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Wednesday, March 20, 2019
NEW ARTICLE: 'Free Speech' Cowardice At The MRC
Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center laments that alternative social-media operations get deplatformed for serving as outlets for far-right extremism -- which it rebrands as "free speech" -- but it can't be bothered to support those operations by establishing a presence there. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 9:33 AM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, March 20, 2019 4:08 PM EDT
Tuesday, March 19, 2019
CNS Keeps Cheering Increased Numbers Of Christian Refugees, Fewer Muslims
Topic: CNSNews.com

We've previously noted how CNSNews.com, particularly reporter Patrick Goodenough, fretted over large numbers of Muslim refugees being admitted to the U.S. under President Obama, compared with Christian refugees, only to be much happier when those numbers flipped under President Trump. That happiness continues in a March 4 article by Goodenough:

Five months into the fiscal year, the Trump administration has admitted a total of 9,305 refugees into the United States, an admission rate well below the average needed to meet the 30,000 ceiling for FY 2019 which it set last fall.

According to State Department Refugee Processing Center data, monthly admissions since the start of the current fiscal year were 1,834 in October, 2,150 in November, 1,722 in December, 1,455 in January and 2,144 in February – in each case below the 2,500 monthly average that would add up to the 30,000 ceiling.

[...]

Of the 9,305 refugees resettled in the first five months of FY 2019, 7,684 (82.5 percent) self-identified as Christians, and 1,306 (14 percent) as Muslims. One year earlier, 62.9 percent of the new arrivals over that five-month period were Christians, and 15.7 percent were Muslims.

By contrast, during the equivalent periods in FY 2016 and FY 2017, the proportions were more balanced: Muslims comprised 42.9 and 47.3 percent respectively, and Christians comprised 46.3 and 43.4 percent respectively.

Even though the religious breakdown of the refugees wasn't address until the fifth paragraph, CNS made it the headline claim.

Goodenough can be a good reporter when he wants to be, and he does admit that the number of refugees admitted so far aren't on track to be even close to the Trump's administration's lowered ceiling of 30,000. But he's still huffing about larger numbers of Muslims than Christians from Syria getting refugee status under Obama, even though "Christians, Yazidis, and other non-Muslims were deliberately targeted by ISIS jihadists in what the Obama administration determined in 2016 amounted to a policy of genocide." But as we've also noted, Goodenough still can't quite admit that Muslims were being persecuted during the Syrian civil war as well; while "74 percent of the Syrian population was Sunni Muslim" at the start of the civil war, as Goodenough states, the Assad regime that rules Syria is Alawite and has targeted Sunni civilians.

Instead, Goodenough is content to suggest sinister motives in Obama's admitting more Muslim refugees. That's not honest reporting.


Posted by Terry K. at 4:18 PM EDT
WND's Zumwalt Botches Facts About Democrats and the KKK
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily columnist James Zumwalt has always had a shaky grasp of facts, and he demonstrates it again in his March 6 column. After pushing right-wing talking points about the death penalty and abortion, he turns to another subject he thinks he can bash Democrats over:

The third death link issue involves recalling history and a violent group Democrats helped foster 153 years ago – the Ku Klux Klan (KKK). While Democrats’ relationship with the KKK – a most violent supremacist group – no longer exists, today, liberals have replaced their support for one supremacist group seeking the death of non-members with another group having a similar mindset.

To entice the black vote today, Democrats falsely accuse Republicans of racism. But it was the Democratic Party that gave rise to the KKK in 1866 as Republicans struggled in the post-Civil War era to implement political and economic equality for blacks. Ironically, as Democrats rallied to support the KKK, blacks rallied to become Republicans. The first seven blacks elected to Congress were, in fact, Republican candidates.

Interestingly too, one of the Democratic Party’s most respected serving senators until his death in 2010 was Robert Byrd of West Virginia – a former senior KKK official. Today, listening to Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters hurl venomous racist charges at President Donald Trump, it is hard to believe she is the same person who mightily defended Byrd in 2003.

Of course, the Democratic Party of the post-Civil War era is not the Democratic Party of today; as we've previously pointed out, the KKK was never an exclusively Democratic organization.

Further, Zumwalt ignores that Byrd repeatedly apologized for his Klan affiliation , something Waters highlighted upon his death: "Senator Byrd often spoke about his regret over participating in racist and anti-civil rights activities as a young man. I appreciated his willingness to publicly repudiate his membership with the Ku Klux Klan, and later his filibuster of the Civil Rights bill in the Senate. He often referred to his decade as a Klan member as the greatest mistake of his life."

Zumwalt then dipped into his usual Islamophobia to rant that "political Islam" is just like the KKK because they share "two foundational beliefs":" that "1) The world exists in only two parts – one in which its ideology thrives now and one in which it eventually, by force, will so thrive; and 2) every believer has a duty to convert non-members to this ideology – and, if they do not, to force them to pay a tax or kill them."


Posted by Terry K. at 1:21 AM EDT
Monday, March 18, 2019
MRC Mad Anti-Muslim Hate Group Accurately Identified
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center is strangely sensitive to anti-Muslim group ACT for America being described as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center -- perhaps because group leader Brigitte Gabriel has been a featured speaker on its cruise junkets. Plus, it feeds into the MRC's combined victimhood/SPLC-bashing narrative:

  • In a Feb. 20 item, Matt Philbin identified ACT For America as among the allegedly "distinctly non-hate-based groups" that "have been slimed by SPLC." Philbin did not explain what made ACT for America "distinctly non-hate-based" or how, exactly, the SPLC "slimed" it.
  • On Feb. 27, Corinne Weaver cited ACT for America as among groups "banned" from accepting money through PayPal as an "insidious form of social media censorship" and attacked the SPLC as a "once-noble organization has become a left-wing direct-mail giant."
  • A Feb. 28 post by MRC Latino's Ken Oliver insisted that anti-Muslim groups like ACT for America aren't anti-Muslim because, well, they say the aren't, since they "would counter that they are the ones actually fighting the single greatest menace of hate in our day: that of radical Islamic terrorism, which actively seeks to perpetrate (and regularly takes credit for) horrific acts of murder and mayhem throughout the world."

Philbin returned on March 7 to do more heavy-lifting defense of the group. he attacked a "hatchet job" in Roll Call noting that ACT for Americca "was once found to have ties to a longtime neo-Nazi." The article added regarding a 2017 "March Against Sharia" series of rallies put on by the group: "Longtime neo-Nazi Billy Roper organized the Arkansas event for the group, according to the SPLC. Roper once served as the state leader of the National Alliance, a now defunct neo-Nazi group that agitated for Jewish genocide. ACT subsequently disavowed Roper."

Start spinning away, Matt:

Here’s what really occurred: A man named Billy Roper volunteered to organize the June 10 March. ACT found out before the event that Roper was a white supremacist and was planning to glom his Shield Wall Network’s own demonstration on to ACT’s. ACT canceled the March and Roper was “permanently banned from any affiliation with our organization.” Nothing happened “subsequently.”

From there, Philbin descends into an anti-SPLC screed, ranting that it's "a lefty hate group that makes money screaming 'Hate Group' at anyone to the right of The World Workers Party. These include mainstream Christian and religious freedom groups." Philbin did not identify what, exactly, is "mainstream" about ACT for America.

Philbin also huffed: "The group’s also inspired more political violencethan any conservative 'hate' mongers it’s slandered." His evidence for that was a PJ Media article that tried to blame James Hodgkinson's shooting spree on the SPLC solely because he "liked" it on Facebook, which was somehow deemed to be "moral support."

And, no, Philbin didn't disclose the MRC's closeness with Gabriel and ACT for America.


Posted by Terry K. at 5:55 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, March 18, 2019 6:08 PM EDT
WND Columnist: Don't Buy Girl Scout Cookies Because AOC Was One
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Jane Chastain begins her March 6 WorldNetDaily column complaining about the socialist origins of International Women's Day, then follows a tangent to the Girl Scouts that they too are overly socialist:

Today’s Girl Scouts are a far cry from those of my youth, which trained us to put God and country before everything else. Today, God in the Girl Scout promise has an asterisk, meaning the great I AM and His moral absolutes can be replaced by anything, including oneself.

Country, also, has taken a backseat. The emphasis is on global citizenship, which is fine unless you stop to consider that most of the world is not free and the world’s values are often at odds with our own.

It is little wonder the Girl Scouts have taken a sharp left turn and can be found marching for abortion rights, gun control and other radical feminist events like International Women’s Day.

Chastain then quickly moves to bizarrely arguing that people shouldn't buy Girl Scout cookies because Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was a Girl Scout:

So before you decide to embrace an International Women’s Day celebration or buy the cookies, ask yourself, “Will the country be better off with more representatives like the young socialist Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez?”

If not, it’s a good time to start your diet.

This sort of AOC got the attention of the actual AOC, and WND reported on this in the strangest way. In an anonymously written March 9 article, WND claimed that Chastain was "attacked" by Ocasio-Cortez -- then spent the next nine paragraphs summarizing Chastain's column before turning, in the article's 11th paragraph, to what Ocasio-Cortez actually said ("Boycotting cookies that teach little girls leadership skills to own the libs, nice job" -- which is more an expression of bemusement with Chastain's AOC derangement than an "attack").

Just as weirdly, WND doesn't bother to link to Ocasio-Cortez's tweets responding to Chastain, though it faithfully reproduces all the links from Chastain's column.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:43 AM EDT
Sunday, March 17, 2019
What LGBT Stuff Is The MRC Freaking Out About Now?
Topic: Media Research Center

Karen Townsend is hate-watching "Riverdale" and upset that conservatives are shown as evil and gays aren't (and spoils a movie's big plot twist in the process):

The random plot twist of gay conversion therapy from a previous episode of The CW’s Riverdale is brought back in the February 6 episode titled “Chapter Forty-Seven: Bizarrodale,” and this time the Catholic nuns at Sisters of Quiet Mercy are said to have "twisted the soul" of an intolerant father back when he was a teenager. Also, along the way, we hear that outing gay people is bad unless it is a conservative politician.

[...]

So, in order to randomly insert an anti-Catholic and anti-conservative thread in this episode, Riverdale brings in the "homophobic dad is really repressed homosexual" trope made infamous in the 1999 Academy Award Winning film American Beauty. And, the upcoming generation is ok with treating conservative gays differently than liberals. Great.

Annie Piper freaked out about "the gay agenda for children" appearing on "A Million Little Things" because a 12-year-old boy who may be gay is being "unquestioningly encouraged" by his parents. She then lectured: "Most 12-year-old kids don’t even know what they want to do when they grow up let alone who they want to date. Maybe parents should focus less on encouraging homosexual desires at such a young age and more on helping them grow and develop as a young adult."

Tom Joyce, meanwhile, is stuck hate-watching "Family Guy," and he's reduced to complaining that he show bowed to "PC culture" in its "transgender episode." Joyce is appalled that "towards the end of the episode, Peter apologizes for mocking transgender people," adding, "The show’s attempt to try to promote and normalize transgenders at the expense of making Peter Griffin act out of character should not be a surprise." Because "Family Guy" is a stickler on being true to character?

Mysterious MRC sports blogger Jay Maxson is unhappy that the NFL is talking about being more accepting of gays:

If you think a men's pro football league sidetracked by a focus on lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders is odd, think again. This is a league whose commissioner, Roger Goodell, spent several hours last summer at a bail bond hearing for a Louisiana man charged with armed robbery. This is a league that gave $89 million to social justice activist players. And several million more to shake-down artists Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid.

(Maxson did not explain how settling a lawsuit with the NFL regarding alleged blackballing for their beliefs makes Kaepernick and Reid "shake-down artists.")

Maxon concluded by sneering, "That's your new "NFL SJW LGBTQ+."

MRC honchos Brent Bozell and Tim Graham had a pair of transgender-related freakouts. One column intoned: "Here's a very sad story. Those who wish for the collapse of our culture are now celebrating children deciding they're not the gender they were 'assigned at birth.' ... Our world has turned upside down overnight." Another column mocked actress Debra Messing for issuing "self-flagellating apologies" to transgenders after making vagina-shaped cupcakes for International Women's Day and called her a "roaring idiot" for doing so.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:01 AM EDT
CNS Hops Aboard the Divine-Donald Train
Topic: CNSNews.com

Yet another example of the creeping WorldNetDaily-ization of CNSNews.com -- on top of its recent embrace of anti-vaxxer conspiracy theories -- is its similar embrace of the idea that God ordained Donald Trump to be president. That has been a WND staple over the past couple years, most recently with editor Joseph Farah pushing the idea by declaring, "If God had wanted Trump elected, there is no doubt in my mind that it would be so."

CNS first dipped a toe in the divine-Donald pool a few months back by highlighting how a gathering of Christians in the White House turned into an "improptu worship session." In an anonymously written Jan. 31 article, CNS touted how "White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said on the Christian Broadcasting Network on Wednesday that God wanted Donald Trump to become president." Later that day, CNS devoted an article to huffing that Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar responded to Sanders' statement by tweeting, "God has a strange sense of humor!"

Then, a March 4 article by Craig Bannister gushed over the CPAC speech by MyPillow founder Mike Lindell:

God answered our prayers, our millions of prayers, and gave us grace and a miracle happened on November 8, 2016. We were given a second chance and time granted to get our country back on track with our conservative values and getting people saved in Jesus’ name.

“As I stand before you today, I see the greatest president in history. Of course he is, he was chosen by God.

[...]

I see myself in divine appointments, and one was especially important. Donald Trump invited me to meet him at Trump Tower in New York City. I walked into his office with high hopes on August 15 2016.

“I walked out of that office after meeting with him and I knew God had chosen him for such a time as this.

As with the WND writers who have pushed this idea, nobody at CNS appears to be entertaining the possibility that even if one accepts the idea that Trump's election was ordained by God, he was sent as a warning and not as a deliverance.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:35 AM EDT
Saturday, March 16, 2019
Finland Derangement Syndrome At The MRC
Topic: Media Research Center

Apparently, it's "liberal bias" to report facts about health care in Finland. That's the impression we get from Scott Whitlock's March 5 Media Research Center post:

CBS This Morning journalists on Tuesday spent an entire segment hyping the glories of Finland and the country's free stuff, chiding the United States for falling behind. With very little discussion on the nation's high taxes, foreign correspondent Holly Williams and the show’s hosts praised the country’s paid maternity leave, hospital care and even supposedly free nannies.

Reporting from Finland, Williams praised: “In Finland, you're guaranteed around four months paid maternity leave by law. And parents can split another six months paid parental leave.”

Without offering much context, co-host Bianna Golodryga cheered the idea of dumping your kids in parks and handing them over to free nannies: “When I was there last summer, our tour guide told us women and families could just drop their kids off in the local park and they have paid nannies there where the kids go to work.”

Whitlock went on to lecture that "Finland has 5.5 million people. The United States has 325 million. No one seemed to think about the practicality of how transferring such massive entitlements to America would work." He went on to huff: "The issue of taxes seemed of little concern to the CBS journalists. Finland’s personal income tax rate in Finland stands at 51.60 percent, according to Trading Economics. The sales tax is 24 percent."

In fact, according to the edited video clip that accompanies Whitlock's post, it was noted that taxes are higher in Finland than in the U.S.

Whitlock concluded by huffing that "Journalists love to fawn over Finland" -- but he was able to cite only two examples of it, one from 2005 and the other from 1997. Three stories in 20-plus years is barely like, let alone love.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:23 AM EDT
WND Tries To Baselessly Blame TB Cases On Illegal Immigrants
Topic: WorldNetDaily

The first three paragraphs of an anonymously written March 6 WorldNetDaily article focused on how "More than 200 Georgia high school students were tested for tuberculosis after a student was diagnosed with the disease, the third case in the state in two weeks." That was a rewrite of a story from a Georgia TV station, which made no mention of the legal status of anyone involved.

Yet the rest of the WND article was spent on fearmongering about filthy, disease-ridden illegal immigrants, such as touting a former congressman's claim that "minors from Central America were importing infectious diseases considered to be largely eradicated in the United States."

WND even touted the ex-congressman claiming that "many of the migrants lacked basic vaccinations such as those to prevent chicken pox or measles" -- even though WND has been giving space recently to anti-vaccine activists.

This is a misleading story, implying a link between the Georgia TB cases that it can't prove exists by repeating irrelevant fearmongering. Of course, WND has a history of fearmongering about disease-ridden immigrants.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:40 AM EDT
Updated: Saturday, March 16, 2019 8:47 AM EDT
Friday, March 15, 2019
CNS Serves As Candace Owens' Stenographer, Censors Her Controversies
Topic: CNSNews.com

During the right-wing CPAC convention earlier this month, CNS went into stenography mode on several speakers -- for instance, devoting three entire articles to Vice President Mike Pence's speech alone. And Melanie Arter was locked into total stenography for a lengthy March 5 article:

Candace Owens, director of communications at Turning Point USA and founder of the Blexit movement encouraging blacks to exit the Democratic Party, said Friday that she doesn’t want a Green New Deal, she wants a Black New Deal.

“I say I don’t want a Green new Deal. I want a black new deal. And the good news, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, is that that actually can be free. It doesn’t cost $93 trillion,” Owens said in a speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).

Nowhere in her lengthy article did Arter mention a little controversy from just a month earlier in which Owens responded to a question about pushing nationalism in the U.S. when it didn't end so well in Nazi Germany by responding: "If Hitler just wanted to make Germany great and have things run well — OK, fine. The problem is he had dreams outside of Germany. He wanted to globalize. He wanted everybody to be German." After getting backlash for her failure to understand Nazi Germany, Owens blamed "leftist journalists" for unearthing the remarks and conceded that, yes, Hitler was bad.

Arter went on to uncritically repeat a dubious talking point from Owens:

She said she questioned how the left loved Donald Trump before he announced his candidacy for president and then hated him 24 hours later.

“I questioned at the time, is it really possible that a man that was loved by the media, Donald J. Trump – they loved him – loved by black America – every hip hop song that I listened to growing up, they wanted to be like Trump. Beyonce and Jay Z were sipping poolside at Mar-a-Lago. He was the dream. Obama said that the American dream was to be like Trump,” Owens said.

“Was it really possible that within 24 hours of declaring his candidacy for the White House, he became a racist, bigoted, homophobic, sexist rapist at one point, right? Was that really possible, and I said of course, no that’s it’s possible. There’s absolutely no way that’s possible,” she said.

As we've noted, there was plenty of evidence of Trump behaving in a racist manner long before he was president.

Arter also uncritically repeated Owen's claim that she "questioned how the Democratic Party, which 'instituted slavery, Jim Crow laws, racial terrorism in the KKK,' had the black vote,"which ignores that the answer is not that difficult to find -- driven in large part by Democratic support for civil rights laws in the 1960s and Republican opposition to same -- had Owens and Arter bothered to look.

And as for Arter definitively describing Owens as "founder of the Blexit movement," that's not exactly true either. The actual founder claims that Owens co-opted her movement and has threatened to sue Owens over it.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:40 AM EDT
Updated: Monday, March 18, 2019 12:22 AM EDT
MRC Hides Attorney's Experience to Dismiss Him As A Mere TV Personality
Topic: Media Research Center

In March 2018, the Media Research Center complained that some in the media were "haughtily dismissed" the idea of President Trump naming Larry Kudlow as an economic adviser, "discarding" him "as simply a 'TV personality' who encourages the President’s 'TV feedback loop."and ignoring the fact that Kudlow worked in the Reagan administration (not mentioning that allegedly relevant experience was 30 years ago, and he was a TV personality for much longer than he was a Reagan employee). It also dismissed concerns about Kudlow's long record of bad economic predictions by playing whataboutism and complaining about Paul Krugman.

Now, the MRC is giving someone else the Kudlow treatment it purportedly hated. Bill D'Agostino grumbled in a March 6 post:

Former MSNBC contributor Daniel Goldman, who was recently hired as director of investigations for the House Intelligence Committee, has quite a track record of spewing anti-Trump Democratic talking points on cable television. Over the past few months alone, Goldman has used his television platform to tell viewers “that the President has committed a felony in order to obtain the office of the presidency,” and that the very act of opposing President Trump puts him on “the right side of history.” 

Interestingly, MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace made no mention of Goldman’s professional relationship with her network when she announced the appointment on Tuesday’s Deadline: White House. CNN’s first report about the development that same evening also skipped this latest turn of the revolving door between the Democratic Party and establishment news media. 

Goldman once claimed during an interview on Fox News that he was “not at all partisan.” However, MRC analysts examined Goldman’s appearances on cable news to evaluate that claim and discovered he has spent the past year using his media platform to lobby for the idea that the President is decidedly guilty.

D'Agostino is so determined to dismiss Goldman as nothing but a partisan TV personality that he didn't mention Goldman's direct experience working 10 years as a federal prosecutor for the Southern District of New York, where he specialized in prosecuting Russian organized crime networks -- which, again, is much longer than Kudlow worked for Reagan. Instead, D'Agostino obliquely referred to Goldman's "legal bona fides" while never mentioning what they are or explain how they're directly applicable to his new job.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:57 AM EDT
Thursday, March 14, 2019
CNS Dips A Toe In The Anti-Vaxxer Pool
Topic: CNSNews.com

We've documented how CNSNews.com has been drifting toward WorldNetDaily territory, in both editorial bias and embrace of conspiracy theories. CNS is now trying on another WND conspiracy theory: anti-vaccine activism.

CNS published a March 6 column by right-winger Michelle Malkin in which she ranted about how "Capitol Hill and Silicon Valley have locked their sights on the next targets of a frightening free speech-squelching purge: independent citizens who dare to raise questions online about the safety and efficacy of vaccines," blaming "pharmaceutical big business" for being behind "politicians and government bureaucrats [who] are now hell-bent on deplatforming any and all dissenters who challenge mandatory vaccine regimens."

Malkin, though, doesn't quite have the conviction of her beliefs, conceding: "I'm vaccinated. My children are up to date. There's no dispute that vaccines have saved untold lives" -- which sort of undercuts the whole point of ranting against vaccines. She also admits there's "junk science on the 'anti-vaccine' side," but also complains that the film "Vaxxed" -- made by the defrocked doctor who pushed the discredited claim that vaccines cause autism -- was pulled from some streaming outlets.

Malkin then tries to play gotcha:

As for efficacy, consider this new data: A recent whooping cough outbreak at the private Harvard-Westlake School in Los Angeles last week resulted in 30 students contracting the illness, all of whom were vaccinated. Of 18 unvaccinated students, none caught the disease. Will pointing this out on my Facebook and Twitter accounts bring down the Silicon Valley ban hammer?

Malkin is pretending not to know that it's common knowledge that the whooping cough vaccine, part of the Tdap vaccine series, loses efficacy over time and requires a booster shot at age 11 or 12. The fact that none of the unvaccinated students didn't get whooping cough can likely be chalked up to coincidence rather than any magical non-vaccination power.

The next day, managing editor Michael W. Chapman gave Republican Rep. Rand Paul a platform to rant against mandating vaccinations without presenting an opposing view. But Chapman also let Paul undercut his own argument: "I'm not here to say don't vaccinate your kids. ... I vaccinated myself. I vaccinated my kids."

Chapman also let Paul huff that ""Despite the government admitting to and paying $4 billion for vaccine injuries, no informed consent is used or required when you vaccinate your child. This may be the only medical procedure in today's medical world where an informed consent is not required." Chapman didn't report the actual numbers of people involved: According to the federal government, that $4 billion involves just 6,430 cases judged to meet standards for compensation, out of the millions upon millions of people who have been vaccinated during that time. The government adds:

According to the CDC, from 2006 to 2017 over 3.4 billion doses of covered vaccines were distributed in the U.S. For petitions filed in this time period, 6,197 petitions were adjudicated by the Court, and of those 4,250 were compensated. This means for every 1 million doses of vaccine that were distributed, 1 individual was compensated.

Sounds like vaccines are quite safe. But Chapman couldn't be bothered to tell the full story.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:30 AM EDT
WND Columnist Peddles Myth Behind Anti-Abortion Movie
Topic: WorldNetDaily

The ConWeb is quite happy about the upcoming anti-abortion film "Unplanned," which claims to tell the story of Abby Johnson, a former Planned Parenthood employee who became an anti-abortion zealot. Among the ConWeb folks enthused about the film is WorldNetDaily columnist Michael Brown, who warned in his Feb. 25 column: "Expect character assassination of those involved in the movie (not to mention of Johnson herself)." Brown then repeated some blogger's retelling of Johnson's story:

She “worked at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Bryan, Texas, until 2009 when she left the organization after assisting in an ultrasound-guided abortion of a 13-week-old unborn baby. Johnson was Planned Parenthood’s youngest director of a clinic in the nation.

“She helped over 22,000 women have abortions during her time at the clinic. Planned Parenthood named Johnson as the employee of the year in 2008. She worked at the abortion provider for eight years before leaving the group. Johnson also had a medication abortion before she became pro-life.”

So, seeing the reality of what abortion did to a child in the womb changed the heart of this zealous Planned Parenthood employee. And now, the movie “Unplanned” is positioned to change the hearts of millions of potential viewers.

Just one thing: that creation myth isn't quite true. As an actual news outlet reported, Planned Parenthood stated that there were no ultrasound-guided abortions on the day that Johnson claims, Johnson did not assist on any abortion that day, and the only abortion patient that day who comes closest to the person described in Johnson's story was too early in her pregnancy to require the use of ultrasound. (Johnson stands by her version of the story and suggested Planned Parenthood doctored records to make her look bad.)

Brown then complained that it was "outrageous" that the film got an R rating due to its graphic abortion footage. But he didn't criticize the filmmakers for refusing to make the needed edits to make the film more accessible or question why making the procedure look as gory as possible was the only possible artistic decision.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:04 AM EDT
Wednesday, March 13, 2019
Acosta Derangement Syndrome Watch, MRC Edition
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center is not satisfied with merely criticizing CNN's Jim Acosta (though it absolutely loves doing that); the MRC feels it must dunk on Acosta at every opportunity, and doubly so if he gets something not quite right.

For chief MRC Acosta-hater Curtis Houck, it wasn't enough for him to try and correct Acosta for something he thinks the reporter got wrong. He went into full insult mode in a Feb. 28 post, ranting that "carnival barker" Acosta "appeared in need of a safe space following President Trump’s Hanoi press conference" because he noted that Trump gave relatively little attention to American reporters. Houck went on to huff:

Now, here’s the facts. Along with New York Times national security correspondent David Sanger, here were at least six members of the White House press corps from American outlets that were called on: Major Garrett (CBS), Jonathan Karl (ABC), David Nakamura (The Washington Post), Ayesha Rascoe (NPR), John Roberts (Fox News), and Margaret Talev (Bloomberg). 

To quote CNN’s snarky motto: Facts First!

But Houck did not provide the total number of journalists Trump called on at the press conference, meaning he offers no context as to whether or not six American journalists is or is not a sufficient number relevant to the number of foreign journalists -- and, to Acosta's point, the number of foreign journalists working for state-run outlets in authoritarian countries like Russia and China -- that were called on.

Nevertheless, by the next day, the MRC's Tim Graham declared that Acosta's not-quite-proven-wrong statement was a "flat-out lie" --  apparently, Graham can read Acosta's mind now -- citing Houck's post to claim "Acosta was 'Pants on Fire' when he complained the White House press corps was ignored" (which was not what Acosta said). Graham went on to cheer right-wing Fox News host Laura Ingraham for taking shots at Acosta.

Houck, by the way, wasn't done insulting Acosta. The same day as the above rant, he unleashed another one complaining about "another long-winded, gloat-filled diatribe against the President" from Acosta and that "Acosta couldn’t help but make a juvenile slap toward the President." Well, Houck knows all about making juvenile slaps, doesn't he?

Houck expressed his Acosta derangement once more in a March 11 post (under the leaden snark of a "Dear Diary" headline):

After what must have been an insanely painful 42 days for the White House press corps, Monday afternoon featured a White House press briefing and, needless to say, carnival barker, CNN chief White House correspondent, and infamous newsman Jim Acosta made sure to make this briefing count.

Acosta used his allotted two minutes as best he could, tussling with Press Secretary Sarah Sanders over the Democratic Party’s issues with Jewish people and the President’s rhetoric as a source of what ills America.

[...]

Afterward, on CNN Newsroom, Acosta uncorked another long-winded, uninterrupted lecture about his dismay for what comes out of the White House. 

It's telling that Houck is more concerned that Houck is allowed to say anything at a White House press conference than the fact that the Trump administration went 42 days without holding one.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:57 AM EDT
Pro-White WND Columnist Frets Over 'Anti-White Politics'
Topic: WorldNetDaily

As befits a writer who pines a little too hard for the days of apartheid, WorldNetDaily columnist Ilana Mercer is worried about the hardships white people face. She worries again in her Feb. 28 column:

Every time a manifestly racist, anti-white event goes down, which is frequently, conservative media call it “identity politics.” “The left is playing identity politics.”

Whatever is convulsing the country, it’s not identity politics. For, blacks are not being pitted against Hispanics. Hispanics are not being sicced on Asians, and Ameri-Indians aren’t being urged to attack the groups just mentioned. Rather, they’re all piling on honky. Hence, anti-white politics or animus.

The ire of the multicultural multitudes is directed exclusively at whites and their putative privilege. Anti-whitism is becoming endemic and systemic.

Mercer then complained about the Jussie Smollett hoax, grumbling: "'Trump supporters' is indeed a proxy for 'white persons.' The conflation of 'white' and 'Trump supporter' was made, for one, by an anti-white, anti-Trump, professional agitator." She added: "Some conservatives remarked that the Smollett affair occurred against the backdrop of Trump Derangement Syndrome (TDS). Is TDS not a proxy for the white-hot hatred of whites?"

Mercer then ranted about, as near as we can tell, lessons on multiculturalism in schools: "As if public education were not sufficiently corrupt, 'educators' now contract out to an educational black op. These tax-paid mercenaries come to schools as social levelers to put your kids through an indoctrination boot camp. However, it’s not egalitarianism the schools are increasingly teaching, but anti-whitism."

This is apparently based on an article at FrontPageMag by Matthew Vadum (remember him?) about a lawsuit by parents objecting to a curriculum created a group called Just Communities Central Coast and used in a California school district. Just Communities has said the curriculum examples cited in the lawsuit are altered or taken out of context, which seems like a relevant thing to mention.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:07 AM EDT
Updated: Monday, March 18, 2019 12:17 AM EDT

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