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Wednesday, February 10, 2016
WND's Dubious Doctor Blames Vaccines For Zika, Wants To Bring Back DDT
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Jane Orient's Feb. 8 column is headlined "Zika virus: What should we do about it?" What Orient plans to do about is spin a conspiracy theory that vaccines, not Zika virus, are responsible for the microcephaly epidemic in Brazil:

There is, however, still no definitive proof that microcephaly and associated defects are caused by ZVD. Some interesting facts:

  • So far, the microcephaly cases are all in Brazil, not in the 35 other countries with ZVD, though an earlier cluster was observed in 2014 in French Polynesia.
  • As of Feb. 3, only 17 of 404 cases of confirmed microcephaly tested positive for Zika.
  • Brazil had seen an increase in pertussis in fully vaccinated children, so early in 2015 officials mandated immunizing all pregnant women with DTaP (diphtheria/tetanus/acellular pertussis) vaccine, without awaiting proof of efficacy or safety in the developing baby. Only 32 pregnant women were enrolled in a trial of this vaccine, and no results are posted yet.
  • A variable number of months after the vaccinations, the number of microcephaly cases increased from essentially zero in October 2015 to 1,200 in November, and continued to climb.
  • Because of a measles outbreak, there was a major vaccination campaign with MMR (measles/mumps/rubella) in Pernambuco, Brazil, in late 2014. This is a live virus vaccine, and many women likely received it in early pregnancy or shortly before becoming pregnant. Congenital rubella syndrome can cause microcephaly among many other problems, but this was not found in surveillance of American women who inadvertently received MMR around the time of conception.

Except that, well, the science doesn't really support Orient going anti-vaxxer on what's happening in Brazil. As Tara C. Smith points out, the DTaP vaccine is suggested in the 27th to 36th week of pregnancy, too late in pregnancy to have such a severe effect on brain and skull development. She adds:

Biologically, this makes zero sense–and furthermore, why wouldn’t other countries be seeing this spike, if Tdap is truly the cause? Women in the U.S. and other countries also receive this vaccine during pregnancy, but we haven’t seen an increase in microcephaly cases. Furthermore, a recent study has demonstrated yet again that Tdap is very safe during pregnancy.

Further, as a prominent Australian website (owned by Rupert Murdoch, no less) reports:

There is no evidence to support a link between the resurgence of the Zika virus in Brazil and the increase in women having the [Tdap] vaccine, said the president of the Australasian Society of Infectious Diseases, professor Cheryl Jones.

“The bottom line is that [anti vaxxers’] proposed concerns have no scientific basis,” she told news.com.au.

[...]

“By coincidence, that move to have more mothers immunised happened just before the Zika virus started turning up. It’s pure coincidence and they’re [anti vaxxers] are jumping on that link,” said Professor [Peter] McIntyre [director of the Australia's National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance].

“That vaccine has been administered to millions of women. There have been a couple of big studies in the US comparing the health of thousands of pregnant women who had the vaccine compared to women who didn’t, and they found there was absolutely no difference in things like stillborns, birth defects, C-sections, premature birth, bleeding ... all the things that can go wrong in a pregnancy.”

Professor McIntyre says the suggestion that Zika virus is caused by the whooping cough vaccine is “absurd”.

“It shows absolutely no knowledge of the science that underlies all this.”

The sad thing is that Orient is a doctor -- albeit the executive director of the far-right Association of American Physicians and Surgeons. She loves to fearmonger, bash vaccines and push dubious medical information.

As befitting a not-very-credible doctor, Orient's solution to Zika virus is that old right-wing standard, DDT:

Mosquito-borne diseases, after a time when it was thought that even malaria might be wiped out, began increasing worldwide when the U.S. banned the most effective public health weapon of all time: DDT. If Zika causes rethinking of this disastrous decision, even though other deadly threats like malaria have not, it will save millions of lives – and even help us win the war on bed bugs.

As we've pointed out, most bedbugs and most mosquitoes are immune to DDT because of past overuse, so bringing it back would accomplish little beyond creating more DDT-resistant buggers.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:47 AM EST
Updated: Wednesday, February 10, 2016 12:49 AM EST
Tuesday, February 9, 2016
MRC: It's 'Politics' To Show A Gay Couple In Love
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center continues to be mad that gays are permitted to be gay in public.

In a Feb. 2 NewsBusters post, Katie Yoder notes that "To advertise greeting cards for Valentine’s Day this year, Hallmark released multiple videos of couples sharing their love stories. Among them: a gay and a lesbian couple." But first she asserts: "Hallmark is using politics to sell cards this Valentine’s Day."

Gosh, we thought that showing loving gay couples was a way to, you know, sell more greeting cards. We thought Yoder and the MRC supported the free market in which goods can be sold to anyone.

And wouldn't be more obviously "using politics" if Hallmark refused to acknowledge gay couples as Yoder wants?

Yoder doesn't answer that. Instead she complains that "In 2011, NPR pushed Hallmark to start creating Valentine’s Day cards for the LGBT community," citing a post by the MRC's Tim Graham whining that NPR once did a story on a company that made them that also quoted a Hallmark spokesperson stating that the company was moving in that direction. So it seems Hallmark hardly needed the "push" NPR supposedly gave them.


Posted by Terry K. at 5:21 PM EST
Kathleen Willey Still Wants You To Buy Her A House
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Back in 2013, we documented Kathleen Willey's attempt -- with an assist from WorldNetDaily -- to cash in on being a professional victim with Clinton-hating right-wingers by begging for money to pay off her house. WND let her tell a sob story about how "Kathleen Willey has endured untold personal hardship and anguish for telling the truth, for simply telling the truth!" and that "she is fighting through a maze of refinancing pitfalls and money shortfalls to stabilize her life." That crowdfunding campaign raised a paltry $3,930, with only one additional donation at this writing in the past two years, despite the added enticement of WND giving an autographed copy of Willey's factually challenged, WND-published memoir.

With Hillary Clinton running for president, Willey is aiming for a new prominence. And that, of course, means she still wants people to give her money to pay off her house. Time for a new fundraising campaign!

An email sent out last week on WND's mailing list, signed by "Pamela Jensen, C.P.A.," announces a new crowdfunding mortgage campaign:

With her husband having taken his own life, Kathleen Willey has since had to struggle to handle his debts and now faces the foreclosure of her home outside of Richmond. At the same time, she has kept a heavy schedule of newspaper and radio interviews, speaking the truth about the Clintons and exploding the myth that Hilary is an advocate for women.

That is why I need your help today.

Negotiations with Kathleen’s mortgage company are at an impasse. Her mortgage company, Seterus, Inc. Home Loan Servicing, is a financial predator unwilling to come to any reasonable terms that will allow her to keep her home. In 19 short days she will be evicted. Kathleen will lose the place where she has lived with her pets for 20 years.

You and I cannot let that happen. Kathleen Willey has an important role to play in the 2016 election. It’s shameful that Bill and Hillary are worth over $250 million while Kathleen has fallen behind in her mortgage.

Working with other women, we have established the KATHLEEN WILLEY MORTGAGE PAY- OFF TRUST FUND. I intend to raise $100,000 to bring her mortgage current to at least stop the foreclosure of her home and hope to raise $386,000 to pay it off entirely.

A CPA in California administers the fund. This is NOT a political action effort; this is a sincere effort by supportive women to save Kathleen’s home.

Every dime other than the cost of this solicitation will go to save Kathleen Willey’s home. There will be no over-head, no lawyers' fees and no administrative fees. A full audit of the fund will be published on-line when we pay off the mortgage and close the fund.

Pamela Jensen never explains what Willey has been doing for the past 20-plus years that let her mortgage get so far in arrears -- and apparently adding another $20,000 in nonpayments in the past two years. If Willey is not so traumatized that she is able to keep up her "heavy schedule of newspaper and radio interviews," she is untraumatized enough to hold a job. Jensen promies "a full audit of the fund," but she offers no detailed accounting of how Willey got into this situation in the first place.

If she is unable to afford a home on the pricey East Coast, perhaps she should sell it, pay off the note and move someplace where housing is less expensive.

Jensen also makes no mention of the 2013 mortgage payoff, even though it, like her current one, is hosted on GoFundMe.

The grifting is going slightly better this time around; as of this writing, $6,344 has been raised. Not too shabby for playing on the sympathy of gullible right-wingers, but at this rate she's not going to keep her pricey house -- and, thus, avoid taking responsibility for her apparently terrible financial management skills.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:45 AM EST
Updated: Tuesday, February 9, 2016 8:51 AM EST
Monday, February 8, 2016
CNS Unemployment Numbers Distortion Watch
Topic: CNSNews.com

Susan Jones' Feb. 5 CNSNews.com article on the monthly unemployment rates reads a lot like her article from last month -- promotion of the labor force participation rate, burying the actual unemployment rate (which dropped) and the number of new jobs created (151,000).

Unlike last month, however, she omitted the explanation of why the labor force participation rate is a poor guide to the nation's economic situation, which CNS' obsession with it clearly wants to suggest otherwise. As we've noted, even the conservative American Enterprise Institute agrees, since most of the people not participiating in the labor force are either retired Baby Boomers or students.

CNS' other unemployment-related article comes from managing editor Michael W. Chapman, who writes yet another article noting that the unemployment rate for blacks is "more than double that" for whites without also mention that it has always been that way.


Posted by Terry K. at 5:57 PM EST
WND Columnist Pens Pro-Trump Fanfiction
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Theodore Roosevelt Malloch is, as the name suggests, a descendant of Theodore Roosevelt (and is apparently better known as just plain Ted when he's not plying his lineage) and former self-proclaimed "global insider" who used to work with the group that puts on the annual meetings of the world's elite at Davos. He's also apparently given up that sort of thing and joined forces with the anti-elitist WorldNetDaily, which published his new book bashing the whole Davos thing.

Malloch is also a huge Donald Trumpfanboy, and WND is giving him a platform to let his Trump flag fly. His Jan. 28 column was pure fanfiction:

It is not too early, now that he is sweeping the electorate, to ask the not altogether unrealistic question: what exactly would a Trump government do, first? Imagine this creation narrative. In the Beginning …

On the first day the new president – in a year’s time, after his swearing in – would do the three things he promised he would do immediately: end ALL of Obama’s executive orders, stop Obamacare and institute Health Savings Accounts, and cut the head off of the snake called ISIS. In other words, from Day 1 we would have an acting president, again. His concrete plan to defeat, not just contain, the caliphate in Syria would be unleashed in a reign of power coordinated with many other willing partners. It will be called Operation Roaring Lion (borrowed from Hosea 11:10), and its objective will be a quick (one month) end to that plague.

Day 2 would see the complete emasculation of all the costly and nonsensical laws and regulations that impale Americans and their business opportunities. The day would also see a drop in the corporate tax rate to the lowest level in decades. Trump would then stop corporate inversion and bring back over a trillion dollars of American investment from overseas to be invested in new jobs here. Late in the day he would put a shovel in the earth, breaking ground for the new wall on our border with Mexico, to be paid for by a tax on Mexican oil. The wall will be technologically impossible to penetrate. At bedtime he would change America’s broken visa immigration program.

[...]

Day 6 will see the end of both the Department of Education and its Common Core, and the curtailment of the EPA. All funding for education will be reallocated to the states. This decentralization and empowerment of people, where they live, will be a continuing theme of Trump’s administration as an act of subsidiarity. Private education will be funded at the same level as public education, and parents will be given the freedom of choice.

The country will be turned around in six days.

On the seventh day, as in the biblical Genesis story, after Trump bans late term abortion and defunds Planned Parenthood, the president and the nation will rest. The president will encourage all Americans, as is our tradition, to give thanks to God, ask for forgiveness, be generous and attend the religious institution (or none) of their choosing. Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done (Genesis 2:3).

Malloch doesn't offer evidence that Trump has an actual platform that would back up these claims or detail how exactly he intends to accomplish them as immediately as Malloch longs them to be done.

Malloch tones it down a bit in his Feb. 5 column, but it's still pretty fanfiction-y:

Trump is a strict constitutionalist and has no expectations to usurp power or to grow the government. To the contrary, he has said he will give more powers and redirect funding to the states and use checks and balances as they were originally conceived. He will limit both his own executive powers and ask Congress and the courts to do the same. In other words, power will be returned “to the people.” This is the kernel of Trump’s populism, and it is as basic as the Boston Tea Party or the shots fired in Lexington by farmer militiamen.

All said, Trump’s government will be smaller, more efficient, more frugal and use management principles and best practices, so as to be more excellent, i.e., we will actually get the services for which our hard-earned tax monies were contributed.

Under Trump, we will see limited government for the first time in 60 years.

Again, Malloch points to no position paper or TV appearance in which Trump actually advocates this or explains how he will go about it.

Malloch reminds us of Doug Wead, who used to write for Newsmax his enthusiastic support for Ron Paul. Wead is, perhaps unsurprisingly, writing on occasion for WND now, this time mostly slobbering over Rand Paul (for whose presidential campaign he has served as a senior adviser).


Posted by Terry K. at 12:09 AM EST
Sunday, February 7, 2016
Cruz Supporters At MRC Give Cruz A Pass On CNN And Ben Carson
Topic: Media Research Center

It's no secret that Media Research Center chief Brent Bozell is a supporter of Ted Cruz (and a hater of Donald Trump), and that attitude is bleeding into his organization as the MRC is working hard to shield Cruz from media criticism.

During the Iowa caucuses, Cruz's campaign spread a false claim that CNN reported Ben Carson had dropped out of the caucuses, encouraging Carson supporters to cast their votes for Cruz instead. While Cruz apologized to Carson, he also insisted that CNN reported that Carson was quitting the campaign -- which CNN did not do.

But don't expect to read about Cruz's blunder at the MRC, though. It has, however, complained that the media reported it, though -- Curtis Houck groused that news outlets reported on Donald Trump "accusing Ted Cruz of “stealing” the Iowa caucuses" through the false Carson claim.

A Feb. 4 post by Scott Whitlock touted how Cruz "school[ed]" an ABC reporter who asked him about it by retorting, "Is it a dirty trick to pass on your news stories?" Whitlock didn't mention that the information Cruz passed on was wrong.

And when Cruz falsely claimed again during the Feb. 6 GOP debate that it was CNN, not his campaign that got the Carson information wrong, the MRC remained silent on the issue, and Bozell didn't even highlight it on his Twitter feed.

By contrast, the MRC has published numberous posts defending Cruz. These include a couple apparently done to hide the controversy over his false statements about CNN's reporting on Carson -- a Feb. 4 post detailing what Geoffrey Dickens calls "the Worst Media Attacks on Ted Cruz (so far)" -- which misleadingly conflates news reporting with statements by opinion commentators -- and a Feb. 6 post by Tim Graham complaining that the Washington Post did an article about what Canadians think of Cruz, given that he was born there.

At one point Graham writes, "Birtherism is a viciously racist mental disorder when used against Barack Obama, but it’s an amusing exercise in needling when it’s used against a conservative." If that's what Graham really thinks about Obama birtherism, that's a change from the MRC's normal policy of letting the president twist in the wind on the issue by refusing to aggressively denounce it (at least until it became an issue for Cruz).


Posted by Terry K. at 7:23 PM EST
Saturday, February 6, 2016
FBI Video Shoots Down WND's Attempt To Build Oregon Shooting Conspiracy Theory
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Talking Points Memo's Josh Marshall writes that it was smart for the FBI to release video of the arrest of several people involved in the Oregon standoff, which resulted in the death of standoff spokesman LaVoy Finicum -- in which it's pretty clear that Finicum ran a roadblock, tries to make a run for it, and appears to reach for the gun on his waist before he's shot -- because it short-circuited attempts to construct conspiracy theories about what happened.

How true. WorldNetDaily, which was trying to go there before the video was released, has largely abandoned the story.

WND columnist Jeff Knox, in a Jan. 27 column, touted the "very credible" account of a passenger in one of those vehicles of standoff perpetrators authorities stopped and arrested, who insisted that "none of the protesters fired a shot or even touched a gun during the encounter." Knox added that Finicum was "a soft-spoken rancher and father of 11 from Arizona" and that "The death of LaVoy Finicum is a needless tragedy" taking place "in circumstances that some are calling murder," although he conceded that Ammon Bundy should have "negotiated a peaceful end to the situation and sent his supporters home to their families weeks ago." WND also posted audio of the passenger's account -- twice.

On Jan. 28, WND's Cheryl Chumley gave a platform to right-wing radio host (and friend of WND) Michael Savage to rant that Finicum's shooting was a "murder" and that if the feds don't investigate it, the United Nations should. Savage went on to rant that “We’re going to fight this dirty, evil government" as Chumley noted that "The details of Finicum’s death are fuzzy."

The next day, the FBI released the video. WND posted the video -- but the same day posted an article by Chumley somehow blaming the entire Oregon standoff on Hillary Clinton. No, really:

Call it a conspiracy theory – or not. But a curious investigative reporter, Jon Rappoport, posted an interesting angle to the Oregon standoff between protesting ranchers and feds that left one of the former dead, with this headline: “The Clintons: Is the Oregon standoff really about uranium?”

That article was, in fact, a followup to a previous story he wrote that was titled, “The Clintons: How Putin grabbed a fifth of all U.S. uranium.” And in the most recent, he simply looked at the information he presented in the first – how a deal approved under Hillary Clinton while she was secretary of state transferred 20 percent of U.S. uranium production to Russia – and tied it to the geographical location of a proposed uranium mine in Oregon.

Coincidentally, the mine development was proposed for the same general area of the widely reported standoff between protesters and federal and police forces, Rappoport wrote.

It seems WND had to give up one conspiracy theory and had to try another. And, actually, that one's a bust too: Quartz explains that the issue at hand -- that Hillary Clinton was part of a committee that signed off on a purchased of a Canada-based uranium mining firm, an investor in which donated heavily to the Clinton Foundation, by Russia's atomic energy agency -- isn't really a controversy because that committee, which signs off on foreign investments in the U.S., had eight other members who also had to sign off on it. As FactCheck.org adds, there's no evidence Clinton took any action regarding the sale, and the Washington Post notes that the Clinton Foundation donor had sold his interest in the company before its sale to the Russians.

WND, however, hasn't done much of anything on either conspiracy since, though WND columnist and lying preacher Bradlee Dean screeched that the Clintons were "promising the Hammond ranch and other 'publicly owned lands' to Russians with one-fifth of our uranium ore." Except, you know, they didn't.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:54 AM EST
Friday, February 5, 2016
CNS Hides 'Duck Dynasty' Guy's Threat Against Gay Marriage Supporters
Topic: CNSNews.com

Eric Scheiner writes in a Feb. 2 CNSNews.com blog post:

Phil Robertson of ‘Duck Dynasty’ fame called same sex marriage “wicked” and “sinful” over the weekend.

Robertson addressed the crowd at a Ted Cruz rally in Iowa City on Sunday.

“Don’t you understand when a fella like me looks at the landscape and sees the depravity, the perversion – redefining marriage and telling us that marriage is not between a man and a woman, c’mon Iowa, it’s nonsense,” Robertson said.

“It is evil. It’s wicked. It’s sinful,” he continued.

Robertson previously caused controversy in 2013 by telling GQ magazine that homosexuality is a sin and immoral.

Scheiner curiously omits what Robertson says next, even though it's in the video attached to his item: "We have to run this bunch out of Washington, D.C. We have to rid the earth of them."

If a liberal said "we have to rid the earth" of people he or she disagreed with, CNS (and its Media Research Center parent) would be all over it. But if a conservative like Robertson says it, CNS will give him a pass and even helpfully bury the threat.


Posted by Terry K. at 6:34 PM EST
WND's Corsi Quick to Baselessly Blame Zika Virus on Illegal Immigrants
Topic: WorldNetDaily

As we've seen with his obsession with Hillary Clinton's health, WorldNetDaily's Jerome Corsi doesn't actually know a whole lot about medicine, so any medical-related judgment from him is specious at best. Yet he perserveres in making medical-related judgments, like in this Feb. 1 article:

In the wake of the World Health Organization’s decision Monday to declare the Zika virus outbreak in Brazil an international health emergency, a glance at available evidence suggests open borders contribute to the vulnerability of the United States to the virus.

In November 2014, WND reported dengue hemorrhagic fever had joined Chagas disease, Enterovirus D-68 and Chikungunya – as well as drug-resistant tuberculosis and malaria – on the list of diseases brought to the United States by illegal aliens, including through the several surges of “unaccompanied minors” that the Obama administration had admitted without health screening.

Note that Corsi is admitting to just taking "a glance at available evidence" -- which is basically code for rehashing right-wing xenophobia. Needless to say, Corsi offers no evidence to back up his claim.

Indeed, in the very next paragraph after the ones quoted above, he notes that "he WHO director-general, Dr. Margaret Chan, made clear the outbreak of the Zika virus in Brazil had been declared an international health emergency because of a suspected causal relationship" to microcephaly in newborns. Corsi fails to note that Brazil is not a leading contributor to illegal immigration in the U.S.

As for the other diseases Corsi names as "diseases brought to the United States by illegal aliens," that's not true either. Corsi later repeats his false claim that the "unaccompanied minors" from Central America who flooded into the U.S. were responsible for bringing dengue fever across the border; we've previously documented that the disease was in the U.S. years before. We've also pointed out that the Centers for Disease Control have found no evidence of a link between illegal immigrants and enterovirus outbreaks in the U.S.

Corsi also offers no evidence that illegal immi grants are responsible for chikungunya outbreaks in the U.S. The CDC points out that outbreaks occurred in Africa, Asia and Europe prior to 2013.

Given that WND fearmongers about vaccines and is also home to various representatives of the far-right, anti-vaxxer Association of American Physicians and Surgeons -- who also like to fearmonger about filthy, disease-ridden immigrants -- it's no surprise Corsi is joining a long, dubious line of quack medical information.

UPDATE: Corsi continues baselessly suggesting illegal immigrants are to blame for Zika virus in the U.S. in a Feb. 3 WND article.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:43 AM EST
Updated: Friday, February 5, 2016 2:28 PM EST
Thursday, February 4, 2016
NewsBusters Anti-Abortion Screed Isn't Interested In The Facts
Topic: NewsBusters

Bryan Ballas devotes a Jan. 31 NewsBusters post to ranting that somebody defended Planned Parenthood -- after all, right-wing dogma dictates that nobody is allowed to. In the process, he repeats a few false right-wing anti-abortion canards in the process.

Ballas seems pretty happy that Planned Parenthood has been the target of violence since the anti-abortion Center for Medical Progress' videos were made public. He complains that the Yahoo Health article he's attacking points out that "In October the Southern Poverty Law Center reported that the organization had seen four incidences of arson in 74 days.” Ballas then huffs: "Note there’s no 'alleged' arson."

We suspect that, like the MRC's CNSNews.com, Ballas took anti-abortion activist Jill Stanek's claim to be a victim of vandalism at face value -- CNS' Barbara Hollingsworth uncritically repeats Stanek's claim that "An unknown vandal had thrown a plastic Target bag containing a chunk of cinder block through her front window." If the MRC is going to be fair on the subject (which, of course, it's not), shouldn't it have described Stanek's claims to be "alleged" just as Ballas demands any claim of vandalism and arson made by Planned Parenthood be described?

Ballas continues his whine-fest, complaining further that the Yahoo Health article describes the CMP videos to be "heavily edited," adding: "Of course, she conveniently neglects to produce proof that the unedited version absolves the abortion giant of offering to sell baby parts." Of course, as we've noted, there's plenty of evidence that those videos were, in fact, "heavily edited" to the point that they don't show what CMP claims they do.Why didn't Ballas bother to look for it?

Because he's too busy ranting to care about the facts, that's why. He goes on to respond to the grand jury indictment of CMP officials for apparent crimes in conducting their anti-Planned Parenthood jihad by asserting that "Lauren Reeder, the assistant district attorney and prosecutor in the Harris County District Attorney’s criminal family law division, is a Planned Parenthood board member." Ballas didn't mention -- or couldn't be bothered to find out -- that, as the Washington Post's Eugene Volokh reported, Reeder is one of 300 prosecutors in the Harris County Harris County District Attorney’s office, she disclosed her involvement with Planned Parenthood before the investigation, and was not involved in it.

Finally, upset that the Yahoo Health harticle lamented that Planned Parenthood is being damaged by  the dishonest CMP videos, Ballas goes off on one last rant:

Everyone should take a moment of silence for the “damaged” reputation of Planned Parenthood, a corporation that literally makes money off the blood of children. An organization founded by Margaret Sanger, an unrepentant racist who advocated the forced sterilization of minorities she considered inferior. Its loss of face will be mourned by all.

Oh, this again. As we've documented, nobody who has actually studied Sanger with any degree of honesty believes she was an "unrepentant racist," and she did not "advocate the forced sterilization of minorities she considered inferior."

But, again, Ballas is too busy ranting to be bothered with little things like facts.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:18 PM EST
WND Uses Logrolling To Boost What Little Credibility It Has
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Nobody believes WorldNetDaily, so WND is desperate to boost what little credibility it has any way it can. Its latest attempt is engage in a little bit of logrolling -- getting folks it has boosted in the past to say good things about WND and even give it awards.

In December, WND featured Donald Trump's upcoming appearance with numerous right-wingers at March's Western Conservative Conference. After noting that Floyd Brown, president of the Western Center for Journalism, is one of the conference co-hosts, WND touted its own upcoming recognition:

In addition, WND founder and CEO Joseph Farah will receive the Western Center for Journalism’s Hero of Freedom Award during a dinner gala celebrating the 25th anniversary of Farah’s founding of the WCJ. Rush Limbaugh has been invited to present the award.

Brown praised Farah for his “unwavering commitment to news without bias and an agenda.”

What? Has Brown ever read WND? It's hard to find anything on the website that doesn't have bias and an agenda.

But, yeah, the WCJ is Farah's creation (under the less highfalutin name of the Western Journalism Center), and is so irrelevant to the right-wing media agenda that we don't even bother monitoring it. It has tried to out-birther WND, and it even collaborated with WND on an error-ridden "case for impeachment" that WND is currently unloading for a mere $4.95. This is just one longtime collaborator giving the other an shiny, meaningless award.

From there, WND is reduced to hanging out at county Republican banquets.From a Jan. 31 article:

WND founder, editor-in-chief and CEO Joseph Farah will return to familiar territory on Feb. 13 as the keynote speaker at the Josephine County, Oregon, Republican Central Committee’s 2016 Lincoln Day Dinner.

He will speak about the state of politics in America and the state of the press.

“As a former resident and business owner in Josephine County, I look forward to returning to visit some old friends and to share insights on the 2016 campaign as well as the state of the press in America, an institution in which I have toiled for the last 40 years of my life,” Farah said.

WND Vice President and Managing Editor David Kupelian will also speak at the event.

The county is indeed where WND originated, at a ranch owned by talk-radio mogul and accused cult leader Roy Masters. But you have to read down for the key information:

Also in attendance will be noted research scientist Art Robinson, co-founder of the Linus Pauling Institute and the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine. Robinson, who is [county Republican chairman] Joshua Robinson’s father, is the former chairman of the Oregon Republican Party and three times ran for Congress, unsuccessfully, against U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio, co-founder of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. Art Robinson will also speak during the event.

And for each of Art Robinson's failed runs against DeFazio, Kupelian wrote a column for WND -- essentially the same one with minor updates through the years -- touting Robinson while spinning or ignoring inconvenient truths about him -- like how his homeschool curriculum teaches public-domain 19th-century adventure novels that are a tad racist, or how the climate-denier petition his Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine has promulgated iskind of a joke, or the right-wing sugar daddy who bought hundreds of thousands of dollars in ads to benefit his campaigns.

Farah and Kupelian are effectively getting rewarded for their loyalty to the Robinson family by getting this (very tiny) boost of credibility of hanging out at a county GOP banquet and hanging out with friends. A nice jumket, perhaps, but a rather desperate stab at credibility.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:28 AM EST
Wednesday, February 3, 2016
CNS Managing Editor Treats 3-Year-Old Anti-LGBT Testimony As 'News'
Topic: CNSNews.com

And now, this supposedly breaking news from CNSNews.com managing editor Michael W. Chapman:

Dr. Joseph Berger, a Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, states that from “a scientific perspective,” being “transgendered” is a psychological issue – “emotional unhappiness” – and “cosmetic surgery” is not the “proper treatment.”

Dr. Berger, who also is a past president of the Ontario District Branch of the American Psychiatric Association, presented his remarks before the Canadian House of Commons Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights when it was considering a bill (C-279) in 2013 to “include gender identity as a prohibited ground of discrimination.”

That's right -- the testimony Chapman is citing took place three years ago. Chapman does not explain why he only now finds it to be newsworthy.

Chapman goes on to pump up Berger's psychiatric and medical credentials, but he omits that Berger is affiliated with with the notoriously anti-gay National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality, and that Berger actually recommended that transgender youth be bullied.

Chapman has a fondness for old, outdated transphobia. In 2014 he rehashed a two-month-old anti-transgender commentary, which he lazily re-rehashed a year later by slapping a new publication date on it.

As with that old rehashed commentary, Chapman made no attempt whatsoever to reach out to transgender advocvates to provide balance, even though CNS' mission statement insists that the organization "endeavors to fairly present all legitimate sides of a story."

Apparently, hating transgenders is more important to Chapman than following sound journalistic practice.


Posted by Terry K. at 5:10 PM EST
Dr. Corsi Is Suddenly Concerned About Hillary's Drug Use
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Now we're seeing why Jerome Corsi can't be bothered to exert much energy investigating the issue of Ted Cruz's eligibility (other than the fact that Cruz is not his political enemy, like Barack Obama is): He's suddenly concerned about Hillary Clinton's health.

For the past week, Corsi has been obsessing over Clinton's use of an anticoagulant called warfarin, also sold under the brand name Coumadin. In a Jan. 27 article, Corsi was concerned that warfarin "may have side effects that are hazardous to her health, according to medical literature." Corsi displayed his medical ignorance by referring to the drug as "Coumadin – also called Warfarin." Warfarin is not a brand name; it's the generic name of the drug. Remember, Corsi is not a medical doctor; his Ph.D. is in history.

Indeed, most people take warfarin as a generic, as the Coumadin patent expired a couple decades ago. And despite Corsi's suggestion that warfarin is some kind of secret nefarious drug, it's popular; by one count, there are more than 25 million prescriptions written for it every year in the U.S., and by by another count, 2 million people taking it at any given time.

Corsi ratchets things up in a Jan. 31 article touting how "A California physician who had his license to practice medicine revoked in the state because he refused to administer the anticoagulant medication Coumadin, believes Hillary Clinton’s use of the drug could be more life-threatening to her than the possibility of a recurring blood clot."

Corsi then rushed to defend his doctor, David K. Cundiff, over the 1998 incident that led to the revocation of his medical license, asserting that "Cundiff stopped administering Coumadin to the patient, who had an alcohol problem the doctor believed could trigger internal bleeding." In fact, according to the California appeals court that upheld the denial of reinstatement of his license -- after "accusations of gross negligence and incompetence were sustained against him" -- Cundiff made the decision to stop treating the patient with warfarin unilaterially, failing to consult with other doctors, to alert the patient or his family, or to provide any alternative treatment. The court further noted that the standard of care for a patient with a blood clot in the vein in which the patient had one is anticoagulants. The court also noted that Cundiff failed to read the patient's chart completely and relied entirely on verbal representations of his interns and residents for information vital to the patient's care and treatment.

The court pointed out that since his license was revoked, "Cundiff appears to have devoted the vast majority of his professional efforts to research and writing aimed largely at establishing that his actions in 1998 were within the standard of care, or that the standard of care has changed since then (or must change).  What he fails, and has repeatedly failed, to understand is that the only relevant medical standard at issue in these proceedings was that which was extant in February 1998."

Then again, Corsi is a guy who relies on the incompetent and deceitful likes of Joel Gilbert, so it's not surprising he'd take the word of a doctor stripped of his medical license.

Unencumbered by the facts, Corsi penned a third article on the subject on Feb. 1, in which he highlights the fact that "The blood-thinning medication Hillary Clinton has been taking for years under the pharmaceutical brand name Coumadin was initially introduced and marketed in 1948 as a pesticide designed to kill rats and mice." Which may be true, but it's irrelevant to the issue. In fact, the original headline on Corsi's article, which remains in the artaicle's URL, read "Doctor: HIllary taking rat poison for blood clots"; WND didn't explain why it changed the headline.

But even Corsi had to conced that according to the guy who brought up the stuff about it starting as rat poison, "Despite the severe risks of taking Coumadin ... it may be the better alternative for some patients."

Corsi is not a doctor, and to our knowledge he has not talked with Clinton's doctors. Heck, he doesn't even know if Clinton is still taking warfarin. This is all fearmongering that's part of WND's anti-Hillary jihad. Remember, Corsi is a key component of this, which so far has generated an article falsely claiming that Hillary said she hates Israel (which WND quietly deleted after it apparently decided it had standards after all).

By the way, WND claims that "The Hillary Clinton Investigative Justice Project has reached its first threshold, having raised sufficient funds to continue its investigative series into the presidential candidate for illegal activities and to prepare a series of hard-hitting reports for WND that will lead to criminal charges being filed against her at the state level, if the Justice Department fails to indict her."

Nowhere does WND state it's interested in reporting the truth about Hillary -- it's trying to destroy her. It did the same thing to Barack Obama, and look how that turned out.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:44 AM EST
Tuesday, February 2, 2016
The MRC's Deliberately Incomplete Trump-Coverage Analysis
Topic: Media Research Center

Rich Noyes trumpets in a Feb. 1 Media Research Center "Media Reality Check":

For months, one of GOP presidential frontrunner Donald Trump’s major advantages has been the establishment media’s decision to cover his candidacy to the near-exclusion of his Republican competitors. A new analysis by the Media Research Center finds Trump continued to receive the vast majority of TV news coverage throughout the month of January, leading up to tonight’s crucial Iowa caucuses.

Actually, Noyes' analysis is deliberately incomplete -- and, thus meaningless. His definiton of "TV news" is very tiny -- just "the ABC, CBS and NBC evening newscasts." He has apparently forgotten there are three major and several minor cable news channels that also qualify as "TV news."

Of course, Noyes' job is a lot easier if all he has to do is monitor three half-hour network newscasts instead of the approximately 18 hours of original coverage cable news networks typically generate per day. But there seems to be more than lazineess going on here.

The MRC has long been buddies with Fox News -- Brent Bozell and his minions make regular appearances on it and sister channel Fox Business, almost always in solo interviews, not panels where someone from a different ideological viewpoint might challenge their opinions -- and it regularly plays apologist for acts by Fox News that would receive vicious condemnation were they conducted by a channel with which the MRC is not ideologically aligned.

The MRC's historic exclusion of cable news channels may stem from a simple refusal to hold Fox News to its own standards. And in this particular case, there's a goldmine of evidence to support denouncing Fox News as a promoter of Trump.

As Media Matters points out, Fox News loves Trump -- for instance, he spent a total of 24 hours on Fox from May 2015, whenhe announced his candidacy, thorugh the end of 2015, which added up to about $30 million of free airtime for Trump. Fox is so dependent on Trump, in fact, that when Trump pulled out of last week's Fox-hosted GOP debate, Fox host Bill O'Reilly devoted much of an interview with Trump to begging him to reconsider.

But you won't see the MRC pointing this out, and you won't see Bozell aggressively calling Fox News out for its fealty to Trump -- he wants to keep that weekly "Hannity" segment, after all. The closest he got was an appearance last week on Fox Business, in which Bozell meekly averred that Fox, "with all due respect, is slightly responsible" for the Trump frenzy "because I think it's catered to this man."

Only "slightly responsible"? That's what happens when he refuses to let his employees do actual media research. He knows what side of his media-appearance bread is buttered, after all, and he's not going to jeopardize things by pushing the issue any farther than that.


Posted by Terry K. at 4:57 PM EST
WND Can't Stop Fearmongering About Gardasil
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily has been fearmongering about Gardasil and other HPV vaccines for years, uncritically repeating anti-vaxxers' distorted or outright false claims about it. Even though much of WND has claimed about HPV vaccines has not come to pass, let alone proven true, WND just can't stop the fearmongering. 

WND's Bob Unruh -- who has promoted dubious Gardasil fearmongering in the past -- tries again in a Jan. 18 article highlighting Dr. Sin Hang Lee, "director of the Milford Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory of Milford, Connecticut," who alleges in an open-letter complaint to the head of the World Health Organization that top physicians engaged in 'gross misconduct, malfeasance' and potentially 'criminal behavior' to 'mislead the global public regarding the safety of HPV vaccines Gardasil and Cervarix.'" Unruh continues:

“I have come into possession of documentation which leads me to believe multiple individuals and organizations deliberately set out to mislead Japanese authorities regarding the safety of the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines, Gardasil and Cervarix.”

His letter to Dr. Margaret Chan, chief of the WHO,  expresses “grave concerns” regarding statements by members of the Global Advisory Committee on Vaccine Safety, the WHO, the Centers for Disease Control and others in a 2014 public hearing on HPV vaccine safety in Tokyo.

He asks for her to “act quickly and decisively” on the issue.

What he reportedly uncovered, according to an analysis from the Weston A. Price Foundation, which is critical of the vaccines, was that certain chemicals in the vaccines “have been demonstrated to trigger the release of cytokines or proteins called tumor necrosis factors (TNF) in the body.”

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“TNF cytokines can cause cell death,” the foundation said. “The release of TNF can also result in a wide range of reactions such as tumor regressions, septic shock (serious whole-body inflammatory response that can result in dangerously low blood pressure and death), and cachexia (a wasting syndrome where the body loses weight, becomes fatigued, and muscles atrophy).”

The details were gleaned from emails exchanged among several officials, Lee said.

Unruh doesn't mention the fact that Lee has historically worked with anti-vaxxer groups to attack Gardasil, and his work is based on "a nonexistent understanding of molecular biology. One writer points out that Lee's research on HPV vaccines has not been replicated by others, and that they "just don’t qualify as good science."

But Unruh didn't mention Lee's dubious history in his article, nor does he bother to talk to any actual experts on HPV for a response to Lee's fearmongering. Instead, his idea of following boss Joseph Farah's purported mandate to "seek out multiple sources and contrary viewpoints in news articles" is to contact -- and predictably fail to get a response from -- WHO regarding Lee's letter.

Promoting a medical quack isn't exactly helping WND's current campaign to be taken seriously after destroying any credibility it had trying to destroy President Obama.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:49 AM EST

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