Meet CNS' Resident Mark Levin Fanboy Topic: CNSNews.com
Michael Morris is CNSNews.com's assistant editor for commentary. He's also the website's chief Mark Levin fanboy. Over the ast couple weeks, he cranked no fewer than five CNS blog posts transcribing the right-wing ranter's latest alleged pearls of wisdom:
Morris claims to have a law degree, so you'd think he'd be sensitive to issues like conflict of interest. Apparently not -- which may be why he's working as an assistant editor for a right-wing website instead of as a lawyer.
If you live in Minnesota, your high-school daughter might soon be showering next to a male after athletic practice if a “transgender” policy being considered by the Minnesota State High School League is approved next month.
And beyond Minnesota? Such a policy could be coming to other states, too, if there is not already one in place.
Critics of the controversial measure in Minnesota, which has sparked fierce opposition across the state, told WND the policy was unneeded, dangerous and part of a broader radical agenda.
Needless to say, Newman ignores evidence that experts in 12 states that have banned discrimination in public accommodations based on gender identity have reported no problems whatsoever with sexual assaults or any other crimes in connection with accom,modating transgenders.
Indeed -- echoing another Unruh tactic -- Newman interviewed only critics of nondiscrimination ordinances for his article, making no effort whatsoever to give supporters a chance to respond.
And, as per usual for WND's anti-gay agenda, Newman's article is accompanied with a picture of a screaming Janet Leigh in a still from the film "Psycho."
Sharyl Attkisson Gets The Brent Bozell Endorsement Topic: Media Research Center
Just a few days after getting the coveted Joseph Farah endorsement, Sharyl Attkisson is getting a big thumbs-up from another right-wing activist.
The Media Research Center's Brent Bozell and Tim Graham devote their Nov. 12 column to singing Attkisson's praises. The first clue that they don't intend to tell the full truth is their shading of the MRC's past criticism of Attkisson:
She has a record of playing it pretty straight and digging into the facts. We've flagged her for an occasional tilt over the years, like this one against President Bush in 2001: "Adding yet another twist to the President's dilemma, even conservative senators from his own party are urging him to support stem cell research." For a "conservative," Attkisson picked the late Arlen Specter, who had a lifetime rating of 41 percent from the American Conservative Union.
Bozell and Graham have apparently forgotten -- or decided to forget -- about Attkisson's advocacy of anti-vaccine conspiracy theories, which the MRC also dinged her for. But you see, Bozell and Graham all about bolstering Attkisson's supposed journalistic bona fides:
But liberals have tried to undermine her professionalism, starting with CBS colleagues who hypocritically charged her with having a "political agenda." When Attkisson appeared on MSNBC's "All In," host Chris Hayes laid out the liberal line, appropriately identifying it as "the most cynical."
The folks at MSNBC refuse to admit Attkisson has exposed the real cynicism inside the media, namely: Why would we look into rampant Obama administration corruption when it's "our job" to offer Obama a "successful presidency"? Chris Matthews announced that "most cynical" line on the purpose of TV journalism two days after Obama was elected president.
Sharyl Attkisson has never been a political operative. She's been a fairly objective journalist — something that MSNBC would never understand.
Needless to say, Bozell and Graham don't mention that Attkisson's post-CBS journalism has appeared almost exclusively in conservative-leaning media outlets.
And they refuse to admit one glaring fact: If rabid right-wing political operatives like Bozell and Graham are running to Attkisson's defense, she cannot possibly be "playing it pretty straight" or be "a fairly objective journalist." That's something the MRC would never understand.
But Bozell and Graham aren't the only MRC employees trying to ignore inconvenient facts about Attkisson. In a Nov. 10 NewsBusters post, Melissa Mullins fawns over the party being held for Attkisson's book, which included "members in the media, whistleblowers from other scandals, and the outgoing House Oversight committee chairman, Rep. Darrell Issa." Mullins highlighted Issa's speech lavising praise on Attkisson:
Darrell Issa, who has been just as much a key player in the Benghazi investigation by chairing the House Oversight Committee, also spoke to the crowd. "My committee is a desert island if not for a press that will look at stuff fairly and scrutinize it," Issa said. "In many of our investigations, Fox News led; CBS, on occasion, was there and made a big difference; on very rare occasions ABC; never NBC."
Investigations, he said, worked only "if the press, and particularly reporters, will go out and meet people and get the story from whistleblowers and then report it and give them a fair hearing."
Mullins expresses no curiosity about why a powerful congressman is attending the book part for a reporter. She doesn't mention that Attkisson uses her book to praise Issa and defend him against the not-unreasonable accusation that Issa's targeting of the Obama administration is politically motivated -- or that much of Attkisson's recent reporting has depended on leaks from Issa's office.
If Issa were a Democrat and he attended the book party for, say, Chuck Todd, the MRC would be howling about the unseemly mingling of media politics. But because this is Darrell Issa and Sharyl Attkisson, the MRC looks the other way.
Again: If Attkisson wasn't doing conservative-friendly things, the MRC wouldn't be so eager and desperate to defend her.
Jerome Corsi -- who wants us to think he's some kind of expert on Ebola, even though all he does is fearmonger about it -- plays the filthy-immigrant card in a Nov. 10 WorldNetDaily article:
The Chagas virus is a potentially lethal disease that international health authorities virtually universally agree has been brought to the United States in the flood of “unaccompanied minors” this year.
Corsi is implying that Chagas did not exist in the U.S. until this year, which is completely false. In fact, as Wired reported, Chagas was documented in New York City in the early 1980s and has been prevalent in Texas for years. Wired also warns against doing what Corsi is doing:
As I type that I can almost feel the default anti-immigrant response: “They” pose a risk to us, so if we only kept “them” on the other side of our borders, we’d be safe. The problem, of course, is that diseases and their vectors have no concept of borders — and thanks in part to climate change, there is now a competent Chagas vector on our side of the border, in Texas. A third paper, published two years ago in PLoS NTD, argues that Chagas is now endemic in Texas, traveling from Triatoma species through dogs and into people — and is going undetected because blood-donation screening is not mandatory in the state and physicians are not required to report the disease’s occurrence to health authorities.
Corsi goes on to cite Elizabeth Vliet -- a fearmongering-obsessed doctor affiliated with the fringe group Association of American Physicians and Surgeons -- blaming illegal immigrants for "bringing diseases the U.S. had controlled or virtually eradicated," including Chagas. Given the AAPS' history of falsely blaming illegal immigrants for spreading illnesses in the U.S., Vliet is simply not a credible source. Not that it will stop Corsi from citing her, of course.
(In the AAPS article by Vliet that Corsi cites, Vliet laments that "Vaccine-preventable diseases like chicken pox, measles and whooping cough spread like wildfire among unvaccinated children." She doesn't mention that the AAPS opposes mandatory vaccination of children, which probably contributes much more to the spread of such diseases.)
Corsi found another disease to blame on filthy immigrants in a Nov. 11 WND article:
Dengue hemorrhagic fever has been added to the list of diseases brought by the surge of “unaccompanied minors” who have illegally entered the U.S. this year.
“The big picture here is that we are getting all these diseases brought into the United States by the ‘imported disease people’ from Latin America,” Dr. Lee Hieb, past president of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, explained to WND in an interview.
Again, Corsi is falsely implying that there was no dengue fever in the U.S. before this year. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control reported cases in the U.S. in 2012.
Neither Corsi nor Hieb -- another factually challenged AAPS-linked fearmongerer -- present any actual evidence that the presence of dengue-spreading mosquitoes is the direct result of those filthy "unaccompanied minors," only mentions of "suspicion" and Hieb ranting about "the big picture." They don't mention that dengue fever is starting to become a problem in Key West, Florida, an area not known for problems with illegal immigration.
In short, these two articles are all about fearmongering and nothing about informing. He never proves that the unaccompanied minors have resulted in any actual increased risk of these diseases spreading in the U.S. Thus, he has failed in his fearmongering mission.
NewsBusters: Google's Veterans Day Doodle Not White Enough Topic: NewsBusters
In a Nov. 11 NewsBusters post, Mark Finkelstein was heartened that Google marked Veterans Day with one of its special "doodles" in its logo, but he had a sad that there weren't enough white people in it:
So yes, let's take some satisfaction from the fact that Google did depict actual members of the US military on its homepage this morning.
That said, Google couldn't resist inflicting its PC-politics onto the homepage, with wildly unrepresentative demographics. The image shows five military members. Out front is a woman. Of the five, three would appear to be members of minority groups, and two are women. One white guy manages to make it in. Compare and contrast with the military's actual demographics. As of 2012, as per this official report, women comprised only 14% of active-duty military, and minority members 30%. So Google doubled minority representation, and more than doubled the proportion of women. Note: the stats given are for active-duty members. In the Reserve and Guard, the percentage of women is somewhat higher but still less than 20%. And the percentage of minority members is actually lower.
Not to be too bean-counterish about all this, and yes let's be thankful for small favors, but can there be any doubt that Google had its heavy PC-thumb on the scales?
Yes, Finkelstein really is bothered that there are too many minorities in Google's honoring of Veterans Day.
WND Lets Coward Attack Idea Of An Ethnically Diverse Military Topic: WorldNetDaily
A Nov. 10 WorldNetDaily article carries the byline of "Otway Burns," which WND tells us is "a pseudonym for an officer currently serving in the United States military. He is a combat veteran with tours in Iraq and Afghanistan." (It's also the real name of a military privateer during the War of 1812.)
The fact that "Otway Burns" is so cowardly as to hide behind a pseudonym tells us all we need to know about the value of what he has to say. And what is it that he has to say? He's attacking the idea of increasing the number of minority officers in the military:
The director of sociology at West Point claims the Army officer corps needs to be racially “representative” of the American public, and diversity makes the officer corps more effective.
In a recent report in USA Today, Col. Irving Smith, an African-American infantry officer who has served in Afghanistan, said, “It certainly is a problem for several reasons.”
But legal experts say both premises have serious flaws.
“Neither justification has been recognized by the courts as constitutionally adequate,” says Roger Clegg, president and general counsel for the Center for Equal Opportunity.
University of Pennsylvania law professor Amy Wax, a prominent critic of race-based employment policy, warns, “For all the supposed benefits of a diverse officer corps, it really would impose weighty risks and costs in promoting less qualified and capable people.”
Of course, the reason "Burns" is cowering behind a pseudonym is because it's against military regulations to publicly speak out on political issues while an active member of the military. That gives us a clue as to the kind of coward "Burns" is: He wants to hang onto his career and all its perks while voicing his unpopular opinions under a fake name.
The fact that "Burns" quotes only "legal experts" who have made a career of opposing affirmative action and not sociologists who would know more about the issue conveniently reflects the bias of WND, which has a longhistory of telling only the side of the story that advances its right-wing agenda.
The fact that WND let someone hide behind a fake name to deliver "news" is just another reason why nobody believes WND.
MRC Denounces Colbert Joke, Omits The Setup Topic: Media Research Center
Joseph Rossell is all in a huff in his Nov. 7 Media Research Center item over a "Colbert Report" segment on climate change:
Climate deniers apparently have a simple, albeit crass, message for the world: “We don’t know what the fuck we’re talking about.”
At least, that’s what Stephen Colbert, host of Comedy Central’s “The Colbert Report” and soon-to-be host of CBS’ “Late Show,” said during his show Nov. 6, 2014. Colbert was mocking Senator Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., who will soon become chairman of the Senate U.S. Environment and Public Works Committee.
Colbert said, “Everyone who denies climate change has the same stirring message: We don’t know what the fuck we’re talking about. I hope that these conservative leaders can inspire all the children out there watching to think to themselves, ‘Hey, maybe someday I could grow up to be not-a-scientist.”
Colbert went on to tell children that they can “completely lack any understanding of science and then grow up to be the chairman of the Senate Environmental Committee.”
Rossell is so angry with Colbert over his joke that omits the setup for it that puts it in context.The statement that climate deniers "don’t know what the fuck we’re talking about" comes after a video clip of climate deniers who admit they're not scientists. That setup is in the clip accompanying Rossell's post, but he doesn't mention it.
And indeed, Inhofe has no scientific background he can bring to his job as a senator. Before becoming a politician, he worked as a real estate developer and an insurance executive. And his anti-global warming book, "The Greatest Hoax," was published by WorldNetDaily, not exactly known for their rigorous peer review in scientific publishing.
Rossell then insists that it really isn't true that the vast majority of people who understand climate science believe global warming is happening and is at least partially human-caused:
Although the media recently touted the claim that 97 percent of scientists agree on anthropogenic (man-made) climate change, this statistic is massively doctored and inflated. Marc Morano, the publisher of Climate Depot and former staff for Inhofe and the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, has a list of his own, with more than 1,000 scientists who disagree with the “accepted” theory of anthropogenic climate change. Yet, media outlets were quick to promote the 97 percent statistic without question.
Rossell is misleading. The issue isn't what "scientists" believe, it's about what climate scientists believe, and Rossell is falsely conflating the two. And as we've also noted, relatively few of the "scientsts" on Morano's list have any demonstrated expertise in climatology. Which means Morano's count is at least as "massively doctored and inflated" as he claims the consensus count is.
Sharyl Attkisson Gets The Coveted WND Endorsement Topic: WorldNetDaily
Joseph Farah praises his new favorite reporter in his Nov. 9 WND column:
I don’t know Sharyl Attkisson.
I’ve never met her.
But I have met a few reporters like her in my 37 years in the news business.
They are my heroes. They are my professional compatriots. They are the embodiment of why our Founding Fathers, in their wisdom, created special constitutional protections for the press for the first time in the history of the world.
Attkisson never had an ax to grind. She wasn’t motivated to pursue the truth by a political ideology. Her agenda was always the same – doing good journalism, which, at least in part, requires a determination to expose waste, fraud, abuse and corruption in government no matter who is perpetrating it or allowing it.
I love reporters like Attkisson, and I always have. It’s a privilege to work with them. It’s a privilege to see their work. It’s an honor to be in the same profession. Experience more of Joseph Farah’s no-nonsense truth-telling in his books, audio and video products, featured in the WND Superstore
It’s also unconscionable what happens to such muckrakers who do their job without fear or favor.
The fact that Farah just loves Attkisson tells you all you need to know about both of them. And this line from Farah is even more telling:
Understand that I love my profession. I never wanted to do anything else. While I don’t know Sharyl Attkisson personally, I know she is just like me in that regard. It hurts to see a worthy institution undermined by unworthy practitioners.
Of course, one of the leaders in undermining the worthy institution of journalism is Farah himself, who runs a "news" website that nobody believes. Indeed, while he was writing that column, his ace reporter, Aaron Klein, was writing an article that attacked the wrong Loretta Lynch, confusing a California lawyer who supported President Clinton with a New York prosecutor nominated as attorney general. While Klein's bogus article was ultimately deleted, WND's version of a similarly false Breitbart article that inspired Klein is still live on WND's website.
If Farah really cared about journalism, he would clear his WND payroll of all the unworthy practitioners he employs. But he won't because he's one of those unworthy practitioners he purports to despise.
Needless to say, Farah is mum about Attkisson's numerous factual errors. Also needless to say, despite all of Farah's bluster about Attkisson supposedly doing her job "without fear or favor," if Attkisson had gone after a Republican president the way she has President Obama, Farah would not be singing her praises.
CNS Adds Scare Quotes To 'Gay Marriage' In AP Headline Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com has a bad habit of rewriting headlines for Associated Press articles to conform with its right-wing ideology. It does so again in a Nov. 6 article on gay-marriage bans being upheld in four states. CNS feels the need to put "gay marriage" in scare quotes in the headline:
The last time we checked, it was not AP style to put scare quotes around "gay marriage." Indeed, even the conservative website The Blaze ran the very same AP article and did not use scare quotes.
Rather lazily, CNS' re-editing did not extend to the article itself, where references "gay marriage" and "same-sex marriage" appear without scare quotes.
CNS has not publicly explained why it feels the need to use such scare quotes, or why it feels it must alter AP copy to conform to its policy.
While WND has deleted Aaron Klein's (and Brenda J. Elliott's) attack piece confusing Loretta Lynch the California lawyer and Clinton supporter with Loretta Lynch the New York prosecutor and attorney general nominee, a Nov. 8 WND article quoting from a Breitbart article making the same erroneous attack is still posted at WND's website. Here's a screenshot (for when WND reads this and disappears that article from its website):
The article links to the now-deleted Breitbart article, which was finally pulled (like WND's, without explanation or retraction) after first posting a ridiculous non-correction correction at the end of it that basically stated the article that came before is completely false yet left that article intact.
It seems Elliott, who was credited with "research" on Klein's article, really didn't do any research beyond copying Breitbart's erroneous piece. That's just another reason why nobody believes WND.
MRC Can't Decide Whether Ben Stein's Obama Smear Is Offensive Or Not Topic: NewsBusters
A Nov. 4 NewsBusters post by Jeffrey Meyer highlighted Ben Stein's comment that President Onbama is “the most racist president there has ever been in America," calling the remark "offensive" and lacking in historical accuracy and noting that the hosts of ABC's "The View" "rightly criticized" Stein for the remark. Meyer then complained that "View" co-host Rosie O'Donnell was "indicting all of Fox News for one man’s offensive comments," as if Meyer's employer, the Media Research Center, has never pulled that same trick.
Meyer's view that Stein's smear of Obama is offensive, however, appears to be held exclusively by him among his Media Research Center cohorts. For thte past few days, the lead item in the NewsBusters "Editor's Picks" box has been, yes, Ben Stein's smear of Obama:
The "Editor's Pick" links to a Conservative Videos item that uncritically promotes Stein's remark.
As we've seen with Rush Limbaugh and Sandra Fluke, the boys at the MRC generally approve of liberals being smeared and denigrated.
Joseph Farah's Know-Nothing 'Klinghoffer' Rant Topic: WorldNetDaily
Joseph Farah declares of "The Death of Klinghoffer" opera in his Nov. 7 WorldNetDaily column, "Not only will I not pay to see it. I wouldn’t see it if the Met paid me." Thus having established his know-nothing bona fides, like his fellow travelers at the Media Research Center, he nevertheless similarly denounces the opera for allegely being "loathsome, despicable anti-Semitic propaganda" that is "exploiting the death of terrorism victim Leon Klinghoffer in such a shameful way."
Farah doesn't explain how he knows so much about an opera he refuses to see, even claiming at one point he knows that "Throughout the show, actors are framed in a mock-up of Israel’s anti-terrorism walls to make the case for Israeli 'apartheid.'"
Again, Farah has asserted that he has not and will not see the opera. He is, as far as we know, not an expert on opera. Therefore, he can't possibly know what he's talking about.
But then, when has lack of knowledge about a subject stopped Farah from pontificating about it before?
Shocker: CNS Actually Acknowleges Joless Situation Is Improving Topic: CNSNews.com
For monthsnow, CNSNews.com has sought to deliberately downplay good economic news under the Obama administration by cherry-picking and playing up data showing not-so-good news.
But for October, the news on the unemployment front was so good that even CNS had to acknowledge it. (Or maybe they're a little more willing to tell the truth now that their goal of a Republican-controlled Senate has been achieved.) A Nov. 7 CNS article by Ali Meyer, for the first time in recent memory, puts the good news in the opening paragraph, though it still manages to leaven it with cherry-picked bad news:
The employment situation in October improved in every way for most Americans, except for African Americans, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
The number of African Americans who were employed in the United States in October dropped by 41,000; and the number of African-Americans not participating in the labor force increased by 114,000.
And because it's CNS, there's still the totally negative jobless article that completely ignores the good news. A Nov. 7 article by Penny Starr touts a "new report" claiming to have "found high rates of unemployment among minorities in many states, including 20.3 percent for Hispanics in Rhode Island and 16.8 percent for African Americans living in Nevada."
Oops! WND's Klein Attacks The Wrong Loretta Lynch Topic: WorldNetDaily
Aaron Klein thinks he has a big scoop in a Nov. 9 WorldNetDaily article:
Loretta Lynch, President Obama’s pick to become the next attorney general, once worked for Bill Clinton’s campaign, where it turns out she co-authored a memo aimed at discrediting alleged Clinton mistress Gennifer Flowers and stopping any news coverage of her claims.
Flowers is the model and actress who claimed publicly to have had a 12-year-long affair with Clinton.
Archived documents show that Lynch, together with campaign operative Nancy McFadden, co-authored a confidential Feb. 16, 1992, campaign memo entitled “Possible Investigation Needs.”
Under a section entitled, “Defensive Research: Tying up ends and seeing ahead,” the memo’s first item addresses the need to discredit one “GF,” which from the context was a clear reference to Gennifer Flowers.
Reads the Lynch-McFadden memo: “Exposing GF: completely as a fraud, liar and possible criminal to stop this story and related stories, prevent future non-related stories and expose press inaction and manipulation.”
Just one little problem: This is not the correct Loretta Lynch.
As Media Matters pointed out when Breitbart's Warner Todd Huston (a former NewsBusters blogger) made the same mistake, the Loretta Lynch who worked for Clinton's campaign is a California-based attorney (and white), while the Lynch nominated as attorney general is a federal prosecutor in New York (and African-American).
It took two people to screw this up, by the way: Klein's article credits "research by Brenda J. Elliott." Elliott is Klein's longtime collaborator and co-author.
Here's a screenshot of Klein's article, just in case WND decides to disappear it:
UPDATE: This is hardly the first time Klein has committed such sloppy errors. In 2004, Klein falsely claimed that the charity organization Islamic Relief was linked to terrorists and fraudulently raised money for nonexistent orphans. And in 2006, he falsely implied that Fox News paid a ransom to free two of its journalists kidnapped in Gaza.
UPDATE 2: WND has quietly deleted Klein's article without explanation or correction. That's why we took the screencap above.
I usually end my columns with a call to action to legally remove Obama from office. Today will be no exception. Time is short before all is lost! Our Founding Fathers knew when to act, and we can do no less if the nation is to survive. But we cannot put our eggs into a proverbial Republican basket. Even if the Grand Old Party regains total control of Congress by controlling both houses – the Senate as well as the House of Representatives – they have shown an inability and, to be more exact, a lack of desire to truly confront Obama. What interests our career politicians more than the well-being of our country is their own retention of power and accumulation of personal wealth. Washington, D.C., is rich and flush with cash, and there is a big pie to divvy up. There’s no time to waste to really obtaining justice for We the People and restoring freedom to our shores.
Bottom line: Revolution is upon us! In the words of Patrick Henry, “Give me liberty or give me death!”
Considering the character of this administration, I feel quite comfortable maintaining that this administration – the same one whose principals’ beliefs are rooted in the philosophy of Marx, Lenin, Stalin, Mao and Castro, the same one whose actions have led to the deaths of tens of thousands in the Middle East and Africa, the same one that has targeted and persecuted political opponents, spied on private citizens, funded and trained terrorists and left America open to attack via their immigration, visa and border policies – might well intend to facilitate an Ebola epidemic in the United States.
How large they might wish it to get and how it plays into their sick endgame specifically is difficult to say, but with this bunch, history dictates that it’s better to err on the side of the diabolical.
The midterm elections are around the corner, and if the Republicans win the Senate – which is a possibility, though it will not be easy – they will have the opportunity to do what should have been done long before now: to set up a formal inquiry into the numerous grave irregularities in Mr. Obama’s birth certificate.
Barack Obama said he would change the country, and he’s hell-bent on doing it.
Racism has reared its ugly head and is condoned and encouraged on all levels of government. The racist rhetoric from politicians and elites has destroyed all the racial amity that developed since the civil rights movement of the ’60s.
The end result is class envy and a balkanization of racial and religious groups fueled by a terrible economy affecting every age group.
When a president is as unpopular as Obama he begins to talk sharply to his associates, who, in turn, begin to talk acidulously to their underlings, the first thing you know you’ve got the deterioration of the German army at Stalingrad and Kursk, with Hitler refusing to allow entire Nazi armies to retreat and shorten supply lines and instead sacking general after general who brought bad news, until the scope of the disaster could no longer be concealed. The tipping point is when Mommy and Daddy fight openly in the presence of 4-year-old children. The Democrats reached that point on their path downward, and they deserve whatever results we now observe.