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Friday, September 9, 2016
CNS Still Plugging Mel Gibson, Hiding His Ugly Past
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com "blog reporter" Mark Judge must really love Mel Gibson a lot to censor news of his anti-Semitic, woman hating past.

We've detailed how Judge makes a habit of promoting Gibson's new and upcoming film projects while remaining silent about Gibson's ugly personal history -- something his Media Research Center co-workers would criticize if it involved someone in the "liberal media." But Gibson made "The Passion of the Christ," so he apparently gets a free pass.

Judge strikes again in an Aug. 31 post:

The Christian Post is reporting that Mel Gibson recently addressed rumors that he is making a sequel to his 2004 blockbuster “The Passion of the Christ.”

Appearing Sunday as a surprise guest at the Christian gathering SoCal Harvest in Anaheim, California, Gibson was asked by Pastor Greg Laurie about the rumors of a sequel – and that the film would be written by Randall Wallace, who also penned Gibson’s Oscar-winning epic “Braveheart.”

Once again, there's no mention of Gibson's ugly past.  But Judge made sure to work in a plug for Gibson's "upcoming film 'Hacksaw Ridge' about Desmond Doss, a pacifist medic in World War II who saved as many as 75 soldiers during the Battle of Okinawa. It releases November 4."

Priorities!


Posted by Terry K. at 3:47 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, September 9, 2016 3:48 PM EDT
MRC Runs to Trump's Defense on Bondi Donation
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Nicholas Fondacaro complains in a Sept. 7 post that NBC "omitted some important details" in reporting on an illegal $25,000 donation by the Trump Foundation to Republican Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, shortly after which Bondi's office decided not to open an investigation of the scammy Trump University.

Those "details," Fondacaro writes, apparently involve uncritically quoting whatever a Bondi spokesperson has to say about it:

Earlier in the day CNN’s Drew Griffin reported on The Lead that, “Since Pam Bondi took office, up until the decision was made, Florida received just one complaint against Trump University.” Griffin quoted a statement from a spokesperson from Florida’s Attorney General, which stated:

It wasn't enough to justify Florida filing suit. Instead, staff, doing due diligence, reviewed the complaints and the New York litigation and made the proper determination that the New York litigation would provide relief to aggrieved consumers nationwide.

“In other words, Floridians could join New York's lawsuit,” Griffin simplified.

Actually, it's Fondacaro leaving out important details. The Orlando Sentinel's Scott Maxwell reports that the Attorney General's Office had received at least 20 complaints about Trump University, and that Bondi previously exhibited no reticence in joining lawsuits filed by other states:

She got involved in the multi-state fight to block Obamacare. She even got involved in a fight with the EPA over water-quality limits … in the Chesapeake Bay. Yes, the one in Virginia, where Bondi sided with organizations like the Fertilizer Institute to oppose a cleanup agreement in a body of water 770 miles away.

It doesn’t take much for Bondi to want to join in a legal fracas many states away -– if the politics are right.

Fondacaro concludes by writing, "Although the timing of the donation is suspect, it does a disservice to the public to withhold information just to be able to hit a presidential candidate." He might want to think about that himself a bit more before hurling accusations at others.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:18 PM EDT
WND Is Lying To You: There's No Mystery About Hillary's 'Mystery Man'
Topic: WorldNetDaily

An anonymous WorldNetDaily reporter wrote in a Sept. 6 article:

After Democratic Party nominee Hillary Clinton suffered the worst coughing fit of her campaign Monday, a mysterious man seen by her side for many months on the campaign trail suddenly appeared on her plane.

As WND reported, Clinton suffered two coughing fits on Labor Day – one during a speech in Cleveland, Ohio, and a second one during a press conference on her plane.

In the past, the same man has been spotted helping Clinton up stairs and holding what appears to be a Diazepam pen. Some observers have referred to the man as Hillary’s “mysterious handler.”

[...]

Jim Hoft of the Gateway Pundit noted that the man is sometimes dressed like a Secret Service agent, “but his actions prove otherwise.”

[...]

At an earlier campaign appearance, the same man was reportedly seen carrying a long object that resembled a Diazepam pen.

Yes, this anonymous WND reporter is citing the Dumbest Man on the Internet to back up its speculation.

And that's all it is -- speculation dressed up as "reporting." The fact that the WND writer won't put his/her name to it is one big clue about the shoddy, dubious nature of this.

Another big clue: This "mystery man" is no mystery at all. A month ago -- a month ago! -- the Washington Post's David Weigel identified the man as Todd Madison, Secret Service assistant special agent in charge.

Further, Snopes pointed out -- also a month ago -- that while the object in Madison's hand that WND claims is a "Diazepam pen" is probably something else, since "a video of the agent using the above-pictured object shows that it is being used like a flashlight and not a Diazepam pen."

In short: The only way WND can treat this story as fact is by ignoring all the established evidence that it's not.

And the fact that the story isn't true didn't keep WND from rehashing the story (the reporter remaining anonymous, natch) two days later:

America wants to know: Who is the “mystery man” attached at Hillary Clinton’s hip while she campaigns for the White House?

He’s been on the stage, in her plane, by her side and following her everywhere she goes.

He touches her frequently, wrapping his arm around her or helping her up stairs, and responds immediately when Clinton has one of her coughing fits.

Some speculate he could be a physician on hand in case Clinton experiences a health emergency, a possibility considering nearly 71 percent of physicians informally surveyed by the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons said concerns about Clinton’s health are “serious” and “could be disqualifying for the position of president of the U.S.”

Ah, yes, the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons -- the far-right-fringe "medical" org headed by medical troll Jane Orient. Given that those likely to respond to an AAPS "informal internet survey" (read: not a scientific poll) are as right-wing as Orient, the survey has no credibility whatsoever (you know, just like WND).

WND tries to perpetuate the nonexistent mystery:

In fact, the man has been apparently tailing the Clintons since at least January of 2013 – more than two years before Hillary announced her run for president. He was reportedly spotted in a vehicle with former President Bill Clinton three years ago, according to London’s Daily Express. A photo caption said the two were leaving the New York Presbyterian Hospital after visiting Hillary, who was receiving treatment for a blood clot in her head that was discovered following a concussion.

[...]

As WND reported, after Clinton suffered the worst coughing fit of her campaign Monday, the “mystery man” suddenly appeared on her plane.

[...]

Radio host Tammy Bruce made an appearance Wednesday on Fox Business’ “Varney & Co.” in which she discussed Clinton’s “mystery man.”

“He actually moves other Secret Service agents off the stage,” Bruce noted. “We have not been informed who he is so we have to guess, in some way, who he is. But he seems to be playing a very personal role. He appears when she seems to be in trouble, either with the coughing or with some health issue or … in her own personal reaction to what was a heckler … It’s troubling because you’ve got a man who is also doing something that the Secret Service wouldn’t do. He’s very physical with her. He touches her. He has his arm around her. … It’s a legitimate question. Her health is legitimate.”

Bruce is a Hillary-hater from a while back -- a year ago she was predicting the demise of Hillary's campaign -- so her uninformed speculation should not be taken seriously.

Our anonymous WND reporter waited until the 10th paragraph to mention in passing that "others argue" the item in the man's hand "actually resembles a mini flashlight." It links to an Aug. 22 New York Times article -- yes, from two weeks ago -- but doesn't mention the date or the fact that the Times reporter solved the mystery through "a simple call to the Secret Service spokeswoman Nicole Mainor," something WND couldn't be bothered to do.

And our anonymous writer waits until the second-to-last paragraph of the 22-paragraph article -- after  numerous inserted videos, photos and grainy Photoshop collages -- to admit that "The Washington Post’s David Weigel identified the 'mystery man' as Secret Service Assistant Special Agent in Charge Todd Madison."

WND didn't mention Weigel's article was published a month ago.

Basically, WND is admitting it published an article based on a lie, something it knows is a lie, and that it's trying to con its readers into believing that lie.

No wonder WND is in deep financial trouble. Why would any (remaining) self-respecting reader trust WND after this stunt?


Posted by Terry K. at 1:06 AM EDT
Thursday, September 8, 2016
NewsBusters Blogger's Logic: Lena Dunham Is Ugly, Kaepernick Sucks As QB
Topic: NewsBusters

As befits a guy whose main gig is as a lower-tier sports radio host, NewsBusters blogger Dylan Gwinn is quick to insult anything and anyone he doesn't agree with and engage in childish name-calling, rather than try to bring any sort of worthwhile discussion to the debate.

On Sept. 3, Gwinn felt the need to weigh in on  an encounter between actress Lena Dunham and football player Odell Beckham Jr., particularly zeroing in onone writer's citing one possible reason Beckham rejected Dunham as "Perhaps (as the eternal rumors have it) he’s gay." Gwinn didn't menntion that the writer linked to a post on those "eternal rumors" as support for the claim about Beckham. Instead, in an apparently bid to appeal to the woman-hating alt-right, he lauches into a screed about how ugly Dunham is:

First of all, if this story is true, it doesn’t sound like Beckham had a problem “knowing what to make of” a woman who didn’t sexually interest him. He took a good look and got on his phone. Which is precisely what you do when confronted by an unattractive woman.

Secondly, if Dunham wore a tux and a bow tie, then there’s an excellent chance that Beckham thought Dunham as the gay one. Thus, eliminating any interest he might have had in her.

And last, but certainly not least, why would he have any interest in her? Lena Dunham is in no way sexually appealing. When trying to ascertain whether or not a man is interested in a woman, it is imperative to use an attractive woman.

Yet, this is precisely the point. Dunham knows she’s not attractive, and her leftist sycophants know she’s not attractive. Which is why she continuously gets naked and throws herself at men. She’s trying to make a feminist point about the superficial nature of men, accepted sexual norms, and female objectification.

Instead, she just ends up sexually stalking the beautiful people of the world. With her boyishly boyish looks. Much like Pat from Saturday Night Live. Except naked, and not funny.

Then, on Sept. 5, Gwinn resumed hurling personal insults at Colin Kaepernick over his national anthem protest, dismissing his concerns as "some Mulligan Stew of America-loathing, unpatriotic fervor."

Gwinn then sneered of the quarterback who led his team to a Super Bowl game that "Of course, Citizen Kaepernick’s activity will be spent primarily on the sidelines this year, as opposed to the football field."

Apparently mindless insults play as well for right-wing bloggers as they do for lower-tier sports radio guys.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:23 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, September 8, 2016 12:24 PM EDT
WND Returns to Its Race-Baiting Ways
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily was heavily into the alt-right-esque race-baiting thing for a while, spreading WND author Colin Flaherty's fearmongering obsession with "black mob violence" (even when no actual black people could be blamed). After Google threatened to cut off the ad revenue from the spaces it manages on WND's website, WND backed off, did its own pre-emptive ad-blocking so as not to jeopardize the ad revenue, and learned how to be a little more subtle about its race-baiting.

Perhaps unhappy that the alt-right is stealing its race-baiting thunder -- and perhaps even more unhappy that nobody considers WND to be "alt-right" so its name doesn't come up in discussions of the issue -- WND has apparently decided to be a little more blatant again.

The headline on an unbylined Aug. 30 WND article shouts "Elderly woman beaten, set on fire in black-on-white attack."

While the anonymously written article itself doesn't mention the race of the suspects or the victim, the article includes pictures of the (white) victim and mugshots of the (black) suspects to hammer the point home. The article also includes a plug for Flaherty's latest book, which wasn't published by WND and isn't available through WND's online store (the link is to Amazon).

This was preceded by an Aug. 14 article by Joe Kovacs warning that "Crowds of 'Black Lives Matter' rioters chanted 'black power' as they targeted white individuals for violence in Milwaukee late Saturday night and early Sunday morning, according to video posted online in the aftermath of a police shooting." Kovacs provided no evidence that the rioters had any formal link with Black Lives Matter.

But who needs facts when there's some race-baiting to be done, right, WND?


Posted by Terry K. at 1:21 AM EDT
Wednesday, September 7, 2016
Shocker: MRC Finds Bias At Fox News! (Actually, Just Shep Smith Reporting Facts.)
Topic: Media Research Center

Fox News normally gets a pass from the bias-hunters at the Media Research Center because Fox's bias -- right-wing -- is something the MRC can get behind. (Also, it doesn't want to jeopardize Brent Bozell's appearance schedule on Fox News and Fox Business.) But there's one Fox host the MRC keeps an eye on for committing the offense of being the only one at the channel who won't play the right-wing-bias game and, thus, is considered a "liberal": Shepard Smith. To the MRC, it's the Stephen Colbert principle: Smith's truth-telling has a well-known liberal bias.

In an Aug. 25 post, P.J. Gladnick ranted:

Fox News' Shepard Smith strayed from the Fox News script today while interviewing Wall Street Journal reporter James Grimaldi following Hillary Clinton's Reno, Nevada speech. Actually that's putting it mildly. Smith crashed through the barrier of at least putting up the appearance of neutrality and broke into the realm of flat out bias of the worst sort by charging Donald Trump with racism. If you think I am exaggerating, watch the following video of the exchange for yourself and you be the judge.

Actually, Smith asked a guest if Trump "trades in racism" -- which he indisputably does. Gladnick will never admit it, of course, so he concludes by ranting, "And there you have it. A television news anchor flat out accusing Trump of racism. Sorry, Shep, but you owe a huge apology to your audience for your extreme unprofessionalism. Why? Because you trade in bias."

Curtis Houck followed in an Aug. 31 post complaining that Smith, in reporting that North Carolina's voter ID law was overturned, "showed his disdain for a simple means to preserve the electoral process that’s already under attack from hackers."

What did Smith say? "North Carolina put in one of those you-have-to-show-an-ID rules which, so often in Republican states, are designed to keep some minorities from coming out and being able to vote and they’ve tried to reach the number of voting days. The U.S. Court says that will not happen. Those rules will not go into effect in North Carolina this cycle."

Houck responded:

Longtime NewsBusters readers would recall how such asinine assertions about voter I.D. laws drove former managing editor and current Washington Times writer Ken Shepherd up a wall (see here, here, and here) as MSNBC pundits and writers bloviated about it being a coordinated “voter suppression” campaign against particularly African-Americans despite the lengths some states would go for forms of acceptable identification and allowing provisional balloting in the interim.

In fact, what happened in North Carolina is exactly what Smith reported -- North Carolina's voter ID law was found by a federal court to discourage minorities from voting.

The Washington Post reported that the 4th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals found that North Carolina lawmakers requested data on racial differences in voting behaviors in the state and then used that data to enact laws specifically designed to discourage minority voting. It prohibited the types of photo IDs African-Americans commonly use from being a valid voter ID, it reduced the number of early-voting days typically used by African-Americans and, in what judges called a "smoking gun," did away with Sunday voting after arguing in court that "counties with Sunday voting in 2014 were disproportionately black" and "disproportionately Democratic."

Smith reported facts that the MRC didn't like, so he gets the "liberal bias" tag. That's going to become a meaningless attack if the MRC keeps abusing it like this.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:50 PM EDT
NEW ARTICLE: The Snapping of David Kupelian's Mind
Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily's managing editor had to completely abandon his sense of morality to endorse Donald Trump for president, and he's now trying to scare his fellow right-wing evangelicals into doing the same. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 4:36 PM EDT
MRC's Bozell Farts In Colin Kaepernick's General Direction
Topic: Media Research Center

The issue of NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick refusing to stand for the national anthem as a protest for how minorities are treated in the U.S. has nothing whatsoever to do with the Media Research Center's self-proclaimed mission of rooting out "liberal media bias." But the MRC knows a hot-button right-wing issue when it sees one, and its writers wasted no time in ignoring the point of Kaepernick's protest and instead hurling personal attacks at him and denouncing him as "anti-American."

You had to know MRC chief Brent Bozell wanted in on some of this sweet insult-hurling action. So he ran to Fox Business to spew: "I think this man is a disgraceful ingrate. I spit on him for what he has been saying."

Bozell left unspoken his taunt that he farts in Kaepernick's general direction and thinks his mother was a hamster.

Bozell cranked up the taunts in his and Tim Graham's Sept. 2 column in which they also attack anyone who dares to point out that Kaepernick is well within his first Amendment rights to engage in his protest:

Like so many leftists, this disgraceful ingrate is nowhere to be found when there are a thousand times more "bodies in the street" as casualties of drug dealers or gang-bangers. Almost 500 people have been killed this year in Chicago, Illinois, alone. Seventy-nine police officers have been killed in the line of duty this year. It's unclear if this means a thing to Kaepernick.

But what's even more disturbing is how so many Americans feel the need to express respect for his right to speak freely. On ABC, Sen. Tim Kaine lectured, saying, "You got to respect people's ability to act according to their conscience." No, you don't have to respect that. Nor should you, Sen. Kaine.

How dare this man dishonor all the men and women who gave their lives for that flag? How many men and women pine to throw a football, but are missing hands? Or want to run on the field, but are missing legs?

To many on the left, denouncing America and its flag is a precious right, even an act of courage, when they should not just object, but call that protester an ungrateful jerk. 

[...]

Since his team is from San Francisco, it's not surprising that it issued a mealy-mouthed statement. The anthem is a "special part" of the pre-game ceremony, the 49ers said, but "we recognize the right of an individual to choose and participate, or not, in our celebration of the national anthem." Blah, blah, cowardly blah.

We think the definition of "cowardly" applies much more to Bozell, who is too afraid to appear on TV with anyone who might disagree with him (hence the vast majority of his appearances being limited to the narrow world of Fox News and right-wing media) yet demands that the MRC's current target of rage, Jorge Ramos, engage in a debate with him, something he knows will never happen -- which is why he issued the dare in the first place.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:23 AM EDT
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

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