding that he doesn't understand why Republicans are "choosing these people, it happens almost every day debate. They behave like Lester Holt behaved tonight and then they’re shocked. They’re absolutely shocked that a left-wing journalist behaved like a left-wing journalist." Again, no mention of the fact that Holt is a registered Republican or was reportedly chosen as a sop to Trump. Bozell then played Trump campaign adviser: "I think that, if I were Donald Trump — if I were advising Donald Trump, don’t come out — don’t come out as a spoiled sport, but do make hay over this one. Do raise hell about this. If they can work the refs, so should he and I think he should start working the refs and he should start making an issue about this, how one-sided these debates are and it will work in his favor. At least, it might make them do a good job."

Bozell then issued another statement lamenting that Trump was challenged on his lies by Holt and declaring that "Holt did the bidding of his colleagues in the media, revealing himself to be nothing more than a pawn of Hillary’s campaign."

Bozell later ran over to Fox News to do another friendly, this time with Megyn Kelly. Unsual for him, it wasn't a solo appearance; Bozell appeared with "liberal former congressional candidate and ex-MSNBC host Krystal Ball," whom he basically ignored. Bozell was in full froth: "[W]here’s the fact-checking? Where's the follow-up? There was a follow-up to everything Donald Trump said. Where was the follow-up on this? She didn’t — what was more important, Megyn, birther issues or Benghazi medical records of the Clinton Foundation. There's so many — the e-mails. What's so important? How could he not have asked these questions?"

The anonymous author of the NewsBusters piece accompanying this clip huffed that Ball was "pathetically arguing that 'one candidate lies disproportionately more than the other candidate [so] of course you're going to have more pushback'" -- not conceding that Trump telling more falsehoods during the debate is as "irrefutable" as Bozell asserts Holt's lack of pushback on Clinton was.

But Holt was Trump's guy. And Chris Wallace, who will moderate the Oct. 19 debate, is Bozell's guy, having said he's the kind of guy Republicans should demand as a debate moderator. Plus, he's also on record as saying he doesn't think it's his responsiblity to fact-check candidates during a debate -- which makes him not only Bozell's guy but Trump's guy as well.

UPDATE: Bozell still isn't done. In his column with Tim Graham, he rants that "Holt's performance was a partisan disgrace" and touted a poll saying that "46 percent of Americans believe most moderators will tilt the debates in favor of Clinton," adding, "Holt confirmed the wisdom of the American people."

Bozell and Graham added that "It became obvious that Holt internalized all the howls of outrage from the liberal media against Matt Lauer for being even-handed with the candidates at the commander-in-chief forum earlier in the month." That would be the same Matt Lauer the MRC was mocking as a lightweight before that forum by posting photos of him in women's clothing (known to the rest of us as Halloween cosplay). But because Lauer did the MRC's duty by being harder on Trump than Clinton, Bozell should be crowing about how his working-the-refs campaign worked on Lauer.


Posted by Terry K. at 4:39 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, September 28, 2016 7:00 PM EDT
WND -- Which Educated Trump on Birtherism -- Buries Debate's Birther Discussion
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily, if it's known for anything outside far-right circles, is perhaps best known for being the leading champion of the birther movement. It helped Donald Trump behind the scenes in his pushing the birther issue in 2011 (and likely beyond).

But now, WND doesn't want to own its birther legacy -- perhaps because Joseph Farah and crew know that it's no longer defensible. And it certainly doesn't want to talk about its indisputable birther ties with Trump.

WND's coverage of the first debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton -- in which Trump's birtherism came up -- is an example of WND fleeing from the legacy it owns. WND's main story on the debate, by Chelsea Schilling and Garth Kant, waits until the 57th paragraph to bring up the birther discussion, and even then it's a straight rendering of it:

Clinton blasted Trump for the “racist” concerns he had about President Obama’s birth certificate.

But Trump said, “I was the one who got him to produce the birth certificate.”

He said the question was originally raised by Clinton’s own staffers and associates, including Sydney Blumenthal. He said Clinton was unsuccessful in getting a resolution.

Trump said he “did a great job and great service for the country” and didn’t need to explain any longer because he wanted to get on with fighting ISIS.

Clinton blasted: “Just listen to what you heard. He tried to put the whole racist, birther lie to bed. But it can’t be dismissed that easily. He has started his campaign activity based on this racist lie that our first black president was not an American citizen. There was absolutely no evidence for it, but he persisted. He persisted year after year, because some of his supporters, people that he was trying to bring into his fold, apparently believed it or wanted to believe it. …

“He has a long record of engaging in racist behavior. And the birther lie was a very hurtful one. You know, Barack Obama is a man of great dignity. And I could tell how much it bothered him and annoyed him that this was being touted and used against him.

“But I like to remember what Michelle Obama said in her amazing speech at our Democratic National Convention: When they go low, we go high. And Barack Obama went high, despite Donald Trump’s best efforts to bring him down.”

Schilling and Kant weirdly don't contest Clinton's assertion that birtherism -- again, the main focus of WND for much of the past eight years -- is racist. Then again, nor do they disclose that WND was advising Trump behind the scenes on how to be a birther.

Their boss, Joseph Farah -- who was among the WND staffers who personally advised Trump on birther conspiracies -- followed up with a column admitting the Clinton won the debate ... but no mention whatsoever of the debate's birther discussion.

Then, WND's Jerome Corsi -- another staffer who personally advised Trump on birther stuff -- spent an article spinning hard for Trump, uncritically touting anonymous "staff members and insiders who spoke to WND" insisting that Trump "successfully executed a plan to hold back on aggressive attacks on opponent Hillary Clinton, focusing, instead, on projecting a presidential bearing." Corsi's only mention of the debate's birther discussion came almost as an aside: "Moreover, Trump noted, Clinton’s presidential campaign in 2008 started the birther controversy by releasing to media an anonymous letter alleging Obama was not born in Hawaii, as well as the first photos of Obama in Kenya wearing traditional Muslim garb."

Corsi got the first part wrong; the UK Telegraph article to which he links to back up his claim that  Clinton "started the birther controvers" in 2008 specifically states -- in the very first paragraph -- that "perennial local candidate and litigant" Andy Martin was pushing proto-birther claims in 2004. Nor does the article state that the Clinton campaign released the "anonymous letter alleging Obama was not born in Hawaii" -- it states the letter was circulated by "circulated by supporters of Mrs Clinton," not the campaign.

It's also strange that Corsi is also complaining about the Clinton campaign releasing the photo of "Obama in Kenya wearing traditional Muslim garb" (again, the article to which Corsi links notes that the Clinton campaign denied distributing the photo), given that WND has used that photo over the years to illustrate its anti-Obama "journalism" -- Corsi himself declared in 2008 that the photo "raised questions about Obama’s links to Kenya, which has Muslim neighbors on several fronts, and was home to Obama’s father." And as recently as July, WND was touting how "Bill O’Reilly shared photos of Barack Obama in traditional Islamic dress on his program."

Like his WND cohorts, Corsi doesn't disclose the critical role he played in helping Trump push birtherism.

The shocker here is that it appears WND has a sense of shame after all. Too bad it didn't have this eight years ago -- too bad for both us and the future of WND.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:02 AM EDT
Tuesday, September 27, 2016
Blatant Headline (And Reporting) Bias at CNS
Topic: CNSNews.com

As we've noted, CNSNews.com is effectively the Media Research Center in inverted-pyramid "news" form.CNS helpfully provided a blatant example of its right-wing bias by playing these two headlines side by side for easy screencapping:

The bias extends to the articles themselves. Susan Jones begins her biased article on Clinton this way:

At Monday night's presidential debate, Democrat Hillary Clinton embraced climate change as the crux of her job-creation plan.

"Take clean energy," she said. "Some country is going to be the clean-energy superpower of the 21st century. Donald thinks that climate change is a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese. I think it's real."

"I think the science is real," Clinton repeated. "And I think it's important that we grip this and deal with it, both at home and abroad. And here's what we can do. We can deploy a half a billion more solar panels. We can have enough clean energy to power every home. We can build a new modern electric grid. That's a lot of jobs; that's a lot of new economic activity.

In fact, according to the clip accompanying Jones article, at no point did Clinton claim that climate change was "the crux of her job-creation plan" -- it was an example she cited from her overall economic plan as a response to one question. Later on, Jones does concede that Clinton also said her economic plan includes "jobs in infrastructure, in advanced manufacturing, innovation and technology, clean, renewable energy, and small business, because most of the new jobs will come from small business."

Jones also wrote the article on Trump. But in contrast to her Clinton-focused article -- in which she devotes eight of her article's 18 paragraphs to Trump countering Clinton's claims -- only three of this article's 16 paragraphs quote Clinton countering Trump's claims.

Isn't this the kind of media bias the MRC was founded to fight when it comes from the "liberal media"? Apparently, there's no swuch thing as right-wing media bias, which gives people like Jones free rein to


Posted by Terry K. at 11:04 PM EDT
MRC Latino Comes To The Defense of White People
Topic: Media Research Center

How much does the Media Research Center hate Univision anchor Jorge Ramos (beyond trying to get him fired)? Its Latino division is defending the honor of white people after Ramos criticized Donald Trump.

MRC Latino's Edgard Portela does just that in a Sept. 24 post:

There’s a new aspect of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump that Univision anchor Jorge Ramos finds deplorable.

In an opinion column lamenting Trump’s recent meeting with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, Ramos now faults Trump for wanting “to isolate the United States from the world and preserve its Anglo-Saxon tradition.”

Crass generalizations by Ramos aside, let’s pause to realize this is coming from a man that finds it perfectly fitting to celebrate Hispanic heritage month in the United States, but preserving (much less celebrating) the country’s central, founding Anglo heritage is somehow unacceptable? Go figure.

It should be noted that in the English version of the column, Ramos substitutes the precise reference to Trump’s support of the United States’ “Anglo-Saxon heritage” and instead uses the phrase “European heritage.” 

So it is that in the weird world of Jorge Ramos, there’s apparently something inherently wrong with wanting to preserve anything that the tens of millions of immigrants of European extraction who immigrated to the United States have contributed to making the country what it is today.

What about Mexico and the rest of Latin America’s European heritage? Is Ramos equally self-hating about that? After all, the reason Ramos is even on the scene in the first place and speaks Spanish is because a certain European country ruled Mexico for more than 250 years, right?

Has Portela been hanging out a bit too much on white-nationalist websites lately? Because his post sure reads that way -- as if the only worthwhile contributions to the country came from European (and, more specifically, Anglo-Saxon, or northern European) immigrants. Anglo-Saxon identity is a key part of white nationalism, which Trump's campaign has brought to the forefront.

How bizarre is it that a Latino conservative is defending white people? It's been that kind of election.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:03 PM EDT
WND Trolls For More Armchair Diagnoses of Hillary
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily once thought going birther was a winner, and look at it now. WND has now decided that obsessing over Hillary Clinton's purported health problems is a winner, attacking it in the same it went birther on Obama -- with lots of self-proclaimed "experts" who are nowhere near close enough to the situation to even examine Hillary, let alone offer an informed judgment.

A Sept. 15 WND article by Bob Unruh insisted that "a significant number of top physicians expressing concern that the American people aren’t being told the truth about Hillary Clinton’s health," but as evidence he served up only two non-prominent ones, Jane Orient and Lee Hieb, both of whom are right-wingers linked to the far-right-fringe Association of American Physicians and Surgeons who put partisan politics and scaremonger before responsible health advice.

Hieb declared: “From a distance, without formal evaluation there are still three things I know for sure regarding Hillary Clinton’s medical condition: 1) She has a neurological disorder; 2) pneumonia did not cause the episode on 9/11; and 3) she and her staff have been lying to cover up the truth of her condition for months if not years.” Well, no, Hieb does not know these things because she has never examined Hillary. (And neither has Orient.)

On Sept. 19, chief health-monger Jerome Corsi does what he does:

Two physicians agree Hillary Clinton is suffering a serious neurological disease that should disqualify her from being president.

Theodore “Ted” Noel, a retired anesthesiologist in Orlando, Florida, with 36 years experience and a background in critical care medicine explained to WND he was so convinced Clinton has Parkinson’s disease that he has now produced several videos arguing that point.

Dr. Daniel Kassicieh, D.O., a dual board-certified osteopathic neurologist and a leading headache specialist who directs the Florida Headache and Movement Disorder Center in Sarasota, Florida, told WND that while he agrees she has a neurological disease, he believes it is not Parkinson’s.

Whatever the precise diagnosis, the physicians separately have come to the conclusion she has a serious neurological disease that should medically disqualify her from being president.

We've previously noted that Noel's training is as an anesthesiologist and really has no apparent formal training in diagnosing or treating the neurological disease he claims Hillary has, but Corsi gave him space to justify his diagnosis that when Hillary said "What difference does it make?" during her Benghazi testimony, she was suffering from "Parkinson's rage":"I’m not a neurologist treating Parkinson’s disease patients, but I am an anesthesiologist, and I have to know how to handle administering anesthesia to a patient who has Parkinson’s disease." He added that his old armchair-diagnosis videos were "using the declarative mood, where I should have been using the subjunctive mood." Kassicieh, for his part, insists from afar that Hillary has post-concussion syndrome.

Corsi returned Sept. 25 with an article citing yet another armchair diagnoser, Paulette Metoyer, who insists that according to her "expert analysis" that Hillary is suffering from epilepsy, including petit mal and grand mal seizures. Corsi didn't mention that she's been published by the far-right American Thinker, which raises serious credibility issues.

Again: None of these people Corsi and Unruh are presenting as "experts" have never examined Hillary and many of them appear to be motivated more by trying to destroy Hillary's campaign than being of any genuine help to her. You know, a lot like the birther movement.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:00 AM EDT
Monday, September 26, 2016
AIM Blogger Is Mad CNN Didn't Source The Obvious
Topic: Accuracy in Media

This is an actual Sept. 23 Accuracy in Media blog post by Spencer Irvine:

CNN picked three historical markers, without sourcing, to say the following about the GOP presidential nominee:

At a rally in North Carolina on Tuesday, Donald Trump, the Republican nominee states: “Our African American communities are absolutely in the worst shape they’ve ever been in before. Ever, ever, ever.”

The statement is so patently absurd, fact-checking it seems kind of silly.

One fact was about the lynching of black Americans, another was about mobs, and the other was about poverty. They could be true, but the article was not sourced, which calls into question the premise of the ‘reality check’ fact-check article.

Huh? Irvine needs a source to back up the seemingly obvious assertion that lynching, white race mobs that wantonly burdered blacks and the economic effects of segregation were worse for American blacks than today?

Notice that nowhere in his brief blog post does Irvine question the accuracy of Trump's original claim -- apparenlty he assumes it's accurate, without sourcing it.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:07 PM EDT
Working the Refs: MRC Attacks Debate Moderator Lester Holt
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center has been in ref-working mode on the moderators for the presidential debates since before they were even named. In August, a month before the debate moderator were announced, MRC chief Brent Bozell was warning of biased moderators and declaring that "I'm watching to see to what degree are you going to have more impartial moderators this time."

When NBC's Lester Holt was named the moderator of the first debate, the MRC was quick to downplay the fact that he was reportedly chosen to appease Donald Trump. Tim Graham huffed in a Sept. 2 post that "Trump likes Holt, but it's not out because he's been tough on Hillary" and was mad that Trump committed jounalism by asking Trump "about his 'staggering negatives' and outrageous statements." Geoffrey Dickens followed up by omitting all mention of the Trump-appeasing choice of Holt to rummage through the MRC archives to dig up "a few examples of Holt’s most liberal moments in his time at NBC."

On Sept. 9, the MRC's Rich Noyes ran to Fox Business to complain that criticism of NBC's Matt Lauer for his hard questioning of Hillary Clinton, and relatively mild question of Trump, during a presidential forum  means that Holt is "going to try to be very careful with the questions he's asking Hillary Clinton because of the way he's seeing his colleague being treated." Noyes didn't mention that his employer was mocking Lauer as a lightweight before the forum by mockingly posting photos of his cross-dressing Halloween antics.

The MRC then hilariously went into projection mode, whining about others doing the exact thing it's doing by trying to influence Holt before the debate:

  • Under the headline "Working the Refs: Journalists Push Debate Moderators to Be Tougher on Trump," Dickens grumbled that "the liberal media have set the stage for NBC Nightly News anchor Lester Holt and his fellow presidential debate moderators to be rougher with the GOP nominee," emphasizing that Holt is "liberal-leaning."
  • Bozell projected in a Fox TV appearance that "Hillary Clinton is already just sort of pre-playing this a little — that the media will be responsible if it shows media bias and doesn't go tough on Donald Trump, that it’s intimidated by Trump, that maybe Lester Holt will be intimidated by Donald Trump just as they argue Matt Lauer was at an NBC town hall event," adding, "They’re working the refs and this comes out of the Clinton playbook." It also comes out of the MRC playbook as well, but Bozell won't tell you that.

Then, when it was revealed that Holt is a registered Republican, the MRC -- which for years has complained about reporters who are registered Democrats -- suddenly decided that party registration was meaningless.

The MRC's NewsBusters Twitter account sent this comment from Bozell on the matter: "So is Colin Powell. So what?" And Graham when into full sulk mode:

The Washington Post and Time magazine are trying to play up the fact that debate moderator Lester Holt is a registered Republican – as if this means anything about his performance. Registering only gives you the right to vote as a Republican. It doesn’t mean that you actually do. It could just be a public-relations ploy.

To prove this, Graham has to go back a whopping 26 years, citing a 1990 MRC item about one journalist who said he was a registered Republican to balance out his Democratic wife and get campaign literature from both sides. But that journalist, Tony Kornheiser, was a sports reporter at the time and, thus, irrelevant to the current discussion.

Graham went on to complain that "If Holt had acted like a "registered Republican" on the air, he'd have never made it to the anchor desk," adding, "Liberals would not suggest that 'a case for partisan bias against Chris Wallace will be tough to make' based on his voter registration." Yet the MRC has not been forthcoming with a greatest-hits item of Wallace "liberal bias." Why is that? Because Wallace is the MRC's guy -- in 2007, Bozell said that the GOP "ought not to suggest, but demand, a Brit Hume or a Chris Wallace as moderators" for a Republican debate.

Graham added, apparently without irony, "The amount of 'gaming' by the Democrats has been intense, even on the morning of the debate." As it has been by the MRC.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:40 PM EDT
WND's Cashill Forgets He's Been Discredited on Obama Ghost-Writing Conspiracy
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily columnist Jack Cashill is apparently counting on his readers to have very short memories.

In his Sept. 21 column, Cashill attacks the Huffington Post's Sam Stein for dismissing the idea that Bill Ayers ghost-wrote Barack Obama's book "Dreams From My Father" as the conspiracy theory it is (and, perhaps more importantly, not giving Cashill credit as its originator). Cashill then calls in his character witness to back up his conspiracy:

As a self-professed “deplorable,” however, I can understand why Stein would overlook the tons of evidence I gathered proving Ayers’ involvement.

Christopher Andersen is another story. An establishment journalist with credentials of the first order – Time, People, Vanity Fair – Andersen had written 13 New York Times best-sellers in the 20 years before his 2009 book, “Barack and Michelle, Portrait of an American Marriage.”

This book was not a hit job, far from it. USA Today accurately described it as “a glowing ‘Portrait’ of the Obamas’ rock-solid marriage.”

Andersen did not talk to me, but his sources in Chicago’s Hyde Park led him to the same conclusion I reached through analysis of the text.

As Andersen tells the story, Obama found himself deeply in debt in the early 1990s despite a generous book contract and “hopelessly blocked.”

At “Michelle’s urging,” Obama “sought advice from his friend and Hyde Park neighbor Bill Ayers.” What attracted the Obamas were “Ayers’s proven abilities as a writer.”

Noting that Obama had already taped interviews with many of his relatives, both African and American, Andersen elaborates, “these oral histories, along with his partial manuscript and a trunkload of notes were given to Ayers.”

In fact, Andersen specifically quoted Cashill in his book to support his claim that Ayers made a significant contribution to Obama's book. What Cashill is doing here is circular: He's claiming he's right because Andersen -- who cited him as a source -- came to the same conclusion.

Cashill is also conveniently ignoring the fact that Andersen unambiguously backed off the key part of Cashill's conspiracy, that Ayers secretly wrote the book. In a 2009 interview with Howard Kurtz, then with CNN, Andersen said: "I definitely do not say he wrote Barack Obama's book. Again, I'm putting up, you know, the accurate picture, which is that they knew each other, they -- he helped a little bit, gave his opinions. That's all I'm saying. And in fact, he did not write Barack Obama's book."

This was all pointed out at the time Andersen's book came out, but Cashill is pretending it doesn't exist -- and he could very well also be lying about Andersen not talking to him. Does Cashill not know the Internet exists?


Posted by Terry K. at 1:18 AM EDT
Sunday, September 25, 2016
MRC Invokes Clinton Equivocation Again to Defend Trump
Topic: Media Research Center

You remember the Clinton Equivocation, right? The right-wing idea that right-wing media will give a pass to the bad behavior of any conservative candidate because it's presumed that a Clinton has already done it first and worse. The Media Research Center has invoked it a couple times already to defend Donald Trump, and it's doing so again.

This time, Nicholas Fondacaro does the honors in a Sept. 20 post in an attempt to shield Trump from emerging accusations about the shady accounting of his Trump Foundation. Fondacaro is quick to give Trump a pass because, in the words of commentator Mark Halperin, "But this does not involve the government, he was not a government official." That's all the license Fondacaro needs:

That is an important distinction Halperin made there, because that is what the Clinton Foundation is accused of. Recently discovered e-mails show how Clinton Foundation donors were able to obtain special meetings with Secretary Hillary Clinton, and the ability to ask for favors. Even though what Trump was alleged to have done is terrible, it is not quite up to par with having access to the US federal government.

So: Trump is "terrible," but he's not Hillary -- who by definition of being a Clinton is presumed to be always worse, regardless of the actual evidence -- so his sleaziness gets the MRC's stamp of approval, and its effective endorsement of Trump stands.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:49 PM EDT
WND Columnist: Trump Is Too Much Man for Hillary To Handle
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Earlier this year, WorldNetDaily columnist Kent Bailey -- excuse us, Kent G. Bailey, Ph.D. -- cheered the racist appeal of Donald Trump's campaign, touting the "tall, blond and Nordic 'warrior extraordinaire'" who wants to "Make (white and traditional) America Great Again."

Now, Bailey is cheering Trump's sexism. The tone of Bailey's Sept. 20 column is clear from the very beginning:

Hillary Clinton looks more stressed, haggard and out of focus with each passing day. The brutal head-to-head war between the Donald and her is taking a terrible toll on her psychological well-being, sense of self and physical health. From a paleopsychological standpoint, it simply is not natural, normal, or fair for a diminutive, pudgy, non-athletic and cerebral old lady to be forced into combat with an imposing, 6-foot-3-inch, 237-pound septuagenarian who drives a golf ball 300 yards and eats nails for breakfast.

Baily then lets his woman-hating flag fly, under the guise of "paleopsychological observations" (italics his):

First, it is a medical and scientific fact that stress is powerfully correlated with the causes of a wide range of physical and psychological pathologies, and it can also aggravate just about any pre-existing condition. Moreover, chronic and prolonged stress of the kind plaguing Hillary is especially problematic, and it is reaching a fever pitch as her polls sink and the debates are days away. I am amazed that she has not completely fallen apart already.

Second, traumatic and unexpected events contribute to stress, and Hillary never expected to meet Trump, of all people, on the political battlefield. Surely, she would face an establishment Republican “nice guy” like “low energy” Jeb or a chin-quivering John Kasich, and she could trade intellectual barbs, if required, with Ted Cruz. And maybe she might luck out and have an all-girl gab fest with Carly Fiorina – but Donald Trump, never. I don’t think she has ever fully recovered from the shock of the Trump nomination.

Third, our species’ history and our human nature have no place for head-to-head combat between the genders because females are simply too valuable to waste on hopeless and non-adaptive ventures. To try it is to court the worse forms of stress for the woman. There is simply no woman in the world who would have any chance whatsoever against a strong, angry and combat-ready male. Prior to being knocked out in second round by Holly Holm in a championship match a year ago, unbeaten MMA phenom Ronda Rousey bragged she could compete against male fighters. After her drubbing by Holly, it is unclear that she will even fight women again.

Fourth, when a woman is faced with male aggression, her first instinct is to cry for help and then find a male protector to do the fighting for her. Hubby Bill has been the real power behind Hillary’s entire political career and her two attempts at the presidency, and he has rushed to her aid frequently in past weeks. Then last week her “friend” and master of charisma Barack Obama came in like a tag team wrestler to nip at Trump and try to improve the ratings. If that were not enough, Al Gore has recently added more male support to the Hillary cause. And that scion of boredom, Tim Kaine, is always around to excuse Hillary’s gaffes, provide emotional support, and testify to her health and well-being. Unfortunately, this quartet of feminized girly men does not add up to one really tough guy. Ten of them might make one Donald Trump … maybe.

Fifth, during the hunting and gathering phase of human history, females depended on males for provisioning and protection and depended heavily on both males and other females during pregnancy. Given the dangers and privations of this way of life, the human female is, by nature, cautious, conforming, highly adaptable under varying conditions and deferential to potentially dangerous male authority figures. She has always needed male protection and continues to need it today. With terrorism on our doorstep, many wise women will realize this fact and shift their vote to Trump by election day.

Sixth, the human female has never defined band, tribe, or national borders nor, once defined, defended them. That is and always was the province of the male of the species. In fact, this principle holds for other species as well as human beings. In Jane Goodall’s masterwork, “The Chimpanzees of Gombe,” she described how adult male chimps first define the borders of particular group territories and then defend them against interlopers – often with extreme and deadly violence. This is never the responsibility of the female chimp. In humans, we have seen how well human females “defend” borders with Angela Merkel welcoming immigrant hordes across the borders in Germany and Hillary Clinton set to do so in America if elected on Nov. 8.

Seventh, if Hillary Clinton is elected, the continuing infantilization and feminization of American men will further explode, society as we know it will crumble, and the regression back to our pagan roots will be complete. The feminist program was never designed to win by defeating men in direct competition, but, rather, to produce “equality” but turning men into women and needy children. And that program has been disastrously successful. That is, until Donald Trump declared political correctness null and void, and he finally put the Democratic Party Republican Guard – the establishment media – in its place.

In conclusion, it is not natural for a woman to engage in direct combat with a man, and it borders on the bizarre when sick and unsteady Hillary is forced by circumstance onto the field of battle with Goliath. It will take more than Candy Crowley to save the day this time.

Bailey is a retired college psychology professor. Be glad you never had to take a class from him, especially if you are female.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:09 PM EDT
Saturday, September 24, 2016
MRC: CNN's Amanpour 'Angrily Maim[s]' Hillary Critics
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Curtis Houck goes a little too far into hyperbolic-rhetoric territory in his Sept. 13 post:

CNN International host Christiane Amanpour was at it again on Monday night in flashing her far-left ideology as she used her eponymous show to angrily maim critics of Hillary Clinton and (a select few) in the media as sexist for raising questions about her health and hiding the pneumonia diagnosis and unwilling to let “a girl have a sick day or two.” 

Amanpour is "angrily maiming" her critics? We know Houck is going for hyperbole here, but sheesh.

Houck goes on to write this:

Needless to say, it’s clear Amanpour left the idea of objective analysis in the dust and ignored the initial dismissals of Clinton’s 9/11 episode as just part of their broader “conspiracy theory” narrative being raised not by sensible journalists and voters but the obscene grocery store tabloid The National Enquirer.

Houck seems to have forgotten that his employer had no problem with "the obscene grocery store tabloid The National Enquirer" when it was going after Democrats like John Edwards. He also seems to be unaware that the Enquirer has been promoting Trump throughout the entire presidential campaign by pushing sleazy attacks on his opponents -- including, yes, speculation about Hillary's health -- and that Enquirer CEO David Pecker is a close friend of Trump.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:33 AM EDT
WND Removes Article Bashing NY Times Over Book Classification
Topic: WorldNetDaily

As Richard Bartholomew first noted, WorldNetDaily quietly deleted without explanation an unbylined article complaining that the New York Times won't classify the work of WND buddy and messianic rabbi Jonathan Cahn in a more prominent category. The original link to the article returns a 404 error.

Under the headline "N.Y. Times shafts best-selling Christian author – again!" the uncredited author complains that the Times won't list Cahn's new book "The Book of Mysteries," which came out earlier this month, on its fiction bestseller list, whining:

Apparently, the book is too mysterious to classify for the guardians of the New York Times list.

Or maybe they’ve just had enough of Cahn’s domination of their charts every other year.

While “The Book of Mysteries” clearly outsold almost all the competition and appears on multiple bestsellers lists in its first week of release, the New York Times refuses to classify it as fiction, which it is.

Nor will the Times classify it as non-fiction, which it isn’t.

So it sits in a New York Times list limbo – unable to appear because it is unlike most other books with the exception of possibly appearing on a monthly list with the miscellany.

For some reason, WND really, really wants you to know that Cahn is a fiction writer. It emphasizes that "The Book of Mysteries" "consists of 365 stories of short revelations a fictional seeker of biblical wisdom receives on a spiritual one-year journey. The daily insights can thus be read as daily devotionals." It also points out that "all the other best-sellers lists have no problem with the fiction classification of 'The Book of Mysteries.'" Even WND editor and Cahn friend Joseph Farah gets in on the act:

“Ironically,” said Joseph Farah, the producer of Cahn’s “The Isaiah 9:10 Judgment” and “The Harbinger Man” and WND’s founder, “one of the reasons I was determined to make that movie as a documentary was because of the classification of ‘The Harbinger’ as fiction. While that was a proper classification, given the narrative format, I wanted people to understand that what happened in that book was actually true – simply using fictional characters to make the point. Thus was born ‘The Isaiah 9:10 Judgment.'”

Wait, "The Harbinger" is fiction? We don't recall WND ever promoting it that way. Even the WND online store listing for "The Harbinger" states no fiction designatio, nor does it sell it that way: "Hidden in an ancient biblical prophecy from Isaiah, the mysteries revealed in "The Harbinger" are so precise that they foretold recent American events down to the exact days. It’s all decoded by the author in convincing fashion. The revelations are so specific that even the most hardened skeptics will find them hard to dismiss. It sounds like the plot of a Hollywood thriller with one exception ... IT’S REAL."

Also, the only book listed under the WND store's "fiction" category is "Pilgrim's Progress."

All of this may very well be the reason for why WND mysteriously disappeared this article. The normally loquacious Cahn "declined to be quoted for the article," WND states. Bartholomew suggests that Cahn "didn’t want to risk antagonizing the New York Times," but it's also entirely possible that WND's heavy insistence on how his books are works of fiction didn't sit well with Cahn, who has a reputation as a self-proclaimed biblical scholar and akin-to-prophet to protect (and trade on).

And WND most definitely doesn't want to piss off Cahn, on whose coattails WND has been riding and may actually be WND's most consistent revenue stream -- important for a company with serious financial problems. While it doesn't publish Cahn's books, it has made two films based on him and his work. As a blurb link to the WND store inserted into the article notes, "Jonathan Cahn’s always a No. 1 bestseller in the WND Superstore."

There's nothing noticably false in the article, unlike too many other WND articles. Our guess is that, for whatever reason -- but likely either harm to reputation or desire not to hack off the Times -- Cahn wanted the article taken down, and whatever Cahn wants from WND, we're pretty sure Cahn gets.

But before it goes away for good from the Google cache, below is a copy of the deleted WND article, saved for posterity.

* * *

N.Y. TIMES SHAFTS BEST-SELLING CHRISTIAN AUTHOR – AGAIN!
Refuses to recognize fiction label, previously refusing to acknowledge nonfiction categorization


WASHINGTON – Jonathan Cahn, the two-time New York Times best-selling author, knows what it’s like fighting the odds as a Christian to make the vaunted list – despite having the sales to warrant it.

He made it twice with his first two books, 2012’s “The Harbinger,” which remained on the New York Times’ fiction bestsellers list for more than 100 weeks, and 2014’s “The Mystery of the Shemitah,” which made the list for more than 12 weeks. But the messianic rabbi’s readers won’t be seeing his latest release on the Sept. 26 list.

It’s not for lack of sales for “The Book of Mysteries,” which came out Sept. 8.

Apparently, the book is too mysterious to classify for the guardians of the New York Times list.

Or maybe they’ve just had enough of Cahn’s domination of their charts every other year.

While “The Book of Mysteries” clearly outsold almost all the competition and appears on multiple bestsellers lists in its first week of release, the New York Times refuses to classify it as fiction, which it is.

Nor will the Times classify it as non-fiction, which it isn’t.

So it sits in a New York Times list limbo – unable to appear because it is unlike most other books with the exception of possibly appearing on a monthly list with the miscellany.

WND attempted to contact the New York Times for comment, but had not received a response at the time of this report.

However, sources in the publishing industry have shared some of the brewing controversy details.

It begins with an unusual book.

“The Book of Mysteries” is indeed hard to pigeonhole in traditional publishing. It consists of 365 stories of short revelations a fictional seeker of biblical wisdom receives on a spiritual one-year journey. The daily insights can thus be read as daily devotionals. The New York Times reportedly made this point in talks with Cahn’s publisher – as a disqualifier to the traditional fiction classification.

But, then again, the New York Times did not conclude it was simply a devotional. And, if it were, would that disqualify any Christian devotional from making the list?

Cahn himself, who worked with WND Films on the best-selling faith film of 2013 and 2014, “The Isaiah 9:10 Judgment,” a documentary-style adaptation of “The Harbinger,” declined to be quoted for the article.
The New York Times has a long history of problems counting Christian books for its celebrated list.

In 1980, the New York Times set out to learn what the best-selling book of the 1970s had been. Much to the shock and amazement of the editors, it was Christian evangelist Hal Lindsey’s “The Late Great Planet Earth,” which had never made the Times best-seller list for a single week or a single year during the decade but sold tens of millions, outselling all other fiction and nonfiction books alike for that time period.

So the paper set out to change its metrics for calculating best-sellers, which still remain as mysterious to the public and the publishing industry as “The Book of Mysteries” appears to be for the New York Times.

“Ironically,” said Joseph Farah, the producer of Cahn’s “The Isaiah 9:10 Judgment” and “The Harbinger Man” and WND’s founder, “one of the reasons I was determined to make that movie as a documentary was because of the classification of ‘The Harbinger’ as fiction. While that was a proper classification, given the narrative format, I wanted people to understand that what happened in that book was actually true – simply using fictional characters to make the point. Thus was born ‘The Isaiah 9:10 Judgment.'”

Farah’s publishing company, WND Books, has produced the highest percentage of New York Times bestsellers of any publisher in the world over the last 15 years. About 10 percent of WND Books releases over that time period have made the grade.

“I’ve been studying the list for decades,” says Farah. “I worked with Hal Lindsey when the New York Times discovered his book sold more than any other book in the decade of the 1970s. I worked with other best-selling authors as a collaborator through the 1990s. And in 2001, I launched WND Books. So that’s nearly 40 years of experience with the New York Times best-sellers list.”

The problems started for the New York Times calculations when they didn’t measure sales in Christian bookstores, he says. There’s also still a lot of secrecy about which bookstores they sample for sales.

“It’s almost like the New York Times wants its list to be mysterious,” Farah said. “It’s a prestigious list, but just because your book sells more copies than others doesn’t mean your book will make it on the list. That’s always been true and still is today.”

Meanwhile, all the other best-sellers lists have no problem with the fiction classification of “The Book of Mysteries.”
The Wall Street Journal lists it No. 7.

Publisher’s Weekly has it as No. 4.

USA Today has it as No. 29, but among all books of every classification – fiction, non-fiction, etc.

But here’s the real surprise. While claiming the book is not fiction, it also won’t classify it in the list’s “miscellaneous” category. Why? Reportedly because the Times maintains that the book is fiction after all.

There were only three hardcover fiction books that sold 15,000 or more copies in the first week “The Book of Mysteries” was in release. Cahn’s book was one of them. It sold more than double 12 of the titles that made the New York Times best-sellers list for hardcover fiction that week. It sold triple the number of copies of seven of the top 20 hardcover fiction titles on the list.

It’s not the first time Cahn has experienced categorization issues with the Times.

His second book, “The Mystery of the Shemitah,” was clearly a non-fiction title. However, the New York Times refused to consider it as such, instead, classifying it in its “how to, advice, miscellaneous” category. It apparently didn’t hurt sales.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:27 AM EDT
Friday, September 23, 2016
MRC Flip-Flops on Debate Moderators Vetting Trump
Topic: Media Research Center

Tim Graham and Brent Bozell whine in their Sept. 21 column about presidential debate moderators:

Already, Fox's Chris Wallace drew liberal outrage by declaring: "I do not believe that it's my job to be a truth squad. It's up to the other person to catch them on that." Wallace sees his role as being like a referee in a heavyweight boxing match, where no one remembers him being there. But the left hounds today's liberal media, saying that being a mere referee is being an accessory to evil.

Funny, we remember when the Media Research Center felt the opposite way about vetting Trump -- earlier this year, to be exact. This time, though, the MRC's Nicholas Fondacaro was complaining that NBC's Chuck Todd said what his bosses are now praising Wallace for saying:

For Chuck Todd to insinuate that it’s not the media’s job to dig into a candidate’s past or fully vet a candidate for the public is just plain ridiculous. Todd laid the this duty at the feet of the other candidates stating “Folks, those are all inconsistencies that a normal campaign that was running against Donald Trump would probably put together, into TV ads and try to see if it would leave a mark with voters.”

For a member of the media to advocate for campaigns alone to do the vetting is an abdication of journalistic duty.

So, to summarize: In February, when Trump was the MRC's enemy, it was "abdication of journalistic duty" not to vet Trump or point out that he's lying. Now, with Trump the Republican nominee and the MRC obliged to defend him no matter what, not vetting Trump or pointing out when he's lying is the highest form of journalism.

Graham and Bozell also kept up the anti-fact jihad against fact-checkers, complaining that Trump has been caught by fact-checkers in more lies than Clinton -- " PolitiFact routinely fails to assign its "fact-checkers" when Team Clinton lies through its teeth" -- without apparently stopping to consider the seemingly obvious fact that Trump has told more lies than Clinton.

But, hey, when you have to defend a candidate that seemingly lies all the time, attacking the mere existence of facts is pretty much the only defense you have.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:14 PM EDT

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