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Sunday, September 24, 2017
MRC Wants Jimmy Kimmel to Shut Up
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's first reaction to ABC late-night host Jimmy Kimmel calling out the Graham-Cassidy plan to dismantle the Affordable Care Act for, among other things, making it permissible for states to eliminate coverage for pre-existing conditions was to send Nicholas Fondacaro to pen a lengthy tirade attacking the "tirade" he claimed Kimmel made and declaring that Kimmel was "politicizing his son’s medical condition to push for socialized medicine." He also took Kimmel's self-deprecation of himself as only an expert on eating pizza and tried to turn it into an insult.

In the process, Fondacaro selectively edited out much Kimmel said about the Graham-Cassidy plan opening the door to elimination of pre-existing condition coverage, and Sen. Bill Cassidy's promise to him that any health care plan he backs would not do that.

Fondacaro also stuck to regurgitating Republican talking points about the plan, insisting that the millions who would lose coverage under it would be "primarily driven by people CHOOSING not to purchase healthcare."Fondacaro went on to rant (boldface his):

In a cry of desperation for socialized medicine, he championed the health care systems of other countries: “It’s unbelievable. Somehow Japan, England, and Canada, and Germany, France, they all figured healthcare out. And don’t say they have terrible healthcare because it’s just not true.

But the pizza eating expert was 100 percent wrong on what good health care looked like around the world. All one has to do was look at the case of newborn Charlie Gard. Because of healthcare rationing, a British court put him on a long path to death because they didn’t want to waste their resources on him or allow the family to take him to America for treatment.

We're still waiting to see if Kimmel agrees with that aspect of socialized medicine if that were his son.

Fondacaro didn't mention that Gard suffered from an extremely rare genetic disease for which there is no known cure; Kimmel's son suffers from a much less rare heart defect that can be repaired through open-heart surgery.

The clear intent of Fondacaro and the MRC here was to shut up Kimmel before his attacks on Graham-Cassidy gained any traction, but it was soon reduced to whining about the attention it got:

  • Curtis Houck whined that CNN's Chris Cillizza, who wrote about Kimmel, failed to "fact-check" him.
  • Fondacaro once again huffed that Kimmel went on an "anti-GOP tirade" and "was willing [sic] politicizing his son’s medical condition."
  • Curtis Houck wrote a piece with the blaring headline "Ben Shapiro Eviscerates Jimmy Kimmel’s Health Care Tirades; ‘Egregious’ to Exploit His Son," complaining that Kimmel went on an "emotion-driven push to socialize health care."
  • When Graham-Cassidy failed after key Republicans failed to support it, Kyle Drennen attacked anyone who credited Kimmel for it.

Finally, Tim Graham whined that Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumerwas among those who helped Kimmel respond to Graham-Cassidy: "ABC is being used for Democrat propaganda, and then wonders: why won't people see us as fair and balanced? Why do people call us 'fake news'?" Not only does Graham fail to identify anything Kimmel said that was "fake" or "propaganda," he apparently thinks that a late-night talk show is "news."


Posted by Terry K. at 11:31 PM EDT
Saturday, September 23, 2017
MRC Obsesses Over Dem Mayor Accused of Abuse, Silent on Conservative Cradle-Robber
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center has taken an unusual interest in Seattle Mayor Ed Murray and the resurfacing of decades-old allegations of sexual abuse:

In April, Tom Blumer grumbled that the "establishment press" was insufficiently labeling Murray as a Democrat, purportedly because "Ed Murray is not just any Democrat, he's a progressive Democrat, and a "face of resistance" to Donald Trump." Blumer went on to accuse the Seattle Times of deliberately burying the allegations despite lacking evidence to back them up.

The next month, Blumer ranted that the Seattle media "didn't do its job to expose the accusations against Murray ... apparently giving him cover because he is a 'progressive' Democrat," adding: "If the Murray situation ends up going in the direction it appears to be headed, seeing how the Seattle Timesand the city's leftists try to explain away the fact that their permissive, 'gay-friendly' culture allowed a child molester to serve as their mayor for over three years, and as a state senator for the six years before that, should be quite a spectacle."

Blumer returned in July to once again grumble about Murray being insufficiently labeled as a Democrat as new accusations surfaced, cheering how Murray apparently now "fit the stereotype" of a child-molesting homosexual.

Following Murray's resignation earlier this month after more allegation surfaced, a self-satisfied Blumer declared that "Much of the press still insists on protecting the Democratic Party from its decades-long association with Murray." A companion post by Scott Whitlock similarly complained that the media was insufficiently identifying the party of the "liberal Democrat mayor."

Meanwhile, over at the MRC's "news" division CNSNews.com, managing editor Michael W. Chapman made sure to put "Gay Democratic Mayor" in the headline of his article about Murray's resignation. Chapman went on a scare-quote binge in noting that Murray is "married" and has a "husband," and he also touted previous articles on Murray that also put "Gay Democratic Mayor" in the headline.

Meanwhile, both CNS and the rest of the MRC have been silent so far on serial untoward, if not predatory, behavior by one of its favorite conservative icons.

Earlier this month, conservative actor James Woods made the mistake of complaining on his voluable Twitter account about an upcoming film about a gay relationship between a 24-year-old and a 17-year-old.One of the film's actors, Armie Hammer, responded by tweeting at Woods, "Didn't you date a 19 year old when you were 60.......?"(Actually, she was 20 and he was 66.) Then actress Amber Tamblyn reminded Woods that he tried to pick her and a friend up when she was a teenage unknown: "He wanted to take us to Vegas. 'I'm 16' I said. 'Even better' he said."

Woods accused Tamblyn of lying, but Tamblyn went on to pen an open letter detailing the story and asking, "Are you and your history with women and girls a part of the problem, Mr. Woods?" This was followed by a New York Times op-ed by Tamblyn in which she takes umbrage at Woods calling her a liar: "What would I get out of accusing this person of such an action, almost 20 years after the fact? Notoriety, power or respect? I am more than confident with my quota of all three. Even then, why would I choose the guy from 'Scary Movie 2' to help my stature when I’m already married to the other guy from 'Scary Movie 2'?"

Despite the fact that the various MRC divisions love to write about him and fawaningly quote his conservative-friendly Twitter rants -- sample headline: "James Woods Puts Traitor 'Brad' Manning In His/Her Place" -- no MRC website has breathed a word about Woods' serial cradle-robbing. While not the illegal offense Murray was accused of (albeit well outside the statute of limitations), it's increasingly creepy and unseemly as he apparently continues to like them barely legal even as he grows older.

This is just the latest example of the MRC turning refusing to hold its own side to the behavior it expects from the people it attacks.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:30 AM EDT
WND 'Muslim Mafia' Lawsuit Grinds Forward
Topic: WorldNetDaily

In May, WorldNetDaily's Art Moore penned an article -- updated for unclear reasons on Sept. 14 -- touting the apparently upcoming trial over the WND-published book "Muslim Mafia." Needless to say, it's a puff piece for WND's side of the case.

To recap: Anti-Muslim activist David Gaubatz -- who has admitted that most anti-Muslim groups are in it for the money -- recruited his son, Chris Gaubatz, to get a job as an intern at the Council on American-Islamic Relations office in Washington, D.C., where he stole in Moore's words, "some 12,000 pages of documents that were headed for a shredder," the contents of which were turned into "Muslim Mafia" (co-written by discredited reporter Paul Sperry). CAIR sued the Gaubatzes as well as the Center for Security Policy, which helped the Gaubatzes with their little sting, accusing theft and other claims.

Moore rants of CAIR: "Lacking any grounds to rebut the overwhelming evidence that it actually is a Muslim Brotherhood front, the group amends it complaint then prolongs the case through frivolous motions until finally, after eight years, a trial is set to be scheduled." But Moore provides no evidence that CAIR did such a thing -- indeed, WND provides no links at all to any legal document from the case.

Meanwhile, the American Freedom Law Center, which is representing the CSP, sheds a little more light on the subject than WND does; as of 2014, it was trying to obtain a summary judgment against CAIR, which was mostly denied in 2015. Dragging that out doesn't seem to be CAIR's fault.

Now, we've been writing about this case since 2009, and one sticking point remains that WND is still not eager to definitively answer. CAIR has claimed that Chris Gaubatz signed a confidentiality agreement upon his employment there -- something that, to our knowledge, Gaubatz has never explicitly denied.

Moore's article indicates this denial still doesn't exist in running down the defenses Gaubatz's legal team plans to use: CAIR doesn't legally exist, and the First Amendment trumps any privacy agreement.

Now, the last time a lawsuit involving WND dragged on this long, it was when a Tennessee car dealer sued WND for falsely portryaing him as a drug dealer. WND abruptly settled it shortly before it was to go to trial  with a secret settlement that included a public apology to the car dealer for falsely defaming him.

Will this lawsuit end the same way? We shall see.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:43 AM EDT
Friday, September 22, 2017
MRC Writer Castigates Dem Obstruction of Nominees, Forgets That GOP Controls Congress
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Nicholas Fondacaro complained in a Sept. 18 post:

With President Trump set to address the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday, NBC Nightly News spent a portion of Monday night’s broadcast slamming Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and spreading rumors of his removal. Their gripe was over the fact that key positions inside his department had yet to be filled. The network’s Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent Andrea Mitchell whined about it while neglecting to mention the unprecedented obstruction by Senate Democrats with confirmations.

[...]

What Mitchell failed to mention was the unprecedented obstruction by Senate Democrats with their confirmations. As proof of this: Two of the ambassadorships she whined about, Afghanistan and India both had nominees but they’re still waiting for the process to proceed. And as reported by The Washington Post, only 22 of the State Department nominees had been confirmed with another 39 awaiting confirmation. Many of those are ambassadorships.

And it’s not just Trump’s State Department feeling the pain. The Post also noted that out of Trump’s 345 total nominations, less than half (140) have been confirmed. That leaves another 196 nominees held-up by Senate Democrats, while 9 nominations had failed.

The nominees were also facing the longest confirmation process of any recent administration at 56 days for each one, the maximum time allowed.

But at no point does Fondacaro prove that any State Department nominee is being obstructed by Democrats.

Fondacaro also neglects the relevant fact that Republicans are majority party in Congress, so there's only so much obstructing Democrats can do. CNN has noted that "Democrats say the White House's failure to submit the full documentation for nominees -- along with necessary background checks and ethics paperwork -- is what's really holding up the nominations," adding that "it's still ultimately Republicans who control the calendar and committee process in the Senate."

But Fondacaro is too busy trying to score a partisan political point to actually do research on the issue he's writing about.


Posted by Terry K. at 6:05 PM EDT
WND Thinks It's 'Bonkers' For SPLC To Demand Right-Wing Media Get Its Facts Right
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Bob Unruh writes in a Sept. 11 WorldNetDaily article, under the headline "Left's 'attack dog' goes bonkers on Fox News":

The Southern Poverty Law Center, which has unleashed damaging and unsubstantiated claims about conservative organizations as a standard business practice for years, and in fact has been named in at least two lawsuits recently over its alleged defamation of conservatives, now has delivered a letter to Fox News, claiming its reporting defamed the far-left organization.

The SPLC routinely attacks conservatives, such as its labeling the staunchly American values-based Alliance Defending Freedom and Liberty Counsel, and the family promoting Family Research Council as “hate” groups because of their religious beliefs.

SPLC, which has been linked to domestic terrorism and attempted mass murder, claims now that Fox News’ reporting on its activities was “inaccurate, defamatory, and irresponsible.”

The letter from SPLC spokesman James Knoepp to Fox complained that a report on “The Five” incorrectly stated that the organization, with assets in the hundreds of millions of dollars, “provided just $61,000 in ‘legal assistance.'”

SPLC claimed that was its “internal legal services” and that it actually “spent more than $1.8 million on out-of-pocket case costs for litigation brought on behalf of its clients.”

The organization said it worked on a case advocating for better treatment for prisoners and on behalf of vicitims of bail bond companies in Orleans Parish, Louisiana, among others.

“The show also implied there was something nefarious about the fact that the SPLC uses investment vehicles incorporated outside of the United States, going so far as to claim it constituted a money laundering operation,” SPLC said. “As Fox News surely knows, it is common for universities, foundations and other nonprofit organizations to have a portion of their endowments invested in off-shore funds.”

So, according to Unruh and WND, it's "bonkers" for the SPLC to expect a news organization to not tell falsehoods about it. That's to be expected given WND's irresponsible penchant for spreading fake news. WND's mocking also makes editor Joseph Farah's petulant demand that an obscure blogger correct things that are undeniably true even more hypocritical. Unlike Farah, the SPLC has documented facts to back up its claims.

The point of Unruh's article, though, is to argue that the SPLC deserves to be lied about because it purportedly was wrong to label anti-gay groups as "hate groups." As usual, Unruh never disproves the claim.

From there, Unruh's article descends into the usual anti-SPLC boilerplate. He also touted how "conservative leaders sent an open letter to members of the media calling on them to stop using data from the 'discredited Southern Poverty Law Center'" without mentioning that one of the signatories was his boss, Farah. That's an undisclosed conflict of interest, making Unruh's article even more of an instrument of revenge and even less an act of journalism.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:53 PM EDT
Hillary Derangement Syndrome, MRC Media Coverage Edition
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center remains in the throes of Hillary Derangement Syndrome. There's no better illustration of that than its predictable freakout any time someone suggests that media was unfair to her during the 2016 presidential election.

An Aug. 30 column by the MRC's Tim Graham and Brent Bozell lashes out at a Harvard University study pointing out that media coverage of Clinton "was focused on scandals, while [Donald] Trump's coverage focused on his core issues." They ranted: "No one could plausibly argue that the media was nicer to Trump than they were to Hillary Clinton, or that they treated his policy proposals with more respect. They dubbed Trump's comments on immigration and Islam as horribly scandalous, while they dismissed Clinton's scandals like the private email server as a 'stupid issue' (as John Dickerson of CBS said)."

But Graham and Bozell were really incensed that the Harvard study's examination of media was much broader than the MRC's usual exceedingly (and strategically) narrow narrow definition of a half-hour of evening news on three channels:

When most people hear the term "the press," they think of the traditional press, the so-called objective media outlets. But this Harvard study defined the press as including a bunch of "hyperpartisan" sites, from Breitbart on the right to the Daily Kos on the left. It evaluated social media, studying the most shared stories of the campaign. That might be interesting, but it's not a study of press coverage as most people understand it.

Just because the study's definition of media doesn't conform to the one the MRC constructed for maximum ideological explitation doesn't mean it's invalild. In fact, it's much more accurate. Let's not pretend that a significant number of Americans don't get a significant amount of their political news from "hyperpartisan" operations.

Bozell and Graham then returned to rant mode to attack the study's methodology:

But here's where we scream "Buyer beware" on these studies of campaign bias. Did the Harvard researchers actually read the contents of each story? No. They offered "content analysis using automated tools."

They had Media Cloud software scan sentences ... because their sample was literally millions of stories. This is as nebulous as counting the number of Google mentions of a topic to say whether it was overcovered or undercovered. At least another Harvard outfit, the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy, issues studies "conducted by trained full-time employees who visually evaluate the content."

As if this is somehow less rigorous than the MRC's so-called "methodology" of assigning entirely subjective "negative" or "positive" values to news coverage that deliberately fails to consider the factual accuracy of said coverage.It doesn't matter if the contents were read if that reader is so biased (remember, the ability to push a right-wing agenda is a prerequisite for employment at the MRC) that no reasonable person would consider his or her judgments to be objective.

Graham and Bozell concluded by huffing: "Clinton can't blame the liberal media for her defeat."

When Clinton embarked on a media to promote her campaign memoir, "What Happened," in which she blamed her loss in part on the media, the MRC went into freakout mode again, this time in a Sept. 15 post by Rich Noyes with the shouty headline "FACT: The News Media Did NOT Tip the Election to Trump." but all Noyes does is serve up it previous narrowly tailored studies that focus only on that half-hour of evening news on three channels.

For the first time, though -- perhaps annoyed by us pointing out just how strategically narrowly tailored its focus is -- Noyes  offers a justification for focusing only on that tiny sliver of time: reviewing only CBS, ABC and NBC is "the best proxy for a manageable examination of all campaign news from important national sources."

Well, no. Cable news channels are not important sources of news? Political websites aren't? 

The MRC has a multimillion-dollar budget, funded in no small part by Mercer money, and can easily afford to do more comprehensive research. But that would involve having to examine Fox News, whose bias the MRC simply refuses to acknowledge because it's the same bias the MRC wants all media to have.

Noyes' "facts" are preconceived, and the MRC sculpts its so-called evidence to reinforce those preconceived notions -- hence the focus only on network evening news shows to the exclusion of everything else.

Nevertheless, Noyes offers up his own final-paragraph huffing: "Hillary Clinton was not the media darling that Barack Obama was in 2008, but no reasonable person could suggest that political reporters created a landscape more favorable to Donald Trump than to her. And it’s just silly of her to say the news media, which detests Trump, was one of the causes of her defeat." And Noyes detests Clinton enough to insist this is true.

Hillary's book tour brought Graham and Bozell back out to rehash its column from a month earlier, insisting that the Harvard study it bashed last time around was "embarrassingly terrible" because it "included blogs and tweets and was judged by a computer, not actual humans." they went on to cite the MRC's own study, avoiding the fact that its exceedingly narrow focus on "the network evening news broadcasts" is even more embarassingly terrible.

Graham and Bozell let out another end-of-column whine: "All this demonstrates that the media display no self-respect when it's suggested they were all Trump lackeys without a conscience for the country. Where's the fight? Where's the rebuttal? Where's the disgust with such a shameless falsehood? The chin stroking just underlines that they were in Clinton's pantsuit pocket then and they remain there today."

Of course, Graham, Bozell and the rest of the MRC are Trump lackeys fully in his pocket, and they lack any self-respect in insisting their bogus studies have any value beyond advancing a right-wing anti-media agenda.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:24 AM EDT
Thursday, September 21, 2017
Newsmax Columnist Regurgitates Right-Wing Talking Points on Regnery-NYT Spat
Topic: Newsmax

Mark Tapson dutifully does the work right-wing publisher Regnery was hoping to see in devoting a Sept. 13 Newsmax column (also published at the right-leaning website Acculturated) to Regnery's hollow attack on the New YOrk Times bestseller list:

A Times spokesman insisted that the “political views of authors have no bearing on our rankings, and the notion that we would manipulate the lists to exclude books for political reasons is simply ludicrous.”

Ludicrous? The Times says its list is based on “surveys” of “a wide range of retailers who provide us with specific and confidential context of their sales each week. These standards are applied consistently, across the board in order to provide Times readers our best assessment of what books are the most broadly popular at that time.”

Confidential context? Best assessment? Broadly popular? This sounds suspiciously unscientific and non-transparent, and does not address the evidence of the sales figures themselves. The once highly-regarded “newspaper of record” is notoriously leftist and D’Souza is a lightning rod for Progressive animosity, so the idea that there might be some manipulation of the list is not only not ludicrous, it’s likely.

In response, Marji Ross, president of D’Souza’s conservative publisher Regnery, said in a letter to colleagues, “Increasingly, it appears that The Times has gathered book sale data in a manner which prioritizes liberal themed books over conservative books and authors.”

As we've pointed out, the underlying issue ignored by Tapson, as well as by most of the ConWeb, is bulk sales -- Regnery depends on bulk sales to conservative book clubs (it owns one or two of them) and political organizations to juice sales, and the Times apparently doesn't count them.

Tapson goes on to rant about how the right must wage a "culture insurgency" against the left. He doesn't realize that a good start to doing that would be not to reflexively regurgitate right-wing talking points.


Posted by Terry K. at 6:08 PM EDT
Stenography: CNS Does 4 Articles on Trump's U.N. Speech
Topic: CNSNews.com

How eager is CNSNews.com to serve as President Trump's stenographer? It assigned at least three writer to do four -- count 'em, four -- articles on Trump's speech to the United Nations.

First up was Susan Jones, who touted how "President Trump lumped Iran with North Korea, saying both countries are led by 'reckless' regimes," complete with lengthy, copy-and-pasted speech excerpt. She was followed a few minutes later by Mlanie Arter cheering how "President Donald Trump said that if North Korea forces the United States to defend itself or its allies, the U.S. will 'totally destroy' it."

Then, an anonymous CNS writer, in an article credited only to "CNSNews.com Staff," gushed over how Trump "highlighted the fact that although there are 193 nations in the U.N., the U.S. pays 22 percent of the organizations budget." The next day, another anonymously written article featured how Trump made a shout-out to "the almighty God who made us all."

On top of that, prior to Trump's speech, Arter did another fawning article, touting how "In his first appearance at the United Nations, President Donald Trump said bureaucracy and mismanagement are reasons why the world body has not reached its full potential."

There's no journalistic reason to send at least three writers to pen four articles on a Trump speech that could be easily summed up in one. CNS simply cherry-picked the portions of the speech it thought helped further its right-wing agenda, then put them in separate articles to pad out its story count and give the illusion that CNS is a legitmate and prolific "news" organization.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:38 PM EDT
Fake News: WND Baselessly Blames 'Leftists' For Nasty Comments About Bolling's Son
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Chelsea Schilling writes in a Sept. 11 WorldNetDaily article:

In the wake of the death of Eric Chase Bolling Jr., the son of former Fox News star Eric Bolling, leftists are celebrating the tragedy on Twitter, saying it’s “karma” and “justice” for the TV host who lost his job after allegations of sexual harassment.

[...]

When news of Bolling Jr.’s death surfaced, leftists took to Twitter to celebrate the tragic loss, calling it “karma” and “justice” for the alleged actions reported by the Huffington Post.

But at no point does Schilling prove that any of the comments she cites were made by "leftists." Making nasty comments on Twitter is not the exclusive domain of "leftists," even if the target of the nastiness is a right-wing TV host recently fired following allegations of sexual harrassment.

Since Schilling is making a claim she fails to support, that makes this yet another example of fake news at WND.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:48 AM EDT
Wednesday, September 20, 2017
MRC, CNS Have A Sally Quinn Freakout
Topic: Media Research Center

CNSNews.com managing editor Michael W. Chapman is horrified in a Sept. 13 blog post that "In her new book, Finding Magic: A Spiritual Memoir, Washington Post journalist Sally Quinn, the widow of former Post Executive Editor Ben Bradlee (d.2014), admits that she believes in and has practiced the occult since childhood, and even placed hexes on people. He concluded by huffing: "The liberal media and Washington insiders, incidentally, mocked Nancy Reagan for consulting an astrologer. Why were they so silent, for decades, about Sally Quinn and her occultism?"

Perhaps because Quinn married to a journalist and was not the first lady of the United States, perhaps? That distinction appears to have escaped Chapman, who's much more comfortable promoting so-called Christians expressing their hatred for the LGBT community.

Chapman isn't the only Media Research Center employee huffing and puffing about Quinn. Tom Blumer is in full dudgeon at NewsBusters, somehow equating the lack of public knowledge about Quinn's occultic tendencies to a political scandal akin to Watergate (and cites co-worker Chapman along the way):

The reception given to Sally Quinn's new book, Finding Magic, has been strangely quiet.

Perhaps that's because the book shamelessly reveals that since 1973, if not earlier, Quinn, who was the nation's capital's de facto social gatekeeper for several decades, deceived the world about the true nature of her "religious" outlook, and did so with the help of the rest of the Washington press corps — that is, if one considers belief in the occult, practicing voodoo, and supposedly communicating with ghosts (sound familiar?) the foundations of a "religion."

[...]

The bolded sentence in the final excerpted paragraph is very telling. It reveals that Quinn's occultism was an open Beltway secret for over four decades which no reporter in the media echo chamber had the courage to share with the public this crowd of alleged journalists piously claims to serve.

[...]

Quinn, like so many other reporters who were or still are at the Post, was a fan of citing unnamed "sources." Ronald Reagan himself insisted that "no policy or decision in my mind has ever been influenced by astrology."

As to what's really "frightening and shocking," I'd place a closeted practitioner of occultism who believes in murderous hexes pretending to be offended by astrology to score cheap political points against the First Lady of a wildly successful two-term presidential administration several "frightening and shocking" notches above a protective First Lady who allegedly consulted the stars and had "a role" in Ronald Reagan's "scheduling."

[...]

Otherwise, media coverage of Quinn's new book has been very light.

It's understandable, given how this book effectively shames members of the Washington press corps irrevocably for the history books for a disgraceful four-plus decade coverup.

If Blumer could demonstrate when Quinn's personal life was relevant to anything she had done in public, he might have a point. Since he can't, he's just engaged in a meaningless right-wing rant.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:24 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, September 20, 2017 9:25 PM EDT
WND Publishes Another Dubious Attack on Islamic Charity
Topic: WorldNetDaily

In 2005, WorldNetDaily was forced to retract an article falsely attacking the relief organization Islamic Relief of supporting terrorism, as well as raising money to aid nonexistent children, presumably under threat of a lawsuit from the group.

Now WND's Leo Hohmann is taking another factually questionable shot at the group:

Rack up a win for the Council on American-Islamic Relations and a network of other U.S. Islamist organizations controlled by the Muslim Brotherhood.

Not only has the Brotherhood thus far managed to avoid the Trump White House designating it a terrorist organization, but its U.S. affiliates still hold enormous sway over the Republican-dominated Congress.

The latest evidence of that fact played out on Capitol Hill last Thursday, in a stunning turn of events that received no coverage from the national media and elicited nary a peep out of the conservative media.

Islamic Relief Worldwide, or IRW, a United Kingdom-based humanitarian relief agency with a U.S. chapter, has received hundreds of thousands of dollars in U.S. federal grants in recent years, including $370,000 for the fiscal years 2015 and 2016. Quite naturally, IRW wants to keep the spigot of federal dollars flowing, despite the charity’s links to the terrorist group Hamas.

U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., introduced an amendment to the State and Foreign Operations Appropriations Act that would have banned all federal funding of IRW and its affiliates.

When they got wind of DeSantis’ amendment, CAIR and other Islamist groups blitzed members of Congress with a last-minute lobbying effort to vote against the amendment. House leaders capitulated, withdrawing the amendment last Thursday before it was even brought up for a vote.

As a result, Hamas terrorists will continue to have access to federal tax dollars.

IRW is an Islamist charity that has funneled money to Hamas and has ties to the extremist Muslim Brotherhood, according to the highly respected Islamist Watch project of Daniel Pipes’ Middle East Forum.

The Washington Free Beacon has also reported on the money flow from IRW to Hamas.

Hohmann doesn't say who considers the Middle East Forum "highly respected," but we suspect that respect is limited to Muslim-haters like Hohmann, given that Pipes is given to conspiracy theories like claiming that President Obama is a Muslim. Hohmann goes on to assert that "Islamic Relief Wordwide has a long history of promoting extremist ideology across both America and Europe," but he makes no effort to prove it.

At no point does Hohmann bother to contact anyone with Islamic Relief for a comment on attacks of his fellow Muslim-haters. If he had, he would have known that the group has long denied any links to terrorism and that it conducted an audit of itself that similarly demonstrated that. Hohmann also fails to mention that DeSantis' amendment was opposed by numerous relief groups around the world and in the U.S.

This is the kind of biased, one-sided story filled with dubious -- if not outright false -- allegations that tends to draw attention from libel lawyers. Hohmann and WND may want to brace themselves and start drafting that retraction, using that 2005 retraction as a model.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:49 AM EDT
Tuesday, September 19, 2017
MRC Churns Out Another Bogus Study
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center appears to be on a roll with its biased so-called "studies." It served up another one on Sept. 13 courtesy of Mike Ciandella:

The twin disasters of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma showcased once again the media's reflex to use such tragedies to push for liberal climate change policies.

In their pursuit of this agenda, the broadcast networks' have heavily criticized the Trump administration's policies on the environment. From January 20 through August 31, MRC analysts tallied 75 stories discussing the President and climate change, totaling 73 minutes, 43 seconds of network airtime.

The commentary in these stories was as one-sided as the rest of Trump's coverage has been, with 88 percent of evaluative statements criticizing the President, vs. a mere 12 percent that praised him.

Once again, Ciandella ignores the vast majority of of the media universe to portray a half-hour of time on three channels as representative of the entire "media." Also note that Ciandella is trying to politiclze science by declaring that anything that supports the scientific consensus on climate change to be "liberal."

And we have another dubious "methodology":

Methodology: Our measure of spin was designed to isolate the networks’ own slant, not the back-and-forth of partisan politics. Thus, our analysts ignored soundbites which merely showcased the traditional party line (Republicans supporting Trump, Democrats criticizing him), and instead tallied evaluative statements which imparted a clear positive or negative tone to the story, such as statements from experts presented as non-partisan, voters, or opinionated statements from the networks’ own reporters.

Using these criteria, MRC analysts tallied 121 evaluative statements about the Trump administration’s approach to the environment from January 20 to August 31, 2017, of which 106 (88%) were negative vs. a mere 15 (12%) which were positive.

Again, "negative" and "positive" are subjective values, not objective ones that can be subject to scientific definition and rigor, and Ciandella is either ignoring neutral statements or forcing them into "negative" or "positive" camps.

Ciandella's bias is obvious in the examples he cites (again, the MRC refused to release full documentation of the study results), in which he portrays the reporting of facts as negative:

The most consistent factor in all of this coverage was the criticism. NBC Nightly News correspondent Matt Bradley’s July 30 quip that “President Donald Trump shifts American climate commitments into reverse” was typical of the media attitude towards the president’s environmental policies.

On June 2, Nightly News correspondent Kristen Welker promoted an anti-Trump protest over this decision, hyping “the backlash is only heating up.”

The same night, CBS Evening News’s anchor Anthony Mason spoke of the “world of opposition to withdraw from the Paris climate accord.” Correspondent Chip Reid echoed by referencing “worldwide condemnation.”

NBC Nightly News, anchor Savannah Guthrie on June 1 criticized the move to withdraw from the climate treaty: “detractors say it is a stunning abandonment of the U.S.’s leadership in the world, and a grave threat to the planet itself.”

To their credit, CBS stood alone in interviewing a conservative to hear the other side of the climate change debate. On April 22, CBS Evening News, correspondent Dean Reynolds noted that Joe Bast, CEO of The Heartland Institute, “looks with approval on Mr. Trump’s decision to roll back regulations limiting greenhouse gases, and to his appointments of fellow skeptics in the administration. Climate change, he [Bast] says, is a naturally occurring cyclical phenomenon caused mostly by the sun, not an approaching disaster accelerated by carbon dioxide emissions caused by humans.”

However, before stating this position, Reynolds noted that “most climate scientists, the United Nations, as well as NASA, dismiss these arguments as propaganda for fossil fuels.

So Ciandella is effectively proving Stephen Colbert correct once again: Reality does have a well-known liberal bias.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:14 PM EDT
John McCain Derangement Syndrome
Topic: WorldNetDaily

John McCain is losing it! Or, perhaps this is the real McCain finally coming out. During his 30 years in the Senate, McCain has fooled the public and pretended to be a conservative Republican. The fake news media have depicted him as a “maverick” who isn’t afraid to stand up to his own party. But McCain has always been a RINO, and he is not an honorable man. The election of President Trump is exposing his true nature and lack of character.

McCain, 81, is a Navy veteran who spent five-and-a-half years as a prisoner of war in the Vietnam War, and he has never gotten over Donald Trump mocking him as “not a war hero” during the 2016 campaign. He needs to get over his anger before he passes from this earth.

With the encouragement of President Trump, millions of Americans wished McCain well and prayed for his recovery after he was diagnosed with brain cancer in late July, only to be betrayed by him when he joined with liberal Republicans to defeat the GOP’s “skinny repeal” of Obamacare.

[...]

With his unrelenting attack against Trump, McCain is revealing himself, and he doesn’t even realize it.

We have a great president who is working hard to make “America Great Again,” and this cowardly RINO is fighting against him and against the good people in this country. Arizonans, I blame you, because you had a chance to get rid of this man, but you voted for him over and over again.

I recall when John McCain spoke in Southern California in 2008 during his presidential run against Obama. I thought he was a good guy. I voted for him because he presented himself as a conservative who loved his country and the military – I didn’t know he was a RINO!

-- Jesse Lee Peterson, Sept. 3 WorldNetDaily column


Posted by Terry K. at 5:05 PM EDT
Monday, September 18, 2017
MRC Writer Is Still Defending Gay Conversion Therapy
Topic: Media Research Center

Media Research Center writer Dawn Slusher has been extremely concerned that the TV show "Greenleaf" has a storyline about Kevin, a married man who is conflicted by his attraction to other men and attempts to deal with them by attending a church group involved with gay conversion therapy, fretting that the oft-discredited therapy will be discredited further and insisting that conversion therapy works.

Remarking in an Aug. 17 post on a scene in which Kevin confronts the leader of the conversion therapy program on how it's not working, Slusher rants (bolding is hers):

Suddenly, instead of Kevin voluntarily wanting to change because of his faith, he's now blaming the group leader for driving him crazy? And this was never about the group leader or anyone other than God, telling His followers what is right in His Word.

The question is, will the show use this storyline to show that Kevin truly wants to continue fighting his urges and is only angry because he failed, and that maybe he will try again once he calms down?

Or will they make Kevin to be the hero against those horrible conversion therapy groups that try so hard to help Christians make their own choices based on their faith rather than their flesh? (So awful of these groups to help such people despite the many success stories, right? God forbid people seek to live as they feel called to by their faith and voluntarily seek out the support of such groups to suppress urges they’d rather not have.)

Seeing that this is liberal Hollywood, and the Oprah Network at that, my money is on the former. Especially since Charity finds a letter Kevin left behind before leaving the house to confront the group and she seems extremely concerned. My guess is that the show will paint Kevin as suicidal in a future episode. Not because of his inner struggle between his faith and his desires, though, but because of Fortitude Families and intolerant Christians.

All the blame must lie with those who are trying to help Christians live out their faith. Because, of course.

Note to Slusher: Just because someone voluntarily seeks out something that's been proven to be psychologically harmful doesn't mean they should be encouraged to do it.

And, as before, Slusher's evidence that gay conversion therapy is a "success" are a pro-conversion therapy group that cites the virulently anti-gay group NARTH for backup, as well as Walt Heyer, a current fave of anti-gay activists who admits he was misdiagnosed as transgender.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:21 PM EDT
WND's Farah Still Has Thin Skin, But Doesn't Disprove White-Nationalist Allegations
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Joseph Farah's thin skin shows up yet again in his Sept. 12 WorldNetDaily column, in which he rants that an obscure blog has committed a "blood libel" against him:

A blog called “Peacock Panache” posted a diatribe called “The Trump Administration: A Confederacy of Dunces,” by Sheila Kennedy. It sought to discredit executive branch officials through a tactic the left used to detest – “guilt by association.” When liberals and leftists were linked in the past to Communists and socialists, they doth protest such connections as “McCarthyite” smears.

But the left has fully embraced the tactic and raised it to an art form.

What caught my eye about this particular piece was the attempted smear of John Kenneth Bush, Trump’s nominee for the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals. One of his grave offenses was that his wife purportedly called slavery and abortion two of America’s greatest tragedies. I don’t know if the accusation is true or not, but … what’s wrong with that? Bush’s second offense, according to the post, was: “He consistently cited WorldNetDaily, an extremist publication known for peddling conspiracy theories and white nationalism, including the lie that Obama was not born in the United States.”

Meet the SPLC’s “white nationalist conspiracy spin cycle.”

Since I, as the founder of WND, openly detest white supremacy and all forms of racism, this lie struck a nerve. So, I dashed off a demand for retraction and public apology from Tim Peacock, the managing editor of Peacock Panache.

I explained that WND has never and would never promote “white nationalism” and that his blog’s claim is an outrageous and actionable lie – and clearly defamatory.

But, of course, the little Peacock knows better than me, my friends, my family members, my employees about my reputation and integrity as a Christian who believes all people are created in the image of God.

And how does he know better?

His authority is the SPLC, which sees me and WND as instruments of hatred and evil personified.

He also cites the objective folks at Media Matters to prove WND is a tool of white supremacists.

It’s a blood libel, but not beneath political activists who, without a shred of decency or humanity, don’t mind putting targets on the backs of people just because they have differences of opinion.

Farah is crying some massive crocodile tears here. He and his website spent the entire Obama administration putting targets on the backs of people just because they have differences of opinion.

But notice what else he does here: He attacks the sources of the allegations against him and WND without ever denying the allegations. The SPLC link details how WND gave a forum to race-baiting, black-mob-obsessed author Colin Flaherty, who gained popularlity in white-nationalist circles with his WND work.

The Media Matters link, meanwhile, documents how white-nationalist radio host James Edwards said he worked with WND to promote a highly dubious birther claim by Tim Adams while Edwards was broadcasting from a convention of the white-nationalist Council of Conservative Citizens (WND never explained what Adams was doing there in the first place).

Farah doesn't deny that Flaherty is a white nationalist -- though it had to cut him loose after his obsession jeopardized its Google ad revenue --nor does he deny that WND worked with a white nationalist radio host to get Adams place on his show at a white nationalist group's conference.

It doesn't matter how much Farah rants that the blog's allegations are an "actionable lie" and a "blood libel" and threatens to silence it, since Farah never disproves the claims. And it doesn't matter how much Farah insists that he's not a white supremacist, since his website undeniably tried to profit from it. If he really put his principles where his business is, WND would never have published anything by Flaherty or teamed with Adams.

It's even more laughable that Farah is making an appeal to his own "reputation and integrity as a Christian who believes all people are created in the image of God," when he's an unrepentant liar.

Farah finally rants: "At what point does SPLC bear moral, financial and legal responsibility for such acts of defamation and terrorism?" This from the editor of a "news" organization that's cited in the manifesto of mass murder Anders Breivik and whose editorial agenda parallels the white-supremacist obsessions of mass murder Dylann Roof, and has irresponsibly pushed anti-vaccine myths that likely caused people to die unnecessarily.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:37 AM EDT

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