CNS Writer Keeps Up His Tim Tebow Obsession Topic: CNSNews.com
The Media Research Center has a bit of a thing for largely failed pro athlete Tim Tebow (because he's overtly Christian, doncha know), touting his accomplishments however minor (His first at-bat in the minor leagues was a homer!) and making sure to keep mum about the fact that as a pro athlete, he's less than stellar (.194 batting average in the Arizona Fall League).
But since there's little going on in Tebow's present to write about these days, Michael Morris, the chief Tebow-touter at CNSNews.com, has decided to dip into a little Tebow nostalgia, reliving the one shining moment of Tebow's NFL career:
In an interview with Harry Connick Jr. on HarryTV, Tim Tebow explained the amazing 316 stat-line “coincidence” that occurred during his playoff win over the Pittsburgh Steelers exactly three years after wearing “3:16” in his Florida Gators National Championship game saying, “A lot of people will say it’s coincidence – I say, big God.”
“And during the game 90 million people had already Googled John 3:16,” said Tim Tebow. “It was the number one trending thing on Facebook and Twitter. And a lot of people will say it’s coincidence – I say, big God.”
The fact that Morris had to go to the web adjunt of a syndicated daytime talk show hosted by Harry Connick Jr. for this tidbit shows just how obsessed he is with Tebow.
WND Freaking Out Over Lobbying of Presidential Electors (Like WND Did in 2008) Topic: WorldNetDaily
Bob Unruh intoned in a Dec. 12 WorldNetDaily article: "The resounding 306 electoral votes Donald Trump earned on Election Day and Hillary Clinton’s concession speech seem a distant memory now as the Democratic Party nominee, President Obama and others employ various measures to keep Trump out of the Oval Office or at least delegitimize his presidency." Among those "measures" is lobbying of the Electoral College to get Trump electors to change their votes.
Unruh doesn't mention that WND attempted to do that very thing in 2008 -- employing various measures to keep Obama out of the Oval Office or at least delegitimize his presidency. As we've documented, key among those was a "FedEx letter drive directed at individual electors" to get them to change their pro-Obama votes over birtherism. WND touted how it "was able to track down addresses for all 538 electors" so readers could pay WND money to spam them with bulk letters demanding that they change their vote.
WND editor Joseph Farah asserted in promoting this letter campaign (which grossed WND a tidy sum, which made it just as much a business venture as political statemenet) that "never before has there been serious concern about the eligibility of the winning candidate" and "If there is any doubt, electors have a sworn duty to find out."
Farah will never say such a thing now, of course. Unruh's article notes that 29 electors want to learn more "information on the allegations that Russia was working on behalf of Donald Trump."But instead of praising the electors' "sworn duty to find out" if the charges are true, he denounced electors who "reject the voters’ wishes" and repeated earlier attacks on the CIA findings.
Unruh even tried to blame the Democratic Party for reported death threats to electors, writing that "The Democratic campaign to refuse to recognize the 2016 election will of America has included threats to the electors." The WND article to which Unruh links to back up the charges does not claim that any Democrat, prominent or otherwise, issued a death threat or encouraged anyone else to do so.
WND's Garth Kant followed up by going into full freak-out mode in an article tagged "Hillary Junta" and headline "SHOCKING SCHEME TO STEAL THE PRESIDENCY":
The plan is to prevent Donald Trump from becoming president by denying him a victory in the Electoral College, possibly throwing the election into the House of Representatives.
The plan is actually the brainchild of Democrats who call themselves “The Hamilton Electors.”
With the Electoral College vote looming on Monday, the pressing question is: How plausible is the plan?
Most experts commenting in the media say it is unlikely, but there is at least one bit of news that suggests the plan’s plausibility may be increasing rapidly before the Monday deadline.
Like his WND co-worker, Kant also failed to mention that his employer engaged in a similar scheme to steal the presidency in 2008. Still he uniroincally huffs:
Twenty-nine states and the District of Columbia have laws requiring their electors to cast ballots for the winner of the popular vote.
Having apparently lost in the court of law, the movement to block Trump appears to be focusing efforts on the court of public opinion.
And targeting electors directly.
You know, like WND did in 2008.
Kant followed up with an article cheering an "informal survey of voters in the Electoral College" showing they're unlikely to change votes. But wierdly, Kant doesn't mention the Russian hacking that may have gotten Trump elected -- the main concern electors have expressed.
Like Unruh, Kant claims without evidence that Democrats are "threatening" electors. And, again, he doesn't mention that his employer lobbied the Electoral College in 2008.
Newsmax Opposes Time Warner-AT&T Merger Topic: Newsmax
Newsmax will oppose the proposed merger of Time Warner and AT&T. It broke that news in the strangest way -- not by reporting it directly but by quoting Fox Business quoting Newsmax's Christophery Ruddy talking about it. From a Dec. 7 Newsmax article by Greg Richter:
The proposed merger between AT&T and Time Warner would be bad for competition and would "promote liberal CNN," Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy said.
Fox Business Network's Charles Gasparino reported on his network Wednesday that Ruddy is opposed to the deal and is willing to join with a growing group of conservative and liberal critics who oppose the plan.
Michael Reagan, son of the late president and a conservative commentator, wrote an op-ed Wednesday opposing the $85 billion deal as Senate judiciary hearings were set to begin.
The deal would mean that AT&T, as the acquiring company in the proposal, would control around 25 percent of all cable and satellite traffic across the United States (AT&T also owns DirecTV).
At the same time, AT&T would own several powerful content channels like CNN and HBO.
That combination will give the new merged AT&T powerful leverage over the market and competitions, something Ruddy and other critics are worried about.
"Conservative media outlet Newsmax plans to oppose this," Gasparino reported. "Newsmax's CEO Chris Ruddy … he's planning to use all the leverage he has, from his network, his website, and possibly his lobbying effort.
"He says that this deal will stifle competition and promote liberal CNN."
Richter (and Gasparino) also made sure to include Ruddy's connections to President-elect Donald Trump:
Gasparino noted that President-elect Donald Trump is opposed to the deal, and said Ruddy "has close ties with Trump. He was at Mar-a-Lago during Thanksgiving. He was asked by Donald Trump who he should pick for secretary of state
"This guy has Trump's ear, so he is going use that ear to try to kill this deal."
As befits a media mogul trying to stop a deal regarding one of his alleged competitors and with the president-elect's ear, Newsmax has been cranking out op-eds and articles attacking the deal:
But there's also a Dec. 12 Newsmax article that lists "several issues on which Democrats and Trump agree," one of which is "Preventing the merger of AT&T and Time Warner."
That means Ruddy and Newsmax are once again putting its conservative credentials in danger (as if being a buddy of Bill Clinton wasn't enough).
UPDATE: But then, this appears to be a play to get better and increased carriage of Newsmax TV. Earlier this year, Newsmax was embroiled in a dispute with Dish Network over placement of the channel there (which mainly came down to Newsmax wanting to stop paying Dish Network to air it). Newsmax promoted negative news about Dish Network during the dispute.
AT&T-owned DirecTV also dropped Newsmax TV in August -- which somehow didn't get mention in the above articles opposing the merger -- presumably because of a similar dispute over paying for carriage. It has since published negative news about DirecTV too.
WND Defends Trump -- And Russia -- Over Hacking Allegations Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily has taken a shine to Russia's Vladimir Putin in recent years. One WND columnist defended Putin's prosecution of the punk band Pussy Riot and insisted that Putln is "simply a Russian nationalist, doing his best to strengthen his own country’s interests." And WND editor Joseph Farah effectively cheered Putin's aggressive military actions in Ukraine against Hillary clinton's criticism of it: "And is it wrong for a leader of a modern state to seek to restore greatness to his own country? ... Wouldn’t it be a wonderful thing if Hillary’s party took such an attitude toward their own country?"
So it seems WND's fealty toward Russia is based in part on reflexive liking of whatever Hillary criticizes. Which means it's not really a surprise that WND is taking Donald Trump's -- and Russia's -- side over allegations by the CIA and other intelligence experts that Russians meddled in the U.S. presidential election for the apparent purpose of helping Trump win.
WND kicked off defense mode with an article highlighting the Trump transition team "disputing the truthfulness" of the CIA report. Farah then throws the intelligence community under the bus -- despite the fact that he presumably relies on parts of that same intelligence community to feed him stuff for his G2 Bulletin (the front page of which currently says nothingabout the alleged Russian interference in the U.S. election system).
Farah's Dec. 12 column is a list of "11 reasons not to trust Obama's CIA," all of which are personal attacks on CIA director John Brennan and none of which have anything to do witih what the CIA reported about Russia. One of those attacks is that "One of the FBI’s former top experts on Islam says Brennan converted to Islam years ago in Saudi Arabia." That ex-FBI guy is John Guandolo, who -- as we noted when WND first touted this claim in 2013 -- is a serial philanderer and adulterer who jeopardized a federal investigation by having sex with a witness and trying to get her to donate money to a right-wing "anti-terrorism" organization.Farah, of course, doesn't mention that Guandolo has no credibility, and Snopes points out the claim has never been substantiated.
Nevertheless, Farah rants about Brennan: "He’s a partisan. He’s either a clueless nutcase or just a very dangerous person to have leading agencies like Homeland Security and the CIA. Best case scenario: He’s a partisan hack. Worst case scenario: He’s an anti-American kook who has spilled more security secrets than Aldrich Ames and Robert Hanssen combined – maybe throw Julius and Ethel Rosenberg into the mix, too."
Farah followed up the next day with another list column, this one on "9 facts you should know about these 'Russian hacks'." This time Farah is mostly either making excuses for the Russians ("No one is alleging that the Russians hacked into election computers to change votes"; "America hacks other nations for its own purposes. ... All nations do") and actively praising them for their hacks ("this would be exposing the truth of something the Democrats were trying to hide"). He concludes by complaining, "Do you see why this whole imbroglio over Russian hacks is of less concern to me than what the hacks in the Democratic Party and establishment U.S. media are doing with it?"
In other words, Farah's OK with foreign interference in the U.S. election system because it benefited his candidate.
WND's Greg Corombos called on ostensible hawk Frank Gaffney to comment, and he suddenly stopped being a hawk because, as with Farah, the Russian hacks benefited his candidate:
“It’s fragmentary at best. At worst it’s a lot of hearsay,” Gaffney told WND and Radio America.
“What the public knows is very limited. It really comes down to some press accounts based on unnamed sources in the CIA, people talking about briefings they had from CIA or FBI or others,” Gaffney said.
Gaffney labels Trump’s approach to Russia as “benign” but notes the Obama administration also did its best to make nice with Russian President Vladimir Putin – especially in the early years of this presidency.
“These are the very who in the outgoing administration of Barack Obama have done much to appease and pander to Vladimir Putin. It’s a confused situation, to say the least,” he said.
Unlike Farah, though, Gaffney did concede that the situation needed to be investigated and admitted that "Putin is a dangerous adversary, not a man we can safely do business with."
WND columnist Michael Brown cheered the idea that people seem top trust Trump more than the CIA, declaring that "it’s easy to think that the information linked from unnamed CIA sources is unreliable." He added, "We also should bear in mind that the source for the Russian hacking claims is the liberal, mainstream media, which has also taken a big credibility hit in recent months."
Meanwhile, WND's whitewashing of the incident continued apace:
Bob Unruh touted how "the FBI previously said it couldn’t back the CIA’s conclusion that the Russians hacked the accounts of the Democratic National Committee and party leaders," burying the fact that the FBI disputes only intent, not that Russian hacking occurred.
WND uncritically quoted right-wing radio host Laura Ingraham complaining about "selective moral outrage" regarding Russian hacking.
Another article by Unruh asserted that "claims that the Kremlin hacked the U.S. election to hand the Oval Office to Trump are falling apart," complaining that "It’s getting more complicated than a Robert Ludlum thriller novel."
Yep -- it's clear the Russkies have a good friend in Joseph Farah and his WND.
NewsBusters Scrubs Post's Suggestion That Multiracialism Is A 'Liberal Wish' Topic: NewsBusters
A Dec. 15 NewsBusters post by Karen Townsend complains about the new TV series "Star," asserting that"this show is checking off all the boxes in liberal fantasyland" because it has gay characters and another character who's "active with Black Lives Matter."
But that's not the post that was originally made live at NewsBusters.
The current headline reads, "LGBT Stylists, BLM Activist: Fox’s ‘Star’ Grants Every Liberal Wish." But as the post's URL shows -- as does the NewsBusters feed at CNSNews.com, the headline originally read "LGBT Stylists, BLM Activist, Multi-Racial Girl Group: Fox’s ‘Star’ Grants Every Liberal Wish."
Further, as this website's reposting of the NewsBusters post suggests, the original author's name on the post was Alexa Moutevelis Coombs, not Townsend.
We haven't been able to decipher yet if any content was changed, but if there was a reference to the "multi-racial girl group" in the post itself, it's gone now, beyond a plot reference that "Carlotta brought in Star, a white girl, to work in the black women’s salon."
It seems that after posting, someone at the Media Research Center, which runs NewsBusters, realized that it might not be a good thing for a right-wing site to portray being multiracial as a liberal fantasy. Despite the fact thatthe MRC regularly complains about news organizations updating or correcting articles without disclosing it, there is no notice on the post that it has been changed from its original posting.
We contacted Townsend by Twitter to ask some of these questions, but the post in which tweeted out the original headline has mysteriously disappeared.
So what's the deal here? Somebody's clearly trying to hide something.
WND Weirdly Proud To Not Be (Overtly) Racist Topic: WorldNetDaily
This is from an actual Dec. 11 WorldNetDaily article:
White racists, neo-Nazis and anti-Semites bemoan the fact that they can’t post their hate on WND’s commenting boards but have no problem getting their messages out on CNN, Bloomberg, Businessweek and other so-called “mainstream media” websites, they say in protests of WND’s moderation team.
Here is an excerpt of one note of protest posted on an overtly racist, white supremacist, neo-Nazi and viciously anti-Semitic website called Stormfront:
Joseph Farah, the Christian founder of WND, which is the largest Christian website in the world of any kind – media, ministry, demonization, TV network, etc. – had this to say about the barrage of hate and vitriol his company has had to endure from the haters: “‘The Big Media’ doth protest too much about the alternative media’s role in spreading hate. In fact, you will see the white racists and the neo-Nazis on their own TV programs. They seek them out for interviews. Yet, sites like WND make sure their racist comments always wind up on the cutting-room floor. The haters have no trouble penetrating the likes of Bloomberg, Businessweek or the Telegraph. They are welcome guests there and at other so-called ‘mainstream news’ sites. That’s the truth, that’s the reality of what really goes on behind the scenes.”
“All the while, the establishment media – from CNN to the New York Times – continually attempt to smear the alternative media,” says Farah. “Clearly the shoe is on the other foot. As I’ve noted in my columns in the past, just look at who eagerly provides the platform for these haters.”
Gotta love the article's injection of how both Farah and WND claim to be "Christian," as if Christianity and racism have always been diametrically opposed (not necessarily). But just because WND doesn't embrace neo-Nazis and aggressively removes blatantly racist comments doesn't mean it hasn't engaged in racism.
We've documented how WND for years gave a regularplatform to (and published a book by) Colin Flaherty, who was obsessed with portraying blacks as mob-prone thugs. It also publishes columnists like Jesse Lee Peterson and Mychal Massie who have written things that could be described as racist were they not black right-wingers, and it published a book by WND columnist Jack Cashill that endeavored to portray Trayvon Martin as a scary thug and George Zimmerman as a civil-rights martyr for shooting him.
And the only reason WND didn't go more racist was to preserve its ad revenue. Google AdSense threatened in 2014 to pull its ad program off WND unless the racism -- which most conspicuously manifested itself through Flaherty -- was toned down, and WND backed off. Flaherty disappeared from WND not too long after that. But even then, racist stuff never disappeared from WND; it simply became subtext instead of being blatant. The lack of overt racism at WND, it seems, has less to do with its self-proclaimed Christian priniciples and more to do with maintaining a revenue stream.
And it certainly doesn't mean WND's comment threads aren't filled with muck; for instance, the 1,100-comment-plus thread on a recent WND birther article is chock-full of sleaze; on top of malicious smears like calling Michelle Obama a transsexual, there are instances of veiled racism, such as calling Obama a "Muzziloid."
While Farah and WND will never concede it (publicly, anyway), there was always a racist component to its eight-year birther crusade. WND made sure you knew that Obama was a black man with African ties (Kenya! Kenya!) who may have been born therefor all we know (we know he wasn't) -- a more despicable and blatant example of political "othering" you'd be hard-press to find elsewhere.
But by all means, Mr. Farah, keep pretending that you and WND haven't been caught being racist.
(A side note: Farah doesn't mention that WND also aggressively bans any commenter who writes critical things about WND, which we know from personal experience.)
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?