ConWebBlog: The Weblog of ConWebWatch

your New Media watchdog

ConWebWatch: home | archive/search | about | primer | shop

Tuesday, November 22, 2016
Leader of Website That Championed Trump's Candidacy Cheers His Victory
Topic: Newsmax

Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy begins his Nov. 21 column this way:

It is not every day the president-elect of the United States calls me. Last Tuesday, it was Donald Trump on the line. He thanked me for Newsmax's early and fair coverage of his presidential quest.

I congratulated our nation's soon to be 45th president.

Of course. Ruddy's Newsmax has been an integral part of legitimizing the itea of Trump as a presidential candidate. Taht "early and fair" coverage of Trump largely consisted of Trump sycophant Ronald Kessler slobbering all over the guy prior to the 2012 presidential campaign. Newsmax also attempted to team with Trump to host a Republican presidential debate in the 2012 cycle, but it collapsed when most of the candidates bailed out amid rumots that Trump was considering a third-party candidacy.

Ruddy was similarly in slobber mode during this year's election. While he worried about how Trump's campaign might affect the Republican Party's outreach to Latino voters, he also ran to Trump's defense over the latter's vile misogyny revealed in the "Access Hollywood" tape, insisting that Trump "should never have apologized" because the tape was off the record he he shouldn't be held to politican standards for things he said when he wasn't a politician. Ruddy toasted Trump's victory, proclaiming, "For many years I would tell the president-elect that he had already won the 'triple crown' of American life. No other American could say that they were at the pinnacle of the business, entertainment, and political worlds. No one else."

This is echoed in his current column:

I have known the president-elect for almost 20 years. This election victory clearly came as a surprise to him, only sensing victory the last three days of the campaign. We have talked frequently through the years. I have seen him up close and personal as few other journalists have.

This call was different.

He was remarkably relaxed and focused, as if his moment had arrived. Our private conversation lasted about 10 minutes, the details I cannot share here.

Suffice to say, I recently wrote in my blog this new president, as the first truly "citizen president," has a unique opportunity to re-shape the country and the world.

Ruddy concluded with one last bit of slobbering: "There is no question President-elect Trump is on a learning curve. But he has handled new and different challenges before. Just look how he well did as a presidential candidate."


Posted by Terry K. at 4:24 PM EST
WND Censors Full Story of Mom's Lawsuit Against Transgender Teen
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Whenever WorldNetDaily reports on a legal case promoted by one of its favorite right-wing legal organizations, the question one should always ask is: What is WND hiding about this story that undermines the case?

Bob Unruh writes in a Nov. 16 WND article:

Can a team of advocates for transsexuality, from a school district and a medical services organization to county social workers, simply decide that a 17-year-old minor is “emancipated” from his parents and go ahead with male-to-female sex-change treatments with no further permission?

That’s the question being asked in a lawsuit against St. Louis County in Minnesota, its public health chief Linnea Mirsch, Fairview Health Services, Park Nicollet Health Services, St. Louis County School District, Cherry School Principal Michael Johnson and others.

“This is an outrageous abuse of power by multiple agencies,” said Tom Brejcha, chief counsel of the Thomas More Society, which is working with local attorney Erick Kaardal of Mohrman, Kaardal and Erickson of Minneapolis on the case.

“To treat a minor child without either parental consent or a court order of emancipation is a violation of the trust placed upon the human service sector and its governmental oversight agencies. To give a parent no recourse to intervene in this situation is an egregious violation of constitutional rights,” Brejcha said.

[...]

But the complaint, posted online, argued the defendants have worked together to provide the minor, identified only as JDK, with funds for living, health consultations, legal consultations, medical treatments and more – all without any legal adjudication that JDK is emancipated.

That means, the lawsuit contends, JDK’s biological mother and custodial parent, Anmarie Calgaro, has suffered a multitude of violations of her constitutional parental rights.

[...]

Kaardal explained: “Ms. Calgaro as a Minnesota parent is entitled to notice and hearing when parental rights regarding a minor child are terminated. Regarding emancipation, the courts recognize a common law right for a teenager to petition for emancipation; but, the courts do not recognize a corresponding common law right for a parent to petition to de-emancipate a teenager. Thus, Minnesota statutes constitutionally err by allowing a medical service provider to treat a teenager as emancipated without a court order and without providing parents a post-deprivation process to challenge the medical service provider’s determination of emancipation. Similarly, the county’s and school district’s determinations of the teenager’s emancipation without a court order violate the parent’s right to notice and a hearing; but, unlike the medical service providers, the county and the school district do not have a statute to pin their unconstitutional conduct on.”

As is typical for Unruh and WND, no effort is made to tell the full story -- he's just doing stenography for the Thomas More Society. But there is another side of this story that goes beyond WND's stenography. The Washington Post, an actual news organization, reports:

What complicates the case is Calgaro’s relationship with her daughter, which was described as estranged in a letter attached to the complaint. The letter, from Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid, declared the teenager legally emancipated under state law in June 2015 due to “conduct by the parent in giving up control and custody of the minor.”

At that time, the teenager told Legal Aid she had been living separately from Calgaro for at least six months and was working two jobs to financially support herself while enrolled in high school and college courses. Calgaro, the teen claimed, knew where her daughter was staying but “made no attempts” to bring her home, contact her or report her as a runaway to authorities.

That, Legal Aid determined, made the teen “legally emancipated,” even though there was no court order. The designation would automatically qualify the teen for health care through social service programs, allowing her to make medical decisions — even elective ones — without parental consent.

The teen decided to begin transitioning from male to female.

Also, while Unruh hand-waves non-agency parties being sued by the Thomas More Society as "others," the Post points out that one other target of the lawsuit is Calgaro's son-turned-daughter. In other words, she's suing her own child.

Further, the Thomas More Society's complaint admits that "Minnesota common law allows for the emancipation of minor children" without a defined legal process. But as NBC notes, Minnesota law does not use the term "emancipation," but state law does provide for minors to make their own medical decisions -- which raises the concern that the Thomas More Society may be using this lawsuit as a stealth attack on state abortion law because the statute that allows minors to make their own medical decisions is echoed in the state's parental notification law regarding abortion.

Once again, WND has skewed a story around its pet issues of parental rights and hating transgenders.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:46 AM EST
Monday, November 21, 2016
Yes, NewsBusters And the MRC Have Dabbled In Pushing Fake News
Topic: Media Research Center

CNN's Brian Stelter mentioned NewsBusters in a segement on right-wing faker news -- actually, didn't even mention it; he just used a screenshot of a couple of NewsBusters items in passing -- and the Media Research Center got the vapors. Brad Wilmouth wrote:

In a pre-recorded piece aired on New Day Saturday, CNN's Brian Stelter included images of two NewsBusters articles (here and here) as he complained that many people were fooled by "BS" and "fake news," sharing such material with others through social media during the 2016 presidential election.

As the CNN media analyst fretted that Donald Trump's campaign had benefited from "fake news" articles, Stelter did not take the time to inform viewers of what he found to be "fake" about the NewsBusters articles that were that were authored by our Matt Philbin and contributing writer Christian Toto.

[...]

As articles from several websites appeared on screen, two NB articles were among the group -- "Hypocrisy: Net Frets About Bannon; Gave Catholic-Hating Podesta a Pass" and "Amy Schumer: Trump Voters Weak, Clueless KKK Members." As Stelter did not specify his problem with either article, a similar article regarding Amy Schumer, albeit with a different title, had appeared at the Huffington Post.

After recalling that "Even President Obama is raising the alarm," Stelter recalled an article from one of the other websites which falsely claimed a protester was paid to disrupt Trump rallies.

[...]

There was still no explanation for why either NewsBusters piece was included among "fake news" articles as of this post's publication. 

Wilmouth went on to state that "NewsBusters executive editor Tim Graham demanded that Stelter issue a correction and emphasized that all of us at NewsBusters take issues of accuracy seriously (despite what Stelter may consciously or erroneously think and opine to viewers)," adding links to Graham tweeting that "If you can't explain where we FAKED it, @BrianStelter we at NewsBusters want a correction" and "Anyone who reads @newsbusters -- if you find something "Pants on Fire" or "Fake" on NB, we will take it seriously. No flies in our soup!"

Wilmouth and Graham have a point -- to a certain extent. Of the two NewsBusters posts that got blink-and-you'll-miss-them appearances in the CNN segment, one is as run-of-the-mill right-wing rant by Christian Toto overstating what comedian Amy Schumer said about Trump voters; while she mocked them by questioning if they could read her Instagram post "through the holes in your sheets," the headline of Toto's post claims she called them "Clueless KKK Members." The post did contain an added editor's note asserting that Hillary Clinton's emails, which  Schumer said caontined "nothing incriminating," actually contained "Classified information very likely hacked by foreign agents."

The second post was one by Matt Philbin, and as we noted, it complained that the media was examining the white-nationalist ties of Steve Bannon instead of Clinton campaign manager John Podesta, who Philbin smeared as an "anti-Catholic bigot."  In fact, Podesta is a Catholic himself, and he merely complained about conservative Catholics, not attacked the entire religion.

In the MRC's defense, these types of items are not the fake news that has people concerned -- this sort of hyperbolic ranting is par for the course at NewsBusters.That's not to say the MRC hasn't been promoting fake news, however.

As we've documented, the MRC went all in in relentlessly promoting the Fox News story that  an indictment of Hillary Clinton was imminent and that her email server was almost definitely hacked, with MRC chief Brent Bozell vowing to report "every hour" on the issue. But none of those hours were devoted to a post that told readers Fox News effectively retracted both claims -- in other words, fake news.

That not only undercuts Wilmouth's claim that "all of us at NewsBusters take issues of accuracy seriously" and Graham's assertion that "if you find something "Pants on Fire" or "Fake" on NB, we will take it seriously," it proves that the editor's note in Toto's post on schumer was fake as well. So maybe Stelter wasn't that much out of line.

There are also things like NewsBusters blogger Tom Blumer deceptively trying to blame all birtherism on Hillary Clinton (which, to the very limited extent her campaign was associated with the issue, ended around the time her 2008 campaign did) as a ploy to get Trump off the hook for pushing the issue for five years. NewsBusters also has a blogger hiding behind the fake name of "Bruce Bookter"and hired aggressively pro-Trump partisan Jeffrey Lord to blog there as well, who has his own history of fake news.

The fake news the MRC puts out isn't the crude clickbait eesigned to make money; it's things like dubious studies so narrowly defined and unscientifically conducted they're meaningless as anything except a partisan cudgel.

On Nov. 20, the MRC went after Stelter again; this time, Nicholas Fondacaro complained that, in repeating the claims of a fake-news writer reported by the Washingtion Post, he "taking the opinion and the insults of a fake news publisher as fact. On top of ranting that "Stelter tried to smear the Media Research Center by including images of two NewsBusters articles during his shtick about fake news," he offered his own pass-the-buck take on the fake-news controversy:

The public is smarter than they are given credit for, and are very perceptive. So, the fear that fake news is what drove a Trump victory over Clinton is powered by a distrust with the intelligence the public. If Stelter and the media want their credibility back, then they need to show some trust in the public and not just demand that the public trust them. 

Of course, neither of these two posts noted that Facebook reportely refused to implement standards that would weed out fake news in order to avoid provoking another attack from right-wingers -- like Media Research Center chief Brent Bozell -- over claims of bias and censorship, such has what happened earlier in the year.

If the MRC was really as interested in accuracy as Graham and other employees claim it is, it would address that claim in its discussions of the fake-news controversy.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:35 PM EST
Fake-News Outlet WND Upset To Find Itself on List of Fake-News Outlets
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Chelsea Schilling complains in a Nov. 17 WorldNetDaily article:

The mainstream media are going wild circulating a viral list of so-called “fake news” websites – and the list includes established news sites like WND, Breitbart, Red State, the Daily Wire and Project Veritas – but WND has found a leftist, Trump-bashing assistant professor in Massachusetts who specialized in “fat studies” is behind the effort to target and discredit legitimate news organizations.

[...]

[Melissa] Zimdars published and circulated a list of “fake, false, or regularly misleading websites that are shared on Facebook and social media.” She said she began writing the list because she didn’t approve of the sources her students were citing.

The problem?

In addition to some satirical and bogus sites, her list attacks the credibility of well-established news organizations such as Breitbart, BizPac Review, Red State, the Blaze, the Independent Journal Review, Twitchy, the Daily Wire, WND and James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas. In many cases (such as with her WND listing), she offers no explanation for why the news organizations were included on the list.

WND's complaining about appearing on that list might be a bit more believable if it didn't have a lengthy history of doing what the list claims it did -- publish fake news.

The most obvious example of this is WND's multiyear birther crusade, which Joseph Farah and Co. pursued for the sole purpose of waging a war of personal destrution against Barack Obama --if WND was genuinely concerned about constitutional eligibility for the presidency, it would have pursued the eligibility case against Ted Cruz with the same vigor, which it didn't. Or when any of the numerous allegations it promoted regarding Obama's eligibility were discredited, which it never did. WND turned its birther crusade into fake news, and that alone earns its inclusion on the list.

Also of note is perhaps the most notorious spasm of fake news WND perpetrated, if only because it actually suffered legal consequences for it. Before the 2000 election, WND published a series of articles attacking Al Gore, several of which made thet claim that a Tennessee car dealer was involved in drug dealing. The car dealer sued WND and related people and entities for defamation; the lawsuit dragged on for years, with Farah asserting that "this lawsuit would be dropped in a flat second if Al Gore wanted it to be dropped," until just before the case was to go to trial seven years later, when WND abrtuptly settled the suit out of court for terms that still haven't been disclosed. As part of the settlement, though, WND admitted that what it published about the car dealer was not true and that "the sources named in the publications have stated under oath that statements attributed to them in the articles were either not made by them, were misquoted by the authors, were misconstrued, or the statements were taken out of context."

While WND appended the settlement statement to several articles in the series, all of those articles are still live on the WND website despite no apparent effort by WND to fact-check the other claims made in the articles. But if one significant part of the series has been found to be a lie and its reporters exposed as engaging in sloppy reporting, there's no reason to believe the rest of what was written (though WND's lies arguably had their intended effect of keeping Gore from getting elected).

Let's not forget that Farah is weirdly proud of the fact that WND publishes "misinformation" (read: lies) and that his own record of writing is strewn with falsehoods. Heck, even Schilling's own body of work at WND is similarly falsehood-laden.

And justlast week, WND republished an article from another right-wing website  about anti-Trump protesters that is totally false -- and the article is still live and uncorrected at WND.

Schilling's record of mendacious reporting continues in this article. She found the most unflattering photos of Zimdars she could find to accompany her article and attacked her academic record, emphaasizing that she has done research in "fat studies," published a paper on "fat acceptance TV" and she "enthusiastically declares that she’s 'less self-conscious of my own rear end than I used to be.'"

The fact that WND uses its "news" pages to carry out personal vendettas against its critics is just another reason nobody believes it -- and another reason it indisputably earned its place on that fake-news list.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:03 AM EST
Updated: Monday, November 21, 2016 1:04 AM EST
Sunday, November 20, 2016
MRC Actually Blames 'Liberal Bias' For Alt-Right Fake News
Topic: Media Research Center

We've noted that one key reason why pro-Trump fake news proliferated during the presidential election is that, according to Gizmodo sources, Facebook refused to implement standards that would weed out fake news in order to avoid provoking attacks from right-wingers -- like Media Research Center chief Brent Bozell -- over claims of bias and censorship.

The MRC has finally noticed the debate -- and is eager to do anything but discuss its own role in helping create it. Like blaming the so-called "liberal media" for it.

IN a Nov. 18 MRC post, Kyle Drennen writes of "network coverage hyping liberal fears that fake news stories shared on Facebook and across social media fueled Donald Trump’s election victory and actually came to this conclusion: "Perhaps if journalists were more concerned with policing their own liberal bias, the public would be less inclined to seek out alternative news sources."

Yep, that's what he wrote.

Kyle complained that "That question was never broached in any of the coverage" of the issue -- but Drennen never broached the question of the Bozell-led intimidation of Facebook allegedly being a factor in Facebook refusing to do anything about fake news before the election.

So the "liberal media" is somehow to blame for fake right-wing news. That's the way logic works at the MRC these days. And about all one can do in response is facepalm.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:06 PM EST
Why Does Cliff Kincaid Still Have A Job?
Topic: Accuracy in Media

By Cliff Kincaid's own standards, he should be unemployed.

Kincaid uses his Nov. 11 Accuracy in Media column to call for the firing of anyone who got Donald Trump's election wrong:

Journalists and columnists should not be fired for their opinions, but for their lack of objectivity. It’s fine to have anti-Trump opinions, but that should not have interfered with an analysis of why Trump was striking a chord with the American people.

[...]

The problem with people like Stephens and publications like The Huffington Post is that they let their anti-Trump orientation interfere with the need for a professional analysis of what was actually happening in America’s cities and towns.

One Huffington Post writer with egg on his face is Ryan Grim, who was promoting the bogus story that Trump had raped a 13-year-old girl. Regarding the rape story, Grim informed his readers on November 2 that “a woman who says Trump raped her as a 13-year-old in the 1990s is planning a press conference at 6:00 EST today. I coincidentally was working on a piece  explaining why this case has gotten so little coverage.”

It got little coverage because it was false.

The woman, who had a history of drug abuse, pulled out of the news conference. She was identified by name and dropped the lawsuit. The allegations were obviously fabricated.

[...]

But nobody in the media loses their jobs for getting the facts wrong and doing their work in an unprofessional manner.

By Kincaid's own standard, Kincaid should not have a job. We've documented how Kincaid has promoted false claims and overheated, paranoid rhetoric about Barack Obama. He also hurled false smears at a gay former Obama administration adviser and irrationally hates gays to the point that he endorsed a proposed law in Uganda that would permit the death penalty for mere homosexuality.

If that Huffington Post writer should be fired for reporting on the Trump rape case, Kincaid should be fired for promoting the work of discredited filmmaker Joel Gilbert. Kincaid promoted Gilbert's false film claiming that Frank Marshall Davis is Obama's real father and libelously asserting that Obama's mother posed for nude photos for Davis, and he also enthusiastically touted Gilbert's exploitative campaign to exploit Danney Williams' never-proven claim that he's Bill Clinton's illegitimate son (something we'll probably never hear about from Gilbert again now that Hillary Clinton lost the election).

Kincaid concludes by grousing, "Any ordinary business that got things so wrong and performed so incompetently would go out of business." Yet AIM still exists, and Kincaid is still employed there.

Does Kincaid have the guts and intellectual consistency to enforce his own standards on himself? Highly unlikely.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:36 AM EST
Saturday, November 19, 2016
CNS Joins WND In Pushing Idea Trump's Election Was An Act of God
Topic: CNSNews.com

WorldNetDaily isn't the only ConWeb outlet eager to credit God for Donald Trump's presidential victory. CNSNews.com managing editor Michael W. Chapman wants to push that idea as well.

On Nov. 10, Chapman featured his favorite right-wing minister, Franklin Graham, declaring that "I believe that God’s hand intervened Tuesday night to stop the godless, atheistic progressive agenda from taking control of our country."

Then, on Nov. 15, Chapman wrote this:

The unexpected and seemingly miraculous election of political novice Donald Trump to the presidency last week was a sign of "God answering the prayer of His people," said Sam Rohrer, president of the American Pastors Network, who added that even Trump's opponents were stirred to think that God intervened, calling the event "historic" and "unbelievable."

"[T]his was an answer to prayer in my opinion," said Rohrer, a former member (1993-2010) of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, in a Nov. 11 interview on "Focus Today."

"We said, God have mercy on us," explained Rohrer. "And, if You choose in Your providence to overrule the manipulations of man, [then] make a win so clearly, so clear, that even its opponents would have to say somebody like God, or God, did it."

As with WND, neither of Chapman's posts mention the possibility that Trump's election may be a punishment from God.

Meanwhile, WND is not done claiming to divine God's political preferences: Craige McMillan used his Nov. 17 column to crow that "I wrote in previous columns that Donald Trump would be the next president because God had ordained it," continuing to purport to speak for the Almighty: "The world’s leaders are falling like dominoes. Brexit, America, next the European Union. God is installing the final leaders and nation states. Satan is seeing generations of work crumble around him. His anger and rage will be substantial. You can see it in the faces of the protesters on the streets."


Posted by Terry K. at 10:33 AM EST
WND Columnist Praises Trump, Our New 'Warrior King'
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Remember Kent Bailey? He's the WorldNetDaily columnist who cheered Donald Trump's racial appeal to whites as a "tall, blond and Nordic 'warrior extraordinaire'" and decided that the only mental illness Trump suffers from is being crazy ... about America. Trump's victory has sent Bailey -- he of the "human paleopsychology" invention -- into new heights of purple prose. Hence, his Nov. 15 WND column proclaiming Trump as his (and, apparently, our) "warrior king":

On Aug. 21 of last year, I referred to Donald Trump as a warrior extraordinaire who “is the prototypical, archetypal and testosterone-driven alpha male who rules by the sheer force of his personality, imposing physique, quick wit, mastery of repartee and almost hypnotic control over his gathering masses of adoring followers. He is Attila to the Huns, Henry V to the outnumbered English army, Winston Churchill to desperate allied forces and now our fearless leader against the pagan forces of progressivism and political correctness. He is the unapologetic, quintessential warrior male of yore capable of vanquishing any and all opposition in his way.”

At the time, many readers saw a grain of truth amid this apparent extravaganza of overstatement. However, after Trump’s miraculous and devastating annihilation of Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party on Nov. 8, we see that he has graduated from warrior extraordinaire to warrior king of the United States, the West and indeed the entire free world.

[...]

While Hillary was spending millions of dollars on ads and the “ground game” engaging in girlish groupthink and spouting the mantra “stronger together,” Trump was imposing the firepower of his own individual will and intellect upon anything and anyone in his way.

That is the kind of leader our country needs in dealing with the likes of Vladimir Putin, Bashar al-Assad of Syria, the ayatollahs of Iran, the psycho Kim Jong-un of North Korea and most of the world’s “not PC” leaders. The last thing we need is a bunch of weepy, emotionally fragile, safe-zone-loving, politically correct “girls” going up against this really bad bunch of dudes.

Bailey concludes by declaring that "I am encouraged that the grand warrior king of the East (Putin) is starting out on good terms with his counterpart in the West (Trump), and we should all hope and pray that their pleasant and respectful start will pay positive dividends in the long run." Funny, the rest of us see that closeness as a foreign power meddling in an American election.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:46 AM EST
Friday, November 18, 2016
Doesn't Skewed MRC Poll Show Media Rejected Bias of CNS Too?
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center released a poll it conducted this week claiming that, among other things  "7 in 10 (69%) voters do not believe the news media are honest and truthful" and "8 in 10 (78%) of voters believe the news coverage of the presidential campaign was biased."

Curiously, the full poll results weren't provided in the NewsBusters article announcing the poll. A link for that is buried in the article at the MRC's "news" division, CNSNews.com, touting the poll. And that's where we find a bit of bias in the poll itself: The detail of sampling by region shows that just 16.9 of respondents were from the Northeast, while 24.6 percent were from the Midwest, 21.9 from the West and a whopping 36.6 percent were from the South. That seems a bit skewed.

The full results also show that respondents were questioned about "the media" or "the news media" in the broadest possible sense. This means respondents were responding not just to the MRC's favorite (andlconveniently narrow for research purposes) target, the three main broadcast networks, but to cable news and websites as well -- including the MRC's own CNS.

While the MRC is interested in promoting only the poll results that further its anti-media agenda -- i.e., "nearly a 3-to-1 majority believing the media were for Clinton (59%)" -- it also found that 21 percent of respondents thought the media was biased in favor of Trump.

And while Brent Bozell rants about the "institutional bias at major media networks" -- even though, again, the poll he paid for never asked about that specifically -- and insisted that "The public has rejected this institution as being either objective or truthful," he must apply those results to his own "news" operation, CNS.

As we've documented, CNS' election coverage was egregiously biased,with its reporters pouncing on everyalleged Hillary Clinton scandal while playing stenographer for Trump, uncritically transcribing his speeches and statements.

If the public has rejected the media, that means it has also rejected Bozell's own "news" operation. You'd think Bozell would be concerned enough about that to do something about it -- after all, it's what the MRC presents as the ideal website.

One last note: The press-release description of the MRC at the end of the NewsBusters article laughably states this: "We don’t endorse politicians and we don’t lobby for legislation." The MRC has to say that because it's not allowed to endorse candidates or act as lobbyists under its 501(c)3 nonprofit tax designation, but let's not pretend that its election-year work is anything other than endorsement of the Republican candidate for president, if not by name.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:02 PM EST
WND Reprints False Story About 'Paid Protesters'
Topic: WorldNetDaily

A Nov. 14 WorldNetDaily article copies-and-pastes an item from the right-wing site ZeroHedge claiming proof of "professional agitators" leading anti-Trump protests in the form of "a video of 5 city blocks on the West side of Chicago lined with busses from Wisconsin (Badger Bus Lines) bringing in protestors."

Just one problem: The article is bogus. The Washington Post explains:

A story at the pro-Trump site ZeroHedge that was picked up by the Drudge Report shows a video recording a line of buses in Chicago, suggesting that the buses were used to bring people in from Wisconsin to protest Trump.

Think about that. Trump won Wisconsin. Someone needed to bus people in from Milwaukee (population: 600,000) to protest in Chicago (population: 2.7 million)? There's no evidence offered that the line of buses has anything to do with the protests, mind you. And a quick glance at Google Street View, captured in October, reveals that there's always a line of buses in that same place.

So the article is a lie, but there it sits at WND presented as fact.

Keep that in mind the next time WND complains about not being treated as a credible news site.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:11 AM EST
Thursday, November 17, 2016
MRC Would Rather Distract Than Talk About Steve Bannon
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center has decided how it will address the controversy of Donald Trump naming white nationalist- and anti-Semitic-linked Breitbart News leader Steve Bannon as his top adviser: distract, distract, distract.

First up is Matt Philbin, who wonders why the media wants to talk about Bannon and not "anti-Catholic bigot" John Podesta, Hillary Clinton's campaign manager.Of course, the reason is that Podesta is not an "anti-Catholic bigot" at all -- as Philbin admits, Podesta -- a Catholic himself -- was critical only of conservative Catholicism. Nevertheless, Philbin sneered that Podesta is a "self-hating Catholic" and should "try the Episcopalians" if he wants a religion that respects gender equality.

Philbin then dismissed a media report pointing out Bannon's links to white nationalism because it came from "from Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center, which is itself a left-wing hate group whose business model is screaming 'Neo-Nazi!' at conservative groups and then letting donations from aging lefties pour in." At no point does Philbin actually address the white nationalism charge -- he's attacking the messenger.

Sarah Stites was next in the distraction brigade, with the subject of distraction this time being gay activist Dan Savage: "The networks have all written stories condemning Bannon’s alleged anti-semitism, but what about Savage’s hateful words about the Catholic church?" Um, because nobody has appointed Savage to be a presidential adviser?

She was followed by Rich Noyes, who pointed to yet another not-conservative the media is purportedly ignoring to focus on Bannon:

Since Sunday evening, ABC, CBS and NBC (along with a host of other establishment media outlets) have been engaged in a feeding frenzy over Donald Trump’s appointment of Steve Bannon, with reporters relentlessly employing phrases such as “white nationalist,” “white supremacist,” “extremist,” “racist” and “anti-Semitic” to solidify the image of Bannon as a dangerous pick for a top White House position.

But since Friday, those same networks have been blind to the controversies surrounding the top candidate for Democratic National Committee Chairman, Rep. Keith Ellison. Ellison has been accused of ties to the radical Nation of Islam, the Muslim Brotherhood, and once suggested the 9/11 terrorist attacks were akin to the infamous Reichstag fire used to propel Hitler’s Nazi party into absolute power in 1933 Germany.

In fact, as Media Matters documented in noting the Islamophobic nature of the attacks on Ellison, the congressman hasn't had a link to the Nation of Islam since 1995 when he organized a group to attend the Million Man March, and Ellison has since denounced the Nation of Islam's "bigoted and anti-Semitic" statements.

By contrast, Noyes lamented that Bannon was being targed with "long-dropped charges of 'domestic violence,' and unsubstantiated accusations from Bannon’s ex-wife that he didn’t want his children 'going to school with Jews.'" When has the MRC ever refrained from attacking a liberal because the charges were "long-dropped" or unsubstantiated?

Finally, Brittany Hughes pops up at MRCTV -- seemingly replacing Dan Joseph, who near as we can tell is no longer an MRC employee after being a fervent never-Trumper during the election -- to harangue the media for even questioning Bannon (and found even more people to distract with) because HOW DARE THEY:

So, to all of you out there in the media who suddenly decided that you give a rip about ethics and morality, here's my response: Just. Shut. Up. This is why Americans are sick of you and it's why your ratings are in the toilet. They're sick of left-wing journalists pointing their almighty finger at conservatives whenever they scratch their nose wrong, while totally ignoring liberals who spew all kinds of filthy, nasty mess.

The Clintons have lined their pockets with millions from Middle Eastern countries that stone gay people and deny women basic rights, and somehow Hillary is still a feminist LGBT champion.  Huma Abedin's family published a radical Muslim magazine that promoted Sharia law and advocated against women's rights, and Huma Abedin was listed as an editor on it for years, and you never batted an eyelash.

Actually, according to people who actually read such things and are not right-wing former WorldNetDaily employees taking articles out of context, that "radical Muslim magazine" is a mostly staid academic journal that covers a broad range of issues.

But who cares about facts? Hughes doesn't. She's on a spittle-filled roll, having apparently taken ranting lessons from her boss, Brent Bozell:

You just spent the last eight years defending a president who actively incites racial divides and who thinks terrorists are just climate change victims with employment problems. Yeah, it matters who Trump surrounds himself with. It matters that they have principles and ethics. But you do not get to point a finger at anyone in the Trump camp when you have done nothing but ignore the left's lies, race-baiting, Christian-bashing and open deception for years. So consider this your invitation to Shut. Up.

If Hughes' screed was meant to signal that only conservatives would judge Bannon, that part is a bit unclear because she was too busy screaming at the media to issue any sort of judgment.

The furious pace (literally, in Hughes' case) at which the MRC is trying to talk about anything but Steve Bannon tells us that they know his record is a legitimate issue to attack.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:52 PM EST
So, Any Chance Kupelian Will Un-Rig WND?
Topic: WorldNetDaily

In his Nov. 15 column, WorldNetDaily managing editor David Kupelian does a lot of ranting about things being rigged. Like the media:

Thanks to WikiLeaks, the media collusion became so overt as to be darkly comical – with, for example, Donna Brazile (the new and improved DNC chair who replaced the disgraced Wasserman Schultz) being revealed to have acted as a Clinton mole while working at CNN, passing Sanders intel on to Hillary’s campaign and tipping off Clinton about multiple town hall questions ahead of time.

Sort of like quiz-show honchos fixing the contest by secretly “coaching” their chosen winner before show time.

Since most of what the public sees and hears about the presidential candidates comes to them through the totally pro-Clinton filter of the major media, the “rigged” label seemed fair enough.

Ironically, journalism is the one profession explicitly protected by the Constitution in the First Amendment. Why? So it could not be crushed, interfered with, intimidated or otherwise rigged by a power-mad government. Unfortunately, no law, not even the Constitution of the United States, can stop people – including journalists – from being dishonest, deluded or just stupid.

Kupelian is exhibiting an almost comical level of deliberate lack of self-awareness here. His WND is nothing if not dishonest -- witness the utter lack of credibility it has -- and it played a bit part in the rigging process as the preferred media outlet for the Clinton smears of the sleazy Trump confidante Roger Stone, who conveniently had the willing ear of WND hack Jerome Corsi.

So, no, Kupelian has no room whatsoever to complain about how the media "rigged" the election unless and until he confesses WND's rigging. And Kupelian has a lot to answer for, what with the selling out of his moral principles to back Trump and his hatred for the Clintons that's so obsessive that his final pre-election argument was to maliciously attack Hillary as more evil than you can possibly know.

He repeats some of that hate here, calling the election results "what many consider to be nothing less than a divine reprieve from having to endure the reign of a screeching, lying, ever-deceiving Hillary Clinton."

Kupelian does his usual, increasingly cartoonish liberal-bashing, which basically comes down to insisting that anyone who doesn't hold the same right-wing Christian beliefs he does is harming the country.

Kupelian concludes by writing, "Can we simply stop being seduced and believing pleasant lies, and instead stand up and calmly but firmly speak the truth, in love?" A guy who tries to seduce us with his lies wants to "speak the truth, in love"? And he also wants us to "stop hating and blaming"? How ironic.

You first, dude. Start by un-rigging WND.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:38 AM EST
Wednesday, November 16, 2016
CNS Whines 'Ouija Board-Using Gay Poet’s Home' Named A Historic Site
Topic: CNSNews.com

See if you can spot the anti-gay bias in the headline and lead paragraph of this Nov. 10 CNSNews.com article by Penny Starr:

Feds Name New National Historic Landmarks: Ouija Board-Using Gay Poet’s Home, ‘Under World’ Relic and ‘Utopian Society’

The Department of Interior (DOI) and the National Park Service (NPS) have announced 10 new national historic landmarks, including the home of a homosexual poet, a relic from Shamanism, and the location of a “utopian society.”

Notice Starr's fixation on the poet in question, James Merrill, being gay, and plays up his onetime fixation on a Ouija board to make him even more evil. Starr repeats that later in the article, making sure to also note he died of AIDS complications:

The poet James Merrill’s house in New London, Connecticut is on the list. Merrill, who died of AIDs [sic] in 1995, also wrote novels, plays and a memoir. He is described by the DOI and NPS this way: “Over time, he introduced more radical material into his poetry, including well-crafted examination about homosexuality, art and spiritualism. He wrote with subtlety and sympathy of gay life, illuminating its anxieties and fulfillments.”

Much of Merrill’s later writing, such as The Changing Light of Sandover epic, was based upon his use of the occult Ouija board and poetic expression of otherworldly voices.

This, of course, is all of a piece with CNS' anti-gay agenda. But Starr also complains that other things that are not right-wing Christian are being protected: The "Man Mound" in Wisconsin, a prehistoric effigy mound that likely depicts "either a shaman or a Lower World human/spirit transformation," and a historic district in Ohio that once was the center of a "utopian society,both of which she outlines at length.

By contrast, one of the new landmarks that warranted only a mention on a bullet list was the Mississippi State Capitol. She didn't mention that it was the seat of a state government that perpetuated racism for decades. You'd think that might be a tad more offensive than a gay poet, or at least merit mention as part of its history, but apparently not in Starr's eyes.


Posted by Terry K. at 6:35 PM EST
Mission Accomplished: Facebook Too Intimidated By Right-Wingers To Stop Fake News
Topic: Media Research Center

Earlier this year, we detailed how Media Research Center chief Brent Bozell joined other conservatives in attacking Facebook for alleged bias on its "trending topics" feed, even taking part in a right-wing delegation to Facebook HQ to rant at them the error of their ways. The MRC censored the views of delegation member Glenn Beck, who portrayed the visit as a shakedown.

Well, the visit had its intended effect -- and proved Beck right. Gizmodo reports that Facebook's news feeds have been swamped by items from fake news sites designed to boost Donald Trump's presidential campaign, and sources said Facebook was afraid to do anything about it lest it offend Bozell's brigade again:

According to two sources with direct knowledge of the company’s decision-making, Facebook executives conducted a wide-ranging review of products and policies earlier this year, with the goal of eliminating any appearance of political bias. One source said high-ranking officials were briefed on a planned News Feed update that would have identified fake or hoax news stories, but disproportionately impacted right-wing news sites by downgrading or removing that content from people’s feeds. According to the source, the update was shelved and never released to the public. It’s unclear if the update had other deficiencies that caused it to be scrubbed.

“They absolutely have the tools to shut down fake news,” said the source, who asked to remain anonymous citing fear of retribution from the company. The source added, “there was a lot of fear about upsetting conservatives after Trending Topics,” and that “a lot of product decisions got caught up in that.”

Now that the election is over, Facebook is finally cracking down on fake news.

It looks Bozell and the MRC got what it wanted -- media outlets too intimidated by right-wing activists to something even so basic as fix a flaw that permits the dissemination of fake news. And as long as that fake news benefited a Republican, we have to assume the MRC is perfectly fine with that -- after all, we'd never hear the end of it from Bozell and Co. if the fake news Facebook wouldn't stop benefited Hillary Clinton.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:54 PM EST
As Its Readers Show Racism, WND Shuts Down Comments on Article About Racist Smear of Michelle Obama
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily rarely does much in the way of monitoring its comment threads -- it's much more interested in banning critics (we speak from experience) than banning anyone who says the most vile things about President Obama and his family. But, apparently, even WND has some standards every once in a while.

A Nov. 15 WND article by Art Moore tells the story of the mayor of a West Virginia town who resigned following the backlash she received from approving of a Facebook post that called Michelle Obama an "ape on heels." But three hours after the article was posted, WND closed the comments section after just 114 comments were posted.

WND rarely closes comment sections on articles, and it's almost unheard of for it to do it so soon after an article is posted. Then again, the article's subject matter inspired WND's Obama-hating readers to new heights of racism. A sample of the comments:

  • Michael Obama always looks like hes chewing a tire
  • Heels actually fit on hooves?
  • THE MOVIE WASNT THAT GOOD EITHER -- WHAT WAS THE NAME OF IT ? "GORILLAS IN OUR MIDST" -- I ALWAYS JUST THOUGHT SHE WAS CHEWBACCAS YOUNGER GENDER CONFUSED SIBLING -- WELL WHATEVER - GOOD RIDDANCE TO BOTH OF THEM -- TRAITORS ALL
  • How are they wrong? Michael (Michelle) is a former male football linebacker. How disgusting can it be to have a tranny and a dope dealing, dog meat eating queer in the White House...
  • Is "Obviously a man and not fooling anyone" in heels better?
  • Moochie is a guy. "Everyone knows she's a tranny and he's gay." --Joan Rivers a few days before Obama had her whacked.
  • Google "michelle is a man",,,,, that's the real story.
  • Not an ape, but a Human, I mean Hu-Man, err, a Huge Man in heels!
  • The mayor should've resigned, everyone knows the current 1st Lady is a Wildebeest.

Oddly, while a few comments in the thread were listed as deleted, the above comments were not as of this writing. That's a big clue as to what's considered acceptable at WND -- racism toward the Obamas is perfectly fine, as long as the readers don't overdo it ... and expose the full nature of WND's audience.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:27 AM EST

Newer | Latest | Older

Bookmark and Share

Get the WorldNetDaily Lies sticker!

Find more neat stuff at the ConWebWatch store!

Read my blog on Kindle

Support This Site

« November 2016 »
S M T W T F S
1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30

Bloggers' Rights at EFF
Support Bloggers' Rights!

News Media Blog Network

Add to Technorati Favorites

Add to Google

Subscribe in Bloglines

Add to My AOL