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Saturday, March 26, 2016
A Right-Wing Conspiracy Theory So Nice, Cruz Says It (And MRC Quotes Him Saying It) Twice
Topic: Media Research Center

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.”

-- Curtis Houck, March 6 MRC NewsBusters post

During his Super Tuesday election speech, Ted Cruz called out the media as Donald Trump surrogates, hitting them for the disparity in coverage given to Trump. Talking to supporters, Cruz denounced, “The mainstream media, the network suits who make the decisions, want Donald Trump as the Republican nominee.”

He added, “That's why they've given him hundreds of millions in free advertising because they are partisan Democrats ready for Hillary and they know that Donald may be the one person on the face of the Earth that Hillary Clinton can beat in the general election.” 

-- Scott Whitlock, March 15 MRC NewsBusters post

The idea that the "liberal media" is deliberately colluding to make Trump the Republican nominee so he'll be beaten by Hillary in November is a conspiracy promulgated by the Media Research Center.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:31 AM EDT
Friday, March 25, 2016
At NewsBusters, Donating to Dems Makes You 'Ultra Liberal'
Topic: NewsBusters

The headline of P.J. Gladnick's Feb. 26 NewsBusters post blared, "New Republic Sold to Ultra Liberal Banking Heir Winthrop McCormack." In it, Gladnick ranted that "Winthrop McCormack is very reliably far left. A check of his political donations shows his money flows to far left causes and politicians with the safe (D) by their names."

As evidence of McCormack's "far left" leanings, Gladnick cites a newspaper article noting that he has "given at least $1.1 million to party candidates and groups associated with the Democrats since 2003, according to Open Secrets, the campaign finance watchdog site. On top of that, he also gave $1 million to an independent group in 2004 that sought to boost Democratic turnout."

No, really. That's it.

Apparently, simply donating money to Democrats makes you "ultra liberal" and "far left" as far as Gladnick and NewsBusters are concerned.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:04 PM EDT
Mychal Massie Thesaurus Watch
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Mychal Massie did some serious plundering of his thesaurus -- as he's wont to do -- for his March 21 WorldNetDaily column, letting loose with this bit of excess verbiage:

Today morally bankrupt calumniators controlled from the shadows by a camarilla of satanic marplots lead America. Diocletian was a more honorable man than those who are viewed as leaders today.

Massie even does a callback to this syllable dump later in the column: "In that I referenced Diocletian, I would be remiss if I omitted the lack of leadership in churches today as being synonymous with those in the church of Pergamum."

The other main feature of a Massie column aside from thesaurus-plundering is Obama derangement, and he delivers on that too: "Viewing Obama as anything other than “leader” in word only is akin to calling Idi Amin or Kim Jong-un generals because they plastered their chests with candy-machine medals."

Massie also claimed that "Obama gave his tacit stamp of approval when his then attorney general, Eric Holder, refused to indict members of the New Black Panther Party for one of the most flagrant acts of voter intimidation in over 40 years." In fact, as we've previously noted, nobody has ever come forward to say they were intimidated by the New Black Panthers standing outside a Philadelphia polling place in 2008, which makes Massie look rather lucricrous for calling it "one of the most flagrant acts of voter intimidation in over 40 years."

We don't recall Massie being similarly outraged over a different group of armed people standing outside a polling place. But then, this was a group of anti-immigration "Minutemen."


Posted by Terry K. at 8:49 AM EDT
Thursday, March 24, 2016
NewsBusters' Gwinn Thinks Plan B Equals 'Killing A Baby'
Topic: NewsBusters

NewsBusters' Dylan Gwinn is not the sharpest knife in the media-criticism drawer -- he tends to let his right-wing talking points get ahead of the facts. This time, he gets medicine wrong in a March 21 post ranting about a TV show that broached the subject of the morning-after pill Plan B, which he declares is "killing a baby":

The lie, of course, is that Plan B is not killing a baby.

Despite what pro-Plan B/pro-abortion activists will claim, Plan B alters the endometrium, preventing the fertilized egg from attaching to the woman’s womb. Thus, basically starving the egg from getting the vital nutrients it needs to survive.

Gwinn seems not to know the difference between a fertilized egg and a fully-formed baby, which he suggests is being "killed" by the taking of said pill.

Also, he doesn't know how Plan B typically works. As we've pointed out, the main way it works is by preventing fertilization in the first place. It's also unclear whether Plan B actually alters the endometrium, preventing a fertilized egg from implanting. Medical experts have noted if that actually occured, the pill's success rate would be higher.

Further, it's believed that between 60 and 80 percent of fertilized eggs never implant, meaning that a lot of "babies" are already being "killed" through natural processes (or by God, whichever you prefer). 

Will Gwinn get similarly upset by that?


Posted by Terry K. at 3:39 PM EDT
Carl Gallups Busted For Promoting Another Conspiracy Theory; WND In Cleanup Mode Again
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Last year, WorldNetDaily had to clean up after right-wing pastor, WND author, Donald Trump supporter and birther Carl Gallups after his promulgating the idea that President Obama is the Antichrist became a liability. Now Gallups has gotten in trouble again, and it's time for another (unbylined) bailout article:

Pastor, former law enforcement officer and talk show host Carl Gallups is firing back at an international smear campaign by liberal media outlets around the world claiming he denied the Sandy Hook school shooting took place.

“I am not a Sandy Hook ‘truther,'” Gallups told WND.

And he said people should consider the source and possible motive. After all, he’s endorsed GOP presidential primary front-runner Donald Trump, and a condemn-by-association strategy could be in play.

So what did Gallups do? From the article:

Gallups explained the media was focusing on an interview he did with a man who claimed a picture of the father of one of the victims looked remarkably similar to a picture of one of the FBI agents at the scene. It was in that context, Gallups said, he referred to Sandy Hook as a “hoax,” giving the perspective of his guest.

“I can state, right now, that not only have I never said categorically that the Sandy Hook tragedy is a complete fabrication or hoax, right now, I’m denying that it was a hoax,” Gallups said.

“That doesn’t prevent me from asking questions. That doesn’t prevent me from saying, ‘Here’s a part of that whole scenario that is odd.’ When I’m behind that microphone interviewing people, I’m a radio host and an investigative reporter and so I make no apologies for asking those questions.”

As a former law enforcement officer, Gallups said he is used to examining all aspects of a case. He said several aspects of the case in Sandy Hook were unusual in his own professional experience. However, he does not deny the attacks took place, nor does he say it was simply made up.

“No one will find anywhere in writing or any audio clip taken in context, that I have ever claimed Sandy Hook is a complete hoax from top to bottom,” Gallups told WND. “I have always said, from the beginning, as many people were saying, that there are many things about the case that are strange."

As he did with the Obama Antichrist claim, he's complaining because he got busted for promoting a crazy conspiracy theory.

The WND article is marvelously vague on what exactly Gallups did, since it fails to link to the interview in question. In fact, he did much more than conduct an interview; Gallup's PPSIMMONS website posted at least five articles by the pseudonymous "Barry Soetoro, Esq." claiming the Sandy Hook massacre was a "gun-grab HOAX." He followed that up with the interview with "Soetoro" in which he clearly agrees with with the conspiracy theory and doesn't challenge it. Media Matters points out that Gallups has also said that the evidence showing Sandy Hook was staged is "indisputable" and a "smoking gun" and that that the whole thing "stinks to high heaven."

So, yes, Gallups did say Sandy Hook was made up, making his denial a lie. If you are uncritically promoting the idea that Sandy Hook was a hoax, you are, in fact, a hoaxster.

Naturally, Gallups tries to build a conspiracy theory out of being busted for promoting a conspiracy theory:

“I’m a small cog in the wheel but I am a cog,” Gallups said. “So they went after me. What they are trying to do now is put pressure on him [Trump] to denounce me, like I’m some David Duke kind of guy.”

Gallups believes there is an agenda at work.

“As I said to the one reporter who bothered to interview me, ‘Does you interviewing me make you a Sandy Hook truther?'” Gallups asked rhetorically.

Despite being the subject of a deeply hostile international media campaign, Gallups said he is undaunted.

“It truly doesn’t bother me on a personal level and I won’t back down,” he said. “Consider the source – we are dealing with liberal media sources trying to marginalize an evangelical pastor and Donald Trump. Who can possibly say they are surprised?

“It’s extremely disappointing because none of those people bothered to call me and ask me what I thought about Sandy Hook or whatever else they wanted to talk about. They just made up a narrative because they couldn’t find anything else and they wanted it to stick.”

There's also one more thing this article throws in that, while trying to build Gallups' credibility, actually does the opposite:

Gallups recently met with fellow lawman and Trump supporter Joe Arpaio, the Maricopa County, Arizona, sheriff. At the meeting, he was sworn in as a “Special Deputy for the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office.”

Gallups says he takes his past as a law enforcement officer very seriously and uses his experience to inform everything he says.

His experiences are part of the reason Gallups has endorsed Trump.

Huh? Actually, that "special deputy" designation is Arpaio's reward to Gallups for being a birther dead-ender. He regularly hosts birther "cold case posse" Mike Zullo on his little radio show to further the idea that the evidence proving once and for all that Obama is a Muslim from Kenya (or something) will be released any day now.

This deputization occured earlier this month, and coincided with a meeting with Arpaio, where he got just enough to keep the birther propaganda machine going. As Dr. Conspiracy notes, it's likely more of the same nothing that's been promulgated by Arpaio, Zullo and Gallups for years.

Now that WND has forsaken birtherism to support Ted Cruz, Gallups is, after Donald Trump, probably the most prominent active birther. Funny that WND doesn't want to tell its readers about that.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:48 AM EDT
Updated: Friday, March 25, 2016 12:18 AM EDT
Wednesday, March 23, 2016
CNS Promotes Fringe, Foreign Medical Groups' Anti-Gay Attacks
Topic: CNSNews.com

Penny Starr writes in a March 16 CNSNews.com article:

The American College of Pediatricians issued a position statement last month entitled “Gender Ideology Harms Children,” which will be followed by a peer-reviewed statement on the subject that’s expected to be released by summer, the college told CNSNews.com.

“The American College of Pediatricians urges educators and legislators to reject all policies that condition children to accept as normal a life of chemical and surgical impersonation of the opposite sex,” the statement issued on Feb. 2 stated. “Facts – not ideology – determine reality.”

The statement – written by Dr. Michelle A. Cretella, president of the American College of Pediatricians, Dr. Quentin Van Meter, vice president of the American College of Pediatricians and a pediatric endocrinologist, and Dr. Paul McHugh, university distinguished service professor of psychiatry at Johns Hopkins Medical School and the former psychiatrist in chief at Johns Hopkins Hospital – cites eight reasons why “gender ideology” instead of treatment based on biological facts is harmful to children.

The presence of non-pediatrictian McHugh in this statement is a huge red flag that this is more of a political statement than a medical one. McHugh --  whose anti-transgender rantings CNS managing editor Michael W. Chapman has promoted -- is an old man trading on his former affiliation with Johns Hopkins to create credibility on the right for his out-of-the-medical-mainstream anti-gay beliefs.

Starr waits until the end to quote the mission statement of the American College of Pediatricians, which also reveals it to be a political organization masquerading as a medical one, declaring that "we recognize the basic father-mother family unit, within the context of marriage, to be the optimal setting for childhood development."

But Starr doesn't mention that the group is a bit of a sham. Hemant Mehta writes that the group has maybe a couple hundred members and banks on confusion with the much larger -- and legitimate -- American Academy of Pediatrics.

Needless to say, Starr doesn't bother to talk with any actual peditricians who might offer an opposing view -- because balanced "news" articles are not what she's into writing.

This isn't even the only recent anti-gay attack on CNS invoking a so-called medical organization. A March 18 article by Chapman highlights how "The Indonesian Psychiatric Association (IPA) has officially announced that homosexuals and bisexuals are 'people with psychiatric problems,' and that transgender people have 'mental disorders,' conditions that can be treated."

'Chapman didn't explain why this group's alleged expertise should be trusted, but hetried to boost the group's credibility by claiming "The announcement was reported in several media outlets, including The Jakarta Post, The Guardian, and The Christian Post."

But Chapman made sure not to mention that the Guardian also pointed out that "For almost half a century, the global medical profession’s consensus is that homosexuality is a healthy variation of sexual orientation. The medical community also rejects the idea that transgender people suffer from a mental health disorder."

Chapman also failed to mention that, according to the Guardian, Human Rights Watch "had documented arbitrary arrests, harassment, threats, and violence against LGBT people in Indonesia this year" and that it called on the Indonesian government to "take a leadership position by stating publicly that the rights of all Indonesians need to be respected, including those of LGBT people, and by committing to reforms that protect instead of persecute this marginalised minority."

The fact that CNS must resort to fringe and foreign "medical" groups to find backing for its anti-gay agenda show just how far out of the mainstream it has become.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:25 PM EDT
Joseph Farah's Award Fail
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Back in December, as part of its bid to create some semblence of credibility, WorldNetDaily promoted the then-upcoming Western Conservative Conference, which was not only to be graced by Donald Trump, but was also going to be the place where "WND founder and CEO Joseph Farah will receive the Western Center for Journalism’s Hero of Freedom Award during a dinner gala celebrating the 25th anniversary of Farah’s founding of the WCJ." Not only that, "Rush Limbaugh has been invited to present the award." The conference was to be co-hosted by Floyd Brown, who now heads the Farah-founded Western Journalism Center, making this award a total logrolling effort.

The conference was scheduled for last weekend, but we saw hide nor hair of Farah being given this sad little award at WND. We wondered what happened.

Turns out it didn't happen at all -- the award, or the conference itself.

The conference's website features a notification that "Due to an unfortunate medical issue we are not able to go forward with the Western Conservative Conference on March 18–19t, [sic] 2016." The website does not explain whose "unfortunate medical issue" caused the conference's cancellation, or how a single illness could derail a conference that promised not only the star power of Trump, Farah and Limbaugh but "former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, Sheriff Joe Arpaio, Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., former NRA president Sandy Froman, and Scottie Nell Hughes of the Tea Party News Network."

The vagueness of the announcement suggests that the conference's cancellation was actually due to a lack of people signing up to take part and/or the backing out of one or more of the headliners. Farah probably isn't one of them since he likely really wanted that silly little award, no matter how incestuous.

Instead, Farah's hands are empty, and WND is as discredited as ever.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:27 AM EDT
Tuesday, March 22, 2016
NEW ARTICLE: The Semi-Birthers At The MRC
Topic: Media Research Center
Media Research Center writers didn't exactly support Obama birtherism, but they didn't exactly denounce it either. Only when eligibility questions popped up around Ted Cruz did the MRC get passionate on the subject. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 7:00 PM EDT
WND Strangely Trying to Shield Michele Bachmann From 'Obama Is The Antichrist' Claim
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WND has renounced birtherism (albeit for politically expedient reasons). What deeply held belief will it renounce next (for politically expedient reasons)?

A March 17 WND article by Bob Unruh gives us the answer:

Multiple headlines on YouTube claim former Rep. Michele Bachmann believes Barack Obama is the Antichrist.

There’s “Michele Bachmann warns Obama will reveal he’s the Antichrist.”

The popular (7,000 views) “Lunatic Bachmann Says Obama Is About To Reveal Himself As Anti-Christ.”

And “Michele Bachmann WARNS The ANTICHRIST Will Take Over UN (OBAMA’S REAL AGENDA).”

However, the former lawmaker from Minnesota told WND, “I did not say President Obama is the Antichrist, nor did I infer that he is.”

Bachmann said she’s asked YouTube to take down the inaccurate statements but has not received a response.

[...]

Politicians expect criticism of their positions and statements, but now, as a former politician, Bachmann says she is just trying to get YouTube to halt the outright fabrications.

The claim that she identified Obama as the Antichrist, she said, is beyond the pale.

“I think President Obama has done more to hurt our nation than any other American president in our nation’s history. He changed world history by enabling Iran, the world’s chief sponsor of anti-Israel/anti-American terrorism, to quickly get a nuclear bomb and the means to deliver it to the U.S.,” she said.

“Barack Obama’s legacy is the establishment of lawlessness in the United States. He has deeply damaged both the American and global economies. He has deliberately stoked hatred between people based upon the color of their skin.

“In fact it is difficult to identify any positive legacy he will leave the American people. That being said, I do not believe Obama is the Antichrist,” she told WND.

Unruh doesn't mention that the idea of Obama being the Antichrist was popularized by WND itself. It has promoted columnists Hal Lindsey and Joel Richardson llinking Obama with the Antichrist, as well as a video made by Carl Gallups (then hiding behind his PPSimmons pseudonym) claiming that the Bible actually tells us that Obama is the Antichrist.

Last August, WND gave Gallups a platform to walk things back -- he insists that he really doesn't believe Obama is the Antichrist, only an antichrist, and he again refused to apologize for making the video, calling it "thought-provoking."

Unruh doesn't explain why this particular accusation is now ideological poison at WND -- it's been trying to distance itself from the claim it once enthusiastically promoted for a while now. And he also doesn't explain why the statements Bachmann did make on the subject, while not explicitly claiming Obama is the Antichrist, should not be interpreted as suggesting that.

Unruh huffed that "One would have to make a number of unsupported assumptions to conclude that a statement by host Eric Barger indicated that." But he's fuzzy on the origin of the claim, and he fails to link to the Raw Story article on Bachmann's interview with radio hosts Barger and Jan Markell he blames for helping to forward the story.

In it, Bachmann talks with Barger and Markell about a questionable report claiming that Obama wants to become secretary-general of the United Nations after leaving office. Raw Story continues:

“Obama would only go into an empowered, powerful UN, powerful enough to see the United States come under the UN’s authority,” Bachmann said.

[...]

Markell found the reporting credible enough to form the basis of a wild conspiracy theory about Obama becoming “king of the world.”

“The whole idea of Obama being able to extend his presidency, even enhance it and expand it, I don’t think I need to say what I’m thinking because I think a lot of the listeners are thinking the same thing, and we all are too, and as you shake your head you wonder what’s coming next,” Barger added.

The implication, of course, is that Obama is the biblical Antichrist — a suggestion Bachmann herself has made before.

Unruh also quotes Markell vouching for Bachmann's non-Antichrist-ness -- but he apparently failed to ask he why discussion of Obama being "king of the world" should not be interpreted as veiled talk of Obama being the Antichrist.

(And Unruh waits until near the end of his article to obliquely note that Markell co-wrote a WND-published book.)

It seems like Unruh's article is just another effort to rebuild WND's credibility by tamping down its well-earned reputation for Obama-hate and conspiracy theories. And it's done as dishonestly as we've come to expect from WND.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:30 AM EDT
Monday, March 21, 2016
MRC Mocks Idea That Transgenders For Cruz Is Like 'Jews For Hitler,' Ignores Cruz Hung Out With Pastor Who Wants To Kill Gays
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center got a bit of mileage out of "The View's" Joy Behar declaring that "Transgenders for Cruz is like Jews for Hitler":

Kristine Marsh complained that "The media’s attacks on presidential candidate Ted Cruz have been unprecedented, with comparisons to Nazis, the KKK, even a major newspaper using an image of a gun pointed towards his head."

The Washington Examiner's Paul Bedard promoted the clip in his weekly MRC-derived column, featuring this quote from MRC VP of research Brent Baker: "Classic example of excessive hyperbole exposing the prejudice of a media personality. So, since Ted Cruz is not an advocate for the specific rights and new laws transgender activists want imposed, that means he's planning a transgender Holocaust? Besides, I thought it was Trump who is the new Hitler according the media?"

But Marsh, Bedard and Baker all ignore evidence that Behar's statement might not be as hyperbolic as it seems. All they have to do is look at the anti-LGBT sentiments of the people who are supporting Cruz.

Last November, Cruz and other GOP presidential candidates attended a forum hosted by right-wing pastor Kevin Swanson who used said forum to advocate for executing gays. As we noted at the time, the MRC completely ignored Swanson's declaration, and it was not until three months later that Cruz bothered to try and distance himself from Swanson's remarks.

Cruz has aalso accumulated the endorsements of numerous anti-LGBT activists, including Sandy Rios and Linda Harvey.

Perhaps Marsh, Bedard and Baker can explain why an LGBT person would want to vote for someone who hangs out with such folks, at least one of whom has advocated their execution -- and why they shouldn't fear for their lives if Cruz is elected.


Posted by Terry K. at 6:12 PM EDT
WND's Farah Offended Trump Being Likened To Hitler -- Then Smears MoveOn As Hitler-Like,
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah spends his March 13 column complaining about MoveOn.org encouraging protests at donald Trump rallies. He writes:

While Trump’s Republican opponents claim his campaign has invited chaos at his rallies with incendiary speech, they should remember this group used similar tactics against George W. Bush in 2004, also comparing the establishment GOP president with Adolf Hitler in media ads. If Trump’s opponents think MoveOn.org would be any less brutish toward their campaigns if they were front-runners, they are hopelessly misguided.

You might recall that WND itself has spent notable time over the years comparing President Obama to Hitler and various Nazis -- heck, it even published an op-ed defending such comparisons. If likening Trump to Hitler is a "brutish" tactic now, it was brutish when WND was giving a platform to people likening Obama to Hitler.

Farah is once again being hypocritical --so much so, he goes on to make the very same "brutish" smear against MoveOn in this very same column. Apparently, being "brutish" is OK in Farah's eyes when it advances your agenda.

Farah then huffs that MoveOn's "thuggish tactics" are being "funded by tens of millions of dollars from Soros and a parade of other Democrat billionaires, including John Kerry’s wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry, and her Tides Foundation." As we've pointed out in 2004, when WND was trying to smear Heinz Kerry because of her donations to the group, the Tides Foundation is not "her" foundation; she donated money to the group earmarked to support specific, non-controversial causes.

But Farah's not done ranting:

MoveOn.org is the new Ku Klux Klan – simply another age-old terrorist group that historically served as the military wing of the Democratic Party. Blaming Trump for their Gestapo tactics will only further their despicable ends.

[...]

These people hate America. They hate cops. They hate the military. They hate free enterprise. They hate liberty. They hate the Constitution.

This is not about Trump.

It’s about winning elections, silencing opposition and using brown-shirt tactics we haven’t seen since Mussolini and Hitler.

There’s no middle ground here. Either you support fascist tactics like this or you oppose them.

But Farah can point to no act of "terrorism" MoveOn.org has engaged in -- unless you count organizing anti-Trump protests as "terrorism." Farah claims that "MoveOn.org hosted a petition calling on the U.S. government not to designate the jihadist organization Boko Haram as a terrorist group," but MoveOn has pointed out that the petition appeared on its "open petition platform" and gained only about 100 signatures during the two years it was active and ignored until WND friend and far-right former congressman Steve Stockman highlighted it (and worked through his WND buddy Garth Kant to make political hay out of it).

It's richly ironic that Farah is denouncing as "fascist" and "brownshirt" and Mussolini and Hitler-esque the very same tactics his organization has used against Obama for years -- and which have brought him only an utter lack of credibility.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:25 PM EDT
Sunday, March 20, 2016
CNS Reporter Tells Only One Side of Flint Hearings
Topic: CNSNews.com

Last week, a House committee hosted two days of testimony on the Flint, Mich., water crisis. CNSNews.com reporter Melanie Hunter wrote four articles about it:

  • An article on the former Flint mayor testifying that "he trusted the guidance he received from then EPA regional administrator Susan Hedman that the high levels of lead in the water in Flint, Mich., were 'limited to very particular cases' of lead service lines and plumbing in individual houses."
  • An article on EPA administrator Gina McCarthy allegedly [sidestep[ping] a question on whether she would have fired a regional administrator for her purported role in the crisis. McCarthy pointed out that the  regional administrator resigned on her own so "that was an issue I didn’t need to face."
  • An article featuring a internal EPA email suggesting that "the federal agency might not want to 'go out on a limb for' the community of Flint, Mich."
  • An article featuring a Republican congressman's call for McCarthy to resign.

How biased is Hunter's reporting? Not only does quote only from Republican members of the committee, she almost completely disappears the fact that among those testifying was Republican Michian Gov. Rick Snyder. Only one of Hunter's four articles even mentions Snyder, a passing reference noting only that Snyder testified.

And because Hunter is interested only in parroting right-wing bashing of the EPA and protecting a Republican governor, her readers don't get the full story -- that Michigan officials under Snyder played a significant role in creating and extending the crisis, and that the EPA's hands were tied to a certain extent. The Washington Post's Dana Milbank summarizes:

Now members of Congress are blaming the EPA for failing to stop the problem — oblivious to the irony that they and their predecessors were the ones who denied the federal government the ability to enforce drinking-water standards in the first place.

It’s a vicious cycle: Washington devolves power to the states. When states screw up, conservatives blame the federal government, worsening the public’s already shaky faith. Having tied the hands of the feds — in this case, the EPA — they use the failure as justification to restrict federal power further, thus giving more control to the states, which caused the problem in the first place.

[...]

Even though the EPA should have acted faster once it learned of Flint’s troubles, there is no dispute that the state was solely responsible for the changes that caused the lead poisoning. 

But you won't find any of that being reported by Hunter -- it's not part of her agenda.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:04 PM EDT
Saturday, March 19, 2016
WND's Trump Fanboy Wants Us To Believe Trump is 'Principled' (Also, Aristotle)
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Theodore Roosevelt Malloch is WorldNetDaily's foremost Donald Trump fanfiction author, and he has continued his fanboy ways.

In a Feb. 10 column, Malloch declared that "Trump is an Aristotelian – perhaps without knowing it." No, really:

What is Trump’s Ethos? In other words, what makes him credible? What is his “street cred,” in the modern vernacular? You need this to establish a first line of communication, and that has to be believable. Trump ‘s credibility is tied to his business acumen and success. It helps that he is universally recognizable as the chairman of the board on a popular TV reality show.

What is Trump’s Logos? He is employing the means of persuasion by using logic, data and facts to get people to understand the situation we are facing as a country in decline and by saying he, as speaker and potential president, has a sense of reasonableness. How is he demonstrating that he knows what he is talking about and that he is in command of the present political and economic reality? He is doing that by stating figures on where we have gone down the wrong path and how that could be righted.

What is Trump’s Pathos? His art of appealing to people’s emotions is working. The emotional bond he deploys is captivating audiences as they feel connected both to him as leader and to his message. He is one of them. He gets their predicament. He is able to make voters see he can do something no one else can. Clearly, he is going to do things differently. He gets things done.

So not quite Aristotlean in the great-thinker way -- just that he's able to give a speech competently. If Malloch thinks Trump uses "data and facts" in his speeches, he obviously hasn't heard Trump speak.

In his Feb. 15 column, Malloch insisted that "Donald Trump’s campaign remarks about Muslims were both taken out of context and decoupled from a necessary, larger framework" and that "Trump is neither anti-Muslim nor against states with majority Muslim populations." Malloch goes on to give Trump much more credit for having a thought-out plan on Muslims than the guy has actually demonstrated:

Trump understands that Islam is one of the three great Abrahamic faiths and that a minority of its adherents have hijacked Islam for violent political ends. Radical Islamic terrorists are destroying their own culture even as they strike out against everything they hate in Western civilization. The truth is Islam needs to undergo the type of reformation experienced by the other two Abrahamic faiths. Millions of Muslims throughout the world realize that the needed reformation must emanate from within Islam itself, such that it cannot be imposed on Islam from the outside.

On Feb. 23, Malloch touted Trump's appeal to the "white working and middle class." He gets credit for managing not to look as nakedly racist as fellow WND columnist and Trump fanboy Kent Bailey did; instead, he frames it as regular people vs. the elites, and that "What the Trump supporters from the WWMC want is simply restoration of the American dream!" Malloch adds: "The WWMC class needs a voice. Trump is the messenger of this voiceless group." He doesn't mention the irony of a guy who has been the epitome of elitism being the "voice" of anti-elitists.

And on March 6, Malloch portrays Trump as a "principled actor" in politics, again ignoring his actual history:

For all three traditional definitions of political politicians – political theorists, principled political actors and unprincipled political actors – the real problem is that Trump believes it is true American can be great again, and he dares to say without any reservation that he has the talent and the means to accomplish that goal, even if he must do so against all odds.

For Trump, to exude confidence not only inspires others to confidence, but becomes a self-fulfilling act. But the truth is that to make America great again, one has to believe that one is a partial expression of that greatness. Trump wants all Americans to be included in that greatness he sees as possible for America, and he dares to extend his reach beyond party, class, race, gender and region.

In this sense Trump has much to share with both Reagan and Lincoln in that all three gentlemen have embraced the highest ideals of our Founding Fathers with the naiveté to believe their destiny was to assist this nation in fulfilling that dream.

In the final analysis, Trump – like Reagan and Lincoln before him – loves America and welcomes the challenge to return this country to the glory our forefathers intended to bequeath to future generations. In the final analysis, Trump can embrace this challenge in this age because he is, after all, an entrepreneur.

A race between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump will post an unprincipled politician against a principled one – with neither qualifying as political theorists. That much should be clear.

What remains harder for many on the left and on the right to grasp is that understanding Trump is really not all that difficult, not after you realize that Trump might actually achieve what he says he wants to achieve.

Ignoring reality is the stuff of fanfiction, and Malloch has that down cold.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:32 AM EDT
Friday, March 18, 2016
MRC Lets GOP Activist's False Birther Claim Stand
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's history on Obama birtherism is an ambivalent one -- it would alternate tepid endorsements with tepid denials. It's only when Ted Cruz faced birther-style claims that it got aggressive on the subject -- and even then it wouldn't target close personal friends of the MRC for going birther on Cruz.

That particular Trump-induced birther storm has passed ... which apparently has made it OK for the MRC to promote Obama birther attacks again.

Brad Wilmouth uses a March 13 MRC NewsBusters post to promote how a CNN anchor Poppy Harlow was "confused" by how "her guest, Ohio GOP chairman Matt Borges, turned the tables by implicating Hillary Clinton's 2008 presidential campaign in dabbling in similar mischief against her then-opponent Senator Obama." Wilmouth uncritically repeated Borges' assertion that Obama birtherism was "created by Hillary Clinton in 2008," noting only that Harlow pointed out that "Hillary Clinton never asked for the President's, you know, then-Senator Barack Obama's birth certificate."

In fact, numerous fact-checkers have found no link between Hillary Clinton and birther attacks on Obama.

USA Today: "While it's true that some of her ardent supporters pushed the theory, there is no evidence that Clinton or her campaign had anything to do with it."

PolitiFact: "It’s an interesting bit of history that the birther movement appears to have begun with Democrats supporting Clinton and opposing Obama. But Trump, and others who have made this claim, neglect to mention that there is no direct tie to Clinton or her 2008 campaign. The story appears to have started with supporters of Clinton, an important distinction."

Washington Post: "This is simply not true. Clinton's campaign, one of the most thoroughly dissected in modern history, never raised questions about the future president's citizenship. The idea that it did is based largely on a series of disconnected actions by supporters of Clinton, mostly in the months between Obama's reaction to the Jeremiah Wright story and the Democratic National Convention. ... the Clinton campaign never pursued the idea that Obama was literally not American, and therefore ineligible for the presidency."

It would have been nice if Wilmouth was honest and told the truth. But telling the truth about Obama is simply not in the MRC's best political interest.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:14 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, March 18, 2016 2:16 PM EDT
WND's Cashill Fires Up The Conspiracies for Supreme Court Nomination
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Last week, WorldNetDaily renounced birtherism to support Ted Cruz, so it was in the market for a new conspiracy theory. So it's returning to an old one, thanks to Merrick Garland.

On March 16, President Obama named Garland as his Supreme Court nominee. A short time later, conspiracy-monger extraordinaire Jack Cashill was up with a WND column claiming to tie Garland to not one but two conspiracies, the Oklahoma City bombing and the TWA 800 disaster -- then immediately backtracks on one of them:

Whatever his merits, Garland served as Deputy Attorney General Jamie Gorelick’s “principal deputy” during the two most corrupt years in American political history – the years leading up to Bill Clinton’s reelection in 1996 – and that service alone should kill his candidacy.

Although Garland has no known connection with the TWA 800 investigation, it happened during his watch, and his boss oversaw its unprecedented misdirection.

nevertheless, Csshill insists that "Senators need to ask Garland what he knew about TWA 800 and when he knew it."

After some factually inaccurate ranting about Gorelick and her purported "wall," Cashill finally moves on to more relevant stuff: Garland's serving as chief prosecutor of Oklahoma City bombing perpetrators Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols. "What someone needs to ask Garland is what happened to John Doe No. 2," Cashill asserts, referring to the idea that a mysterious Middle Eastern man played some unspecified role in the bombing; as we've reported, the FBI said the person thought to have been said swarthy foreigner was "thoroughly investigated" and found to have no connection to the bombing.

But Cashill cites no role, real or imagined, Garland had in this conspiracy; he simply rehashes the never-proven John Doe No. 2 story, then jumps to a completely separate conspiracy: that "Garland was also involved with the Olympic Park bombing" and, apparently, the framing of Richard Jewell for it.

Bu we remember when Cashill was suggesting that the guy who actually committed the bombing, Eric Rudolph, was as innocent as Jewell.That was before Rudolph actually confessed to his crimes. Cashill now concedes that Rudolph is "a crazed anti-abortion activist," but back then he was just a "mystical right-winger" who was merely an anti-abortion protester and illogically tied to the Olympic Park bombing.

(Actually, Rudolph confessed his motive was "to shame the United States for its legalization of abortion" by knocking out Atlanta's power grid and shutting down the Olympics. He also bombed two abortion clinics and a lesbian nightclub.)

This is the guy Cashill was willing to defend in order to attack the Clintons. There's no reason to trust his conspiracy-mongering now.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:41 AM EDT

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