The Media Research Center isn't the only ConWeb outlet doing the bidding of Phelim McAleer and the other makers of the anti-abortion movie about rogue abortionist Kermit Gosnell.
Like the MRC, WND repeated the story of the "leaked" emails (from the movie's executive producer) from NPR over negotiations over a sponsorship to promote the film as it if was a real story and not the publicity stunt it actually was. WND then found another bit of publicity even the MRC didn't latch onto: A Sept. 25 article by Art Moore how, according to the film's producers, they were forced to cancel a screening because the hotel where it was to take place scheduled it "at the same time Planned Parenthood hosts a $400 a plate gala dinner headlined by Cecille Richards, the organization’s former CEO." Moore quoted only the producers and made no apparent attempt to contact the hotel or Planned Parenthood to verify the story or to get another side, like a real reporter would.
Despite the complete lack of corroboration of the "Gosnell" producers' claims about the cancellation, Moore followed up with them anyway in a Oct. 1 article claiming that "McAleer rejected a payment from the hotel to settle the matter, calling it 'blood money.'" Again, no proof is provided to support the claim, and Moore once again can't be bothered to verify it with anybody else.
When the movie opened, the promos came fast and furious:
- WND ran an an article featuring Rush Limbaugh begging people to see it because "It’s not the political movie that the left would make about a story like this."
- Moore penned another PR piece, claiming "McAleer told WND" that Facebook is blocking ads for the film because they "don't want this film to succeed." Surprisingly, Moore did take a stab at balance, writing that "Facebook’s press office has not replied to WND’s request for comment." Not that Moore would have given the comment much play if Facebook had responded.
- A column by consipracy-obsessed WND columnist Jack Cashill gave the expected glowing, highly biased review: "It is well produced, powerful and thoroughly provocative. That said, the major media are refusing to review the movie for much the same reason they refused to report on the trial. Any honest look at abortion unnerves them."
- "Marisa Martin" chimed in with her own gushy review, declaring that "it shows what abortion looks, sounds like and smells like.
And when the film generated a paltry $1.1 million on its opening weekend despite showing on nearly 700 screens, good enough only for 12th place, WND rushed to spin it away. Under the misleading headline "'Gosnell' movie defies abortion cartel with big opening," WND cherry-picked numbers to declare that the film was "the No. 1 independent film and was No. 8 in per screen averages" and completely ignored the total weekend take. WND boosted the spin factor even higher by quoting McAleer and the film's oddly anonymous publicist.
It's unclear whether McAleer and Co. paid WND for the fawning publicity, as appears to have been the case with the MRC -- WND could certainly use the money.
UPDATE: WND also published an column by "Gosnell" producer John Sullivan -- the guy who "leaked" the NPR emails -- engaging in WND's campaign of bashing Google and Facebook for purportedly censoring conservatives that also manages to sneak a pro-Trump narrative: "I’m not as concerned about Russians hijacking our elections and our free speech. I’m far more concerned about my fellow citizens who live in area codes like 310, 415 and 212 who try every trick in the book to silence fellow citizens who disagree with them, by rigging – yes, rigging – the game so that they win and their opponents lose in the battle of ideas, before the game even begins."
UPDATE 2: An Oct. 18 article by Moore is largely a summary of previous articles WND has published on the film, with additional emphasis on how few reviews have been done on the film. Moore apparently did not ask McAleer and the rest of the production team whether they made the film available for advance reviews through whatever usual channels advance screenings are made.