MRC Loves Fox-Hosted Debate, Because Of Course It Would Topic: Media Research Center
We've documented how the Media Research Center demanded that that Fox News right-wingers host Republican presidential debates and they got their wish -- which meant a lot of tongue-biting when Fox News' Megyn Kelly suddenly started acting like a real journalist and challenged the candidates. But then Fox Business was given a debate and it stuck to the GOP script and Brent Bozell was happy again.
Well, Fox Business got to hold another Republican debate. Since it knows who butters its bread, it again stuck to the GOP script and got its cookie -- er, praise.
Not that there wasn't a tense moment or two. MRC chief Brent Bozell tweeted at one point during the debate, "Again tonight, the Fox anchors are not avoiding the topics the liberal media would pick. Suggesting GOP is extreme, even."
Bozell seems not to understand that if biased right-wingers are bringing up a "liberal media" issue, maybe it's not really a "liberal madia" issue.
But the Fox Business moderators more than made up for it by showing their right-wing bias. NewsBusters' Ken Shepherd cheered Maria Bartiromo's "great question" about Bernie Sanders, in reality a softball to set up right-wing talking points: "So what does it say about our country that a candidate who is a self-avowed socialist and who doesn't think a 90 percent tax rate is too high, could be the Democratic nominee?"
Meanwhile, Bozell and the MRC gave a complete pass to moderator Neil Cavuto bizarrely suggesting that the 2008 financial crisis started under President Obama, not Republican President George W. Bush.
Having thus pandered to the right-wingers, the Fox Business moderators got back into Bozell's good graces, dedicating threefulltweets to slobbering over how well it went: "My congratulations to @TeamCavuto tonight....well done, my friend, well done. Yours was the best of them all tonight. It was riveting."
Bozell would like to keep appearing on Fox News and Fox Business, after all.
UPDATE: Bozell was undoubtedly happy that Ted Cruz went into media-bashing mode, dismissing a New York Times article exposing Ted Cruz's failure to disclose a campaign loan he received through Goldman Sachs as a "hit piece." So much so, we're guessing, that the MRC's Curtis Houck dutifully transcribed it while refusing to dispute any aspect of the Times story.
WND Cheerleads For DDT Return To Kill (DDT-Resistant) Bedbugs Topic: WorldNetDaily
The ConWeb is undulyfond of DDT, thinking that reversing its ban would solve all our problems. WorldNetDaily is part of that DDT mob. In an unbylined Jan. 10 article about how hard it is to kill bedbugs, WND includes this line:
Older Americans remember a time when the country was virtually free of the pests. DDT killed them. But then DDT was banned. No other pesticide was as effective. And, despite the environmental fears DDT raised, it was relatively safe for humans.
Actually, the "environmental fears" about DDT are very real -- DDT persists in the environment and damages wildlife, particularly fish. Whether it's "relatively safe for humans" is beside the point.
WND fails to mention that there's a good reason why DDT isn't brought back to attack bedbugs: it doesn't work on them anymore. Expertsagree that most bedbugs are immune to DDT.
The WND article also has a misleading headline: 'Invasion of the KILLER bedbugs." But bedbugs don't kill -- though, as the article notes, people have been killed in attempting to eradicate the pesky bugs.
The Hateful Gainor: MRC Official Pens Anti-Tarantino Screed Topic: Media Research Center
Roger Ebert he ain't.
Media Research Center official Dan Gainor begins his Jan. 13 purported review of the new Quentin Tarantino film "The Hateful Eight" in mean-spirited style: "Spoiler Warning: If your life is so dull that you want to waste three hours of it watching this awful movie, this article reveals some key details."
Gainor does indeed spoil the film's ending for no good reason. Rather than serving up an actual review, he looks at the film as a right-wing apparatchik would, documented all the instances of violence in it (as if Tarantino didn't have a sufficient enough track record that this would surprise people), sniffing, "It’s 'Ten Little Indians' for sociopaths and sadists. A snuff film with big name stars."
Gainor spends a good part of his so-called review attacking Tatantino personally for committing the one thing that's even more offensive to Gainor than making violent movies: supporting gun control.
Gainor concludes: "Tarantino clearly aimed for shock, but settled on schlock. And the only people he seems really hateful toward, other than police and conservatives, are his viewers." Well, Gainor certainly does know hate, having spewed it throughout his so-called review.
WND Grows Bored With Oregon Rancher Militia Standoff Topic: WorldNetDaily
In 2014, WorldNetDaily was all over the Cliven Bundy ranch standoff and stood by him even after he proved to be kind of a racist and his standoff attracted thuggish militia members, one of whom was plotting to use women as human shields for the militia thugs.
Fast forward to this month, where a new standoff involving ranchers agitating against the federal government -- and led by one of Bundy's sons -- is taking place with the illegal occupation of a wildlife refuge office. And WND doesn't seem that interested in it.
Oh, it was at first, pounding out a bunch of articles about it. An unbylined article purported to recount "the story behind the Oregon armed standoff," whitewashing the deeds of the ranchers purportedly being defended by the militia in Oregon, Dwight and Steven Hammond, whose resentencing on arson charges to follow mandatory minimum sentences as at the center of the dispute. WND uncritically repeated spin that a 2001 fire started by the Hammonds was started "on their property" and merely "ran off the Hammond land." In fact, as prosecutors pointed out:
Witnesses at trial, including a relative of the Hammonds, testified the arson occurred shortly after Steven Hammond and his hunting party illegally slaughtered several deer on BLM property. Jurors were told that Steven Hammond handed out “Strike Anywhere” matches with instructions that they be lit and dropped on the ground because they were going to “light up the whole country on fire.” One witness testified that he barely escaped the eight to ten foot high flames caused by the arson. The fire consumed 139 acres of public land and destroyed all evidence of the game violations. After committing the arson, Steven Hammond called the BLM office in Burns, Oregon and claimed the fire was started on Hammond property to burn off invasive species and had inadvertently burned onto public lands. Dwight and Steven Hammond told one of their relatives to keep his mouth shut and that nobody needed to know about the fire.
Bob Unruh followed with an article with a skewed view of the situation as told by the only person he apparently interviewed, a representative of the right-wing Pacific Legal Foundation, who sneered that those critical of the ranchers were merely "sipping lattes" and those who support the government's ownership interests in the land are "green groupies."
There were a couple other stories as well, one touting a "case for civil disobedience in Oregon" and, perhaps more tellingly, an article highlighting that the Hammonds do not support the armed standoff and the head of another militia group declining to join in the standoff because of it.
And then, not much else. Near as we can tell, the last original article WND dedicated to the standoff was on Jan. 5. It published an article from the right-wing Daily Signal on the standoff on Jan. 9 (making sure to note that it was "with permission," because we know WND's record on content theft), and a Jan. 7 column by Ilana Mercer touted the ranchers' purported heroic qualities, but that's been pretty much it.
Why the change? Perhaps because WND is trying to promote itself as "the largest Chrtistian website in the world" and the armed takeover of someone else's property (even if it is the government's) is not exactly in keeping with Christian principles.
WND is also trying to get politicians to advertise on its website -- it even did an article earlier this week begging for ads and insisting that "you can’t afford to ignore the WND audience that can give you the edge over your opponent. Endorsing an takeover by armed terrorists is not something most politicians aren't down with.
These are also arguably the reasons WND is downplaying the Cruz birther case, even though it was a little over two years ago that WND editor Joseph Farah declared that he didn't think Cruz was eligible to be president (or Marco Rubio, for that matter).
It appears that WND is trying to tamp down its conspiratorial tendencies in order to attract (slightly) more mainstream advertisers. But given how throughly WND destroyed any shred of credibility it might have had trying to ruin Barack Obama, that's a tough task.
CNS' Laughably Twisted Coverage of Obama's State of the Union Address Topic: CNSNews.com
In a year-end fundraising email, Media Research Center chief Brent Bozell declared that his "news" division, CNSNews.com "exist[s] to lead by example." It's setting an example, all right -- of how to twist and distort a story for maximum right-wing bias.
Take a look at the two original articles CNS generated on President Obama's State of the Union speech. The first, credited anonymously to "CNSNews.com Staff," requires a full three ellipses to cobble together a supposedly inflammatory quote: "Obama Applauds: ‘Voices That Help Us See Ourselves…Not as Gay or Straight…But…Bound by a Common Creed’."
The apparent point of the article is outrage that Obama would describe gays as anything remotely equal to conservatives, since that's a violation of CNS' anti-gay agenda.
This anonymous writer -- why would CNS hide who the person is, since the entire staff seems to be quite proud of its hatred for gays -- is joined by an on-the-record writer, morning managing editor Susan Jones, who serves up a blog post that portrays things she thinks she heard in Obama's speech -- but weren't actually said -- as fact:
President Obama laid out his liberal vision for America Tuesday night, telling Americans that the state of the union is strong, but hinting it could be a whole lot stronger if everyone would just vote for people who agree with Obama's policies.
"The future we want — opportunity and security for our families; a rising standard of living and a sustainable, peaceful planet for our kids — all that is within our reach. But it will only happen if we work together. It will only happen if we can have rational, constructive debates. It will only happen if we fix our politics," Obama said.
Obama indicated that when he leaves office next year, he'll return to community organizing on a grand scale:
"I'll be right there with you as a citizen, inspired by those voices of fairness and vision, of grit and good humor and kindness that have helped America travel so far. Voices that help us see ourselves not first and foremost as black or white or Asian or Latino, not as gay or straight, immigrant or native born; not as Democrats or Republicans, but as Americans first, bound by a common creed. Voices Dr. King believed would have the final word — voices of unarmed truth and unconditional love."
Reminder: Jones, as a managing editor, handles actual news copy. Thus, she is leading by example -- though not the one boss Bozell wants to think she's setting.
WND Author Pens Another Anti-Education Screed Topic: WorldNetDaily
Alex Newman, if you'll recall, is the extremist WND author who thinks teachers are criminals. Well, he's back with another anti-education screed in a Jan. 4 WND column.
Newman rants against the recently passed Every Student Succeeds Act, but he never says exactly what he objects to,other than a kneejerk assumption that beausae it comes from the Obama administration, it must be bad.Despite his utter lack of evidence, Newman insists that the law is "yet another 1,061-page reason to yank their children out of government schools immediately. As if more reasons were really needed." Newman goes on to twist the most innocent statements into something out of context and, thus nefarious. For instance:
Quoting Nelson Mandela, [Education Secretary Arne] Duncan has also publicly referred to education as “the most powerful weapon” to “change the world.” Your kids, then, are being weaponized and brainwashed, and the man overseeing it all is bragging about it in public speeches.
In short, at this point, government schools are a lost cause.
For Christians, conservatives, libertarians, people with common sense – really for anyone who values real education rather than radical progressive and anti-Christian political indoctrination masquerading as schooling – Uncle Sam’s “schools” must be avoided like the plague.
Newman goes on to rhapsodize about homeschooling: "From much better academics and socialization to better college and employment prospects, homeschoolers literally have all of the advantages." Well, not necessarily; WND has defended manyterriblehomeschoolers over the years.
Newman concludes: "In short: Homeschool or die!" He makes sure not to mention that sometimes you get both.
CNS' Starr Keeps On Shilling For The Oil Industry Topic: CNSNews.com
We've detailed how fossil-fuel purveyors like ExxonMobil and T. Boone Pickens have donated generously to the Media Research Center, and how Penny Starr, reporter for MRC division CNSNews.com, has served as a loyal stenographer for those interests, paraticularly the American Petroleum Institute.
Starr performs her API stenography duty again in a Jan. 5 article uncritically promoting how, at a press conference, "American Petroleum Institute president and CEO Jack Gerard said Tuesday that federal government data show the United States will continue to rely on fossil fuels as its main source of energy for decades to come, despite efforts by environmentalists to work toward a goal of banning them." Starr went on to highlight how "Gerard said the U.S. was the world’s leader in gas and oil production while also leading the world in carbon reductions – thanks, in part, to increased production of fossil fuels, specifically liquefied natural gas (LNG)."
Despite the fact that the CNS mission statement claims that it "endeavors to fairly present all legitimate sides of a story," Starr quotes nobody else in her article except Gerard.
In other words, Starr's "news" article is no different in content and tone than an API press release. Given how often she fawningly writes about the lobbying organization, Starr may actually be on the API payroll for all we (and her readers) know.
WND's Birthers Mostly AWOL On Cruz Birther Case Topic: WorldNetDaily
For the past couple of years, WorldNetDaily -- the go-to outlet for Obama birthers needing a job -- has been aggressivelyavoiding talking about the eligibility of Ted Cruz for president. WND supports Cruz's campaign, after all; its refusal to apply to Cruz the constitutional principles it claimed it was applying to Obama demonstrates that the Obama birther campaign was all about personal destruction.
Now that the Cruz birther issue has blown up thanks to Donald Trump (WND's man of the year) pushing it, WND is far behind the curve.
A Jan. 7 WND article by Bob Unruh features John McCain throwing Cruz under the bus by perpetuating the issue, but he very carefully avoids mentioning the fact that the extremely narrow definition of "natural born citizen" WND has applied to Obama for years to prove Obama isn't eligible would render Cruz ineligible as well.
No mention of Vattel or Minor v. Happersett, the authorities WND previoiusly relied on for its "natural born citizen" definition. Instead, Unruh lamented thatthe Constitution "doesn't define 'natural born citizen,' and the Supreme Court has never clarified it," and asserted that "most modern-day legal analysts" say Cruz is eligible (but didn't mention that, by definition, Obama is also eligible).
Then two big birther stories broke over the weekend -- it was reported that Cruz's mother appeared on a list of Canadian citizens eligible to vote in the country four years after Cruz's birth, followed by the Cruz campaign releasing the birth certificate of the mother. These would be huge stories at WND had they involved Obama; instead, WND published only a brief summary about the birth certificate it stole from Breitbart, and it censored the voter-list story completely.
The only birther-related thing WND did all weekend was a column by Larry Klayman declaring that neither Cruz nor Marco Rubio are eligible (and, yes he does invoke Vattel and Minor v. Happersett). But he also declared that "Barack Hussein Obama is a Muslim under Shariah law thanks to his Muslim father" and called Cruz and Rubio "Cuban-American pale faces." WND has not promoted Klayman's declaration anywhere else on its website.
A Jan. 11 WND article by Douglas Ernst took a weird tangent, featuring aconstitutional law professor questioning Cruz's eligibility followed by Rush Limbaugh deffending Cruz: "It’s settled. Cruz’s mother was a citizen. Therefore, he is. Deal with it!" Again, no mention of the precedents WND cited to declare Obama ineligible, or the fact that WND had previously proudly proclaimed that Limbaugh is a birther -- which would seem to run counter to his current insistence that Cruz is eligible.
WND is still clearly afraid to do much with the Cruz birther story, lest its blatant hypocrisy on the issue be further exposed. A sad state for a "news" organization that purports to be "dedicated to uncompromising journalism" and proclaims itself as "the new American gold standard for news."
UPDATE: One more thing we forgot to note. Unruh wrote that "Trump also had supported questions into Obama’s eligibility back in the day, even opennig the door to the idea Obama was born in Kenya and his birth registered in Hawaii to allow him the advantages of American citizenship." But he didn't mention that WND was advising Trump on birther issues at the time.
Unruh doesn't mention what contact WND has had with Trump regarding Cruz birther issues.
NEW ARTICLE -- Slanties 2016: The Slant Awakens Topic: The ConWeb
There aren't many stars, but there's definitely a war going on in the ConWeb, with the usual misinformation and wackiness that entails. It's time once again to recognize their efforts. Read more >>
WND Quietly Deletes Article Falsely Claiming Hillary Says She Hates Israel Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily is the worst "news" organization in America, and its abysmal editing standards are just one reason.
On Jan. 10, WND posted an article with the provocative headline "New Hillary email dump: 'I hate Israel'."
WND's implication -- that Hillary Clinton is on record as saying she hates Israel -- would be news if not true. But it's not. The article, poorly written as it is, doesn't even support the headline.
The unbylined article tries to desperately to claim that it's "an explosive development" that Clinton received emails from adviser and friend Sidney Blumenthal. The lead paragraph asserts that "Hillary Clinton’s emails reveal the front-running Democrat for president received communications that say 'I hate Israel' from the son of her most trusted adviser," but that's not true either.
WND eventually explains that Blumenthal had emailed copies of articles written by his son, Max Blumenthal, that came from a book he wrote that, in WND's words, was "a widely criticized and rabidly anti-Semitic volume that castigated Israeli policies." WND offers no evidence to back up its claim beyond noting that "The Nation’s media editor Eric Alterman referred to it as the 'I Hate Israel handbook.'"
And that's where the "I hate Israel" quote comes from -- not from Clinton, not even from Blumenthal or his son, but from a critic of Max Blumenthal that may or may not have applied to the specific pieces sent Clinton's way.
WND loves to play fast and loose with the facts, but any student editor would have done a much better job handling this piece than WND did.
WND seems to have recognized this, if only after the fact -- the article was quietly deleted from WND not long after it was posted (though it was live long enough to accumulate at least 23 reader comments). It's still available in Google cache. WND has not offered a public explanation of why, let alone who wrote and edited the article or whether it will publicly apologize to Clinton for putting words into her mouth.
Here's the entire content of WND's deleted article:
NEW HILLARY EMAIL DUMP: 'I HATE ISRAEL' Communications with adviser reveal stance on Jewish nation
In an explosive development, Hillary Clinton’s emails reveal the front-running Democrat for president received communications that say “I hate Israel” from the son of her most trusted adviser.
As Clinton’s email scandals goes “nuclear” with more and more classified material coming to light, one disturbing trend is becoming apparent: Hillary’s deep contempt for the state of Israel in general, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in particular.
When the U.S. State Department released more than 5,000 pages of Clinton’s emails from her private server on New Year’s Eve, it included correspondence with her one-time advisor Sidney Blumenthal. The communications revealed an exchange regarding Israel, and Blumenthal cited the work of his son, journalist Max Blumenthal, a self-described “anti-Zionist” known for his radical anti-Israel views.
According to the Times of Israel, “In March 2010, Blumenthal plugged his son’s work – this time, playing up links between evangelical Pastor John Hagee and Netanyahu – in the context of an article (written by a different writer) discussing a controversial Pentagon briefing on U.S. relations with Israel and the Arab world. … The briefing had dealt with the lack of progress in resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and American concerns over a growing perception among Arab leaders that the US was incapable of standing up to Israel.”
The senior Blumenthal sent several articles written by his son and referenced the younger man’s plans to move to Israel for several months to write a book. “He tracks a lot of things that do not appear in the mainstream press,” he wrote to Hillary.
Just in time for the 2016 election, hear Hillary Clinton say she would NOT run for president, in “Hillary Unhinged” by Thomas Kuiper
Hillary then took the articles in question and instructed a staffer to print five copies “without the heading from Sid.” She noted the articles came from Max Blumenthal’s book “Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel,” a widely criticized and rabidly anti-Semitic volume that castigated Israeli policies. The Nation’s media editor Eric Alterman referred to it as the “I Hate Israel handbook” and wrote Blumenthal’s “case against the Jewish state is so carelessly constructed, it will likely alienate anyone but the most fanatical anti-Zionist extremists, and hence do nothing to advance the interests of the occupation’s victims.”
According to the Times of Israel, “Blumenthal also sent Clinton a piece by leftist Israeli Uri Avnery, who also analyzed the Pentagon briefing by leveling a damning critique against Netanyahu. Clinton asked Blumenthal, in response, how she should use this material in an upcoming talk she was supposed to have with the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).”
Blumenthal speculated on Netanyahu’s psychological makeup by suggesting his actions were motivated by a desperate attempt to live up to his father’s expectations.
In an email sent immediately after the May 2010 Israeli raid on the Gaza-bound Turkish ship Mavi Maramara in which nine activists were killed, Blumenthal referred to the operation as “Bibi’s Entebbe in reverse.” Noting that Netanyahu’s brother Yoni was “heroically killed” in the 1976 hostage rescue mission, he said the brothers’ father Benzion “adored” Yoni, while the younger Benjamin has always lived in his brother’s shadow. “Bibi desperately seeks his father’s approbation and can never equal his dead brother…(he) has never measured up,” Blumenthal suggested.
The senior Blumenthal continued to push his son’s anti-Israel views on Hillary. As noted by the Times of Israel, “In 2012, Blumenthal sent his son’s article in al-Akhbar, ‘The Bibi Connection,’ to Clinton, who then relayed it onward. The article emphasized Netanyahu’s intent to campaign against Obama’s reelection in 2012, arguing that ‘Netanyahu’s shadow campaign is intended to be a factor in defeating Obama and electing a Republican in his place.’ … The article reflected upon Netanyahu’s ties to prominent Republicans such as Newt Gingrich, as well as the prime minister’s right-wing pedigree. It noted that when his father, Benzion Netanyahu, ‘returned to Israel to launch a political career, the elder Netanyahu was rejected by Menachem Begin, the (then-)Likud Party leader, who, as right wing as he was, considered him dangerously extreme.’”
Hillary offered a “terse” response on some of Sidney Blumenthal’s policy suggestions regarding Israel, upon which he backed off. However, “Blumenthal could not keep Netanyahu out of his semi-retraction, hinting at missed peace opportunities by the Israeli leader: ‘Of course, if Bibi were to have engaged Syria in negotiations taking its previous gestures seriously …’ he wrote, before changing the subject without concluding the hypothetical.”
Learn more about the Hillary Clinton Investigative Justice Project, conceived by two veteran investigative journalists who plan to take their findings to state attorneys general in jurisdictions in which the nonprofit, tax-exempt Clinton Family Foundation does business
The email dump revealed Blumenthal was not the only one commenting on Middle East policy. Foreign-policy analyst Anne-Marie Slaughter, formerly the State Department’s director of policy planning, wrote to Clinton the “time was right” for the U.S. to recognize Palestine during the emerging of the Arab Spring.
“It would allow you and POTUS to have accomplished the goal POTUS laid out at UNGA last year and would make it much harder for Syrians, Iranians, even Saudis to use this issue to divert domestic opposition, strengthening the seismic shift across the region to create fault-lines around reform/no reform instead of Arabs/US-Israel,” wrote Slaughter.
The Times of Israel notes, “The emails also indicate the existence of a lengthy correspondence over attempts to reconcile Israel and Turkey following the events of the 2010 Gaza flotilla, but the emails are so heavily redacted as to expunge any clue as to what was actually discussed. … Another series details attempts in 2010 to broker direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, with significant input from the parties involved in the Arab Peace Initiative.”
With the increasingly incendiary situation in the Middle East in which the U.S. maintains a precarious diplomatic balance, some fear Clinton’s well-documented anti-Israel position might tip the balance in favor of terrorists.
We've asked WND editor Joseph Farah for an explanation of the editing process that allowed such a flawed, poorly written article to be published. We'll print his response if he chooses to provide one.
CNS' Unemployment Numbers Get A Little Less Distorted Topic: CNSNews.com
It seems someone at CNSNews.com is reading us after all.
Last month, we debunked CNS' obsession with twisting unemployment figures by playing up the labor force participation rate is dishonest (not to mention a meaningless measure of unemployment) because the majority of people who aren't working are doing it by choice -- they're retired or in school.
Sure enough, CNS' main story on the December unemployment figures, by Susan Jones, is all about the labor force participation rate. But wait -- what's this buried in the sixth paragraph of thte article? Why, it's the first-ever breakdown of the labor force participation rate:
Ahead of this month's unemployment numbers, the Labor Department released an article examining why people who are not in the labor force are not working.
It found that in 2014, 87.4 million people 16 years and older neither worked nor looked for work at any time during that year.
Of this group, 38.5 million people reported retirement as the main reason for not working. About 16.3 million people were ill or had a disability, and 16.0 million were attending school. Another 13.5 million people cited home responsibilities as the main reason for not working in 2014, and 3.1 million individuals gave “other reasons.”
The self-reported reasons that people gave for not being in the labor force varied by age and gender, and the analysis includes charts comparing the reasons given by various worker groups in both 2004 and 2014.
Jones won't mention that this explanation effectively blow up CNS' obsession with the labor force participation rate -- since it demonstrates that the vast majority of them are out of the labor market by choice -- so we will.
CNS finally shooting down its own misinformation on unemployment numbers doesn't mean the misinformation has stopped, however. CNS managing editor Michael W. Chapman repeats his fixation on racial unemployment with an article about how "unemployment rate for blacks was also nearly double that of whites." As before, Chapman fails to mention that black unemployment has always been double that for whites, even under Republican administrations.
And Jones' article waited until the third paragraph -- following two paragraphs of ranting about the labor force participation rate -- to mention the good news: that 292,000 jobs were created in December. As we've said, good news for America is bad news for CNS.
What Stories Did WND Cover Up In 2015? Topic: WorldNetDaily
So WorldNetDaily has once again published its annual "Operation Spike" list of what it claims are "the most underreported or unreported news events of the year" but is really about its own top right-wing stories and editor Joseph Farah's personal agenda.
That makes it a good time to do our own year in review and look at the stories WND spiked in 2015.
First up, of course, is WND's apparently helping to inspire Dylann Roof's masscare of blacks at a Charleston church. We documented how Roof shared an obsession with "black-on-white crime" with WND regulars Colin Flaherty and Jack Cashill, as well as a fondness for apartheid-era South Africa with WND columnist Ilana Mercer. But WND has censored this story on its website, with only Cashill responding to it by trying to change the subject and peddle the conspiracy that Roof didn't atually write the manifesto in which those views were articulated.
WND has also covered up how -- using its own standards as applied to Barack Obama -- that Ted Cruz is not eligible to be president. When Cruz announced his candidacy for president in early 2015, WND did not want to bring up the subject, instead gushing that Cruz "will follow the playbook of the right’s greatest hero, Ronald Reagan." Even WND's chief birther, Jerome Corsi, doesn't want to touch it -- perhaps because doing so would meanhe would have to admit he was trying to destroy Obama instead of being a fair and balanced reporter.
Another story WND definitely made sure was buried was the failure of a super PAC funded by WND and endorsed by Farah and Corsi for the 2014 midterm elections. The Takeover Super PAC raised less than $55,000 -- much of that from WND itself -- and spent nearly all of it on salaries and administrative expenses, with no money being spent on behalf of any candidate.
WND obviously believes it should not be subjected to the same standards it holds others. Given WND's atrocious record as the worst "news" organization in America, is that a surprise?
MRC Rails At Cruz Birtherism, Was Blase on Obama Birtherism Topic: Media Research Center
Ted Cruz's possible presidential eligibility issues are back in the news again -- promoted by Donald Trump, not the "liberal media." But the "liberal media" is reporting on what Trump said, so the Media Research Center is mad.
Scott Whitlock complained in a Jan. 7 NewsBusters post: "In 2011 and 2012, the journalists at Good Morning America railed against birther claims relating to Barack Obama, assailing the conspiracy theory as 'bizarre' and 'nonsense.' Yet, the same program lacked outrage on Thursday as Donald Trump promotes a form of birtherism against Ted Cruz." Whitlock went on to grumble: "The whole tone of the segment lacked judgment of the legitimacy of birtherism."
We would remind Whitlock that his employer helped cause this situation by not consistently and forcefully denouncing Obama birtherism when it was promoted by his fellow conservatives. As we've documented, the MRC mixed tepid denouncements of Obama birtherism with tepid endorsements of it, those denouncements coming only when 1) other conservatives were threatened with being tarred as birthers, and 2) when it could find an excuse to blame the media for it.
But far be it from the MRC to let hypocrisy to get in the way of a good anti-media attack. The same day, a post by Kyle Drennen portrayed said reporting on what Trump said as "promoting," then huffed: "While both networks were happy to portray false claims about Cruz’s citizenship as a problem for his presidential campaign, NBC and CBS routinely condemned anyone who even mentioned similar untrue birther attacks on Barack Obama."
Like Whitlock, Drennen needs to review his employer's history on birtherism. If conservatives like Brent Bozell and the MRC had acted more forcefully in saying that birther attacks on Obama were "untrue" from the get-go, the issue wouldn't have festered and then come back to haunt Cruz.
Both Whitlock and Drennen are silent on right-wingers who have embraced Trump going birther on Cruz, including close personal MRC friends Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter. But then, as we've seen, being buddies means that the MRC will never issue any meaningful criticism of Limbaugh or Coulter, no matter how offensive their public statements become.
The MRC had an opportunity to act like responsible adults on the birther issue and set the tone that such fringe attacks had no place in the Republican Party, but it didn't -- presmably because it liked that the issue was hanging over Obama's head, just as discredited conspiracy theories like TravelGate and Vince Foster's purported murder hung over President Clinton.
What goes around comes around. The MRC ought to know that.
WND Race-Baits: 'Coming To Your Suburb: The Ghettos' Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily doesn't like black people unless, as is the case with columnists like Jesse Lee Peterson and Mychal Massie, they sound like white racists. But being openly hostile to blacks gets WND in trouble -- specifically (and the only real trouble it cares about) threatening its ad revenue. So it's had to tone things down a bit.
So Bob Unruh's Dec. 27 WND article is more explicitly racebait-y than we've seen in a while. The unsubtle headline: "Coming To Your Suburb: The Ghettos."
Unruh waits until the 16th paragraph to use the word "black" in describing those from the "ghettos" who are coming to defile "predominantly white suburban neighborhoods," but the dog whistle is all too clear in his opening paragraph: "The Housing Authority of Baltimore City is secretly relocating Section 8 subsidized housing families from the inner city into suburban homes – and some critics are charging it is part of a plan to deliberately cause damage to the communities there." And right at the top is a picture of President Obama, who is apparently considered representative of the "ghetto" at WND.
Unsurprisingly, Unruh omits key details of what's happening in Baltimore. As actual reporters have pointed out, there is high demand for affordable housing in the Baltimore region, and suburban areas have done little to create it, failing to do even simple things like prohibiting landlords from discriminating against Section 8 vouchers.
Unruh also ignores that, as those actual reporters also pointed out, Baltimore was a hotbed of "government-sanctioned residential segregation," and the lingering effects of that and other segregation efforts like redlining have made Baltimore obne of the most segregated urban areas in the country.
In his apparent quest to make sure Baltimore stays that way, Unruh turns to WND's coterie of race-baiters. First up is Peterson, who rants that blacks should stay in the ghettos where they belong and defends whites who want to live in a race-segregated community: "The Obama administration is now redistributing poor inner city families to American suburbs. ... This idea of taking the power away from white people by passing these type of laws and then forcing it on them is evil and is not going to turn out for the good."
Peterson continues, sounding like a serious segregationist: "These blacks aren’t separated from whites because of 'segregation' ... They’re separated from whites because they’re having children out of wedlock, they’re reliant on the government to pay their rent, food, medical, everything, and so they lock themselves into these government sponsored neighborhoods."
“Children from Section 8 housing don’t just overload schools, they overload schools with children with less interest in learning,” Flaherty said. “Less interest in behaving in class rooms. Less interest in listening to teachers. And greater tendencies for violence, drugs and defiance.
“This is not theory. This is the experience of every neighborhood that has suffered Section 8 housing being inserted into their community.”
He's followed by WND columnist Jack Cashill, who according to Unruh says that "Section 8 housing essentially subsidizes degeneracy and encourages the destruction of neighborhoods."
Unruh then expands the race-baiting argument to complain that Section 8 housing brings in -- gasp! -- non-conservatives:
While Peterson's arguments focus on the damage Section 8 vouchers can present to established suburbs and smaller municipalities, others are equally concerned by the intentional political demographic shift that will occur in these areas, most notably by flooding more conservative suburbs and satellite communities with the urban poor, a demographic that consistently votes for Democrats.
In a 2015 article for WND, Aaron Klein described the increased use of Section 8 housing vouchers and other federal programs such as the Fair Housing Act by the Obama administration to "... integrate more minorities into townships across America, which could drastically impact local elections..."
Unruh doesn't let anyone respond to the race-baiting arguments of Peterson, Flaherty and Cashill, yet again making a mockery of his boss Joseph Farah's laughable insistence that his reporters "are always encouraged and required to seek out multiple sources and contrary viewpoints in news articles.
CNS Complains Of Lack of Details On Obama Gun Changes -- Then Mocks Those Changes Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com reporter susan Jones apparently thinks she's a comedian, and that her comedic stylings have priority over her so-called reporting.
After President Obama issued his execultive orders regarding gun regulations, Jones devoted a Jan. 5 article to complaining that a fact sheet on Obama's changes was "somewhat vague" on what it means when it claims that people "in the business" of selling firearms must obtain a federal permit to do so. Jones' story quickly crumbled; an "editor's note" was later added with Obama's pretty clear statement on what it means.
The next day, Jones followed up with an article on "new guildance" on the subject; she doesn't explain whether it appeared before she wrote her previous article.
So Jones has her details now. What does she do? She mocks them, particularly the examples provided in the "guidance" for having "all-American names" and thus lacking "diversity." Check out the mocking tone:
On Tuesday, President Obama said, "[A]nybody in the business of selling firearms must get a license and conduct background checks or be subject to criminal prosecutions."
But federal law already requires anyone in the business of selling firearms to get a license and conduct background checks.
So what's new in what the president announced? Extra scrutiny, perhaps.
In new guidance dated January 2016, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives explains what it means to be "engaged in the business" of dealing in firearms.
ATF notes that other factors may apply, including whether you represent yourself as a dealer in firearms; whether you are repetitively buying and selling firearms; the circumstances under which you are selling firearms (are you selling them shortly after acquiring them?); and whether you are looking to make a profit.
Here (verbatim) are the nine examples offered as specific guidance by ATF: (Note the all-American names used in the examples; no diversity here!)
The headline on Jones' article piles on the sneering attitude by name-checking the people in the ATF's examples: "Bob, Joe, Sharon, David, Lynn, Scott, Debby, Jessica, Doug: No Diversity in ATF's New 'Guidance' on Gun Sales."
This is a reporter who's supposed to be taken seriously? And this is a website that's supposed to be taken seriously as a "news organization"? We're not seeing it.