CNSNews.com has been pushing to the right for some time, trying to mainstream fringe figures like Franklin Graham and Rafael Cruz. Now a couple of fringe-right brothers are benefiting from the CNS whitewash treatment.
Penny Starr -- who uses her position at CNS to serve as an anti-abortion activist despite ostensibly being a "reporter" -- is now promoting Jason and David Benham, who are best known around these parts as WorldNetDaily columnists. Starr writes lovingly in a Dec. 2 article about how the Benhams insist that a true pro-lifer wouldnot have committed the Colorado Planned Parenthood massacre and, in fact, "would have felt called to have taken the bullet on the behalf of those three people that lost their lives." Starr then adds benignly: "The Benham brothers, the sons of an evangelical pastor, said they grew up in a 'pro-life family.' The reporter said the brothers have taken part in protests at Planned Parenthood clinics."
There's a lot more to the Benham story than Starr will tell you. The brothers' father is Flip Benham, one of the more notorious anti-abortion extremists. Right Wing Watch notes that in 2011, Flip Benham was found guilty of stalking an abortion provider after passing out hundreds of "wanted" posters with the physician’s name and photo on it. He's also virulently anti-gay.
And Starr is definitely not going to tell you the nature of the brothers anti-abortion protests: David Benham is on video praising his fellow demonstrators for taking a stand at “the gates of hell” and confronting the “altars of Moloch.”
Starr serves as the Benham's public relations agents again in on Dec. 7, getting an entire blog post of a single tweet:
In a tweet posted on Sunday, Jason Benham said his 11-year-old son was concerned that expressing one’s belief in Jesus Christ could put one in danger.
“So my 11 yr old says, ‘daddy, please stop talking about Jesus - I don't want someone to kill you.’ Yes, it's time for that conversation,” Benham tweeted.
Aww. Starr then does some more whitewashing:
The brothers first gained national recognition for being tapped by HGTV to host the “Flip it Forward” show focused on their real estate dealings, but the cable network canceled the show after a liberal media outlet reported that they are opposed to same-sex marriage and abortion.
The truth -- which Starr will not tell you -- is that the Benhams are not merely opposed to abortion, they rant about the "altars of Moloch." And they are not merely "opposed to same-sex marriage," they are virulently anti-gay.
Right Wing Watch -- the "liberal media outlet" Starr is blaming for the loss of the Benhams' TV show -- has documented the Benhams calling homosexuals "destructive," "vile," and controlled by "demonic forces." And since Right Wing Watch's claims are fully documented, including audio and video, and the Benhams have never questioned the accuracy of what it documented, it's irrelevant whether the outlet is "liberal" or not, except for Starr to indulge the Benhams by letting them play victim (which they love to do).
A real media outlet wouldn't let a reporter get away with such massaging of the facts, not to mention all the obsequious fawning, but that's CNS for you.