Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center wants the Univision anchorman to lose his job for committing the offense of being critical of Donald Trump. Read more >>
Thursday, September 29, 2016
WND Tries To Smear Ex-Miss Universe In Retaliation for Criticizing Trump
But when it comes to a woman who accuses Donald Trump of sexist behavior, the misogynists at WND are happy to disparage and smear.
After the Sept. 26 presidential debate, in which Hillary Clinton highlighted Donald Trump's record of sexism by noting he had denigrated beauty pageant contestant Alicia Machado as "Miss Piggy," WND went into Trump-surrogate mode, resulting in an article by Bob Unruh in which he recounts old claims that Machado was accused of driving her boyfriend from the scene of a crime and of threatening a judge. But Unruh never mentions that, as the Daily Beast has noted, no charges were ever filed against Machado in relation to those incidents.
WND followed up this attack with an anoymously written article that goes heavy on the Trump-style sexism -- the headline simply calls her "Miss Piggy" instead of her real name. This one claimed that Machado "had sex on live TV with another contestant on a Spanish show modeled after the CBS reality-TV series 'Big Brother.'" WND goes into lurid detail:
In addition to dismissing Machado as a "Playboy model," WND's article is topped with a picture of Machado holding up a copy of her centerfold in Playboy magazine, which is funny because WND seems to have forgotten that Trump not only did an interview with Playboy and appeared on a Playboy cover but also reportedly tried to get Playboy to do a "Girls of Trump" nude photo shoot.
The anonymous writer asserted that these never-proven allegations about Machado's private life and her appearance on a reality show "cast doubt on whether her claims about Trump should be believed." Actually, no it doesn't, since WND at no point cites Trump deny saying those things to her.
WND is trying to smear a critic of Trump, pure and simple.
Remember this sexist, lurid coverage of Machado the next time WND complains that Bill Clinton's accusers are being unfairly criticized.
MRC Throws Right-Wing Think Tank Under the Bus to Defend Trump
Topic: Media Research Center
How important is it to the Media Research Center that Donald Trump get elected president? It's even throwing its fellow conservatives under the bus.
In a Sept. 20 post, the MRC's Brad Wilmouth wrote about the tweet by Donald Trump Jr. in which he "analogized accepting Syrian refugees, some of whom might be terrorist infiltrators, to eating from a bowl of Skittles in which a few pieces of the candy are poisoned." After first complaining that CNN's Chris Cuomo called Trump Jr. for dehumanizing refugees by using the analogy, Wilmouth then attacked the conservative Cato Institute, which coincidentally the week before released data pointing out that the actual chance of American being killed in a terrorist attack perpetrated by a refugee is one in 3.64 billion per year. Wilmouth was having none of that factual undermining of Trump's anti-immigration agenda, insistsing that Cato used the wrong data:
In other words, Wilmouth wants the data massaged to make the threat from refugees look bigger, even if it's not as big as Trump Jr.'s fraudulent Skittles analogy claims.
Wilmouth didn't mention that Alex Nowrasteh, the author of the Cato paper, explained the reasoning behind his study:
Nowrasteh adds: "Foreign-born terrorists could become deadlier in the future but we should plan for the world we have and react to challenges when they arise rather than exaggerate hazards—especially when such exaggeration comes at a huge cost." But exaggerating hazards is Job 1 at the MRC, especially when the goal is getting Trump elected president -- and it will throw former allies like Cato under the bus to do it.
Wednesday, September 28, 2016
WND's Lame Attack on Hillary Over Lead In Water
WorldNetDaily's Garth Kant serves up this lame attempt to attack Hillary Clinton in a Sept. 25 article:
By contrast, Kant offers little evidence to back up his claim that anyone -- not just Clinton -- knew at the time that the District of Columbia's lead issue was as severe as is being currently claimed by Marc Edwards, who is best known for sounding the alarm on the Flint water crisis. Edwards testified before a House committee in March
Kant also offers no evidence whatsoever that any major Republican politician in power at that time -- remember, the White House and both houses of Congress were controlled by Republicans in 2004 -- did anything about the D.C. water crisis at the time.
Will Kant call out those Republicans who ignored the D.C. water crisis the way he's going after Hillary? Of course not -- Kant doesn't actually care about lead in the water, he cares only abouty making a hypocritical partisan attack.
Indeed, toward the end of his article Kant downplays the whole situation in Flint, noting that "2014 data from the Center for Disease Control shows there are 288 counties in the country that have higher rates of lead poisoning than Flint." And he mocks Clinton's campaign promise to completely remove lead from water, soil and paint as "not realistic" because it would cost too much.
Kant's article should be seen as what it is: an empty piece of propaganda designed to fulfill his marching orders in WND's Hillary jihad.
MRC's Ref-Working Failed on Lester Holt, So It Declares War On Him
Topic: Media Research Center
We documented how the Media Research Center was in full working-the-refs mode on Lester Holt, moderator of the first presidential debate, trying to brand him as a liberal even though he's a registered Republican and was reportedly chosen as a moderator to appease Donald Trump.
Well, the debate has come and gone, and Trump lost, as many conservatives are even admitting. So, according to MRC logic, that means Trump lost because Holt used his purported liberal-bias mojo on Trump.
Thus, having seen its ref-working efforts fail on Holt, the MRC declared war on him.
Brad Wilmouth was mad that Holt "repeatedly challenged Donald Trump ... but refrained from going after Hillary Clinton in the same aggressive manner. He also complained that others engaged in the same ref-working behavior the MRC did, though with supposedly better results: "Prior to the debate, the Clinton campaign repeatedly worked the refs to get tougher questions for Trump. In the case of Lester Holt, the strategy worked." Geoffrey Dickens served up "questions [Holt] could have asked Clinton, if he had any interest in being fair and balanced" and complained that Holt "repeatedly cross-examined and fact-checked GOP nominee Donald Trump" (no mention of how Trump made so many more false claims during the debate than Clinton did). Curtis Houck complained that during the debate Clinton "implored her friends in the liberal media and especially 'the fact-checkers' to 'get to work' on Trump (again, no mention of how badly Trump needs to be fact-checked, but then, the MRC has also declared war on facts to protect Trump).
But it was MRC chief Brent Bozell who was Trump's chief surrogate on the Holt-bashing front.
Immediately after the debate, Bozell issued a statement whining that "Holt continually challenged, fact-checked, and interrupted Trump and not once challenged Hillary," therefore "Lester Holt failed in his role as a moderator. Period."
Bozell then trotted over to friendly Fox Business to rehash his whining, adding that he doesn't understand why Republicans are "choosing these people, it happens almost every day debate. They behave like Lester Holt behaved tonight and then they’re shocked. They’re absolutely shocked that a left-wing journalist behaved like a left-wing journalist." Again, no mention of the fact that Holt is a registered Republican or was reportedly chosen as a sop to Trump. Bozell then played Trump campaign adviser: "I think that, if I were Donald Trump — if I were advising Donald Trump, don’t come out — don’t come out as a spoiled sport, but do make hay over this one. Do raise hell about this. If they can work the refs, so should he and I think he should start working the refs and he should start making an issue about this, how one-sided these debates are and it will work in his favor. At least, it might make them do a good job."
Bozell then issued another statement lamenting that Trump was challenged on his lies by Holt and declaring that "Holt did the bidding of his colleagues in the media, revealing himself to be nothing more than a pawn of Hillary’s campaign."
Bozell later ran over to Fox News to do another friendly, this time with Megyn Kelly. Unsual for him, it wasn't a solo appearance; Bozell appeared with "liberal former congressional candidate and ex-MSNBC host Krystal Ball," whom he basically ignored. Bozell was in full froth: "[W]here’s the fact-checking? Where's the follow-up? There was a follow-up to everything Donald Trump said. Where was the follow-up on this? She didn’t — what was more important, Megyn, birther issues or Benghazi medical records of the Clinton Foundation. There's so many — the e-mails. What's so important? How could he not have asked these questions?"
The anonymous author of the NewsBusters piece accompanying this clip huffed that Ball was "pathetically arguing that 'one candidate lies disproportionately more than the other candidate [so] of course you're going to have more pushback'" -- not conceding that Trump telling more falsehoods during the debate is as "irrefutable" as Bozell asserts Holt's lack of pushback on Clinton was.
But Holt was Trump's guy. And Chris Wallace, who will moderate the Oct. 19 debate, is Bozell's guy, having said he's the kind of guy Republicans should demand as a debate moderator. Plus, he's also on record as saying he doesn't think it's his responsiblity to fact-check candidates during a debate -- which makes him not only Bozell's guy but Trump's guy as well.
UPDATE: Bozell still isn't done. In his column with Tim Graham, he rants that "Holt's performance was a partisan disgrace" and touted a poll saying that "46 percent of Americans believe most moderators will tilt the debates in favor of Clinton," adding, "Holt confirmed the wisdom of the American people."
Bozell and Graham added that "It became obvious that Holt internalized all the howls of outrage from the liberal media against Matt Lauer for being even-handed with the candidates at the commander-in-chief forum earlier in the month." That would be the same Matt Lauer the MRC was mocking as a lightweight before that forum by posting photos of him in women's clothing (known to the rest of us as Halloween cosplay). But because Lauer did the MRC's duty by being harder on Trump than Clinton, Bozell should be crowing about how his working-the-refs campaign worked on Lauer.
WND -- Which Educated Trump on Birtherism -- Buries Debate's Birther Discussion
WorldNetDaily, if it's known for anything outside far-right circles, is perhaps best known for being the leading champion of the birther movement. It helped Donald Trump behind the scenes in his pushing the birther issue in 2011 (and likely beyond).
But now, WND doesn't want to own its birther legacy -- perhaps because Joseph Farah and crew know that it's no longer defensible. And it certainly doesn't want to talk about its indisputable birther ties with Trump.
WND's coverage of the first debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton -- in which Trump's birtherism came up -- is an example of WND fleeing from the legacy it owns. WND's main story on the debate, by Chelsea Schilling and Garth Kant, waits until the 57th paragraph to bring up the birther discussion, and even then it's a straight rendering of it:
Schilling and Kant weirdly don't contest Clinton's assertion that birtherism -- again, the main focus of WND for much of the past eight years -- is racist. Then again, nor do they disclose that WND was advising Trump behind the scenes on how to be a birther.
Their boss, Joseph Farah -- who was among the WND staffers who personally advised Trump on birther conspiracies -- followed up with a column painfully conceding that Clinton won the debate ... but no mention whatsoever of the debate's birther discussion.
Then, WND's Jerome Corsi -- another staffer who personally advised Trump on birther stuff -- spent an article spinning hard for Trump, uncritically touting anonymous "staff members and insiders who spoke to WND" insisting that Trump "successfully executed a plan to hold back on aggressive attacks on opponent Hillary Clinton, focusing, instead, on projecting a presidential bearing." Corsi's only mention of the debate's birther discussion came almost as an aside: "Moreover, Trump noted, Clinton’s presidential campaign in 2008 started the birther controversy by releasing to media an anonymous letter alleging Obama was not born in Hawaii, as well as the first photos of Obama in Kenya wearing traditional Muslim garb."
Corsi got the first part wrong; the UK Telegraph article to which he links to back up his claim that Clinton "started the birther controversy" in 2008 specifically states -- in the very first paragraph -- that "perennial local candidate and litigant" Andy Martin was pushing proto-birther claims in 2004. Nor does the Telegraph article state that the Clinton campaign released the "anonymous letter alleging Obama was not born in Hawaii" -- it states the letter was "circulated by supporters of Mrs Clinton," not the campaign.
It's also strange that Corsi is also complaining about the Clinton campaign releasing the photo of "Obama in Kenya wearing traditional Muslim garb" (again, the article to which Corsi links notes that the Clinton campaign denied distributing the photo), given that WND has used that photo over the years to illustrate its anti-Obama "journalism" -- Corsi himself declared in 2008 that the photo "raised questions about Obama’s links to Kenya, which has Muslim neighbors on several fronts, and was home to Obama’s father." And as recently as July, WND was touting how "Bill O’Reilly shared photos of Barack Obama in traditional Islamic dress on his program."
Like his WND cohorts, Corsi doesn't disclose the critical role he played in helping Trump push birtherism.
The shocker here is that it appears WND has a sense of shame after all. Too bad it didn't have this eight years ago -- too bad for both us and the future of WND.
Tuesday, September 27, 2016
Blatant Headline (And Reporting) Bias at CNS
As we've noted, CNSNews.com is effectively the Media Research Center in inverted-pyramid "news" form.CNS helpfully provided a blatant example of its right-wing bias by playing these two headlines side by side for easy screencapping:
The bias extends to the articles themselves. Susan Jones begins her biased article on Clinton this way:
In fact, according to the clip accompanying Jones article, at no point did Clinton claim that climate change was "the crux of her job-creation plan" -- it was an example she cited from her overall economic plan as a response to one question. Later on, Jones does concede that Clinton also said her economic plan includes "jobs in infrastructure, in advanced manufacturing, innovation and technology, clean, renewable energy, and small business, because most of the new jobs will come from small business."
Jones also wrote the article on Trump. But in contrast to her Clinton-focused article -- in which she devotes eight of her article's 18 paragraphs to Trump countering Clinton's claims -- only three of this article's 16 paragraphs quote Clinton countering Trump's claims.
Isn't this the kind of media bias the MRC was founded to fight when it comes from the "liberal media"? Apparently, there's no swuch thing as right-wing media bias, which gives people like Jones free rein to
MRC Latino Comes To The Defense of White People
Topic: Media Research Center
How much does the Media Research Center hate Univision anchor Jorge Ramos (beyond trying to get him fired)? Its Latino division is defending the honor of white people after Ramos criticized Donald Trump.
MRC Latino's Edgard Portela does just that in a Sept. 24 post:
Has Portela been hanging out a bit too much on white-nationalist websites lately? Because his post sure reads that way -- as if the only worthwhile contributions to the country came from European (and, more specifically, Anglo-Saxon, or northern European) immigrants. Anglo-Saxon identity is a key part of white nationalism, which Trump's campaign has brought to the forefront.
How bizarre is it that a Latino conservative is defending white people? It's been that kind of election.
WND Trolls For More Armchair Diagnoses of Hillary
WorldNetDaily once thought going birther was a winner, and look at it now. WND has now decided that obsessing over Hillary Clinton's purported health problems is a winner, attacking it in the same it went birther on Obama -- with lots of self-proclaimed "experts" who are nowhere near close enough to the situation to even examine Hillary, let alone offer an informed judgment.
A Sept. 15 WND article by Bob Unruh insisted that "a significant number of top physicians expressing concern that the American people aren’t being told the truth about Hillary Clinton’s health," but as evidence he served up only two non-prominent ones, Jane Orient and Lee Hieb, both of whom are right-wingers linked to the far-right-fringe Association of American Physicians and Surgeons who put partisan politics and scaremonger before responsible health advice.
Hieb declared: “From a distance, without formal evaluation there are still three things I know for sure regarding Hillary Clinton’s medical condition: 1) She has a neurological disorder; 2) pneumonia did not cause the episode on 9/11; and 3) she and her staff have been lying to cover up the truth of her condition for months if not years.” Well, no, Hieb does not know these things because she has never examined Hillary. (And neither has Orient.)
On Sept. 19, chief health-monger Jerome Corsi does what he does:
We've previously noted that Noel's training is as an anesthesiologist and really has no apparent formal training in diagnosing or treating the neurological disease he claims Hillary has, but Corsi gave him space to justify his diagnosis that when Hillary said "What difference does it make?" during her Benghazi testimony, she was suffering from "Parkinson's rage":"I’m not a neurologist treating Parkinson’s disease patients, but I am an anesthesiologist, and I have to know how to handle administering anesthesia to a patient who has Parkinson’s disease." He added that his old armchair-diagnosis videos were "using the declarative mood, where I should have been using the subjunctive mood." Kassicieh, for his part, insists from afar that Hillary has post-concussion syndrome.
Corsi returned Sept. 25 with an article citing yet another armchair diagnoser, Paulette Metoyer, who insists that according to her "expert analysis" that Hillary is suffering from epilepsy, including petit mal and grand mal seizures. Corsi didn't mention that she's been published by the far-right American Thinker, which raises serious credibility issues.
Again: None of these people Corsi and Unruh are presenting as "experts" have never examined Hillary and many of them appear to be motivated more by trying to destroy Hillary's campaign than being of any genuine help to her. You know, a lot like the birther movement.
Monday, September 26, 2016
AIM Blogger Is Mad CNN Didn't Source The Obvious
Topic: Accuracy in Media
This is an actual Sept. 23 Accuracy in Media blog post by Spencer Irvine:
Huh? Irvine needs a source to back up the seemingly obvious assertion that lynching, white race mobs that wantonly burdered blacks and the economic effects of segregation were worse for American blacks than today?
Notice that nowhere in his brief blog post does Irvine question the accuracy of Trump's original claim -- apparenlty he assumes it's accurate, without sourcing it.
Working the Refs: MRC Attacks Debate Moderator Lester Holt
Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center has been in ref-working mode on the moderators for the presidential debates since before they were even named. In August, a month before the debate moderator were announced, MRC chief Brent Bozell was warning of biased moderators and declaring that "I'm watching to see to what degree are you going to have more impartial moderators this time."
When NBC's Lester Holt was named the moderator of the first debate, the MRC was quick to downplay the fact that he was reportedly chosen to appease Donald Trump. Tim Graham huffed in a Sept. 2 post that "Trump likes Holt, but it's not out because he's been tough on Hillary" and was mad that Trump committed jounalism by asking Trump "about his 'staggering negatives' and outrageous statements." Geoffrey Dickens followed up by omitting all mention of the Trump-appeasing choice of Holt to rummage through the MRC archives to dig up "a few examples of Holt’s most liberal moments in his time at NBC."
On Sept. 9, the MRC's Rich Noyes ran to Fox Business to complain that criticism of NBC's Matt Lauer for his hard questioning of Hillary Clinton, and relatively mild question of Trump, during a presidential forum means that Holt is "going to try to be very careful with the questions he's asking Hillary Clinton because of the way he's seeing his colleague being treated." Noyes didn't mention that his employer was mocking Lauer as a lightweight before the forum by mockingly posting photos of his cross-dressing Halloween antics.
The MRC then hilariously went into projection mode, whining about others doing the exact thing it's doing by trying to influence Holt before the debate:
Then, when it was revealed that Holt is a registered Republican, the MRC -- which for years has complained about reporters who are registered Democrats -- suddenly decided that party registration was meaningless.
The MRC's NewsBusters Twitter account sent this comment from Bozell on the matter: "So is Colin Powell. So what?" And Graham when into full sulk mode:
To prove this, Graham has to go back a whopping 26 years, citing a 1990 MRC item about one journalist who said he was a registered Republican to balance out his Democratic wife and get campaign literature from both sides. But that journalist, Tony Kornheiser, was a sports reporter at the time and, thus, irrelevant to the current discussion.
Graham went on to complain that "If Holt had acted like a "registered Republican" on the air, he'd have never made it to the anchor desk," adding, "Liberals would not suggest that 'a case for partisan bias against Chris Wallace will be tough to make' based on his voter registration." Yet the MRC has not been forthcoming with a greatest-hits item of Wallace "liberal bias." Why is that? Because Wallace is the MRC's guy -- in 2007, Bozell said that the GOP "ought not to suggest, but demand, a Brit Hume or a Chris Wallace as moderators" for a Republican debate.
Graham added, apparently without irony, "The amount of 'gaming' by the Democrats has been intense, even on the morning of the debate." As it has been by the MRC.
WND's Cashill Forgets He's Been Discredited on Obama Ghost-Writing Conspiracy
WorldNetDaily columnist Jack Cashill is apparently counting on his readers to have very short memories.
In his Sept. 21 column, Cashill attacks the Huffington Post's Sam Stein for dismissing the idea that Bill Ayers ghost-wrote Barack Obama's book "Dreams From My Father" as the conspiracy theory it is (and, perhaps more importantly, not giving Cashill credit as its originator). Cashill then calls in his character witness to back up his conspiracy:
In fact, Andersen specifically quoted Cashill in his book to support his claim that Ayers made a significant contribution to Obama's book. What Cashill is doing here is circular: He's claiming he's right because Andersen -- who cited him as a source -- came to the same conclusion.
Cashill is also conveniently ignoring the fact that Andersen unambiguously backed off the key part of Cashill's conspiracy, that Ayers secretly wrote the book. In a 2009 interview with Howard Kurtz, then with CNN, Andersen said: "I definitely do not say he wrote Barack Obama's book. Again, I'm putting up, you know, the accurate picture, which is that they knew each other, they -- he helped a little bit, gave his opinions. That's all I'm saying. And in fact, he did not write Barack Obama's book."
This was all pointed out at the time Andersen's book came out, but Cashill is pretending it doesn't exist -- and he could very well also be lying about Andersen not talking to him. Does Cashill not know the Internet exists?
Sunday, September 25, 2016
MRC Invokes Clinton Equivocation Again to Defend Trump
Topic: Media Research Center
You remember the Clinton Equivocation, right? The right-wing idea that right-wing media will give a pass to the bad behavior of any conservative candidate because it's presumed that a Clinton has already done it first and worse. The Media Research Center has invoked it a couple times already to defend Donald Trump, and it's doing so again.
This time, Nicholas Fondacaro does the honors in a Sept. 20 post in an attempt to shield Trump from emerging accusations about the shady accounting of his Trump Foundation. Fondacaro is quick to give Trump a pass because, in the words of commentator Mark Halperin, "But this does not involve the government, he was not a government official." That's all the license Fondacaro needs:
So: Trump is "terrible," but he's not Hillary -- who by definition of being a Clinton is presumed to be always worse, regardless of the actual evidence -- so his sleaziness gets the MRC's stamp of approval, and its effective endorsement of Trump stands.
WND Columnist: Trump Is Too Much Man for Hillary To Handle
Earlier this year, WorldNetDaily columnist Kent Bailey -- excuse us, Kent G. Bailey, Ph.D. -- cheered the racist appeal of Donald Trump's campaign, touting the "tall, blond and Nordic 'warrior extraordinaire'" who wants to "Make (white and traditional) America Great Again."
Now, Bailey is cheering Trump's sexism. The tone of Bailey's Sept. 20 column is clear from the very beginning:
Baily then lets his woman-hating flag fly, under the guise of "paleopsychological observations" (italics his):
Bailey is a retired college psychology professor. Be glad you never had to take a class from him, especially if you are female.
Saturday, September 24, 2016
MRC: CNN's Amanpour 'Angrily Maim[s]' Hillary Critics
Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's Curtis Houck goes a little too far into hyperbolic-rhetoric territory in his Sept. 13 post:
Amanpour is "angrily maiming" her critics? We know Houck is going for hyperbole here, but sheesh.
Houck goes on to write this:
Houck seems to have forgotten that his employer had no problem with "the obscene grocery store tabloid The National Enquirer" when it was going after Democrats like John Edwards. He also seems to be unaware that the Enquirer has been promoting Trump throughout the entire presidential campaign by pushing sleazy attacks on his opponents -- including, yes, speculation about Hillary's health -- and that Enquirer CEO David Pecker is a close friend of Trump.
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