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Monday, December 5, 2016
Right-Wing Rabbi Defends White Nationalism at CNS, Doesn't Care Much About Facts
Topic: CNSNews.com

We've called Aryeh Spero the Jewish Bradlee Dean because of his propensity to lie and mislead -- despite presenting himself as a man of God -- to further the right-wing political agenda he's pushing (that, and the shared Obama derangement).

In a Nov. 17 CNSNews.com column, Spero defends Breitbart's Steve Bannon with a bunch of ranting about the "alt-left" (whatever that is; Spero never explains what it is) and unsupported claims that ultimately go from denying Bannon is associated with white nationalists to defending white nationalism:

The ADL (Anti-Defamation League) this week accused Mr. Bannon of anti-Semitism because, in their words, he is associated with nationalistic movements and anti-Semitic white supremacist groups. I have seen no credible evidence that he is associated with any anti-Semitic groups, though he is, like me, an American nationalist. In its founding years, the ADL’s mission was to fight anti-Semitism, but in the last few decades it appears to have, like other establishment Jewish organizations, become an ideological arm of the Democrat party, carrying its water for them, and viewing all of American life through the prism of a neo-Leftist agenda no longer rooted in classical liberalism.

Thus, for them, as seen in their publications, the innocuous term “western values” becomes a code phrase for excluding non-whites, and the term America First becomes a racist code phrase. To most Americans, however, putting America and its citizens first is the most natural thing a nation should try doing— be it regarding jobs, physical security, or pride in America’s historic outlook and values, in this case our founding principles and Judeo-Christian ethos.

While the ADL considers the predilection towards nationalism a disguised attempt to exclude or persecute Jews and others, to most sane people, nationalism is pride in one’s country and her values, which in America’s case is something to indeed be proud of. Loving one’s country, its western values, or pride and comfort in one’s ethnicity or race (even if white) are not disqualifying features in a human being.

Those who see in American individuals proud of their Christian faith or their European ancestry people to be feared are themselves either very insecure or harbor a bigotry and discomfort with those in the majority. Truth be told, in liberal establishment organizational circles the feeling is that nobility and fair-mindedness resides only in minority communities while the majority, in this case Christian and whites, are automatically suspect unless they prove otherwise, with advocating liberalism and cultural self-effacement as their only redeemable option.

Spero doesn't know his history, does he? The reason why people consider "America First" a "code phrase," in Spero's words, is because that's pretty much what it was. The America First Committee was an isolationist group seeking to keep the U.S. out of World War II. But as college professor Susan Dunn writes at CNN:

Seeking to brand itself as a mainstream organization, America First struggled with the problem of the anti-Semitism of some of its leaders and many of its members. It had to remove from its executive committee not only the notoriously anti-Semitic Henry Ford but also Avery Brundage, the former chairman of the U.S. Olympic Committee who had prevented two Jewish runners from the American track team in Berlin in 1936 from running in the finals of the 4x100 relay.

Still, the problem of anti-Semitism remained; a Kansas chapter leader pronounced President Franklin Roosevelt and Eleanor Roosevelt "Jewish" and Winston Churchill a "half-Jew."

After Pearl Harbor, the America First Committee closed its doors, but not before Lindbergh made his infamous speech at an America First rally in Des Moines, Iowa, in September 1941. After charging that President Roosevelt had manufactured "incidents" to propel the country into war, Lindbergh proceeded to blurt out his true thoughts.

"The British and the Jewish races," he declared, "for reasons which are not American, wish to involve us in the war." The nation's enemy was an internal one, a Jewish one. "Their greatest danger to this country lies in their large ownership and influence in our motion pictures, our press, our radio, and our government," he contended. Booing began to drown out the cheers, forcing him again and again to stop, wait out the catcalls, and start his sentences over.

Lindbergh's unambiguous message was that Jews living in the United States constituted a wealthy, influential, conspiratorial foreign "race" that had seized "our" media and infiltrated "our" political institutions. They were the alien out-group, hostile to "us."

He put American Jews on notice that America's "tolerance" for them rested upon a fragile foundation.

Spero also repeats the malicious slander that George Soros was in "collaboration with the Nazis in Hungary during WW II."

Spero further whines that critics of Trump "have not, and will never genuinely accept the results of the election" -- ironic because it's obvious Spero never accepted the election of President Obama.


Posted by Terry K. at 4:47 PM EST
Did Rich MRC Donor Drive Bozell's Trump Flip?
Topic: Media Research Center

During the presidential campaign, Media Research Center chief Brent Bozell flip-flopped from opposing Donald Trump to leading his MRC in advocating for his candidacy. And since Trump won the election, Bozell has been even more solicitous of Trump.

His (and Tim Graham's) obsequious Nov. 23 column offers advice to the president-elect, cheering his victory even though "The entire establishment was arrayed against you and did everything to vilify you" (only obliquely alluding to the fact that among them was Bozell himself). And Bozell got his stenographers over at CNS to do an article about him heaping praise on Trump's Cabinet picks: "Conservatives should be very pleased with the decisions coming out of Trump Tower."

But Bozell hasn't been very forthcoming about what caused his Trump flip. It may just come down to one very big thing: money.

A Newsweek article examines how billionaire Robert Mercer has been a guiding force behind Trump's campaign, and how his daughter, Rebekah, has been even more intimately involved, with ties to Trump campaign officials like Steve Bannon and Kellyanne Conway.

The article also notes that the MRC "gets a lot of money from the Mercer Family Foundation," and quotes Bozell slobbering all over Robert Mercer: “What will just blow you away is how smart he is…. You start listening on a conversation he’s having with someone else, and guaranteed within 60 seconds your mind is in some happy place because you have no idea what he’s talking about.”

Bozell unsurprisingly has good things to say about Rebekah as well: "She is like her dad. ... She understands issues, she understands people, she has a very good read on what’s real and what’s BS."

How much money has Mercer given the MRC? According to the Center for Public Integrity, Mercer has given the MRC approximately $13.5 million between 2008 and 2014, and the $3 million Mercer gave the MRC in 2014 made up one-fourth of all contributions that year.

As one might imagine, the MRC keeps Mercer's ties to the MRC on the down-low. A 2015 post by Clay Waters, for example, complained that a New York Times article made Mercer "sound suspicious, even sinister," but didn't disclose that Mercer is a major MRC donor (though did admit that "Rebekah Mercer serves on the board of directors of the Media Research Center").

The Newsweek article concludes on this note:

Bozell insists that the Mercers have no motive besides patriotism and that they fall outside of any D.C. oligarchy. “When you’re a billionaire or a multibillionaire, you really don’t need anything,” he says. “These people are driven by what they believe is good for the country.”

It's almost like he's being paid to say that.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:28 PM EST
WND Tries to Ride Breitbart's Coattails
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily has been an irrelevant website for a while now (witness WND's attempt to reposition itself as "the largest Christian website in the world"), and it was never more apparent in 2016. WND's Jerome Corsi got little traction with his Hillary smears, and WND itself was overshadowed by other operations willing to be more outrageous and much closer to Donald Trump -- namely, Breitbart News. Heck, even longtime WND writer Aaron Klein took his talents (and WND's Jerusalem bureau) to Breitbart.

Thus, we have the minor spectacle of WND editor Joseph Farah writing a Nov. 25 column titled "In defense of Steve Bannon and Breitbart.com." Farah ingratiates himself by proclaiming that he's "an old friend and colleague of the late Andrew Breitbart and a new media pioneer myself," then complains that "I can’t sit on the sidelines and watch as the real racists, the real purveyors of hate speech and the real anti-Semites have their way with courageous, independent voices – even if they have been, in some sense of the term, 'competitors.'"

The central point of Farah's column is complaining that a web advertising service, AppNexus, has decided to disassociate itself from Breitbart over its inflammatory content, and he serves up a vintage rant in response:

In America, thank God, we all have the inalienable right of free association.

You want to slop with the pigs, be my guest.

But, if you stand opposed to free speech, you won’t get my business either. Therefore, I’ll save AppNexus the trouble of blacklisting me and WND by proactively dissociating our company from any interest in its technology.

If you falsely label and smear freedom fighters like Bannon and Breitbart.com as advocates of hate, who needs you?

WND, if you'll remember, had to back off the race-baiting after Google AdSense, its main ad provider, threatened to cut it off. WND claimed it would capitulate rather than kick AdSense off its website by pulling AdSense spaces off its more race-baiting articles, though all it appears WND really did was make its race-baiting less overt. (Ad providers on the page serving up Farah's column include Google AdSense, Quantcast and Sizmek.)

Also, note that Farah provides no evidence that accusations of Bannon and Breitbart being "advocates of hate" are false. Meanwhile, there's plenty of evidence to support the claim.

Farah went on to rant: "By the way, Breitbart.com and WND.com are doing just fine without AppNexus and will continue to do so without the help of fascist, groupthink, corporate lackeys like them." Wasn't Farah begging for money from readers to keep WND afloat just a few months ago? That doesn't sound like an operation that's "doing just fine."

It appears that all Farah is doing here is trying to ride the coattails of another operation that does what it claims to do a lot better than it does.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:29 AM EST
Updated: Friday, December 9, 2016 10:13 PM EST
Sunday, December 4, 2016
CNS Unemployment Numbers Distortion Watch
Topic: CNSNews.com

November's job numbers were reasonably good -- 178,000 new jobs were created and the unemployment rate dropped to 4.6 percent.

CNSNews.com -- as is its partisan mission -- had to distract from that good news.

As usual, the main story by Susan Jones emphasized the labor force participation rate, which is not a reliable measure of unemployment. She didn't report the number of jobs created until the 10th paragraph, and she waited until near the end of the article to allude to why focusing on the labor force participation rate is meaningless: much of it is made up of students and the retired, who are not looking for jobs.

But CNS also churned out four more articles to downplay the good news:

Michael W. Chapman wrote about the high black unemployment rate, yet again failing to put the number into context -- black unemployment has always been double that of white unemployment.

Chapman also touted what he called was "real unemployment rate ," a factual misnomer since that particular number counts people are employed part-time but seeking full-time work.

Jones wrote an article about how "The economy lost 4,000 manufacturing jobs between October and November," but she ignores CNS' own research showing that manufacturing jobs have been on a steady overall decline for about 30 years.

Chapman tossed out one last bit of cherry-picking with an article claiming that "the number of American workers unemployed for 15 weeks or more was 2,933,000." But Chapman omits the fact that this is the first time sinceJune 2008 that this number has been below 3 million, and that the number is one-third of that in April 2010, at the height of the recession. But that would have been good news, and Chapman doesn't want to report any of that while Obama is president.

Mesnwhile, the Media Research Center at large is apparently getting into the distrction business as well. A Dec. 2 post by Sam Dorman highlights how Fox Business' Stuart Varney called the numbers "weak" and how his Fox Business colleague Ashley Webster criticized the weakness of the Obama recovery, arguing that the country was seven years into a recovery and the labor force participation rate continued its decline."Dorman then cited the CNS article touting the high labor force participation rate -- but not that baby-boomer retirees are helping to drive up that number.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:09 PM EST
Updated: Sunday, December 4, 2016 9:44 PM EST
WND Can't Stop Hypocrisy Over Trump-Nazi Comparisons
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Despite the fact that WorldNetDaily has spent a lot of time likening President Obama to Nazis over the past eight years, it's still mad that some are likening Donald Trump to a Nazi. The hypocrisy hasn't stopped.

Larry Elder spent his Nov. 23 WND column complaining about how "comparing Republicans to Nazis has long been a national pastime of the Democratic Party"; he concluded by whining: "If not the Nazi card, it’s the race card or the sexist card or the homophobic card. This 'I’m right; you’re evil' brand of politics has a lot to do with why voters elected Donald Trump, rather than Hillary 'basket of deplorables' Clinton, to serve as our next president." Needless to say, he didn't mention all the Obama-Nazi comparisons that have been made over the years.

In his Nov. 23 column, Michael Brown similarly complained about Trump-Nazi comparisons. He declared that "This horrific name-calling needs to stop, not only because it defames the living but also because it mocks the dead – specifically, the victims of Hitler and his henchmen," adding that "In light of the depths of their evil, we had better be very careful before we label others Nazis or call our opponents Hitler."

While that's true, Brown didn't specifically call out any Obama-Nazi comparisions, let alone admit that the website that publishes his column was a prime source of those comparisons.

Unless WND apologizes for its own shameful Obama-Nazi name-calling, it has no moral basis to complain about Trump-Nazi name-calling.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:12 PM EST
Saturday, December 3, 2016
CNS' Other Dead-Guy Columnist: George Washington
Topic: CNSNews.com

It turns out Chuck Colson is not the only hard-working dead columnist at CNSNews.com.

On Thanksgiving, CNS reposted a Thanksgiving proclamation from George Washington it had originally published in 2010. As with fellow dead guy Colson, Washington is given the byline.

It turns out Washington has a CNS author archive. It includes two copies of his farewell address and the selective quoting of a single paragraph from his 1783 farewell address to the Continental Army emphasizing that Washington "warned that the United States could 'never hope be a happy Nation' unless its citizens imitated Christ" (which notes it had been published the year before).

CNS' granting of bylines to dead people (though, unlike with Colson, it doesn't need to explain to readers that Washington is dead) demonstrates how unprofessional the "news" organization is being run -- it's all about pushing an ideology and not about "news" at all.

Of course, CNS loves Washington for other reasons. A 2011 "news" article by Penny Starr marked the repeal of the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy by touting how Washington "approved the dismissal of a soldier for 'attempting to commit sodomy,' with 'abhorrence and detestation of such infamous crimes.'"


Posted by Terry K. at 10:23 AM EST
WND Columnist's Big Rudy Fail
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Doug Wead used his Nov. 25 WorldNetDaily column to cheerlead Donald Trump into picking Rudy Giuliani as secretary of state, offering a list of three reasons to do so. The first:

1) He is the most qualified and successful politician-statesman alive. He succeeds at everything he does.

Working in the Justice Department and for the state of New York, he more than any other figure brought down the famous five families of the Mafia – an intractable problem for the economy and society of America for generations.

He ended the reign of violence on the streets of New York, which was once like Chicago is today under Rahm Emanuel.

My feel is that he needs a new challenge. And this is it.

Conspicuously missing from Wead's list is a very conspicuous failure: Giuliani's 2008 presidential campaign.

As late as November 2007, Giuliani held a commanding lead over his GOP rivals. But his campaign went with a strategy to ignore Iowa and New Hampshire to focus on Florida and the Super Tuesday states. It failed miserably -- Giuliani finished third in Florida and dropped out before Super Tuesday.

So, no, Doug, Guiliani does not succeed at everything he does.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:16 AM EST
Friday, December 2, 2016
CNS Gets It Wrong In Mocking 'Feminist Glacier' Study
Topic: CNSNews.com

Lauretta Brown, as a good CNS reporter, is in full stenography mode for a Republican senator promoting alleged examples of government waste in a Nov. 28 article, singling one particular case out for mocking:

Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) released his second “Federal Fumbles” report on Monday, citing 100 examples of the misuse of taxpayer dollars through government spending and regulation.

One example: The National Science Foundation (NSF), the report said, spent $412,930 to fund a study that argued "that scientists should use femnist theories and a feminist point of view to sudy glaciers and the relationship between glaciers and humans."

[...]

Feminist Glaciers

The NSF has spent the last several years funding a $412,930 study that culminated in a paper entitled “Glaciers, Gender, and Science: A Feminist Glaciology Framework for Global Environmental Change Research.” The report quotes the authors’ belief that “the feminist glaciology framework generates robust analysis of gender, power, and epistemologies in dynamic social-ecological systems, thereby leading to a more just and equitable science and human-ice interactions.”

"In other words," the report said, "the authors argue that scientists should use feminist theories and a feminist point of view  to study glaciers and the relationship between glaciers and humans. The authors also argue that 'the feminist lens is crucial given the historical marginalization of women, the important of gendera in glacier-related knowledges, and the ways in which the systems of colonialism, imperialism, and patriarchy co-instituted genderered science."

Except that's not what really happened at all. As Gawker pointed out, that NSF money went for the entirety of this particular researcher's work on glaciers, only one part of which is the paper Lankford and Brown are mocking.

And because Brown is only interested in right-wing stenography, she makes no effort to go beyond Lankford's biased report and see if he's telling the truth. (He's not.) The magazine Science did what Brown couldn't be bothered to do: talk to the paper's author, who points out that his purpose was to stimulate a conversation about who's doing research on glaciers and posits the idea that viewpoints from women on the subject, and female researchers in particular, are important.

Brown continues her stenography on Lankford's behalf:

Gas Station Tofu

The report documents a 2016 Department of Agriculture regulation that requires stores that accept food stamps to double their selection of “healthy food items,” suggesting “businesses that want to meet the new regulations begin selling items like almond milk, tofu, fresh or frozen catfish, goat’s milk, and shrimp.”

The report notes that 195,000 small gas stations and convenience stores would be impacted by the rule and that “many small gas stations have already stated they would be forced to stop accepting food stamps, thus eliminating an option to buy food for many food stamp recipients in rural areas and inner-city food deserts.”

Lankford -- and, thus, Brown -- obscure the fact that the regulation has not yet been put into effect, meaning that no "misuse" of federal money has taken place (no evidence is provided that studying the effects of the proposed regulationis "misuse"). And sneeringly dismissing the idea as "gas station tofu" ignores the fact that many urban convenience stores don't sell gas and that tofu was only a suggestion, not a mandate.

Finally: Neither Brown nor Lankford disclose how much federal money Lankford spent compiling his mocking, biased report. Taht would seem to be relevant given the whole focus on misusing federal funds.


Posted by Terry K. at 4:43 PM EST
WND Pushes Trump's Evidence-Free Fearmongering About Illegal Voting
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Donald Trump has been pushing the claim that he would have won the popular vote were it not for "the millions of people who voted illegally," and the Trump-fluffers at WorldNetDaily are more than happy to help him push it -- even though WND, like Trump, has no actual evidence to back it up.

Not that Bob Unruh, in his Nov. 29 WND article, doesn't make a valiant effort to portray right-wing speculation as actual evidence. The first person he cites is Catherine Engelbrecht of of the right-wing True the Vote, who had nothing but "promised reliable estimates of the number of illegal-alien voters are on the way."

Next was Hans von Spakovsky of the right-wing Heritage Foundation, who according to Unruh said that "indications of the impact" are there despite "no reliable figures yet on the number of illegal-alien voters."

He was followed by William Gheen of the right-wing Americans for Legal Immigration PAC -- which Unruh benignly and irrelevantly describes only as "non-profit" -- who claimed that Trump "is absolutely correct that large volumes of illegal votes were cast in the 2016 presidential race predominantly for Democrat candidates and illegal immigrants were brought across the borders to reinforce Obama and Hillary Clinton in these elections." No evidence was provided to back up that claim.

Unruh also quoted Gheen as saying, "Obama himself admitted on video to Spanish language audiences comprised of illegal immigrants that illegals would face no scrutiny or hindrances registering to vote and voting, both of which are felonies and deportable offenses." In fact, that's not what he said at all; in comments that right-wingers selectively quoted (including WND), he said that "what is important for Latino citizens is to make your voice heard" and that those citizens voting helps speak for those "who can't legally vote."

Unruh then claimed that "ALIPAC cited sources, including the Pew Trust." He acknowledged that the author of the Pew study being cited "said he discovered no voter fraud," he insisted that thte study "specifically said its research 'underscores the need for registration systems that better maintain voter records, save money and streamline process.'" Which, however, is not the same thing as claiming that millions of people voted illegally, which is what Gheen and ALIPAC are claiming.

Unruh further asserted that "ALIPAC released dozens of pages of documentation showing 46 states have prosecuted or convicted cases of voter fraud, more than 24 million voter registrations are invalid, more than 1.8 million dead voters are still on rolls and more than 2.75 million Americans are registered to vote in more than one state." Which, again, does not back up Gheen's claim that millions of people voted illegally in 2016, especially since the link Unruh provided is of an ALIPAC comment thread that dates back to 2011, which does not necessarily qualify as "documentation."

Then it's back to even more non-documentation. Unruh writes: "Steve Camarota of the Center for Immigration Studies said that if one looks at the likely 21 million non-citizens in the United States, based on the 2015 American Community Survey, there is the high probability that a good number voted. After all, a 2 million or so vote advantage for Clinton could consist of votes from only about 10 percent of that population. But he said there’s no evidence available yet that would document an election result based on those votes."

Unruh may not have any actual evidence to back his (and Trump's) claims of illegal voting, but that doesn't mean he can't stick an irrelevant photo of seemingly illegal immigrants as the main image for his article (shown at top). In WND tradition, the image is uncredited, which means it was stolen -- in this case, from the Los Angeles Times. Unruh and WND are suggesting though the use of this image that hordes of swarthy masses are just lining up to vote illegally; in fact, the Times caption states: "Lugging jugs of water, migrants thread their way along footpaths leading to the U.S. border."

In other words, these migrants have other things on their mind -- like basic survival -- and voting is way down their priority list.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:12 PM EST
Updated: Friday, December 2, 2016 2:14 PM EST
MRC Still Won't Be Honest About 'Fake News'
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center is not done trying to change the subject away from the issue of "fake news" that may have helped Donald Trump get elected president.

A Nov. 28 post by Tim Graham freaks out over a Washington Post article on the group PropOrNot accusing the Russians of planting misleading article boosting Trump and bashing Hillary Clinton that were picked up by many right-wing (and some left-wing) website.Graham cites criticism of PropOrNot from the left-wing sites it named, complaining that the group is biased against Russia and Trump's ties to it and "are promoting bizarre conspiracy theories using overwrought numbers from a source that won’t identify its own authors or funders."

Funny, we don't recall the MRC having a problem with the anonymous basis of the false Fox News pre-election story claiming an indictment of Clinton was imminent that it heavily promoted. Still, Graham ranted that the PropOrNot claim is an "anonymously-sourced conspiracy theory" -- something it has never admitted the Fox News story was.

Mesnwhile, the MRC's Scott Whitlock attempted to redefine fake news in a Nov. 29 post:

ABC’s Nightline, a program that has covered such non-stories as “bootleg butt injections” and “cat poo coffee,” actually complained about “fake news” websites. Co-anchor Juju Chang on Monday huffed that “established media outlets are built on accuracy” as she wondered if scam websites resulted in Hillary Clinton losing.

[...]

Nightline journalists are in no position to judge ridiculous stories. This is a program that in 2014 actually did a story on “bootleg butt injections.”  In 2015, the show’s reporters covered “cat poo coffee.” The show also looked into “polyamory” and the “trailblazing triad” of threesome fans. Is this news?

On Monday night, Chang complained, “Separating fact from fiction is not easy when mistrust of mainstream media is at an all-time high.” Perhaps one reason for that is because Nightline is promoting ridiculous click bait stories. 

No, Scott, fluffy news is not fake news. Fake news is the false Fox News story your employer promoted and has never admitted was false, let alone apologized for it.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:45 AM EST
Thursday, December 1, 2016
WND's Farah, Jonathan Cahn Stage Publicity Stunt at Temple Mount
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Now it appears we know why WorldNetDaily was so desperate for people to join the tour to the Holy Land led by WND editor Joseph Farah and his buddy and meal ticket, Jonathan Cahn: They were planning to stage a publicity stunt to get their tour party kicked off Jerusalem's Temple Mount.

Farah tells about it in his Nov. 27 column:

A week before Americans gave thanks to God for their blessings in a holiday inspired by Pilgrims who sought religious freedom in the new world, another group of mostly American pilgrims to Jerusalem was ejected from the Temple Mount by Muslim administrative authorities for mentioning that the Jewish Temple rested atop the 40-acre mount until 70 AD when it was destroyed by Rome.

That’s right – 406 Christians were forced off the Temple Mount for acknowledging that a Temple once rested there.

The incident occurred Thursday, Nov. 17, 2016, when messianic rabbi Jonathan Cahn and I led the group on a tour of the Temple Mount, the holiest site in Judaism and one of great significance for Christians as well.

When Cahn, the New York Times bestselling author of “The Harbinger,” “The Mystery of the Shemitah” and “The Book of Mysteries,” simply referenced the Temple, his talk was interrupted by a representative of the Islamic Waqf – the clerical force that patrols the site, enforcing dress codes and often prohibiting Bible reading and prayer by Christians and Jews.

Cahn was told it was unacceptable for anyone to discuss the Temple on the Temple Mount. Muslims do not refer to the Temple Mount as such but call the site Haram al-Sharif, or Nobel Sanctuary. They contend the site is famous and holy not because of the Temple, which some of them even dispute ever existed, but because Muhammad claims to have ascended to the site from the Arabian desert in a miraculous Night Journey on the back of a winged horse.

[...]

He was just beginning a message on the link between the Temple and the Garden of Eden when the Waqf officials interrupted the talk. They called Cahn to speak to them about 20 yards from the bulk of the group, with me shadowing him.

“They immediately told me I had to stop talking,” Cahn recalled. “We had to leave the Temple Mount. Meanwhile, the group watched, prayed and a few took pictures and video recorded the event. When I countered that we had done nothing wrong, they said I can’t talk about the Temple on the Temple Mount. They said, ‘This is an Islamic holy site. You cannot mention the Temple.'”

The standoff lasted about five minutes until one of the Waqf officials got louder and more agitated. At that point, Cahn agreed to leave. The Waqf officials escorted the group out the gate facing the north. It regrouped near the Pools of Bethesda, where Cahn finished his message and spoke about the nature of the spiritual warfare we had just witnessed.

What Farah and Cahn are calling "spiritual warfare" is actually bad manners on their part -- not to mention a craven, borderline blasphemous stunt.

Farah and Cahn knew that things like Christian and Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount are prohibited at the Temple Mount -- Farah even admits that. But Farah misleads by suggesting the prohibition was demanded by the Waqf; in fact, that's the official position of the Israeli government. Further, it appears Cahn, a messianic rabbi, may have violated his own faith in doing so; the Chief Rabbinate of Israel states that the Torah prohibits Jews from entering the Temple Mount.

All this means that their plan all along was to break rules and create a scene -- all the more spectacular when a large group of tourists are made unwitting pawns in their stunt. Needelss to say, Farah got video of the conflict they provoked, and it's attached to his column.

Farah and Cahn were guests, and as guests you abide by your host's rules. You do not treat them with disrespect and provoke conflict.

The fact that the two planned to break rules and cause a scene while dragging their tour group through the manufactured drama exposes them not as the religious heroes they claim to be -- "To be kicked off the Temple Mount for speaking truth was an honor," Cahn said, adding, "Nothing stops the purposes of God" -- but as self-centered jerks.


Posted by Terry K. at 6:00 PM EST
Updated: Thursday, December 1, 2016 6:08 PM EST
MRC Flip-Flops on Jorge Ramos' Credibility
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center has had its knives out for Univision's Jorge Ramos for quite some time now, determined to silence him for being critical of Donald Trump. When Trump actually won the election, the MRC gloated.

In a Nov. 14 post, Jorge Bonilla cheered how "Smiling faces grew somber" on Univision's election-night newscast as Trump won, complained that the network "amplified what it perceived to be inflammatory statements" by Trump (now that Trump is the MRC's boy, Bonilla won't concede that anything he was was actually inflammatory)and accused Ramos of having "staged his explusion from a Trump press conference in Iowa." Bonilla ranted:

Now trapped in its own death spiral, Univision's TV news division is quadrupling down on the identity politics that have left a sour taste in viewers' mouths. Rather than examining whether its coverage of the 2016 election turned off viewers and potential voters, Univision decided to push fear as a response to Trump. Ramos' promise to continue asking tough questions rings hollow because there was an astonishing lack of curiosity when it came to Hillary's email scandal.

Univision News' time is better spent in deep self-reflection and evaluation of its own journalistic practices. But it appears that the network has learned nothing.

This from an organization whose own "news" division served as Trump's stenographer and offered critical coverage only of Hillary Clinton.

The next day, Bonilla targeted Ramos further under the headline "Jorge Ramos Lost All His Credibility And Learned Nothing," in which he huffed:
"Some time ago, Ramos admitted that he understood the risks to his credibility by taking such open stances. 2016 will be remembered as the year that Jorge Ramos gambled away his credibility. America, however, is about second chances and redemption. Here's hoping that Ramos -as well as the rest of the media- acknowledges the scope and breadth of his failings and strives to hold all sides accountable going forward. This is certainly a much more constructive endeavor than the current lashing-out we've seen so far."

But, suddenly, Bonilla decided that Ramos was filled with credibility. Why? Because he said something Bonilla agrees with.

In a Nov. 28 post, Bonilla praised how Ramos finally got in line with right-0wing talking points on the death of Fidel Castro:

Fairness compels us to memorialize what Al Punto did right...which in this case, was everything. Jorge Ramos broke sharply from the rest of the media by simply calling a dictator a dictator. The tone of the show was proper in that it was somber. Viewers got to see the reality of Fidel Castro through the voices of people whose lives were affected by the tyrant, and were given space to come to their own conclusions.

Oh, please. Bonilla doesn't give a damn about "fairness" -- he cares only about pushing a political view. The fact that Bonilla forgot completely about his attacks on Ramos when he echoed right-wing orthodoxy on Castro shows that all too clearly.

The next time Ramos sasys something Bonilla doesn't like, the knives will be out again. That will have nothing to do with fairness either.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:18 PM EST
WND Reporter In Full Islamophobia Mode After Ohio State Incident
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily's Leo Hohmann doesn't like Muslims -- he rushes to brand them as terrorists and criminals on the pages of WND. This week's incident at Ohio State University, perpetrated by a Somali refugee, has brought that out in him again.

In his first story on the incident, he complains -- as he has done before -- that police are bothering to do a full investigation instead of jumping to the conclusion that because he's a Muslim, he's a terrorist: "The Somali refugee who stabbed Ohio State University students with a butcher knife Monday praised a well-known al-Qaida terrorist on his Facebook page minutes before his attack, yet authorities say they are not ready to assign a motive."

The next day, Hohmann was in full Islamophobia mode, with some lecturing of the media for not hating Muslims as much as he does:

When Abdul Ali Artan tried to run over a crowd of helpless students at Ohio State University, then got out of his car and slashed as many as he could with a butcher knife, media titans CNN, CBS and NBC treated it as an isolated incident.

Law enforcement, from the local level on up to the FBI, said they did not know what could have motivated the young Muslim student to act in such a premeditated, violent way against his fellow students on a chilly Tuesday morning in Columbus.

Artan, an 18-year-old freshman at OSU, had immigrated from his native Somalia through Pakistan, arriving in Columbus at the invitation of the U.S. government, which considered him a “refugee.”

But the media failed to connect any of the dots with a host of similar attacks on U.S. soil, let alone the even larger number of strikingly similar attacks in Europe committed by migrants from Muslim countries in the Middle East and Africa.

[...]

One of the primary responsibilities of any reputable journalist is to not only report the news of the day, but to report it in context. It is only through context that the consumers of the journalistic product can receive a full understanding of the events happening in the world around them. There was none of that going on Tuesday when the news broke of a knife attack on the campus of Ohio State. Not even the most-recent Muslim knife attack, carried out two months earlier by another Somali refugee in St. Cloud, was mentioned in connection with the Ohio story.

Why so little context? Why so little information about the refugee program and its recent failures to screen out bad apples?

Why do mainstream media, along with U.S. law enforcement, provide cover for the U.S. immigration system and the refugee program in particular?

Hohmann calls on "several experts who follow the refugee program" to answer that question, but they're all Islamophobes like him, Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer among them.

Hohmann also tried to fearmonger by making "a simple perusal of some very recent history, roughly the previous 17 or 18 months," in which he listed eight certain violent incidents. Then he moves the goalposts, adding, "A little further back, in 2013, the Boston Marathon bombing by the Tsarnaev brothers left three dead and more than 300 injured."

And what is the significance of this? "The one common denominator of all nine attacks is that each was carried out by Muslim immigrants or sons of Muslim immigrants." Yep, Hohmann had to pad out the list by throwing in "sons of Muslim immigrants"-- he couldn't come up with enough actual Muslim immigrants to make the list long enough.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:53 AM EST
Wednesday, November 30, 2016
Newsmax Columnist Thinks 'Fake News' Concern Is Attempt To Censor Right-Wingers
Topic: Newsmax

It seems like all of the ConWeb wants to have a say about all that fake-news stuff. Newsmax's James Hirsen has his own spin in a Nov. 21 column, insisting that it's really all about censoring conservatives:

After telling the public for over a year that the election of Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States was not going to materialize, the mainstream media have now turned their collective attention toward something they have characterized as “fake news.”

The phrase, however, is a fake itself, and its deliberate use manipulative in nature. The mainstream media are out to cleanse social media of sites that pose obstacles to a uniform way of thinking; that being a left-leaning ideology.

Hirsen doesn't bother to address the specific issue at hand -- fake "news" websites pitching stories designed to boost Trump that got treated by Facebook as actual news. Instead, he plays the victim:

The mere act of defining “fake news” is fraught with its own problems.

Would The New York Times, CNN, MSNBC, and other outlets that published dubious news stories throughout the lengthy election season be included in the group categorized as purveyors of false news stories? Most would agree that, although warranted in many cases, this would be highly unlikely.

It has become more and more apparent that “fake news” is the latest meme being used by left-leaning media in their all-out effort to eliminate competition from the conservative side of the political spectrum.

Establishment media organizations such as New York Magazine have been disseminating rosters of “fake news” sites. Not surprisingly, the lists are full of legitimate conservative outlets.

Of course, not only has Hirsen's employer has engaged in peddling fake news over the years -- for example, we've documented how Newsmax published numerous falsehoods about President Obama's stimulus plan in 2009 -- Hirsen himself has left a trail of fake news in his wake.

He once falsely claimed that the band U2 held a fund-raiser for conservative Republican Rick Santorum; in fact, Santorum was exploiting an already-existing U2 concert for a fund-raiser. And then there's the years he spent writing Newsmax articles promoting  various Mel Gibson film projects and whitewashing his notorious anti-Semitic tirade while failing to disclose that not only is he a friend of Gibson but heads a foundation that bought a tract of land in Pennsylvania for Gibson's father to found a branch of a dissident ultraconservative Catholic sect.Refusing to disclose a serious conflict of interest is a form of fakery as well.

Hirsen concludes by writing that Facebook chief Mark "Zuckerberg also knows, as do most Americans, that social media should be delivered freely to its members in non-curated feeds where members themselves decide what is worthwhile to view and what is not." And Hirsen certainly knows how dishonest it is to present something as factual "news" when it is nothing more than an partisan attack that is may not be accurate, however newsy it looks.

It seems that Hirsen is trying to play the rigvht-wing game of pretending that there's no difference between major media organizations -- the purported "liberal media" -- and partisan content mills that put getting clicks ahead of telling facts. If Hirsen would stop playing the victim, he's understand that conservative websites that publish facts and clearly label their content have nothing to worry about, and that covers Newsmax and Hirsen.


Posted by Terry K. at 7:32 PM EST
Updated: Sunday, December 25, 2016 11:37 AM EST
CNS' Starr Keeps On Shilling for the Oil Industry
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com reporter Penny Starr has long been a reliable shill for the fossil-fuel industry, as one would expect from an employee of an organization that gets significant funding from fossil-fuel interests and has an endowed fellowship named after oilman T. Boone Pickens.

She's at it again. Starr writes in a Nov. 22 CNS article:

President Obama’s Interior Department announced last week that no offshore leases for oil and gas development in Alaska will be granted for a five-year period, prompting criticism that the decision could have a detrimental effect on local communities.

Lucas Frances, a spokesperson for the Arctic Energy Center (AEC), called the decision a “body blow” for the communities.

“Today’s announcement is a body blow for the Native communities, businesses, elected officials, military experts and other Alaskans who repeatedly have pleaded with the White House to allow offshore energy development in the Arctic,” he said in statement after the decision was announced on Friday.

“Having been told that local views would take priority, they have now seen that the exact opposite is true and their wishes have been ignored in the name of legacy-building,” he said.

“As a result of this decision, people across Alaska will be looking to the Trump administration to quickly tear up the lease plan and implement an entirely new schedule, which includes the Arctic and helps secure the state’s future.”

Starr makes sure not to disclose that the Arctic Energy Center is not a local grassroots group but, rather, an advocacy group for the oil industry founded by the Independent Petroleum Association of America and the Alaska Oil and Gas Association. The center claims that part of its mission is to highlight " long history of exploration and development in the region, and the scientific and technological advancements that allow for safe energy development today." In September, it launched a PR campaign to build support for offshore drilling in the Arctic that was scheduled to include a "six-figure television buy" in the Washingtion, D.C., TV market.

Starr also quoted one of her favorite industry sources, the American Petroleum Institute, criticizing the lease decision as well.

Unusual for her, Starr actually balanced the story with a statement from the environmental group EarthJustice. But she showed her bias again by labeling it as an "activist group" -- a descriptor she did not apply to the Arctic Energy Center though it too is activist (as if a six-figure TV ad buy isn't activist).


Posted by Terry K. at 2:18 PM EST

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