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Sunday, December 4, 2016
CNS Unemployment Numbers Distortion Watch
Topic: CNSNews.com

November's job numbers were reasonably good -- 178,000 new jobs were created and the unemployment rate dropped to 4.6 percent.

CNSNews.com -- as is its partisan mission -- had to distract from that good news.

As usual, the main story by Susan Jones emphasized the labor force participation rate, which is not a reliable measure of unemployment. She didn't report the number of jobs created until the 10th paragraph, and she waited until near the end of the article to allude to why focusing on the labor force participation rate is meaningless: much of it is made up of students and the retired, who are not looking for jobs.

But CNS also churned out four more articles to downplay the good news:

Michael W. Chapman wrote about the high black unemployment rate, yet again failing to put the number into context -- black unemployment has always been double that of white unemployment.

Chapman also touted what he called was "real unemployment rate ," a factual misnomer since that particular number counts people are employed part-time but seeking full-time work.

Jones wrote an article about how "The economy lost 4,000 manufacturing jobs between October and November," but she ignores CNS' own research showing that manufacturing jobs have been on a steady overall decline for about 30 years.

Chapman tossed out one last bit of cherry-picking with an article claiming that "the number of American workers unemployed for 15 weeks or more was 2,933,000." But Chapman omits the fact that this is the first time sinceJune 2008 that this number has been below 3 million, and that the number is one-third of that in April 2010, at the height of the recession. But that would have been good news, and Chapman doesn't want to report any of that while Obama is president.

Mesnwhile, the Media Research Center at large is apparently getting into the distrction business as well. A Dec. 2 post by Sam Dorman highlights how Fox Business' Stuart Varney called the numbers "weak" and how his Fox Business colleague Ashley Webster criticized the weakness of the Obama recovery, arguing that the country was seven years into a recovery and the labor force participation rate continued its decline."Dorman then cited the CNS article touting the high labor force participation rate -- but not that baby-boomer retirees are helping to drive up that number.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:09 PM EST
Updated: Sunday, December 4, 2016 9:44 PM EST
WND Can't Stop Hypocrisy Over Trump-Nazi Comparisons
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Despite the fact that WorldNetDaily has spent a lot of time likening President Obama to Nazis over the past eight years, it's still mad that some are likening Donald Trump to a Nazi. The hypocrisy hasn't stopped.

Larry Elder spent his Nov. 23 WND column complaining about how "comparing Republicans to Nazis has long been a national pastime of the Democratic Party"; he concluded by whining: "If not the Nazi card, it’s the race card or the sexist card or the homophobic card. This 'I’m right; you’re evil' brand of politics has a lot to do with why voters elected Donald Trump, rather than Hillary 'basket of deplorables' Clinton, to serve as our next president." Needless to say, he didn't mention all the Obama-Nazi comparisons that have been made over the years.

In his Nov. 23 column, Michael Brown similarly complained about Trump-Nazi comparisons. He declared that "This horrific name-calling needs to stop, not only because it defames the living but also because it mocks the dead – specifically, the victims of Hitler and his henchmen," adding that "In light of the depths of their evil, we had better be very careful before we label others Nazis or call our opponents Hitler."

While that's true, Brown didn't specifically call out any Obama-Nazi comparisions, let alone admit that the website that publishes his column was a prime source of those comparisons.

Unless WND apologizes for its own shameful Obama-Nazi name-calling, it has no moral basis to complain about Trump-Nazi name-calling.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:12 PM EST
Saturday, December 3, 2016
CNS' Other Dead-Guy Columnist: George Washington
Topic: CNSNews.com

It turns out Chuck Colson is not the only hard-working dead columnist at CNSNews.com.

On Thanksgiving, CNS reposted a Thanksgiving proclamation from George Washington it had originally published in 2010. As with fellow dead guy Colson, Washington is given the byline.

It turns out Washington has a CNS author archive. It includes two copies of his farewell address and the selective quoting of a single paragraph from his 1783 farewell address to the Continental Army emphasizing that Washington "warned that the United States could 'never hope be a happy Nation' unless its citizens imitated Christ" (which notes it had been published the year before).

CNS' granting of bylines to dead people (though, unlike with Colson, it doesn't need to explain to readers that Washington is dead) demonstrates how unprofessional the "news" organization is being run -- it's all about pushing an ideology and not about "news" at all.

Of course, CNS loves Washington for other reasons. A 2011 "news" article by Penny Starr marked the repeal of the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy by touting how Washington "approved the dismissal of a soldier for 'attempting to commit sodomy,' with 'abhorrence and detestation of such infamous crimes.'"


Posted by Terry K. at 10:23 AM EST
WND Columnist's Big Rudy Fail
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Doug Wead used his Nov. 25 WorldNetDaily column to cheerlead Donald Trump into picking Rudy Giuliani as secretary of state, offering a list of three reasons to do so. The first:

1) He is the most qualified and successful politician-statesman alive. He succeeds at everything he does.

Working in the Justice Department and for the state of New York, he more than any other figure brought down the famous five families of the Mafia – an intractable problem for the economy and society of America for generations.

He ended the reign of violence on the streets of New York, which was once like Chicago is today under Rahm Emanuel.

My feel is that he needs a new challenge. And this is it.

Conspicuously missing from Wead's list is a very conspicuous failure: Giuliani's 2008 presidential campaign.

As late as November 2007, Giuliani held a commanding lead over his GOP rivals. But his campaign went with a strategy to ignore Iowa and New Hampshire to focus on Florida and the Super Tuesday states. It failed miserably -- Giuliani finished third in Florida and dropped out before Super Tuesday.

So, no, Doug, Guiliani does not succeed at everything he does.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:16 AM EST
Friday, December 2, 2016
CNS Gets It Wrong In Mocking 'Feminist Glacier' Study
Topic: CNSNews.com

Lauretta Brown, as a good CNS reporter, is in full stenography mode for a Republican senator promoting alleged examples of government waste in a Nov. 28 article, singling one particular case out for mocking:

Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) released his second “Federal Fumbles” report on Monday, citing 100 examples of the misuse of taxpayer dollars through government spending and regulation.

One example: The National Science Foundation (NSF), the report said, spent $412,930 to fund a study that argued "that scientists should use femnist theories and a feminist point of view to sudy glaciers and the relationship between glaciers and humans."

[...]

Feminist Glaciers

The NSF has spent the last several years funding a $412,930 study that culminated in a paper entitled “Glaciers, Gender, and Science: A Feminist Glaciology Framework for Global Environmental Change Research.” The report quotes the authors’ belief that “the feminist glaciology framework generates robust analysis of gender, power, and epistemologies in dynamic social-ecological systems, thereby leading to a more just and equitable science and human-ice interactions.”

"In other words," the report said, "the authors argue that scientists should use feminist theories and a feminist point of view  to study glaciers and the relationship between glaciers and humans. The authors also argue that 'the feminist lens is crucial given the historical marginalization of women, the important of gendera in glacier-related knowledges, and the ways in which the systems of colonialism, imperialism, and patriarchy co-instituted genderered science."

Except that's not what really happened at all. As Gawker pointed out, that NSF money went for the entirety of this particular researcher's work on glaciers, only one part of which is the paper Lankford and Brown are mocking.

And because Brown is only interested in right-wing stenography, she makes no effort to go beyond Lankford's biased report and see if he's telling the truth. (He's not.) The magazine Science did what Brown couldn't be bothered to do: talk to the paper's author, who points out that his purpose was to stimulate a conversation about who's doing research on glaciers and posits the idea that viewpoints from women on the subject, and female researchers in particular, are important.

Brown continues her stenography on Lankford's behalf:

Gas Station Tofu

The report documents a 2016 Department of Agriculture regulation that requires stores that accept food stamps to double their selection of “healthy food items,” suggesting “businesses that want to meet the new regulations begin selling items like almond milk, tofu, fresh or frozen catfish, goat’s milk, and shrimp.”

The report notes that 195,000 small gas stations and convenience stores would be impacted by the rule and that “many small gas stations have already stated they would be forced to stop accepting food stamps, thus eliminating an option to buy food for many food stamp recipients in rural areas and inner-city food deserts.”

Lankford -- and, thus, Brown -- obscure the fact that the regulation has not yet been put into effect, meaning that no "misuse" of federal money has taken place (no evidence is provided that studying the effects of the proposed regulationis "misuse"). And sneeringly dismissing the idea as "gas station tofu" ignores the fact that many urban convenience stores don't sell gas and that tofu was only a suggestion, not a mandate.

Finally: Neither Brown nor Lankford disclose how much federal money Lankford spent compiling his mocking, biased report. Taht would seem to be relevant given the whole focus on misusing federal funds.


Posted by Terry K. at 4:43 PM EST
WND Pushes Trump's Evidence-Free Fearmongering About Illegal Voting
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Donald Trump has been pushing the claim that he would have won the popular vote were it not for "the millions of people who voted illegally," and the Trump-fluffers at WorldNetDaily are more than happy to help him push it -- even though WND, like Trump, has no actual evidence to back it up.

Not that Bob Unruh, in his Nov. 29 WND article, doesn't make a valiant effort to portray right-wing speculation as actual evidence. The first person he cites is Catherine Engelbrecht of of the right-wing True the Vote, who had nothing but "promised reliable estimates of the number of illegal-alien voters are on the way."

Next was Hans von Spakovsky of the right-wing Heritage Foundation, who according to Unruh said that "indications of the impact" are there despite "no reliable figures yet on the number of illegal-alien voters."

He was followed by William Gheen of the right-wing Americans for Legal Immigration PAC -- which Unruh benignly and irrelevantly describes only as "non-profit" -- who claimed that Trump "is absolutely correct that large volumes of illegal votes were cast in the 2016 presidential race predominantly for Democrat candidates and illegal immigrants were brought across the borders to reinforce Obama and Hillary Clinton in these elections." No evidence was provided to back up that claim.

Unruh also quoted Gheen as saying, "Obama himself admitted on video to Spanish language audiences comprised of illegal immigrants that illegals would face no scrutiny or hindrances registering to vote and voting, both of which are felonies and deportable offenses." In fact, that's not what he said at all; in comments that right-wingers selectively quoted (including WND), he said that "what is important for Latino citizens is to make your voice heard" and that those citizens voting helps speak for those "who can't legally vote."

Unruh then claimed that "ALIPAC cited sources, including the Pew Trust." He acknowledged that the author of the Pew study being cited "said he discovered no voter fraud," he insisted that thte study "specifically said its research 'underscores the need for registration systems that better maintain voter records, save money and streamline process.'" Which, however, is not the same thing as claiming that millions of people voted illegally, which is what Gheen and ALIPAC are claiming.

Unruh further asserted that "ALIPAC released dozens of pages of documentation showing 46 states have prosecuted or convicted cases of voter fraud, more than 24 million voter registrations are invalid, more than 1.8 million dead voters are still on rolls and more than 2.75 million Americans are registered to vote in more than one state." Which, again, does not back up Gheen's claim that millions of people voted illegally in 2016, especially since the link Unruh provided is of an ALIPAC comment thread that dates back to 2011, which does not necessarily qualify as "documentation."

Then it's back to even more non-documentation. Unruh writes: "Steve Camarota of the Center for Immigration Studies said that if one looks at the likely 21 million non-citizens in the United States, based on the 2015 American Community Survey, there is the high probability that a good number voted. After all, a 2 million or so vote advantage for Clinton could consist of votes from only about 10 percent of that population. But he said there’s no evidence available yet that would document an election result based on those votes."

Unruh may not have any actual evidence to back his (and Trump's) claims of illegal voting, but that doesn't mean he can't stick an irrelevant photo of seemingly illegal immigrants as the main image for his article (shown at top). In WND tradition, the image is uncredited, which means it was stolen -- in this case, from the Los Angeles Times. Unruh and WND are suggesting though the use of this image that hordes of swarthy masses are just lining up to vote illegally; in fact, the Times caption states: "Lugging jugs of water, migrants thread their way along footpaths leading to the U.S. border."

In other words, these migrants have other things on their mind -- like basic survival -- and voting is way down their priority list.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:12 PM EST
Updated: Friday, December 2, 2016 2:14 PM EST
MRC Still Won't Be Honest About 'Fake News'
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center is not done trying to change the subject away from the issue of "fake news" that may have helped Donald Trump get elected president.

A Nov. 28 post by Tim Graham freaks out over a Washington Post article on the group PropOrNot accusing the Russians of planting misleading article boosting Trump and bashing Hillary Clinton that were picked up by many right-wing (and some left-wing) website.Graham cites criticism of PropOrNot from the left-wing sites it named, complaining that the group is biased against Russia and Trump's ties to it and "are promoting bizarre conspiracy theories using overwrought numbers from a source that won’t identify its own authors or funders."

Funny, we don't recall the MRC having a problem with the anonymous basis of the false Fox News pre-election story claiming an indictment of Clinton was imminent that it heavily promoted. Still, Graham ranted that the PropOrNot claim is an "anonymously-sourced conspiracy theory" -- something it has never admitted the Fox News story was.

Mesnwhile, the MRC's Scott Whitlock attempted to redefine fake news in a Nov. 29 post:

ABC’s Nightline, a program that has covered such non-stories as “bootleg butt injections” and “cat poo coffee,” actually complained about “fake news” websites. Co-anchor Juju Chang on Monday huffed that “established media outlets are built on accuracy” as she wondered if scam websites resulted in Hillary Clinton losing.

[...]

Nightline journalists are in no position to judge ridiculous stories. This is a program that in 2014 actually did a story on “bootleg butt injections.”  In 2015, the show’s reporters covered “cat poo coffee.” The show also looked into “polyamory” and the “trailblazing triad” of threesome fans. Is this news?

On Monday night, Chang complained, “Separating fact from fiction is not easy when mistrust of mainstream media is at an all-time high.” Perhaps one reason for that is because Nightline is promoting ridiculous click bait stories. 

No, Scott, fluffy news is not fake news. Fake news is the false Fox News story your employer promoted and has never admitted was false, let alone apologized for it.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:45 AM EST
Thursday, December 1, 2016
WND's Farah, Jonathan Cahn Stage Publicity Stunt at Temple Mount
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Now it appears we know why WorldNetDaily was so desperate for people to join the tour to the Holy Land led by WND editor Joseph Farah and his buddy and meal ticket, Jonathan Cahn: They were planning to stage a publicity stunt to get their tour party kicked off Jerusalem's Temple Mount.

Farah tells about it in his Nov. 27 column:

A week before Americans gave thanks to God for their blessings in a holiday inspired by Pilgrims who sought religious freedom in the new world, another group of mostly American pilgrims to Jerusalem was ejected from the Temple Mount by Muslim administrative authorities for mentioning that the Jewish Temple rested atop the 40-acre mount until 70 AD when it was destroyed by Rome.

That’s right – 406 Christians were forced off the Temple Mount for acknowledging that a Temple once rested there.

The incident occurred Thursday, Nov. 17, 2016, when messianic rabbi Jonathan Cahn and I led the group on a tour of the Temple Mount, the holiest site in Judaism and one of great significance for Christians as well.

When Cahn, the New York Times bestselling author of “The Harbinger,” “The Mystery of the Shemitah” and “The Book of Mysteries,” simply referenced the Temple, his talk was interrupted by a representative of the Islamic Waqf – the clerical force that patrols the site, enforcing dress codes and often prohibiting Bible reading and prayer by Christians and Jews.

Cahn was told it was unacceptable for anyone to discuss the Temple on the Temple Mount. Muslims do not refer to the Temple Mount as such but call the site Haram al-Sharif, or Nobel Sanctuary. They contend the site is famous and holy not because of the Temple, which some of them even dispute ever existed, but because Muhammad claims to have ascended to the site from the Arabian desert in a miraculous Night Journey on the back of a winged horse.

[...]

He was just beginning a message on the link between the Temple and the Garden of Eden when the Waqf officials interrupted the talk. They called Cahn to speak to them about 20 yards from the bulk of the group, with me shadowing him.

“They immediately told me I had to stop talking,” Cahn recalled. “We had to leave the Temple Mount. Meanwhile, the group watched, prayed and a few took pictures and video recorded the event. When I countered that we had done nothing wrong, they said I can’t talk about the Temple on the Temple Mount. They said, ‘This is an Islamic holy site. You cannot mention the Temple.'”

The standoff lasted about five minutes until one of the Waqf officials got louder and more agitated. At that point, Cahn agreed to leave. The Waqf officials escorted the group out the gate facing the north. It regrouped near the Pools of Bethesda, where Cahn finished his message and spoke about the nature of the spiritual warfare we had just witnessed.

What Farah and Cahn are calling "spiritual warfare" is actually bad manners on their part -- not to mention a craven, borderline blasphemous stunt.

Farah and Cahn knew that things like Christian and Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount are prohibited at the Temple Mount -- Farah even admits that. But Farah misleads by suggesting the prohibition was demanded by the Waqf; in fact, that's the official position of the Israeli government. Further, it appears Cahn, a messianic rabbi, may have violated his own faith in doing so; the Chief Rabbinate of Israel states that the Torah prohibits Jews from entering the Temple Mount.

All this means that their plan all along was to break rules and create a scene -- all the more spectacular when a large group of tourists are made unwitting pawns in their stunt. Needelss to say, Farah got video of the conflict they provoked, and it's attached to his column.

Farah and Cahn were guests, and as guests you abide by your host's rules. You do not treat them with disrespect and provoke conflict.

The fact that the two planned to break rules and cause a scene while dragging their tour group through the manufactured drama exposes them not as the religious heroes they claim to be -- "To be kicked off the Temple Mount for speaking truth was an honor," Cahn said, adding, "Nothing stops the purposes of God" -- but as self-centered jerks.


Posted by Terry K. at 6:00 PM EST
Updated: Thursday, December 1, 2016 6:08 PM EST
MRC Flip-Flops on Jorge Ramos' Credibility
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center has had its knives out for Univision's Jorge Ramos for quite some time now, determined to silence him for being critical of Donald Trump. When Trump actually won the election, the MRC gloated.

In a Nov. 14 post, Jorge Bonilla cheered how "Smiling faces grew somber" on Univision's election-night newscast as Trump won, complained that the network "amplified what it perceived to be inflammatory statements" by Trump (now that Trump is the MRC's boy, Bonilla won't concede that anything he was was actually inflammatory)and accused Ramos of having "staged his explusion from a Trump press conference in Iowa." Bonilla ranted:

Now trapped in its own death spiral, Univision's TV news division is quadrupling down on the identity politics that have left a sour taste in viewers' mouths. Rather than examining whether its coverage of the 2016 election turned off viewers and potential voters, Univision decided to push fear as a response to Trump. Ramos' promise to continue asking tough questions rings hollow because there was an astonishing lack of curiosity when it came to Hillary's email scandal.

Univision News' time is better spent in deep self-reflection and evaluation of its own journalistic practices. But it appears that the network has learned nothing.

This from an organization whose own "news" division served as Trump's stenographer and offered critical coverage only of Hillary Clinton.

The next day, Bonilla targeted Ramos further under the headline "Jorge Ramos Lost All His Credibility And Learned Nothing," in which he huffed:
"Some time ago, Ramos admitted that he understood the risks to his credibility by taking such open stances. 2016 will be remembered as the year that Jorge Ramos gambled away his credibility. America, however, is about second chances and redemption. Here's hoping that Ramos -as well as the rest of the media- acknowledges the scope and breadth of his failings and strives to hold all sides accountable going forward. This is certainly a much more constructive endeavor than the current lashing-out we've seen so far."

But, suddenly, Bonilla decided that Ramos was filled with credibility. Why? Because he said something Bonilla agrees with.

In a Nov. 28 post, Bonilla praised how Ramos finally got in line with right-0wing talking points on the death of Fidel Castro:

Fairness compels us to memorialize what Al Punto did right...which in this case, was everything. Jorge Ramos broke sharply from the rest of the media by simply calling a dictator a dictator. The tone of the show was proper in that it was somber. Viewers got to see the reality of Fidel Castro through the voices of people whose lives were affected by the tyrant, and were given space to come to their own conclusions.

Oh, please. Bonilla doesn't give a damn about "fairness" -- he cares only about pushing a political view. The fact that Bonilla forgot completely about his attacks on Ramos when he echoed right-wing orthodoxy on Castro shows that all too clearly.

The next time Ramos sasys something Bonilla doesn't like, the knives will be out again. That will have nothing to do with fairness either.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:18 PM EST
WND Reporter In Full Islamophobia Mode After Ohio State Incident
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily's Leo Hohmann doesn't like Muslims -- he rushes to brand them as terrorists and criminals on the pages of WND. This week's incident at Ohio State University, perpetrated by a Somali refugee, has brought that out in him again.

In his first story on the incident, he complains -- as he has done before -- that police are bothering to do a full investigation instead of jumping to the conclusion that because he's a Muslim, he's a terrorist: "The Somali refugee who stabbed Ohio State University students with a butcher knife Monday praised a well-known al-Qaida terrorist on his Facebook page minutes before his attack, yet authorities say they are not ready to assign a motive."

The next day, Hohmann was in full Islamophobia mode, with some lecturing of the media for not hating Muslims as much as he does:

When Abdul Ali Artan tried to run over a crowd of helpless students at Ohio State University, then got out of his car and slashed as many as he could with a butcher knife, media titans CNN, CBS and NBC treated it as an isolated incident.

Law enforcement, from the local level on up to the FBI, said they did not know what could have motivated the young Muslim student to act in such a premeditated, violent way against his fellow students on a chilly Tuesday morning in Columbus.

Artan, an 18-year-old freshman at OSU, had immigrated from his native Somalia through Pakistan, arriving in Columbus at the invitation of the U.S. government, which considered him a “refugee.”

But the media failed to connect any of the dots with a host of similar attacks on U.S. soil, let alone the even larger number of strikingly similar attacks in Europe committed by migrants from Muslim countries in the Middle East and Africa.

[...]

One of the primary responsibilities of any reputable journalist is to not only report the news of the day, but to report it in context. It is only through context that the consumers of the journalistic product can receive a full understanding of the events happening in the world around them. There was none of that going on Tuesday when the news broke of a knife attack on the campus of Ohio State. Not even the most-recent Muslim knife attack, carried out two months earlier by another Somali refugee in St. Cloud, was mentioned in connection with the Ohio story.

Why so little context? Why so little information about the refugee program and its recent failures to screen out bad apples?

Why do mainstream media, along with U.S. law enforcement, provide cover for the U.S. immigration system and the refugee program in particular?

Hohmann calls on "several experts who follow the refugee program" to answer that question, but they're all Islamophobes like him, Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer among them.

Hohmann also tried to fearmonger by making "a simple perusal of some very recent history, roughly the previous 17 or 18 months," in which he listed eight certain violent incidents. Then he moves the goalposts, adding, "A little further back, in 2013, the Boston Marathon bombing by the Tsarnaev brothers left three dead and more than 300 injured."

And what is the significance of this? "The one common denominator of all nine attacks is that each was carried out by Muslim immigrants or sons of Muslim immigrants." Yep, Hohmann had to pad out the list by throwing in "sons of Muslim immigrants"-- he couldn't come up with enough actual Muslim immigrants to make the list long enough.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:53 AM EST
Wednesday, November 30, 2016
Newsmax Columnist Thinks 'Fake News' Concern Is Attempt To Censor Right-Wingers
Topic: Newsmax

It seems like all of the ConWeb wants to have a say about all that fake-news stuff. Newsmax's James Hirsen has his own spin in a Nov. 21 column, insisting that it's really all about censoring conservatives:

After telling the public for over a year that the election of Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States was not going to materialize, the mainstream media have now turned their collective attention toward something they have characterized as “fake news.”

The phrase, however, is a fake itself, and its deliberate use manipulative in nature. The mainstream media are out to cleanse social media of sites that pose obstacles to a uniform way of thinking; that being a left-leaning ideology.

Hirsen doesn't bother to address the specific issue at hand -- fake "news" websites pitching stories designed to boost Trump that got treated by Facebook as actual news. Instead, he plays the victim:

The mere act of defining “fake news” is fraught with its own problems.

Would The New York Times, CNN, MSNBC, and other outlets that published dubious news stories throughout the lengthy election season be included in the group categorized as purveyors of false news stories? Most would agree that, although warranted in many cases, this would be highly unlikely.

It has become more and more apparent that “fake news” is the latest meme being used by left-leaning media in their all-out effort to eliminate competition from the conservative side of the political spectrum.

Establishment media organizations such as New York Magazine have been disseminating rosters of “fake news” sites. Not surprisingly, the lists are full of legitimate conservative outlets.

Of course, not only has Hirsen's employer has engaged in peddling fake news over the years -- for example, we've documented how Newsmax published numerous falsehoods about President Obama's stimulus plan in 2009 -- Hirsen himself has left a trail of fake news in his wake.

He once falsely claimed that the band U2 held a fund-raiser for conservative Republican Rick Santorum; in fact, Santorum was exploiting an already-existing U2 concert for a fund-raiser. And then there's the years he spent writing Newsmax articles promoting  various Mel Gibson film projects and whitewashing his notorious anti-Semitic tirade while failing to disclose that not only is he a friend of Gibson but heads a foundation that bought a tract of land in Pennsylvania for Gibson's father to found a branch of a dissident ultraconservative Catholic sect.Refusing to disclose a serious conflict of interest is a form of fakery as well.

Hirsen concludes by writing that Facebook chief Mark "Zuckerberg also knows, as do most Americans, that social media should be delivered freely to its members in non-curated feeds where members themselves decide what is worthwhile to view and what is not." And Hirsen certainly knows how dishonest it is to present something as factual "news" when it is nothing more than an partisan attack that is may not be accurate, however newsy it looks.

It seems that Hirsen is trying to play the rigvht-wing game of pretending that there's no difference between major media organizations -- the purported "liberal media" -- and partisan content mills that put getting clicks ahead of telling facts. If Hirsen would stop playing the victim, he's understand that conservative websites that publish facts and clearly label their content have nothing to worry about, and that covers Newsmax and Hirsen.


Posted by Terry K. at 7:32 PM EST
CNS' Starr Keeps On Shilling for the Oil Industry
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com reporter Penny Starr has long been a reliable shill for the fossil-fuel industry, as one would expect from an employee of an organization that gets significant funding from fossil-fuel interests and has an endowed fellowship named after oilman T. Boone Pickens.

She's at it again. Starr writes in a Nov. 22 CNS article:

President Obama’s Interior Department announced last week that no offshore leases for oil and gas development in Alaska will be granted for a five-year period, prompting criticism that the decision could have a detrimental effect on local communities.

Lucas Frances, a spokesperson for the Arctic Energy Center (AEC), called the decision a “body blow” for the communities.

“Today’s announcement is a body blow for the Native communities, businesses, elected officials, military experts and other Alaskans who repeatedly have pleaded with the White House to allow offshore energy development in the Arctic,” he said in statement after the decision was announced on Friday.

“Having been told that local views would take priority, they have now seen that the exact opposite is true and their wishes have been ignored in the name of legacy-building,” he said.

“As a result of this decision, people across Alaska will be looking to the Trump administration to quickly tear up the lease plan and implement an entirely new schedule, which includes the Arctic and helps secure the state’s future.”

Starr makes sure not to disclose that the Arctic Energy Center is not a local grassroots group but, rather, an advocacy group for the oil industry founded by the Independent Petroleum Association of America and the Alaska Oil and Gas Association. The center claims that part of its mission is to highlight " long history of exploration and development in the region, and the scientific and technological advancements that allow for safe energy development today." In September, it launched a PR campaign to build support for offshore drilling in the Arctic that was scheduled to include a "six-figure television buy" in the Washingtion, D.C., TV market.

Starr also quoted one of her favorite industry sources, the American Petroleum Institute, criticizing the lease decision as well.

Unusual for her, Starr actually balanced the story with a statement from the environmental group EarthJustice. But she showed her bias again by labeling it as an "activist group" -- a descriptor she did not apply to the Arctic Energy Center though it too is activist (as if a six-figure TV ad buy isn't activist).


Posted by Terry K. at 2:18 PM EST
WND Columnist Buys Into 'Pizzagate' Hoax, Libels Podesta As Pedophile
Topic: WorldNetDaily

The headline of Jesse Lee Peterson's Nov. 27 WorldNetDaily column reads, "Dear America, stop putting up with evil." We've been putting up with Peterson's evil for some time now, and he takes it to a new level in this column.

His particular brand of evil this time around is promoting the "Pizzagate" hoax and, then, libeling former Clinton campaign manager John Podesta by suggesting he's a pedophile:

The media and social media establishments are attempting to suppress investigation into “PizzaGate” – alleged pedophilia and Satanism practiced by political insiders and elites. These suspicions were bolstered by WikiLeaks’ “Podesta” emails.

Investigative journalist David Seaman says WikiLeaks has not released a fraudulent email in its 10 years of whistleblowing.

Seaman is leaving Twitter over apparent censorship and bias by CEO Jack Dorsey. Prominent conservative actor James Woods also famously quit Twitter over its attempts to suppress Trump supporters, prominent “alt-right” personalities, conservative opinions and anti-Hillary hashtags.

Seaman urges people to search terms like “Podesta pizza” on WikiLeaks (“cheese pizza” is apparently a commonly known code word for “child pornography”) – sick stuff that makes Anthony Weiner’s disgraceful issues seem almost innocent in comparison.

Remember when everyone was shocked by the cover-up of homosexual Catholic priests having sex with little boys? Early on, many of us did not know what to believe.

Now we have a liberal media quick to cover up for powerful people we all know are corrupt, and who may be affiliated with the sickest cruelties against the most innocent human beings.

We'll say it slowly so Mr. Peterson can understand. There is no "cover up" because there is no story. It was based on a fictional post on Reddit that snowballed into making false claims not only about Podesta but the completely innocent owner of a Washington, D.C., pizza restaurant.

It is irresponsible for Peterson to spread such false and malicious rumors. Peterson ranted that "If our country is to survive, if we want to restore freedom, We the People must return to eternal vigilance within," but it's obvious he exercised no vigilance, let alone due diligence, in choosing to publish claims he should know to be false. He urged his readers to "fight for good in your own lives" while his hate and lies are apparently exempt.

We're guessing he (and WND) may be hearing from Podesta's lawyer in the near future. Podesta shouldn't have to put up with Peterson's evil, after all, and he has an actionable claim to pursue.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:07 AM EST
Tuesday, November 29, 2016
NEW ARTICLE: Faking It At the MRC
Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center does everything it can to avoid discussing the problem of "fake news" -- and certainly not how Brent Bozell's attack on purported bias at Facebook helped create it. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 8:26 PM EST
The Clinton Equivocation Continues At the MRC
Topic: Media Research Center

Just because Hillary Clinton lost the presidential election doesn't mean the Media Research Center will give up invoking the Clinton Equivocation -- which, in this election year, has meant the MRC excusing any and every Donald Trump transgression by claiming a Clinton did it first and worse.

In a Nov. 18 NewsBusters post, Jack Coleman complained that MSNBC's Rachel Maddow "is raising the issue of Trump possibly hiring his son-in-law Jared Kushner, husband of daughter Ivanka, for a high-profile role in the White House as advisor or special counsel" and pointing out the federal anti-nepotism laws that forbid it. Coleman huffed in response:

One need venture all the way back to the just-completed campaign to see a prominent beneficiary of it -- Trump's Democrat opponent in the general election, Hillary Clinton.

For those too young to have lived through it or old enough but selectively forgetful, Hillary Clinton was appointed by her husband to one of the most high-profile positions in government in 1993, the first year of his administration -- head of the task force that sought to overhaul health care in the U.S.

Her efforts ultimately failed and an enormous backlash took the form of the GOP's historic gains in the 1994 midterms when they won control of both chambers of Congress for the first time in 40 years.

Coleman eventually conceded that a federal appeals court found that the anti-nepotism law did not appear to cover appointments to the White House staff. Oops!

Nevertheless, he asserted that "perhaps the Clintons simply didn't care about federal law when Hillary was appointed head of the health task force (similar indifference to perjury and obstruction of justice would eventually catch up with them). More importantly, their party affiliation shielded them against undue scrutiny from a compliant media. A generation later, it shields them still."

Then, on Nov. 22, Nicholas Fondacaro noted an ABC report on the growing conflicts of interest the Trump presidency has with Trump's business operations, whining that "such concern over conflicts of interest were scant when they covered Hillary Clinton pre-election."

Fondacaro complained that "ABC completely ignored the WikiLeaks e-mail exposing how the king of Morocco donated $12 million to the Clinton Foundation. In exchange for the money, the king expected a private meeting with the former secretary of state. The donation came just before she planned to announce her doomed run for president."

But Fondacaro is censoring the full story. In fact, as Vox explains, Hillary Clintron never personally benefited from that money, and she was not in a position of authority at the time of the donation, and there's no evidence no foreign government received any preferential treatment from the State Department as a direct result of a Clinton Foundation donation.

Fondacaro harrumphed: "It’s amazing how much a network cares about conflicts of interest when the candidate they didn’t want becomes the president-elect." It's even more amazing how much a partisan organization cares about such alleged conflicts of interest -- to the point of distorting the record and hiding inconvenient facts -- when they involve the candidate it didn't support for president.

And once again, the MRC refuses to hold a Trump to the same standards it holds a Clinton.


Posted by Terry K. at 5:11 PM EST
Updated: Tuesday, November 29, 2016 5:12 PM EST

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