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Friday, August 28, 2015
MRC's Double Standard on Presidential Interrupters
Topic: Media Research Center

Unsurprisingly, Media Research Center chief Brent Bozell took a dim view of Univision's Jorge Ramos interrupting Donald Trump at a press conference:

Jorge Ramos is a pro-amnesty activist masquerading as a journalist. The stunt he pulled at Donald Trump’s press conference reflects poorly on Univision -- again. Ramos is not a 'reporter' nor does he therefore have the 'right to ask questions.' Ramos embarrassed both himself and his profession by becoming the story with his unseemly antics. Those who expect a fair and honest debate on the policy issues impacting the U.S. Latino community should ignore Jorge Ramos.

Bozell was joined by MRC Latino director Ken Oliver-Mendez, who claimed that "Jorge Ramos clearly crossed the line between reporting and editorializing" and is "operating outside the confines of honest journalism."

It also shouldn't be a surprise, then, that Bozell doesn't feel the same when the interruptor is a conservative and the person being interrupted is a Democratic president.

A search through the MRC archives found no indication that Bozell said anything about a 2012 incident in which conservative Daily Caller reporter Neil Munro heckled President Obama during a news conference -- no declaration that Munro was an activist masquerading as a journalist, or that Munro embarrassed himself and his profession, or that Munro is operating outside the confines of honest journalism, or that conservatives who expect fair and honest journalism should ignore Munro.

Meanwhile, the rest of the MRC was more than happy to cheer Munro's stunt. Clay Waters mocked the New York Times for supposedly being "aghast at the audacity of a reporter from a conservative news site interrupting President Obama's Rose Garden speech."

At Newsbusters, Noel Sheppard tried to temper things by baselessly claiming that "we are by no means condoning Munro's behavior" (even though we could find no criticism of Munro by anyone at the MRC), but then tried to justify that same behavior: "As the Daily Caller is a conservative website, isn't it far more likely Munro doesn't agree with the new immigration policy the current White House resident was presenting that just so happens to be an edict without any approval from Congress?"

Tom Blumer huffed that Munro's stunt was hardly "the first time any reporter has ever shouted a question at a U.S. president out of turn," then touted Munro's defense "as well as sturdy defenses from Editor-in-Chief Tucker Carlson and Publisher Neil Patel." He concluded by whining of Munro's critics: "What a bunch of flaming, presidential boot-licking hypocrisy."

And Jack Coleman offered his own defense of Munro: "Henceforth the Obama administration might want to signal when questions will be allowed from the media and when reporters will be expected to emulate statuary." We suspect Coleman won't be asking Trump to make that same signal.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:06 PM EDT
WND Brings RFK Jr. Aboard As Anti-Vaxxer Columnist
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily and Robert F. Kennedy Jr. may not share the same political views, but they share common cause in promoting discredited anti-vaxxer rhetoric. So WND has rather belatedly welcomed Kennedy to its extremist fold, giving him the full columnist-with-bio treatment for his writings, as shown above. (That bio is so outdated, it refers to his radio show as airing on Air America Radio, which shut down five years ago.)

RFK Jr.'s Aug. 24 WND column is a screed against Forbes magazine for  putting a dent in his conspiracy theory that Poul Thorsen, a Danish scientist accused of stealing $1 million in federal grant money for his own use, is some sort of mastermind in the government/vaccine industry scheme to suppress evidence that vaccines don't cause autism. Here's a snippet showing the general tone of Kennedy's piece:

Dr. Thorsen is one of the co-authors and data manager for two leading foreign studies offered by CDC as the foundation of its claims that vaccines do not cause autism. Only purposeful misstatement or journalistic sloth can account for Willingham’s declaration that Thorsen’s conclusions “have not been called into question.” For over a decade, myriad critics have exposed those studies as brazen fraud.

Among those RFK Jr. as questioning those studies is the Journal for the American Physicians and Surgeons, the publication of the anti-vaxxer-friendly and far-right-fringe Academy of American Physicians and Surgeons -- hardly credible evidence. But as the Forbes article pointed out, Thorsen was not first author or senior author on those studies, which suggests that his contribution to them is not as significant as people like Kennedy claim. Further despite Kennedy's ranting that the Thorsen-linked studies are a "brazen fraud," Forbes points out that the studies and data "have not been called into question (through formal channels) or retracted."

Kennedy takes a cue from his new friends at WND and carefully crafts his outrage to avoid issues actually discussed in the Forbes article, like pointing out how Kennedy has asserted that Thorsen is "on the run from Interpol" despite living and working openly in Denmark (or, apparently, not actually being sought by Interpol), as well as the fact that Thorsen contributed to a paper recently published by an institute named for Kennedy's aunt, Eunice Kennedy Shriver. Forbes also notes that Kennedy and other anti-vaxxers aren't attacking Thorsen's research into things not related to vaccines and autism.

Kennedy also ignores Forbes' key argument: "If the charges are true, Thorsen bilked the US government, specifically the CDC, out of millions and used it to buy himself things. How that translates into a willingness to engage in a conspiracy with the CDC remains elusive."

But Kennedy's ability to rant to obfuscate the fact he's not actually responding to the issue shows that he has learned well from his new buddies at WND.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:49 AM EDT
Thursday, August 27, 2015
Ted Cruz Makes MRC Proud By Dismissing Megyn Kelly's Questions As 'Liberal'
Topic: Media Research Center

When Ted Cruz dismissed Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly's questions to him on immigration as something a "liberal journalist" would ask, the Media Research Center applauded it. After all, the evasion tactic is straight from the MRC playbook.

The MRC reinforces to conservatives that any tough question would want to ask them is, by definition, a "liberal" question and, thus, does not need to be answered. After all, conservatives know that they will never face tough questions when they appear on Fox News.

Here's how this works in practice, as seen through MRC blog posts and items:

  • Jeffrey Meyer claimed that in an interview with Ben Carson, "CBS This Morning’s Norah O’Donnell repeatedly hit the famed neurosurgeon from the left on abortion," though Meyer never explained how the question O'Donnell asked Carson -- whether he woudl ban abortions in the case of rape, incest, and life of the mother -- was "from the left." Still, Meyer praised Carson for having "pushed back against O’Donnell’s liberal question."
  • Meyer insisted that asking whether the Republian Party has issues with women and minority voters was a "liberal assertion," complaining that in an interview with Republian Gov. Nikki Haley, CBS' O'Donnell "made sure to push the liberal line about whether or not the GOP has a 'problem with women voters?'"
  • Rich Noyes declared that CBS anchor Scott Pelley was pestering House speaker John Boehner with "obnoxious liberal questions," like whether President Obama deserves any credit for an improving economy or if "just sending bills up to the White House that are gonna get vetoed" is an effective way to govern.
  • MRC chief Brent Bozell sneered that during a Republican debate, NBC's Brian Williams "pounded Ron Paul like a haughty Swedish socialist to defend his libertarian views." Bozell offered no examples of these allegedly "haughty Swedish socialist" questions.
  • Bozell's lieutenant, Tim Graham, complained that in the same debate, Williams asked "nasty, shamelessly liberal questions," but the only one he cited was asking Rick Perry if he "struggled to sleep at night" over the idea that any of the 234 inmates on death row executed under Perry's watch might have been innocent. Graham didn't explain how that question is "shamelessly liberal."
  • Rich Noyes wrote that in presidential candidate townhall debates, journalists favor "liberal questions" over "conservative questions." But Noyes offered no definition of what constituted a "liberal question" for thepurposes of his survey, beyond the vague notion that it's something that would "favor liberal causes."

Notice a pattern there? The MRC effectively defines the nebulous "liberal question" to a conservative candidate as nothing more than a tough question that challenges them to explain their views. Because they don't want to answer the question anyway, deflecting it as a "liberal question" gives them an excuse not to answer it, as well as having the side benefit of playing to the base, whom the MRC and other conservative organizations have spent millions of dollars over the past few decades conditioning to despise as "liberal media" any outlet that dares try to ask tough questions of conservatives.

So of course Cruz would invoke the MRC-approved tactic of deflecting a question he didn't want to answer as something a "liberal journalist" would ask, even though the idea that anyone would consider Megyn Kelly a "liberal journalist" strains logic.

But then, the MRC seems content to throw its conservative friends at Fox News under the bus for the sake of ideological purity; it was curiously silent about the questions Fox anchors asked at the recent Republican presidential debate after they proved a little too challenging for some of the candidates. Perhaps it had to stay silent; this was the debate setup the MRC wanted after years of complaints that Republicans were holding debates on non-Fox news channels where they are in danger of those nebulous "liberal" questions.

The MRC conditions conservative candidates to dismiss tough questions as "liberal." Ted Cruz showed the results of that conditioning.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:49 AM EDT
Wednesday, August 26, 2015
WND Buried White Racist Shooter's Manifesto, Plays Up Black Racist Shooter's Manifesto
Topic: WorldNetDaily

 

When white shooter Dylann Roof murdered nine blacks in a Charleston, S.C. church in June in the hopes of starting a race war, WorldNetDaily wasn't much interested in covering the story -- perhaps because his racial views mirrored WND's editorial agenda. News of the discovery of Roof's manifesto, in which he echoed WND's concerns over "black-on-white crime," support for George Zimmerman and lament for the end of apartheid in South Africa, merited only an article stolen from the Daily Mail just a few paragraphs long, plus a Jack Cashill column speculating that Roof didn't actually write it.

 

But a black person who shoots white people for apparently racial reasons? WND is on it.

An Aug.  26 WND article by Bob Unruh blares as its headline a quote from the apparent manifesto of Vester Lee Flanagan, a black man who shot a Virginia TV correspondent and her cameraman, both white, during a live broadcast before killing himself: "You want a race war [expletive]? BRING IT THEN YOU WHITE [expletive]!"

While WND is eager to play up the racial aspects of this shooting -- its coverage of the Flanagan shooting also includes highlighting Rush Limbaugh claiming the media is conflicted over the shooting because the shooter is black and a video-embedded item luridly titled, "See shooter killing news TV crew" -- it's still pretty squeamish about Roof's massacre. Unruh nots that Flanagan "wrote that the murder of black people at the South Carolina church in June pushed him over the edge," but he doesn't explain the circumstances of that shooting. Later, Unruh acknowledges the full context of the headline quote, that Flanagan was directly responding to Roof's call for a race war. Unruh then added, "Reports said Roof killed blacks because he wanted a race war" -- but doesn't note that Roof was the Charleston shooter, or that among the outlets issuring "reports" on Roof's intent was his employer.

(Meanwhile, Joseph Farah's column lamenting "the tragic and mysterious shooting ... that took the lives of a young TV reporter and her cameraman" is more than slightly contradicted by his website's enthusiasm for touting the graphic video of the shooting. Farah solemnly calls it "reality television at its most gruesome" -- but he's going to milk this tragedy for every eyeball he can draw to his website to watch it.)

So, to sum up: A white racist shooter isn't news at WND, while a black racist shooter is. But you knew that already.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:17 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, August 26, 2015 9:57 PM EDT
CNS' Hollingsworth Turns In Another One-Source Wonder
Topic: CNSNews.com

Just as Penny Starr is a propagandist for the anti-abortion industry, fellow CNSNews.com "reporter" Barbara Hollingsworth is a reliable propagandist for climate change deniers, as we've documented. She's at it again in an Aug. 20 article regurgitating the claims of another climate denier:

We have a “moral imperative” to burn carbon dioxide-emitting fossil fuels because the energy they provide is a “liberator” of humanity, says Dr. John Christy, a climatologist and director of the Earth System Science Center at the University of Alabama, Huntsville.

“We are not morally bad people for taking carbon and turning it into the energy that offers life to humanity in a world that would otherwise be brutal,” Christy wrote in a recent oped. "On the contrary, we are good people for doing so."

He also challenged what he says are contradictions in Pope Francis’ encyclical, Laudato Si, in which the pontiff called climate change “one of the principal challenges facing humanity in our day.”

The pope’s encyclical “displays a lack of understanding of how the real world works,” Christy told CNSNews.com. According to microwave data from satellites going back to 1978, which are precise to within .08 of a degree, “very little warming is taking place,” he pointed out.

(Weirdly, Hollingsworth pulls her version of Christy's "recent oped" for an Alabama newspaper out of the Internet Archive, even though it's still live on the newspaper's website.)

This being a Hollingsworth special, she breaks CNS' mission statement to "fairly present all legitimate sides of a story" and offers no views in her article other than Christy's and quotes nobody other than Christy.

Thus, Hollingsworth's readers will never learn that Christy's claims about climate change -- many of which she repeats in her article -- have been repeatedly discredited.

But instead of pointing that Christy's claims are disputed at best, Hollingsworth presents them as undisputed truth -- ironic, since the gist of the article is to dispute facts about climate science.

A longtime rallying cry of climate deniers is to "teach the controversy." Hollingsworth doesn't want her readers to know there is one, at least on the denier side -- otherwise, she would have talked to someone to rebut Christy's claims.

Thus, she's acting like deniers claim climate change advocates act. Ironic, isn't it?


Posted by Terry K. at 8:50 AM EDT
Tuesday, August 25, 2015
NewsBusters Blogger Swings At Margaret Sanger, Whiffs
Topic: NewsBusters

We've highlighted how much NewsBusters blogger and right-wing pundit wannabe Dylan Gwinn cheers for gay pro athletes to fail. Perhaps he should stick to his sports, because he's even worse when he ventures off that reservation.

Gwinn devoted an Aug. 17 NewsBusters post to whining about a now-deleted post by "billionaire lib" Mark Cuban defending Planned Parenthood over factually dubious attacks by Republican Ben Carson:

The limousine liberal Cuban might as well have deleted the tweet and distanced himself from the link, because the NPR piece made an atrociously disingenuous defense of Sanger and Planned Parenthood. After identifying Sanger as a member of the eugenics movement – a movement dedicated to ensuring that poor and poorly educated people did not reproduce – NPR described Sanger as “paternalistic” towards blacks, not necessarily racist.

The piece cites an article Sanger wrote in 1946 about “… giving ‘Negro’ parents a choice in how many children they would have.”

“The Negro race has reached a place in its history when every possible effort should be made to have every Negro child count as a valuable contribution to the future of America,” she wrote. “Negro parents, like all parents, must create the next generation from strength, not from weakness; from health, not from despair.”

Hmm, if it’s important for “all parents” to only reproduce only from strength and never from weakness, then why did Sanger feel it necessary to pen a letter specifically referencing black people?

If Gwinn had bothered to closely read the NPR fact-check he cites in his mindless bashing of Cuban, he would have noticed that the 1946 Sanger piece on Negroes appeared in a publication called the Negro Digest. If Wikipedia is to be believed, the Negro Digest "was similar to the Reader's Digest but aimed to cover positive stories about the African-American community."

In other words, Sanger was "specifically referencing black people" because she was writing the article for a publication targeted at black people. So much for Gwinn's sinister racist conspiracy theory.

Gwinn then added, "And NPR failed to mention Sanger’s characterization of blacks as 'human weeds.'" He doesn't explain that's because there's no evidence Sanger ever actually said such a thing.

Gwinn links to an anti-abortion website that claims this statement came from Sanger's "Pivot of Civilization." In fact, the term "human weeds" appears nowhere in the book.

Then Gwinn gets totally contradictory:

The fact check referenced a report from the Guttmacher Institute, which stated that 60 percent of Planned Parenthood abortion clinics are actually in majority white neighborhoods, as opposed to black, which would seem to refute one element of what Carson said. But Guttmacher was once the research arm of Planned Parenthood, and it is explicitly pro-abortion. According to an interactive map created by the pro-life group Protecting Black Life, “79% of [Planned Parenthood’s] surgical abortion facilities are located within walking distance of African American or Hispanic/Latino neighborhoods.”

But if we shouldn't trust the Guttmacher Institute's because it's "explicitly pro-abortion," shouldn't we similarly distrust Protecting Black Life because it's explicitly anti-abortion?

Actually, there's a good reason we shouldn't trust that map: as we've previously noted, the map's very generous definition of "within walking distance" is two miles, and many of those black and Latino neighborhoods are on the far fringe of that radius.

Gwinn follows that up by getting really stupid:

Billionaire libs like Mark Cuban are so busy trying to take shots at Republicans, while making themselves appear to be so enlightened, that they miss both forest and tree. Abortion is phasing black people out in cities and states all over the country. Only when reactionary libs like Cuban start caring more about that than scoring points with other reactionary libs on twitter can we say that all black lives matter.

Actually, the black fertility rate is currently hovering around 2.0, which is effectively the replacement rate, meaning that the black population in the U.S. is steady, not that "abortion is phasing black people out."

If Gwinn really thinks black lives matter, he might want to try and do something about the black infant mortality rate, which is more than double that of whites and Hispanics and has nothing to do with abortion.

Those black lives probably don't matter to Gwinn since he can't reduce them to a sound bite-friendly right-wing talking point.


Posted by Terry K. at 5:32 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, August 31, 2015 7:59 PM EDT
CNS' Starr Peddles Pastors' Falsehoods, Adds One Of Her Own
Topic: CNSNews.com

Penny Starr is a terrible reporter. That's because while that may be her position in the scheme of things in the "news" structure that CNSNews.com uses, she's not really a reporter at all -- she's a propagandist, content to regurgitate whatever right-wing talking points are on the day's agenda at her employer, the Media Research Center.

Second, even as a pretend reporter Starr is terrible -- she doesn't fact-check or even, apparently, review her work once she types it. We've already caught Starr repeatedly misspelling the name of a person she devoted an entire article to. CNS corrected the name after we highlighted the misspelling; it seems CNS doesn't have any in-house copy-editors (or any competent ones, anyway) to catch such incompetence before publication, even though the MRC is a multimillion-dollar organization.

Starr's shoddiness and unwillingness to fact-check comes through again in a series of articles in which she attempts to manufacture another attack on the Smithsonian for displaying art she doesn't personally like.

In an Aug. 7 CNS article, Starr touts how a previously unknown "group of black pastors sent a letter to the director of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Portrait Gallery asking that the bust of Planned Parenthood Founder Margaret Sanger be removed from the museum’s 'Struggle for Justice' exhibit, citing her support for eugenics and the targeting of minorities by the nation’s largest abortion provider."

Despite CNS' mission statement to "fairly present all legitimate sides of a story," Starr can't be bothered to do so here. For instance, she fails to explain that the head of this pastors' group, E.W. Jackson, is a notorious homophobe, declaring that gays are “very sick people psychologically, mentally and emotionally” and asserting that God will punish America for advancing marriage equality.

The irony of a hater like Jackson lecturing us about someone else's purported hate is quite thick, but Starr can't or won't see it.

Starr also makes this claim that she attributes to the pastors: "The letter also states that 70 percent of Planned Parenthood abortion clinics are in minority neighborhoods and provides a link to a map documenting this fact."

Actually, that isn't a "fact" at all -- it's a lie. The Guttmacher Institute conducted a census of all known abortion providers in the U.S. in 2011, and found that 60 percent of them were in majority white neighborhoods, and that fewer than one in ten are located in neighborhoods where more than half of the residents are black.

On top of that, what Starr claimed the pastors said about that isn't what they actually said. The pastors' letter attached to Starr's article claims that Planned Parenthood is "locating 70% of its abortion facilities within in [sic] or near black and Latino communities."

We added the italics on "or near" to highlight the fudge factor in this statement. According to the website the pastors use to support this claim, "near" (or "within walking distance" in the website's terminology) is defined as a two-mile radius of the facility, and it seems that more often than not, those black and Latino neighborhoods are on the fringe of that two-mile radius.

Starr can't even get her own propaganda straight. 

Speaking of propaganda, Starr uncritically repeats the pastors' claim that "the notorious ‘Negro Project,’ which sought to limit, if not eliminate black births, was [Sanger's] brainchild." Starr goes on to repeat a notoriously out-of-context claim by Sanger about the Negro Project, that “We do not want word to get out that we want to exterminate the Negro population and the minister is the man who can straighten out the idea if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members.”

A Washington Post fact check notes that this passage "is frequently taken out of context to suggest Sanger was seeking to exterminate blacks," and that in fact the project -- which was about birth control, not the attempt to "eliminate black births" the pastors dishonestly claim it is -- sought to recruit black leaders for the effort to allay suspicions blacks might have had about whites like Sanger being involved.

Despite these claims being exaggerated or completely false, Starr repeats them in an Aug. 13 article. And an Aug. 20 article by Starr repeats the dishonest attack on the "Negro Project" again, though not the completely false "70 perent" claim.

Not only is Starr peddling her own false claims, she gives Jackson and the other pastors a pass on the dishonest claims they make; she makes no effort whatsoever to do even the most basic fact-check (or, it seems, checking her own work against the stuff she's cribbing it from).

That's why Starr is a terrible reporter. But her lies make her a passable propagandist, and that's why she will continue to have a job at CNS.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:57 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, August 25, 2015 3:03 PM EDT
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

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