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Thursday, June 25, 2015
AIM Still Proudly Selling Confederate Flag Stuff
Topic: Accuracy in Media

The Media Research Center may have finally gotten around to deciding the Confederate flag is a bad thing, but its ConWeb media-watchdog compadres at Accuracy in Media are still enthusiastic supporters of the Confederacy.

In a June 23 tweet noting that Amazon has banned sales of the Confederate flag on its website, AIM chairman Don Irvine added, "Check out shopaim.org." The same day, AIM's main Twitter feed declared, "We are selling Confederate Battle Flag Ties at our AIM Store so check it out." Other AIM tweets similarly promoted the AIM Store's Confederate wares.

And indeed, the AIM store does have a small selection of Confederate wares: a battle flag of unspecified size, a "desk flag," and a Confederate flag necktie.


 

All are described as being on sale, but the necktie is particularly discounted, from a claimed "retail price" of $12.95 to $1.99.

Is AIM a group of proud Confederates, or is it trying to take advantage of the news cycle to unload some slow-moving merchandise? Maybe Don Irvine will tell us...


Posted by Terry K. at 1:51 PM EDT
Wednesday, June 24, 2015
A Letter to Terry Jeffrey
Topic: CNSNews.com

(ConWebWatch sent the following letter to Terry Jeffrey, CNSNews.com editor-in-chief. We'll let you know if we get a reply.)

Dear Mr. Jeffrey:

I read your June 22 CNS column asking whether an "outrageously provocative" photo of Ted Cruz issued by the Associated Press was an "accidental or deliberate" act. That inspired me to discuss a similar question with you as the head of your own news organization.

On May 16, CNS published an article (curiously credited only to "CNSNews.com Staff") about how President Obama is "marking the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia." Accompanying the photo is a three-year-old picture described as being taken from "The New York City Gay Pride Parade" featuring men dressed only in pink shorts.


Surely you cannot deny that the choice to use this photo with this story was "outrageously provocative." My question to you is: Was it accidental or deliberate? Was that intended to portray President Obama and gays in a negative light -- an argument you ridiculed when the AP invoked it in reaction to criticism of the Cruz photo?

You state that "There is nothing subtle about these photos" -- just as there is nothing subtle about the photo used with the ultimately declared that "It is not not reasonable to conclude these photos were produced and published by accident." Is it similarly unreasonable to conclude that CNS' choice of photo for the May 16 article is an accident as well?

Was the decision not to credit the May 16 article to a specific writer an effort by CNS to shield the writer from criticism for being associated with such an outrageously provocative act?

In permitting such an outrageously provocative act to be posted on your website, are you engaging in a double standard by accusing the AP of doing what your website did?

You state the AP's issuance of the Cruz photo is an "example of liberal media bias," May we assume that CNS' choice of photo to run with the May 16 story is an example of conservative media bias?

Given that the three-year-old photo of the New York City Gay Pride Parade that CNS used for its May 16 article was also issued by the AP, doesn't that undercut your argument that the AP has a liberal bias?

Finally: If the AP is so profoundly biased to a view you (and your employer, the Media Research Center) apparently find abhorrent, why does CNS pay money to the AP to use its news articles and photos?

Sincerely,

Terry Krepel
Editor, ConWebWatch


Posted by Terry K. at 10:56 PM EDT
Tuesday, June 23, 2015
MRC Wants To Blame Today's Democrats for Confederate Flag
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center is a little conflicted about how to treat the Confederate flag now that it's become an issue in the wake of the Charleston massacre.

In a June 21 Newsbusters post, Brad Wilmouth fretted that a CNN corresponent "highlighted an incendiary tweet from actor Charles Pierce comparing the Confederate flag to the flag of Nazi Germany." Wilmouth didn't explain why he feels that is an inappropriate comparison.

(Actually, the "incendiary tweet" in question is from actor Wendell Pierce; Wilmouth must be thinking of writer Charles Pierce, whom Wilmouth's boss, Tim Graham, just can't seem to stop selectively quoting.)

The next day, the MRC had finally figured that, yes, the Confederate flag is a bad thing to be associated with -- and, accordingly, tried to hang it around the necks of Democrats. Curtis Houck complained that ABC News "spun the Confederate flag as a problem for the 2016 Republicans. No mention was made of Bill Clinton, the spouse of a 2016 Democratic candidate, and his past honoring of the Confederacy." To back this up, Houck has to go back to a 1987 bill passed by the Arkansas legislature and signed by Clinton as Arkansas governor setting the design of the state flag -- highlighted by the Daily Caller -- in which it's stated that “The blue star above the word 'ARKANSAS' is to commemorate the Confederate States of America.” Yep, signing a bill acknowledging the historical significance of a star on the Arkansas state flag equals Clinton "honoring" the Confederacy as far as Houck is concerned, even though the flag itself does not otherwise emulate the Confederate flag.

Houck engaged in even more desperate spinning of "calls by South Carolina officials to remove the Confederate flag from the State Capitol’s grounds," huffing that "the major broadcast networks failed to note the full context of the flag’s history in the Palmetto State and how it was a Democratic Governor who first hoisted it above the Capitol dome in 1962." Houck proudly pointed out how Fox News advances the conservatives' agenda of deflection on the issue, touting how Fox anchor bret Baier "felt it was pertinent to provide viewers with some 'important historical context' in that 'the flag was raised over the state capitol by Democrat Fritz Hollings – then Governor' in 1962 before being 'taken off the state capitol by Republican David Beasley after pressure in 1998 and put on the State grounds.'"

Needless to say, Houck doesn't note that Baier's "important historical context" is itself lacking historical context. There's no evidence Hollings himself personally "raised" the flag in 1962. According to Daniel Hollis, a former University of South Carolina history professor who served on a 1961 state commisson to plan the state's observance of the 100th anniversary of the Civil War, the flag was installed atop the state capitol not by order of Hollings but, rather, by a state representative, John May. The flag was only intended to stay atop the capitol for a year, but the resolution authorizing it did not include a removal date, and it stayed there until 1988.

Far from being an uncompromising segregationist, Hollings as governor actually urged his state to accept integration peacefully, which it did: South Carolina lacked much of the overt resistance to integration found in other Southern states.

Aside from the misleading and incomplete history, Houck's atempt to blame Hollings for the Confederate flag -- and, by association, all Democrats today -- dishonestly ignores the recent history of the Democratic Party. As we detailed the last time the MRC feigned ignorance of Southern political history, Southerners started abandoning the Republican Party in the 1960s after it supported integration and other equal-rights laws. The South has always been conservative; the Civil Rights Acts of the era caused those conservatives to shift their allegiance over a generation from Democrats to Republicans.

If the MRC can't even do the basic research needed to keep itself from looking like an idiot on such issues of simple history, why trust any of its other "media research"? (Hint: You can't.)

(Image: Reuters/PBS)


Posted by Terry K. at 8:30 PM EDT
Monday, June 22, 2015
Michelle Obama Derangement Syndrome, WorldNetDaily Edition
Topic: WorldNetDaily

I know, I know. We’re not supposed to criticize Michelle or the girls.

I don’t know where that came from, but it’s about time we’re relieved of the “emperor has no clothes” rule.

And forget that the kids are off limits.

If the parents take the children with them on official travels and include them in virtually every public event, then what they do, look like and wear are fair game for comment.

If I see another picture of Michelle, Sasha and Malia trooping up or down the steps to their plane with their legs hanging out, I think I’m going to throw up.

What’s going on with the short, short skirts?

It’s bad enough when we’re treated to Michelle’s knees, but with the girls – who are growing into lovely young women – their above mid-thigh skirt lengths are ridiculous. Keep in mind, they’re 14 and 16 years old, yet wearing dresses and skirts short enough for a 4-year-old.

I know it’s summer, but their casualness in skirt length is more suitable for a beach, not when they’re representing our country.

[...]

Michelle Obama is 51 years old. She’s the wife of the president. She’s traveling as a representative of our government and our country.

Why doesn’t she dress her age and status?

I’m not saying dowdy. I’m suggesting some top-notch designs for a woman of substance – smart, classy, and chic.

Did you see her wardrobe in the current trip? Look at the pictures, look at the designs.

Clearly Michelle Obama is very “high-waisted,” and for some reason, which is beyond me, she insists on emphasizing that.

She wears clothes that have waistlines snuggled just below her breasts. Remember all her outfits with enormously wide belts in front? Those only emphasize the problem and make her look heavier.

-- Barbara Simpson, June 21 WorldNetDaily column

“Girls like you inspire me and impress me every single day,” she said. “When I look out at all these young women, I see myself. In so many ways, your story is my story.”

In saying this, Michelle Obama was implying that both she and the Muslim girls she was addressing faced oppression, discrimination and disadvantage. She was, in other words, advancing the false Muslims-as-victims narrative that Islamic advocacy groups such as the Hamas-tied Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR, work so hard to cultivate in the U.S.

Michelle Obama did not, of course, address the fact that the primary source of the oppression and discrimination that these Muslim girls face and will face in the future is their own families – primarily their fathers and husbands.

The first lady could have called upon these girls to reject the Shariah misogyny that devalues women’s testimony and inheritance rights, reduces women to commodity status via polygamy, sanctions their beating and makes them vulnerable to genital mutilation and honor killing. But she didn’t dare say anything about any of that.

[...]

Tell us, Mrs. Obama, about your oppression and disadvantage, from your position emanating from the highest and most powerful office in the free-est country in the world.

Tell us how wronged you were in between your multiple daily wardrobe changes of the most expensive designer clothes in the world. Tell us how awful it was for you to get accepted and attend Princeton University (along with your brother) in your youth and make your own choices to live your life any way you wanted.

Vicious hypocrite.

-- Pamela Geller, June 21 WND column


Posted by Terry K. at 11:36 PM EDT
Sunday, June 21, 2015
WND's Mercer Defends The Honor Of Apartheid-Era S. African Flag
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily columnist and South African native Ilana Mercer still pines for apartheid, so of course she would run to the defense of apartheid-era South Africa after it was revealed that Charleston church shooter Dylann Roof wore a South African flag from that era, as well as a flag of colonial-era Rhodesia, on his jacket.

Mercer complains in a June 18 blog post:

Roof is as ignorant as the MM (malfunctioning media) and its accomplices (Southern Poverty Center), who are attempting to further marginalize the South African and Rhodesian white minorities (most of the latter have been purged by black “freedom fighters”) by associating the alleged killer with the once internationally flown flags of these defunct countries.

Of course, it's not the media making that association -- it's the alleged killer himself.

Mercer added in an update: "US 'news' media have been depicting the Old South African and Rhodesian flags as the equivalent of Nazi insignia. Sean Hannity has just mentioned the display of these flags as a predictor of a disturbed mind, on the verge of an eruption. This is such rubbish. These anchors would think nothing of flying the ANC’s old flag."

On June 21, Mercer followed up by quoting a "corrective comment" by "Dr. Dan Roodt, director of PRAAG, for Afrikaner activism," whosaid:

The Christian and humane principles on which both the old South Africa and Rhodesia were founded, prohibited any form of ethnic massacre. In fact, during Afrikaner history we were mostly the victims of such massacres by either foreigners of other ethnic groups, so we understand the pain and suffering associated with such mass killings.

[...]

We have a proud military tradition, associated with our flag. We have always abided by the Geneva Conventions. Unlike our enemies who practiced terror against us and who still attack our own civilians on farms and in our homes, we would never think of attacking civilians, let alone in a church while praying to God.”

In neither post does Mercer (or Roodt, for that matter) address the issue of apartheid, the thing Roof was presumably endorsing by wearing the flag in question.

As we've noted, Roodt travels in the same circles as American "white nationalists" like Jared Taylor. Roodt was also a fellow traveler of Eugene Terreblanche, a white supremacist who headed the violent and militant Afrikaner Resistance Movement (AWB) until he was killed by two black farmhands.

It's unclear who the "we" is in Roodt's statement that "We have always abided by the Geneva Conventions," but it's dishonest and meaningless either way. PRAAG is not a government and thus not subject to the Geneva conventions; and the conventions apply to the conduct of war and the treatment of prisoners of war, and apartheid was never a declared war against another country but, rather, an internal action of a government against its own people. 

All in all, both Mercer and Roodt sound like right-wingers who are trying to defend the Confederate flag -- for instance, a June 21 NewsBusters post by the MRC's Brad Wilmouth complaining that a CNN reporter cited a tweet "comparing the Confederate flag to the flag of Nazi Germany." But Wilmouth never explained why that is an inappropriate or unfair comparison.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:40 PM EDT
Saturday, June 20, 2015
Did WND Inspire Charleston Shooter?
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Slate reports on the discovery of an apparent online manifesto by Dylann Roof, accused mastermind of the self-declared racist massacre of nine blacks in a Charleston, S.C., church. On a website that appears to have been created by Roof that also features pictures of him burning an American flag, he describes his path to white supremacy:

The event that truly awakened me was the Trayvon Martin case. I kept hearing and seeing his name, and eventually I decided to look him up. I read the Wikipedia article and right away I was unable to understand what the big deal was. It was obvious that Zimmerman was in the right. But more importantly this prompted me to type in the words “black on White crime” into Google, and I have never been the same since that day. The first website I came to was the Council of Conservative Citizens. There were pages upon pages of these brutal black on White murders. I was in disbelief. At this moment I realized that something was very wrong. How could the news be blowing up the Trayvon Martin case while hundreds of these black on White murders got ignored?

Gee, where have we heard before that the death of Trayvon Martin was justified and blacks are nothing but thugs and criminals? Why, WorldNetDaily, of course.

WND columnist Jack Cashill has long been a stalwart defender of Martin's shooter, George Zimmerman, and relentless trasher of Martin as nothing but a thug in training, as detailed in his WND-published book on the subject. The fact that Zimmerman has proven to be something of a habitual criminal, getting into more legal scrapes than Martin ever did, hasn't stopped Cashill from defending the guy, portraying Zimmerman as a victim akin to Nelson Mandela and the falsely accused black man in "To Kill A Mockingbird."

Cashill is also something of a defender of the Council of Conservative Citizens, which began as a coalition of anti-integration groups in the South in the 1960s and which still promote a white nationalist agenda. In a July 2011 column, Cashill defended onetime WND birther darling Tim Adams after he appeared at a CofCC convention and spouted his discredited birther nonsense, insisting that the group was merely "paleo-conservative" and insisted that its website did not have the "racist language" critics claimed.

For a source of Roof's concern about "black on White crime," one needs to go no further than WND author Colin Flaherty. The author of the WND-republished book "White Girl Bleed A Lot" is so obsessed by "black mob violence" that he sees it everywhere, even when no blacks (or humans) are involved.

Oddly, WND seems to have dumped Flaherty (right around the time that Google threatened to dump WND from its ad program after objecting to how much the term "black mobs" appears on the website), so Flaherty is stuck self-publishing his new anti-black book, and he has to move even further down the right-wing media chain to find an outlet that will publish him.

That outlet is the American Thinker, which published Flaherty's June 19 piece insisting that despite the Charleston church massacre, the state is still filled with black people who want nothing more than to inflict violence on whites:

In Charleston, locals know racial violence is far more widespread than that. Only it is far more likely to be black on white.

Greenville, South Carolina talk show Tara Servatius has been talking about the attempted assassination of a white deputy sheriff by a black man less than a month ago. And how it is part of a pattern of black attacks on white cops.

Police shot the man dead in Charleston after a ten-hour standoff. The deputy is recovering from a shot at close range to the back of his head.

“I’m getting a ton of email from police around the country thanking me for talking about that,” said Servatius. “Some had not heard about it.”

That’s because reporters do not think it is a big deal.

Also earlier this month, the Charleston County Sheriff identified four black men as suspects in the killing of a five-year old white girl during a home invasion robbery. Neither did that make it into the war-on-black-people narrative that followed the shooting.

In April, Charleston reeled after the police released the 911 calls documenting the panic and terror created by a mob of 60 black people who rampaged through the streets, robbing people, assaulting neighbors, destroying property, and creating mayhem.

Violent crime in Charleston, like the rest of the country, is a black thing: Black on white violence is wildly out of proportion. The latest killings do not change that. Nor do the efforts of local and national reporters to ignore, deny, condone, excuse, encourage and even lie about it.

[...]

A black person is 50 times more likely to assault a white person than the other way around. The black on white rape numbers are even more out of proportion when compared to white on black sexual assault.

Black Twitter did not bother to cloak the black-on-white racial hostility. Thousands of tweets picked up these false narratives -- what people call lies today -- and urged violence against white people. They are as easy to find as they are disturbing to read.

The reality of black on white racial violence and hostility is something that white people live with every day -- and is documented in that scintillating best seller: Don’t Make the Black Kids Angry --The hoax of black victimization and how that is the biggest lie of our generation.

That "scintillating best seller" to which Flaherty is referring is his own self-published book.

Roof also invoked South Africa, according to Slate:

Some people feel as though the South is beyond saving, that we have too many blacks here. To this I say look at history. The South had a higher ratio of blacks when we were holding them as slaves. Look at South Africa, and how such a small minority held the black in apartheid for years and years. Speaking of South Africa, if anyone thinks that think will eventually just change for the better, consider how in South Africa they have affirmative action for the black population that makes up 80 percent of the population.

Of course, WND has as a weekly columnist South Africa native Ilana Mercer, who still pines for the days of apartheid. It has long promoted the causes of racist Afrikaner white mercenaries in South Africa, in its early years through the narratives of Anthony Lo Baido and, more recently, by letting the likes of Alex Newman whitewash the racism of the Afrikaners it quotes and letting pro-apartheid dead-enders opine on the death of Nelson Mandela.

These are the kind of messages WND has been sending out over the years. It looks like, sadly, they have been received all too well by Dylann Roof.

This wouldn't be the first time WND has apparently inspired a terrorist; the manifesto of Anders Breivik, who killed dozens in a 2009 massacre in Norway, cites WND six times and repeats the same anti-Islam, anti-feminist and anti-multiculturalism themes WND has promoted.

(Photo: Slate.com)


Posted by Terry K. at 3:02 PM EDT
Friday, June 19, 2015
WND Is Sad 'Usual Suspects' (Like The Killer?) Blame Charleston Shootings on Racism
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily huffed in a June 19 email promo: "The usual voices are blaming racism, the Second Amendment and Confederate license plates for the murder of nine black citizens at their Charleston church's Bible study."

We don't know anyone who was blaming "Confederate license plates," though the Confederate flag, a symbol of slavery and racism to many, still flies above the South Carolina state capitol. And "the Second Amendment" is not being blamed so much as insufficient regulation of guns; after all, no court has ever ruled that the Second Amendment is absolute.

But "racism"? WND ignores that racism was being blamed by none other than the alleged shooter himself, Dylann Roof. WND's very own Cheryl Chumley noted that herself:

A witness said, before Roof began shooting victims, he declared, “I have to do it. You rape our women, and you’re taking over our country. And you have to go.”

Another witness claimed Roof said he was there “to shoot black people.”

We don't need "the usual voices" to  point out Roof's racist intent -- the shooter has already made that case.Perhaps WND's email writer should read the website he or she is working for before writing those promos.

But what about that "common trait" Roof purportedly shares with other killers? We'll get to that soon...


Posted by Terry K. at 5:44 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, June 19, 2015 6:44 PM EDT
Thursday, June 18, 2015
CNS' First Reaction to Charleston Shooting: Invoking Al Sharpton
Topic: CNSNews.com

When it came to covering the news of a white man shooting nine unarmed blacks in Charleston, S.C., CNSNews.com knew what it had to do: pander to the racial animosity of its right-wing readership by raising the specter of Al Sharpton.

Thus, CNS' first piece of original coverage of the Charleston shooting is an article by "CNSNews.com staff" posted at 7:54 a.m. on June 18 quoting Sharpton's statement about the alleged shooter: "Obviously he's deranged. Probably a hate crime."

Jones then undermined her own attempt to portray Sharpton as race-baiting over the shooting later in her article, when she noted that "Police described the mass murder as a hate crime." Oops.

This was embarrassing even by CNS' usual standards -- usually, its attempts to pander to its right-wing audience aren't this blatant. CNS seemed to recognize this, as the article didn't last long on its front page.

Strangely, CNS tried to play this same card a couple hours later, with an article by Melanie Hunter noting that Attorney General Loretta Lynch is launching a hate crimes investigation into the shooting. While Hunter noted that the shootings occured at "a historic black church," she curiously didn't note that the suspect, Dylann Roof, is white.

Plus, it turns out that Sharpton and Lynch's suspicions were proven correct: Law enforcement officials said the shooter rose during a prayer service, declaring that he was there to kill black people.

The only other bit of what passes for original reportage at CNS on the Charleston shooting is another piece by Hunter, this time quoting a sermon given by one of the victims, Rev. Clementa Pinckney, in April after "Walter Scott, an unarmed black man, had been gunned down by former South Carolina police officer Michael Slager." Hunter didn't mention that Slager was white, or that Scott was running away from Slager at the time he was shot.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:23 PM EDT
Wednesday, June 17, 2015
CNS' Sad, Lying Little Pitch For Cash
Topic: CNSNews.com

A new Media Research Center donation page for CNSNews.com begins its sales pitch like this:

Americans deserve and demand the truth from their news media. Unfortunately, America's newsrooms are full of lies, bias, and even censorship. That's why CNSNews.com exists.

So that explains it! CNS exists so that the MRC can get in on some of that sweet, sweet action.

Bias? Check.

Lies? Double check.

Censorship? And how.

The pitch goes on:

Since 1998, CNSNews.com has been THE alternative news source for individuals, news organizations, and broadcasters. As a member of the Media Research Center family of networks, CNSNews.com has evolved into one of the top sites on the Internet—reporting the news that the liberal media refuse to cover.

You mean like uncritically quoting right-wing religious figures at length? Or reprinting old film scripts? Not sure how any of that qualifies as "news." Anyway, continuing with the pitch:

We have produced one major scoop after another and are an indispensable online resource for news as it should be reported—accurate, balanced, and unfiltered. No wonder conservative talk show host Mark Levin says, "I read CNSNews.com every day, and you should too."

As its Duggar fiasco demonstrates, CNS' brand of journalism is anything but "accurate, balanced, and unfiltered." And Levin says that about CNS because the MRC pays him to say it.

The pitch concludes by declaring that CNS "rely solely on donations from conservatives to help us report the news the liberal media distort, slant, or censor." So CNS can do its own distortions, slants and censorship, of course.

It's a sad little pitch that denies reality -- and actually tells lies -- to make a grab for cash. But that's what the MRC does.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:00 PM EDT
Tuesday, June 16, 2015
Trump's Candidacy Gets A Newsmax TV Special
Topic: Newsmax

The mutual lovefest between Newsmax and Donald Trump goes way back -- it was the lead cheerleader for a Trump presidential candidacy in 2011, and the two attempted to host a Republican presidential debate together. Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy has no problem with this, saying at one point, "Trump realizes the great potential of Newsmax and has been using it very adroitly. We're well aware he's using it, happy he's using it."

Newsmax has been touting Trump's presidential ambitions again for this election cycle, and Ruddy hung out at Trump's house to watch the Super Bowl. So with Trump actually declaring a presidential run, it's no surprise to see Newsmax give a little extra love. As a June 16 Newsmax article by Todd Beamon explains, Trump's announcement is getting its own special on Newsmax TV:

Newsmax TV will feature a special presentation on Donald Trump's 2016 Republican presidential announcement Tuesday at 10 p.m. EDT.

This special edition of "Newsmax Prime" will feature host J.D. Hayworth and analysis by former New York Lt. Gov. Betsy McCaughey.

In a rousing, no-nonsense speech at Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue in New York earlier Tuesday, the billionaire developer and businessman declared: "I will be the greatest jobs president that God ever created.

"I will bring back our jobs from China, from Mexico, from Japan, from so many places," Trump said.

Correct us if we're wrong, but we don't recall Newsmax TV giving the "special presentation" treatment to any other Republican presidential candidate.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:29 PM EDT
Monday, June 15, 2015
CNS Lets A Birther Write A Column
Topic: CNSNews.com

The Media Research Center's creeping WND-ism continues in an eminently logical direction: CNSNews.com is giving space to a birther.

A June 11 CNS column features Herbert W. Titus and his law partner, William J. Olson, ranting against same-sex marriage and declaring that the Surpreme Court has no right to sit in judgment of the constitutionality of same-sex marriage because Sir William Blackstone said so, or something. CNS' bio for Titus highlights how he "taught Constitutional Law for 26 years, and concluded his academic career as the Founding Dean of Regent Law School."

What CNS doesn't tell you about Herb Titus: He's a birther, and the birthers at WND love him.

In a 2009 WND article, Titus proclaimed that "Obama cannot be a natural-born citizen, even if he’s born in Hawaii," because he did not have two parents who were American citizens and that his "loyalties" lie with his Kenyan-born father.  In a 2012 WND article, Titus asserted that natural born citizenship is "God-given" and that the concept "is written into the very nature of the universe of nation-states" and "exists independent of any human power, legislative or otherwise. That is why ‘natural born citizenship’ is not defined in the Constitution."

Never mind that the Constitution makes any mention whatsoever about "loyalties," or that courts over the past century or so have routinely defined the term as applying to anyone born in the U.S. regardless of the parents' citizenship.

By contrast, Titus has been much less vocal about the eligibility status of Ted Cruz, whose political views align much closer to him than Obama's and who is also not eligible to be president under his extremely narrow definition of the term.

Religion Dispatches points out that Titus is an admirer of the late R.J. Rushdoony, the father of the far-right principle of Christian Reconstructionism -- a principle also followed by WND editor Joseph Farah.

This is the guy who CNS has deemed acceptable to write an opinon column for it.


Posted by Terry K. at 4:56 PM EDT
Sunday, June 14, 2015
Newsmax-Promoted Investment Analyst Sanctioned By SEC
Topic: Newsmax

In early June, self-proclaimed investment guru Todd Schoenberger was sanctioned by the Securities and Exchange Commission for spending $130,000 he was given by investors to put in a hedge fund on personal uses instead, as well as other allegations of fraud. He was ordered to pay $69,000 in reimbursement and "prejudgment interest," and he is forbidden from "associating with any broker, dealer, or investment adviser and from serving as an officer or director of a public company."

Media Matters has already noted that Schoenberger made numerous appearances on various cable business networks. But Newsmax has regularly promoted him as well.

A search of Newsmax archives shows 21 references to Schoenberger between January 2011 and November 2014, usually making dubious predictions.

For instance, in an April 2012 article, Schoenberger predicted that stocks would fall 35 percent by the end of the year, despite the fact that had risen 11 percent so far that year. A July 2012 article quoted Schoenberger doubling down by predicting that stocks would fall 40 percent by the end of the year. That didn't happen, of course; by May 2013, Schoenberger had changed his tune and was advising people to buy stocks in a market that, as Newsmax stated, "has already made big gains for 2013."

Schoenberger asserted in a September 2012 article that only "suckers" were buying Facebook stock, claiming its fundamentals weren't strong and that CEO Mark Zuckerberg is "wearing the hoodies" and "not doing anything." In fact, despite Schoenberger's claim that Facebook stock "is not a bottom right now" at around $18 a share, that was its bottom, and the stock is surrently more than $80 a share.

Missing from Newsmax's Schoenberger archive, however, is any mention of his SEC sanctioning.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:15 PM EDT
Saturday, June 13, 2015
CNS Managing Editor Devotes A 'News' Item To Repeating Movie Dialogue
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com managing editor Michael W. Chapman's skewed idea of newsworthiness is not limited to pearls of anti-Muslim and anti-Obama wisdom from Franklin Graham. He now considers fiction to be news as well.

A June 8 CNS blog post by Chapman is headlined "John Wayne Schools Liberal Author on American Freedom and Giving Thanks to God."That gives the impression that Chapman will quoting Wayne saying something patriotic to respond to some modern-day "liberal author" who said something Chapman didn't like. Turns out that's not it at all -- Chapman is simply repeating dialogue from a film Wayne starred in. No, really:

The people who founded and built America did not rely on big government for a hand-out or demand “insurance for their old age,” but were rugged individualists, self-reliant, real “men” who looked up at the sky and said, “thanks God, we’ll take it from here,” said the actor John Wayne in the movie Without Reservations.

Wayne, himself a conservative, portrayed U.S. Marine Capt. “Rusty” Thomas in the highly successful 1946 film. In the movie, while traveling by train to California, liberal author “Kitty Kloch,” played by Claudette Colbert, expresses her optimism about a “new world” where the “advantages of citizenship” are shared by all and the “laissez-faire attitude” is cast aside.

John Wayne, “Rusty,” sets her straight.

That is, yes, followed by a copy-and-paste of the relevant dialogue from the film.

Chapman doesn't mention, of course, that "Without Reservations" is a romantic comedy in which Wayne and Colbert are the star attractions who resolve their differences and hook up at the end (in a 1946 way, of course).

Or that Colbert's character actually wants Wayne's character to star in the film adaptation of her book which suggests that the snippet of dialogue Chapman quoted is at least a little out of context.

Or that Wayne was simply repeating dialogue somebody else wrote for him (in this case, Andrew Solt); if he said them with such conviction that it melted Chapman's heart, that makes him nothing more than a very good actor.

Chapman also forgets that, despite insisting on telling us that this film was "highly successful" and pointing out that it had "a reported budget of $1,683,000, and it grossed $3,000,000 at the box office," there is not necessarily a direct relationship between a film's popularity and its quality, a truism Chapman's fellow travelers at the Media Research Center just don't get.

It seems Chapman is increasingly living in a fantasy world where he can't tell movies from reality. Yet, somehow, he's still the managing editor of a "news" operation.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:04 AM EDT
Friday, June 12, 2015
WND's Loudon Goes Godwin to Defend the Duggars
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily columnist Gina Loudon is on quite the tear lately when it comes to spouting misinformation and general right-wing wackiness. Two weeks ago, Loudon was desperately defending the Duggars and insisting that anyone who's not Christian has no moral code. Last week, she was making grossly uninformed rantings about transgenders, doubly disturbing since she claims to have a doctorate in psychology.

In this week's WND column, Loudon begins by explaining how "The elections in 2016 can be won by the right," then goes on to "remind conservatives watch for Saul Alinsky’s rules to be used against them over, and over, and over" -- apparently oblivious to the fact that conservatives use those same rules against liberals all the time.

Then, Loudon pulls the oldest trick in the book -- attacking the messenger -- in order to distract from the unabmbiguously proven allegations about the Duggars, raising the irrelevant specter of the background of the company that owns In Touch, the gossipmag that broke the Duggar story:

Let’s take a look at the people behind the assault on the Duggars and American-style individual liberty and protections for children.

Bauer Holdings, the German conglomerate that owns In Touch Magazine, trades in all kinds of societal derogating trash and probably enjoys little readership among Duggar family loyalists. Christian converts are bad for business. Attacking the Duggars is a three-fer: Sell magazines, defend your market, and help make sure no conservative is elected to the White House in 2016. So they would dedicate a lot of time and money to investigate and paint the Duggar family as exhibit A of why we can never give spotlight or power to a conservative.

According to an investigation in the The Wrap, one of Bauer’s subsidiaries is Der Landser, a Nazi-sympathizing, skinhead magazine in Germany. Germany’s equivalent of Time Magazine, Der Spiegel, described the Bauer publication as “a specialist journal for whitewashing the Wehrmacht,” Hitler’s war machine.

Bauer also published the magazine Zuerst! Dieter Munier, the publisher of that magazine is a known German neo-Nazi leader for more than 40 years. Bauer sold that magazine in 2012 after public outrage became overwhelming.

Bauer’s holdings don’t stop at Nazi sympathizing or Holocaust denial. Bauer owned multiple distributorships of pornography, including (you can’t make this up) many Nazi-themed porn movies.

That's some impressive Godwining there, Gina!

Like any good apologist, Loudon never explains how this disproves In Touch's reporting on the Duggars -- of course, that's because it doesn't. In Touch didn't use any secret Nazi techniques to get the Duggar story, as Loudon would like to imagine; it used old-fashioned reporting.

Loudon also repeats her if-you're-not-Christian-you're-nothing smear of anyone who's as far-right as she is: "If you look closely, the entire Duggar story was a not-so-subtle message to conservatives, especially those who are seeking office: Only those who have no standards should be allowed to judge those who do."

Loudon presents herself as a Christian, yet she lies and smears with ease and impunity and stoops so low is to invoke Nazism to defend a teenage child molester. What are these "standards" she claims to have again?


Posted by Terry K. at 2:40 PM EDT
Thursday, June 11, 2015
NEW ARTICLE: CNS Protects The Duggars
Topic: CNSNews.com
Despite calling itself a "news" website, CNS did its best to ignore news of a sexual molestation scandal in a family of right-wing darlings as long as it could, reporting the facts only grudgingly. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 11:28 PM EDT

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