CNS Relays Trump Propaganda on Russian Hacking Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com managing editor Michael W. Chapman used a blog post to tout how Newt Gingrich dismissed the "mainstream media" as the "propaganda media."
But as was made clear during the election -- what with its transcription-heavy "reporting" on the Trump campaign -- the actual "propaganda media" is the website Chapman runs. And CNS is continuing to prove how it's going to be a propagandist for the Trump presidency.
As evidence continues to emerge that Russia interfered with the election with the apparent goal of getting Trump elected, CNS has served as Trump's PR shop in trying to change the subject.
Susan Jones uncritically relayed Trump dismissing "press reports" --no, Susan, it was the CIA -- about Russian intererence in the campaign, along with another article quoting outgoing RNC chairman Reince Priebus' partisan attack that "The Russians didn't tell Hillary Clinton to ignore Wisconsin and Michigan."Jones also uncritically relayed Priebus' denial that the RNC was hacked, despite reports dating from before the election about it.
Jones then followed with an attack on President Obama, rehashing the "FLASHBACK" about how "a live microphone picked up his whispered conversation with then-Russian President Dmitry Medvedev." Jones went on to note that "While campaigning for Hillary Clinton in October, Obama criticized Republican Donald Trump's 'continued flattery of Mr. Putin and the degree to which he appears to model many of his policies and approaches' after those of Putin."
Jones cranked out another distraction attack, stating that the New YOrk Times wrote in 2012 that Putin "sauntered into American presidential politics...praising President Barack Obama as 'a very honest man' and chastising the Republican nominee, Mitt Romney, for describing Russia as 'without question our No. 1 geopolitical foe.'"
Melanie Hunter joined in the biased fun, making sure to approvingly quote Republican Rand Paul sneering that Trump "got 70 percent in eastern Kentucky" and it had nothing to do with Russia.
Unusually, CNS did provide a couple token articles forwarding the other side of the story -- that, you know, foreign interference in a U.S. election should probably be looked into. Jones actually cited a former U.S. ambassador to Russia saying that, and Hunter quoted Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell saying that "simply cannot be a partisan issue" (but then quoted McConnell making it just that by alleging that the Obama administration "sat back" while Russia "expanded its sphere of influence").
Still, pro-Trump stenography is the order of the day at CNS. It seems all that Mercer money to CNS parent the Media Research Center speaks louder than words -- or, in this case, unbiased reporting.
UPDATE: Jones has stayed in propaganda mode. She complained in one article that "The Obama White House on Wednesday went so far as to suggest that Republican Donald Trump had inside information about Russian hacking before administration officials notified Americans about it in October." She baselessly asserted that Trump "joking suggested [sic]" that Russia should go after Hillary's emails.
Jones followed that up by uncritically quoting Republican Rep. Peter King calling the CIA charges a "disinformation campaign."
Bias: WND Repeatedly Mocks Hillary With Unflattering Photo Topic: WorldNetDaily
We've documented how WorldNetDaily loves to run pictures to illustrate stories about transgenders that falsely smear them as hairy guys in dresses and heels, as well as pictures of President Obama that make him look either sinister-looking or appearing as if he's looking down on WND's readers.
WND is also not afraid to make Hillary Clinton look as bad as it can. Note the picture that accompanies a Dec. 8 article:
Of course, a real news organization that cared about fair and balanced reporting -- which WND has been desperately trying to convince its readers it is in the fake-news era -- would not use such a picture. It's malicious bias, pure and simple.
Also note that so-called photo credit to "Twitter." Twitter does not have a photo staff (as far as we know), so that's a false credit.
WND used this same photo (though without the bogus credit) in an August article questioning Hillary's sanity, as well as a July article on the "Top 30 things 'more trusted than Hillary'" (without a photo credit but with the sneering cutline "From the looks of it, even Hillary isn’t so certain she can trust Hillary").
And speaking of fake news: The fact that this particular article is about alleged voter fraud is meaningless in WND's world, because it was about the recount in Michigan, which WND opposed since Donald Trump won by enough of a margin that fraud allegations no longer serve WND's agenda.
MRC Forgets It Bashed Burger Chain's Racy Ads Before Its CEO Became Right-Wing Darling (And Trump Nominee) Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's Scott Whitlock whined in a Dec. 9 post that coverage on NBC's "Today" about Hardee's and Carl's Jr. executive Andy Puzder, donald Trump's nominee for labor secretary, "chided the Carl’s Jr. CEO for his company’s racy ads." Whitlock huffed that "Today" reporter Peter Alexander "played a clip of a Carl’s Jr. fast-food ad featuring scantily clad women and chided, 'While Puzder approves of these racy ads, he opposes broader overtime pay and minimum wage increases.' What does one have to do with the other? Alexander didn’t say."
Whitlock further huffed that "Additionally, it seems odd for NBC to suddenly turn prudish after promoting Fifty Shades of Grey for a full week, repeatedly playing clips and trailers from the bondage film." Actually, according to the link Whitlock supplied, it wasn't the entire network doing this, just "Today."
But Whitlock's complaint rings hollow for another reason. You know who else used to complain about the "racy ads" put out by Puzder's company? The MRC.
Lauren Thompson complained in a February 2012 MRC post:
Most families would agree that eating a hamburger is a normal and appropriate thing to do at dinner, but Carl’s Jr. has turned an American past-time into sexual foreplay with its string of salacious advertisements.
The burger chain used to be known as a family franchise, but recently began targeting, teenage males with lust-filled commercials, and in the past they have showcased both Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian in overtly raunchy roles in order to garner attention for their product.
The new advertisement for their Southwest Patty Melt features 19-year-old model Kate Upton sweating and stripping off her clothes while suggestively consuming a burger. The ad far from family friendly, especially when the young starlet straddles the burger bag and places her hand between her legs, all while nearly exposing her breasts.
Andy Pudzer [sic], who is the CEO of CKE Restaurants, the parent to Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s told USA Today that, “The first thing you have to do is get people to watch your ads. I guarantee you there will be a very small number of young guys fast-forwarding through this ad."
A longer, racier version will be featured on their website further adding to today’s culture meltdown.
But as the MRC has demonstrated with its flip-flop on Donald Trump, it will look the other way on morality issues -- typically the bread and butter of a conservative organization -- as long as sufficient lip service is given to toeing right-wing orthodoxy. In May 2015, it touted Puzder's defense of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and on job growth in the state; and in March, Tom Blumer cheered how Puzder was moving his company from California to Tennessee to avoid California's "intolerable" (in Blumer's words) labor laws.
Obama Derangement Syndrome Watch, Joseph Farah Edition Topic: WorldNetDaily
I am so glad we’re only 40 days away from saying a permanent good riddance to Barack Obama as impostor president.
And, please, this is not racism speaking.
I’m sickened at what comes out of the man’s mouth. I couldn’t care less about the color of his skin.
What is it this time?
OK, I’m going to try to keep my cool here, but I am livid about the way this spoiled man-child punk is still mau-mauing about racism as the front door of the White House is about to hit him in the behind after eight years. That’s how long we’ve had to endure his shameless exploitation of racism in America while he has done just about everything imaginable in his power to stoke and rekindle its dying embers.
This guy is a one-trick pony.
He got elected president without any accomplishments to speak of in 2008 running as a black man.
He got re-elected president in 2012 even after proving himself incompetent to serve.
In other words, race was his political franchise.
Is there someone in America who doesn’t get this yet?
Why did Hillary Clinton lose, while Obama won twice?
Obama got more support from both whites and blacks than she did.
Had Obama not been black, he could never have won the presidency even once with his radical platform and his mysterious past.
Get over it, Obama.
Enough is enough.
People don’t dislike you because of race.
They dislike you because you exploit race to demean your critics and the nation that elected you to its highest office.
MRC Still Denying That Anti-Planned Parenthood Was Deceptively Edited Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's Curtis Houck uses a Dec. 7 post to smear Washington Post columnist Petula Dvorak as a "pro-abortion lefty" spewing "insanity." Why? Because she spoke the inconvenient truth that the Center for Medical Progress' videos attacking Planned Parenthood were deceptively edited. Houck complained:
Dvorak chose not to look at her own employer or major TV outlets but instead attacked the pro-life group Center for Medical Progress and their undercover Planned Parenthood baby parts videos as being the lynchpin for a Colorado man to shoot up a local Planned Parenthood.
“What happened at Comet Ping Pong isn’t the first time we’ve seen real consequences of the doctored-news phenomenon. A year ago, a “gotcha” video — created by folks who lied, schemed and plotted to get a doctor to talk about the graphic details of her work while secretly being recorded — was pinging in the head of Robert Lewis Dear Jr. when he stormed a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado,” Dvorak complained.
Dvorak continued with spin that somehow these videos weren’t true that couldn’t have been done any better than if Planned Parenthood wrote it themselves:
Grandstanding congressmen fed him the “baby parts” line after they watched that heavily edited video of a Planned Parenthood executive talking about the donation of tissue from aborted fetuses. (They must’ve forgotten that fetal tissue has been used in important medical research since the 1930s and helped produce vaccines for polio, measles and mumps.)
The video was created under false pretenses and never would have met the standards of a legitimate news organization.
That faux investigation ended in hours of congressional hearings, a budget crisis for Planned Parenthood in many states and the deaths of those three people in Colorado.
Needless to say, Houck won't admit that Dvorak is correct -- the edited versions of the CMP videos make claims the full videos don't support, and numerous state investigations of Planned Parenthood spurred by the CMP videos have found no wrongdoing regarding the issue of fetal tissue. The MRC's seemingly official policy is to deny any deception on the CMP's part.
Interestingly, though, Houck also declines to deny that Dear's shooting spree was inspired by the CMP videos. Maybe he was too busy trying to deny that the videos were edited that he forgot to do that. The MRC has previouslyinsisted Dear is "mentally unstable" to distance him from the CMP.
Houck concludes by complaining that "the left has once again shown that any worthwhile push to halt the spread of legitimately fake news can easily be stymied and backfire in an instant whenever liberals seize on the situation to promote it’s own self-serving agenda to attacking conservatives and right-leaning news sites (like this one) that truly do care about accuracy and take our jobs seriously to not spread falsehoods."
This from a guy who won't acknowledge the indisputable fact the CMP videos were misleadingly edited -- and who is an employee of an organization that promoted a fake story from Fox News that Hillary Clinton's indictment was imminent but never issued a full correction and retraction of it.
No, Curtis, you do not take your job seriously enough if you have no problem with perpetuating falsehoods that benefit right-wing arguments.
NEW ARTICLE -- Out There, Exhibit 65: WND's Politician-Nazi Double Standard Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily spent years likening President Obama to various Nazis, yet it's now somehow appalled that some would make the same comparison with Donald Trump. Read more >>
CNS Promotes Right-Wing Lies About U.N. Pact Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com's Melanie Hunter certainly put out a clickbait-y headline for her Dec. 8 article: "UN Rejects Sex Education Program That Called for Teaching 4-Year-Olds to Masturbate." She writes:
The United Nations last week rejected a controversial sex education program by Europeans and the World Health Organization (WHO) in its draft resolution for the General Assembly’s “Rights of the Child” resolution, the Center for Family and Human Rights (C-FAM) reported on Dec. 1.
The programming, which “first found its way into a UN resolution in 2012 within the Economic and Social Council,” called for teaching children under age four about “early childhood masturbation” and promoting “acceptance of homosexuality and transgenderism throughout primary school.”
Hunter's proof for this clickbait-y claim claim is a C-FAM article that she has essentially rewrote, which asserts that "European and World Health Organization standards for comprehensive sexuality education prescribe teaching children under 4 years old about 'early childhood masturbation."
If Hunter had bothered to fact-check C-FAM's claims -- she quotes only C-FAM in her article, meaning that once again she's serving as a stenographer instead of a reporter, and she doesn't disclose that it's a far-right group that best known for being vehemently anti-gay -- she would know that it's lying about the clickbait-y thing.
C-FAM is apparently referring to a report by WHO and the Federal Centre for Health Education in Germany noting that "early childhood masturbation" is a behavior young children engage in and that "extensive observational research" shows this is among the behaviors that is "regarded as normal." A "matrix" chart later in the document lists it as something educators can "give information about," defined as "facts from the field of sexuality education in a balanced, comprehensive, age-appropriate way." At no point does it state that 4-year-olds should be taught masturbation.
WHO further issued a Q-and-A clarifying the issue:
This information is addressed to professionals (e.g. teachers, including kindergarten teachers), who need to be informed about the variety of normal phenomena in the psychosexual development of children including, in fact, early childhood masturbation and “doctor” games. Without such knowledge, there is a risk that professionals will react in inappropriate ways, possibly harming the child and/or hindering his/her future healthy development. The Standards therefore inform professionals about how to deal with these phenomena in a high-quality sexuality education programme in a developmentally appropriate way.
C-FAM is a highly biased organization, and Hunter and CNS should not be uncritically reporting its claims as undisputed truth -- especially when a little basic fact-checking proves the group wrong. But then, CNS is not paying Hunter to fact-check the claims of right-wing groups.
MRC's Bozell Still Trying to Deflect Fake-News Controversy Topic: Media Research Center
You'd think an organization that purports to care about issues in the media would want to have a substantive debate about fake news. But as the Media Research Center continues to prove, it doesn't.
As before, Brent Bozell and Tim Graham's Dec. 7 column on the subject is all about trying to change the subject. They began by declaring: "Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg is under enormous pressure from the left to crack down on the "fake news" circulating on the social-media giant. He is well-advised to run as far as he can from the News Police."
They don't mention that Bozell himself was part of the right-wing News Police that victimized Zuckerberg and Facebook earlier in the year over alleged bias in Facebook's trending-news feed. So cowed was Facebook by this that it allegedly did nothing to stop the torrent of pro-Trump, anti-Hillary fake news that swamped the website lest it run afoul of Bozell's News Police again.
Bozell and Graham then proclaimed that the problem of fake news is 1) no big deal and 2) a creation of the left:
Make no mistake about it: Fake news does exist. Everyone is used to false click-bait, like the recent "Megyn Kelly leaving Fox?" story floating around the internet, which claims she's leaving to promote some blah-blah-blah skin care product. Then there are the offshore fake news factories churning out "shocking" reports about Pope Francis backing Donald Trump.
Are these annoyances? Yes. Are they threats to Western civilization? Hardly.
The left saw an opening with talk of fake news and pounced.
Are the red flags for fake news only going to target stories that upset liberals? The leftist group Media Matters for America is claiming it will de-emphasize its Fox News obsession to focus instead on websites like Breitbart and the "alt-right" platforms in an effort to be that "trusted third party" to help run Facebook's algorithms.
Do you think they would ever call out leftist fake news outlets like, oh, themselves?
Bozell and Graham provide no evidence that any Media Matters ever produced is "fake news." (Disclosure: We used to work there.) But the MRC has participated in a few fake-news stories: its promotion of the fake Fox News story just before the election that Hillary Clinton's indictment was imminent, its dishonest misquoting from a book by former New York Times editor Howell Raines that stood uncorrected for nine years, and the deliberate misquoting of Democratic strategist Paul Begala at the MRC's "news" division, CNSNews.com.
Yet somehow it's the fault of "the left" that the MRC perpetuated fake news.
Bozell and Graham also assert: "The networks have labored mightily to avoid videotapes demonstrating Planned Parenthood allegedly sold dead baby parts to fetal-tissue researchers. The left said those taped admissions are somehow faked, even after all the footage, which shows no such thing, was made available." In fact, it's been repeatedly proven that the edited versions of the video make claims the full videos (which were always released after the edited versions) don't support. Even David Daleiden, who produced the videos, admitted to deceptive edits.
What does it say that "the networks" downplayed deceptively edited videos while the MRC treats them as indisputable gospel? That the MRC will embrace fake news that furthers its right-wing agenda.
But that truth is a little too real for Bozell and Graham to admit to its readers.
But WND has been caught spreading fake news again.
A Dec. 7 WND article by Joe Kovacs carried the headline "Video: ‘Migrant’ kicks young woman down flight of stairs." It began: "Video emerged Wednesday of a young woman in a German subway station being kicked down a flight of stairs, in what some are calling an unprovoked attack by a 'migrant gang.'"
But sometime after its posting and Dec. 10, Moore's article got scrubbed, to the point that Kovacs' byline was removed from it. The headline was changed to "Video: Man kicks young woman down flight of stairs" -- with "man" replacing "migrant" -- and the lead paragraph adds that the alleged perpetrator is "unidentified."
A later paragraph originally stated that "It has not been reported if police have any suspects," but that also was rewritten to add that "it cannot be confirmed at this point if the perpetrator is actually a migrant." The original is below, followed by the updated version:
Curiously, though WND has the capability of noting updates in its articles (in red type after the posting date), at no point does this acknowledge this article has been updated to remove what WND decided after the fact was false, fake information -- let alone explain to readers why.
This isn't the first time Kovacs has gotten things wrong. In 2011, for instance, he wrote that Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan's name came up "at least nine times on [Supreme Court] dockets involving Obama eligibility issues" stemming from her connection as Obama's former solicitor general; in fact, none of those docket items has anything to do with "eligibility issues." That article required some heavy scrubbing as well.
WND recently claimed to be "the real mainstream when it comes to where Americans go to get the real news." (Funny, reporting "the real news" is also what Kovacs said he joined WND to do.) If WND has to heavily correct a story days after the fact, then hide from its readers the fact that those corrections were made -- and if Kovacs has continued employment at WND despite a history of serious, embarrassing errors -- it's not really real, is it?
MRC Plays the Deceptive-Editing Game Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's Brad Wilmouth complains in a Dec. 1 post that "CNN's Alisyn Camerota brought up a clip of Lieutenant General Michael Flynn discussing radical Islam in which it appeared that he was claiming Islam in general is a 'cancer.'"
In fact, Camerota is portraying the clip accurately. In a larger clip of the statement in question, Flynn doesn't apply the narrower "radical Islam" Wilmouth is suggesting, Flynn is clearly stating that "Islam is a political ideology" and goes on to liken Islam -- not "radical Islam" -- to cancer.
Looking at a even larger part of the Flynn speech from which that statement was taken, he does not appear to differentiate between "radical Islam" and Islam as a whole -- he even suggests that Muslims getting involved in local government in the U.S. is a directive from Muslim extremists.
Flynn also falsely claimed in his speech that Democrats in Florida "voted yes to allow Sharia law to be used in the state of Florida judicial system," adding, "Do these people not understand what Sharia law is, what it does to these beautiful women? ... You're a piece of property." In fact, the Florida law simply codified existing policy in allowing foreign law to govern certain family cases only if it does not contradict U.S. law, and it does not specifically mention Sharia law at all.
Does that sound like someone who makes a meaningful difference between "radical Islam" and Islam as a whole? Wilmouth seems to think differently.
Then, Wilmouth flip-flops by defending taking President' Obama's words out of context:
Ironically, moments after using an edited clip of Flynn, the CNN host was seen reading and appearing to agree with complaints -- which seem to have come from an article at Mediaite -- that Fox Business Network edited some of President Barack Obama's words from an interview in which the President -- even with the words in place -- left an impression with many that he was encouraging illegal immigrants to vote, in spite of it being illegal for non-citizens to do so.
Why is it OK to misrepresent Obama's words, according to Wilmouth? Because Obama didn't make his words clear enough for Wilmouth not to exploit the ambiguity, apparently:
The Mediaite article Camerota was reading from argued that it was obvious that Obama was not encouraging illegals to vote because of the part of his answer when he stated that "when you vote, you are a citizen yourself." But this statement is not the same as stating that if one is a non-citizen, it is illegal to vote, since, if someone were unfamiliar with American law, they could misunderstand and believe voting can be a way of becoming a citizen.
His response could certainly have been misinterpreted as meaning that non-citizens like "Dreamers" and the "undocumented" could vote because they were a major part of the question asked, which should have elicited an upfront reaction in the negative that those groups should not be voting.
So Wilmouth and his fellow conservatives seem to feel free to misrepresent Obama's words because he didn't give an answer worded in exactly the way they wanted him to -- ignoring the full answer from Obama, in which he also 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."
The MRC has always felt justified in taking Obama's words out of context if doing so fits its political agenda.
WND Keeps Up the Imeachment Hypocrisy Topic: WorldNetDaily
Joe Kovacs writes in a Nov. 28 WorldNetDaily article:
Donald Trump has not even been inaugurated into office yet, but radio host Rush Limbaugh is predicting a concerted effort by Democrats to impeach him from the presidency.
“I don’t have any doubt that there’s going to be a Democrat effort to impeach Trump,” Limbaugh said on his national broadcast Monday.
And even without any high crimes or misdemeanors committed by the president-elect, Limbaugh said opponents of the Republican will choose another route to push for his ouster.
“I think at the very least, the Democrats are gonna put voter fraud on their list of particulars for impeaching Trump,” he explained.
“They’re already beginning now to establish the evidentiary chain, and one of the elements of this is going to be that he’s illegitimate, that he really didn’t win.”
Oh, the hypocrisy. First, as we've noted, Hillary Clinton wasn't even running for president when WND started agitating for her impeachment. On top of that, WND's Jerome Corsi was touting just a couple days before the November election how "If Hillary Clinton wins the election Tuesday, a prominent Republican member of the House Judiciary Committee says there will be an immediate move to impeach her before she can even be sworn into office Jan. 20."
Second, among the many accusations WND forwarded in his laughable, falsehood-ridden "Case for Impeachment" of Obama was his purported illegitimacy, insisting that "Obama has yet to show anyone a legal, long-form birth certificate demonstrating he was born in the United States" and had only shown "a semi-legal document called a 'Certification of Live Birth' that is not accepted by most courts as legal" (false: it is an acceptable legal document) and that "Obama's legal team has spent close to $2 million fighting numerous eligibility lawsuits rather than simply producing the legal long-form birth certificate and ending the controversy" (false: even WND has never proven that all of the money, paid to a law firm representing Obama's campaign, went toward "eligibility" issues).
If WND didn't have double standards, it wouldn't have any standards at all.
CNS' Starr Misdirects on Pipeline Controversy Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com reporter Penny Starr has been a reliableshill for the oil industry for years, so it's not a surprise what side she's taking on the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline.
In September, for example, Starr gave a platform to the business lobby -- specifically, the National Association of Manufacturers and the Midwest Alliance for Infrastructure Now -- criticizing President Obama's decision to halt the building of the pipeline. Much of her article was devoted to critics of the decision, while just a single paragraph was given to quoting from a statement from the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, which is central to the controversy.
In a Dec. 5 article, though, Starr went on an odd tangent of misdirection:
Native Americans and other activists vow to continue their protest over the final stretch of the Dakota Access pipeline under the Lake Oahe near Standing Rock, N.D., but at another reservation in the state, Native Americans are happy about the prosperity that pipelines have brought to their community.
“One hundred fifty miles up the Missouri River from Standing Rock, pipelines and pumpjacks are plenty on the Fort Berthold reservation,” an article posted on the Inside Energy website on Nov. 23 said.
“More than 4,000 miles of pipe carrying oil, natural gas and wastewater criss-cross the reservation in the heart of the Bakken oil patch,” the article said, noting that Fort Berthold is home to the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara tribes — known as MHA Nation.
But Starr omits the fact that the situation with the Dakota Access pipeline and the Standing Rock reservation is completely different from that of the Fort Berthold reservation. The pipeline as proposed does not cross the Standing Rock reservation as currently constituted; it does, however, cross tribal land the Standing Rock Sioux claim was promised to them in an 1851 treaty but instead provided to white settlers, land the tribe claims contains ancient burial mounds and other historial artifacts. The tribe also asserts that federal officials made little effort to consult the tribe about the pipeline's route.
When Starr did bother to devote significant space to the tribe's side of the pipeline controversy, it was in order to paint it as extremist. A Nov. 23 article cited "a director at a liberal think tank in Washington, D.C." who claimed that "white privilege and white supremacy" led to the creation of the pipeline "and compared it to building a pipeline under Arlington Cemetery and across the Potomac River."
So, yeah, more biased reporting from Starr designed to present only one side -- the side she's getting paid to report favorably about -- as reasonable.
The establishment media are lashing out in the aftermath of the stunning 2016 presidential-election result, which it almost unanimously had discounted as impossible, demanding sanctions against so-called “fake news” websites.
But the hysteria may have more to do with fear of competition than with the pursuit of truth, as independent news organizations such as WND are soaring in both traffic and reader engagement. And the growth of WND is continuing even after the election.
According to Alexa, WND is now the 187th most popular site of all websites in the United States and in the top 1,500 group of all websites globally.
Actually, WND hasn't been maintaining its election-driven traffic boost. While it may have been ranked No. 187 at the time of the article, it's currently ranked No. 259 and falling.
WND immediately uses that ranking to play the victim:
Despite, or perhaps because of, this growth, WND, along with sites such as Breitbart, Red State and the Daily Wire have been smeared as “fake news” sites since the election, even though the definition seems to have more to do with ideology than accuracy.
Google and Facebook have also said they will be targeting revenue sources for so-called “fake news” sites.
The brief moment of self-criticism the establishment media engaged in after the election has ended, as outlets such as the Times now demand Facebook and other social networking titans essentially shut down competitors.
The move is coupled with a campaign to label independent journalism as “hate speech,” an accusation leveled at Breitbart and also WND.
And it wouldn't be WND if there wasn't a massive dose of self-aggrandizement to go along with this desperate self-promotion:
“WND has always – for 20 years – risen to the top of the charts for political coverage during presidential election years,” said Joseph Farah, founder, editor and chief executive officer of the pioneering alternative news site. “But this year the growth trend continues after the election. This is something we’ve never seen before. Perhaps Americans are finally getting the message: What we euphemistically call the ‘mainstream media’ is the real purveyor of ‘fake news.’ If you want to the truth, the real story, you’ve got to look for alternative sources of news. And WND, from the beginning, has been the place of refuge for real journalists with experience and values and professional standards.”
This time, it really is different. Almost 70 percent of voters believe the news media is not “honest and truthful” and almost 80 percent say it is “biased.”
With the establishment media’s credibility destroyed, Americans are turning to WND, a trusted source that has been around almost since the beginning of the Internet. Now, the facts show WND is the real mainstream when it comes to where Americans go to get the real news.
CNS Laughably Portrays Obama As 'Dictatorial Tyrant' Topic: CNSNews.com
It's pure opinion -- and a ridiculous, unsupported one at that -- but CNSNews.com portrayed it as news. Penny Starr wrote in a Dec. 2 CNS "news" article:
Conservative attorney Cleta Mitchell said on Friday that Barack Obama has acted more like a dictator than a president, and that President-elect Donald Trump should make it a priority to “restore the rule of law.”
“We have been living under a dictatorial tyrant for the last eight years,” Mitchell said at the Conservative Women’s Network event, co-hosted by the Clare Boothe Luce Policy Institute and the Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C.
“And one of the most important things that Donald Trump can do as president is to restore the rule of law,” Mitchell said.
“As an attorney I’m going to tell you that the most important thing that Donald Trump can do … and that is to restore the rule of law in America,” said Mitchell, who has represented the National Republican Senatorial Committee, the National Republican Congressional Committee, the National Rifle Association and many Republican members of the U.S. Congress.
“America is a nation of laws, not of men,” Mitchell said. “But what we’ve seen in the last eight years is a president with a cell phone and a pen who has made law as though he were an emperor and a complicit liberal media that has found that completely acceptable.”
Mitchell said if Trump were to govern with a cell phone and a pen his critics would accuse him of acting as a dictator. But it is Obama, Mitchell said, who has conducted the office of the presidency in that manner.
“We have been living under a dictatorial tyrant for the last eight years,” Mitchell said. “And one of the most important things that Donald Trump can do as president is to restore the rule of law.”
Starr cites -- and Mitchell apparently didn't provide -- any example of Obama governing like a "dictatorial tyrant." The "cell phone and a pen" is a reference to Obama's decision to use executive orders and work with outside groups in the face of the Republican Congress' unwillingness to work with him on legislation. Both actions are legal and constitutional -- in other words, the complete opposite of a "dictatorial tyrant."
But Starr was once again in stenography mode, and she treated Mitchell's words as undisputed and unimpeachable. If Starr were a real reporter, she would have interviewed others at the conservative event she attended to gauge reaction to Mitchell's ludicrous statement -- but she couldn't be bothered.
But then, stenography to attack Democrats and in the service of Republicans is how CNS rolls these days.
WND's Farah Can't Prove Illegal Votes for Hillary Either Topic: WorldNetDaily
Last week, we caught WorldNetDaily trying to fearmonger about the specter of illegal voting in the presidential election -- but couldn't come up with any evidence to back it up, only a lot of speculation by right-wingers.
Now, WND editor Joseph Farah takes a whack at it in his Dec. 5 column:
Donald Trump tweeted a week ago that he won the popular vote on Election Day “if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally.”
Of course, the media went ballistic over this comment.
Even the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, in reporting his comment in a news story had this to say: “There has been no evidence of the widespread voter fraud that would have had to taken place to give Clinton millions of illegitimate votes.”
But is Trump’s statement likely true?
We may never know, but I suspect he’s right.
Personally, I would be shocked to learn that there weren’t at least 2 million votes cast for Hillary Clinton that were invalid.
In other words, he can't prove anything either.
Farah goes on to do a lot of ranting about the need for voter ID laws, asserting that "If we’re ever going to have a free and fair election again in this country, we need all states requiring proper ID." In fact, the kind of in-person voter fraud voter ID laws would ostensibly prevent is incredibly rare.
Finally, Farah declares that his utter lack of evidence is irrelevant, but the perception of illegal voting (never mind that it's a false one) does: "Even if there is any doubt about the extent of such illegal voting, it must be stopped cold to preserve constitutional integrity."