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Tuesday, September 6, 2016
WND's Far-Right Doc Pretends Armchair Diagnosis Is Just Like Telemedicine
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Jane Orient, head of the far-right-fringe Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, has long been a promoter of conspiracy theories about Hillary Clinton's health. She tries to justify them in a Sept. 4 WorldNetDaily column, insisting that diagnosing someone you've never examined is just like telemedicine:

A number of physicians, including me, have dared to suggest that Hillary Clinton might have a serious health problem that would affect her ability to serve as president, and they have suggested some things that it could be, based on past known diagnoses and current public observations recorded on video. All have stated that to make an actual diagnosis, you need to see the patient – and all the records.

Dr. Drew lost his TV show, and others got lambasted in the mainstream media and the Twittersphere. How dare we diagnose Mrs. Clinton without seeing her? It’s nothing but a conspiracy theory.

It’s so ironic. Patients are being diagnosed every day, and treatments prescribed – or denied – by people who have not seen the patient. There’s telemedicine, and doctors signing off on patients seen only by a “mid-level.” Then there are people with no medical training at all, making life-changing decisions about insurance coverage. Where are Hillary’s supporters when that happens? They probably say, in other contexts, that you can’t trust those greedy doctors who actually see patients and get paid for it.

No, Dr. Orient, your politically motivated armchair diagnosis of Hillary is not the same as telemedicine. Telemedicine typically involves either a prior doctor-patient relationship or the ability to communicate relevant patient health data to a teleconnected doctor -- neither of which are present in Orient's armchair diagnosis, which apparently relies mostly upon selectively edited videos and photos promoted by her fellow right-wing Hillary-haters.

Orient then attacks a doctor who, unlike her, has actually examined Hillary, nitpicking the statement she released about Hillary's health.Orient whined that Hillary's doctor did not do a "detailed neurologic exam" or an EEG on Hillary to look into her purported "seizures, a known complication of traumatic brain injury." Orient huffed: "I challenge any doctor to say that any one of these items is unimportant in a person with Mrs. Clinton’s history and recently reported signs who aspires to a position as a bus driver – or U.S. president."

Yet, in contrast to the detailed medical information Hillary's doctor released, Donald Trump's doctor issued a laughable, bizarrely worded letter that revealed no medical information whatsoever about Trump -- and Orient hasn't said a word about that, et alone demand that his doctor -- actually, a gastroenterologist who is less than qualified to speak to Trump's full health -- do the detailed physical exam she demands from Hillary.

Orient was still in trolling mode -- a odd thing for a medical professional to be in -- in her Sept. 6 WND column, in which she complains about Hillary's appearance on a late-night TV show in which she opened a pickle jar to show she's healthy. Orient mocked: "A peanut butter jar might have been a better diagnostic test. The ability (or inability) to smell peanut butter has been used as a screening test for dementia. Conditions affecting the frontal lobes also frequently affect the sense of smell."

Orient then takes some personal shots at Hillary: It was a rare appearance, and she looked like a million dollars. Not at all old, tired, frumpy, or shrill. Perhaps it was a million-dollar makeup job and voice coaching. You couldn’t tell from her face that she’s nearly 70. Any tell-tale signs of aging on the skin of her neck? Couldn’t see it, hidden behind the stand-up collar of her bright red Mao jacket. Is clothing preference diagnostic of anything? Revolutionary red, a la Mao? She does have the endorsement of the Communist Party USA (though not of Vladimir Putin)."

She didn't mention that Trump has the Putin endorsement locked up.

Orient concludes by whining: "The comedy skit is very revealing and diagnostic in a non-medical sense. It shows Hillary’s view of Americans. The joke is on us. And we’re not the ones who are laughing."

No, the joke is on anyone who thinks Orient actually cares more about Hillary's health than she does about politics. It's rather shameful for a doctor to abuse her medical privilege in such a manner.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:15 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, September 6, 2016 11:18 PM EDT
What LGBT Stuff Is The MRC Freaking Out About Now?
Topic: Media Research Center

It's that time again -- to summarize all the LGBT stuff the gay-haters at the Media Research Center have been freaking out about over the few weeks.

Elliot Polsky somehow managed to mostly withhold his hostility when a Brazilian rugby player got engaged to her female manager during the Olympics, though he did huff "The online media, including CNN and ABC, saw the opportunity to resurrect the 'love wins' slogan" and complained that "CNN’s headline was followed by a picture of the couple kissing."

Sarah Stites sorta makes up for that, though, in freaking out over World Wrestling Entertainment choosing to incorporate gay themes into its pro-wrestling storylines. Her headline: "WWE Goes PC: No Fighting the Gay Agenda." Stites portrayed the move as a publicity stunt to promote a new book by pro-wrestling legend Pat Patterson, who recently came out as gay, and huffed:

GLAAD will act as the PC police in this new endeavor, ensuring that the WWE’s screenwriters get everything right. "We've had GLAAD come in and speak to our entire writing team and give a whole tutorial on sensitivities, the right words, the wrong words, why those words matter," [WWE chief brand officer Stephanie] McMahon explained.

Considering that wrestling is not known as a particularly PC area of interest, some might wonder at the pro-LGBT strides WWE has taken. However, the fact that several of its programs air on the liberal USA Network certainly clarifies things.  

Alexa Moutevelis Coombs is mad that the ABC show "Mistresses" tackled "the transgender issue":

Once again the transgender issue rears its ugly head on ABC’s Mistresses. Perhaps they feared we didn’t get the message last time because now they’re beating us over the head about what is considered offensive, bigoted, and intolerant.

[...]

April goes on and on about tolerance, but we all know that tolerance is never enough when it comes to LGBT issues, we all must be made to support and celebrate them. Anything less is “offensive,” “bigoted,” and “intolerant.”

Stites returned to express her upset at a claim that Gore Vidal had contributed a gay subplot, never explicitly used though remnants remain, to the 1959 movie version of "Ben-Hur." Stittes huffed: "Here’s my take on it: I’ll never be able to watch the Heston classic with the innocent eyes of youth again. Thanks for that, Mr. Vidal."

Meanwhile, Coombs, who has apparently never seen an episode of "Match Game" in her life until now, is shocked -- shocked! -- that the show's panelists would inject sexual innuendo into it:

Poor Bert and Ernie just got called gay on national television! On tonight's edition of The Match Game on ABC, contestants were asked to fill in the following question: "'Sesame Street' is being rocked by a tabloid scandal. Instead of a rubber ducky, Bert and Ernie were photographed in the bathtub playing with BLANK."

The contestant's answer was "each other," which Jerry O'Connell matched exactly. Niecy Nash's answer "Each other's pee-pee" and Natasha Lyonne's "Each other's ding-dongs" were also counted. Immediately, everyone went the gay route. Very mature!

Never mind the fact that "Match Game" pretty much exists as a not-very-mature delivery vehicle for sexual innuendo. But Coombs was still in rage mode: "Thoughts of Bert and Ernie playing with each other only exist in the minds of sick liberals, not behind closed doors on Sesame Street."

And Matt Philbin took offense at "self-professed bisexual Christian writer" Eliel Cruz, who claims, in Philbin's words, that "scripture says transgenderism is just ducky. Or at least, it doesn’t say “Thou Shalt Not Pretend Thou Art a Chick,” which is, to Cruz, the same thing. Commence the trans-hate:

Contemporary cultural liberalism is essentially a cult of narcissism. If you’re an acolyte, you need to see your self-image – no matter how aberrational – reflected everywhere. Even in the Bible.

[...]

Pointing to Genesis 1:27, Cruz writes that the “and” in “male and female he created them” is not intended to be “binary.” To support this assertion, he declares that when God is the “alpha and omega,” he is not just “those two letters” but the “entire alphabet.” (Including, we’re to assume, the LGBTQ and sometimes Y letters. How convenient!)

Cruz calls readers to be wary of individuals “claim[ing] religious freedom to discriminate against LGBT people, while lacking even a strong theological backing.”

He needn’t worry. These days, any social justice warrior worth his/her/ze’s salt can bully most civil institutions into acquiescence and secure the now-common diversity quotas, safe spaces and speech codes. With a little push from like-minded media, universities, government agencies, corporations and the more boneless varieties of Christianity can’t get in line fast enough.

True, churches that maintain doctrinal traditionalism or Biblical fidelity are a special problem. If they aspire to be anything more than book clubs with self-affirmation pot luck suppers they have this Truth thingy that supersedes “personal truth,” and is darned inconvenient to the self-and sex-obsessed crowd.

Just as it's darned inconvenient to people like Philbin that transgendered folks exist and want to be treated as human and not "aberrational."


Posted by Terry K. at 2:58 PM EDT
WND's Favorite Ex-Soviet Bloc Spy Has Nothing to Say About Trump Being Buddies With Russians
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Here's how WorldNetDaily describes its favorite ex-Soviet bloc spymaster:

Gen. Ion Mihai Pacepa spent decades at the very top of the Soviet bloc’s intelligence and disinformation world, only to undergo a profound awakening and change of heart, leading him to become the highest-ranking Soviet-bloc official ever to defect to the U.S. Naturalized as a proud American citizen, he spent years briefing America’s intelligence agencies on how the super-secret Soviet intelligence world operated, exposing all its tactics, techniques, dirty tricks and disinformation campaigns.

So vital were Pacepa’s insights to America’s security that President Ronald Reagan referred to the former spy-chief’s first book, “Red Horizons,” as “my bible for dealing with dictators.”

So you'd think Pacepa would have something to say about Donald Trump's cozy relationship with the Putin regime in Russia, which include receiving funding from Russian oligarchs, changing the Republican Party platform to remove a plank that supported arming Ukranian rebels against Russian forces and a former Trump campaign manager, Paul Manafort, who worked as a lobbyist for pro-Russian officials in Ukraine.

Apparently not.

The above-mentioned WND article promotes a new e-book by Pacepa and co-author Ronald Rychlak, "Looming Disaster," which purports to reveal, in WND's words, "reveal, with utter clarity, the real war into which Americans have been thrust, as well as the momentous decision they will make in November" from "one remarkable person with the unique experience and moral authority to cut through all the lies, political posturing and propaganda."

WND is giving away the book for free (well, you have to hand over your email address so WND can send you several emails a day promoting its content and various other things), which seems to be what the book is worth. 

There's a lot of fact-free ranting about the Clintons by Pacepa and Rychlak, who at one point assert that "listening to campaign speeches of Hillary Clinton, we get the distinct feeling of listening to former Soviet Socialist bloc tyrants."

But what do Pacepa and Rychlak have to say about Trump, who actually has the cozy ties with Putin and Russian oligarchs that they wish they could ascribe to the Clintons? Why, nothing less than an unqualified endorsement:

We are not personally acquainted with Donald Trump, but we firmly believe that the whole of America – Republicans and Democrats and fringe thinkers – should unite behind him in order to defend capitalism and our great country during these existentially dangerous times. The alternative is unthinkable.

Pacepa and Rychlak are taking it on faith that Trump is a great guy, declaring without evidence whatsoever that "I know a few of Donald Trump’s intelligence advisers from my past cooperation with the U.S. intelligence community, and I have no doubt that a President Trump will start a new “Campaign of Truth” that will wreck ISIS and remake America as leader of the world without firing a shot."

Indeed, Trump's cozy ties to Putin and Russian oligarchs are not mentioned anywhere in Pacepa and Rychlak's book, though they declare that Putin was "enthroned in the Kremlin at the end of a KGB palace putsch" and "there is no end to his reign in sight."

In short: Pacepa and Rychlak's book is little more than an anti-Clinton screed dressed up in Cold War-era terminology that conveniently omits the closeness of Trump to Putin and his Russian oligarchs for the sake of an endorsement of Trump by two people who ought to know better. No wonder WND has no credibility.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:26 AM EDT
Monday, September 5, 2016
MRC Trying To Get Univision Anchor Fired
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center has despised Univision anchor Jorge Ramos for quite some time, attacking him for purportedly going beyond his role as a news anchor (something that never seems to bother the MRC when Fox News anchors do it). The MRC's Jorge Bonilla actually complained that "Ramos had the audacity to complain that conservatives want to SILENCE him as a result of his biased coverage."

But it's abundantly clear the MRC wants to do exactly that by agitating for him to be fired.

The current wave of Ramos-hate at the MRC started when Ramos wrote an op-ed for a Mexican newspaper in July pointing out that Donald Tump "has put hatred and divisiveness up front in his presidential campaign" and expressed hope that "civility and rationality will prevail in America once again," which won't happen if Trump is elected president. Bonilla didn't dispute or rebut anything Ramos wrote -- perhaps because it's true -- but Bonilla declared that Ramos was "tacitly endorsing Hillary Clinton for President" (even though he offers no evidence Ramos even mentioned Clinton in his column) and ranting that "one can also look back and say that Ramos was always going to be in the tank for Clinton -- especially after vanishing while the FBI and the DOJ did their e-mail two-step."

In an Aug. 11 post, Bonilla took offense at another column Ramos wrote criticizing Trump,huffing that "no other national network news anchor has a weekly multinational opinion column. Likewise, no other broadcast network news anchor in recent memory has taken such an open stance in a presidential election before."

Bonilla then suddenly tries to pretend he's being a reasonable critic: "None of this should be construed so as to dismiss any legitimate concerns millions of Americans (including this author) may have about a potential Trump presidency. The problem is that Ramos appropriates those concerns for the purpose of promoting partisanship via the back door." First, again, thie MRC has no problem with "partisanship via the back door" when it's done by Fox News anchors. Second, the MRC has stopped criticizing those who criticize Trump when he clinched the GOP nomination -- gotta be on the GOP bandwagon, after all -- so it's officially MRC policy that no criticism of Trump is "reasonable," and it's silly for Bonilla to pretend that any such distinction exists.

On Aug. 25, Bonilla again pretends to be reasonable after more criticism of Trump by Ramos:

In Ramos' hand, legitimate concern over the possible perils of a Trump presidency (shared by this author, in fact) becomes a shield with which to wage partisan battle. Outrage over both Trump's harsh statements on immigration and Ramos' stage-crafted expulsion from Trump's Iowa press conference created a permission structure for Ramos to more overtly take to the soapbox- with little or no consequence.

The truth is that Ramos was always going to be adversarial towards the Republican nominee regardless of who that may have been, and Donald Trump is simply a target of convenience. Ramos' depictions of Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio as race-traitors are a matter of record, and are reflective of the coverage they would have received had they won the nomination. Everyone else would have received varying degrees of his Generic Republican coverage.

Bonilla goes on to claim: "When contrasting Jorge Ramos' very public statements with his unwillingness to engage the Democratic candidate's own glaring failings, it is clear that there is a desire to tilt the scales in favor of one candidate over the other. " That's rather laughable given that his employer operates a "news" outlet that's doing the exact same thing -- only this time it's Trump's glaring failings that are being censored by CNSNews.com.

Bonilla is as likely to complain about CNS' blatant bias at his MRC forum as he is about his claimed reservations about a Trump presidency.

But when Ramos declared that "neutrality is not an option" regarding Trump and that journalists will be judged by how they covered him, the MRC pushed the button on something they've probably been waiting for an appropriate occasion to implement: a campaign to get Ramos fired. MRC chief Brent Bozell ranted:

By deciding to openly take sides and urging all journalists to be as unethical as he is in his coverage of this year’s U.S. presidential election, Univision anchor Jorge Ramos has rendered himself incapable of serving as a credible, impartial news anchor for Univision’s millions of viewers. At the very least, Univision should remove Ramos from the network’s national evening news anchor chair, from now through Election Day. If Jorge Ramos has any sense left of professional integrity, he should tender his resignation and pursue his new passion, as an anti-Trump, pro-Clinton political activist.

The irony that Bozell's CNS is at least as unbalanced as he claims Ramos is went unremarked upon.

Bozell followed up with a challenge to Ramos for a debate:

Ramos could not be more clearly invested in favoring one candidate over the other, and it should be clear to everyone that he is no longer capable of delivering election news to Univision's audience with even a modicum of fairness. At this point, Ramos is doing a great disservice to both his viewers and the field of journalism by continuing to parade himself as anything other than a political activist. I challenge Ramos to a debate at a venue of his convenience about the proper role of journalists and the media in our society.

In his TV appearances, Bozell rarely appears with a liberal counterpart; he's almost always solo and almost always appearing in the friendly confines of Fox News, where he knows he will get no challenging questions and his rant of the day will never be interrupted. He can't handle a debate with a random liberal; what makes him think he can take on Ramos?

After Ramos failed to immediately respond, Bozell, as he is wont to do, threw a tantrum: "So I challenge Mr. Ramos to debate me. Is he a reporter or a political hack? Is he practicing journalism, or political advocacy? A man confident in his position would have no problem participating in a debate, yet this man who questions everyone is nowhere to be found when questioned himself."

It's pretty clear which one -- reporter or political hack -- Bozell is.

Meanwhile, the MRC bought the domain RamosMustGo.com, where its anti-Ramos campaign is regurgitated.It's promoted on otherMRC websites with the promo boxes above, one of which ludicrously claims that Bozell is engaging in "a battle for truth" with Ramos.

And Bonilla returned to rant again in an Aug. 31 post, taking offense at an interview Ramos did with CNN's Anderson Cooper, about which Bonilla complained that "there was no acknowledgement of the MRC's call for Ramos to step down from Univision's anchor chair due to his extreme biases, nor any acknowledgement of MRC President Brent Bozell's challenge to debate Ramos." Bonilla huffed:

If Ramos insists on peddling these factual inaccuracies in order to bolster his narrative, promote his ongoing jihad against Donald Trump, and push out the edges of objective journalistic coverage, then he should also expect the increased scrutiny that comes with it.  

Judge not, and call not for judgment based on reaction to Donald Trump, lest ye be judged and found guilty by your own words.

Again, don't expect Bonilla to apply those same standards to the outlets his publisher operates.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:20 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, September 5, 2016 10:29 PM EDT
WND Columnist Repeats False Nazi Smear of Soros
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Burt Prelutsky rants in his Aug. 29 WorldNetDailiy column:

When I heard Hillary Clinton in 2004 say: “We need more people like George Soros, people who are fearless and ready to step forward,” I knew everything I would ever need to know about the state of her soul.

Soros, a Hungarian Jew who made his bones as a teenager working for the Nazis, separating his fellow Jews from their valuables as they were getting on cattle cars heading to places like Auschwitz, just might be the vilest creature currently residing in America. In a just world, he would have been tried as a war criminal. Instead, he became a billionaire in the nether world of currency manipulation. And that is the sort of person Mrs. Clinton wishes we had in greater abundance. I’m afraid that she will have to die and go to hell in order to have that particular wish granted.

The Soros-Nazi smear is a staple of right-wing haters like Prelutsky, but it's a malicious smear. In fact, the then-teenage Soros, a Jew, had assumed the false identity of a Christian and Soros' father had paid a Hungarian official to allow Soros to pose as his godson. Soros had accompanied his protector in inventorying property that had already been seized by the Nazis.

The Anti-Defamation League has denounced this smear of Soros, pointing out that "To hold a young boy responsible for what was going on around him during the Holocaust as part of a larger effort to denigrate the man is repugnant."

It appears that Prelutsky is mad that the Nazis didn't kill more Jews -- or at least one particular Jew. Repugnant indeed.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:24 AM EDT
Sunday, September 4, 2016
CNS Unemployment Numbers Distortion Watch
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com keeps up the unemployment shuffle in reporting on August's employment numbers, with the lead article by Susan Jones once again putting undue emphasis on the labor force partcipation rate and using it to declare there was "little or no improvement from the prior month" -- while burying the fact that 151,000 jobs were created, waiting until the fifth paragraph of her article to mention that fact.

Jones' article is joined by a sidebar from CNS editor in chief Terry Jeffrey, who laments that "Government employees in the United States outnumber manufacturing employees by 9,932,000." He does concede, however, that this is not a new phenomenon -- government employees started exceeding manufacturing employment in 1989 -- but he doesn't concede that this has occured under Republican administrations as well as Democratic ones.

A couple days before the government numbers came out, however, CNS managing editor Michael W. Chapman wrote an article with a headline declaring, "Real Unemployment 9.7%." The "real employment" number Chapman is promoting is from Gallup, which claims that "Widely reported unemployment metrics in the U.S. do not accurately represent the reality of joblessness in America."

But as pollster John Zogby points out, Gallup CEO Jim Clifton is using the "real employment" number to push the idea that the government's numbers are nothing but a "big lie." That thinking is in line with the right-wing media, which has similarly tried to undermine unemployment statistics.

Indeed, Donald Trump has followed in CNS' footsteps by falsely potraying the labor force participation rate as the unemployment rate.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:50 PM EDT
Again! MRC Complains Historic Event Is Described As Historic
Topic: Media Research Center

Near as we can tell, base on our observations, this is the Media Research Center's thought process: If a historic event occurs that doesn't advance the MRC's right-wing political agenda, it's "liberal bias" to call it historic.

We see this again in Kyle Drennen's Aug. 31 post on a reporter taking the first commercial flight from the U.S. to Cuba in more than 50 years, something most non-agenda-driven observers would admit is historic:

On Wednesday’s NBC Today, correspondent Kerry Sanders once again acted like a representative from the Cuban board of tourism as he reported live from a plane set to take off for the Communist nation: “Well, good morning from the cockpit of Jetblue Flight 387....this is going to be a one hour and eight minute flight into history.”

The on-screen headline proclaimed: “U.S. Flights to Cuba Resume; Jetblue Makes History With First Flight in More Than 50 years.” Sanders gushed: “This morning, Americans can once again buy a commercial airline ticket and fly from the U.S. directly to Cuba. The last scheduled U.S. Flight was a Pan-Am DC-6 back in 1961. JFK was in the White House, hardly anyone had heard of the Beatles.”

[...]

Back in May, Sanders giddily boarded a cruise ship bound for the island. He celebrated the “historic” voyage as a “pinch-me moment.” 

Scott Whitlock similarly put "historic" regarding Cuba in scare quotes in a Sept.  1 post, huffing that "CBS isn’t the only network to be excited over the communist country. On July 21, 2015, as ABC thrilled over the 'historic' opening of a Cuban embassy in Washington D.C., the same network skipped coverage of the country’s human rights violations."


Posted by Terry K. at 2:30 PM EDT
Saturday, September 3, 2016
A Child's Garden of WND Portraying Obama As Mocking Its Readers
Topic: WorldNetDaily

We've detailed how WorldNetDaily has used a particular photo (which it stole from the Associated Press) to falsely smear transgenders as hairy guys in dresses. But that's not the only picture WND has used with transgender-related stories -- it's also fond of out-of-context pictures of Obama as well, portrayed as appearing to mock WND readers.

Here's a June 10 article by Bob Unruh on how "a school district has sued the federal government over his mandate that schools allow boys into girls’ lockers and showers, and girls into boys'" that includes a sinister-looking picture of Obama:

And here's a June 2 article by Unruh on how Obama says his gender identity policy is based on the Golden Rule, using a photo of an apparently smug-looking Obama ntaken from the White House photo archive and presumably having nothing to do with transgender issues:

Here it is again in a May 27 article on "a lawsuit against the Obama administration’s transgender agenda":

And in a May 4 article by Unruh:

WND also used that same smug photo in a May 20 article on Obama appointing a transgender to a government post.

And here's a different smug-looking Obama used in a May 17 article by Unruh on Obama "ramped up his war on 'transphobia'":

WND suggesting that Obama despises its readers isn't limited to transgender issues. Here's a June 22 article by Bob Unruh on an anti-abortion group accusing Obama of "twisting words to defend a California state mandate that forces churches to fund abortion in violation of the First Amendment right to free exercise of religion, featuring an out-of-context picture of a laughing Obama:

Such misuse of photos is yet more evidence of why WND has no credibility and is in serious financial trouble.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:40 AM EDT
Friday, September 2, 2016
At CNS, Another Op-Ed From A Dead Guy
Topic: CNSNews.com

A couple weeks back, we noticed that CNSNews.com had made Watergate criminal Chuck Colson a semi-regular bylined columnist, not letting the fact that he died in 2012 stand in his way of getting published.

Well, CNS let Dead Chuck Colson write another column on Aug. 26. It was introduced as a "classic BreakPoint commentary" and it's parenthetically noted at the end that "This commentary originally aired June 30, 2010."

Nowhere is it mentioned, however, that Colson died four years ago.

We can't decide whether Colson is CNS' Bernie or the character in "Space Mutiny" who just couldn't stay dead. Any thoughts on the matter, CNS?


Posted by Terry K. at 3:24 PM EDT
MRC Goes WND-Style Birther on Hillary's Health, Thanks to Jeffrey Lord
Topic: Media Research Center

Two recent trends -- the Media Research Center's embrace of WorldNetDaily-style far-right sensationalism and WND's obsession with maliciously portraying Hillary Clinton as suffering from myriad health issues as "diagnosed" by right-wing doctors who have never examined her -- come together in an Aug. 27 NewsBusters rant by factually challenged Trump-fluffer Jeffrey Lord.

Lord is upset that fact-checkers at the Washington Post pointed out that there isn't any actual evidence that Hillary has any serious health problems and gave Donald Trump's claim otherwise four Pinocchios. Lord responded by citing a Carl Bernstein book noting that Hillary had trouble keeping up with her husband in the early years of his presidency. Let the birther -- er, healther screed begin, Jeffrey:

And there it is. The flat out statement as fact that way back there in 1993 the then-46 year old First Lady of the United States was seen by her aides as being “physically exhausted” by her duties, that she “lacked” her husband’s stamina and in fact was so exhausted by simple Capital Hill appearances that she would “collapse in the car on the way back to the White House.”

Hmm. Did Mr. Kessler the “Fact Checker” ever bother checking the reporting of one of the best reporters in the history of his own paper? Did Mr. Borchers? Obviously, not. So what we get instead from them both is the assertion that Donald Trump has lied with an “unsubstantiated ‘stamina' argument” about Hillary Clinton when in fact it has been very much substantiated by Carl Bernstein who got the information from Hillary Clinton’s own staff members.

This is the kind of horse hockey that passes as “fact checking” today. It is called “fact checking” when in fact it is nothing more than one more set of factual misstatements coming from a virulently anti-Trump paper. A paper that has, no kidding, said this on its editorial page about Trump: “Mr. Trump is pathologically dishonest and morally bankrupt.”

Today, of course, Hillary Clinton is no longer 46 years old. She is about to turn 70. Logic dictates that a person who had stamina problems at 46, by the account of her own staff,  would have even more stamina problems a full 23 years later. Yet, with the fact of her stamina problems fully evident in a biography by one of the most respected and well-known journalists of the day - and, I might add, no conservative - the media not only totally ignores. 

And, thus, the WND-ization of the MRC, as well as the MRC's Jeffrey Lord problem, continues apace.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:29 PM EDT
WND Endorses GOP Gov's Foul-Mouthed Tirade (And Lies About Margaret Sanger)
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Maine Gov. Paul LePage, a Republican, went on a massive foul-mouthed tirade against a Democratic state legislator he (falsely) believed called him a racist, calling him a "cocksucker."

And WorldNetDaily loved it.

Leo Hohmann cheered LePage's potty-mouthed rant in an Aug. 26 WND article:

Charges of racism and bigotry from the Democrat Party are nothing new, of course.

But what is new is the reaction by Republicans.

And it’s being led by the Trump phenomenon.

While LePage’s reaction might have been over the top, it illustrates how Republicans are no longer rolling over in fear when branded with the dreaded “racist” label.

Hohmann didn't mention that the legislator LePage unloaded on denied calling him a racist, even though it was in the newspaper account to which Hohmann linked in support of his article.

Hohmann takes his article into the well-worn WND script of portraying liberals as the real racists, and then into complete fiction when invoking Margaret Sanger, as brought up by WND columnist Jesse Lee Peterson:

The founder of Planned Parenthood, the Democrat icon Margaret Sanger, was in fact a devout racist, Peterson said.

“She was loved by the Ku Klux Klan,” he said.

Next to that was a picture of Sanger with the caption, "Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger is a heroine of the Democratic Party and a notorious racist."

Both Hohmann and Peterson are lying. As we've pointed out, nobody who has actually studied Sanger's work thinks her birth-control work was motivated by racism, let alone that she was a "notorious" or "devout" racist.

But who expects the truth from WND anymore? No wonder they're in financial trouble.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:23 AM EDT
Thursday, September 1, 2016
Brent Bozell Is Walking Hand In Hand With Trump
Topic: Media Research Center

In February, Media Research Center chief Bozell declared in an essay for National Review that Trump does not "walk with" conservatives, denouncing his proclaimed "allegiance to the Democratic party" and insising that "We conservatives should support the one candidate who walks with us.

How times change -- as if there was any doubt Bozell would eventually fall in GOP lockstep after Trump won the nomination. Despite all of his bluster, he is ultimately a loyal Republican.

Trump's Aug. 31 anti-immigrant speech brought a round of ecstatic tweeting from Bozell:

"1,000 times more detailed"? Really? Will his MRC minions quantify that for us, or is he using that fuzzy Trump math?

So Bozell is now not only walking with Trump, he's dancing to Trump's tune. Expect his MRC to be even more jiggy with Trump's tune.


Posted by Terry K. at 6:55 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, September 1, 2016 9:07 PM EDT
ConWeb Touted 'Ben-Hur' Remake, Is Silent On How It's Bombing In Theaters
Topic: The ConWeb

A few weeks back, we documented how both Newsmax, CNSNews.com and the Media Research Center were all shilling for the new remake of "Ben-Hur" and touting its religious bona fides, in line with the producers' aim to make the film appeal to a religious audience.

They weren't the only ones in the ConWeb who signed on as unpaid (or paid) spokespeople for the film. WorldNetDaily got in on the act too:

  • In an Aug. 15 article, Rusty Wright -- "an author and lecturer who has spoken on six continents" -- rehashed the background of the book that inspired the film and asserted that "'Ben-Hur’s' poignant depiction of revenge, reconciliation and redemption generates a powerful message for today’s world filled with racial and religious violence, cop killings and more."
  • George Escobar, who runs WND's film division but is grandiosely described in the headline as a "top film executive," lamented in an Aug. 20 article that "we are in an age of colonization in our politics, theology and mass migrations, fought most visibly within inner-city plantations" before giving the film a gushing review: "Probably more than at any other time, a film such as 'Ben-Hur' is needed. Does it deliver the power and drama of its predecessors? Mostly. Is it relevant for our time? Definitely. Should you go see it? Absolutely."

The reality, however, is that the film is tanking -- badly.

The film made only $12 million its opening weekend and to date has made a little over $20 million in just under two weeks -- very bad for a film that opened wide (3,000+ screens) and cost $100 million to make. Even counting foreign revenue, it's highly unlikely the film will recoup what it cost to make during its theatrical run, making this movie "the bomb of the summer."

YOu won't read about that at WND, CNS  or the MRC, though -- none have seen fit to mention the "Ben-Hur" bomb on their front pages the way they promoted the film.

Newsmax, however, made a game attempt to spin the failure with an Aug. 23 article by David Patten, blaming the bad reviews on the "mainstream media" who actually reviewed the film and found it wanting:

The mainstream media is doing such a fine job of heaping coals on the new Mark Burnett and Roma Downey epic, "Ben-Hur," that it might want to be careful. The intensity of their vituperation might just induce movie-goers — particularly faith-oriented ones — to go see what all the fuss is about.

Rolling Stone branded the film "a remake disaster of biblical proportions."

ABCNews.com dismissed it as "a miscast remake that will only appeal to a specific [read Christian] audience." Others were less kind.

If film lovers ignore those reviews and go anyway, however, what they'll see is a picture far different from the one being portrayed in the media as a flop — which explains why some are extolling it.

"I love 'Ben-Hur,'" host Glenn Beck remarked on his program recently. "It is great."

Patten made excuses for producers (and Christian-media faves) Burnett and Downey, whom he baselessly proclaimed to be "Hollywood's No. 1 power couple": "If the film's director and producers are guilty of anything, it is their soaring ambition in trying to boil down a story that took three hours and 32 minutes to relate in the 1959 version — clearly too long for modern audiences – to a little over 2 hours in the remake."

Patten also claimed that "Evangelicals trust Burnett and Downey to handle their cherished biblical narratives with care," ignoring the fact that "Ben-Hur's" main story -- a revenge story involving a Jewish prince forced to become a slave and a climactic chariot race -- is not a "cherished biblical narrative"; it's from a novel first published in 1880. In the book, the crucifixion of Christ is a parallel narrative to the story of Judah Ben-Hur.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:07 PM EDT
WND Reporter Has Trouble Counting, Can Only Copy-And-Paste
Topic: WorldNetDaily

The headline of Bob Unruh's Aug. 29 WorldNetDaily article screams "10 PROMINENT DOCTORS QUESTION HILLARY'S HEALTH." But do they really? And are there really 10 of them?

Unruh prefaced a bullet list by stating that "many physicians, based on publicly available information have raised concerns." But that bullet list contains only six names that are rehashes of previous WND attacks on Hillary Clinton's alleged health problems; as we've noted, three of them are affiliated with the far-right-fringe Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, and a fourth is a urologist has nothing relevant to add regarding Hillary's purported maladies. None of them have actually examined clinton in a clinical setting, so all they have to offer is speculation.

That's six. Where are the other four?

You have to go down to the 55th paragraph of Unruh's article to find a bullet list of three other doctors that are taken from WND attacks earlier this year, when Jerome Corsi was portraying warfarin, a commonly used blood thinner, as rat poison. As with the previous six, these three also have never examined Clinton and are simply engaging in speculation.

That's nine. We're missing one.

The 10th doctor appears to be Ben Carson, who like the others have never examined Clinton. But Unruh never mentions his name or otherwise cites him anywhere in his article. Rather, a few paragraphs up from the bullet list at graf 55 is an inserted video of Carson saying that both Clinton and Donald Trump should release their health records. Not only does he make no specific claims about Clinton's health, he actually debunks the other speculating doctors, saying that "physicians and scientists generally will not make a diagnosis based on something they see from a long distance. They want to have the facts."

In short, Unruh has turned in a badly written article that's mostly copy-and-paste. No wonder WND is in deep financial trouble.

Unruh goes on to complain that "Rather than address the concerns, many Clinton supporters have responded with torrents of abuse and ridicule." But Unruh is not behaving in a manner that requires a serious response. He mentions how a Clinton campaign spokesman has pointed out that Trump "has put forward a laughable letter that omits basic health information including the date of his exam, past medications, family medical history, heart rate, respiratory rate, EKG, or cholesterol level, but he does nothing with that information; instead, he pivots to his regurgitated Clinton-bashing.

Think of this as a reminder that WND not only fails as real journalism, it fails at being a partisan mouthpiece. Again, no wonder WND's in deep financial trouble.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:37 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, September 1, 2016 8:54 AM EDT
Wednesday, August 31, 2016
MRC Personally Attacks Colin Kaepernick For His Protest
Topic: Media Research Center

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick's refusal to stand for the national anthem in a preseason game, prompting the Media Research Center to lash out at Kaepernick personally for his protest and dismiss mock the reason he did it: a protest over the way blacks are treated in America.

NewsBusters' Dylan Gwinn was first to lash out, huffing that Kaepernick's Twitter account "basically reads like a Black Lives Matter site" and sneering, "Unclear as to whether or not Kaepernick considers our black President and black head of the Justice Department as in on the racist cabal. That story coming later, probably. Actually, probably not." Gwinn then dismissed Kaepernick completely because "he’s not good at football anymore."

Anonymous coward "Bruce Bookter" took umbrage at ESPN commenter Pablo S. Torre for suggesting only Trump supporters are angered by Kaepernick's protest:

Yeah, it’s not all about sports at all. It’s supposed to be a unifying moment that brings us together as one, before we all yell and scream and foam at the mouth at each other. This is a point understood by most people. These same “most people,” many of whom elected and then re-elected a black President, don’t believe the American flag represents bigotry or oppression.

The fact that it’s apparently not understood at all by the leftist sports media is…well…sadly not surprising. However, heed Torre’s words here, and expect a renewed push on the part of the sports media to eliminate the National Anthem as a quaint old custom that has nothing to do with sports and everything to do with oppression.

This from a guy who doesn't even have the courage of his convictions to put his own name on them.

Gwinn returns to attack NFL Players Association president DeMaurice Smith for defending Kaepernick (italics his):

Smith categorically rejects the idea of “shut up and play.” The notion that athletes should just do their jobs and leave their politics out of it. Smith claims that this turns the athlete into a two-dimensional person, and doesn’t allow for the athlete to express those attributes which make him “human.”

Of course, those critical of Kaepernick are not saying he doesn’t have a right to feel how he feels. They’re disputing what he says. Not his right to say it.

Actually, Dylan, if you're telling Kaepernick to "shut up and play" -- and it certainly appears you are -- you are, in fact, disputing his right to say it.

Also pretending he's not disputing Kaepernick's right to say it while actually doing do is "Bookter," who goes on a tirade against both him and ESPN’s Ian O’Connor for daring to defend him:

Someone needs to get ESPN and 49ers Quarterback Colin Kaepernick a room. Preferably a room in another country. Yet, a room nonetheless.

[...]

Rebranding disrespect to America and its flag as patriotism is, of course, verbatim from the leftist handbook. If people call Colin Kaepernick un-American, it’s not because they think he doesn’t have the right to speak. They say it in response to his actual words and actions.

Also funny is that O’Connor feels Kaepernick’s protest will remind the world that the United States is “still a pretty damn good place to live.” Really? How is telling the world that our nation oppresses black people and minorities a good thing? Upon reading Colin Kaepernick’s protest, will people in Africa or Central America more likely think, “Hmm, maybe I’ll go to America where I’m free to speak my mind?” Or, “Holy cow! American cops ruthlessly murder minorities with impunity, and nobody does anything about it!”

I’m guessing the latter.

O’Connor, honestly, likely has no idea himself what he meant when saying that whites forever ask blacks to overcome obstacles “that whites themselves created.” Just remember the important things here: a white family adopted Colin Kaepernick, who was drafted into the league by a white head coach and General Manager, paid millions of dollars by NFL owners who happened to be white, a majority white country has now twice elected a black President, and you’re all racists.

The end.

Gwinn piled on in yet another post, declaring that " in addition to being a moron, he’s also bad at football."

Kyle Drennen, meanwhile, declared Kaepernick to be "anti-American," according to the headline of his Aug. 29 post, upset that one reporter allegedly "treated Kaepernick like a martyr," while Brad Wilmouth asserted that Kaepernick's proest was an "expression of anti-U.S. sentiment." with his protest. 

Actually, what could be more American then protesting the actions of others? If that's "anti-American," than the MRC is anti-American too.

Gwinnn returned once again to slam Kaepernick's purported incompetence as a QB (never mind that he led the 49ers to the Super Bowl in 2012), sneering that he was merely "assuming the sitting position he’s likely to become very familiar with over the course of the next season." Gwinn also attacked Kaepernick for the alleged futility of his protest:

Has he started the Colin Kaepernick Fund for Underprivileged or At-Risk Youth? Has he spent hours and hours mentoring kids? Is he trying to improve police/community relations?

Even if every other player in the league followed Kaepernick’s lead, and sat during the anthem at every game for the rest of the season, the end result of that would be?...

I can think of a few outcomes. None of them would do anything to help the cause Kaepernick claims to want to fix.

Finally, Randy Hall calls in a lower-tier right-wing commentator to hurl insults at Kaepernick:

During Monday night's edition of the Tomi program on The Blaze, conservative host Tomi Lahren harshly criticized Colin Kaepernick -- quarterback of the San Francisco 49ers professional football team -- for refusing to stand during the performance of the National Anthem at the start of the preseason game against the Green Bay Packers the day before.

Lahren began her “Final Thoughts” segment by promising to “eviscerate” Kaepernick's “mouth diarrhea” before calling him a “whiny, indulgent, attention-seeking crybaby” and asserting that “if this country disgusts you so much, leave!”

[...]

Lahren then said she was going to “eviscerate” this “mouth diarrhea” sentence by sentence.

As with most of the MRC's nasty personal attacks on Kaepernick, this has nothing whatsoever to do with its claimed mission of rooting out "liberal media bias."


Posted by Terry K. at 9:10 PM EDT

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