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Friday, November 25, 2016
MRC Doesn't Understand How Twitter Works, Blames It For Hashtag Mocking Pence
Topic: Media Research Center

Does the Media Research Center not understand how Twitter works? Apparently not.

In a Nov. 21 post headlined "Twitter Jabs Trump Administration After Hamilton Hubbub," Sarah Stites complains that "Following the Hamilton cast’s public message to Mike Pence at a weekend performance he attended, Twitter erupted into controversy surrounding the appropriateness of the comments." She strangely vascillates between blaming Twitter users and Twitter itself for this:

With the intention of lampooning the Trump Administration, people tweeted out the names of popular shows, but with words changed to achieve relevancy in the current state of American politics.

How to Succeed in Government without Really Trying, The Book of Moron, The Tantrum of the Opera, Guys and Walls and Oklahomophobia reflected new takes on the classics. Seven Brides for Seven Bigots, The Kids Are Alt-Right, Singing in the Reich and There's a Tranny, Get Your Gun were also among the titles devised.

This is not the first time Twitter has wielded hashtags to exaggerate or caricature the President-elect, his administration or his policies. In October, with #TrumpBookReports, Twitter users imagined how the incoming POTUS would summarize the plotline of a classic novel in 140 characters or less.

Note to Stites: Twitter is a medium, not a singular organization. It, as an organization, is not responsible for creating the #NameAPenceMusical hashtag -- people who use Twitter did. Attacking Twitter for the proliferation of the hashtag is nonsensical.

And why is Stites so upset about a hashtag, anyway? Does she want Twitter to censor all criticism of Donald Trump and his incoming presidency? Does she agree with Twitter cutting off the accounts of some of the more offensive elements of the alt-right, or does she think that's censorship? If the latter, why try to pressure Twitter into curbing criticism of Trump, which seems to be what she's trying to do?


Posted by Terry K. at 10:29 AM EST
WND's Massie, Self-Unaware Trump Supporter, Bashes Obama's 'Lavish Lifestyle'
Topic: WorldNetDaily

You know a Mychal Massie column could be a good one (and by "good" we mean "crazy and incoherent and hateful") if he starts plundering his thesaurus for five-dollar words to insert. And he doesn't disappoint in his Nov. 21 WorldNetDaily column.

Indeed, Massie throws in his old "Erebusic" chestnutand, in the middle of of yet another anti-Obama rant, throws in "usufruct" for good measure:

It wasn’t that Obama lied as such – he’s a politician and that’s what they do – he lied and then personally boasted, along with his malevolent jackals, how clever they were in putting one over on We the People. Obama did it with “cash for clunkers”; those he surrounded himself with joined him in boasting of the public’s “stupidity” pursuant to the Iran deal and Obamacare.

His wife took usufruct to unparalleled extremes and heretofore not witnessed levels of spending and an in-our-face lavish lifestyle with a disregard that exceeded that for which Marie Antoinette was legendary.

Obama, as I have stated numerous times, had the opportunity to end the fractious divisiveness of race mongers. Obama had the golden scepter with which to virtually speak racial discord and the fomenters of same into oblivion. Instead he embraced and consciously increased racial animus and immiseration.

Obama embraced and projected the lowest common denominator of moral propriety – all the while preening and sneering contemptuously at those he viewed as beneath him, or perhaps more accurately stated, those he viewed as his subjects.

Yes, the guy who supported Donald Trump for president is  attacking the Obamas for their purported "lavish lifestyle."

Massie also called Hillary clinton a "a wholly corrupt, diseased, barely ambulatory, incoherent, shoddy old 'white' woman." No, we don't know why Massie put Clinton's race in scare quotes.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:29 AM EST
Thursday, November 24, 2016
AIM's Kincaid Defends Another White Nationalist Group
Topic: Accuracy in Media

Like the Media Research Center, Accuracy in Media is also in distraction mode when it comes to Trump adviser Stephen Bannon.

Cliff Kincaid's Nov. 15 AIM article immediately starts attacking the Southern Poverty Law Center for pointing out Bannon's promotion of alt-right white nationalist views as the guy who ran Breitbartn (and, by extension, media outlets that cite the SPLC), ranting that the SPLC "has no business being cited as a credible source by any responsible news organization. It smears conservatives for profit, diverting attention from real domestic threats, such as the Marxist extremists currently demonstrating against Trump in the streets and threatening to disrupt his inauguration."

Kincaid goes on to whine that "This journalist was named a member of the 'radical right,' a designation then transformed into a charge of 'Islamophobia' by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). The accusations are designed to silence First Amendment rights and discourage the media from going to conservative sources for news, information and commentary." Kincaid doesn't dispute the accusation or anything else in the SPLC's profile of him, but is simply attacking the messenger.

Kincaid then plunges into conspiracy-theory mode:

Even more troubling, SPLC President and CEO Richard Cohen was a member of the “Countering Violent Extremism Working Group” of the Department of Homeland Security in 2010. It is possible that Cohen, in this capacity, was able to get access to classified information, and that the SPLC, in turn, shared its erroneous data on conservative opponents of the Obama administration with federal law enforcement agencies.

Kincaid dismisses the allegations against Bannon by benignly describing them stemming from his leadership of Breitbart, which "features some unorthodox conservative views that Bannon’s critics have tried to pin on him." At no point does Kincaid rebut any of the specific charges made against Bannon.

Then, Kincaid goes off on a tangent:

Before [CBS anchor Scott] Pelley uncritically cited the SPLC, Kate Snow was on MSNBC talking about how Trump’s stand against illegal immigration was similar to that of the secretary of state of Kansas, Kris Kobach. She said Kobach had given “support” to the Social Contract Press, which she described as a “hate group” designated by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

The Social Contract Press rebuts all of the accusations, while noting that the SPLC’s $300 million cash hoard “rivals that of [the] Clinton Foundation.” It was the Social Contract Press which published one of [Ken] Silverstein’s articles exposing the SPLC.

Indeed, Silverstein’s exposé was just one section of a major report the Social Contract Press published in 2010 that examined the SPLC’s strategy and tactics.

Yet, it’s Bannon who is being accused of being an extremist. 

Kincaid is doing a lot of obfuscation here. The specific claim here is that Kobach, in 2015, gave a presentation at a conference hosted by the Social Contract Press. The SPLC has pointed out that the Social Contract Press, published by notorious anti-immigration activist John Tanton -- described by the SPLC as "a man known for his racist statements about Latinos, his decades-long flirtation with white nationalists and Holocaust deniers, and his publication of ugly racist materials" -- is an outlet for the writings of white nationalists and filled with race-baiting. Kincaid somehow failed to mention that.

The Social Contract Press' attack on the SPLC is, like Kincaid's, an attempt to deflect from the SPLC's documentation of its work by attacking the messenger. While Kincaid claims the Social Contract Press has "rebut[ted]" the SPLC's claims, he provides no link to it beyond its general SPLC-bashing work.

Kincaid's defense of the Social Contract Press is another instance of him siding with white nationalists. In August, Kincaid defended the honor of unambiguously racist white supremacist Jared Taylor, and has previously laughably denied that the organization Taylor runs, American Renaissance, is racist.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:49 PM EST
Updated: Thursday, November 24, 2016 7:52 PM EST
Wednesday, November 23, 2016
Bias (And Poor-Shaming) In Action At CNS
Topic: CNSNews.com

Huffington Post reporters wrote a pretty straightforward story about the food items that people on food stamps buy:

Though people like to complain about food stamp recipients using their benefits for unhealthy things like soda and extravagances like crab legs, new data show they buy basically the same food as everyone else.

Households participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and households that didn’t get benefits both bought a lot of junk food, according to a new study commissioned by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which oversees the program.

About 40 cents of every dollar went to basics like bread, milk, meat, eggs, fruits and vegetables for both types of households. And 20 cents of every dollar went to sodas and salty snacks. As a percentage of their spending, soft drinks were the top individual commodity among food stamp households, and they came in second place among non-SNAP households.

Run that information through the right-wing bias filter at CNSNews.com, however, and you get this story by editor in chief Terry Jeffrey:

Soft drinks were the top commodity bought by food stamp recipients shopping at outlets run by a single U.S. grocery retailer.

That is according to a new study released by the Food and Nutrition Service, the federal agency responsible for running the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), commonly known as the food stamp program.

By contrast, milk was the top commodity bought from the same retailer by customers not on food stamps.

In calendar year 2011, according to the study, food stamp recipients spent approximately $357,700,000 buying soft drinks from an enterprise the study reveals only as “a leading U.S. grocery retailer.”

That was more than they spent on any other “food” commodity—including milk ($253,700,000), ground beef ($201,000,000), “bag snacks” ($199,300,000) or “candy-packaged” ($96,200,000), which also ranked among the top purchases.

The important fact that the SNAP recipients' grocery cart was very similar to that of non-SNAP recipients was buried in the 10th paragraph of Jeffrey's article.

The implication of Jeffrey's bias -- much of his article obsesses over how much SNAP money went to soda and snack foods even though, again, the amount is similar to what non-SNAP households buy -- is that he wants SNAP recipients to be punished for being poor  and for behaving exactly like their not-as-poor neighbors.

Poor-shaming seems to becoming a thing at CNS. In July, CNS reporter Susan Jones fretted that an Obama administration fair-housing initiative would help "move inner-city minorities, for example, into subsidized housing in wealthier, whiter suburbs."


Posted by Terry K. at 3:56 PM EST
Tebow-Touters At The MRC Won't Mention His Miserable Fall Season
Topic: Media Research Center

We noted how Media Research Center writers such as NewsBusters Dylan Gwinn and CNSNews.com's Michael Morris crowed about football player-turned-baseball player and right-wing fave Tim Tebow hit a home run in his first instructional league game (while ignoring he went hitless in his other five at-bats in that same game). Well, that wasn't the only Tebow-touting the MRC engaged in.

Gwinn dedicated another post to Tebow, this time about an incident in which Tebow prayed over a fan who had a seizure while waiting in line for an autograph, adding, "If Tim Tebow lays hands on you, you’re in…well…good hands."

Morris gushed about that as well, adding that while Tebow went 0-for-3 at the plate that day, "one fan will likely remember the game for the exceptional character Tebow continues to exhibit off the field." Morris went on to spin Tebow's not getting a hit in his first three Arizona Fall League games ("Tebow responded in typical upbeat fashion") and touted another game in which he "just experienced what might be his best moment in his young professional baseball career with the New York Mets, hitting an opposite-field, walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth to lift his team to victory." In between, Morris wrote a post plugging Tebow's new book "that deals with how to handle life’s struggles."

One thing you're not likely to hear about from Gwinnn or Morris, however: Tebow's full record in the Arizona Fall League, a developmental league for Major League Baseball's top prospects (and Tebow).

NBC baseball blogger Craig Calcaterra reports Tebow hit a dismal .194 in the league's month-long season, adding that the assessments of Tebow by baseball scouts were even more so:

More important would be the assessment of scouts who would be in a position to look past the results and determine whether there was anything promising there. Batting approaches that, even if they didn’t result in a lot of hits, could provide the scaffolding for something he could build in the low minors next spring. What do the scouts think on that score?

“Awful,” said one AL scout.

“Stinks,” said one from the NL.

“Ugly,” said another executive. “In the field and at the plate, nothing looks natural.”

Yikes.

Executives quoted in that story, from the New York Post, are a bit more charitable. They note that he did improve with instruction and that he was “not an embarrassment.” One notes that he was, as expected, a good influence on his teammates.

Nope, Gwinn, Morris nor anyone else at the MRC won't be telling you all that bad stuff.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:46 PM EST
WND, Which Loved Likening Obama To Stalin, Is Mad Some Likening Trump to Stalin
Topic: WorldNetDaily

In a Nov. 16 article headlined "'Hitler' too tame, left characterizes Trump as Stalin," WorldNetDaily's Bob Unriuh com lained that the website Salon -- which is apparently "the left" now, since he cites no other example -- "called Trump’s routine changes of staff a 'Stalinesque purge.'" He also repeated a complaint that "the Washington Post repeatedly compared Trump to Hitler."

Just as WND's protestations of Trump-Hitler comparisons are absurd because it enthusuastically likened Barack Obama to Hitler and other assorted Nazis, its protest of a Trump-Stalin comparison is equally absurd because, yes, WND made that comparison with Obama as well.

WND columnist Robert Ringer wrote a 2012 column unambiguously titled "OBAMA AND STALIN: HOW THEY'RE ALIKE." For example:

While reading Walter Laqueur’s biography of Josef Stalin, I was struck by a couple of similarities between Stalin and Obama. Even though Stalin’s life and personality were for very different from Obama’s, there are a couple of important similarities between the two men. The most obvious one, which almost certainly laid the foundation for the hatred that was embedded in the souls of both leaders, was their extremely dysfunctional and unhappy childhoods.

A second similarity is their remarkable success in portraying themselves to be men of great character and morality, the exact opposite of who they really were/are. Stalin, much like Obama today, succeeded in carrying out a nonstop propaganda campaign in which he was portrayed to the public as the kindly “Uncle Joe,” notwithstanding his ruthless murdering of tens of millions of his own countrymen.

[...]

Many of us picked up on Obama’s lack of feeling and nonexistent humanity early on. In my article “Saul, Barack and me, Part 1,” back in 2009, I wrote, “After a good deal of study and observation, my take on him [Obama] is that he is a man without a soul. And, as a soulless individual, his actions are not hampered by trivial moral considerations.”

Thus, the one thing that I believe Obama definitely has in common with Josef Stalin is that he lacks compassion for others, be they rich or poor, while professing, like Stalin, to be the great defender of the working class.

Needless to say, Ringer offered no evidence that Obama was murdering Americans.

In 2011, WND cheered a gun manufacturer whose ad showed "side-by-side pictures of Obama with Hitler, Stalin and other dictators who committed atrocities across the world. A 2014 "news" article by Art Moore similarly touted how a California politician compared Obama "to some of the most reviled names in history," including Stalin, by claiming that he, like those "reviled names," supports "gun control" and not "gun rights." That was article was accompanied by a poll in which readers could choose "the most evil leader in the last 100 years." Obama won the poll, getting more votes than Hitler and Stalin combined.

Again: That's the readership of WND who thinks that, and WND caters to those readers.

More examples:

  • A 2008 column by Obama derangement-prone writer Erik Rush asked whether Obama was "Stalin in blackface."
  • A 2010 column by Craige McMillan called Obama "America's Stalin," declaring, "Stalin wasn’t much concerned with private property rights – and neither is Obama."
  • A 2012 "news" article uncritically regurgitated Michael Savage ranting that Obama is the "most evil" president in American history, at one point calling him "Joseph Stalin Obama."
  • In 2013, WND columnist Barry Farber warned against hurling around Obama-Stalin or Obama-Hitler comparisons because "you’re going to mess us up; not him" (though he somehow did not warn himself against asking, "If given a chance, how close would Obama come to the Hitler-Stalin style of totalitarian atrocity?). But the next year Farber was declaring that Obama's purported "purge" of military leaders was "just like Stalin's."

So, yeah, WND has proved itself yet again to be utterly craven and hypocritical.

(Oh, and before WND starts complaining that someone is likening Trump to fascists like Mussolini, it should remember that WND editor Joseph Farah already did that with Obama.)


Posted by Terry K. at 12:40 AM EST
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

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