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Monday, July 24, 2017
MRC Censors News About Withdrawing Its Own Award From Hannity
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center was in a little bit of a controversy in recent weeks.

In early June, New York Times columnist Bret Stephens used his column to attack the idea of  the MRC bestowing its annual William F. Buckley Award for Media Excellence. Stephens declared that while neither Hannity nor the MRC were "particularly noteworthy," giving an award named after Buckley -- who had nourished a brand of conservatism that was "fundamentally literary -- to a conspiracy-monger like Hannity ushers in the "post-literate conservative world."

When Stephens ushered in his move to the Times from the Wall Street Journal a month before with a column questioning climate change, the MRC touted how Stephens made "liberal snowflakes" upset by it. But it stayed silent aout Stephens' diss of the MRC's planned award. A June 29 NewsBusters post by Randy Hall praised MSNBC for adding Stephens as a commentator -- but he stayed silent about how Stephens bashed the MRC's award.

Last week, however, CNN's Jake Tapper broke the news that the MRC has decided not to give the award to Hannity, reportedly after Buckley's son, author Christopher Buckley, "expressed great dismay" at the idea and contacted the MRC to express his disapproval. The MRC, meanwhile, was spinning it as a "scheduling conflict," and Hannity had a Twitter meltdown over the revelation, insisting that he was "unable to attend."

This is big news in the conservative world. But you won't read about it on any MRC-operated website.

We found no reference to the controversy on NewsBusters, CNSNews.com or MRCTV. The main Twitter feed for the MRC, as well as the NewsBusters feed, also ignored it. The only mention we found was a single tweet by MRC chief Brent Bozell, in which he advanced the questionable scheduling-conflict storyline: "MRC awarded Hannity the Buckley award. Hannity subsequently told us he couldn’t make it. We chose not to hand out the award this year."

In other words, the MRC got scooped on its own story and is trying to keep the truth from its own readers. It's a reminder that the MRC hates the truth when it involves something unflattering about its fellow conservatives -- and especially itself.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:52 PM EDT
Sunday, July 23, 2017
WND Never Proves SPLC's 'Hate Group' Assessments Wrong
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Like other right-wing outlets (like the Media Research Center), WorldNetDaily has claimed a role in the current, coordinated right-wing war against the Southern Poverty Law Center for pointing out the hate-filled agendas of some right-wing groups. And like the MRC, WND simply attacks the SPLC instead of proving its assertions wrong.

Bob Unruh huffs in a July 13 WND article:

For the second time in weeks, an organization has been caught using information from the domestic terror-linked Southern Poverty Law Center to smear a third party.

One lawsuit already has resulted and a second complaint is developing.

WND reported last month Liberty Counsel sued the charity-reporting service GuideStar for featuring SPLC’s “hate” designation on GuideStar’s page for Liberty Counsel.

Now, ABC News has put itself in the crosshairs of the Alliance Defending Freedom with the same stunt – using SPLC’s “hate” label to smear a non-profit.

The ABC story was about Attorney Jeff Sessions speaking at an ADF event. The network, citing SPLC, referred to ADF as “an alleged hate group.”

While Unruh does note the SPLC's claim that ADF "specializes in supporting the recriminalization of homosexuality abroad, ending same-sex marriage and generally making life as difficult as possible for LGBT communities in the U.S. and internationally," at no point does Unruh bother to disprove it, instead devoting the bulk of his article to rehashing old attacks on the SPLC.

Unruh rants further in a July 21 article:

The left-wing Southern Poverty Law Center, which has been in the spotlight recently for its practice of designating conservative non-profits as “hate groups,” has gone on defense.

Richard Cohen, the president of SPLC, which has been linked to a domestic terror attack, wrote in a Huffington Post commentary that Christians deserve the designation because they “sow the seeds of hate.”

For adhering to a biblical perspective on homosexuality, for one thing.

The Family Research Council, wrote Cohen, has a “long track record of using dehumanizing language and outright lies to portray LGBT people as sick, evil, and a danger to children and society. As stated on its website, it opposes the acceptance of homosexuality ‘in the law, in the media, and in the schools.'”

He also renewed his group’s attacks on the conservative Center for Immigration Studies.

“It’s a group whose immigration agenda is colored by ethnic bias,” he claimed.

SPLC’s defense of its activities comes on the heels of a lawsuit against the charity-monitoring organization GuideStar over its use of SPLC’s “hate” designations.

Note that Unruh falsely framed Cohen's calling out of specific hateful behaviors as an broad attack on "Christians." (As before, the bulk of Unruh's article is devoted to attacks on the SPLC.) Also, Unruh not only limits his quoting of Cohen to the above lines, he doesn't liken to Cohen's commentary, presumably so WND readers cannot see the specifics Cohen cited behind the SPLC's designation for the FRC and the CIS:

At their root, hate groups – those that have “beliefs or practices that attack or malign an entire class of people, typically for their immutable characteristics” – are anti-democratic. Like hate crimes, they rip apart society along its most fragile fault lines – lines such as race, ethnicity, religion or sexual orientation.

CIS is a case in point. It’s a group whose immigration agenda is colored by ethnic bias. Part of a network of anti-immigration groups founded by white supremacist John Tanton, CIS has disseminated more than 1,700 articles from VDARE, a racist website and hub for white nationalists over the past decade. Hundreds of other articles came from leading racists and anti-Semites like Kevin McDonald, a former psychology professor who argues that Jews are genetically driven to destroy Western civilization. And, incredibly, after the devastating 2010 earthquake in Haiti, CIS President Mark Krikorian wrote, “My guess is that Haiti’s so screwed up because it wasn’t colonized long enough.”

The FRC is an even easier call.

It has a long track record of using dehumanizing language and outright lies to portray LGBT people as sick, evil, and a danger to children and society. As stated on its website, it opposes the acceptance of homosexuality “in the law, in the media, and in schools.” In other words, LGBT people should not have the same rights and protections as everyone else.

FRC President Tony Perkins claims that pedophilia is a “homosexual problem” – even though the American Psychological Association has concluded that gay men are no more likely than straight men to molest children. He has said the “It Gets Better” campaign, an initiative designed to give LGBT students hope, is “disgusting” and part of a “concerted effort” to “recruit” children into the gay “lifestyle.” He once voiced support for a proposed law in Uganda that would mean a life sentence for anyone caught having gay sex and the death penalty in certain cases involving homosexuality.

The FRC may not advocate violence, but its inflammatory rhetoric pours fuel on the fires of hate. FBI statistics show that the LGBT community is, by far, the minority group most likely to be targeted for violent hate crimes.

[...]

The CIS and FRC are certainly closer to the mainstream than groups like the neo-Nazi National Alliance. But that does not mean they don’t sow the seeds of hate. In fact, it means they have bigger, more powerful megaphones to spread their divisive, anti-democratic message. And that’s all the more reason to call them out.

That's a truth Unruh and WND obviously don't wants their readers to know.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:25 PM EDT
Saturday, July 22, 2017
MRC Still Pushing Bogus Study About Political Donations By 'Journalists'
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Brad Wilmouth writes in a July 15 post:

On Friday's MSNBC Live, host Craig Melvin denied that the dominant news media have a liberal bias after Republican Congressman Dave Brat started hitting him with reports that over 96 percent of journalists who made political donations chose Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. A bit later, Melvin denied biased reporting as he declared, "Even if that bias did exist -- which, I mean, Dave, it doesn't -- even if it did --" Brat zinged him: "If it exists? Now, you got to come clean with me on that one."

At about 1:32 p.m. ET, after the MSNBC host began the interview by asking the Virginia Republican about Donald Trump Jr.'s emails and Russia collusion, Brat began complaining about the media's history of going soft on Democrats, and tied in their tendency to donate overwhelmingly to the liberal side. Brat:

No one gets to play the innocent here. Hillary raised $2 billion in the Hillary foundation from foreign money, and CNN and all the biggies never found anything on that. The Washington Post is great on Watergate, but they missed Clintongate altogether. Why is that? Well, maybe it's because 97 percent of the donations from mainstream (media) folks go to the Democrat party. Gee, I wonder if that could, you know, influence the news at all.

The congressman was apparently referring to an October 2016 finding by the Center for Public Integrity that more than 96 percent of journalists who gave large amounts money to presidential candidates that year had given to Clinton.

But that poll has been discredited because of its dishonesty. As we've documented, CPI's definition of "journalist" is so broad it includes people who haven't worked in journalism for years as well as TV talking heads like Larry King who aren't getting paid to be journalists. Most of the working journalists in hard news that CPI cites as making political donations are employed by small local papers, not large national media organizations that generally prohibit reporters from making poltiical donations.

That the MRC remains dedicated to promoting such a dishonest "study" tells you a lot about the lack of quality in the MRC's work.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:31 AM EDT
WND's Klayman: It's OK for Cliven Bundy To Say 'Negro' Because MLK Said It
Topic: WorldNetDaily

The political prosecution of Cliven Bundy, his sons and tens of other defendants is an outrage begun by President Barack Obama and his Justice Department, then run by former Attorney General Loretta Lynch, essentially because Cliven used the word “Negro” in commenting that he and his family could appreciate how African-Americans were mistreated by the federal government, given how this same federal government, under Obama and Lynch, with the aid of former Nevada Sen. Harry Reid, had attempted to enslave them, too. As just one example of how Obama took offense and then threatened Cliven, just watch the video below.

At a White House Correspondents’ Dinner, which occurred just after the successful standoff at Bunkerville, land Cliven’s family had ranched for over 150 years, Obama, with a sick, arrogant smirk, mocked and disparaged Cliven and in effect warned him about the consequences of using the word “Negro,” not coincidentally a term used by the great civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. to refer to himself and his fellow “Negroes.” Ironically, in the days of King, the use of the term “black,” which later gained acceptance, was thought racist. That is why the Rev. Jesse Jackson, who was with King when he was tragically assassinated, later coined another term, “African-American,” to refer to his race.

-- Larry Klayman, July 14 WorldNetDaily column

(No, Larry, using the word "Negro" was not why Cliven Bundy got into trouble no matter how much you claim that' what he "essentially" said. And claiming that MLK used the word "negro" does not excuse Bundy's use of it.)


Posted by Terry K. at 3:32 AM EDT
Friday, July 21, 2017
MRC -- Who Dismisses Ted Nugent's Underage Proclivities -- Rages At R. Kelly
Topic: Media Research Center

Corinne Weaver sounded quite alarmed in her July 18 Media Research Center post:

The media can turn anyone into a hero or a villain. In the case of R&B pop star R. Kelly, they’ve promoted his career and downplayed at least 15 years of sex crime allegations. He’s been featured both as a guest and musical performer on top network shows.

Late night TV talk programs such as The Tonight Show and Jimmy Kimmel Live!, as well as daytime’s Good Morning America, have given the singer glowing airtime and promotions for his many albums. Kimmel gave a friendly interview to the singer on December 4, 2013, and said to him, “There is so much I could learn from you.” Nothing was said about allegations about sex with underage girls.

The latest allegations against Kelly are the most alarming. BuzzFeed News unveiled a shocking expose alleging in the title that that the singer is “Is Holding Women Against Their Will” as part of a “cult.”

The claims, if true, are disburbing. (Kelly's people have denied it.) But Weaver is engaging in a double standard here.

We've noted that the MRC is loath to talk about how right-wing darling Ted Nugent loved to brag about bedding underage girls during his peak rock-star days. So obsessed was Nugent with them, in fact, that he had himself declared the legal guardian of one underage girl to put a patina of respectability on the relationship.

The one time that we could find that Nugent's love of jailbait was mentioned at the MRC, it was immediately dismissed with a Clinton Equivocation. In the 2014 post, Tim Graham (who else?) did the honors, attacking a New York Times article for committing the offense of bringing it up:

[Reporter Manny] Fernandez and the Times had no problem throwing the rhetorical kitchen sink at Nugent: "Democrats had no shortage of comments or behavior from Mr. Nugent’s past at which to take offense. They called him a 'sexual predator,' citing an episode of VH1’s 'Behind the Music' that stated he had admitted to liaisons with underage girls and had persuaded one girl’s mother to sign papers making him the girl’s legal guardian."

That's really rich from Democrats who didn't mind Clinton's liaisons with college-age interns, or charges of rape. But when you call Bill Clinton a sexual "predator," as Rand Paul did on TV, the Times avoided any mention of the word.

If a Clinton did it first, it's OK for a Republican. The MRC doesn't give non-conservative entertainers the same pass.

(Image: Buzzfeed)


Posted by Terry K. at 3:03 PM EDT
WND Report on Purported Clinton-Linked Witness Sure Looks Like Fake News
Topic: WorldNetDaily

An anonymously written July 16 WorldNetDaily article tells the story:

Klaus Eberwein, a former Haitian government official who was expected to testify against alleged Clinton Foundation corruption and malpractice next week, has been found dead in Miami via gunshot wound to the head.

The death was ruled a suicide. Eberwein was 50 and reportedly told acquaintances he feared for his life for his fierce criticism of the Clinton Foundation.

Eberwein was due to appear next Tuesday before the Haitian Senate Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission where he was widely expected to testify that the Clinton Foundation misappropriated Haiti earthquake donations from international donors.

WND made sure to push the angle that the Clintons are somehow responsible for his death by including this promotional line between the second and third paragraphs: "How many people do YOU know who have died mysteriously? Not as many as the Clintons! Check out WND’s explosive report, '‘Clinton death list’: 33 spine-tingling cases.'"

As with anything Clinton (and most things WND), there's some fake news going on here. The anonymous WND reporter writes: "'The Clinton Foundation, they are criminals, they are thieves, they are liars, they are a disgrace,' Eberwein said at a protest outside the Clinton Foundation headquarters in Manhattan last year."

But as blogger Richard Bartholomew points out, the BBC attributed that quote to Dahoud Andre, a protest group leader. Bartholomew also couldn't find any independently sourced on-the-record statements Eberwein made about the Clintons, which makes WND's other statements about what Eberwein purportedly claimed -- i.e., "According to Eberwein, a paltry 0.6 percent of donations granted by international donors to the Clinton Foundation with the express purpose of directly assisting Haitians actually ended up in the hands of Haitian organizations' -- factually suspect as well.

Indeed, there's no on-the-record evidence that Eberwein was to testify about the Clinton Foundation. As the Miami Herald noted: "Eberwein was scheduled to appear Tuesday before the Haitian Senate’s Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission, the head of the commission, Sen. Evalière Beauplan confirmed. The commission is investigating the management of PetroCaribe funds, the money Haiti receives from Venezuela’s discounted oil program." No mention of anything Clinton-related was made.

So is this another WND fake-news story based in its obsessive hatred for the Clintons? It's sure looking that way so far.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:26 AM EDT
Thursday, July 20, 2017
MRC Sees No Difference Between 'The Left' And A Journalist
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Scott Whitlock writes in a July 14 post:

Providing some unintentional comedy, CNN anchor Poppy Harlow on Thursday lectured a conservative Congressman, telling him, “I’m not the left. I’m a journalist.” Collectively, many Americans must have thought: “What’s the difference?” The haughty defense came after Harlow demanded of Representative Jim Jordan: “Are you comfortable with that huge reduction in Medicaid funding?” 

Speaking of unintentional comedy, Whitlock has just revealed just how terrible a media researcher he is.

If Whitlock can't divine any difference at all between a journalist and someone on "the left," why should anyone take him seriously? Is he that brainwashed by the MRC's right-wing anti-media ideology that he cannot tell the difference, or has it made him so lazy that he refuses, content to mindlessly repeat any criticism of a conservative, no matter how factual, as coming from "the left"?

Does that mean that right-wing journalists are not, in fact, journalists because of their partisan bent? Whitlock doesn't address that paradox.

Being a hack may be the excuse, because he follows up the statement about Medicaid funding by asserting, "Of course, the GOP health care bill does NOT cut Medicaid." As we've pointed out, that's simply fake news -- if Medicaid is not being funded to keepthe current level of service, which is what President Trump's proposed budget does, it is in fact a cut.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:22 PM EDT
WND Still Pushing Questionable Claim of 'White Genocide' in South Africa
Topic: WorldNetDaily

We've detailed WorldNetDaily's renewed concern about the plight of whites in post-apartheid South Africa, complete with WND columnist Babrara Simpson manufacturing quotes by an anti-genocide activist to falsely claim they face a "genocide."

WND is back at it again in a July 15 article by Liam Clancy, who kicks things off by repeating the dubious talking point -- copy-and-pasted from an April WND article by Alex Newman -- that "White South African farmers are several times more likely to be killed than South African police officers or even American soldiers serving in Iraq. In fact, the murder rate for blacks in South Africa is still  much higher than it is for whites.

Clancy calls in a couple of WND authors to complain -- including Newman, who has whitewashed apartheid in the past -- to push the idea that the U.S. should admit white South African farmers as refugees (the "real refugees" of the headline, as opposed to refugees of equal or worse violence who happen to be non-white and non-Christian):

[Charyl] Van Wyk agrees that President Trump should open up the United States for white South African refugees.

“They serve God, they’re hard workers and they believe their work ethic shows their love of God,” Van Wyk told WND.

Journalist Alex Newman, a former resident of South Africa, believes that the extent of violence against whites in South Africa is truly of “genocidal” proportions.

“What’s happening there now is just monstrous beyond words,” said Newman. “I think genocide is a very appropriate term to use there.”

Except, well, it isn't. Genocide Watch founder Gregory Stanton, who was the victim of Simpson's quote manufacturing, has said that while the situation in South Africa is concerning, it does not rise to the level of genocide.

Lest the pro-white tone of Clancy's piece be considered an accident -- he interviews no one for his article who is not a white South African native -- he goes on to fret: "The cultural heritage of white South Africans is also at risk, as student protesters around the country campaign to destroy monuments to white South Africans and any other representation of white South African culture."

Clancy -- and, in turn, Newman and Van Wyk -- don't explain that whole apartheid thing as a possible reason why the black majority would not be looking kindly upon "monuments to white South Africans and any other representation of white South African culture."


Posted by Terry K. at 12:08 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, July 20, 2017 12:09 AM EDT
Wednesday, July 19, 2017
MRC Hides Pro-Trump Bias of Media-Bashing Guest
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Nicholas Fondacaro has a new favorite media-basher -- and, more to the point, someone who bashes CNN media reporter Brian Stelter -- judging by the giddy tone of his July 16 post:

Things got a little heated during CNN’s Reliable Sources on Sunday when former Editor for The New York Observer Ken Kurson called out the media for acting as the opposition party to President Donald Trump. “ So, the idea here is that the media have become the opposition to Trump … I mean, just listening to the intro to this show,” he told his host, CNN’s ridiculous figure Brian Stelter. As would be expected, that didn’t sit well with Stelter who pretended the media don’t have a disdain for the President.

[...]

The hypocrisy was staggering according to Kurson, who noted that “we’re talking about a newspaper that holds itself out as the most dignified place for American thought and journalism today, and this is what they put forth.” It’s a common narrative among media elitists like Stelter to pretend that news organizations have no editorial control over what it is they print or say.

[...]

“I think a lot of journalists are against lying, against deceit. That’s where we are right now,” Stelter shot back at one point. Kurson made it clear that he stood against those things too, but warned that “when you have a system where the outrageous attack is what’s rewarded with likes on Facebook and followings on Twitter you are setting yourself up.

In all his giddiness, Fondacaro forgot to mention a couple of important things. First: Kurson's former employer was owned by Jared Kushner, son-in-law of President Trump. Second: Kurson has been described as a "friend and associate" of Kushner who helped Trump write a campaign speech he delivered to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.

In other words, Kurson is a pro-Trump shill, and it's no surprise he spouting the Trump White House's anti-media agenda.

That bias seems important to disclose to readers. But Kurson's bias mirrors that of Fonadacaro and the MRC, so he probably didn't even notice his hypocrisy.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:40 AM EDT
WND Rushes to Blame 'Cop Named Mohamed' In Police Shooting Because Of His Name
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily normally supports the police against allegations of excessive violence, especially when the victims are black and the critics are similarly so. But as we've seen with vaccines, WND will happily flip-flop on long-held views in order to adapt to a new designated enemy -- namely, Muslims.

So, when Justine Damond was shot and killed by a Minneapolis police officer on July 16, WND didn't do rush to the defense of the police, as it ususally did in such situations.Why? The victim was white, and the officer had a Muslim-sounding name.

Thus, resident WND Muslim-hater gets the assignment for this story -- and he delivers, under the headline "Cop named Mohamed shoots, kills unarmed woman who called 9-1-1":

The Minneapolis cop who shot and killed a 40-year-old woman after she called 9-1-1 to report a possible crime near her home was identified Monday as the precinct’s first Somali-American officer — Mohamed Noor.

Noor has only been a police officer for two years and has already been sued for alleged unprofessional behavior. The May 2017 lawsuit also involved a female and accusations of brutality.

The shooting late Saturday night happened at the end of an alley in the city’s Fulton neighborhood.

Justine Ruszczyk Damond, a native of Sydney, Australia, was a veterinarian and a yoga instructor who recently got engaged to longtime boyfriend Don Damond. She and her fiancé lived in the 5000 block of Washburn.

[...]

Noor, 31, was born in Somalia.

[...]

Noor joined the department in March 2015 and is assigned to the 5th Precinct in southwest Minneapolis. Before that, he worked in property management.

The Minneapolis Office of Police Conduct Review contains records that show Noor has had three complaints filed against him, two of which remain open, the Star-Tribune reports. Another was closed without discipline.

Minneapolis has the nation’s largest concentration of Somali refugees, with the community estimated at approximately 50,000 strong in the city. The city’s Democrat mayor and council have made every effort to hire Somalis as part of the city’s diversity program.

We're pretty sure WND never published an article with the headline "Cop named Bob shoots, kills unarmed black teenager."

Hohmann followed up the next day by once again putting Noor's name in the headline -- "Killer cop Mohamed Noor was 'diversity' hire" -- something we're also pretty sure WND never did in any of its stories about black teens being shot by white cops. It's another anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant tirade, whining that Minneapolis "makes a special effort to recruit Somalis as part of its affirmative-action plan" and attacked Noor for having "entered the country as a refugee." Hohmann sneered: "Noor, who entered the U.S. as a child from war-torn Somalia, joined four other Somali-Americans on the Minneapolis Police Department. Given that he was not only black but a Muslim refugee, he instantly gave credibility to the mayor’s promises of a more diverse police force."

Hohmann also calls on his fellow Muslim-hating retinue to hate some more:

Given the political makeup of the city’s leadership and its desire to hire more black officers, especially those with roots in the Somali community, it is highly unlikely that investigators will seek to find out if Noor was motivated by his own religious bias in the killing of Justine Damond, said former Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann.

The question that needs to be answered is, was this shooting a mistake or was it a “cultural seizure” by a Muslim officer who snapped and acted irrationally at the sight of a woman in her pajamas?

“The shooting makes no sense, and Noor comes from the mandated cover-up women culture,” Bachmann told WND. “That’s why I’m wondering if they’ll ask whether his cultural views led him to shoot her. That’s something, if true, I can’t imagine the progressives would allow to get out.

“Minneapolis race-baiters traffic in imagined bias,” Bachmann added. “This may have been real bias. But will we ever know?”

WND has never shown such interest in alleged cultural bias behind violent incidents when the perpetrator is white (as Dylann Roof can attest).


Posted by Terry K. at 2:58 AM EDT
Tuesday, July 18, 2017
CNS Blogger Is An Even Worse Media Critic Than His MRC Co-Workers
Topic: CNSNews.com

It turns out that there are media critics employed by the Media Research Center even worse at their jobs than Tim Graham. Like Craig Bannister, whose main job is to be the PR guy for MRC "news" division CNSNews.com but also blogs at CNS.

Bannister writes in a July 5 CNS blog post (needless and excessive bolding and underlining are his):

CNN’s Will Ripley empathizes with North Korea’s side of things in two short videos on CNN.com, suggesting the communist country is misunderstood and mistreated by the U.S.

In “What it's really like to be inside North Korea,” CNN’s Will Ripley – who has visited North Korea 11 times – portrays the country as a place where leaders are viewed in “the highest possible esteem,” not as the outside world stereotypes them:

"This is a society that is built around its leadership; they hold their leaders up to the highest possible esteem. And, that is very much in contrast to the view from the outside world, that North Korea is erratic, unpredictable and moving on a dangerous path as they continue to nuclearize.”

Ripley describes North Korea’s capital, Pyongyang, as a city with an “increasingly modern skyline” filled with music and celebration, day and night:

“You hear music playing on loudspeakers throughout the city all day. In the morning to wake people up, in the evening to put them to bed at night. There is patriotic music, people are marching, they’re practicing for these huge mass celebrations that they often do for national holidays or to celebrate the achievements of their leader.”

What’s more, all North Koreans say they have complete confidence in their leader, Kim Jong-un, who has “supreme power”:

“North Korea is one the only places in the world where, no matter who you ask, at least publicly, you will never hear political dissent, everybody will say they are one hundred percent behind their supreme leader.

Of course, that isn't what Ripley did at all. (The fact that Bannister refused to link to Ripley's video is a big sign that he knows he's not telling the truth about Ripley.) Ripley's not sympathizing with North Korea or trying to make, as Bannister claims; he's trying to explain what life is like there and how it is "radically different" from the rest of the world.

Bannister also engages in some deceptive editing. After Ripley's statement that "everybody will say they are one hundred percent behind their supreme leader," Ripley added: "Given that Kim Jong Un has absolute power in this country, what else would they say?"

That's clearly not a statement of sympathy toward North Korea's leadership nor an assertion that North Koreans have "complete confidence" in Kim -- but theh truth would have interfered with Bannister's dishonest attack on Ripley, so it had to go.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:57 PM EDT
WND's Hohmann Still Won't Admit He Misled About Measles Outbreak
Topic: WorldNetDaily

What kind of arrogance does it take for a reporter to keep on misleading about a story after you've been exposed as an dishonest misleader?

Well, meet WorldNetDaily reporter Leo Hohmann.

Hohmann hates Muslims so much, he actually blamed a measles outbreak in a Somali-American community in Minnesota on the Quran -- actually, the blame lies with WND's anti-vaccine friends who infiltrated the community.

Hohmann returned to that story in a July 12 article -- not to apologize for his maliciously biased reporting, of course, but to exploit it further to further his anti-Muslim hate by painting them as disease-ridden foreigners:

Minnesota pays out millions every year in welfare for refugees, but there are secondary costs that never get tabulated.

In fiscal 2017, which ended last last week, the state spent $1.5 million to combat three infectious disease outbreaks — including the largest measles outbreak in 30 years, which swept through in the Somali refugee community.  And health officials notified legislative leaders this week that they want to tap a special public-health fund to offset additional costs.

Dr. Ed Ehlinger, Minnesota Health commissioner, told the Star-Tribune his department will need another $600,000 for fiscal 2018 to help control the spread of measles, drug-resistant tuberculosis and syphilis.

The state has had 78 confirmed cases of measles this year, in an outbreak that began in March. Of those 78 cases, 64 have been in the Somali refugee community. The outbreak is now showing signs of being under control, with no new cases reported this month. But the costs continue to pile up.

Health Department officials want $100,445 to continue prevention work. About half the money would go toward hiring a “temporary employee” to conduct outreach to the Somali community, including efforts to increase measles vaccination rates, the Star-Tribune reported.

Hohmann was silent on the fact that it's WND's anti-vaxxer fellow travelers that necessitated the outreach.

Hohmann's anti-immigrant smear attempt broke down a couple paragraphs later when he had to admit that some of Milnnesota's infectious disease-fighting money went to "treat a 30 percent increase in syphilis cases in the American Indian community in north-central Minnesota." Nevertheless, Hohmann spent the rest of his article quoting anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant activists.

And that, my friends, is how you become a journalist so arrogant that facts no longer matter.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:57 AM EDT
Monday, July 17, 2017
MRC, CNS Lash Out at SPLC for Accurately Calling ADF An 'Anti-LGBT Hate Group'
Topic: Media Research Center

Corrine Weaver rants in a July 13 Media Research Center post:

Apparently if you defend the 1st Amendment, you are guilty of hate speech. That’s the argument put forth by several news outlets -- ABC, NBC, CNN -- and even Teen Vogue.

On Tuesday night, June 11, Attorney General Jeff Sessions gave a speech to the members of the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), a religious freedom group. The ADF is assisting the Supreme Court case involving Jack Phillips, a Colorado baker who refused to bake a gay wedding cake.

Major networks are enraged. In headlines for both ABC and NBC, they called the ADF an “anti-LGBT hate group.” On what would the networks base that characterization? It’s the hysterical assessment of the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).

How does Weaver know that ADF is not an "anti-LGBT hate group" as defined by the SPLC? The ADF said they weren't, and that's apprently good enough for her,

No, really, that's all the evidence she offers: "In April, 2017, ADF attorney Kellie Fiedorek called the SPLC’s accusation 'simply false,' and stated that ADF is “not motivated by anti-LGBTQ sentiment."

That's it, beyond copying from from ADF's mission statement and touting how ADF "defends religious freedom" (ask, say, a Muslim how well ADF is defending their religious freedom). Weaver makes no attempt to do the very simple thing of looking up the SPLC's writeup on ADF and see the numerous quotes from ADF officials howling about the "homosexual agenda" and demonstrating its "longstanding antipathy toward LGBT people."

In addition to calling the SPLC "hysterical," Weaver rants that the group is engaged in "hate rhetoric" and is an "agenda-driven liberal fund-raising machine" (as if her employer is not also that). Weaver also brings up the story ofFamily Research Council shooter Floyd Corkins and how he "specifically used the “hate map” conveniently provided by the SPLC website" as evidence of the group's "hate rhetoric,"  ignoring that by the same standard,Operation Rescue has culpability in the murder or abortion doctor George Tiller by OR hanger-on Scott Roeder (the MRC was too busy suggesting Tiller's murder was justified to admit that).

This wasn't the only MRC division to take offense to accurate labelling they don't disprove. Over at CNSNews.com, the Catholic League's Bill Donohue rants:

NBC, ABC, and CNN treat SPLC as if it were some kind of gospel source of information. Yet no serious observer would give credence to an organization that lumps ADF, and the Family Research Council (FRC), with the Westboro Baptist Church. ADF and FRC are prominent and well respected organizations that defend traditional moral values and religious liberty. Westboro Baptist Church is a bona-fide hate group: it unambiguously hates Catholics and gays.

Dr. James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family, is a decent and courageous defender of Christianity. He is not a hateful man. NBC owes him an apology.

CNN should fire Laura Jarrett, the reporter who quoted an activist for contending that ADF believes gays have no right to exist. She should be fired not for smearing ADF, but for incompetence.

Like Weaver, Donohue doesn't disprove the SPLC's contention that ADF hates gays, and he doesn't bother to look up the SPLC's page on ADF for its supporting evidence.

This was followed by a July 16 article by Theresa Smith repeating ADF's demand for an apology from ABC for accurately reporting the SPLC's description of it. Smith unironically repeated ADF official assertion that "Journalists are ethically obligated to present both sides of the story" -- but Smith didn't bother to note the SPLC's evidence backing up its claim or even reach out to the SPLC for a response.

Apparently, right-wing media is exempt from being "ethically obligated to present both sides of the story."

And back at the MRC, Weaver came up with another one of those random covearge comparisons: "ABC and NBC can’t seem to accept the consequences of their mistakes. Instead of focusing on the apology called for by the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), the nets decided to cover Game of Thrones instead, calling it “the show so big it crashed the Internet." As before, Weaver ignored the SPLC's evidence supporting its claim and declared that ADF's denial of hating gays as good enough for her.

This, by the way, is all part of a larger war conservatives are waging against the SPLC for its advocacy and highlighting of right-wing hatred.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:33 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, July 17, 2017 2:37 PM EDT
WND Goes Into Freakout (And Dishonest Reporting) Mode Over Speaker's Mention of Trump 'Jihad'
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Islamic activist Linda Sarsour, in a speech a couple weeks ago, told a story about the prophet Muhammad who said that "a word of truth in front of a tyrant ruler or leader, that is the best form of jihad," adding: "I hope that when we stand up to those who oppress our communities, that Allah accepts from us that as a form of jihad, that we are struggling against tyrants and rulers not only abroad in the Middle East or the other side of the world, but here in the United States of America, where you have fascists and white supremacists and Islamophobes reigning in the White House."

Needless to say, WorldNetDaily's chief Islamophobe, Leo Hohmann, selectively quoted from Sarsour's speech, left out the part about "a word of truth" being jihad, andbasically claimed that Sarsour called for President Trump's death.

In a July 6 article, Hohmann sneerred that Sarsour was a "bombastic street-preacher for radical Islam" and called in fellow Muslim-hater Philip Haney to maliciously misinterpret Sarsour's words:

Arabic speaker and terrorism expert Philip Haney, who co-authored the recent book See Something Say Nothing, said Sarsour’s choice of words are terrifying on their face, but they carry additional layers of meaning to Muslims familiar with the Quran and hadith. When heard from that perspective, her words are even more chilling, Haney said.

First off, the word “prepared” carries much weight among Muslims waging jihad – whether violent or civilization jihad. It’s the same word that is embedded within the logo of the extremist Muslim Brotherhood.

“It makes you ask, what are they preparing for?” Haney said.

Sarsour gave the answer: “jihad.” (See Quran 8:60.)

[...]

Chaos is a form of “fitnah,” of which the Quran warns all Muslims.

Fitnah is a type of oppression, persecution or test brought upon by unbelievers. And the Quran gives the foreboding advice that “fitnah is worse than slaughter,” meaning to slaughter is preferable than to be oppressed by the unbelievers.

Sarsour gives her audience the remedy, straight from the Quran, on how to deal with fitnah.

“She says chaos will ensue from this administration. Chaos is a code word for fitnah,” Haney said. “She’s saying this administration is causing fitnah. And fitnah requires jihad.”

Sarsour’s ISNA speech is vitally important because it’s a clarion call for average Muslims to be on their guard and ready to take drastic measures against the Trump administration and its supporters.

The exact same message was provided in more lofty verbiage by the Assembly of Muslim Jurists of America, or AMJA, just a few weeks after Donald Trump’s election as president. In that document, the AMJA, which serves as the source of fatwa rulings to be followed by nearly all Sunni Muslim mosques in North America, the AMJA said that the election of Trump was a “calamity” for the American Muslim community.

It was not until four days later, in a July 10 article complaining that Sarsour was "lashing out at her critics in the conservative media for reporting on her recent speech before the Islamic Society of North America" for taking her "out of context," though in the snottiest way possible by calling in more Muslim-haters to go on the attack:

Most conservatives interpreted the rhetoric as an incitement of violence against President Trump and his supporters. But she turned the tables and made herself appear to be the victim.

[...]

As for her use of the word “jihad,” it should not be seen as a call to violence, she says, but as reference to a spiritual “struggle” and “speaking truth to power.”

For Sarsour, any and all criticism of Islam, no matter how fact-based it may be, makes one a "white supremacist" and an "anti-Muslim Islamophobe":

[...]

Pamela Geller, a Jewish American and anti-Shariah activist, said Sarsour used the platform of the Washington Post to lash back at those who expose her true motives. But she’s just one of many peddlers of the “Islamophobia” meme that has no basis in fact and is really just a tool for implementing Islamic blasphemy laws on the West, she said.

“This Washington Post piece is just damage control. Sarsour knows what jihad means, and so do the terrorists she supports,” Geller said. “There are no passages in the Quran that speak to a spiritual jihad. But there are hundreds calling for holy war.”

But Islamic supremacists such as Sarsour know they can count on the media elites to do their heavy lifting, she said.

“This pro-Shariah Jew-hater is now directly inciting violence,” Geller said. “With the left growing more violent and fascistic by the day, this will only make her all the more their icon. And if Trump is actually assassinated, the left will make her a saint, as much of a hero as Che Guevara.”

Hohmann did not admit that he has proven himself time and time again to be an Islam ophobe, nor did he admit to his dishonest reporting in his first article on Sarsour's speech by selectively quoting from it.

Hohmann was still in blame-the-victim mode in a July 13 article, still complaining that Sarsour called out the dishonest reporting from right-wing Muslim-haters like himself:

So when she used the stage of the nation’s largest Islamist convention earlier this month to openly call for “jihad” against the Trump administration and the “white supremacists” in positions of authority, many conservatives took her at her word. Jihad, as in holy war – the Muslim Brotherhood way, whether violent or civilizational, the end goal is still the same: Islamic dominance over other faiths and other systems of government.

But now that her public profile has been raised and more people are paying attention to her controversial comments, Sarsour is incensed that anyone would consider her a jihadist.

Sarsour is so livid that anyone would take her invocation of the word “jihad” as anything but a benign spiritual “struggle” that she is threatening to unleash a legal jihad against her critics if they don’t back off.

Hohmann refused to consider the idea that the definition of jihad as interpreted by politically motivated anti-Muslim right-wingers like himself might be faulty.Hohmann quoted yet another Muslim-hater, John Guandolo, failing to mention that he's a serial philanderer and adulterer.

In none of his follow-up articles did Hohmann bother to put Sarsour's "johad" call in its proper context of the "word of truth" statement. That tells us  Hohmann cares nothing about journalistic accuracy and everything about spreading Islamophobia.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:08 AM EDT
Updated: Monday, July 17, 2017 11:05 AM EDT
Sunday, July 16, 2017
CNS' Pro-Trump Spin Keeps On Keepin' On
Topic: CNSNews.com

In case you needed another example of how CNSNews.com has become a servile pro-Trump stenographer, take these two stories by Susan Jones about Trump's press conference in Poland.

In the first, Jones huffs that Trump was asked about the Russia controversy, effectively blaming the reporter for asking it:

“Will you once and for all, yes or no, definitively say that Russia interfered in the 2016 election?” NBC’s Hallie Jackson asked President Trump on Thursday morning as he stood side by side with the Polish president at a joint news conference.

“Well I think it was Russia, and I think it could have been other people in other countries. It could have been a lot of people interfered,” Trump responded.

“I think a lot of people interfered. I think it’s been happening for a long time -- it’s been happening for many, many years.”

[...]

Hallie Jackson asked a follow-up question, noting that the U.S. intelligence community has been definitive about Russian interference. "Why won't you agree with them and say it was?" she asked.

Trump said, "Mistakes have been made" by the intelligence community, and “nobody knows for sure.” He noted that the intelligence community was wrong about Iraq having WMDs "and it led to a mess."

He repeated that the election interference came from Russia, "and I think it was probably others, too." And he asked again why Obama did nothing about it.

As the news conference ended, Jackson kept trying to ask a follow-up question, but Polish moderators cut her off, reminding her that she’d already asked her two questions.

Jones' second story, however, was on a question more to Trump's liking, and an answer that conformed much more closely to CNS' right-wing anti-media agenda:

At a joint news conference with the Polish president in Warsaw on Thursday morning, President Donald Trump said he'd take a wait-and-see approach to North Korea's bad behavior, but he wouldn't tip his hand.

"I don't like to talk about what I have planned," he said.

Trump was also asked about CNN threatening to expose the identity of the man who created a parody of Trump beating up a CNN logo -- a parody famously retweeted by Trump.

Trump answered the CNN question first, once again seizing the opportunity to criticize "fake news." More on that in a moment.

[...]

In response to the question about CNN threatening to expose the man behind the WrestleMania/CNN parody, Trump said, "I think what CNN did was unfortunate for them. As you know, now they have some pretty serious problems.

"They have been fake news for a long time. They have been covering me in a very dishonest way. Do you have that also, by the way, Mr. President?” Trump asked the Polish president.

Trump said NBC is just as bad as CNN -- "despite the fact that I made them a fortune with 'The Apprentice,' but they forgot that.

"But I will say that CNN has really taken it too seriously, and I think they've hurt themselves badly -- very, very badly.

"And what we want to see in the United States is honest -- beautiful, free -- but honest press. We want to see fair press. I think it's a very important thing. We don't want fake news. And by the way, not everybody is fake news.  But we don't want fake news. Bad thing. Very bad for our country."

Unlike with the Russia question, Jones declined to identify the reporter who asked about the CNN parody. Perhaps that's because the reporter was the Daily Mail's David Martosko -- who, as it so happens, was recently under consideration for a job in the White House press office. That's how reliably pro-Trump Martosko is.

Either she's trying to hide the pro-president bent of certain members of the White House press corps -- something CNS and its Media Research Center owner was not shy about under a Democratic president -- or Jones is maybe a little jealous that Martosko got to ask softball questions of Trump and not her.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:34 PM EDT

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