ConWebBlog: The Weblog of ConWebWatch

your New Media watchdog

ConWebWatch: home | archive/search | about | primer | shop

Friday, December 23, 2016
MRC Takes War-On-Christmas Shot at Univision
Topic: Media Research Center

Apparently, the "War on Christmas" has ended because Donald Trump was elected president. That's the message MRC Latino's Jorge Bonilla seems to be imparting in a Dec. 16 post, in which he's mad that Univision failed to follow the implicit Trump edict that only "Merry Christmas" is permitted by not saying it in its annual holiday video:

Univision continues its gallant resistance against the seismic results of this election. As Donald Trump declares that "It is OK to say Merry Christmas again", Univision responds with a holiday video that bravely transcends "Merry Christmas" and even refuses to wish you "Happy Holidays".

[...]

But this is 2016, and we are talking about Univision. So bound is the network to political correctness that "Merry Christmas" is a non-starter, and "Happy Holidays" is an impossibly heavy lift. And so it is that we end up with the best that Univision can muster this year, "Mejores Deseos (Best Wishes)". The full subtitled video is available here, one minute and 43 seconds of anodyne ambiguous-holiday-flavored treacle that makes Paul McCartney's "Wonderful Christmastime" look like Handel's Messiah in comparison. In fact, "Mejores Deseos" is what you'd probably be left with if you stripped Christmas out of "Wonderful Christmastime".

In and of itself, this video provides a perfect snapshot of the manner in which Univision continues to lose touch with its traditional audience while pursuing the clicks and page views of the "rising American majority". 

Actually, only 29 percent of Hispanics -- near as we can tell, Univision's target audience -- voted for Trump; some argued that Latino support for Trump was less than that. So it's unclear that what Univision chooses to include in its holiday message is an issue for anyone besides right-wingers like Bonilla who get paid to bash Univision.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:31 PM EST
CNS' Jones Plays Stenographer to Distract from Russian Meddling
Topic: CNSNews.com

WorldNetDaily's not the only ConWeb outlet trying to give Donald Trump -- and Russia -- a pass on allegations Russia meddled in the presidential election to boost Trump. CNSNews.com's Susan Jones is taking a crack at it as well.

On Dec. 19, Jones churned out a couple of stenography specials to try and deflect attention from the growing scandal:

  • Jones dutifully transcribed Reince Priebus spinning: "Even this question is insane. Of course we didn't interface with the Russians. I mean, this whole thing is a spin job. And I think what the Democrats ought to do is look in the mirror and face the reality that they lost the election. And they lost the election because they're so and completely out of touch with the American people that they're so shell-shocked and they can't believe it."
  • Jones also transcribed John McCain saying, in her words, that there's no reason to think that Russian activity changed the outcome of the election.
  • Then, on Dec. 20, Jones played stenographer for Republican Rep. Dana Rohrabacher actually excusing Russian meddling in the form of stealing emails from Hillary Clinton's campaign because "The e-mails were factual, and thus the American people, it did not hurt the American people to have more factual information available to them."

Jones, meanwhile, skewed her transcription job on Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta discussing the issue, framing it as him evading a question on whether he thought the election was "free and fair."

Jones, of course, is known for her stenography for Trump and for her snide skewing of the news regarding non-conservatives.

Jones even gave space to someone she identified only as a "Russian reporter named Andre" slagging President Obama in a Dec. 16 article:

A Russian reporter named Andre challenged President Obama's leadership Thursday, running down a list of problems that have worsened on Obama's watch, including relations with Russia and racial tensions in America. "Does he feel any responsibility for all this?" the reporter asked.

Jones undoubtedly approve of the reporter's attack on Obama. If he was saying the same thing about Trump, it would never make the CNS front page.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:17 PM EST
WND Warns of Muslim 'Overthrow' of Trump -- But Farah Prayed for Obama's Death
Topic: WorldNetDaily

An anonymous WorldNetDaily writer was in full pro-Trump -- and anti-Muslim -- mode in a Dec. 18 article:

While the Council on American-Islamic Relations likes to bill itself as a Muslim “civil-rights organization,” it downplays its direct ties to the terrorist group Hamas, its lineage to the Muslim Brotherhood and its extremist history that includes dozens of its executives, board members’ and staffers’ indictments, convictions and prison sentences for terror-related crimes.

But sometimes CAIR leadership lets its guard down.

That’s what happened, apparently, in the early morning hours of Nov. 9, right after the election of Donald Trump as president became clear.

Hussam Ayloush, the long-time director of CAIR-Los Angeles, Tweeted out the following message:

“Ok, repeat after me:
“Al-Shaab yureed isqat al-nizaam.
“(Arab Spring chant)”

The second line in Arabic translates to “The people want to bring down the regime.”

“In other words, Ayloush unambiguously and directly called for the overthrow of the U.S. government,” observes scholar Daniel Pipes of Middle East Forum.

The "threat" here is rather laughable when you consider WND has effectively been calling for the overthrow of President Obama for the past eight years. And it's done worse.

In November 2009, WND editor Joseph Farah began one of his many, many anti-Obama columns with  a segment of Psalm 109: "Let his days be few; and let another take his office."

Now, Farah probably wants you think that's benign -- a 2011 WND article mocked the idea that it could be considered a threat to Obama -- but as we noted, a full reading of that psalm continues:

May his children be fatherless and his wife a widow.

May his children be wandering beggars; may they be driven from their ruined homes.

May a creditor seize all he has; may strangers plunder the fruits of his labor.

May no one extend kindness to him or take pity on his fatherless children.

May his descendants be cut off, their names blotted out from the next generation.

May the iniquity of his fathers be remembered before the LORD; may the sin of his mother never be blotted out.

May their sins always remain before the LORD, that he may cut off the memory of them from the earth.

In other words, not benign. Farah clearly is wishing Obama a very severe sort of ill will, if not his death, by invoking that psalm.

We get the feeling we're going to be spending a lot of time pointing out whenever WND whines about something happening to Trump that it did or tried to do something equivalent to Obama.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:55 AM EST
Thursday, December 22, 2016
MRC's Right-Wing Movie Critic Still Can't Accept All-Female 'Ghostbusters'
Topic: Media Research Center

Several months after it was released, the Media Research Center can't stop dancing on the grave of the all-female reboot of "Ghostbusters."

Despite making $180 million worldwide at the box office and having a 73% positive rating at Rotten Tomatoes, the MRC -- led by right-wing movie critic Christian Toto, who blogs at NewsBusters -- pronounced it a flop because it didn't make back all its filmmaking and marketing expenses and because it was too feminist for the right-wing MRC boys, with Toto insisting in his ideologically motivated review that it relied on "victimization storylines ripped from today’s snowflake-encrusted headlines."

Toto, apparently, isn't done bashing the film. His Dec. 17 NewsBusters post takes a gratiutous shot at director Paul Feig: "Paul Feig can rock a finely tailored suit. He’s far less comfortable defending his Ghostbusters reboot." He then whines that Feig is "insisting recasting an iconic male comedy with women isn’t political. Hogwash."

Toto also sneers at Feig for noting that women were inspired by the movie and told him that If I’d had this movie when I was younger, I would have been an engineer or a scientist now": "Really? Young women need a silly comedy about women busting ghosts to influence their careers? Was the film truly a scientific inspiration, or just a FX-laden lark? Young girls who never saw the new Ghostbusters simply couldn’t imagine a career in science?"

Toto backed off the bashing a bit by the end, conceding that Feig is a "big league talent" who "deserves credit for proving to Hollywood that women can lead major franchises without apology" -- despite the fact the much of his post is devoted to complaing that Feig isn't apologizing for his "Ghostbusters" treatment. But he makes sure to conclude with a parting shot: "He’s still not seeing the wreckage that is the Ghostbusters reboot clearly."

Actually, it appears that Toto is the one who's not seeing things clearly, so blinded by his Breitbart-inspired right-wing ideology that he's unable to keep from injecting in his movie reviews.


Posted by Terry K. at 4:46 PM EST
WND's Hohmann Fears Trump Won't Hate Muslims As Much As He Promised
Topic: WorldNetDaily

The panic is almost palpable from Leo Hohmann in his Dec. 8 WorldNetDaily article:

Donald Trump made statements to Time magazine in its “person of the year” article that reverberated with great trepidation across red states that elected him the next president of the United States just one month ago.

The president-elect promised to “work something out” for so-called “dreamers,” brought here illegally as children by their parents.

“We’re going to work something out that’s going to make people happy and proud,” Trump said. “They got brought here at a very young age, they’ve worked here, they’ve gone to school here. Some were good students. Some have wonderful jobs. And they’re in never-never land because they don’t know what’s going to happen.”

Trump’s advisers scrambled to walk back his comments, with one transition aide demanding anonymity to deny that Trump intended to set any new policy, CBS News reported.

The comments to Time add to the growing uneasiness among conservatives wary that Trump might not fulfill some of his most basic campaign promises.

Will he build the wall? Will he rescind Obama’s DACA edict offering amnesty to young illegals? Will he deport illegal aliens, or at least the 2 to 3 million criminal aliens?

Will he halt or at least reduce the number of Muslim migrants coming to the U.S. every year on green cards, a number that has soared to more than 130,000 annually under President Obama, or will he settle for “extreme vetting?”

Extreme vetting, after all, would have stopped few if any of the recent Muslim terror attacks on U.S. soil – the Boston Marathon bombing, the Chattanooga shooting, the University of California Merced knife attack, the San Bernardino shooting, the Orlando nightclub massacre, the St. Cloud mall attack, the Manhattan pipe-bombing, or the Ohio State knife attack. All of these attacks were carried out by young men who migrated to the U.S. when they were boys, too young to establish any vettable history, or were born here to immigrant parents.

Hohmann -- WND's resident Islamophobe masquerading as a reporter with standards -- really is afraid that Trump won't hate Muslims as much as he promised during the campaign ... and, more importantly, as much as Hohmann does.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:44 PM EST
The MRC's Latest Heathering Target: A Conservative Blogger Who Won't Blindly Support Trump
Topic: Media Research Center

Conservative Washington Post blogger Jennifer Rubin has regularly been a target of the Media Research Center's Heathering -- its campaign of attacking conservatives it deems insufficiently loyal to right-wing orthodoxy. For example, the MRC's Tim Graham complained that Rubin in 2012 said that "every conservative presidential contender was unelectable except Mitt Romney, who was neither conservative nor electable, as it turned out" (though the latter didn't stop the MRC from supporting him in the 2012 election), and that she said mean things about Ted Cruz (who turned out in 2016 to be the former but most definitely not the latter).

Rubin and MRC chief Brent Bozell once held the same belief about Donald Trump: that he was neither conservative nor electable. Bozell changed his mind about that, embracing the "electable" part and all too happy to let conservative purity slide (the siren call of a certain big-bucks MRC donor and Trump supporter seems to have played a role), while Rubin remained a Trump critic through the election.

Cue the Heathering, because apparently it's conservative to embrace the pursuit of power over deeply held principles. And Rubin got a chunk of it during the campaign for failing to climb aboard the Trump train:

  • In August, Brad Wilmouth sneered that she was an "allegedly right-leaning columnist" and complained that she (accurately) pointed out that Steve Bannon, before joining Trump's campaign, ran a website that "attracted a very anti-Semitic, anti-minority clique called the 'alt-right.'"
  • In October, P.J. Gladnick derided Rubin as "'conservative' in the same sense that David Brooks is 'conservative,'" then rather narrowly focused on a tiny part of a Rubin appearance on "The O'Reilly Factor" in which she "struggled in a most hilarious fumbling way ... to find a quote where the host supposedly made excuses for 'lock her up'" while ignoring that that she called Bill O'Reilly out for his pro-Trump bias.

When Rubin wouldn't stop criticizing Trump even after his election victory, Rubin remained a Heathering target. In a Nov. 20 post, Wilmouth made his snide "allegedly right-leaning" comment again as he groused that Rubin "played the racism card" by (correctly) pointing out that Trump's immigration policy is obsessed with Mexicans.

On Nov. 26, Trump fanboy and apologist Jeffrey Lord called Rubin an "establishment Republican columnist" and bizarrely claimed she was "normalizing racism" by pointing out that Trump's base of Republican support is "White, unhinged men, most well past their prime, acting abusively toward women."Lord ranted that "The line was so casually racist, sexist and ageist," while quickly changing the subject to Michelle Obama taking her daughter to a concert by Beyonce and Jay-Z.

And on Dec. 11, Wilmouth was back to sneer once again that Rubin is "allegedly right-leaning" and complain that Rubin (accurately) pointed out that Trump's Cabinet picks included "ignoramuses, billionaires, and a few generals." Wilmouth didn't dispute any of it -- he's just mad she said it in public, apparently.

That's the price Rubin is paying for holding to the conservative prinicples Bozell abandoned in a pursuit of power -- which makes all the MRC's sneering that she's "allegedly" conservative all the more sadly ironic.

Expect much more of this as the Trump presidency continues -- and sooner rather than later. A Dec. 19 CNN Money article details her journey from Romney shill to Trump critic, and she has a few choice words for her fellow conservatives, particularly the ones at a certain media watchdog group:

After frequently complaining about the press coverage of Romney in 2012, Rubin now sees problems with the right's media criticism.

"I think it's very difficult for many in the conservative movement to get away from this obsessive blame the mainstream media habit," she said. "I don't think it's particularly productive. I think there is bias, and there's also good honest reporting. Of course, in this election, Trump blames the media for accurately reporting and playing back what he has said."

Tim Graham's probably sharpening up his Heathering stick as we speak.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:06 AM EST
Updated: Thursday, December 22, 2016 12:09 AM EST
Wednesday, December 21, 2016
So, WND, About Those '10 Experts and Analysts Who Doubt Obama's Birth Certificate'...
Topic: WorldNetDaily

A Dec. 15 WorldNetDaily article, published along with last week's bogus birther presser, touts "10 experts and analysts who doubt Obama's birth certificate," declaring:

Is President Obama’s White House-released birth certificate really just a forgery and one of the biggest frauds perpetrated on the American people?

At least 10 researchers, analysts and document experts have questioned the validity of the birth certificate Obama released online in 2011.

but a closer look at these "experts and analysts" reveals a much different story -- one that WND doesn't want to tell.

First up is Ron Polland, who WND claims is "known for his forensic investigation of Obama’s short-form birth certificate, constructed from scratch a duplicate of the document released by the White House, seeking to validate his contention that it was created by a forger." It goes on to claim that "Polland demonstrated that during the 2008 presidential election race, the Obama campaign posted an image of a short-form Obama Certification of Live Birth that actually was a forgery created by Polland, not a scan of an original certificate obtained from the Hawaii Department of Health.

In fact, as Dr. Conspiracy documents, it's far from clear that the Obama campaign ever posted Polland's fake document, and Polland never offered definitive proof of it. As far as Polland's "forensic investigation of Obama’s short-form birth certificate" -- done under the pseudonym "Polarik" -- that investigation was definitively discredited.

Next up is Mara Zebest, "a nationally recognized computer expert who served as contributing author and technical editor for more than 100 books on Adobe and Microsoft software." As we noted when WND dragged her along for its birther lawsuit dog-and-pony show in 2011, we could find no documented expertise in PDF files or the Adobe Acrobat software used to create them (though she claimed she had some). She also claimed that the long-form Obama birth certificate was created in Adobe Photoshop, even though the document's properties show it was created in a different program.

Then there's this guy:

WND reported when Ivan Zatkovich, of Tampa-based eComp Consultants, analyzed the analyzed the various layers in the PDF file released by the White House, and concluded: “The content clearly indicates that the document was knowingly and explicitly edited and modified before it was placed on the web.”

Zatkovich later told Dr. Conspiracy that WND's report on his findings was cherry-picked for the most damning evidence, and that he actually concluded that "All of the modifications to the PDF document that can be identified are consistent with someone enhancing the legibility of the document." WND also wouldn't publish the full report Zatkovich provided to WND, presumably for those reasons.

And another old friend pops up:

As WND reported, Hawaii elections clerk Tim Adams signed an affidavit swearing he was told by his supervisors in Hawaii that no long-form, hospital-generated birth certificate existed for Obama in Hawaii and that neither Queens Medical Center nor Kapi’olani Medical Center in Honolulu had any record of Obama having been born in their medical facilities.

As we documented, Adams first started making his claims on a white nationalist radio show, and Adams was never in any top-level election position while in Hawaii -- his boss confirmed he was a temp, a low-level data-entry clerk. And that affidavit? It was proffered by WND itself; Adams confirmed that "someone associated with WorldNetDaily" drew it up and had him sign it.

WND rattles through a few more so-called "experts" like Doug Vogt, Karl Denninger, Tom Harrison, Israel Hanukoglu and Paul Irey. Needless to say,  WND has censored any mention of the evidence that discredits these "experts."

The article is padded out with Joe Arpaio and posse leader Mike Zullo.

In short: They aren't "experts," they're conspiracy-mongers, and WND has once again tried to give them credibility they haven't earned and don't deserve.

Despite publishing all these birther conspiracies, WND continues to whine about being labeled as a purveyor of fake news. Funny, that.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:49 PM EST
CNS Is 5 Months Late In Issuing Biased Attack On State Dept.
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com managing editor Michael W. Chapman writes in a Dec. 12 article:

According to the U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations (PSI), the State Department gave $349,276 in U.S. taxpayer-funded grants to a political group in Israel to build a campaign operation, which subsequently was used to try to influence Israelis to vote against conservative Benjamin Netanyahu in the March 2015 election for prime minister.

If this story sounds familiar, that's because it is: WorldNetDaily covered it back in July. In other words, the WND-ization of the Media Research Center is continuing apace.

And like WND, Chapman de-emphasizes the fact that the State Department's funding of the Israeli group One Voice had nothing to do with the group's anti-Netanyahu campaign and involved a separate project. Chapman unprofessionally puts in bold italic statements like "OneVoice used the campaign infrastructure and resources built, in part, with State Department grants funds to support V15" but not statements like "no evidence that OneVoice spent grant funds to influence the 2015 Israeli elections."

Chapman also uncritically quotes Republican Sen. Rob Portman saying, "American resources should be used to help our allies in the region, not undermine them." But Israel as a whole is the ally in question, not just Netanyahu. Is Portman saying that any Israeli politician who opposes Netanyahu is an enemy of the U.S. 

If so, Chapman apparently agrees with the sentiment.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:14 PM EST
NEW ARTICLE: Faking It at WND
Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily complains about being lumped in with providers of "fake news" -- even as it's serving up fake news to its readers. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 8:45 AM EST
Tuesday, December 20, 2016
MRC's Bozell Trying to Make Political Hay Over Facebook's Fake-News Fight
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center has long endeavored to make Facebook's fight against fake news a politically charged one, and is not interested at all in having an honest discussion about it.

So when Facebook announced it would be partnering with the Associated Press, Snopes, FactCheck.org, ABC News, and PolitiFact -- all signatories to Poynter’s International Fact Checking Code of Principles -- to target fake news, it worked to make that a partisan issue as well. MRC chief Brent Bozell's initial response to the Facebook announcement was relatively restrained, but he made his political point:

I have been in communication with Mark Zuckerberg at Facebook since he announced their new ‘fake news’ initiative. I expressed grave concern with this decision and the liberal 'fact-checking' organizations Facebook has chosen. Mr. Zuckerberg assured me that his express aim is to eliminate only patently false news stories from Facebook. He underscored he has instructed these organizations to focus only on truly fake news and nothing of a political nature. I will accept in good faith his commitment  to address our concerns on this matter. It is my hope this will be the last we say about this issue.

No mention of course, of how Bozell and his group of right-wingers apparently intimidated Facebook so much earlier this year in trying to capitalize on claims that Facebook's trending-news feed was alleggedly biased that it was afraid to make fixes to its news feed during the election that would have curbed fake news on Facebook lest Bozell's brigade use them as a political pinata again.

In other words, Bozell helped create the current fake-news problem, and he has yet to own up to it.

Nevertheless, this is most certainly not the last Bozell has to say on the issue. On Dec. 18, MSNBC's Joy Reid accused Bozell and other conservatives of "essentially sort of conceding the fact that a lot of the things that are put out on the right aren't real, but he wants them to be prominent in people's feeds."

It's an overstated claim but not inaccurate, given Bozell's fervent desire to politicize the issue. Still, the MRC freaked out anyway. Brad Wilmouth huffed: "Reid did not mention concerns by conservatives that Politifact and other third-party groups that would assist Facebook in its fact-checking have a substantial liberal bias, raising doubts about whether they could be trusted to fact-check evenhandedly between right-wing and left-wing news sources."

Then Bozell predictably chimed in, adding a graguitous side shot at former CNN president Jonathan Klein, who was a panelist on Reid's show:

I didn't essentially sort of concede diddly. I expressed that while 'fake news' does exist, and is a problem, and should be stopped, it is also true that there are those on the left politicizing the issue for partisan political gain, and when liberal outlets are assigned fact-checking oversight, that in itself becomes a new problem. I cannot think of a better example than the blather by Joy Reid on Sunday. Her statement was completely false. Should I call it 'fake news'? As for Jon Klein, who cares what he thinks? You can't fall lower than having the title 'former CNN.'

By the way, despite all of their whining, neither Bozell nor the MRC has definitively proven that any of the websites Facebook is using in its fake-news initiative are "liberal outlets." That's simply an extension of its war on facts driven by the need to cover up for Trump's constant lies.

(As part of that, the MRC's Tim Graham on Dec. 16 touted an attack on PolitiFact by right-winger Mollie Hemingway, which is little more than pedantic hair-splitting over Planned Parenthood and mammograms.)

Bozell then ran to the cozy confines of Fox Business to deny what he said earlier about fake news existing and being an actual problem:

But here is the thing, fake news actually in reality it's not that big a deal. The site denverguardian.com, it actually did the best, ranked 92,000 in web traffic. In other words, people go to 91 other sites — 91,000 other sites before they go to this fake one. The Patriot News Agency, another one that’s fake, it ranks nearly 185,000 and has a total of 113 likes — a whopping 113 on Facebook...So real news sites, to keep it in perspective, a site FoxNews.com is in the top of one hundred. So, the point being really no one goes to these fake sites[.]

[...]

Look, fake news exists. It is the story of the Pope endorsing Donald Trump. These are these clickbait organizations, you click on there so they can sell you a product. That is fake news. That needs to be exposed and that needs to be flushed down the toilet, but that’s not a huge issue. If that's all we were talking about, fine, what they’re talking about is going after conservative organizations and conservative thought because it's quote, unquote, fake news.

The MRC cited as evidence an article from the Daily Caller, which got its traffic counts from Alexa -- considered to be a bit dubious -- and which apparently didn't factor traffic counts before the election and traffic referrals from Facebook.

Also, as we've noted, NewsBusters most certainly did push fake news during the election, in the form of the bogus Fox News story about Hillary Clinton's purportedly imminent indictment.

Bozell then invoked the dark specter of "ultra-liberal billionaire" George Soros and complained that it's the left, not him, that's politicizing the fake news issue:

You're already seeing reporters doing this. MSNBC tried it this morning on me. You now have left-wing organizations influencing the advertising community with some of these fact-checking organizations. They have put Breitbart on the list. They have put my organization — NewsBusters — on the list, so this is censorship. This is serious business and these left-wingers need to be exposed. I hate to say it, this goes all the way to President Obama who’s been using this language. 

The MRC never issued a full correction or apology for promoting the bogus Fox News story. Unless Bozell can fully come to terms with his own organization's role in pushing fake news for the benefit of Trump, he has no moral high ground he can occupy on this issue.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:31 PM EST
WND Repeats Botched Attacks on Media Matters
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Let's see how much Bob Unruh gets wrong in just the first two paragraphs of his Dec. 6 WorldNetDaily article, shall we?

Media Matters, the far-left organization that monitors media, was caught a few years ago promoting as fact the disputed claim that the White House talking points on the Benghazi attack were edited to preserve a criminal investigation.

Then it was caught fabricating quotes to smear a Hillary Clinton critic, and later founder David Brock admitted his nonprofit organization defended Clinton from political attack, apparently in defiance of federal requirements that nonprofits avoid taking sides.

The first paragraph links as evidence to a 2013 WND article by Aaron Klein, who was attacking a Media Matters e-book debunking myths about Benghazi. Klein did indeed dispute theclaim that the talking points were "edited to preserve a criminal investigation," he does not prove it wrong -- he offered only contradictory speculation. Media Matters pointed that out again in an article critiquing Klein's own Benghazi book published in 2014.

Unruh's claim that Media Matters was "caught fabricating quotes to smear a Hillary Clinton critic" is itself a falsehood. He linked to a 2014 WND article noting a separate Media Matters critique of Klein's Benghazi book,  taking issue with a statement that Klein "suggested that [former CIA deputy director Michael] Morell was ‘given’ his new job at the consulting firm Beacon Global Strategies (co-founded by Philippe Reines, a Clinton adviser), ‘in exchange for his silence in the talking points scandal.'” WND huffed in response: "Klein’s book never states Morell was 'given' his job, nor does the quote 'in exchange for his silence in the talking points scandal' appear anywhere in the book."

In fact, as we documented at the time, the following line appears on page 177 of Klein's "The Real Benghazi Story": "Morell later reemerged as a counselor to Beacon Global Strategies, a consult group particularly close to Hillary Clinton. Was Morell given this job in exchange for his silence in the talking points scandal?" Apparently WND didn't read the book it published.

The claim that Brock said Media Matters "admitted his nonprofit organization defended Clinton from political attack" is simply bad reporting. Unruh links to a June 2015 article by Cheryl Chumley making the claim.

But Chumley quotes Brock discussing how "our organizations ... have led the way in exposing the fraudulence of the Benghazi investigation itself." As he hinted at -- and which Chumley apparently didn't understand because she didn't look into the statement -- Brock runs a number of organizations, one of which is Correct the Record, whose pro-Hillary bent has been pronounced. It's also run separately from Media Matters and has a different tax status that permits increased political advocacy.

(We'd also add that Media Matters is "far-left" only in the eyes of far-righters like Unruh.)

After these two paragraphs of fake news, Unruh uniroinically complains that Media Matters is changing its focus to more closely examine fake news, going on to whine: "Media Matters’ idea of 'fake news,' however, is more along the lines of the Drudge Report; WND, the online news pioneer that is approaching its 20th anniversary; Breitbart; and other Internet media outlets that compete successfully with America’s establishment media."

Well, yes, because WND publishes so much of it. Remember when WND columnist Jack Cashill published a badly Photoshopped picture to back up his utterly false claim that a picture of a young Barack Obama and his grandparents was itself badly Photoshopped (except that the photo he claimed wasn't Photoshopped somehow contained Obama's knee)? Good times.

(Disclosure: I used to work for Media Matters.)


Posted by Terry K. at 2:25 PM EST
CNS' Mel Gibson Fanboy Strikes Again
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com blogger Mark Judge has proven himself to be a serious Mel Gibson fanboy, promoting his new and planned film projects while remaining utterly silent about his ugly personal history of anti-Semitism and viciousness toward an ex-girlfriend.

Judge performs this feat again in a Dec. 12 CNS blog post touting how Gibson's new film "Hacksaw Ridge" was nominated for three Golden Globe awards. Judge obsequiously added: "Gibson won the Golden Globe for best director in 1995 for “Braveheart,” then went on that year to win the Academy Awards for Best Picture and Best Director."

What he doesn't mention, of course, is that ugly past, even though "Hacksaw Ridge" is considered to be something of a comeback film for Gibson from all of that.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:42 AM EST
Monday, December 19, 2016
WND's Farah Complains Trump Critics Are Behaving Like He Did Against Obama
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Joseph Farah rants in his Dec. 16 WorldNetDaily column:

Let’s be honest and realistic about what is taking place in America today – about one month before the new duly elected president is to be sworn into office.

We’re in the throes of a coup, a junta, an effort to derail the constitutional election process by hook or crook, a dishonest, by-any-means-necessary, banana-republic-style power play, unlike anything we’ve seen in the traditions of American politics in 240 years.

Do I have it about right?

Would you agree?

[...]

There’s an unprecedented, active political campaign to turn Electoral College representatives sworn to Trump away from him. Why? Not because the vote was rigged, not because the election system was hacked, not because he won the votes fraudulently, but simply because they don’t really like him. Is this kind of behavior in the spirit of America’s proud tradition of peaceful transitions of power? Of course not.

Unprecedented? Has Farah forgotten his big lobbying effort in 2008 to try to get the Electoral College not to vote for Barack Obama, in which WND coordinated thte sending of more than 3,600 letters to electors begging them to excercise their "sworn duty" to find out whether Obama was born in the U.S.?

Farah unironically continues:

The Big Media that were in the tank for Hillary Clinton throughout the campaign is not giving up, either. Instead, they are whipping up hysteria about unproven, unsubstantiated, sourceless, “fake news” stories about a fantasy conspiracy by Russia, and now specifically Vladimir Putin, to hack the Democratic National Committee and release embarrassing emails through WikiLeaks.

"Unproven, unsubstantiated, sourceless"? There's more proof of Russian meddling into the election process than there was that Obama's birth certificate is a forgery. (which, by the way, is even more "unproven, unsubstantiated, sourceless" because the Cold Case Posse is refusing to make all of its so-called evidence public.)

Undaunted, Farah keeps writing:

The disappointed supporters of Hillary Clinton and the strong opponents of Donald Trump continue to be whipped up into a frenzy that is profoundly dangerous to the peaceful transition of power. The goal seems to be continuing unrest, chaos, civil strife, permanent disenchantment – all supported by a tacit Hillary Clinton and an active Democratic Party political establishment characterizing the Russian hacking fantasy as “bigger than Watergate, bigger than 9/11.” Excuse me? If this is not conspiracy mongering and “fake news,” what truly is? Where is the evidence? What laws were broken? Who has been indicted? And why the Democrats’ sudden outrage about alleged foreign involvement in an election when, in the past, they have courted such involvement and pushed U.S. policies to involve the government in the elections of other nations?

But isn't whipping up the opposition, trying to interfere with the peaceful transition of power and manufacturing "fake news" in the form of the birther conspiracy exactly what Farah and WND were trying to do this time eight years ago?

Farah concludes, again unironically:

They will never give up. They will never relent. They will never accept Donald Trump as president. They will never admit they were beaten fair and square.

Because their standard is the very un-American notion that the ends justify the means.

Substitute Trump's name for Obama's, and Farah is talking about himself and his operation. Farah is on record as saying, "Obama has never been my president. I have steadfastly refused to acknowledge him as such. He is undeserving of the honorific. To this day, I am unconvinced he is even eligible for office."

And the end -- getting Obama out of office by hook or crook, by any means necessary -- has always justified the means for Farah and WND, which included likening him to Hitler and the Antichrist, telliing lie after lie about the president, and every other smear they could dream up, no matter that it destroyed what credibility WND had in the process.

Farah is effectively complaining that Trump's critics are acting like he does toward Obama. Such hypocrisy.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:55 PM EST
The MRC's Terminology Issues
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Brad Wilmouth has issues with terminology in the media.

In a Dec. 10 post, he complains that anti-abortion activists were accurately described as "anti-abortion":

On Saturday's New Day on CNN, during a seven-and-a-half-minute segment dealing with Ohio's "Heartbeat Bill" that seeks to ban abortion after a heartbeat can be detected, partisan phraseology associated with the liberal side of the issue were repeatedly used by the various on-air CNN personalities who commented on the issue, while the only couple of times when the word choice preferred by conservatives could be heard was in a soundbite from a pro-life activist when the word "pro-life" was used.

The phrase "right to choose" was heard five times, the word "anti-abortion" was heard twice, and the word "pro-choice" once. None of the CNN staff used the term "pro-life" at all, and the only utterance of a word choice not in line with the liberal point of view by any of the CNN staff was a labeling of Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy as being "pro-abortion rights."

Wilmouth doesn't explain why "anti-abortion" isn't an accurate description of activists who oppose abortion. He also doesn't explain why "pro-life" should be used in the media instead, even though it's a vague, fuzzy term that doesn't have that harsh "anti" phrase in it and is designed to make anti-abortion activists appear less strident

Two days later, Wilmouth was ranting about a different terminology issue:

Long-term followers of American politics will recall that about a decade ago, the left began pushing the phrases "global warming denier" and "climate change denier" into the public conversation as a way of discrediting those who are skeptical of the preferred liberal take on global warming theory. The expression was reminiscent of the term "Holocaust denier" and was meant to suggest that those who have doubts about global warming are as marginal in their thinking as Holocaust denier conspiracy theorists.

CNN's tendency to use this preferred liberal terminology that was founded as a pejorative against conservatives is just another example of how the left influences such big media outfits that claim to put out a balanced and unbiased news product. Since the announcement late last Wednesday that Oklahoma Attorney General CEO Scott Pruitt will be President-elect Donald Trump's choice to head the EPA, CNN has repeatedly tagged him as a "climate change denier" as if this were a neutral or proper terminology.

About half of the allegedly unbiased -- but in reality closeted liberal -- CNN news anchors and several correspondents have tagged Pruitt -- a skeptic of global warming theory -- as being a "denier," and usually without even qualifying their choice of words as a liberal take on his views.

But if Pruitt is denying the scientific consensus that climate change is real -- he co-wrote at National Review that the "debate is far from settled" -- doesn't that make him, in fact, a denier?

Also, Wilmouth provides no support for his claim that "denier" is a "liberal" invented term. 

Wilmouth also rehashed his abortion terminology complaint from earlier, and he made it clear that his goal is not neutral terminology but terminology that skews to his side of the ledger:

This use of wording more likely to be used by the left is reminiscent of similar practices by CNN on the abortion issue as terms like "anti-abortion," "pro-choice," and "woman's right to choose" are often used as if they were the proper terminology, without using terms like "pro-life" or "pro-abortion" that are the preferred word choices on the right.

In fact, "pro-abortion" is an inaccurate phrase because people who support abortion do not demand that every woman have one; they simply want to make the option available. Meanwhile, the ultimate goal of many "pro-life" activists is to outlaw abortion as much as possible, if not completely, which makes "anti-abortion" a very accurate term.


Posted by Terry K. at 5:46 PM EST
No, WND, Arpaio-Zullo Presser Did Not Vindicate Birthers
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily teased the Dec. 15 press conference by Joe Arpaio and Mike Zullo by rehashing a lot of the old, discredited birther hits. We got more of the same from the press conference itself -- not that WND will tell you that, of course.

Instead, Bob Unruh breathlessly wrote in a Dec. 15 WND article:

A years-long forensics investigation into the computer image of the long-form Hawaiian birth certificate image that Barack Obama released during a White House news conference during his first term and presented to the American people as an official government document concluded it is “fake.”

The probe also confirms that those who were subjected to the derogatory “birther” label from many media outlets and Democrats were right – at least regarding the document used to establish Obama’s eligibility to be president.

[...]

Jerome Corsi, Ph.D., WND senior staff writer and author of “Where’s the Birth Certificate?” was credited by sheriff’s officials with contributing to the investigation.

Corsi said Mike Zullo, head of the Cold Case Posse, and Sheriff Joe Arpaio “have done the United States a heroic service demonstrating by forensic analysis that the long form birth certificate produced in a White House news conference on April 27, 2011, as Barack Obama’s authentic birth certificate is a forgery.”

“The nine points of forgery between the Johanna Ah’nee birth certificate and Obama’s [long-form birth certificate] prove convincingly that the Ah’nee birth certificate was the source document from which the Obama LFBC was created.”

Corsi said Arpaio’s five-year effort “vindicates the extensive research WND conducted over years to bring this issue to the attention of the American public.”

“The inescapable conclusion is that the Hawaii Department of Health has not shown the American public the original 1961 birth records for Barack Obama, if they actually exist,” he said.

“That President Obama’s birth certificate is fake, as proven now by a legitimate law enforcement examination raises serious questions that high crimes and misdemeanors have been committed at the highest level of government. The clear conclusion is that the Obama presidency may have been illegitimate, having violated Article 2, Section 1 of the Constitution. Impeachment procedures may be required, even if those procedures are conducted after Obama leaves office.”

The sheriff’s video said there were nine images on the Obama birth certificate that appear to be identical to, and copied from, another birth certificate issued in Hawaii just days after his birth.

That certificate belongs to Johanna Ah’nee.

Get a commemorative “Where’s the Birth Certificate?” T-shirt – sure to be a collector’s item.

The copied items include the word “Honolulu,” “Oahu” twice, three different Xs. Their identical nature raised serious questions since they would have been applied to original documents by moving a typewriter carriage and roller at the time, a left date stamp and a right date stamp.

Well, no.  As birther myth-buster Dr. Conspiracy explains:

In several instances, Zullo misrepresents the facts to make things sound suspicious, and as he has done in previous presentations, he carefully words things that technically say one thing, but leave the impression of something else. He says something extremely suspicious: that the Italian forensic laboratory claimed that if they had a larger sample size, the probability that Obama’s document is a forgery would increase, but of course that would only be true if there were consistency in the sample and variation from the Obama certificate, which one wouldn’t know without looking at the sample.

[...]

When all of the rhetoric a[nd] conspiracist language is stripped away, all that actually remains is a couple of date stamps being at the same angle, and a box with an X in it is the same. It’s not much.

Dr. Conspiracy points out that Arpaio and Zullo have so far refused to make any of its supporting evidence for its current birther claim public beyond the video -- specifically, the analyses from Reed Hayes (who, as we've noted, is a handwriting expert, not a digital document expert) and the Italian forensic laboratory Forlabs. If Arpaio and Zullo are so certain their evidence is solid, why not make it public? Unruh doesn't bother to answer the question, nor did he note that Arpaio refused to take questions during the press conference.

Unruh also completely ignored how Zullo botched one key part of his evidence. We've noted that the purported anomalies in the PDF of the Obama birth certificate that Zullo, Corsi and others have pounced on are easily replicated by scanning the image into a Xerox Workcentre 7655 multifunction printer -- something WND has never told its readers about. Dr. Conspiracy notes that Zullo touched on that in his presentation: "Zullo goes to some lengths to emphasize that the Xerox machine which he admits replicates 'some' of the characteristics of the Obama PDF is irrelevant to this new analysis, but he fails to acknowledge that in previous presentations, he claimed that those same characteristics, now known as normal, were marks of forgery."

Zullo also doesn't explain how Obama's nefarious forces could have gotten Johanna Ah’nee's birth certificate to crib images from since, as Dr. Conspiracy notes, Ah'nee's certificate came to the posse through Corsi.

So Zullo still doesn't know what he's talking about -- which, as before, puts a cloud over his purported fundings. But Unruh is willing to overlook such things to keep the birther conspiracy alive (after months of silence for fear of hurting Donald Trump's presidential campaign).

As a bonus, WND is laughably promoting Corsi's "Where's the Birth Certificate" as being "vindicated" by Arpaio and Zullo (see image above). In fact, Corsi's book was written well before, and released about three weeks after, Obama released his long-form birth certificate that was the subject of the Arpaio-Zullo investigation; it contains no information about the long-form certificate. Thus, the findings -- even if they were legitimate -- cannot possibly vindicate anything in Corsi's book.

The image also insists that Corsi's book was a "No. 1 Bestseller," even though Obama's release of his birth certificate decimated sales of the book. WND does not explain when, and on what planet, Corsi's book was ever a "No. 1 Bestseller."


Posted by Terry K. at 12:26 AM EST

Newer | Latest | Older

Bookmark and Share

Get the WorldNetDaily Lies sticker!

Find more neat stuff at the ConWebWatch store!

Read my blog on Kindle

Support This Site

« December 2016 »
S M T W T F S
1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 31

Bloggers' Rights at EFF
Support Bloggers' Rights!

News Media Blog Network

Add to Technorati Favorites

Add to Google

Subscribe in Bloglines

Add to My AOL