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Saturday, June 25, 2016
Pat Boone Spews More Obama-Hate
Topic: Newsmax

Pat Boone appears perfectly content to continue to destroy his pleasant pop-singer legacy with his unhinged hatred for President Obama. From a June 20 Newsmax article:

President Barack Obama is a Muslim and celebrates Islamic holy days in the White House, actor Pat Boone told Newsmax TV.

Boone, a singer, actor, and TV host who appears in the recent film "God's Not Dead 2," told Steve Malzberg Monday night Obama is not the Christian he claims to be.

"He said during [his 2008 presidential] campaign, the sweetest sound in his memory is the Muslim call to prayer," Boone said. "He does make a perfunctory appearance at the presidential prayer breakfast, and he will come to a black funeral after one of these killings like Orlando, but he celebrates Ramadan in the White House.

"He is, I'm afraid, more Muslim than Christian. And he is certainly more protective of anything relating to Islam than he is anything relating to Christianity."

The fact that it's Pat Boone saying this doesn't make this any less crazy or hateful. But Boone is counting on you to think otherwise.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:38 AM EDT
Hillary Derangement Syndrome, David Kupelian Edition
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Last month, WorldNetDaily's Whistleblower magazine devoted an entire issue to hating Hillary Clinton to the point of portraying her as Nurse Ratched from "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest." WND has now taken David Kupelian's title essay out of the barely-read magazine and shared it on the WND website. And Kupelian brings his full measure of Hillary derangement to the endeavor:

Make no mistake, today’s Democratic Party is untethered to reality: With ISIS crucifying children overseas and mass terrorism in the American homeland on everyone’s mind, with U.S. joblessness through the roof in a disintegrating economy, with wide-open borders and absurdly reckless immigration and refugee policies transforming America in unthinkable ways, the Democrats’ most urgent national issue seems to be making sure men are allowed to use women’s bathrooms, locker rooms and showers.

But what about the woman who may shortly become president? There are some obvious parallels to Kesey’s fictional tyrant nurse: Hillary Clinton – from her days of vilifying the women victimized by her sex-predator husband, to her betrayal of brave Americans defending the U.S. special mission in Benghazi (and then lying to their grieving parents’ faces about the cause of their deaths) – has been undeniably two-faced, cold, manipulative and obsessed with power. Still, is the whole Nurse Ratched comparison, and all it implies, really fair?

Rest assured that Kupelian thinks he's being totally fair in lashing out at Hillary in this hateful, vindictive way. He rants about how much of a liar Hillary allegedly is, quoting from his own book "The Snapping of the American Mind" in delcaring  Hillary (and President Obama) to be "vainglorious" creatures who disregard "any higher standard of truth," and he quotes another author, "famed Christian psychiatrist M. Scott Peck," to portray Hillary as a "malignant" narcissist who is "always phony, manipulative, calculating, blaming, deflecting – always lying," adding: "That’s Nurse Ratched. And that’s Hillary Clinton."

Which is all rather rich coming from the managing editor of a website that not only is so known for the lies it publishes that it has no credibility -- his boss, Joseph Farah, is weirdly proud of the fact that WND pubishes "misinformation," a.k.a. lies -- but is devoting its efforts to elect an even more vanglorious, malignant narcissist and rampant liar who disregards any higher standard of truth, Donald Trump.

But Kupelian is too deep in his Hillary-hating fantasy world to be concerned about the credibility of his own website, let alone logical consistency. Here's his lengthy description of the hellscape that will purportedly ensue if Hillary is elected president:

If Hillary wins in November, the sheer revulsion of the great American middle class over having to endure Bill and Hillary Clinton back in the White House – this time with the viscerally unlikable Hillary in charge – at such a uniquely crucial time in our history will result in many bad things:

First of all, just having to listen to Hillary will fry the circuitry of many Americans’ minds. As I explained earlier, we don’t fully comprehend the high stress level involved in being ruled over by someone who is literally lying to us all the time, whose whole life is a pretense, an act, a calculated manipulation – someone who never strikes any familiar chords within our souls of genuine decency, humanity and heartfelt shared values. This alone will create a baseline of constant pain, conflict and anger.

The middle class will likely sink into a state of depression, both economically and emotionally. Suicide will increase, and not just because Hillary is incapable of improving the economy or creating (non-government) jobs, but because public rage will multiply as people realize they have re-elected the delusional Barack Obama in the form of a corrupt, deceitful, power-mad old woman. The urge to chemically relieve pain will dramatically increase, and the current epidemic level of drug addiction – whether the drug source is a doctor or a dealer – will continue to skyrocket. Millions will drop out of politics in disgust, essentially abdicating rule of the country to the progressive left. Checkmate.

As with her husband Bill’s presidency, Hillary’s rule will encourage immorality, sexual anarchy and abandonment of Judeo-Christian values, but also outright criminality and mental illness. The snapping of the American Mind will shift into overdrive.

Disgust and open rebellion will overtake the U.S. military, leading to a mass exit. Same with the FBI, particularly among the over 100 agents who worked diligently on the investigation of Hillary’s private email server and her outrageous disregard for America’s national security.

In an age when evil is increasingly portrayed as good, and good as evil; when disordered and immoral behavior is imposed on the rest of society as normal and moral, and dissenting Christians are persecuted and even jailed; Hillary Clinton’s presidency will mark the ultimate reversal of values. Whereas once America was blessed with a moral and legendarily honest “father of our country” named George Washington, in Hillary Clinton we’ll have an immoral and legendarily dishonest “mother of our country.”

Most important is the message that will be transmitted to America’s youth, whose values and worldview are still being formed, by having two people with a long criminal history, and who regard themselves as absolutely above the law, occupy the White House.

What will reverberate deep in the minds and souls of the young will be much the same as the toxic message ghetto youth absorb when they observe criminals, drug dealers and pimps in their midst becoming “successful” – getting all the women, hot cars, money, power and fame they want. It’s the message of the sociopath predator: There is no law but the jungle. Lying and stealing are no problem, because everyone – including the president – does it. Sexually taking whatever I want from others is fine, too – Bill Clinton proved that. Laws are for other people, and morality is whatever I want it to be. I’m gonna get what’s mine, take care of me and my friends. If a crime family like Hillary and Bill can get into the White House and be honored by the whole world, I can ignore the law too and take whatever I can get.

For those more sensitive and deeply moral souls, many will drop out of society and live in their own world. The more troubled of these will lose themselves in drugs, addictions and suicide. America, beneath its civilized, high-tech sheen, will increasingly resemble a mental ward.

But this is the predictable outcome of elevating as a leader someone who pretends to want to take care of others, yet who secretly has contempt for them, indeed whose power is rooted in their very dependency, dysfunction and submission to her. This is the cuckoo’s nest run by Nurse Ratched, and America under the rule of Hillary Clinton.

Kupelian doesn't explain how this vision would be different under the amoral businessman he prefers as president. But, again, Kupelian's screed has nothing to do with logic and everything to do with hate.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:17 AM EDT
Friday, June 24, 2016
CNS Hides Columnist's Employment By Think Tank When Writing About It
Topic: CNSNews.com

We noted that in April among the armada of op-eds CNSNews.com published criticizing a subpoena against the right-wing think tank Competitive Enterprise Institute about its relationship with ExxonMobil, and that company's alleged suppression of evidence that climate change is driven by fossil fuels was one by Hans Bader, described only as someone who "practices law in Washington, D.C."

A second op-ed by Bader on the subject was published by CNS on June 16. In it, he attacked that "incredibly burdensome subpoena" that was issued to CEI and asserts that the investigation "raises obvious First Amendment issues."

CNS published a third op-ed by Bader on June 22, in which he attacks the subpoena as a "climate-change witch-hunt" and explained that "CEI filed a motion for sanctions against the attorney general who sent us that subpoena, Claude Walker of the U.S. Virgin Islands, under the District of Columbia’s anti-SLAPP law." In the latter two op-eds, Bader is again identified only as someone who "practices law in Washington, D.C."

But he's much more than that: He's a senior attorney at CEI.So of course Bader is going to criticize the subpoena -- that's what he's being paid to do.

In addition to CNS failing to disclose this clear conflict of interest to its readers, Bader himself doesn't explicitly disclose it. Given that the op-eds originated as posts at CEI (here, here and here), he really didn't need to, but he knows that CNS reproduces his posts, as we see from a an April 8 CEI post in which he cited "an earlier commentary at CNS News" that he wrote.

While Bader should have made sure CNS disclosed his CEI employment on his columns, it's ultimately not his job. CNS shouldn't have to be asked to do so, given that disclosure of conflicts of interest is a bedrock principle of journalism.

Earlier this week, the MRC was giddy that it prompted NPR to issue a correction on an item that identified a woman as less political than she actually was. Don't expect CNS to do the same -- the MRC is rarely interested in practicing what it preaches.

What was that Tim Graham, official at CNS parent the Media Research Center, was saying about conservative media outlets making quality, original journalism and are totally not aggregators? Never mind.


Posted by Terry K. at 4:35 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, June 24, 2016 6:51 PM EDT
MRC's Graham Mad That Columnist Accurately Described the Sad State of Right-Wing Media
Topic: Media Research Center

Poor Tim Graham. He still thinks there's such a thing as right-wing journalism with integrity.

In a June 25 NewsBusters post, the Media Research Center director of media analysis takes umbrage at conservative Washington Post columnist Kathleen Parker (because Parker refuses to march in lockstep with the right-wing agenda and is willing to criticize Trump, Graham sneers that she merely "is mistaken for a Republican") for correctly pointing out that "mostly to blame for the demonization of the media broadly are faux news media outlets, Republicans and their cohorts" who are also cheering Donald Trump's petulantly stripping the Washington Post of press credentials, and adding that most conservative news sources are little more than "aggregators dependent upon the mainstream media for their bread and butter" and that "Kill the messenger is their operating principle."

Unsaid by Parker: "Kill the messenger" is the operating prinicple of the MRC. Graham didn't admit that either, but that got him in a tizzy:

This only proves Kathleen Parker wouldn't know the conservative blogosphere if it invaded her computer like a virus. In her mind, there can't be a vibrant conservative media that represent the public and a "free and independent press." Only the liberal media is authentically described as original journalism. That's wildly inaccurate and arrogant. 

Graham is careful to mention how Parker's description of the conservative news media fits the MRC's own "news" outlet, CNSNews.com, to a T. It's enough of an aggregator that it subscribes to the Associated Press -- which the rest of the MRC loves to bash as hopelessly liberal -- and what passes for original journalism on the site is largely cherry-picking government statistics to make Obama look bad, shilling for right-wing causes (like the oil industry) and republishing anti-gay screeds from Franklin Graham and other gay-bashers.

If Parker's critique of the right-wing media is "wildly inaccurate and arrogant," how come it looks so much like the "news" outlet the MRC runs? Graham doesn't have an answer for that. Heck, he didn't even provide a list of right-wing outlets that do anything approaching good journalism.

The rest of Graham's post is spent justifying Trump's attack on the Post by bashing other Post columnists critical of Trump, further endorsing Trump's war on the Post.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:20 PM EDT
WND's Double Standard on Women in Politics
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Cheryl Chumley writes in a June 15 WorldNetDaily article:

A fundamentalist Muslim imam who hosted an online seminary course attended by Orlando terrorist Omar Mateen – but who denied ties to the “gay” nightclub murderer – told Greta Van Susteren during a Fox News interview that Hillary Clinton shouldn’t be president because according to his faith’s prophet, her anger during her monthly menstruation cycle would make her a poor leader.

“As a Muslim, I object to Hillary Clinton,” said Abu Taubah, who’s also gone by the name of Marcus Dwayne Robertson, a former U.S. Marine who’s worked as a bodyguard for Omar Abdel-Rahman, the “Blind Sheik,” Breitbart reported. The “Blind Sheik” was involved in the 1993 World Trade Center attack.

The ‘Stop Hillary’ campaign is on fire! Join the surging response to this theme: ‘Clinton for prosecution, not president’

He expanded on his views of women in leadership roles, saying the idea wasn’t compatible with his religious beliefs.

“I don’t believe women should be the president of a nation. … [Our prophet] taught us that whenever a woman is in charge, is going to be problems,” he said. “What if she’s on her menses and it’s time to go to war, she going to press the button cause she’s angry? I like Bernie [Sanders].”

Chumley seems to have forgotten that for 11 years her employer had as a columnist Vox Day, who doesn't believe women should vote because "Far too many women are fascists at heart" and there's an "obvious connection between the female franchise and the West's continental drift into socialism."

Is that really any less silly than what some random "fundamentalist Muslim imam" has to say? Don't expect Chumley to admit it.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:32 AM EDT
Thursday, June 23, 2016
MRC Decries The Negative Trump Coverage It Once Demanded
Topic: Media Research Center

How times change at the Media Research Center when Donald Trump is involved.

In February, the MRC was grumbling that the broadcast TV networks had done only one story on the Trump University scam since Trump's presidential campaign started. Mike Ciandella portrayed it as a legitimate story because of its "ongoing nature."

As recently as the end of April, the MRC was complaining that media coverage of Trump wasn't negative enough -- despite also claiming that the negative tone of Trump's media coverage was irrelevant. The MRC's Curtis Houck further complained that one network "failed to report on the major news" that a class-action lawsuit against Trump University would be going to trial. Houck added: "The lawsuit going to trail [sic] could mean bad news for Trump, especially when he has claimed he could have settled it whenever he wanted. Will this latest development sway voters one way or the other? We’ll have to wait and see."

But then Trump clinched the Republican presidential nomination -- and the MRC climbed about the Trump train and started complaining about the negative media coverage they previously demanded. For instance, Samantha Cohen hissed in a June 10 post, in boldface no less: "We also have a mainstream media who is talking about Trump University. Every. Single. Day."

Now, the flip is complete with an MRC study complaining about all the negative Trump coverage it once demanded or deemed irrelevant. Writes Rich Noyes in a June 20 MRC article:

Voters who have relied on the network evening newscasts for information about the 2016 presidential candidates saw four times more airtime devoted to controversies involving presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump than to the scandals surrounding his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.

And among those negative Trump stories is Trump University -- which the MRC specifically demanded more coverage of in February. 

As usual, the MRC's study is unusually narrow, focusing only on network evening newscats and completely ignoring cable news.

Curiously, Noyes always refers to issues regarding Trump as "controversies,"  while regularly referring to Clinton's issues as "scandals." Not once does Noyes refer to a Trump controversy as a "scandal," though you'd think the scammy Trump University would be one.

"The networks have left no stone unturned in their vetting of Trump," Noyes whined -- which is exactly what the MRC wanted the media to do. It has no right to complain now, especially when the MRC has its own "news" outlet, CNSNews.com, that could have vetted Trump during the primary process but chose not to.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:00 PM EDT
NEW ARTICLE: WND's Chief Medical Misinformer
Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily loves Association of American Physicians and Surgeons president Jane Orient because of their shared agenda of right-wing politics and medical misinformation. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 2:36 PM EDT
Wednesday, June 22, 2016
NewsBusters Loves Trump's Wash. Post Crackdown Too
Topic: NewsBusters

As one would expect, the apparent mandate from the top that the Media Research Center cheer Donald Trump petulantly revoking the Washington Post's press credentials has trickled down to the MRC rank-and-file. Tom Blumer, a loyal NewsBusters misinformer, is totally on the Trump media shutdown train, using the same argument his bosses used:

Trump took special umbrage to the following headline at Jenna Johnson's coverage of Trump's reactions to the terrorist massacre in Orlando: "Donald Trump suggests President Obama was involved with Orlando shooting." The Post, claiming it did so before Trump made his move, is now carrying this revised headline: "Donald Trump seems to connect President Obama to Orlando shooting." The trouble is, Johnson's content, which deliberately injected scurrilous meaning which was not present into Trump's comments, still contains the contention made in the earlier headline.

What Trump said indicates that he is as mystified and outraged as millions of other Americans are as to why President Barack Obama won't identify Orlando mass murderer Omar Mateen's specifically stated Islamic radical motivations — and why Obama and his party insist on treating a terrorist massacre as an excuse for pushing more gun control measures which would not have prevented the carnage.

[...]

It is therefore beyond dispute that Johnson wrote that Trump "seemed to" say that Obama was "involved" in Omar Mateen's massacre of 49 people.

It's quite a stretch to believe that any reasonable person could interpret Trump's remarks as Johnson did by using the word "complicit." As such, what she wrote would, to use her weasel words, "seem to" be libel ("defamation by written or printed words, pictures, or in any form other than by spoken words or gestures"). Whether it's actionable in the legal system is a separate matter.

Of course, Trump has refused to clarify his statement -- Trump himself said that "I’ll let people figure that out for themselves" -- so, by definition, no interpretation of what he said can be wrong, let alone libelous, which makes Trump's snit fit against the Post even more petulant. Even Blumer admits he's guessing at what he thinks Trump "indicate[d]" -- not what he definitively said.

But Blumer is too busy cheering on Trump to debate such a fine point. After asserting the Post was being "dishonorable, dishonest and inaccurate" on Trump's remarks -- again, despite the fact that Trump himself won't clarify them -- he rants:

One could argue that Donald Trump has in certain instances been too quick to take credentials away from other news outlets. It's impossible to argue that this is one of them. Anyone with an ounce of self-respect wouldn't allow unfettered access to a bunch of people who want their readers to believe that you think President Obama was complicit in a terrorist massacre.

How little self-respect does Blumer have to back a candidate who clearly can't handle reporting that doesn't make him look good?


Posted by Terry K. at 8:18 PM EDT
MRC's Graham Mad That Anderson Cooper Pointed Out Florida AG's Hypocrisy on Gays
Topic: Media Research Center

CNN's Anderson Cooper did a tough interview last week with Republican Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi on gay-related issues following the Orlando massacre, and the Media Research Center's Tim Graham didn't like that one bit. In a June 16 post, Graham was even upset that Cooper defended the interview:

On Wednesday night, CNN anchor Anderson Cooper spent almost 14 minutes defending himself against Florida attorney general Pam Bondi’s complaints about how he “grilled” her (a word CNN even used) about being an anti-gay politician in the wake of the Orlando mass shooting. Cooper lamely claimed he was “respectful” before, during and after the interview and denied he was showing anger....and in the denial showed all the same disrespect and anger (and disingenousness) he brought to the original interview.

[...]

Bondi clearly (and wrongly) expected this was going to be a Moment of National Unity interview where everyone could express horror and sympathy as they stood in front of a hospital housing the wounded. Instead, the gay anchorman decided it was time to get angry about the gay agenda, and imply she had never acknowledged the humanity of gays before. But hey, that’s not “anger,” because Cooper didn’t raise his voice. It was just Cooper doing his job “to hold people accountable.” 

But while Graham is accusing Cooper of being "dishonest" -- he puts it right in the headline ofhispost -- he's also being dishonest in his reflexive Cooper-bashing and Bondi-defending.

For instance, in a transcript of Cooper defending the interview, Graham boldfaced a section in which Cooper states that Bondi "spent hundreds of thousands of dollars of taxpayer money, gay and straight taxpayer money, trying to keep gays and lesbians from getting the right to marry. Now, good people can and do disagree on that issue" -- then failed to boldface a section immediately following, where cooper states that "Ms. Bondi is championing right now her efforts to help survivors for the very right allows gay spouses to bury their dead loved ones, that's a right that wouldn't exist if Ms. Bondi had had her way," which arguably better encapsulates the point Cooper was trying to make.

But Graham then leaps to a statement Cooper made after that -- "I think it is fair to ask about that. There is an irony" -- which set off another rant:

There’s an “irony” in sympathizing with gay people when they’ve just been shot dead. Apparently, Cooper thinks the un-ironic homophobe should express delight? The most dishonest thing Cooper said above is "everyone has a right to their opinion" and " good people can disagree," which he clearly does not believe. Otherwise, he wouldn't be protesting that Bondi never tweeted out support for Gay Pride Month. Apparently, everyone must tweet their support for Gay Pride Month, or they shouldn't express regrets after a mass shooting.

Graham also gave Bondi a pass on her dishonest complaints about the interview -- that the interview was edited, which was impossible since it was shown live (it was apparently edited for rebroadcasts and the web which Graham baselessly accused Cooper of having a personal hand in doing), and that she was booked to appear on CNN only to talk about post-violence insurance scams. Graham didn't boldface that in the Cooper transcript, highlighting instead Cooper's statement that instead of touching on other subjects Bondi suggested talking about, he asked her about actions that "seemed contradictory to her record in dealing with gays and lesbians in the state."

Now, if Bondi was a Democrat and Cooper worked for Fox News and conducted a similarly challenging interview on a subject near and dear to conservative hearts, Graham would be lauding him as tough and fearless and wouldn't be smearing him as biased. In short, he'd be getting the Megyn Kelly treatment.

But because Bondi is Republican and Cooper is gay -- LGBT folks are a particular berzerk button for Graham --  Bondi must be defended and Cooper must be attacked. Graham gets paid good money to do that.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:36 PM EDT
WND Scrubs Article to Fix False Claims, Complains About Having To Do It
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Leo Hohmann's June 21 WND article has an oddly defensive tone:

A 5-year-old girl was sexually assaulted by two boys at an apartment complex in Twin Falls, Idaho — while a third boy filmed the attack — and some local residents are charging the police and city officials with covering up the fact that the boys are from Muslim immigrant families from Sudan and Iraq.

Although not yet confirmed, the alleged perpetrators — migrant boys ages 14, 10 and 7 — appear to be from refugee families.

At least three local newspapers have tried to discredit the reports of the assault, focusing instead on a few details that were erroneously reported by bloggers while ignoring or downplaying the broader truth of the story — that Muslim migrants stripped down and humiliated a vulnerable little girl.

If not for the alert action of an 89-year-old grandmother, who witnessed “something funny” going on in the community’s laundry room and immediately put a stop to it, the assault may have taken an even worse turn.

Snopes also posted an article debunking the initial false reports about the boys being “Syrian” Muslims but failed to point out that they were indeed Sudanese and Iraqi Muslims.

[...]

Earlier reports that multiple “Syrian” refugees had gang-raped the girl “at knife-point” were inaccurate, however.

“There was no gang rape, there was no Syrian involvement, there were no Syrian refugees involved, there was no knife used, there was no inactivity by the police,” Twin Falls County Prosecutor Grant Loebs told the Spokesman Review, a local newspaper. “I’m looking at the Drudge Report headline: ‘Syrian Refugees Rape Little Girl at Knifepoint in Idaho’ – all false.”

But an attack did occur and it was perpetrated by Muslim migrants.

What Hohmann doesn't tell you: This is not the original article he wrote on the alleged incident.

Talking Points Memo reports that WND is one of the right-wing websites that "reported that a group of Syrian refugees sexually assaulted a 5-year-old girl at knife-point. Some versions of the story claimed that the attackers’ fathers cheered the assault and that city officials intentionally covered up the true version of events."

The URL of Hohmann's article gives us the original headline -- "Muslim migrant boys accused of assaulting Idaho girl, 5" -- and an earlier version of that article has been reposted at this website, but it appears to not be an original version as it includes later details that rebut original claims.

Nowhere do Hohmann and WND disclose that the article has been so extensively rewritten that it has a completely different headline. WND even has the capability to indicate updates in a story's dateline, but it has not done so here.

Hohmann's complaining that media outlets interested in reporting facts highlighted "a few details that were erroneously reported by bloggers" while "ignoring or downplaying the broader truth of the story" is rather rich, given that those "few details" promoted by Hohmann (who's apparently a "blogger" now) and others were key facts that were completely wrong.

Hohamnn also complained about those fact-based news organizations pointing out that the original, false story was “pushed by local anti-refugee activists.” and by “conspiracy and anti-Muslim websites.” Hohmann -- who desperately wants to make sure that we know that "an attack did occur and it was perpetrated by Muslim migrants" -- failed to identify identify himself and WND as among the “conspiracy and anti-Muslim websites" who pushed the false story.

Hohmann then quotes one of those "anti-refugee activists," Ann Corcoran of Refugee Resettlement Watch, whom he identifies only as someone "who has been following the refugee program for the past nine years." The Southern Poverty Law Center notes that Corcoran's anti-refugee activism is praised by white nationalist organizations across the country like American Renaissance, the Council of Conservative Citizens and VDARE, and she has even touted AmRen's "good commentary.

So Hohmann quietly scrubs his story to remove false claims without telling readers what changed, whines about the news organizations that waited to get the story right before reporting it, and presents extremists as mere concerned citizens. No wonder WND has no credibility and is in deep financial trouble.

UPDATE: Wonkette notes that WND deleted its original story on the alleged incident, which was apparently stolen from Alex Jones' conspiracy website Infowars.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:49 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, June 23, 2016 2:29 PM EDT
Tuesday, June 21, 2016
CNS Columnist Wants (Ineffective) DDT To Be Legal Again To Combat Zika
Topic: CNSNews.com

Hans Bader rants in a June 10 CNSNews.com column:

Zika’s spread is being aided by red tape the Obama administration left unchanged, even as it illegally diverted money needed to fight Zika to the UN’s Green Climate Fund.

Writing in the New York Post, Jillian Kay Melchior of the Independent Women’s Forum notes that the federal government is thwarting a low-cost solution to Zika: DDT. That life-saving pesticide remains banned by federal regulations, preventing it from being used to kill mosquitos carrying this awful disease:

[...]

For years, the Obama administration has ignored advice like this to allow DDT, disregarding warnings that have grown louder and more frequent as Zika has spread. Indeed, Obama recently gave the Presidential Medal of Freedom to the former EPA administrator who relied on junk science to ban DDT. In a case of politics overruling science, that administrator “banned DDT after ignoring an EPA administrative law judge’s ruling that there was no evidence indicating that DDT posed any sort of threat to human health or the environment.” He “never attended any of the agency’s hearings on DDT. He didn’t read the hearing transcripts and refused to explain his decision,” notes Steven Milloy at Junk Science.com.

Haber and Melchior are ignoring the fact that, as we've pointed out, most mosquitoes are immune to the effects of DDT due to past overuse, so re-legalizing the chemical to fight Zika would do little good.

Bader goes on to write: "Similarly, Melchior notes that the most famous advocate of banning DDT, Rachel Carson, falsely claimed that use of DDT was threatening the American robin with extinction – in the very same year in which noted ornithologist Roger Tory Peterson wrote that the robin was actually 'the most abundant bird in North America.'" Actually, as we've also pointed out, Carson never called for the banning of DDT or any other pesticide, just a stop to their overuse.

While Time magazine concedes Carson was wrong on the imminent extinction of robins, she was correct on the workings of the food chain that made DDT a threat to robins. DDT was sprayed on elm trees in the 1950s to try and kill a tree disease, but DDT residue remained on the leaves. When the leaves fell in autumn, earthworms ate the leaves, and robins would eat the worms the following spring. Because DDT persists in the environment unusually long after it is sprayed, DDT could build up to toxic levels in robins from eating earthworms. And there are documented cases of robins dying from DDT poisoning -- it's what inspired Carson to write her book.

Oh, and Bader pulled that Carson-robin anecdote from a pro-DDT article in the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons (which also fails to mention that most mosquitoes are DDT-immune), published by the far-right Association of American Physicians and Surgeons. The journal is notorious for publishing an article falsely claiming that there has been an explosion of leprosy cases in the U.S.


Posted by Terry K. at 7:12 PM EDT
MRC Approves of Trump's Petulant War on the Washington Post
Topic: Media Research Center

Brent Bozell and Tim Graham rant in their June 15 column:

The Washington Post defined the old term "high dudgeon" when Donald Trump took away its press credentials for being "phony and dishonest."

The paper triggered Trump's act with a loaded headline: "Donald Trump suggests President Obama was involved with Orlando shooting." This could be believable, since Trump bizarrely suggested Sen. Ted Cruz's father was connected to the JFK assassination.

But this time, the Post invented a story.

Trump had told Fox News, "we're led by a man that either is not tough, not smart or he's got something else in mind." He again blasted Obama for refusing to use the words "radical Islamic terrorism," suggesting he might have a dangerous softness toward radical Islam.

To our pro-Obama press that was a nasty slur. But aren't these the same journalists who constantly suggested that President George W. Bush's war on terrorism wasn't tough or smart and only aided the terrorist cause?

No, Messrs. Bozell and Graham, the Post did not "invent a story." Trump has adamantly refuised to explain what he meant by his Obama-bashing remarks -- Trump himself said that "I’ll let people figure that out for themselves" -- so, by definition, no interpretation of what he said can be "invented," even the Post's headline claim that Trump was suggesting Obama was involved with the Orlando massacre, which even Bozell and Graham admit is a "believeable" interpretation.

In case there was any doubt about whether the formerly Trump-hating Bozell is now fully aboard the Trump train, he and Graham enthuse: "Many imagine Trump as a wonderful breath of fresh air, refusing to indulge the arrogant elites in the press."

In other words, the MRC couldn't be happier that Trump pulled the Post's media credentials.

Graham came to an even bolder defense of Trump the next day by attacking NPR media critic David Folkenflik for accurately pointing out that, in Graham's words, "Donald Trump as a crybaby who can't handle rude press coverage." Graham doesn't bother todispute the accuracy of Folkenflik's assessmesnt; instead, he complains about how Folkenflik addressed Trump on the subject of pulling the Post's credentials: "Well, look, boo-hoo! This is the job, man! You know, you're going to run for president. You have to face scrutiny. You've got to take the lumps."

Graham goes on to justify Trump's action against the Post by citing examples of "the remarkable hostility the paper has shown Trump, which are mostly limited to a few op-eds and a couple in house editorials noting that Trump's plan to remove all undocumented immigrants from the U.S. would be "a forced movement on a scale not attempted since Stalin or perhaps Pol Pot." Graham didn't cite an example of what would be a more favorable comparison.

Graham then displayed his own Trump-like petulance by posting screenshots of his Twitter fight with Folkenflik. In it, Folkenflik pointed out Trump's anti-media attacks wuch as having proposed loosening libel laws, threatening to sic anti-trust lawyers on Post Jeffrey Bezos, mocking a disabled reporter and "point[ing] out reporters for denigration at rallies."

Graham responded by obsessing about Hillary and painting Trump as the victim of the media: "Folkenflik failed -- like many other liberals -- to balance the ledger by noting Hillary Clinton's hostility to the press, even though she has much less to complain about than Trump."

This, by the way, from the "media research" outfit that was complaining just a couple months ago that the media's coverage of Trump wasn't negative enough. Times change when you board the Trump train.


Posted by Terry K. at 5:05 PM EDT
WND, CNS Repeat Unverified Claim That Scientist Proves God Exists
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Bob Unruh is very enthusiastic in a June 11 WorldNetDaily article:

A video in which a renowned scientist explains that the “music of strings resonating through 11 dimensional hyperspace … is the mind of God” remains in super viral status years after it first was posted online.

And the scientist, Michio Kaku, who, among other roles, is a well-known commentator for Fox News, has affirmed his theory with a new statement at the Geophilosophical Association of Anthropological and Cultural Studies.

[...]

At the AGEAC site, which disavows affiliation with any particular religion and “rather encourages the study of all faiths and religions of the whole world because it recognizes in all of them the sincere search for truth,” he said “primitive semi-radius tachyons” reveal that people live in a “matrix.”

He explained tachyons are theoretical particles that allow everything free from the influences of surrounding matter.

“I have concluded that we are in a world made by rules created by an intelligence,” he said on the site. “Believe me, everything that we call chance today won’t make sense anymore. To me it is clear that we exist in a plan which is governed by rules that were created, shaped by a universal intelligence and not by chance.”

Well, not exactly. As religion blogger Richard Bartholomew explains:

I see some difficulties here. First, how does one conduct “tests” on a “hypothetical” particle, and what kind of “tests” were they? Surely Kaku, as a theoretician, spends his days working on mathematics rather than conducting experiments? And what exactly are “primitive semi-radius tachyons”? Googling the phrase brings up other accounts of what Kaku is supposed to have said, but nothing else. Maybe they’re related to “sodomized electrons“?

[...]

However, the AGEAC article is itself derivative – the earliest reference I can find to the story was published in May 2011, on a Brazilian website called Pbagora, under the headline “Cientista garante ter encontrado prova que Deus existe”. This version includes the detail that his tests had used technology devised “in 2005” (thus discounting the possibility that “tests” might have been a garbled understanding of “hypothetical calculations”). Pbagora cites as its source Scientific American, although no link is given and there doesn’t seem to be any article published by Scientific American that fits the bill.

[...]

If the quote is genuine, then, it has travelled from English into Portuguese, then into Spanish, and then back again into English. However, it looks to me more likely that the Portuguese version was either fabricated or is so garbled that it bears no relation to anything Kaku actually said.

But even if the quote is genuine, what would it signify? I’m not a scientist, and like most people I can only comprehend science through popular works – but I know enough to understand that a scientist’s grand assertion is not proof of anything. We’re told nothing about his reasoning, his data, or – crucially – what his peers have to say on the subject. These silly articles are simply meant to assure us that a Very Intelligent Person has a very good reason to believe in God, even if we can’t follow the details.

Further, this blogger suggests that a Spanish-language website found the story to be a hoax.

WND is not the only ConWeb outlet to fall for this very fuzzy, unverified story. A June 17 article by Barbara Hollingsworth repeats the purported claim by Kaku without acknowledging its dubious language-spanning provenance.

Despite the fact that Kaku teaches at the City College of New York and, presumably, not that difficult to get a hold of to verify the story, neither Unruh nor Hollingsworth demonstrated any evidence that they bothered to do so.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:48 AM EDT
Monday, June 20, 2016
MRC Denies Military Heritage of AR-15 Rifle
Topic: Media Research Center

Following the Orlando massacre, the Media Research Center immediately and predictably turned into agents for the gun lobby, insisting that only Islam, not gun control, was the issue that needed to be addressed. Also predictably, the MRC has peddled some dishonest propaganda in the process.

In a June 13 post, Nicholas Fondacaro complained that some in the media were calling the AR-15 rifle, which shooter Omar Makeem was originally believed to have used in committing the massacre, was "built for the military" and is a "weapon of war." FOndacaro insisted that the AR-15 "it’s not a 'weapon of war.' The AR-15 was designed to replicate the look of military weapons, a benefit being their ergonomic design. If a buyer wanted, they could purchase a weapon made of wood with same capabilities as an AR, but look nothing like it."

Maggie McKneely used the same argument in a June 14 post, asserting that "assault weapons, such as the oft-demonized AR-15, are not weapons of war. They are designed to look like military weapons due to their ergonomic design, but lack the automatic capabilities. The only difference between the AR-15 that the media loves to hate and a common ranch shotgun is how they look."

But as the Washington Post explains, the AR-15 "is a civilian variant of the military’s M-16 series of rifles and carbines." The Post points out that the AR-15 has a long history with the military:

The AR-15’s combination of portability, relatively light weight (about 8 to 9 pounds loaded) and customization options make it attractive for both close- and medium- to long-range engagements and the preferred weapon used to kill the enemies of the United States. The military variants are customized and used by every branch of the military for myriad missions, including clearing oil rigs and patrolling the large expanses of Afghanistan.

Although the AR-15 has been standard issue for American service members for decades, the weapon’s ascension to a nationwide staple is a bit of a mystery. Conceived by a company started in a Hollywood garage and solicited by an unlikely trio made up of an aeronautical engineer, an arms salesman and a Marine, the AR-15, (AR standing for ArmaLite Rifle) was born in the late 1950s and came of age during the Vietnam War as an answer to Mikhail Kalashnikov’s AK-47.

Chronicled extensively in New York Times reporter C.J. Chivers’s book “The GUN,” the AR-15, and eventually the M-16, was introduced as a replacement for the U.S. military’s M-14, a long large-caliber rifle based on an older World War II design. A small number of AR-15s were first bought by the Air Force in 1962 after a bit of salesmanship by Colt Firearms executives (Colt bought ArmaLite in 1959), that involved a pair of exploding watermelons and a general who disliked the M-14. With the Air Force’s initial purchase, the AR-15 entered the U.S. military’s arms procurement pipeline.

While one may quibble over how closely a civilian AR-15 resembles a military model, it's undeniable that the rifle has a military heritage, and it's dishonest for the MRC to deny it.

McKneely, meanwhile, tried to pile on, chortling at how "recent reports show that the Orlando shooter didn’t even use an AR-15 rifle." Turns out that's true -- the weapon used was a Sig Sauer MCX rifle, a different family of products from the AR-15. But as the Post also notes, the MCX was "originally designed for U.S. Special Operations forces," meaning that it too has a military heritage.

And, thus, the MRC's attempt to play interference on behalf of the gun lobby ends in complete failure.


Posted by Terry K. at 6:29 PM EDT
CNS Touts Mel Gibson's 'Passion' Sequel Work, Silent On Gibson's Anti-Semitism
Topic: CNSNews.com

Mark Judge waxes enthusiastic about Mel Gibson's new film project in a June 10 CNSNews.com blog post:

The Hollywood Reporter is reporting that Mel Gibson and writer Randall Wallace are working on a sequel to the 2004 blockbuster "The Passion of the Christ."

"The evangelical community considers 'The Passion' the biggest movie ever out of Hollywood," Wallace told the Hollywood Reporter, "and they kept telling us they think a sequel would be even bigger."

The Reporter's Paul Bond writes that Wallace, who recently directed and co-wrote 2014's "Heaven is for Real," says he and Gibson "began to get serious about a sequel to The Passion, the most successful independent film of all time, while making Hacksaw Ridge, which Gibson directed and Wallace co-wrote. Hacksaw Ridge opens in November and centers on World War II Army medic Desmond Doss, the first conscientious objector to be awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor."

There is no studio or financial backing lined up for the "Passion" sequel, which is still in the early script stage. "The Passion of the Christ" made $612 million on a $30 million budget.

That's the entirety of Judge's post. Notice something missing? You know, like Gibson's history of ugly anti-Semitism (not to mention an even uglier breakup with his mistress) and the fact that "The Passion of the Christ" has itself been credibly accused of being anti-Semitic?

Needless to say, the Media Research Center has a double standard on not mentioning the unseemly history of entertainers. In January, MRC chief Brent Bozell and his deputy Tim Graham marked David Bowie's death by complaining that the media was ignoring stories of Bowie bedding underage groupies, lamenting that "David Bowie died to universal acclaim, even from a star-struck Vatican newspaper." Bozell and Graham whined about how "the secular news industry in New York and the social justice warriors in Hollywood pour outrage all over the predatory Catholic priests who abused children in this same era of sex and drugs and 'revolution,' the rockers and the filmmakers plowed their way through a polyester playground of high-school groupies exploiting their 'star privilege.'" Never mind that Bozell and Graham have given that very pass to right-wing icon and underage groupie-bedder (and underage groupie-marryer) Ted Nugent.

It looks like Gibson will get a pass on his notorious past from Judge and the rest of the MRC simply because he made a popular religious movie.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:53 PM EDT

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