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Wednesday, March 16, 2016
MRC's Graham Mad That NPR Brings Back Satire Mag, Doesn't Mention Hillary
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Tim Graham really did devote an entire post to complaining that NPR had on the founders of the now-defunct satire magazine Spy to talk about their longtime targeting of Donald Trump -- Spy invented the term "short-fingered vulgarian" to describe him -- but didn't mention that Spy also targeted Hillary Clinton in the '90s.

But Graham glosses over the reason why Spy was worth a story: Trump is still mad about Spy's decades-old mocking of him, and the story came in the wake of the Republican presidential campaign's descent into the gutter of obliquely discussing the gential size of Trump, to which Spy's "short-fingered vulgarian" reference even more obliquely addresses.

By contrast, Hillary has apparently not complained, then or now, about Spy's mocking of her, making any reference to her in this story superfluous.

And despite the fact that Spy devoted three covers (and, presumably, related editorial content) to Hillary-mocking, Graham still insisted on calling Spy a "lefty satire rag." Gotta keep that "liberal media" meme alive, even if you've totally discredited it.

Graham, of course, made sure to include the Spy covers mocking Hillary. He seemingly dismissed them as "juvenile," adding, "These are not sophisticated covers. They're low-class enough to make a high-school joke giggle." And, it would appear, a high-ranking official at a right-wing media-monitoring organization.

 


Posted by Terry K. at 2:43 PM EDT
NEW ARTICLE: WorldNetDaily Bails on Birthers
Topic: WorldNetDaily
WND editor Joseph Farah endorses Ted Cruz while ignoring his eligibility issues -- and to justify the endorsement, Farah abandons the signature issue of WND for the past eight years. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 8:49 AM EDT
Tuesday, March 15, 2016
MRC Does More PR for Right-Wing Filmmaker
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center has a history of serving as a shill for right-wing filmmaker Phelim McAleer, to the point where it appears McAleer was paying the MRC for the privilege of having it say nice things about him and promote crowdfunding campaign for his new film.

It appears the MRC is at it again. Sam Dorman does some dutiful stenography in a March 7 NewsBusters post, declaring that McAleer "said Facebook censored him after he challenged anti-drilling activists on his documentary’s social media site," purportedly for mocking a man who's suing over fracking -- a subject McAleer produced a dishonest film about in order to promote the practice and attack its critics. Dorman's apparent sole source for his post is McAleer himself; all he cites is a press release issued by McAleer and what "McAleer told MRC Business."

Dorman made no apparent attempt to verify anything McAleer said, nor did he apparently contact Facebook  for a response to McAleer's charge of censorship. Given McAleer's record of hyperbole and questionable grasp of the facts -- he's been called "climate denial's Michael Moore" -- there's no reason his claims should be taken at face value.

Unless McAleer is paying for that service from the MRC, which may very well be the case once again.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:45 PM EDT
WND's Double Standard on Guilt By Association, Starring David Barton
Topic: WorldNetDaily

An unbylined March 11 WorldNetDaily article is an entertaining read -- though not for the reasons WND intended.

The point of it is David Barton, who head a pro-Ted Cruz PAC, defending Cruz against accusations of being too closely aligned with Pentacostal Christians and that his father, Rafael Cruz, is a dominionist, an idea promoted by the Drudge Report. This being Barton, his defense is dishonest and misleading:

David Barton, head of the pro-Cruz PAC “Keep the Promise” and author of “The Jefferson Lies,” defended Cruz, saying video “clips being taken out of context” amounted to an attempt to smear the candidate.

“They are trying to make something out of this,” said Barton. “Unfortunately that’s part of what goes into any campaign, the yellow journalism, the innuendo, the kind of making the noise about, ‘Look how terrible this is.'”

Barton noted it was not clearly shown whether Rafael Cruz was speaking in tongues. Even if he was, Barton suggested it doesn’t matter.

“There are at least 500 million people in the world who are Pentecostal Christians,” said Barton. “Even if he was doing this, this is a major part of the Christian community. It’s being shown in a pejorative way to make it look like something weird and strange. It’s not a big deal because of how large this group of people is.”

Barton never explains the supposedly proper context the clips should be viewed it -- even as he's insisting that even if there was proper context, "it doesn't matter." And he doesn't deny that Rafael Cruz is a dominionist, probably because it's true.

And then there's this line:

Barton condemned any use of “guilt by association” tactics on the Right, by anyone, and was equally critical of similar attacks that might be levied against Trump, Marco Rubio and other candidates.

As Warren Throckmorton points out, Barton didn't have any problem with guilt by association when it came to the critics of his is once-withdrawn, now-returned (and yet still discredited) Thomas Jefferson book.

And of course, as it was denouncing "guilt by association" tactics, WND was not only engaging in them, it was blowing past them by promoting the false allegation that a protester who rushed the stage at a Donald Trump rally is a supporter of ISIS.

If WND can't be consistent with its own logic, it's certainly not going to hold Barton responsible for defending Cruz and his own discredited book.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:56 AM EDT
Monday, March 14, 2016
MRC Uses Levin For Cover To Criticize Fox News
Topic: Media Research Center

The business relationship between the Media Research Center and right-wing radio host Mark Levin is apparently so close now that Levin has a hand in the MRC's editorial agenda.

On Feb. 28, Ted Cruz faced tough questioning from host Chris Wallace on "Fox News Sunday," who pressed Cruz on factually inaccurate claims he had made. You know MRC chief Brent Bozell is a big fanboy of Cruz; Levin is too, to the point that Levin's fiancee's son works for his campaign.

The MRC is also a big booster of Fox News, to the point that it deliberately excludes Fox from its TV analyses in order to avoid having to hold Fox accountable to the same standards it applies to other TV networks (on, for instance, Trump boosterism). So it would never criticize Wallace so directly for something it would have no problem attacking him for were he employed anywhere but Fox News. 

However, it has no problem attacking Wallace while using Levin as cover. Hence, Randy Hall's March 1 NewsBusters post:

One day after Ted Cruz was a guest on the Fox News Sunday program, conservative radio personality Mark Levin hammered that show's host -- Chris Wallace -- for performing a “hit job” on that Republican presidential candidate after conducting a softball interview with Donald Trump, even though the GOP front-runner has made several of the same mistakes Cruz was accused of making.

Levin began the segment by stating that “Wallace went after Cruz” and is a person he's “never liked” because Wallace is “a chip off the old block,” a son of longtime liberal CBS journalist Mike Wallace, which the radio host stated “is the problem” with his interviews and coverage of the news.

“And no, this isn't journalism or anything of the sort,” Levin stated before airing Wallace's first question to the senator from Texas.

[...]

Levin noted that Wallace had conducted two “totally different interviews. That's why I can't watch these Sunday shows.”

“And it's not a coincidence that Rupert Murdoch the other day tweeted out that Trump, Rubio, Kasich and the establishment need to unite to beat the Democrats,” he stated.

“Now who was left out of that?” the host asked. “Cruz … because Cruz is the true outsider, and he's the true conservative.”

Judging from this incident, it appears that Levin has found a downside to the Fox News Channel being “fair and balanced.”

And it appears the MRC has finally found a way to Heather Fox News for insufficient adherence to right-wing orthodoxy without sullying its hands doing so.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:39 PM EDT
WND Helps Breitbart Throw Its Reporter Under The Bus
Topic: WorldNetDaily

The story of Breitbart reporter Michelle Fields, who claims Donald Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski forcefully grabbed her arm and left a bruise, has been very bizarrely covered by her notoriously pro-Trump employer -- editor Joel Pollak has ordered employees to stop speaking publicly about Fields, Breitbart chairman Stephen Bannon reportedly made several disparaging remarks about the reporter in conference calls with company leadership, and Breitbart spokesman Kurt Bardella quit his job rather than peddle management's version of events.

Yet WND has apparaently chosen to  side with Breitbart management and against Fields. Cheryl Chumley writes in a March 11 WND article:

Breitbart, in a top-page post on its Friday online news page, acknowledged after viewing video that reporter Michelle Fields was probably wrong – Donald Trump's campaign manager Corey Lewandowski most likely wasn't the one who manhandled her at a recent rally.

The news site notes that "the altercation itself is not shown" and that "Fields quickly disappears from view, as if pulled back." The site also suggests a security official who resembles Lewandowski may have been the one who pulled Fields away.

In a surprise twist on the fast-moving Friday story, Breitbart reported this, too: Fields filed a police report alleging criminal misconduct on the part of Lewandowski.

But first the acknowledgment: "In conducting our own due diligence," Breitbart's Joel Pollak wrote, "we have reviewed as much video footage and other evidence as possible, and present it in the interest of transparency. ... The incident certainly happened. However, the person who made contact with Fields was likely not Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski."

Chumley even uncritically repeated a smear of Fields, highlighting a Lewandowski tweet that "Michelle Fields is an attention seeker who once claimed Allen West groped her but later went silent." She did also note that a Breitbart reporter was suspended for criticizing Fields and that a statement claims tyhat "Breitbart continues to stand 100 percent with Michelle Fields" -- which seems to be a tad untruthful given all the stuff that's leaking out now.

Meanwhile, in addition to all the behind-the-scenes Breitbart drama now being reported, a new video has surfaced that appears to more clearly show Lewandowski grabbing Fields.

Despite the fact that the story is very much in flux, Chumley has not updated it, nor has WND published a separate update on Fields -- meaning this slanted, outdated version is what's standing as WND's current final word on the subject.

Then again, terrible, biased reporting is WND's modus operandi, so this is unfortunately not surprising.

UPDATE: Chumley has now written a follow-up article with the weekend's events, including that Fields and editor-at-large Ben Shapiro quitting Breitbart. Strangely, she ends it with mostly anonymous "social media" comments suggesting that Fields invented the incident to promote an upcoming book.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:26 AM EDT
Updated: Monday, March 14, 2016 1:47 PM EDT
Sunday, March 13, 2016
MRC Bashes Media For Not Immediately Hopping on Trump-Reporter Incident -- But CNS Has Buried It
Topic: Media Research Center

According to the Media Research Center, the TV networks didn't move fast enough to cover an alleged incident in which Donald Trump's campaign manager manhandled a conservative reporter. Curtis Houck writes in a March 10 post:

Two days after Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski allegedly forcefully grabbed the arm of Breitbart reporter Michelle Fields, the “big three” networks of ABC, CBS, and NBC finally noticed this disturbing incident just as a Trump protester was sucker punched at a rally on Wednesday night.

Houck praised ABC for offering "the most extensive and substantive time on this matter" and touted how it "secured an interview with Fields."

You know who who gave even less attention to this incident? The MRC's own "news" division, CNSNews.com.

A search of the CNS archive for "michelle fields trump" turned up only two links to a single story, an Associated Press article dated March 13. CNS did not put the story on its front page -- which means it may as well not have been published at all since few CNS readers are likely to venture beyond the front-page headlines -- and no CNS reporter covered the controversy.

Houck, of course, is suggesting that this plays into the MRC's conspiracy theory that the "liberal media" want Trump chosen as the Republican presidential nominee so he'll lose to Hillary Clinton in November. But his own organization downplayed the controversy even more than the networks purportedly did.

Does that mean CNS is part of the "liberal media" conspiracy too?


Posted by Terry K. at 10:05 PM EDT
WND, Newsmax Falsely Smear Trump Protester As ISIS Supporter
Topic: WorldNetDaily

After protester Thomas DiMassimo was arrested for rushing the stage at a Donald Trump rally, his supporters at WorldNetDaily quickly ran with the story that DiMassimo has links to ISIS.

A WND article touted how "was featured in a pro-ISIS video reportedly uploaded to YouTube in May 2015":

At Newsmax, Todd Beamon uncritically reported Trump's claim that DiMassimo's was "probably ISIS or ISIS-related," even embedding a Trump tweet that he has "ties to ISIS"and repeating the claim that DiMassimo "was featured in an Islamic State propaganda video uploaded to YouTube last year."

Just one problem: it doesn't appear to be true.

The Heavy website reports that the "pro-ISIS video" in question "appears to be a hoax video posted by a troll to discredit and mock DiMassimo" following a protest last year in which he stood on an American flag. While the video uses Arabic-style language and music, Heavy reports, "The Arabic caption roughly translates to a joke about the size of Dimassimo’s penis."

WND has since updated its article (without noting it has done so) by adding the hoax information from Heavy, but the "pro-ISIS" claim remains in the headline and lead paragraph. Beamon's Newsmax article reamins unaltered.

Publishing false information and knowingly allowing false information to stand uncorrected potentially opens up WND and Newsmax to libel risks.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:12 PM EST
Saturday, March 12, 2016
WND Helps Trump (And David Duke) Do Damage Control
Topic: WorldNetDaily

We got so busy documenting Joseph Farah and WorldNetDaily abandoning the birther movement to support Ted Cruz, we almost forgot that WND is a friend of Donald Trump as well. So much so, in fact, it ran to his defense over that whole David Duke imbroglio.

This was important enough to WND that Bob Unruh was trotted out to write an article headlined "Trump disavows KKK -- again!" The article documented how Trump ran to righit-wing radio host (and WND friend) Michael Savage to "again disavow the KKK." But Unruh rather deliberately underwrites the situation that got Trump into trouble in the first place, writing only that "Trump was interviewed by CNN’s Jake Tapper, and the news agency reported the candidate 'declined to disavow support from David Duke, the former grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, claiming he didn’t know anything about the group.'" Unruh then uncritically writes that "Trump later explained he didn’t hear the question because of a 'bad earpiece.'"

That Trump ran to a hater like Savage to do damage control says a lot about the situation, but Unruh -- being a good propagandist who knows Savage is a WND buddy -- doesn't talk about that. Instead, he regurgitates Savage proudly touting how the "bullet points" of his anti-immigration agenda "have been and are being used by the Trump campaign, to the credit of Donald Trump, and, of course, to the benefit of the United States of America."

Then, even more bizarrely, WND published a video clip of Duke denying in an "unscripted response" that he endorsed Trump. But it's only a 30-second clip that includes only the denial.

But Duke did effectively endorse Trump, even if he won't admit to doing so in name. Three days before the Trump-Tapper interview, Duke said that "I do support his candidacy, and I support voting for him as a strategic action. I hope he does everything we hope he will do" (while also saying that "I haven’t formally endorsed him").

So it's certainly an informal endorsement of Trump. He and WND shouldn't pretend otherwise. Or is WND now doing damage control for David Duke as well?


Posted by Terry K. at 12:35 AM EST
Friday, March 11, 2016
MRC's Trump Dilemma Still Leaves It Flip-Flopping
Topic: Media Research Center

Defend or bash Donald Trump? The Media Research Center, whose boss is on record as anti-Trump, keeps wildly swinging between the two.

The latest example is kicked off by a March 8 item by Scott Whitlock complaining that "ABC and NBC on Tuesday hyped the comparison of Donald Trump to the Nazis and Adolf Hitler" by noting that Trump
"has asked crowds to take a loyalty oath," adding that "In December, CNN, ABC and CBS touted the Philadelphia Daily News likening Trump to Hitler."

This might have been more effective criticism had the MRC's NewsBusters not also, at around the same time, posted an item in its "editor's picks" section from the conservative site Twitchy pointing out thgat the "pledge of allegiance to Trump is NOT a good look." (Screenshot captured above.)

Apparently clueless about the contradiction, Whitlock continued to complain that "when Tea Party members compared Obama to Hitler, an angry CNN reporter deemed it 'offensive,'" even though the tea party critics in question named no Obama actions -- a huge contrast with Trump -- and had only "a mocked-up sign in which President Barack Obama is melded with Adolf Hitler." Whitlock doesn't mention that even the person who wrote that post, the since-departed Seton Motley, agreed that likening Obama to Hitler is "a bit over the top."

And Whitlock's post was followed by one by Mairead McArdle whining that "liberals get far more of a pass" in likening people to Hitler. McArdlewaited until way near the end of her lengthy piece to concede that conservatives regularly subject Obama to such comparisons:

People on both political sides sometimes give in to the easy temptation to caricature opponents as Nazis, and plenty of conservatives reacted that way to Obama’s statist tendencies over the course of his presidency. However, the extreme reactions of liberals can only be hypocritical.

[...]

Both sides should refrain from comparing elected representatives of the United States to the man whose name has become the byword for evil. But let us not forget who made invoking Nazism routine, and for which side the fascist sky is always falling.

But has McArdle denounced those Obama-Hitler comparisons as extreme beyond that tepid declaration that both sides should stop? Not that we've seen -- which makes her just as hypocritical as she claims liberals are.


Posted by Terry K. at 4:20 PM EST
Updated: Friday, March 11, 2016 4:22 PM EST
Farah Whines And Dissembles About Cruz's Eligibility ... Again
Topic: WorldNetDaily

It would be so easy for Joseph Farah to explain in a simple and straightforward manner why he and his WorldNetDaily won't go after Ted Cruz's eligibility issues as aggressively as they did Barack Obama's Instead, Farah has decided to treat us to yet another day of dissembling and revisionism and whining.

And whine he does in his March 10 column -- that his endorsement of Cruz was criticized, that he was "caricatured as a 'conspiracy theorist,' a 'birther' and vilified as a racist hatemonger" for his anti-Obama birther crusade (hey, if the shoe fits...), and that he's being called out for being insufficiently birther when it comes to Cruz.

Farah does is usual manhood-measuring, making sure we know that he is "the man who founded the first independent online news agency, a lifelong journalist who had won awards for investigative reporting, my work as a foreign correspondent and achievements running daily newspapers in major metropolitan markets." Farah also engages in some counterfactual revisionism on his birther crusade:

In 2011, I published “Where’s the Birth Certificate?” by Jerome Corsi, which instantly became the No. 1 best-selling book in the country. Within days, Obama dispatched aides to Hawaii to retrieve his “long-form birth certificate” – releasing an image that satisfied every single so-called “mainstream” media organization in the U.S. An Esquire magazine columnist wrote a column claiming falsely that I was withdrawing the book from the marketplace, setting off a frenzy by retailers to return tens of thousands of copies. We sued Esquire unsuccessfully for restraint of trade and defamation, but the process ended with split decision at the U.S. Court of Appeals level, one step below the Supreme Court.

Well, no. Farah doesn't name the chart on which Corsi's book was "the No. 1 best-selling book in the country" -- probably because it doesn't exist. If Wikipedia is to be believed, the book only made it to No. 6 on the New York Times' nonfiction bestseller list. Also, Obama released his long-form birth certificate three weeks before Corsi's book was released, so he cannot plausibly claim the book forced him into it.

(What did force Obama into it was Donald Trump going aggressively birther, something Farah and Corsi were advising him on behind the scenes. Funny how Farah is now refusing to either take credit for his behind-the-scenes work then or give Trump credit for going birther on both Obama and Cruz.)

Farah also conveniently fails to mention that the reason his lawsuit against Esquire failed is because the Esquire post was clearly satire -- something Farah himself admitted until it became inconvenient to do so.

Farah dissembles further:

Meanwhile, WND actually investigated the suspicious document Obama released, which only served to raise more questions than it answered. The only law enforcement investigation of the document found it to be fraudulent.

Actually, the only thing "fraudulent" was the investigation itself, sleazed into existence by Corsi and Joe Arpaio and incompetently run by Corsi and Mike Zullo, who (along with WND itself) deliberately ignored factual evidence that didn't conform to their birther conspiracy theories.

Then, bizarrely, Farah decides that he doesn't really know what a "natural born citizen" is -- despite his column carrying the headline "What is a 'natural born citizen?'" -- and that if he did, it doesn't matter now because he doesn't want to make the election about "eligibility." See how he punts:

As for me, I have studied the matter closely. But I do not pretend to be the last word. I have my opinions about the original intent of the founders. I have my opinions about what should be the standard definition. But I would be fooling myself if I thought anyone cared.

Anyway, the election was now upon us. I had a choice: I could make the election all about constitutional eligibility, or I could look at the candidates and determine for myself who would be the best president. Either way, my decision would not likely determine the outcome of the election.

I looked at all the records of all the candidates running and found Ted Cruz to be the one who, if elected, would most likely return our country to a foundation of liberty, the rule of law, equal justice and limited government. His entire life has been dedicated to advancing those principles.

If I were convinced he was not constitutionally eligible, I could not support him. But I am not the last word on such matters. That’s for every voter to decide for himself or herself – since neither government, the courts, nor the dominant media culture have any interest in doing so.

Those sincerely convinced a candidate is constitutionally ineligible have a moral obligation not to support him. I respect that. As for me, I am not persuaded Cruz is ineligible. I am, however, convinced he is the best candidate running for president.

This is a massive load of hypocritical hooey. Contrast Farah's suddenly convenient reticence to define who's eligible to run for president with a 2012 column in which he asserted that eligibility "cannot be ignored" regarding Marco Rubio, who isn't eligible because his parents didn't become U.S. citizens "four years after Marco Rubio was born." He cites numerous legal precedents to claim that only a child born of two American citizens can be a "natural born citizen," adding that Obama is not "not eligible" and "never was" because "his father was a Kenyan student who never became a U.S. citizen. Therefore, he doesn't meet the test of eligibility."

But Cruz's father was not an American citizen at the time of his son's birth and didn't become one until 2005.Therefore, under the definition of "natural born citizen" Farah himself promulgated a few short years ago, Cruz is not eligible.

So why won't Farah come out and say that? Why has Farah abruptly decided that he is "not persuaded Cruz is ineligible" despite his own history of pushing an interpretation demonstrating the opposite?

Because he knows his Obama birther crusade was never about, as he now claims, prompting "an informed and intelligent national debate about the meaning of the constitutional phrase 'natural born citizen'" -- it was about trying to bring about the personal destruction of Obama. If he held Cruz to the same standard, he would be accused of sabotaging the man he wants to be president.

In short, he's abandoning birtherism because it no longer advances his political agenda, just like he compains that the media "dropped [him] like a hot potato" for pushing his birther views. What an utter hypocrite.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:11 AM EST
Thursday, March 10, 2016
NewsBusters Still Echoing WND, Playing Up Hillary Coughing Fit
Topic: NewsBusters

Who knew that NewsBusters secretly wants to emulate WorldNetDaily?

A few weeks back we noted that conspiracy-prone NewsBusters blogger Mark Finkelstein was declaring that a coughing fit by Hillary Clinton was "a potentially serious health issue" that the so-called liberal media was "covering" for -- which sounded a lot like the conspiracy-prone WND.

Now, NewsBusters blogger P.J. Gladnick is also veering into conspiracy territory ofer a Hillary coughing fit. From his March 7 post:

It was an amazing juxtaposition last night. The Democratic presidential debate ended with Hillary Clinton going into yet another of her many coughing fits which was immediately followed on CNN by their new series, "Race For The White House," in which the coverup of John F. Kennedy's health problems was prominently featured.

This coughing fit, along with her hoarse voice during the debate, has continued to fuel speculation on the real state of Hillary's health although we have been assured via much of the mainstream media that there are no real problems in that area. If such assurances sound vaguely familiar, it could be that something similar happend 56 years with John F. Kennedy ago during the presidential race as you can see in the following segment from CNN's "Race For The White House."

[...]

So could another presidential campaign team also hide the truth about their candidate's health? Although the press back in 1960 acted as gatekeepers filtering out the truth about JFK's health today, thanks to the internet, we have many additional information sources besides the traditional MSM. One such source, Breitbart News, brings us this information via journalist and author Ed Klein:

The fact that Gladnick thinks that the monumentally discredited Ed Klein is a reliable source on such things is all you need to know about Gladnick's intent. The question is why NewsBusters -- which does not normally veer into conspiracy territory -- is giving it credence by publishing it. But then, going conspiratorial seems to be a thing at NewsBusters and its Media Research Center parent these days.


Posted by Terry K. at 4:22 PM EST
WND's Farah Knows He Can't Defend Not Going Birther on Cruz
Topic: WorldNetDaily

We've been documenting how WorldNetDaily has refused to open up its can of birther whoop-ass on Ted Cruz the way it has on Barack Obama for years now, and it has never seen fit to respond.

Pissing off its own readers by not doing so, however, has finally motivated WND to act. Sort of.

In the wake of WND editort Joseph Farah's endorsement of Cruz -- and his complete refusal to mention Cruz's eligibility issues in the process -- comes an unbylined March 8 article which admits there were "thousands" of comments sent WND's way over the endorsement, and "most, by far, focused on – Ted Cruz’s eligibility." (Curiously, eligibility didn't make the article's headline, which mentions only "Trump supporters" being critical of the endorsement.)

WND didn't explain why birther king Farah didn't mention Cruz's eligibility issues in his endorsement, but it did finally concede the existence of a 2013 column in which Farah doubted that Cruz was eligible. And then it let Farah spin away:

In fact, WND has carried numerous columns and reports on the eligibility for the presidency of Cruz, Rubio and others. Farah, ever at the tip of the spear on a news issue, wrote more than two years ago that he wasn’t sure, but suspected Cruz was not eligible, “at least not by my understanding of what the founders had in mind when they ratified the Constitution.”

But he was pointing out the double standard of the legacy media, which steadfastly refused to raise any questions about Barack Obama when nearly 100 lawsuits were brought from 2007 until about 2010 over his eligibility.

“Never mind that the only law enforcement investigation into Obama’s birth certificate found that it was a fraud and forgery. It didn’t matter. The media, besides WND, have steadfastly refused to report the facts for fear of being labeled part of the ‘birther’ conspiracy,” he wrote.

Then along comes Cruz, he wrote, and, “Every media outlet in the country is questioning his constitutional eligibility.”

Fast forward more than two years, and the endorsement of Cruz brought out hundreds of Joseph Farah’s detractors to WND.

He explained: “I was inundated with more than 100 emails eviscerating me for my personal endorsement of Ted Cruz. On the other hand, I received about a half dozen atta-boys. Most of the protests claimed Cruz is constitutionally ineligible – even though, as the candidate has explained, his mother was an American citizen at the time of his birth.

“As I have explained before, ad nauseam, from my point of view, when the Congress and courts abdicated their responsibility with regard to the questions of Barack Obama’s eligibility, a precedent was set. If Obama was not going to be held accountable to any standard during eight years as president, how could we hold others accountable?” he wrote.

“I was the one who saw this coming during the last eight years. That’s why I kept calling for a national dialogue that no one wanted to have. But as far as Ted Cruz goes, there is no doubt in my mind that he doesn’t have any allegiance to the country in which he was born – Canada. It’s a non-issue. Ted Cruz is the most pro-American official I know. He was also very forthcoming with his birth certificate. He has made his case on eligibility in the media. I have suggested to the campaign that it offer even more in the way of constitutional justification for his candidacy. However I was surprised by the outpouring of concern among many that he could be elected president and challenged successfully by the Democrats.”

That's a lot of subject-changing going on there.

First, WND's "numerous columns and reports on the eligibility for the presidency of Cruz" are actually not very many, and they are effectively zero compared with the literally hundreds of items WND published on Obama's eligibility. WND cannot plausibly suggest it has covered the two issues equally.

Second, the question is not what the "legacy media" did on eligibilty issues, no matter how much WND and Farah want you to think otherwise -- besides, the media didn't cover it until Trump pushed the issue, and most of the media agreed Cruz, like Obama, is eligible. It's about the disparity of coverage at WND between Obama eligibility and Cruz eligibility.

Third, Farah's claim that "a precedent was set" by "Congress and courts" not getting into Obama eligibility, therefore "how could we hold others accountable?" is nothing but a cop-out. When has stopped Farah or WND before?

Fourth, Farah is apparently adjusting his own "understanding" of what a "natural born citizen" is. As the WND article itself states, "From other, contemporaneous writings to the Constitution, it likely was understood then to have meant the offspring of two citizens of a country born in the country" (never mind that no court has endorsed it). But now he's suggesting that because Cruz's "mother was an American citizen at the time of his birth" and because Cruz "doesn’t have any allegiance to the country in which he was born – Canada," that's now sufficient for Farah to presume that Cruz is eligible.

Needless to say, that completely contradicts what Farah and WND have pushed when Obama's eligibility was in question. So, yeah, another cop-out.

Farah reiterates some of this, and spins some more, in his March 9 column:

Many have asked me, “What about the question of constitutional eligibility?”

My answer is direct: Obama and the establishment media have made a mockery of the Constitution in many ways, but none more than their attacks on the “natural born citizen” requirement. So much damage was done to that simple clause in the last eight years, I don’t believe there’s any going back.

You can’t even have a serious conversation about the eligibility issue any longer. So be it.

What I do know is that Ted Cruz loves America.

I could never say that about Obama.

The eligibility requirement of the Constitution was intended to protect the nation from foreign corruption, entanglements, intrigue, suspicion and conflicts of interest.

I don’t believe anyone in their right mind thinks Ted Cruz has any allegiance to either Canada or Cuba. This guy loves America with all of his heart, mind and soul.

And he’s demonstrated that fact with virtually everything he has said and done throughout his life.

When Ted Cruz tells you what he will do as president, you can take that promise to the bank. Why? Because he’s consistent. He’s committed. He’s passionate about America. He always has been. And he always will be.

That’s why he is my first choice for president.

No, "Obama and the establishment media" did not make a mockery of the "natural born citizen" clause -- Farah and WND did. And they are continuing to mock it by effectively declaring that their years of fulmination over the issue imeans nothing now that a conservative Republican, not a black Democrat, is the subject.

But in all this spinning, Farah and WND have yet to give a straightforward answer to a very simple question: Why are they giving Cruz a pass it refused to give to Obama when, according to the definition they applied to Obama, Cruz is even more ineligible?

The fact that they won't give that straightfowrward answer can be taken as an admission that their birther crusade was never about the Constitution and completely about the personal destruction of Obama.

Farah can't defend not going birther on Cruz, and he knows it -- and, more importantly, WND's readers know it.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:21 AM EST
Updated: Thursday, March 10, 2016 12:28 AM EST
Wednesday, March 9, 2016
Cruz Spouts More Media-Bashing Direct From the MRC
Topic: Media Research Center

One key reason you can presume that Brent Bozell and the Media Research Center loves Ted Cruz is because he spouts the MRC's anti-media talking points.

The latest example: the MRC's conspiracy theory that the "liberal media" is secretly plotting to make Donald Trump the Republican nominee so that he'll lose to Hillary Clinton in November. From the MRC's mouth to Cruz's ears, as chief conspiracy-monger Curtis Houck eagerly regurgitates in a March 6 post:

Republican presidential candidate and Senator Ted Cruz (Tex.) sat for an interview with CBS’s John Dickerson Friday afternoon in National Harbor, Maryland that aired on Face the Nation. Cruz lambasted the media for “hav[ing] a coronation” of Donald Trump as the GOP nominee so he could be viciously defeated by Hillary Clinton in November.

While discussing the possibility of a brokered Republican National Convention, Cruz pointed to how he’s remained close to Trump in the delegate count but at the same time, “the media wants to just have a coronation” of Trump “because the media knows Donald can't win the general, that Hillary would wallop him.”

As we noted the last time Houck pushed this, his theory conveniently omits -- and he does so again here -- the facts that 1) even conservative voters like Trump; 2) the "liberal media" has produced much negative reporting on Trump, which competitors like Cruz have largely ignored until recently; and 3) Fox News, which is decidedly not the "liberal media," has been the biggest Trump promoter of them all.

But Cruz may have been reading from a list of talking points faxed to his campaign by the MRC, and that's the only important thing to Houck.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:50 PM EST
WND's Farah Endorses Cruz, Deep-Sixes His Birther Issues
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Joseph Farah made his endorsement in his March 7 WorldNetDaily column:

I think Ted Cruz's history demonstrates he has the clearest, most Reaganesque vision of where the country needs to go in its much-needed recovery from eight years of Barack Obama. Cruz is principled, sophisticated and a solid conservative whose understanding of and commitment to the Constitution is unshakeable.

At a time when one of the three branches of the federal government, the Supreme Court, hangs in the balance, it is Ted Cruz who, without question, can be counted upon to nominate justices who will uphold the high standards of Antonin Scalia and the originalists.

Ted Cruz is the real deal. That's not to slight Donald Trump, who has played an invaluable role in this campaign – breaking the back of political correctness, presenting a positive vision forward for America and standing up to those who would prefer to see the nation borderless and rudderless.

If Trump turns out to be the winner of the GOP nomination, I will unhesitatingly support him.

But it's time to choose – between two.

For me the choice is clear – Ted Cruz.

Unmentioned anywhere in Farah's column: the issue of Cruz's eligibility. 

Of course, Farah and WND have aggressively avoided pushing the birther issue on Cruz for fear of damaging his election chances; even when Trumpmade it an issue, WND gave it only token coverage. And Farah is certainly not going to mention today that back in 2013, he wrote that he doubts that Cruz is eligible under the standards WND tried to enforce on President Obama.

Farah went on to state that "it’s time for everyone, including Trump, to stop trashing his Republican competitors" and that "The two top Republicans need to stop the scathing attacks on each other and to focus on the real threat posed by the specter of the socialist and the criminal vying for the other party's nomination." Again, Farah failed to mention that among those "scathing attacks" is Trump going birther on Cruz.

To address the birther issue honestly, Farah would have to admit that his birther crusade against Obama was never about the Constitution and all about personal destruction. But as we know, Farah is not an honest man.

And this isn't the only dishonest thing in his column. It begins with the editor's note: "The following column represents a personal political endorsement by Joseph Farah, the editor and founder of WND.com, and not a corporate editorial endorsement." As if there's any meaningful difference between the two; WND's editorial agenda has always been a reflection of Farah's right-wing, conspiratorial views.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:48 AM EST

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