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Tuesday, November 29, 2016
NEW ARTICLE: Faking It At the MRC
Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center does everything it can to avoid discussing the problem of "fake news" -- and certainly not how Brent Bozell's attack on purported bias at Facebook helped create it. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 8:26 PM EST
The Clinton Equivocation Continues At the MRC
Topic: Media Research Center

Just because Hillary Clinton lost the presidential election doesn't mean the Media Research Center will give up invoking the Clinton Equivocation -- which, in this election year, has meant the MRC excusing any and every Donald Trump transgression by claiming a Clinton did it first and worse.

In a Nov. 18 NewsBusters post, Jack Coleman complained that MSNBC's Rachel Maddow "is raising the issue of Trump possibly hiring his son-in-law Jared Kushner, husband of daughter Ivanka, for a high-profile role in the White House as advisor or special counsel" and pointing out the federal anti-nepotism laws that forbid it. Coleman huffed in response:

One need venture all the way back to the just-completed campaign to see a prominent beneficiary of it -- Trump's Democrat opponent in the general election, Hillary Clinton.

For those too young to have lived through it or old enough but selectively forgetful, Hillary Clinton was appointed by her husband to one of the most high-profile positions in government in 1993, the first year of his administration -- head of the task force that sought to overhaul health care in the U.S.

Her efforts ultimately failed and an enormous backlash took the form of the GOP's historic gains in the 1994 midterms when they won control of both chambers of Congress for the first time in 40 years.

Coleman eventually conceded that a federal appeals court found that the anti-nepotism law did not appear to cover appointments to the White House staff. Oops!

Nevertheless, he asserted that "perhaps the Clintons simply didn't care about federal law when Hillary was appointed head of the health task force (similar indifference to perjury and obstruction of justice would eventually catch up with them). More importantly, their party affiliation shielded them against undue scrutiny from a compliant media. A generation later, it shields them still."

Then, on Nov. 22, Nicholas Fondacaro noted an ABC report on the growing conflicts of interest the Trump presidency has with Trump's business operations, whining that "such concern over conflicts of interest were scant when they covered Hillary Clinton pre-election."

Fondacaro complained that "ABC completely ignored the WikiLeaks e-mail exposing how the king of Morocco donated $12 million to the Clinton Foundation. In exchange for the money, the king expected a private meeting with the former secretary of state. The donation came just before she planned to announce her doomed run for president."

But Fondacaro is censoring the full story. In fact, as Vox explains, Hillary Clintron never personally benefited from that money, and she was not in a position of authority at the time of the donation, and there's no evidence no foreign government received any preferential treatment from the State Department as a direct result of a Clinton Foundation donation.

Fondacaro harrumphed: "It’s amazing how much a network cares about conflicts of interest when the candidate they didn’t want becomes the president-elect." It's even more amazing how much a partisan organization cares about such alleged conflicts of interest -- to the point of distorting the record and hiding inconvenient facts -- when they involve the candidate it didn't support for president.

And once again, the MRC refuses to hold a Trump to the same standards it holds a Clinton.


Posted by Terry K. at 5:11 PM EST
Updated: Tuesday, November 29, 2016 5:12 PM EST
WND's Unruh Writes Another Unbalanced Story Promoting Right-Wing Legal Action
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily's Bob Unruh does have a thing for reporting the right-wing side -- and only the right-wing side -- of a legal action. He displays it again in a Nov. 14 article in which he's the willing stenographer for right-wing legal organization Alliance Defending Freedom, which is defending a woman being sued for refusing to make floral decorations for a gay wedding.

Unruh made it clear which side he's on. He declared that the woman, Barronelle Stutzman, "was penalized by the state for declining to promote a homosexual wedding through her floral artistry." He went on to rant that "The Obama administration has been forcing religious believers to violate their beliefs to accommodate 'nondiscrimination' laws that give special privileges to homosexuals and transgendered persons," but he does not explain how prohibiting discrimination against someone is granting them "special privileges."

Unruh uncritically quotes the ADF asserting that longstanding public accomodation laws created in the civil rights ear "endangers everyone" because there is no free-speech exception.

Unruh can't be bothered to tell the other side of the story in an objective and truthful manner; indeed, he makes no effort to contact anyone who doesn't agree with his right-wing view for a response to the ADF. Thus, we must call on a real news operation -- in this case, the Christian Science Monitor -- to provide the context Unruh and WND won't.

The Monitor explains that a Washington state court pointed out in rulling against Stutzman that "the state judge drew a distinction between a citizen’s freedom to believe, which he said was absolute, and a citizen’s freedom to act in public on those beliefs, which he said can be regulated by the government. In effect, the judge said that belief is personal, but if individuals seek to express those beliefs in action, the antidiscrimination law would trump any claim for a religious exemption."

The Monitor also did what Unruh couldn't be bothered to do, talk to a representative of the American Civil Liberties Union, which has filed a lawsuit against Stutzman:

[ACLU of Washington legal director Emily] Chiang says religion has nothing to do with the lawsuit against Arlene’s Flowers and Stutzman.

“The ACLU is not an organization that is hostile to religion or to faith,” she says. “You have your freedom of conscience – that is your personal, private relationship with your faith – but when you decide to open a place of business, other rules apply.”

“Those rules require that you serve everyone who comes through your door, assuming they have the money to pay for it,” she adds.

Chiang says it is irrelevant that Stutzman sold flowers for nine years to Ingersoll knowing he was a gay man. It is also not relevant that the Southern Baptist Church prohibits her personal involvement in a same-sex wedding, she says.

The only relevant conduct, Chiang says, is that Stutzman refused to provide floral services to Ingersoll because he was marrying a man instead of a woman. That, she says, is a form of invidious discrimination.

[...]

Having only partial public accommodations would put the law on a slippery slope that could empower a grocery store clerk to refuse to sell milk to someone because of religious objections, Chiang says. “It sounds crazy but I think that’s where the logic takes you.”

Unruh and WND simply ha ve no interest in reporting fairly on issues that, when told in a biased way, advance their right-wing Christian agenda.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:54 PM EST
Monday, November 28, 2016
WND Still Letting Discredited Author Push Her Kinsey-Bashing Lies
Topic: WorldNetDaily

You can't libel the dead, which means Judith Reisman still has a cottage industry dedicated to libeling sex researcher Alfred Kinsey.

A Nov. 21 WorldNetDaily article byBob Unruh touts the "LATEST ON SCIENTIST WHO MAINSTREAMED PEDOPHILIA," which is apparently limited to one of Reisman's anti-Kinsey books being reprinted in French. Otherwise, Reisman and Unruh are still serving up the same old Kinsey slanders. Like this:

Her conclusion is that Kinsey almost assuredly violated children sexually and based his writings on the testimony of criminals who sexually assaulted children.

How else, she wonders, would anyone come up with the data in his infamous Table 34?

There, Kinsey claimed that an 11-month-old child experienced 10 orgasms in one hour, another 11-month-old had 14 in 38 minutes, a 2-year-old child had 11 in 65 minutes, a 4-year-old had 26 in 24 hours. A 10-year-old had 14 in the same time, and a 12-year-old had three in three minutes. Because someone wasn’t sure of those results, the experiment was repeated on the 12-year-old, who then reportedly experienced nine in two hours.

[...]

Reisman herself explained: “Kinsey solicited and encouraged pedophiles, at home and abroad, to sexually violate from 317 to 2,035 infants and children for his alleged data on normal ‘child sexuality.’ Many of the crimes against children (oral and anal sodomy, genital intercourse and manual abuse) committed for Kinsey’s research are quantified in his own graphs and charts.”

As we pointed out a decade ago, Reisman's assertions about Table 34 have been discredited, and there is no evidence -- other than in Reisman's fevered imagination -- that Kinsey was a pedophile. The Kinsey Institute further explains that Kinsey did not carry out any experiments on children, nor did he encourage anyone else to.

Needless to say, Unruh did not report on any of this Reisman-discrediting information. He's not getting paid to report the truth, after all.


Posted by Terry K. at 5:41 PM EST
Updated: Monday, November 28, 2016 5:43 PM EST
CNS Columnist Cheers Dissing of SCOTUS Nominee As Revenge For Obama Not Attending Scalia's Funeral
Topic: CNSNews.com

In his Nov. 17 CNSNews.com column, Lynn Wardle claims that Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland will not receive a Senate hearing not because of Republican senators making a political power play -- as has been widely admitted -- but because of "the rude, disrespectful behavior of the very person who nominated him for the Supreme Court – President Barack Obama." How so, you ask? Wardle explains:

President Obama disrespected Justice Antonin Scalia and was very rude (discreetly, of course) regarding his sudden death earlier this year.  President Obama ignored (i.e., chose not to attend) the funeral for Justice Scalia. He failed to demonstrate the minimal courtesy of just showing up to pay respects to a man who had given decades of his life in service to his nation.

Since Scalia was one of nine justices at the top of the judicial branch of the United States, it was incumbent upon the President to attend Justice Scalia’s funeral as a matter of decent respect for of that co-ordinate branch of our federal government and for the members of the Supreme Court.  Yet Obama turned his back on Justice Scalia and simply skipped his funeral.

The funeral for Justice Scalia was held in Washington, D.C., within a stone’s throw of the White House, so travel distance was not a factor in the President’s missing the funeral of Justice Scalia.  President Obama simply chose to ignore the funeral of Justice Scalia – a man whose judicial views the President did not like.

However, President Obama claimed the right to nominate someone to replace Justice Scalia and to fill his seat on the Supreme Court.  That nominee is Merrick Garland.

Somehow, it seems just and fitting that since President Obama was unwilling to show minimal respect to the passing of Justice Scalia that he be denied the right to have his preferred nominee, Judge Merrick Garland, confirmed to fill that vacancy on the high court. And it appears that that is exactly how this strange scenario is playing out. 

[...]

The Republicans in the Senate did not steal the Court.  Rather, President Obama forfeited his opportunity to reshape the Court.  He lost that privilege because of his arrogant disrespect of Justice Scalia and for his remarkable career of public judicial service.

His imperial attitude has cost President Obama good will and has diminished the office of the President of the United States. 

In fact, a president declining to attend Scalia's funeral is not unheard of. PolitiFact details that Dwight Eisenhower attended one of two funerals for justices who died while he was in office, while Harry Truman attended one of the three funerals for Supreme Court justices who died during his presidency.

There was no mandate by tradition or anything else that Obama attend Scalia's funeral, and Wardle conveniently fails to mention that Vice President Joe Biden did attend the funeral, let alone explain why that was not sufficient for him.

Revenge, however, is a sufficient motive for Wardle.

Wardle also huffs that "Our outgoing President has long had difficulty dealing respectfully with persons who disagree with him," while failing to comment on how the incoming president has an even bigger superiority complex than Obama has ever been accused of.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:29 PM EST
The Election's Over, So WND Can Go Birther Again
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Now that the election is over, it's apparently safe for WorldNetDaily to be birther again.

A Nov. 24 WND article by Bob Unruh gets back in the ol' bnirther spirit by reporting taht "WND has learned that a news conference has been scheduled for Dec. 15 to make public the final conclusions of the investigation by the Cold Case Posse in Arizona’s Maricopa County under Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who was defeated Nov. 8 in his bid for a seventh term."

Actually, the announcement that a press conference was coming had been known for about a week prior to WND's article.

From there, Unruh descended into a rehash of the giant fake-news story that has been WND's birther coverage. He first asserts that "The review was sparked by requests to the sheriff from his constituents, who feared a fraud had been perpetrated on the American people." Actually, it was sleazed into existence when WND's Jerome Corsi used a tea-party group in Maricopa County as cover for Arpaio to create the cold case posse.

Unruh also does what WND has been reluctant to do: identify its good friend Carl Gallups is a birther.

Unruh uncritically repeats the claim that cold case posse leader Mike Zullo's "has indicated the White House computer image of Obama’s birth certificate contains anomalies that are unexplainable unless the document had been fabricated piecemeal by human intervention, rather than being copied from a genuine paper document." in fact, it's been proven that the same "unexplainable" anomalies can be reproduced by using a common office scanner to scan in the certificate.

Unruh also writes that "Zullo has noted that Reed Hayes, a document examiner who has served as expert witness for Seattle law firm Perkins Coie – the firm that flew an attorney to Honolulu to personally deliver two paper copies of the birth certificate to the White House – has concluded in a signed affidavit that the document posted on the White House website is 'entirely fabricated.'" But Zullo has curiously never publicly released Hayes' report, and as we've noted, Hayes is a handwriting expert, and no evidence has been provided that he has any experience examining a computer copy of a document.

Unruh goes on to recite Donald Trump's 2011 pro-birther statements -- which WND assisted him in developing behind the scenes -- but he strangely omits the statement Trump made during the campaign that "President Barack Obama was born in the United States. Period."

Unruh also adds:

The Constitution requires the president to be a “natural-born citizen” but does not define the term. Scholarly works cited by the Founders defined it as a citizen at birth by virtue of being born in the country to two citizens of the country, or merely the offspring of two citizens of the country. The birth certificate Obama displayed on the White House website declares he was born in Hawaii to an American mother and a Kenyan father.

This narrow definition of "natural born citizen" was one that WND tried to pretend didn't exist when it came to Ted Cruz's eligibility to be president, to the point that WND effectively renounced birtherism rather than apply those same standards to Cruz.

As we knew at the time, that renouncement was cynically motivated, politically driven and, as Unruh's article demonstrates, always intended to be temporary. And, of course, it proves that WND's birther crusade was never about the Constitution and always about Farah's attempt to personally destroy Obama.

WND had to keep quiet about birtherism -- its signature story of the past eight years -- lest it harm Trump's candidacy. Even Corsi absolutely refused to talk about it when Trump admitted Obama was born in the U.S., insisting that "I'm done with the topic until Obama's out of office."

But Trump has been elected, and that means it's safe for WND to be openly birther again -- and keep peddling those discredited birther lies.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:38 AM EST
Sunday, November 27, 2016
More Trump Stenography at CNS
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com spent much of its original pre-election coverage about Donald Trump simply transcribing what he said -- effecting acting as a campaign PR shop -- instead of providing any sort of balanced or analytical coverage of his campaign. That's been continuing since Trump's win, and it's still going on.

Here's the latest Trump stenography from CNS, as well as other uncritical endorsement of Trump's agenda:

Meanwhile, CNS managing editor Michael W. Chapman is vouching for the Muslim-hating credentials of Michael Flynn, picked by Trump to be his national security adviser (Chapman is quoting all of this approvingly, not as criticism of Flynn):

Trump stenography  may not be any actual journalists' definition of journalism, but CNS doesn't seem to mind as long as it's clickbait-y enough to get them those sweet Drudge Report links.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:55 PM EST
Updated: Tuesday, November 29, 2016 8:46 PM EST
Thin-Skinned Farah Denies WND Is 'Fake News'
Topic: WorldNetDaily

We know all about Joseph Farah's notoriously thin skin, and we knew he could not stay silent about a college professor who put WND on her list of fake-news outlets, and that Chelsea Schilling's WND article mocking the "leftist" professor with publishing the most unflattering photos possible of her would not be sufficient punishment for such criticism.

Thus, Farah's Nov. 24 WND column, in which he ranted that the professor who made the list, Melissa Zimdars, "had never actually worked in the media – only researched it and taught it." Then, as he is wont to do, he drops his pants and engages in a manhood-measuring contest by devoting a very long paragraph to reciting his resume, though much of what he recited took place before he started WND. He then huffed: "Between Ms. Zimdars and me, who do you think is in a better position to determine real news from 'fake news'?"

Actually, one does not need to have worked in journalism to be able to determine real news from fake, and one can argue that the extensive journalism experience Farah prides himself on having has only made him experienced in presenting fake news as real.

Farah then serves up his own, um, interesting definition of fake news:

Let me make my position on “fake news” clear. It does exist. It is most evident in the revolving door between politics and the media – a phenomenon that doesn’t bother the establishment media or establishment politics one little bit.

One thing you will note about my bio and the resumes of other news professionals at WND.com is the absence of any interest in partisan politics or the desire to be part of government.

That’s the nexus of where most “fake news” actually starts. When political activists can move seamlessly from election campaigns to directing newsrooms and back again, the line between news and political agitprop is blurred to the point of journalistic prostitution.

Farah seems to not be aware of journalistic prostitute (and WND employee) Jerome Corsi, who teamed up with Trump adviser Roger Stone to use the pages of WND to push sleazy rumors about Hillary Clinton. Indeed, Farah surely knows there has never been any line between news and political agitprop at his website -- all its political "news" is designed to promote the Republican or conservative and denigrate the Democrat or liberal.

Farah also seems to have missed that revolving door happening between news and government happening not only with the Trump campaign -- which hired the head of Breitbart News to run the campaign -- but within his own website, in which political prostitute Jerome Corsi touted how "WND author and Oxford professor Theodore Roosevelt Malloch is being referred to the Trump transition team as a candidate for either ambassador to the United Nations or to the United Kingdom," acording to "sources close to the vice-president-elect, Mike Pence."

And as usual -- despite the evidence that WND does, in fact, traffic in fake news -- Farah manages to portray himself as the victim rather than the perpetrator:

I do, however, thank Ms. Zimdars and the major media that touted her “list,” however misguided and wrong-headed it was. Why? Because there really is such a phenomenon as “fake news.”

It’s found in scandalously phony reports like the one published by Ms. Zimdars and broadcast nationally by outlets thrilled by the condemnation of their anti-establishment competition. (To her credit, following WND’s report on Ms. Zimdars’ effort, she pulled it from her own website, though it circulates forever on, ironically, “fake news sites.”)

It’s found in websites without names and addresses associated with it that I strongly suspect are fronts for those who seek to undermine enterprises like WND.com. (One notoriously exploitive example is called WorldNewsDaily, which intentionally and shamelessly seeks confusion with the oldest, enduring similarly named site you are reading now.)

Needless to say, given how litigious WND is, it can easily sue that "notorioiusly exploitative website" out of existence (or at least into changing its name and look). Yet, strangely, it apparently hasn't.

Farah concludes by stating how to "put an end to" fake news: "In one word – discernment." Remember, people like Clark Jones have already discerned that WND is a provider of fake news, and he knows better than pretty much anyone.

UPDATE: Farah's insistence that he and everyone else at WND have an "absence of any interest in partisan politics" is further belied by the fact that, according to The Intercept, a pro-Trump super PAC paid WND $2,000 for "online voter contact." That probably consists of the super PAC renting WND's mailing list, but it's definitely interest in partisan politics.


Posted by Terry K. at 5:54 PM EST
Updated: Sunday, November 27, 2016 11:05 PM EST
Saturday, November 26, 2016
MRC's Gainor Redefines Fake News To Attack 'Liberal Media'
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center has had trouble dealing with the issue of fake news getting Donald Trump elected president -- in particular, its own enthusiastic promotion of a false Fox News story about Hillary Clinton's purportedly imminent indictment.

Now, it appears the MRC has simply decided to redefine the term as something only the "liberal media" does.

Loyal MRC apparatchik Dan Gainor made a Nov. 21 appearance on Fox Business -- where, like sister network Fox News, MRC talking heads are all but assured their anti-media views will never be subject to question -- in which he was called on to rant about an incomplete quote of Reince Priebus that NBC tweeted out (yes, this outrage is centered on a tweet). Asked if the Trump administration would establish a registry for Mulsims, Priebus responded, “Look, I’m not going to rule out anything, but I wouldn’t, we’re not going to have a registry based on a religion.” Gainor and Fox Business anchor Melissa Francis were incensed that NBC tweeted out only the first part of Priebus' statement, even though it actually negates the latter half of it.

Gainor ranted in response: "Of course it's something to get upset about. This is the same network that gave us Brian Williams and fake news. The media are all upset about fake news and they’re giving us fake news!"

No, Dan, Williams did not report "fake news" -- he embellished his personal association with certain news events. Not fully quoting Priebus to the MRC's satisfaction, even though his statement was self-contradicting, is also not fake news.

Fake news is what Facebook allowed to appear from shady websites that cared more about making money and creating clickbait than telling the truth -- a situation that came about in no small part because Facebook was afraid of Gainor's boss, Brent Bozell, accusing it of liberal bias (again). It's the MRC promoting that fake Fox News story, then refusing to clearly tell its readers the story was fake.

As long as Gainor and the rest of the MRC desperately try to obfuscate and redefine and change the subject, there will never be a serious discussion of fake news in which the MRC takes part.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:54 PM EST
WND Columnist Hypocritically (and Dishonestly) Laments Arpaio's Defeat
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Barbara Simpson's Nov. 20 WorldNetDaily column is one large sad for the defeat of Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio lost his re-election bid. But she does this in a very hypocritical way.

Simpson touted how Arpaio "was successful in money raising – some $12 million – much from out of state"-- then complained about out-of-state money being used to defeat him: "But his campaign was hurt by the money clout of George Soros who spent $2 million to defeat Joe. In addition, there was $500,000 from Laura and John Arnold, Texas billionaires and $250,000 from Steve Jobs’ widow."

Simpson went on to complain that "the government, up to and including the White House, targeted him for legal issues," and that anti-Arpaio ads meant that "Arizonians were drowning in anti-Arpaio bilge. It makes you wonder what they were afraid of."

Meanwhile, Simpson mocked another candidate targeted by the government for legal issues and the subject of much anti-candidate advertising: "Reportedly, Hillary Clinton herself has been having some crying jags about losing. After all, she believed she was destined to be president."

Simpson also potrayed Arpaio's defeat as being solely about his immigration stance: "The reality was – and is – Joe Arpaio is a law-and-order man. When people cross the border illegally, they have broken the law, and he saw it as his responsibility to enforce the law." She also complained that the opposition "painted Joe Arpaio as a foe of immigration, Latinos and anyone not white."

In fact, Arpaio not only was accused of using racial profiling, he was charged a month before the election with contempt of court for continuing to racially profile despite a court order not to.  Simpson dismissed it as "an order that essentially says he has to ignore enforcing the law," which is not true -- Arpaio would not be in this trouble if he simply stopped using racial profiling.

But there were other scandals in which Arpaio and his office were involved , putting the lie to Simpson's claim that Arpaio is "a good man" who was "being railroaded."Among them:

  • Arpaio's office failed to adequately investigate more than 400 sex-crimes cases, including dozens of allegations of child molestation, over a three-year period.
  • Arpaio had the editors of a local newspaper arrested for reporting that Arpaio had subpoenaed the paper in a lengthy dispute stemming from it publishing Arpaio's home address while reporting on his real estate holdings. The editors were later awarded $3.75 million after suing for false arrest.
  • Arpaio launched a secret investigation of the judge presiding over the racial profiling case, as well as his wife, based on a statement the wife was purportedly overheard making at a restaurant.

There's a lengthy Wikipedia page dedicated to Arpaio's scandals.

That wasn't the only instance in which Simpson departed from reality. She wrote of the legal costs in defending Arpaio's actions as sheriff: "Over the years, the costs to the people to defend him grew to over $30 milliion and questions started to be raised." In fact, Arpaio's office has racked more than $142 million in legal fees since he first was elected to the job.

Simpson also whined: "One of the most ludicrous comments I saw after the election was from the Associated Press, which said Arpaio’s defeat shows 'Arizona voters care little about immigration.' Tell that to Arizonians whose lives have been disrupted and ruined by the criminal activities of illegal aliens in the state. I know. I’ve talked with many of them."

Simpson took that quote out of context. In fact, the AP article added context that she deliberately omitted: "Exit polls showed that only about 1 in 10 voters named immigration as the most important issue, and three-quarters said they supported a path to legal status for immigrants."

Nope, Arpaio is not a "good man." And Simpson is not an honest writer.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:16 AM EST
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

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