CNSNews.com churned out a whopping 10 articles on the Sept. 16 Republican presidential debate -- a main article by Patrick Goodenough, and eight more highlighting various statements made by candidates during the debate by Goodenough and three other CNS writers (count 'em: here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here), plus a blog post highlighting the "most tweeted moment" of the debate.
All the CNS articles were stenography -- there was no fact-checking or analysis of the statements the candidates made. Even Carly Fiorina's factually dubious attack on Planned Parenthood was merely dutifully transcribed by Goodenough, making sure to note the "enthusiastic applause" it received, without any mention of the fact that -- as even CNS' parent organization is conceding -- she did not speak fully accurately.
And none of the articles the misinformation the Republican candidates spread about vaccines, from Donald Trump's assertion thatvaccines cause autism to Ben Carson's insistence that children need only "certain" vaccines to Rand Paul's claim that childhood vaccinations shouldn't be "bunched up."
Since CNS won't hold Republicans to the same level of scrutiny it holds Democrats -- even when the misinformation being provided is dangerous, as it is with the Republicans' misinformation about vaccines -- it falls to legitimate news organizations to do the job of fact-checking. The Washington Post does the fact-check that CNS won't:
Here's the truth: there are vaccines for 14 different diseases given in the first few years of a child's life, according to a carefully vetted schedule. These may be for diseases, like measles and diphtheria, that we generally don't think of as killers today -- but that's largely because vaccines have been so successful in preventing people from getting sick in the first place.
Those vaccines are scheduled so that they can be given to children before they come into contact with the pathogens that cause disease. When they are given in combinations, or "bunched" at the same time, it's only after they are carefully tested in "concomitant use" studies to make sure the vaccines don't interfere with each other or cause harm.
Indeed, experts say, when doctors stray from the bunching of vaccines, they fall into unknown territory where the harms and benefits are less clearly understood.
"It’s not like the CDC makes it up. They give these vaccines in combination only when proven to be safe and effective," [professor of pediatrics Paul] Offit said. "When you choose what Ben Carson or Trump or Rand Paul is arguing for, you’re making up a schedule. You don’t know whether that’s safe or effective."
We've documented how the MRC will only criticize anti-vaccine conspiracy-mongers when it conflicts with its right-wing political agenda. Admitting that Republican presidential candidates are not telling the truth would certainly be one of those conflicts.