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Monday, May 30, 2016
MRC's Double Standard on Donations Influencing Reporting
Topic: Media Research Center

Tim Graham and Brent Bozell complain in their May 25 column about National Public Radio accepting money from "large left-wing funders" and purportedly influence reporting, in particular attacking the Ploughshares Fund for funding national security coverage on NPR, including reports on the U.S.-Iran nuclear negotiations. "There is no transparency," Graham and Bozell rant (though they do immediately cite a example of the transparency they claim doesn't exist).

This might be a devastating accusation if the organization Bozell and Graham run didn't engage in the exact same behavior they're railing against.

We'vbe documented how the Media Research Center has received millions in donations from oil and fossil-fuel interests -- to the point that MRC vice president Dan Gainor also holds the endowed-chair title of T. Boone Pickens Fellow -- and how, coincidentially,  the MRC's "news" division, CNSNEws.com, offers favorable, uncritical coverage of the oil and gas industry.

CNS' oil and gas sycophancy -- presumably funded by those MRC donations -- has continued apace, most recently with CNS publishing an armada of op-eds defending a right-wing think tank from a subpoena demanding documents showing how it worked with ExxonMobil to suppress evidence that climate change is driven by fossil fuels and undermine the scientific concensus that reached that conclusion.

And that's just the most obvious connection. Who knows what other biased CNS reporting is bought and paid for by right-wing donors? We don't, because Bozell and the MRC have disclosed absolutely nothing about it.

So Bozell and Graham want full transparency of donations from outside groups that could influence reporting? You first, guys. Either that, or change CNS' name to Cybercast Propaganda Service.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:42 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, May 30, 2016 12:58 PM EDT
Obama's Transgender Appointee Makes WND's Head Explode
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily's abject hatred for all things Obama and transgender are pretty obvious. Put the two together, and even that hatred goes up a few notches.

Thus, Obama's appointment of transgender woman Barbara Satin to the president’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships tripped that trigger. A "news" article on the appointment by WND lackey Bob Unruh couldn't even make out of the second paragraph before quoting a screed by an obscure right-wing blogger decdlaring that Satin is "mentally sick." Unruh somehow neglects to mention that the writer of said screed also referred to Obama as "Barack Hussein Obama Soetoro Sobarkah," so you know his credibility is completely unassailable.

Unruh's article  is oddly accompanied by a completely unrelated photo of a smiling, if not smug-looking, Obama -- an obvious and dishonest attempt to convey WND's view that his appointment of Satin is a screw-you to WND readers:

Judging by the 1,400-plus comments accompanying the article, WND's message was received as intended.

Lest anyone think WND's hatefest doesn't come straight from the top, WND editor Joseph Farah followed up with a column continuing the mindless hate:

It gets wackier and wackier.

Barack Obama last week named a transgender man named Barbara Satin to be a member of his Advisory Council on Faith-Based Neighborhood Partnerships – another obvious poke in the eye at America’s Bible-believing community.

I call him Obama’s “Satin Doll,” but, of course, I don’t know if “Barbara” pronounces his name that way. I will leave it to your imagination on the alternative.

You can hardly keep up with the White House freak show in Obama’s closing days.

[...]

Satin, by the way, never went under the knife, so to speak. He’s still got all his male parts. He admits being attracted to women, was married and fathered three children. So this is an example of the kind of person who is free to use the same public bathroom at Target as your daughter. Keep that in mind.

This action, of course, follows Obama’s stunning and tyrannical decision to order public schools throughout America to allow transgender students to use the restrooms of their choice – threatening to withhold federal aid to any school district that balks.

What is Obama going to do next to top this?

Is Michelle going to come out of the closet as a transsexual?

Yesa, Farah apparently believes Michelle Obama is transsexual, like Alex Jones (who also thinks Joan Rivers was murdered in order to keep it secret), on whose even more conspiracy-obsessed show Farah is a (perhaps not-so) surprisingly frequent guest.

And Farah wonders why his website has no credibility.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:52 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, May 31, 2016 8:52 AM EDT
Sunday, May 29, 2016
CNS Dishonestly Perpetuates False Obama 'Apology' Meme
Topic: CNSNews.com

The idea that President Obama regularly apologizes for America while overseas has long been right-wing dogma, despite the fact that it never actually happened. The Media Research Center particularly loves this.

So, leave it to MRC "news" division CNSNews.com to perpetuate the bogus meme with a May 25 article by Patrick Goodenough, under the headline "Obama’s Japan Visit Starts With Apology–Although Not For Hiroshima."

What a fundmentally dishonest headline. CNS and Goodenough surely know that at no point did Obama ever claim he would offer an apology to Japan while visiting the site of the U.S nuclear attack on Hiroshima during his visit to Japan (and he did not). But it's clear that pandiering to right-wingers is more important to CNS than reporting facts -- a disturbing attitude for a self-proclaimed "news" operation.

Goodenough's actual article isn't much better, as he too is eager to amplify a false right-wing meme:

President Obama has said he will not offer an apology when visiting Hiroshima this week, but his trip to Japan began on an awkward note and expressions of regret, after Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe opened a press appearance by sternly lecturing him over a murder allegedly perpetrated by a former U.S. Marine on Okinawa.

[...]

In his response Obama briefly addressed the Okinawa case, but reprised his remarks by stressing the importance of a bilateral alliance which he said has “helped to fortify peace and security throughout the region.”

He then said he had expressed to the prime minister his “sincerest condolences and deepest regrets” over the incident – the killing of a 20-year-old Japanese woman on the island.

Obama gave assurances that the U.S. would continue to cooperate with the investigation and ensure justice is done under Japan’s legal system.

Note that nowhere in Goodenough's reporting of Obama's remarks is any mention of the apology the article's headline claims and his own introduction suggests. Condolences and regrets over a crime are not apologies.

Goodenough caps off the article by quoting a writer from the right-wing Heritage Foundation (whose ideology he does not disclose) complaining that "Obama’s trip will appear to affirm the oft-expressed Japanese view of itself as victim due to its unique status as the only country to have suffered an atomic attack." Goodenough made no apparent attempt to seek out an alternative, non-conservative viewpoint.

Goodenough is capable of fair reporting when he wants to be, but in recent months he's taken the lazy way out by being content to put right-wing memes over facts, such as he work on Syrian refugees and anti-U.S. propaganda in Iran.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:23 PM EDT
Saturday, May 28, 2016
Hillary Derangement Syndrome, Supersize WND Edition
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Look at Hillary.

She is seen as dishonest. She is not likable. She has no accomplishments – in or out of politics – to cite. She’s not even scoring high among women.

The Trump versus Hillary matchup will be a very tough campaign. Who do you think is better positioned to slug it out? Has Hillary demonstrated an ability to win a national campaign? In 2008, she had everything going for her. The entire Democratic establishment was behind her then, too. But she couldn’t beat a new face with bigger promises. This year, she has struggled against Bernie Sanders, heretofore seen as a fringe old face.

-- Joseph Farah, March 27 WorldNetDaily column

With her eyes bulging wildly, grotesque contorted facial expressions, and a cackle Margaret Hamilton (the Wicked Witch of the West in “The Wizard of Oz”) would envy, Hillary Clinton attacked Donald Trump, saying that being president “shouldn’t be about delivering insults but about delivering results.”

Delivering results juxtaposed to delivering insults is something in which Hillary is well versed.

-- Mychal Massie, March 28 WND column

Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton is on her way to the Democratic presidential nomination, and no one has laid a glove on her yet. The Republicans are too busy fighting each other – all of them, establishment and non-establishment alike.

This is not good.

Tell me one policy difference between Lucifer and Hillary Clinton.

-- Joseph Farah, May 6 WND column

I’ve known women who have been drunks, drug addicts, liars and worse. I’ve known a woman who was herself a complete train wreck and intentionally turned her child into the same so she could have company. I’ve known women who have thought themselves to be clever when in fact their cleverness was consistent with an empty soup can. I’ve ministered to women who were in prison for murder.

But I’ve never known a woman as treacherous, calculating and outright evil as Hillary Clinton.

-- Mychal Massie, May 16 WND column

At this point, Democrats had better hope the FBI does its job of purging Hillary Clinton before it’s too late, because the party bosses haven’t yet shown the courage. She should not be allowed anywhere near the Oval Office again.

-- David Limbaugh, May 26 WND column

The Hillary campaign and its labyrinthian tentacles must be really concerned about me.

Why do I say that?

Because its surrogates in the media – namely the George Soros-backed Media Matters, the Daily Beast and the chattering class that follows such outlets – are busy weaving conspiracy theories about me and Donald Trump while labeling me as … a conspiracy theorist.

You know how that Saul Alinsky tactic works – accuse others of what you do.

-- Joseph Farah, May 26 WND column


Posted by Terry K. at 12:40 AM EDT
Friday, May 27, 2016
Jeffrey Lord Flunks School on Cause of 2008 Financial Crisis
Topic: NewsBusters

The Media Research Center's Nicholas Fondacaro channels the ghost of Noel Sheppard in a May 25 post headlined "Jeffrey Lord Schools Former Philly Mayor on Origin of Housing Collapse":

NewsBusters contributor Jeffrey Lord laid out the facts about the origin of the housing market collapse of 2008, on CNN’s America’s Choice 2016 primary coverage Tuesday night. “You've got people out there saying that the Clinton housing policy helped cause the housing crisis in the first place,” Lord stated, after being asked if it was smart for Hillary Clinton to attack Donald Trump for his comments about the bubble poping. Former Philadelphia Mayor, Michael Nutter had a bone to pick with Lord over his facts.

Nutter wanted to blame the collapse, not on bad government policy, but solely on Republican President George W. Bush:

[...]

Lord shot back, “It was set in motion in the 1990s.” Nutter couldn’t seem to keep up with Lord’s line of reasoning. He instead chose to argue that the right was going to try to blame “every bad thing” on Hillary.

“Their policy was to force the government to give mortgages to people who couldn't afford to pay them back and it caused the economy to collapse,” Lord continued, not letting up. “That was 20 years ago,” Nutter responded again, “At that time, George Bush was president of the United States of America when this was all going on.” Lord shot back yet again by reiterating that the policy that forced the banks to give loans to people was signed by then President Bill Clinton.

We wouldn't want to go to any school where Lord is teaching, because it's simply not true that Clinton administration policies were the sole cause of the financial crisis, as he is apparently claiming.

It's unclear which particular Clinton policies Lord is blaming, but  two have been targeted by other right-wing critics eager to shift blame away from Republicans: the 1995 Community Reinvestment Act, and the 1995 National Homeownership Strategy initiative.

Regarding the former, the Richmond Federal Reserve Bank points out that the 1995 CRA "came more than a decade before most of the financial crisis seeds were sown," adding: "There have been no substantive changes to CRA regulations since the mid-1990s to cause a major change in LMI lending trends, yet the subprime crisis is rooted mainly in mortgages extended between 2004 and 2007. That implies other factors caused the more recent boom in subprime lending and deterioration of lending standards."

The latter, it could be argued, may have been a contributing factor, though -- as with the CRA -- its major effects were seen well before the financial crisis occured. The Richmond Fed states that the strategy was part of a series of policies  that "may have conveyed ongoing government support of the housing market and reduced the propensity of lenders, markets, and regulators to question loosened lending standards and investment in housing."

It's absurd to blame a single policy adjustment 20 years ago for a financial crisis -- the economy's too complex for that, and there's plenty of blame to go around (which Lord definitely doesn't want to admit). Indeed, Time magazine lists 25 people who could share blame for the financial crisis. Clinton is on there, but so is President George W. Bush along with several bankers and subprime mortgage lenders.

Is the "school" Lord is running here affiliated with Corinthian Colleges or something? Count us out.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:21 PM EDT
WND Overjoyed to Relive Vince Foster Conspiracy Theories
Topic: WorldNetDaily

When Donald Trump advanced the idea that the Clintons murdered Vince Foster 20-plus years ago, WorldNetDaily must have been positively giddy. After all, the Hillary-hating, conspiracy-obsessed WND has been gearing up for this moment for months.

And WND was unsurprisingly quick to pounce on the reference. A May 24 article by Jerome Corsi denies that its Foster story is a "right-wing conspiracy theory" and rehashes its earlier claim from a former Starr investigator Miguel Rodriguez "outlining evidence of his charge that the case was fixed." Needless to say, Corsi doesn't mention -- lest the transgender-hating WND feel its current conspiracy theory is undermined -- that Rodriguez is rumored to now be a transgender woman named Michelle. 

A companion WND article by Leo Hohmann does more rehashing, asserting that "Hillary Clinton’s name pops up often in official documents of the Starr Report released by the National Archives, many of them obtained by WND but never reported on by the media." Much of Hohmann's information appears to come from Hugh Turley, a conspiracist who is featured on a website proclaiming him, along with other conspiracists -- who are cited in Corsi's article -- as "the leading experts on the death of Vincent Foster."

We've wondered this before, and we have to wonder again: Is WND advising Trump behind the scenes on Clinton conspiracy theories? Because it sure seems like it. If it's true, we can certainly understand why the Trump campaign wouldn't want to publicly admit it, because of WND's utter lack of credibility.

Additionally, as of this writing, there's no mention at WND of a Washington Post op-ed written by Foster's sister, who denounced people like Trump who cravenly use her brother's death for "political advantage." Of course, for it to do so WND would have to admit having a conscience and a sense of morality and sensitivity, and Joseph Farah and Co. simply hate Hillary Clinton too much not to cynically throw Vince Foster's corpse around one more time.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:08 AM EDT
Updated: Friday, May 27, 2016 12:21 AM EDT
Thursday, May 26, 2016
NewsBusters' Jeffrey Lord Flunks School on Cause of 2008
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Nicholas Fondacaro channels the ghost of Noel Sheppard in a May 25 post headlined "Jeffrey Lord Schools Former Philly Mayor on Origin of Housing Collapse":

NewsBusters contributor Jeffrey Lord laid out the facts about the origin of the housing market collapse of 2008, on CNN’s America’s Choice 2016 primary coverage Tuesday night. “You've got people out there saying that the Clinton housing policy helped cause the housing crisis in the first place,” Lord stated, after being asked if it was smart for Hillary Clinton to attack Donald Trump for his comments about the bubble poping. Former Philadelphia Mayor, Michael Nutter had a bone to pick with Lord over his facts.

Nutter wanted to blame the collapse, not on bad government policy, but solely on Republican President George W. Bush:

[...]

Lord shot back, “It was set in motion in the 1990s.” Nutter couldn’t seem to keep up with Lord’s line of reasoning. He instead chose to argue that the right was going to try to blame “every bad thing” on Hillary.

“Their policy was to force the government to give mortgages to people who couldn't afford to pay them back and it caused the economy to collapse,” Lord continued, not letting up. “That was 20 years ago,” Nutter responded again, “At that time, George Bush was president of the United States of America when this was all going on.” Lord shot back yet again by reiterating that the policy that forced the banks to give loans to people was signed by then President Bill Clinton.

We wouldn't want to go to any school where Lord is teaching, because it's simply not true that Clinton administration policies were the sole cause of the financial crisis, as he is apparently claiming.

It's unclear which particular Clinton policies Lord is blaming, but  two have been targeted by other right-wing critics eager to shift blame away from Republicans: the 1995 Community Reinvestment Act, and the 1995 National Homeownership Strategy initiative.

Regarding the former, the Richmond Federal Reserve Bank points out that the 1995 CRA "came more than a decade before most of the financial crisis seeds were sown," adding: "There have been no substantive changes to CRA regulations since the mid-1990s to cause a major change in LMI lending trends, yet the subprime crisis is rooted mainly in mortgages extended between 2004 and 2007. That implies other factors caused the more recent boom in subprime lending and deterioration of lending standards."

The latter, it could be argued, may have been a contributing factor, though -- as with the CRA -- its major effects were seen well before the financial crisis occured. The Richmond Fed states that the strategy was part of a series of policies  that "may have conveyed ongoing government support of the housing market and reduced the propensity of lenders, markets, and regulators to question loosened lending standards and investment in housing."

It's absurd to blame a single policy adjustment 20 years ago for a financial crisis -- the economy's too complex for that, and there's plenty of blame to go around (which Lord definitely doesn't want to admit). Indeed, Time magazine lists 25 people who could share blame for the financial crisis. Clinton is on there, but so is President George W. Bush along with several bankers and subprime mortgage lenders.

Is the "school" Lord is running here affiliated with Corinthian Colleges or something? Count us out.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:52 PM EDT
A 'Food Desert' Fail At CNS
Topic: CNSNews.com

In a May 19 CNSNews.com article, Melanie Hunter highlights a comment by first lady Michelle Obama that "some U.S. communities are 'play deserts,' because they don’t have sufficient opportunities for kids to participate in sports and other outdoor activities, compared to wealthy communities." Hunter then adds: "As CNSNews.com previously reported, the Obama administration coined the phrase 'food deserts' to describe an urban area where a significant share of the population lives more than one mile from a grocery store."

Hunter has played into a double fail. First, the CNS article to which she links --  a 2012 article by Penny Starr -- at no point claims that the Obama administration "coined" the "food desert" term.

Second, the phrase does very much predate the Obama administration. If Wikipedia is to be believed, the "food desert" term was first documented in a 1999 report by the Nutrition Task Force Low Income Project Team of the United Kingdom Department of Health. It can also be found in a 2008 essay in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.

We know CNS is always in a rush to smear the Obamas any way they can, but Hunter's complete lack of basic research here is embarrassing, even for CNS.


Posted by Terry K. at 4:17 PM EDT
NEW ARTICLE: Journalistic Crimes of the WND Author
Topic: WorldNetDaily
Alex Newman smears teachers as criminals in his WorldNetDaily-published book. He's also written "news" articles for WND filled with falsehoods and deceptions. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 8:54 AM EDT
Wednesday, May 25, 2016
MRC Again Complains Historic Event Described As 'Historic'
Topic: Media Research Center

One key component of the Media Research Center's "media research" is to insist that it's "liberal bias" not to despise something the way it does, which manifests itself in whining that a historic event is described as "historic."

The MRC's Matthew Balan does the honors this time in a May 13 post, under the headline "NBC Hypes 'Historic' Obama Admin. Move on Transgender Students":

The Big Three networks' evening newscasts on Friday devoted full reports to the Obama administration's controversial letter to every public school district in the nation directing them to allow transgender students to use bathroom and locker rooms according to their chosen sexual identity. However, NBC Nightly News's segment on the issue touted the "Obama administration's historic new directive to the nation's public schools," and revisited a Massachusetts girl who now lives as a boy. Kate Snow touted how the child's mother says the federal government's move is "protection for him at school — and validation that his rights matter." [video below]

Substitute anchor Thomas Roberts (who has a record of acting as a left-wing LGBT activist) teased Snow's report by hyping that "the Obama administration sends a sweeping message to schools across the country: let transgender kids use the bathroom of their choice, or else." Just before using the "historic" term about the controversy, Roberts underlined that "pushback is coming fast and furious" against the policy move.

Yes, once again the MRC is mad that something historic was described as "historic." "Media criticism," folks!


Posted by Terry K. at 4:53 PM EDT
Trump and Kathleen Willey: The WND Connection
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Donald Trump has been running his presidential campaign as if it was being directed by the conspiracy-mongers and Clinton-haters at WorldNetDaily -- even when WND wasn't willing to follow Trump into certain places, such as going birther on Ted Cruz.

And Trump's latest moves seem to have come from the WND playbook -- and possibly a closer relationship.

WND's Bob Unruh dutifully promoted Trump's latest ad, which "features the voice of Juanita Broaddrick charging Clinton bit her lip and raped her in 1978." Unruh also touts how "Broaddrick described in a WND exclusive sit-down interview in her Arkansas home how the alleged 1978 sexual assault has deeply and permanently scarred her life." Unruh added that the interview was conducted by Candice Jackson, "previously authored the acclaimed book 'Their Lives: The Women Targeted by the Clinton Machine.'" That book was published by World Ahead Publishing, which WND purchased in 2008 after earlier forming a "strategic alliance" with it. (World Ahead is now the name of WND Books' self-publishing division.)

It's as if Trump worked with WND behind the scenes to promote Broaddrick. This wouldn't be the first time the two have partnered; in 2011, WND editor Joseph Farah and reporter Jerome Corsi coached Trump on his birther outbursts -- something WND hid from its readers -- and Farah gushed that "I am eternally grateful to him for standing up boldly and demanding to see Barack Obama's birth certificate," adding that Trump is "doing God's work here."

So grateful was Farah, apparently, that WND named Trump its "Man of the Year" for 2015.

But the Trump-WND link apperars to go even deeper, particularly with the stable of alleged Clinton sexual assault victims WND has cultivated. Media Matters has highlighted a February clip by longtime Trump confidante Roger Stone stated that "Trump is himself a contributor" to a fund to pay off Kathleen Willey's mortgage.

We've documented how WND promoted the Willey mortgage payoff in 2013,  and how Willey supporters rented (or got gratis) the WND mailing list to plug the payoff scheme again in February -- around the time Stone made his statement about Trump giving money to Willey. It still isn't working, by the way; as of this writing, the campaign has raised a paltry $7,119 of the $100,000 interim goal and the $386,000 final goal. WND also published Willey's book trying to cash in on claiming to be a victim of the Clintons.

WND is a buddy of Stone as well, heavily promoting his new, sleazy anti-Clinton book (which, needless to say, is available in the WND online store) while hiding his strange sex life and the bizarre and creepy sexual fantasies his co-author, Robert Morrow, has about Hillary Clinton. WND has also promoted Stone's RAPE PAC (yes, Stone is that kind of sleaze), of which Willey is national spokesperson.

The Trump campaign, for its part, issued a statement saying of the allegation, "there's no truth to that." But that Fox News article is unclear on exactly what is being denied; Fox News' John Roberts suggested in a tweet that the campaign was specifically denying that Trump donated to the crowdfunding campaign, which seems obvious given the paltry sum it has raised. That doesn't mean that Trump didn't give Willey money off the crowdfunding books, of course, and it doesn't seem that it has been asked of the Trump campaign.

Curiously, though, WND has not addressed the Stone claim at all on its website, even though it involves some of WND's favorite people and causes. That's not necessarily proof WND had a role in all of this (we'd ask them ourselves, but they've ignored our emails for years and WND, Farah and Jerome Corsi have all blocked us from following them on Twitter), but it sure looks suspicious, and it's not out of the realm of possibility given WND's record of behind-the-scenes maneuvering.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:46 AM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, May 25, 2016 8:48 AM EDT
Tuesday, May 24, 2016
CNS Can't Quite Admit To Readers That Syrian Muslims Are Fleeing Persecution, Just Like Syrian Christians
Topic: CNSNews.com

For months, CNSNews.com reporter Patrick Goodenough has been pushing the misleading meme that the Obama administration is deliberately blocking the admission of Christian refugees from Syria. Goodenough occasionally admits the truth -- that, in his words, Syrian Christian refugees tend not to go through U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) refugee camps, which supplies the number he uses, "due to safety fears, and tend to seek shelter instead with churches, Christian charities or with relatives in surrounding countries."

Goodenough's dishonest reporting has the imprimatur of his boss, CNS editor-in-chief Terry Jeffrey, so he too can maliciously suggest the Obama administrtation is blocking Christian refugees.

But Goodenough's reporting is even more dishonest than that -- he also buries the fact that the Muslims that are fleeing Syria for refugee status in the U.S. are fleeing persecution as well.

In his May 10 article -- he does body counts on refugees every couple weeks or so -- Goodenough plays up the fact that of 451 Syrian refugees arriving in the U.S. in the previous month, "426 were Sunni Muslims and one was a Christian."

Several paragraphs later, Goodenough obliquely writes that Syrian refugees are "escaping from the Allawite Assad regime and its Shi’ite backers, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS/ISIL) or other Sunni Islamist groups among the opposition, or more generally from the violence and deprivation. They include Sunnis, Shi’a, Christians, Allawites, Yazidis, Zoroastrians, Baha’i, atheists and others."

But that obscures the high number of Sunni Muslims seeking refugee status. A report from the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom has stated that Syria's ruling Assad regime has been guilty of crimes against humanity committed against Sunnis and others, and the BBC reports that "Christian opposition activists have accused the government of stoking sectarian tensions, including by using Alawite-led security forces and Alawite militiamen to target Sunni civilians." While Sunni Muslims make up the majority of Syrians -- and, hence, the majority of refugees -- the government of Bashar al-Assad is Alawite.

Why doesn't Goodenough make that clear? Presumably because he's more interested in portraying Christians as the real victims and is content to lump all Muslims together as a sinister infiltration.

Goodenough waited a few more paragraphs after that to tell the truth that "many Christians who leave Syria do not register with the U.N. refugee agency UNHCR, for fear of their safety in U.N. refugee camps." In other words, it's not Obama's fault that more Christians are not going UNHCR, no matter how much Goodenough tries to suggest otherwise.

Goodenough's May 23 body-count article began by intoning: "The Obama administration has admitted 499 Syrian refugees so far this month, with no Christians among them." At no point does he bother to mention the fact that Sunni Muslims (which accounted for 495 of those refugees) are facing persecution, and he again buries the fact that Christian refugees avoid going through UNHCR, which skews his numbers.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:54 PM EDT
WND Touts Attkisson's Fluff Questions to Trump, Ignores Trump Rape Accusation
Topic: WorldNetDaily

There was a bit of a lull in WorldNetDaily doing fawning, uncritical stories about segments on Sharyl Attkisson's right-leaning Sinclair-syndicated show "Full Measure." but if there was a promotional agreement between Attkisson and WND that somehow lapsed, it's back in force, and WND is back in full suck-up mode.

An unbylined May 22 article echoed the sneering attitude toward non-binary pronouns in a segment on "the new names associated with gender options," which meshes nicely with WND's transgender-hating agenda.

That episode of "Full Measure" somehow waqrranted a second article, which touted how "Sharyl Attkisson of Full Measure had the opportunity to sit down with Donald Trump and ask some questions he had never been asked before – including some from viewers.

Those hoping Attkisson would have asked Trump something substantial -- say, about the rape accusation hovering over him -- would quickly be dissuaded of that with the laundry list of lame questions she softballed his way, like "When was the last time you fired a gun?" and "Best TV show of all time – besides ‘Apprentice’?"

The rape accusation hasn't shown up anywhere else on WND that we've seen. Apparently, it's going to try and disappear that the way it tried with the Ted Cruz birther accusations.

Is Attkisson proud she shares her political and cultural agenda with the most discredited "news" organization in America? Apparently so.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:19 AM EDT
Monday, May 23, 2016
MRC Latino Dishonestly Defends The Koch Brothers In Fact-Free Rant
Topic: Media Research Center

In an April 25 NewsBusters post, MRC Latino's Daniel Garza rants that a segment on the TV channel Fusion on "the dirty business of campaign contributions" was "a fabrication of totally biased political propaganda." In addition to failing to identify a single "fabrication" in the segment, let alone offer a direct one of even one word from it -- he didn't even bother to embed a video of the segment in his item -- Garza responded with his own fabrication of totally biased political propaganda.'

That would be the ol' reflexive defense of the Koch brothers:

The reality is that the Koch Brothers don’t even rank in the top 50 when it comes to political donors in the United States. Moreover, Republican candidate Ted Cruz has made fighting political cronyism a pillar of his campaign, but you would never know it by viewing the fast-talking, morally narcissistic host of the video.

Garza's source for this is a 2014 article by the conservative Washington Examiner, based on data from OpenSecrets.org. But as others have noted, that list counts only direct contributions to parties and candidates and excludes money given to "politically active dark money groups, like Americans for Prosperity, a group linked to the Koch brothers." And in 2012, one-fourth of the $274 million given to dark-money groups came from the Koch brothers.

As the New Republic's Jonathan Cohn pointed out, unregulated, indirect financing of conservative political organizations is the main way the Kochs influence politics.

There are basically no facts here, just Garza ranting about "George Soros and the millions and millions he and his network of allies put into politics" and "Hillary Clinton getting paid ridiculous and scandalous amounts of money to give speeches for big banks." That's "media reserach" at the MRC, folks.


Posted by Terry K. at 5:39 PM EDT
MRC Repeatedly Tries To Shield Reagan From Criticism Over 1980 'States' Rights' Speech
Topic: Media Research Center

In a May 10 post, the Media Resarch Center's Brad Wilmouth got offended at Katrina vanden Heuvel's statement that "Ronald Reagan announced his candidacy in Philadelphia, Mississippi, the site for where three civil rights workers were killed by white supremacists":

But Reagan's appearance at the Neshoba County Fair in Mississippi -- which was in August 1980 and therefore not even near the beginning of his campaign -- took place a few miles away from the city of Philadelphia, Mississippi, at a fair that was known for attracting a large number of the state's residents. Even the murders themselves did not actually take place in Philadelphia, making it a leap for liberals to try to connect the two events.

If that defense sounds kind of familiar, it should. Wilmouth issued the same defense of Reagan nearly word-for-word on March 3 (when Michael Eric Dyson brought the subject up) and March 7 (when Bill Maher referenced it).

And if it sounds like Wilmouth is being suspiciously specific in his defense, he is.

Yes, Reagan's speech was not at the beginning of his overall presidential campaign, but it did take place a couple weeks after that year's Republican National Convention, meaning it was one of his first speeches of the general election campaign.

Wilmouth's attempt to evade the symbolism of Philadelphia, Miss., by claiming not only that the fair isn't actually in city limits but that the murder of the civil rights activists also didn't take place inside city limits is laughable. It's highly unlikely that Reagan didn't know the history, or that his reference in the speech to "states' rights" -- which is what the controversy over the speech is ultimately about, though Wilmouth curiously doesn't mention it -- was not a dog-whistle reference that white Southerners would not understand.

Joseph Crespino wrote at History News Network that "Reagan knew that southern Republicans were making racial appeals to win over conservative southern Democrats," adding that "it’s no slur to hold Reagan accountable for the choice that he made. Neither is it mere partisanship to try to think seriously about the complex ways that white racism has shaped modern conservative politics."

David Greenberg added at Slate:

Building on the efforts of Barry Goldwater and Richard Nixon before him, as well as of a generation of Southern Republican leaders, Reagan succeeded in altering the terms of political debate when it came to race. Stripping away the crude bigotry that had cost the white South the rest of nation's sympathy in the 1950s and 1960s, he and other conservative political leaders fashioned an ideology in which racial politics were implicit, and yet still powerful. 

Wilmouth's writing on Reagan needs to be a little less reflexive (and a lot less copy-and-paste-y) and a little more tied to reality.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:15 PM EDT

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