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Monday, August 24, 2015
Newsmax Serves Up Another Trump-Fluffing Promotion
Topic: Newsmax

A while back, we caught the Trump-fluffers at Newsmax offering a Donald Trump book as one of the loss-leader promos in its ongoing efforts to sell a Newsmax-published newsletter. Now it's serving up another Trump trinket: a hat with Trump's campaign slogan on it, a common-looking trucker cap Newsmax insists has a "$25 value." Here's the hard sell-slash-Trump campaign commercial (bolding is theirs):

The cap that Donald Trump has been wearing at campaign stops — blazing out his "Make America Great Again," slogan — has become a sensation.

In fact, sales of the Trump cap are off the charts.

Now you can get your very own Make America Great Again cap (a $25 value) FREE with this offer, just pay shipping & handling.

The “Make America Great Again” cap is being worn by Americans who stand with Trump in securing America’s border with Mexico – and cleaning up Washington.

Ronald Reagan first used the slogan “Make America Great Again” — which buoyed the hopes of a nation after four disastrous years of Jimmy Carter.

Now, after eight years of Obama’s failed presidency, Americans are finding renewed hope with Trump’s “Make America Great Again.”

Wear this cap with pride — show your friends at the golf course, gym, beach — anywhere outdoors you stand for a strong America. And drive your liberal friends nuts too!

This cap retails for as much as $25 — but you can get it with our FREE Offer today!

Of course, you get "free" issues of Newsmax's magazine, which are "free" only if you remember to cancel after the last "free" one arrives -- otherwise, Newsmax will automatically charge you $39.95 for a full year's subscription.

It must be hard for Newsmax to pretend its news coverage is fair when it's trying to make money from its longtime association with one of them.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:03 PM EDT
WND's Farah Presents Lies About Planned Parenthood As 'Truth'
Topic: WorldNetDaily

How funny that Joseph Farah praises Ben Carson for telling the "truth" about Planned Parenthood while reinforcing his falsehoods.

And it's doubly funny that Farah dismisses a fact-checker as "a young black female reporter trying to get ahead in the Washington Post newsroom" -- while he copies and pastes her work into his column.

Farah begins his Aug. 20 column by stating:

Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson has been making some pretty harsh claims against Planned Parenthood and its founder, Margaret Sanger – a hero to Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton.

The toughest charges thrown out by Dr. Carson include:

1. Abortions are the leading cause of death for black Americans.

2. That’s actually in keeping with the goals of Sanger, who founded the organization that eventually became Planned Parenthood.

3. To continue that work, Planned Parenthood clinics are concentrated in black neighborhoods.

Farah copied-and-pasted that bullet list from the Washington Post fact-check by Janell Ross -- the "young black female reporter trying to get ahead in the Washington Post newsroom," in Farah's view, and whom Farah refers condescendingly throughout his column by her first name, not her last -- that he spends the rest of his column attacking. So there's a little contradiction there.

When the Post fact-checker pointed out that Sanger’s "Negro Project"  "aimed to bring contraceptive options to black women. But she also did similar work with white women," Farah went into full non-factual rant mode:

Excuse me? That’s a whitewash of black genocide by a black reporter.

Sanger was, first and foremost, a eugenicist – one who believed in the inferiority of non-white races. In 1939, she proposed the infamous “Negro Project,” a plan developed at the behest of public-health officials in Southern states, where, she writes, “the most successful educational approach to the Negro is through a religious appeal. We do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population, and the Minister is the man who can straighten out that idea if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members.”

Ever since, Planned Parenthood abortion clinics have been found mainly in black and Hispanic neighborhoods.

Well, actually, not so much. Farah studiously avoids mentioning the part of the fact-check where it's noted that "The majority of the nation's abortion providers are in predominantly white neighborhoods, according to a Guttmacher Institute analysis."

And Farah even more studiously avoided mention of another Post fact-check released the same day as the one he's attacking -- this one by the non-black, non-female Glenn Kessler -- that stated of the "Negro Project" quote Farah cherry-picked: "This inartfully written passage is frequently taken out of context to suggest Sanger was seeking to exterminate blacks."

Farah also doesn't mention the kind of people his anti-abortion, anti-contraception views put him in league with, according to the Post fact-checks. Ross noted that "In the 1960s and '70s, black-nationalist organizations including the Black Panther Party often pushed the idea that birth control and abortions were part of an effort to minimize the black population."

Farah went on to claim:

Sanger was closely tied to Ernst Rudin, who served as Hitler’s director of genetic sterilization. An April 1933 article by Rudin – entitled “Eugenic Sterilization: An Urgent Need” – for Sanger’s monthly magazine, The Birth Control Review, detailed the establishment of the Nazi Society for Racial Hygiene and advocated its replication in the United States. A subsequent article by Leon Whitney published the following June by Sanger, entitled “Selective Sterilization,” praises and defends the Third Reich’s pre-holocaust “race purification” program.

But as Kessler points out, Sanger had resigned as editor of the publication several years before that issue was published. Further, Kessler states, while "Sanger in 1938 appeared to speak positively about the German program undertaken by the Nazis," by 1939 she was touting her anti-Nazi credentials and highlighting that “my three books were destroyed [burned] and have not been allowed to circulate in Germany.”

Nevertheless, despite a decided lack of facts being on Carson's side, Farah concludes his column by writing, "Three strikes and you’re out, Planned Parenthood. Thank you, Ben Carson, for bringing out the truth."


Posted by Terry K. at 5:14 PM EDT
Sunday, August 23, 2015
MRC's Tim Graham Gets It Wrong
Topic: Media Research Center

Tim Graham is the director of media analysis at the Media Research Center, so you'd think he'd care at least somewhat about getting his facts straight. If he ever did, he doesn't now.

Graham begins an Aug. 19 NewsBusters post this way: "Very liberal 'Very Rev.' Gary Hall is stepping down at the end of the year after just three years as dean of the Washington National Cathedral, reported Washington Post religion reporter Michelle Boorstein." By putting "Very Rev." in scare quotes, he seems to be suggesting that it's a made-up title that Hall was using for self-aggrandizement.

In fact, according to the Episcopal Church's style guide, "Very Rev." is a title used for the dean of a cathedral, which Hall was. Indeed, the bio for Hall on the National Cathedral's website identifies him asa the dean and as "Very Rev."

As much as the MRC rails against alleged mocking of the Christian faith, Graham should know better than to suggest that Christian denominations that don't align with his own (as far as we know, Graham is a Catholic) are making up things.

Graham followed that up by parroting a few conservative myths about convicted criminal James O'Keefe in  an Aug. 22 post railing at Time magazine reporter Zeke Miller for noting that O'Keefe acolytes are trying to infiltrate the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign:

Miller showed a tilt by noting “O’Keefe rose to fame in 2009 with edited videos appearing to show employees of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) encouraging criminal behavior, resulting in the freeze of federal funding to the organization.”

“Appearing to show”? Why do liberal journalists pretend what these videos show is in doubt? (As they presently do with Planned Parenthood!)  In 2009, O’Keefe and his colleague Hannah Giles posed garishly as a pimp and a prostitute and asked ACORN staff in their Baltimore office how to shelter their illegal income from taxes, even as they claimed they were bringing in under-age girls from Latin America to be their sex workers. The reality of this and videos taken in other cities caused ACORN to lose their federal funding, despite minimal liberal media coverage.

In fact, as Media Matters' Eric Boehlert detailed at the time, there's no evidence O'Keefe went to any ACORN office to pull his undercover scam dressed "garishly as a pimp"; he wore normal street clothing, and the stereotypical pimp getup was used in promoting his scam.

Further, most of O'Keefe's ACORN videos show that he does not explicitly explain that he's trying to engage in child prostitution, O'Keefe and co-conspirator Hannah Giles lied for more than two months about an ACORN employee who had allegedly helped them but in fact did not (O'Keefe was subsequently ordered to pay the employee $100,000 over the lies), and no official investigation found criminal wrongdoing on ACORN's part.

We're unsure what "reality" Graham is referring to, but it sure doesn't seem to involve the actual content of the ACORN videos -- only what the heavily edited versions claimed to say. Sounds a lot like the Planned Parenthood attacks, doesn't it?

When the name of your organization has "media research" in its name, you'd think it would excel at, you know, media research. Graham's work puts the lie to that.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:56 PM EDT
Saturday, August 22, 2015
Obama Derangement Syndrome Watch, WorldNetDaily Edition
Topic: WorldNetDaily

America is again being diverted away from another treasonous act by this administration: the “Iran nuke deal,” which is nothing more than appeasement through funding and enabling militarily America’s sworn enemies. Treason, treason and more treason.

Let me cut to the chase here. If what was happening in this country was happening in a foreign country, the people in this country would have called for military strikes, as well as an all-out manhunt for the dictators that were guilty of the same things Barack Hussein Obama and his criminal administration are guilty of here in America. Yet, because it is happening here, the people have somehow deceived themselves into believing that what they have allowed is not as bad as what is happening over in Third World countries. What is even worse is that as long as there are smiles and the reciting of the word “Constitution,” the American people are set at ease only to set themselves up for the next act of treason. But as long as he is smiling …

-- Bradlee Dean, Aug. 13 WND column

If the government is against you, what chance is there?

Barack Obama acts the king – the enforcer – and woe unto you if he wants to take you down.

Let’s stop worrying about the rights of illegals and start worrying about citizens’ rights.

If the feds will do this to a man of Arpaio’s stature, what will they do to an average guy?

Don’t doubt me. Think about what they’ve done to florists, photographers and bakers who resist the gay agenda.

Think about the Little Sisters of the Poor – nuns – who are being forced to comply with Obamacare’s abortifacient mandate against their faith.

Think about your rights. Cross Obama and you lose.

God bless America – please.

-- Barbara Simpson, Aug. 16 WND column

But the rise of President Obama has brought evil out of the woodwork, and it has come out of hiding in T.D. Jakes. Just as black former Republican darling Colin Powell betrayed the Republican Party by endorsing President Obama, and began to express racism toward white people, so T.D. Jakes betrayed God by rebuking Rev. Franklin Graham for casting doubt on Obama’s faith as a “Christian.”

Franklin Graham, when asked about Obama’s faith, said, “I don’t know” if Obama’s a Christian –”You’ll have to ask President Obama.”

Let me say that Obama is not a Christian; nothing he’s done says that he is a Christian. He’s taken every opportunity to mock, denigrate and violate the rights of Christians around the country – and he ignores Christian suffering and persecution around the world.

-- Jesse Lee Peterson, Aug. 16 WND column


Posted by Terry K. at 10:59 PM EDT
Friday, August 21, 2015
Shocker: CNS Acknowledges New Josh Duggar Scandal Exists
Topic: CNSNews.com

Given CNSNews.com's previous friendliness with Josh Duggar and its efforts to bury allegations Duggar as a teenager molested several girls including his sisters, we wondered how, if at all, CNS would cover the news that Duggar's name turned up among the leaked clients of affair-facilitating website AshleyMadison.com. and his subsequent admission of unfaithfulness to his wife and an "addiction" to pornography.

Well, we have our answer: as perfunctorily as possible.

The story did make the front page, but CNS didn't consider it worthy of in-house coverage, despite the fact that it has conducted previous interviews with him. Instead, it simply reproduces an Associated Press article on the scandal and another AP article detailing the statement Duggar issued.

But note in the screenshot above where CNS has categorized the articles: Not at the top of the front page, not in the culture section, but as "entertainment." Apparently, now that the Duggars are scandal-tainted, they are now "entertainment," even though they pre-scandal appeal was based on the right-wing Christian culture they promoted (with help from CNS).

CNS gets a point or two for actually acknowledging the story deserves front-page coverage (we didn't even have to shame them into it this time), but it was slow to the coverage party, and the story is still getting much less promotion than the Duggars' pre-scandal message CNS was all too willing to propangandize.


Posted by Terry K. at 6:39 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, August 21, 2015 6:52 PM EDT
NewsBusters Blogger Roots for Failure of Gay Athletes
Topic: NewsBusters

Lower-tier sports radio guy Dylan Gwinn wrote a book, the Regnery-published "Bias in the Booth," whining about alleged liberal bias in sports journalism that the Columbia Journalism review dismissed thusly: "This book is not worth your time. This book is very dumb. This book exposes nothing except its author’s own rhetorical limitations. A keening, bitter catalog of slights and allegations of willful journalistic malpractice, Bias in the Booth is less an analysis than a screed, reliant on ad hominem attacks, suppositions, and generalizations in its bid to document the purported liberal bias of American sports media."

Naturally, all that seething hatred landed Gwinn a blogging gig at NewsBusters. And as befits someone writing for a website of the anti-gay Media Research Center, gay athletes serve as a berzerk button for him.

Gwinn devoted an Aug. 15 post to gloating that openly gay pro football player Michael Sam was taking a break from his Canadian Football League career for mental health reasons. Commence the gloating:

No, the sports media didn’t make Sam a slow, “tweener,” and a bad scheme fit for an NFL defense. It was more sinister than that. They made him unlikeable. In their zeal to turn Sam into the gay Jackie Robinson, they made him arrogant. They took a likeable kid and made him a diva with the sense of entitlement that drives NFL-types nuts.

If the New York Times had been honest about where Sam stood in the draft, as opposed to saying he was “projected to be drafted in the early rounds,” something no scout worth anything believed, then maybe the sense of entitlement that turned NFL scouts off at the Veterans Combine wouldn’t have set in. If Sam hadn’t been told he was making “incredibly brave decisions” and “breaking longstanding barriers,” the arrogance might not have taken root. Perhaps if ESPN hadn’t shown Sam kissing his boyfriend on a loop for 87 hours, Sam would have seen himself as more football player than gay man.

[...]

America’s first openly gay football player was always more of an LGBT activist than he was a football player. Now, he’s just one of those things.

A couple days later, Gwinn got to lean on his berzerk button again over the news that a minor-league baseball player came out:

In a stunning coincidence of epic proportions that no one could have possibly seen coming, ESPN has found another gay professional athlete less than three days after Michael Sam’s announcement that he is walking away from football. This most recent out-of-the-closet jock comes to us by way of baseball. David Denson, a minor league first baseman in the Brewers organization, recently came out to his teammates, a process he explained in the ESPN article:

[...]

Could that be the reason why Denson decided to come out, believing that his announcement would make it politically impossible for the Brewers to release him? I have no idea. But how many minor league first basemen get articles in ... Slate? And there’s precedent for that. Remember that the NFL called several teams, urging them to sign Michael Sam after the Rams cut him, to prevent a media/PR backlash.

Is it too far-fetched to believe Denson would want to repeat that recent history now?

I wish it was.

Is it too far-fetched to believe that Gwinn is such a homophobe that he roots for the failure of athletes who do not share his sexual orientation? I wish it was.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:54 AM EDT
Thursday, August 20, 2015
WND Runs to Defense of Jim Bakker's Jade Helm Conspiracy Theories
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily's Cheryl Chumley was an early and enthusiastic promoter of right-wing conspiracy theories surrounding the Jade Helm 15 military exercise -- promotion that may have helped spark plots to murder soldiers taking part in it. Unsurprisingly, Chumley is sad that some of these conspiracy theorists are being called out.

Chumley writes in an Aug. 22 WND article:

Just a few days ago, Dallas pastor Rick Wiles and and televangelist Jim Bakker discussed the operation in a series of broadcast programs, saying the mission may be rounding the curve toward completion, but in their minds, Americans should remain skeptical of the military's actions.

[...]

It wasn't long after that discussion many in the media shot out some mocking pieces, slamming not just Wiles and Bakker but pretty much all Americans who expressed doubt in their government over Jade Helm.

Writing for the Dallas Observer, Stephen Young waxed sarcastically about the fears surrounding Jade Helm and said: "Congrats to everyone reading this outside of a FEMA camp based in an abandoned Wal-Mart for making it through the first month of Jade Helm 15 unscathed. For those of you who've been interned, and yet still inexplicably have web access, our prayers are with you. Thanks to the brave actions of Texas Governor Greg Abbott and the members of the Texas Guard he deployed to watch the not-at-all routine military takeover exercises enveloping the rest of the American South and Southwest, our fine state has remained largely unscathed."

He then jabbed at Wiles and Bakker, referring to the latter as a "disgraced televangelist ... who's previously claimed that Miley Cyrus has sex with demons."

Ring of Fire Radio picked up on the theme, blogging: "Televangelist Jim Bakker wants Americans to know that it's right to be skeptical of Jade helm 15. After serving time in prison for fraud in the 90's, Bakker returned to the airwaves to spread his message of doubt and deception. In a discussion with Rick Wiles, the pair ventured an idea (read: conspiracy theory) that the real purpose of Jade Helm 15 is to instill social distrust and unrest in communities. Thus preparing the country for another civil war."

Chumley, however, didn't mention a significant conflict of interest that would explain why WND would run to the defense of a charlatan like Bakker: He appears to be a personal buddy of WND editor Joseph Farah.

Bakker was a "special guest" on last year's WND-sponsored tour of Israel. Another Farah buddy, Jonathan Cahn, oozed over Bakker in a promotional article (captured by Richard Bartholomew) and downplayed the massive sex-and-money scandal that brought down his 1980s ministry as nothing more than a "humbling":

Jim and Lori Bakker are not coming as celebrities or guest speakers, but as spiritual pilgrims. Jim Bakker hasn’t been to Israel in decades, and Lori Bakker has never been there.

They got the idea to come when Cahn, author of “The Harbinger” and the inspiration behind “The Isaiah 9:10 Judgment,” made a guest appearance on the Bakkers’ daily TV show.

“Jim Bakker is one of the giants and pioneers of Christian television,” said Cahn. “He helped found TBN and PTL and worked with Pat Robertson in the early years of ‘The 700 Club.’ He sat with world leaders and presidents in the White House. And yet the most powerful part of his story is what happened after being humbled under God’s hand, a humbling from which he emerged a changed man, a man of profound humility, compassion and grace – and with even more zeal for the Lord.”

Farah said the Bakkers recognize something he has seen himself as someone who has traveled to Israel frequently over the last 35 years – “there’s no better way to see Israel than with Jonathan Cahn.”

WND later touted how Bakker devoted "special shows" of his daily broadcast "recorded during that excursion."


Posted by Terry K. at 11:17 AM EDT
Wednesday, August 19, 2015
MRC Censors Complain About Censorship (And Deny Anti-PP Videos Were Heavily Edited)
Topic: Media Research Center

There's some serious denial going on in Brent Bozell and Tim Graham's Aug. 19 column:

After six devastating hidden-camera interviews, the best Planned Parenthood and its top-dollar crisis managers can muster in their defense is to protest that they were "heavily edited."

Of course they were. All video is edited. It's why they call it "produced." Without offering evidence of exculpatory evidence withheld, the charge is as meaningless as Planned Parenthood is evil.

Actually, exculpatory evidence highlighting the information the Center for Medical Progress' undeniably heavily edited videos has been repeatedly offered. And that goes for the seventh video that was released the same day as the Bozell-Graham column.

Surely Graham and Bozell cannot be unaware of criticism that the CMP videos are heavily and dishonestly edited. For them to deny that the evidence exists is truly bizarre.

The rest of their column is dedicated to whining that the big, bad liberal media is "censor[ing]" the story of the (again, heavily edited) CMP videos. That's rich, given that the organization Bozell and Graham run, the Media Research Center, is conducting a major censorship campaign of its own.

As we've noted, no MRC website has reported on Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson's apparent use of fetal tissue in his medical research. The blackout has continued: It's been nearly a week since the story broke, and the MRC still hasn't told its readers about it.

It's the height of hypocrisy to accuse someone of engaging in the same exact behavior you are. But hypocrisy, it seems, is part of Bozell and Graham's job description.


Posted by Terry K. at 6:12 PM EDT
Another Epic Fail by WND's Monckton
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Christopher Monckton serves up another epic fail in his Aug. 16 WorldNetDaily column, this time ranting about DDT:

This year, as I pack my bags for Sicily, professor Larry Gould of the University of Hartford has sent me a chilling documentary about the consequences of the ban on DDT. The title of the video says it all: “Three Billion and Counting.” The estimate of the number of people killed by the environmentalist left’s ban on DDT may be somewhat on the high side, but there is a statable case that the left’s ban on DDT has killed more people than any war, any pogrom, any policy ever.

Some lessons must now be drawn from the left’s poisonous, racialistic hatred of black children in Africa.

Lesson 1: The mass-murder-by-banning-DDT policy did not occur by accident. It was, and remains, the worst genocide the world has ever seen. The left’s intention in banning DDT was to destroy Africa’s population.

Lesson 2: The left always goes to elaborate lengths to conceal its true, murderous intent by finding and promulgating some half-baked, pietistic, pseudo-scientific justification. The left’s pretext for banning DDT was that it was harming large birds by making their eggshells thinner, and that it caused cancer in humans. Subsequent studies showed that the “thinner-eggshells” story was fiction and that DDT, which humans can eat by the tablespoonful without coming to any harm, is about as carcinogenic as coffee.

Lesson 3: Even when science belatedly catches up with the left’s lies and exposes the baselessness of its cruel policies, those policies remain in place. Just about everyone now knows perfectly well that the benefits of using DDT overwhelmingly outweigh its few and relentlessly overstated disadvantages, but no one dares to reverse the insane policy on which the left sourly continues to insist. At least half-a-million children a year continue to be killed quite unnecessarily by malaria as a direct result.

Well, no. As we've documented, the main issue with DDT was that its overuse created DDT-resistant mosquitoes.

Further, as one writer notes in pointing out the errors of the “Three Billion and Counting” video Monckton was given, DDT was never banned in Africa, which puts a hole in Monckton's conspiracy theory that "The left’s intention in banning DDT was to destroy Africa’s population." In reality, the people who ended up "destroying African's population" were the people who overused DDT.

Further, as the Worldwatch Institute details, bednets are currently a more effective way to stop the spread of mosquito-borne malaria than DDT is because the main malaria-spreading mosquitoes are DDT-resistant, but the nets are subject to taxes or tarriffs in 28 African countries making them even less affordable for poor Africans. The institute adds:

We now have half a century of evidence that routine use of DDT simply will not prevail against the mosquitoes. Most countries have already absorbed this lesson, and banned the chemical or relegated it to emergency only status. Now the [Roll Back Malaria] campaign and associated efforts are showing that the frequency and intensity of those emergencies can be reduced through systematic attention to the chronic aspects of the disease. There is less and less justification for DDT, and the futility of using it as a matter of routine is becoming increasingly apparent: in order to control a disease, why should we poison our soils, our waters, and ourselves?

The institute also shoots down Monckton's contention that DDT is so safe that "humans can eat by the tablespoonful without coming to any harm":

Like other organochlorine pesticides, DDT bioaccumulates. It's fat soluble, so when an animal ingests it-by browsing contaminated vegetation, for example-the chemical tends to concentrate in its fat, instead of being excreted. When another animal eats that animal, it is likely to absorb the prey's burden of DDT. This process leads to an increasing concentration of DDT in the higher links of the food chain. And since DDT has a high chronic toxicity -- that is, long-term exposure is likely to cause various physiological abnormalities -- this bioaccumulation has profound implications for both ecological and human health.

That's "Lord" Monckton for you -- wrong every time, even as he rants that "the left" is "wrong about everything."


Posted by Terry K. at 8:53 AM EDT
Tuesday, August 18, 2015
Non-Stunner: WND Pushes Discredited Anti-Vaxxer Nonsense Again
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily loves its anti-vaxxer fearmongering, so it's no surprise that it hasn't given up the battle despite it being repeatedly discredited. From an unbylined Aug. 16 WorldNetDaily article:

U.S. Rep. Bill Posey, R-Fla., created a firestorm on Capitol Hill recently when he presented evidence the Centers for Disease Control destroyed data linking the MMR vaccine, (measles, mumps and Rubella) and autism.

Posey based his indictment on the allegations of Dr. William Thompson, a 17-year veteran of the CDC, who became a whistleblower and charged in a report by Robert E. Kennedy Jr. that was published on WND his superiors pressured him to manipulate data in order to conceal possibly harmful side effects of the MMR vaccine.

It was in August 2014, Thompson alleged, the CDC hid data which revealed the MMR vaccine caused an increased risk of autism when administered to children younger than three years old, with an even greater risk for African-American children.

Thompson stated he led or co-led three major vaccine safety studies while working for the CDC. After finding the risks for autism and the disproportionate impact on black children, Thompson charged:

"All the authors and I met and decided sometime between August and September 2002 not to report any race effects from the paper. Sometime soon after the meeting, we decided to exclude reporting any race effects. The co-authors scheduled a meeting to destroy documents related to the study.

"The remaining four co-authors all met and brought a big garbage can into the meeting room, and reviewed and went through all the hardcopy documents that we had thought we should discard, and put them into a huge garbage can.

As we pointed out when Newsmax peddled this story, Thompson's claims have been discredited. As Forbes notes, reanalysis of the data Thompson claims was thrown away -- Thompson claims to have made his own copies, and the CDC kept it as well -- does not draw the same conclusion Thompson did, undermining his conspiracy theory.

Unlike WND -- whose editor, Joseph Farah, nevertheless delusionally insists his "reporters and editors are always encouraged and required to seek out multiple sources and contrary viewpoints in news articles" -- Forbes reached out to the main figures in the story for comment: Thompson, Posey and the CDC. Thompson refused to comment,  the CDC says it's reviewing Thompson's claims, and Posey's office insisted it was directly quoting Thompson.

Instead, WND reached out of one its favorite anti-vaxxers, the right-wing-fringe-associated Dr. Lee Hieb. And she doesn't disappoint, calling everyone who opposes exemptions for children to receive vaccines Nazis. No, really:

"Look, there is no reason to give an infant a hepatitis B vaccine, for example. This is the government imposing an unneeded medical procedure, one that has risks, unnecessarily, on small children whose bodies may not be ready for it. And then they tell us we are not even allowed to discuss the data surrounding these issues. Indeed, the CDC may have actually destroyed the data.

Hieb is lying. The data were never destroyed -- the CDC always had a copy of it outside of Thompson's possession. As Forbes points out:

The events described in that quote occurred between “August and September ’02.” In 2002—and well before that time—data and analyses weren’t retained only in hard copy versions. Indeed, hard copies of anything were and are fairly irrelevant for record-keeping, and scientists tend to rely on well-backed-up digital versions for archiving.

The idea that a group of scientists working for the US government in 2002 would somehow think that they could conceal data by discarding hard copies of anything defies belief and makes no sense given that the data were still available from the CDC. This isn’t fiction film noir–it’s a multilevel bureaucracy with multiple levels of data backup, archiving, and storage. Digital copies of data are absolutely critical for protecting data integrity, per the US Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Research Integrity.

But WND's not interested in the truth if there's a conspiracy that can be perpetuated.


Posted by Terry K. at 6:04 PM EDT
CNS Reporter Again Falsely Claims Obama Won't Compromise
Topic: CNSNews.com

In her Aug. 12 CNSNews.com article noting former White House economic adviser Austan Goolsbee's statement that Donald Trump is too "thin-skinned" tobe president, Susan Jones makes sure to include this sneering editorial comment:

President Obama has been described as thin-skinned by people, including former Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, who have opposed his my-way-or-the-highway approach to governing.

As we noted the last time Jones claimed Obama was not interested in compromise, his record is excatly the opposite -- the PolitiFact website has a full seven pages of examples of Obama compromising to achieve his policy goals. And Jones omits the fact that Republicans have refused to compromise with Obama.

The sole evidence Jones offers of Obama being "thin-skinned" is of the Arizona governor, a Republican, saying that on Fox News, so she's hardly an objective source. Jones does serve up other purported examples, but they are responses to criticism, not necessarily actual "thin-skinned" behavior.

By contrast, Jones seems a little thin-skinned herself in an Aug. 12 CNS blog post in which she seemed to be weirdly offended by a pharmacy chain in Sweden -- whose policies have no effect on her whatsoever as an American -- planning to offer adhesive bandages for darker skin. Jones does note that "Adhesive bandages come in many colors and patterns in the United States; those designed for darker skin tones are also available online," though she didn't explicitly say whether that offended her as well.

Apparently, thin-skinnedness is bad only if you're a Democrat.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:51 AM EDT
Monday, August 17, 2015
WND Lets Gallups Deceive About Likening Obama to Antichrist
Topic: WorldNetDaily

An Aug. 13 WorldNetDaily article by Cheryl Chumley promotes WND's favorite conspiracy theory -- that President Obama is the Antichrist -- by altering it a bit. It's now citing random evangelists who say "President Obama isn’t the Antichrist – but he sure is 'paving the way' for him."

Note this bit of slippery wording from Chumley on the part of WND author Carl Gallups:

As Carl Gallups, author of the newly released “Final Warning: Understanding the Trumpet Days of Revelation,” and co-author with Charl Van Wyk of the upcoming “Be Thou Prepared: Equipping the Church for the Persecution and Times of Trouble,” told Fox News Radio host Alan Colmes in a past interview: An antichrist spirit can be present in many.

He told Colmes: “I have never claimed to believe that Obama is the antichrist. However, I have said that Obama certainly displays an alarmingly powerful antichrist spirit.”

But in the December 2013 interview with Colmes in which Gallups made that claim, he was more emphatic, asserting that "I have never proclaimed that Obama's the antichrist." And that is simply a lie.

A July 2009 WND article by Joe Kovacs promoted a YouTube video by someone using the name "ppsimmons" who claimed that an interpretation of various Bible verses by plucking out words and translating back into Hebrew indicates that Obama is the Antichrist. 

As we now know, "ppsimmons" is a pseudonym for Gallups, though he was anonymous in that WND article. In it, the then-anonymous Gallups tried to create some plausible deniability for being linked to the video: “I’m not proclaiming he is the antichrist, or that I’m some kind of a Hebrew expert, but the word associations are indisputable. The Hebrew word for lightning is ‘Baraq’ and the word for heights or high places is ‘Bamah.’”

Well, actually, by making the video, Mr. Gallups, you are in fact proclaiming that Obama is the antichrist.

In his Colmes interview, Gallups tried to distance himself further from that video he made, declaring that "All I did was made the video presentation of that linguistic presentation that other people had discovered because it's thought-provoking, that's all." When Colmes called Gallups out on spreading the idea of Obama as the Antichrist, Gallups again insisted that he never claimed Obama is the Antichrist, only an antichrist, and he again refused to apologize for making the video.

Given that Gallups is also a birther and buddy of cold case posse chief Mike Zullo, it's in his interest to denigrate the president at every opportunity.

Gallups is a dishonest man who has no problem decieving and lying to promote his particular brand of hate. No wonder WND loves him.


Posted by Terry K. at 4:10 PM EDT
MRC Censors Ben Carson's Fetal Research
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center is all over the secret, deceptively edited videos by anti-abortion activists regarding Planned Parenthood's use of fetal remains for research. The news that a Republican presidential candidate used fetal tissue in his research? Not so much.

In fact, the MRC has effectively censored the news that a medical study conducted in part by Ben Carson used fetal tissue. Further, Carson has defended his fetal-tissue research even as he has hypocritically joined in right-wing attacks on Planned Parenthood for providing fetal tissue for the kind of research he conducted.

You won't read about any of that at any MRC website, though. For instance, CNSNews.com prominently placed on its front page two articles attacking abortion and Planned Parenthood:

Neither article mentions Carson's fetal tissue research, even though that story broke the very same day those articles appeared. Nor has it reported on Carson's research in another article. It's as if CNS is trying to cover up the story.

Indeed, an Aug. 17 CNS article by Patrick Goodenough highlights how Carson "made an fervent case for talking about God" -- but, again, made no mention of Carson's fetal research.

Meanwhile, an Aug. 14 NewsBusters post by Claire Chretien complains that the Associated Press did an article noting that scientists have called fetal tissue essential for research, whining that the AP "promoted what might cure ailments, not what has." Chretien made no reference to Carson's fetal-tissue research -- nor has any other NewsBusters post.

The fact that the MRC is censoring the Carson fetal-research story tells us that the whole Planned Parenthood is not about fetal tissue used for research -- as the right-wing media keeps telling us -- but solely about trying to destroy a political enemy.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:03 AM EDT
Sunday, August 16, 2015
Clay Waters' NY Times Derangement Syndrome
Topic: Media Research Center

Oh, Clay Waters. What would we do without you? Have fewer posts, for one.

Waters spends a July 28 NewsBusters post doing what he strangely likes to do, complain that the New York Times labels conservatives as conservatives:

Jackie Calmes, one of the New York Times' most reliably pro-Democratic, Obama-supporting reporters, lit into the "conservative media" as leading the Republican Party to perdition in her Tuesday "Political Memo," "As the G.O.P. Base Clamors for Confrontation, Candidates Oblige."

Calmes' story was packed with labeling bias and dismissive, hostile portrayals of conservatives as angry, robotic followers of Rush Limbaugh and the like. There were an impressive 24 "conservative" labels in her 1,167-word story (almost beating the common conjunction "and," which appeared 29 times).

Wait -- it's "labeling bias" to accurate describe conservatives as conservatives? That's a new one.

This being the MRC, Waters doesn't actually bother to counter anything Calmes writes; he just complains that the mere fact it was written is an act of bias in itself. Check out this rant:

Calmes forwarded the liberal talking point of the conservative "echo chamber," though such a concept might apply more to liberals who get their news solely from the New York Times, MSNBC, or Comedy Central:

But spreading that notion is the conservative media, which has expanded in recent years, on air and online, to become many conservatives’ sole source of news, according to the Pew Research Center.

As opposed to liberals, who would never get their political talking points solely from Jon Stewart or MSNBC hosts like Rachel Maddow or Chris Hayes?

Of course, the goal of Calmes' article was not to make such a comparison -- it was to outline how the conservative media works. But Waters wants to district you from Calmes' valid observation -- and at no point does he deny that the conservative media echo chamber exists.

Waters' post is headlined "Anti-Conservative Hostility of the New York Times's Jackie Calmes Edges Toward Parody." Actually, it's Waters' hostility to the Times that has ventured well into parody territory.

Waters makes his Times derangement even more clear in a July 30 post railing at Calmes' report on the right-wing media for the Shorenstein Center at Harvard's Kennedy School, which Waters sneered was an "exhaustive 16,000-word report with the oh-so-objective title, ''They Don't Give a Damn about Governing' -- Conservative Media’s Influence on the Republican Party,' blaming the 'far right' for killing the moderate, pragmatic GOP, while dismissing the very idea of a liberal mainstream media."

In none of Waters' railing, however, does he attempt to contradict anything Calmes wrote, let alone her central thesis that the conservative media (of which Waters is a part), not the Republican Party, is driving the Republican agenda and pulling it rightward.

Waters was so incensed by Calmes' report that he devoted a second post to it, this time huffing that "Calmes offered a skewed history of talk radio, and saw the dark shadow of right-wing hate hovering over its birth."But beyond offering a more nuanced version of Father Charles Coughlin than Calmes did, Waters again never contradicts her central thesis or main conclusions.

The only message we can gather from all of Waters' ranting is that he thinks only conservatives should be allowed to analyze conservative media. Of course, his ranting shows he doesn't believe in the full logic of that stance: that conservatives have no business analyzing "liberal media." Such logic would put the MRC out of business, after all.

This is what the state of "media research" has become at the MRC these days.

P.S. Fun fact about Waters: Since losing his full-time gig as the MRC's professional Times-basher (he's now freelancing this stuff for NewsBusters), Waters has been writing Agatha Christie-inspired mysteries. Curiously, the list of other writing he does on his personal website makes no mention of his MRC work, though it links to his work at right-wing websites like PJ Media and National Review.


Posted by Terry K. at 7:29 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, August 16, 2015 7:55 PM EDT
Saturday, August 15, 2015
Bozell's Laughable Claim: Clinton Email Kerfuffle Is '100 Times More Serious' Than Watergate
Topic: Media Research Center

In an Aug. 12 NewsBusters post, Melissa Mullins mocked the Washington Post for reporting a poll finding that "Apparently, parenthood is so devastating that it’s even 'worse than divorce, worse than unemployment, and worse even than the death of a partner,'" calling it little more than "clickbait." But when the Media Research Center has a hyperbolic claim to make, clickbait is just fine.

The same day as Mullins' post, NewsBusters posted a clip of MRC chief Brent Bozell laughably asserting that the manufactured "scandal" over Hillary Clinton's private email server is "100 times more serious" than Watergate.

According to who? Based on what? Bozell never says what his metrics are or how he came up with the "100 times more serious" formulation. Here's the full quote from Bozell:

I go back to Nixon and the Watergate tape is 17 and a half minutes log long. His entire presidency was destroyed because of this. Now, compare that to what we're learning about Hillary Clinton. Which is 100 times more serious. And yet it was fixation on Nixon and no coverage of this woman and the great irony of course is that she was on the Watergate judiciary committee investigation of Richard Nixon.

So Bozell thinks Watergate was only about the erased tape? Really? Apparently he forgot all about the rest of the scandal -- attempted bugging of Democratic headquarters by Nixon's re-election campaign (starring Bozell buddy and domestic terrorist G. Gordon Liddy) and Nixon's direct knowledge of, and involvement in, covering up its involvement in that and other clandestine operations. While there was an 18 1/2-minute gap in the Nixon White House tapes (Bozell can't even get the number correct) later found to have been deliberately erased, the tapes also revealed Nixon helping to orchestrate a coverup of the Watergate break-in by having the CIA block the FBI from investigating it.

By contrast, Clinton has not been accused  of committing a criminal offense, let alone of covering one up. The only thing Bozell cites is alleged handling of classified documents on an allegedly insufficiently secure server; he rants that "the intelligence communities inspector general says that she's holding onto classified material." In fact, it's unclear whether that material was classified at the time it was being circulated, and that the IG is effectively calling for retroactive classification.

Yet somehow, in Bozell's Clinton Derangement Syndrome-infected mind, this is "100 times more serious" than Watergate.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:15 AM EDT

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