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Monday, January 16, 2017
WND Author Helps WND's Hohmann Hate Muslims Some More
Topic: WorldNetDaily

In his Jan. 9 WorldNetDaily article, Leo Hohmann gets a little assistance with his Muslim-hating.

The ostensible purpose of Hohmann's article is to report on a "fatwa" by the Assembly of Muslim Jurists of America -- it's actually a statement of "Principles and Roadmap" following Donald Trump's election.Hohmann spends the rest of the article selectively quoting from the statement and speculating on the most malicious interpretation he can of the words.

Hohmann's partner in crime here is Philip Haney, a former Department of Homeland Security employee and anti-Muslim activist (and WND author) whose claim to fame is asserting that Obama administration officials ordered the alteration or deletion of documents to remove references to jihad or the Muslim Brotherhood. The seeming irrelevance fo Haney's claim -- despite how much WND has been promoting him in recent months -- was demonstrated by DHS secretary Jeh Johnson, who responded to Haney's allegation by pointing out that "when I was at the Department of Defense giving the legal signoff on a lot of drone strikes, I didn’t particularly care whether the baseball card said Islamic extremist or violent extremist."

And Haney heartily obliges with malicious speculation on the AMJA statement, even equating the group to Osama bin Laden:

The AMJA never had to issue such a declaration under President Obama because he gave the Muslim community everything they wanted, Haney said.  Now, they are expecting to meet resistance and they are preparing the troops.

[...]

While they don’t come right out and say it, the language of the directive will be understood by Muslims to mean that violent jihad could be within the realm of what is expected of them in the fight against the Trump-led fitnah or “oppression,” Haney said.

The threat is made with the following statement:

“There is no blame upon a country if it does what is needed to protect its interests and security as long as it does not transgress or oppress by denying or violating rights.”

Of course under Islamic law, where Muslims are able to rule, the government tramples all over people’s “rights,” especially those of Christians, Jews and other religious minorities. But in a Western democracy where Muslims are the minority, it helps further the cause of Islam to play the victim and claim to be “oppressed.”

“Osama Bin Laden was always talking about oppression,” Haney said. “These are capital offenses in Islam,” he added, as long as it is non-Muslims who are doing the oppressing. Otherwise it is expected that Muslims should oppress and subjugate non-Muslims where Muslims have the upper hand in a Muslim-majority society.

[...]

The fatwa authors then re-emphasizing that Muslims must double down and support civil rights organizations, which signals that the Muslim community plans to step up its filing of lawsuits against governments and businesses that do not continue the Obama-era policies of affording special rights and privileges to Muslims and mosques that practice Shariah.

Without naming them, the call for donations is clearly directed at lining the coffers of the Council on American-Islamic Relations or CAIR, which is an offshoot of the extremist Muslim Brotherhood, identified as a co-conspirator in funding Hamas terrorists in the Holy Land Foundation trial of 2007.

[...]

“That last line, where it says, ‘But the worst of all are those who seek to destroy such organizations’ is very revealing,” Haney said. “That is directed at those who go around trying to get CAIR out of our police departments, out of the FBI and out of our military. This could include Congress itself if they designate the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization. This is the worst kind of fitnah, and what is the fate of those people? Jihad.”

The last admonition in the fatwa is perhaps the most chilling.

“No one knows the unseen except Allah. It is possible that an individual hates something while Allah has placed a lot of good for him in it. We must prepare for any possibility while hoping for the best outcomes.”

This comes directly from the Quran.

“The thing you hate you may have to do,” Haney says. “Devout Muslims know when they hear that phrase what it means. So it’s written in shorthand for those who know what it means.”

Note how Hohmann and Haney couch their hate in speculative statements like "without naming them" and how a statement is purportedly "understood" or meant to be a "signal." They're totally reading things into the statement, and they provide no evidence they have the expertise to do so in a fair and honest manner.

Neeless to say, Hohmann and Haney omit the parts of the statement that conflict with their malicious interpretation of it, like this endorsement of American principles:

America, even given its excesses, is still one of the best nations when it comes to protecting human rights and the sanctity of humanity. It is a must upon us that we not overgeneralize or spread fear. Our dealings with the current events must be wise and objective.

Or this denouncing of extremists who misuse Islam:

Both Muslims and non-Muslims bring harm to Islam and Muslims. Muslims do so via ignorance, taking knowledge from the unqualified, blind zealotry, extremism or by betraying Allah, His Messenger and the believers. The non-Muslims harm Islam and Muslims via enmity and hatred, which is also built upon ignorance and intolerance. You should eagerly learn your faith and its regulations. You should fortify your knowledge and understanding via learning from the well-grounded, pious scholars. Then you should be a Muslim whose deeds, above and beyond his speech, are truthful and sincere. You should be an excellent ambassador for your faith. Representing Islam well and displaying its realities is of great importance during these times.

But fair and balanced reporting on Muslims is not what Hohmann does -- thus once again disproving his boss David Kupelian's demonstrably false claim that WND "adheres to the highest traditional journalism standards."


Posted by Terry K. at 5:29 PM EST
MRC Writer Pushes 'Fungible' Canard About Planned Parenthood Funding
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center has been asserting a common -- and dubious -- argument against federal funding for Planned Parenthood to get around the inconvenient (for conservatives) fact that federal funding for Planned Parenthood is prohibited from paying for abortions and there's no evidence Planned Parenthood has broken that prohibition.

Katie Yoder asserts in a Jan. 6 post that "government money is fungible, which means Planned Parenthood could offset costs with public funds to free up other resources for abortion." Yoder repeated her assertion again in a Jan. 10 post, saying that "while the Hyde Amendment stipulates that federal funding, with a few exceptions, cannot be used for abortion, government funds are fungible. This means Planned Parenthood could offset costs with public funds to free up other resources for abortion."

As proof of this claim, Yoder links back to a post she and Sarah Stites wrote in October in which they made this claim:

Although the Hyde Amendment stipulates that this money cannot be used for abortion (with a few exceptions), government funds are fungible. This means Planned Parenthood could offset costs with public funds to free up other resources for abortion. As an analogy, which Stites and Yoder illustrate, imagine giving your teen $20 to use specifically for gas. Although he can’t buy beer with that $20, he can now use his own $20 to purchase alcohol since the gas was covered by you.

First, that argument is ridiculous on its face, since because a teenager is not legally permitted to buy beer -- the drinking age is 21.

Second, Yoder and Stites are wrong about the entire fungibility issue. As Slate explains:

Republicans who tout the "money is fungible" line want you to imagine that Planned Parenthood draws on one big pot of government money for all its services. But since medical services are billed and funded individually, that's not actually how this works. For instance, if subsidies that discount contraception disappear, the price of contraception goes up, but the price of abortion will stay the same.

We know this because recent experience shows it. A few years ago, the price of some birth control pills at Planned Parenthood and other family planning clinics suddenly skyrocketed, because drug companies jacked up the price they charged non-profits for the pills. Faced with growing expenses to provide contraception, clinics charged more for contraception, often seeing costs soar to two or three times what they were before. But during this same time, the price for an abortion stayed the same. That is because, despite the endless repetition of "money is fungible," it is not. You cannot cut off subsidies and discounts for contraception in hopes that will drive up the price of abortion. It might make abortion more common, because women will have a harder time obtaining contraception, but it won't make it any pricier.

Vox expands on Yoder's logic:

This argument makes some sense, but it also has dangerous implications. If you accept this premise, there’s almost no limit to what we could consider “government funding” or “government support.” Would a federal employee, whose salary is paid by the government, be violating the Hyde Amendment if she spends some of that money to obtain an abortion? Would she be using “government funds” to “keep the lights on” at Planned Parenthood if she donates to the organization?

And what about other government programs that have funding restrictions? Should we ban Safeway from accepting food stamps as long as it sells wine — because food stamps aren’t allowed to pay for wine, but accepting food stamps gives Safeway extra revenue and helps it “keep the lights on” to sell wine to other customers?

But fungibility is too entrenched of an argument for people like Yoder to simply abandon it. So expect her and others to keep pushing this highly dubious claim.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:26 PM EST
Updated: Monday, January 16, 2017 12:30 PM EST
WND Pretends It's Not the 'Fake News Media' It's Criticizing
Topic: WorldNetDaily

The latest issue of WorldNetDaily's sparsely read Whistleblower magazine is called "Meet the Fake News Media," with the subtitle "Feigning objectivity, they traffic in disinformation, conspiracy and fabrication."

That's an uncannily apt description of WND itself -- disinformation, conspiracy and fabrication are pretty much all Joseph Farah and Co. live for. Heck, WND kept putting out fake news even as it was railing against it.

WND doesn't want to talk about that, of course. Most of the articles in the magazine have already appeared at WND, including its unprofessional smear of a professor who put WND on a list of fake-news sites.

The article promoting the issue laughably claims that WND "adheres to the highest traditional journalism standards." You can ask Clark Jones, for one, about the truth of that claim. WND managing editor David Kupelian repeats the claim in the lead essay for the magazine, which WND published on Jan. 12.

We ask Kupelian: Would a news organization that "adheres to the highest traditional journalism standards" be caught making major changes after publication to not one, not two, but three articles in the past month or so to walk back false or unverified claims? And reprinted another fake-news article the previous month?

Would a news organization that "adheres to the highest traditional journalism standards" be conducting a publicity stunt at the Temple Mount?

Would a news organization that "adheres to the highest traditional journalism standards" be censoring all evidence that contradicts its Obama birther conspiracies (and also refuse to apply those same birther standards to Ted Cruz)?

Instead, Kupelian self-aggrandizingly posits another reason: "Here’s why: WND’s worldview is pro-American, pro-Constitution, pro-Judeo-Christian, pro-capitalism and pro-morality. Obviously, then, it must be condemned as hateful and delusional by the left, which seems perpetually at war with America’s cultural, legal and moral foundations."

Making excuses to ignore Russian meddling in a U.S. presidential election is hardly being "pro-American." Supporting a thrice-married adulterer for president is hardly being "pro-morality."

As much as you don't want to admit it, Mr. Kupelian, WND has earned being disregarded as fake news.

Feel free to prove us wrong -- if you have the guts. We'll be right here.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:16 AM EST
Sunday, January 15, 2017
CNS shows Biased Coverage of Other Trump Nominees
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com didn't give the confirmation hearings of other Trump administration nominees the ridiculously biased and cheerleading treatment it afforded Jeff Sessions.

The only straight-news article out of the bunch was a Jan. 11 piece by Susan Jones saying that secretary of state nominee Rex Tillerson called for an "open and frank dialogue with Russia regarding its ambitions." Jones didn't, however, mention the controversy over Trump's (and Tillerson's) links with Russia that make such a "open and frank dialogue" necessary.

Beyond that, however, the selection of subjects on which CNS did hearing articles on other appointees made its bias clear.

For the hearing for HUD secretary-designate Ben Carson, CNS did an approving article on Carson saying he would "absolutely not play favorites for anyone," but also an article on Carson defending HUD's rental assistance program. Given that CNS has previously criticized rental assistance programs -- especially when it means poor people of color could live in more affluent, white-dominated suburbs -- that article was meant as a warning shot.

While CNS wrote in a mocking tone about how "Newly elected Sen. Kamala Harris, a California Democrat, repeatedly pressed Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.) at his confirmation hearing on Wednesday for assurances that he will not discriminate against homosexuals and Muslims if he is confirmed as CIA director," it also wrote with a more disapproving tone over secretary of state-designate James Mattis not being opposed to gays in the military or women in combat. CNS, like the rest of the MRC, is rabidly anti-gay.

And while CNS had touted Republican Sen. Marco Rubio saying flattering things about Sessions, it censored Rubio's tough questioning of Tillerson, since doing so didn't advance Tillerson's, or Trump's, prospects or CNS' right-wing agenda.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:32 PM EST
Updated: Tuesday, January 17, 2017 12:43 AM EST
MRC Asks: 'Can Speculation Be Defined as News?' It Is At The MRC
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Tim Graham and Brent Bozell began thair Jan. 4 column this way:

At the dawn of 2017, let us offer a philosophical question for the news media. If the scourge of the new year is "fake news," should we not concede that it's not news to speculate about what will happen after a news event? The problem is, without speculation about the future — whether immediate or distant — cable news channels and radio news outlets would surely enter a crisis about how to fill 24 hours a day, and newspapers would struggle to fill their pages.

True. But if Graham and Bozell are really concerned about speculation being presented as news, the "news" division of the MRC, CNSNews.com, would be prohibited in engaging in it.

For example, just two days after Graham and Bozell's column appeared, CNS published a "news" article by Patrick Goodenough declaring, "Gohmert: Promoting a ‘Two-State Solution’ Could Bring God’s Judgment." In it, Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert is quoting as saying that expressing support for a two-state solution between Israel and the Palestinians means one is "advocating what Joel 3 say will bring judgment down upon our nation for trying to partition Israel."

So, is biblical speculation exempted from Graham and Bozell's anti-speculation wrath? We're confused.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:48 PM EST
Saturday, January 14, 2017
No, WND, Problems At Macy's Can't Be Tied to Trump
Topic: WorldNetDaily

We've detailed WorldNetDaily's fundamental misunderstanding of how business works, which may be a reason for its current financial situation, wihch is dire enough that WND editor Joseph Farah begged for money from his readers. One of those misunderstandings was its insistence on blaming problems at Macy's on its decision to stop Donald Trump's clothing collection.

Joe Kovacs does that yet again in a Jan. 4 WND article:

In the battle of Macy’s vs. Donald Trump, it appears the clear loser continues to be Macy’s.

On Wednesday, the retailer announced disappointing holiday sales, prompting its stock to drop more than 9 percent.

The company also released the locations of 68 of the 100 stores it plans to close, with more than 10,000 jobs reportedly being eliminated.

CNBC reported: ” As part of Wednesday’s announcement Macy’s said it will eliminate layers of management to cut costs and make more agile decisions. It also will work to reduce other non-payroll costs. As a result of these steps, the company estimates its work force will be cut by 6,200. Another 3,900 workers will be displaced by the store closures and some of these employers could be reassigned.”

As WND reported, Trump upended American politics in 2015 when he declared he was a candidate for president.

Macy’s promptly declared it was cutting ties and dumping Trump’s clothing line because of “disparaging” remarks about Mexicans.

[...]

The onetime reality-TV star is now the president-elect of the United States, just two weeks away from being sworn into office.

Meanwhile, Macy’s stock price has plummeted.

By contrast, actual reporters for genuine news outlets -- like CNBC, who Kovacs selectively cites -- Macy's is trimming its brick-and-mortar locations while building up its online business and off-price and specialty brands. No mention of Trump at all.

And WND denies it pushes "fake news"....


Posted by Terry K. at 1:21 AM EST
Friday, January 13, 2017
WND's Farah Touts Group of Extremist Israeli Rabbis
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Joseph Farah writes in his Jan. 10 WorldNetDaily column:

Many pundits and political leaders have repudiated the United Nations Security Council resolution denying Israel has any claims to Judea, Samaria and East Jerusalem or any other lands captured in the 1967 war – 50 years ago this June.

But perhaps the best scolding I’ve seen the U.N. body get came from Israel’s nascent Sanhedrin, a group of judges attempting to reconstruct a Jewish ruling authority not existing in Jerusalem for more nearly 2,000 years.

About Resolution 2334, passed unanimously with an abstention from Barack Obama’s administration, which conspired in crafting it, bringing it to a vote and defending it after passage, the Sanhedrin had this to say, with which I entirely concur: “All the land of Israel belongs exclusively to the Nation of Israel, and not to an invented nation with no legal or historic claim to the land. Pursuing this baseless claim weakens those who support it and strengthens the violence and evil that is growing in the world.”

[...]

Here I am, an Arab-American Christian, in total agreement with Israel’s Sanhedrin, which not only sees this issue the way clear-thinking people on earth do, but understand the way it is viewed by the Creator-God, who sees the beginning from the end and the end from the beginning.

Note Farah's somewhat be nign description of the Sanhedrin as just "a group of judges attempting to reconstruct a Jewish ruling authority not existing in Jerusalem for more nearly 2,000 years." In fact, it's a very far-right group.

We noted a few years back when then-WND reporter Aaron Klein was touting them that the Sanhedrin has links to the Meir Kahane movement banned in Israel for its incitement to violence. That link seems to be continuing with the Sanhedrin's desire to appoint Baruch Kahane, who may be Meir Kahane's son -- Kahane did have a son named Baruch, but we have het to confirm that -- as the high priest of the Sanhedrin in an attempt to fulfill prophecy that a new Jewish temple will rise on the Temple Mount, where an Islamic mosque currently resides. In 2015, the Sanhedrin encouraged West Bank settlers to attack security forces who came to evacuate an outpost there.

A Jerusalem Post article reports that the Sanhedrin supports the application of Torah law in place of the secular law of the State of Israel, and in February 2010 ruled that “it is obligatory for every Jew to exclude himself from the secular Israeli judicial system in every matter.”

Wait -- an attempt to have religious law supercede secular law? Doesn't Farah and WND normally rail against that sort of thing when it's called Sharia law instead of Torah law?

Again, Farah says he's "in total agreement" with the Sanhedrin, which must also include this narrow instance of religious law supremacy.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:47 AM EST
Thursday, January 12, 2017
CNS' Ridiculously Biased Pro-Sessions Blitz
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com's cheerleading for the nomination of Jeff Sessions for attorney general is almost embarassing in its utter bias -- the kind that CNS' parent, the Media Research Center, would be screming bloody murder about if a "liberal media" outlet acted like this.

CNS churned a whopping eight articles on Jan. 10, the first day of Sessions' confirmation hearing, designed solely to lionize him and promote his right-wing bona fides:

All but two of these articles focus either on statements by Sessions solely or answers to questions from Republican senators.

CNS mostly ignored the second day of the hearing on Jan. 11, refusing to devote an article to testimony critical of Sessions from Democratic Sens. Cory Booker and John Lewis. Instead, an article portrays as whining the complaint from another Democratic senator complaining that Booker's and Lewis' testimony was pushed to the end of the day.

This was joined by an article in which CNS reporter Penny Starr goes the ambush route in trying to get a Democratic senator to agree with her that Sessions is "a man of high character" and "a kind and decent man who has worked relentlessly for desegregation and justice."

Starr followed up with an article the next day touting how African-Americans testifying at the hearing "praised the senator as a man who has helped people regardless of their race." She didn't  mention the testimony of African-Americans Booker and Lewis.

CNS managing editor Michael W. Chapman contributed an article citing a 2016 speech in which Sessions attacked Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor as having a "post-modern, relativistic, secular mindset" that is "directly contrary to the founding of our republic."

The cherry on the top of this bias is CNS editor Terry Jeffrey's column -- tonally similar to his website's biased "news" reporting --  in which he touts Sessions' hard anti-abortion stance and declares that "Sessions' views on abortion and same-sex marriage are right" and anyone who disagrees with him is "wrong."

That bias is reflected throughout CNS' Sessions articles -- which, again, if it involved a news outlet other than one the MRC didn't own, the MRC would be all over it.

UPDATE: We forgot one -- a Jan. 11 article by Melanie Hunter touting U.S. Commission on Civil Rights member Peter Kirsanow -- whom Hunter doesn't identify as a conservative -- fawningly declaring that "Sessions’ approach to civil rights is consistent, is legally sound, intellectually honest, and has an appreciation and understanding of the historical bases for civil rights laws."


Posted by Terry K. at 11:41 PM EST
Updated: Saturday, January 14, 2017 12:41 AM EST
Oops: MRC Email Promotes 'Marijuana Investment Jackpot'
Topic: Media Research Center

On Jan. 11, the Media Research Center sent out to its email subscribers a paid message from advertiser Agora Financial touting "The $50 Marijuana Investment Jackpot," which claimed: On Election Day, California, Nevada and Massachusetts all roundly voted to legalize recreational marijuana use. And that means that very soon dozens of tiny marijuana firms could skyrocket by 100%, 300%, 500% or higher. This is your chance to turn a single $50 bill… into an absolute fortune."

Agora Financial regularly advertises on right-wing websites -- it's part of the empire of Porter Stansberry, who once offered his dubious financial analysis at WorldNetDaily (he once claimed he was ready to flee the country at any time "with most of my wealth" to a country "that doesn't have any ties to America") and whose firm faced a $1.5 million sanction from the Securities & Exchange Commission over aggressive sales tactics. Oh, and he loves to hurl racist and anti-gay slurs.

The subject matter of the email, though, was a bit of a surprise. The MRC is not exactly pro-pot -- it dismissed 2016 Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson as a "pot-smoking" guy , and one of the few times it has anything nice to say about the so-called "liberal media" is when it notes criticism of pot and its legalization.

We can't imagine that went over well with the MRC's readership. Sure enough, the next day, the MRC sent out an apology email:

Dear MRC Supporter,

Yesterday morning, you may have received an email that was sent on behalf of one of our regular sponsors, Agora Financial. The email offered financial advice in the form of investing in marijuana stocks.

This message should have never been sent in conjunction with the Media Research Center. We are deeply sorry that you received it, and the MRC certainly does not condone marijuana use or investment in marijuana stocks.

Once again, we apologize for this mistake, and encourage you to contact us directly (actionteam@mrc.org) if you would like to discuss this further.

The MRC Action Team

We don't know enough about the MRC's inner workings to assess blame, but something cldearly slipped past the "MRC Action Team" and the email didn't get properly vetted before getting sent out.


Posted by Terry K. at 5:42 PM EST
WND Still Sucking Up to Arpaio
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Bob Unruh sure makes it sound serious in his Jan. 5 WorldNetDaily article:

A federal judge deliberately broke the rules, potentially benefiting a relative financially, overlooking and discounting his wife’s statements about his improper bias, and improperly communicated with other court officials about a case to punish “America’s toughest sheriff,” Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County, Arizona.

All this according to an appeal of G. Murray Snow’s ruling by Arpaio, who retired from law enforcement at the first of this year.

Except one must remember that not only is Unruh a lazy reporter interested in reporting only the side of the story he agrees with -- on this case, Arpaio's -- but that WND has been carrying water and generally fluffing Arpaio for years. It was through WND's machinations that Arpaio sleazed the birther "cold case posse" into existence and put WND's Jerome Corsi on it, which helped ensure it could not be objective or taken seriously, though that wasn't the intent.

WND is apparently still so grateful for this  that the bulk of Unruh's article is a rehash of birther stuff from the past month, even though it has nothing to do with the headline claim about the appeal, which involves a case regarding Arpaio's treatment of illegal immigrants. So concerned was Unruh about cramming all that irrelevant birther stuff in that he doesn't provide a link to the appeal he's writing about or even identify who Arpaio's lawyer is.

But anyway, let's take a look at the claims Unruh is dutifully transcribing from the Arpaio appeal. First up:

The case was filed in 2007 by Latinos who alleged the sheriff’s office profiled them in traffic stops. Arpaio and others in the office eventually agreed to a civil penalty and a change in policy, but Snow wasn’t satisfied, insisting on a court “monitor” for the office.

The appeal charges that Snow had improper communications with the court-ordered “monitor” for the sheriff’s office, allowed his brother-in-law to potentially benefit from his rulings and glossed over the accusations that had come from his wife: that he was biased against Arpaio.

[...]

The appeal argues that Snow’s off-the-record communications with a sheriff’s office monitor alone is enough to require action in the case.

As the Phoenix New Times notes, Snow has been open about having one-on-one discussions with his monitor over the case, and he said in a 2015 hearing when Arpaio's lawyers last raised the issue that such conversations were necessary for the court to supervise the monitor, adding, "I don't know how to do that without having some communication with the monitor."

About the other claim, Unruh wrote:

The appeal also charges Snow had improper “ex parte” communications with the monitor about the sheriff’s office and cites the fact that Snow’s brother-in-law was an equity partner in the law firm representing the plaintiffs in the case.

“Judge Snow knew that his brother-in-law was a Covington [& Burling law firm] partner and understood that this relationship raised a serious recusal issue. Nevertheless, he chose not to inform the parties of the conflict. Instead, he privately decided to remain on the case and keep the conflict confidential,” the appeal states.

But as the Phoenix New Times also points out, the issue of Snow's brother-in-law was adjudicated back in 2012 and Arpaio had no problem with it at the time:

Because Melendres [v. Arpaio] has been going on since 2007, only serious students of the case will recall an issue regarding Snow's brother-in-law, attorney Keith Teel, who is a partner at the Washington, D.C. branch of Covington & Burling, which took over representing the plaintiffs from the firm Steptoe & Johnson in 2010.

When his brother-in-law's firm entered the case, Snow has said that he considered whether this connection presented a conflict of interest.

Snow decided that since Teel doesn't work on Melendres or derive any real benefit from it, no recusal was required.

In 2012, the plaintiffs raised the issue of Teel, so Snow held a status conference, where he noted that "all parties argued that recusal in this matter was neither mandated nor appropriate."

Indeed, Arpaio was quoted in the Arizona Republic as stating that he had no problem with Snow as judge.

"I'm confident in this judge and the judicial system, and I'm not asking for the judge to be removed from this case," Arpaio said.

Unruh also rehashed an allegation from Arpaio's anonymous lawyers that Snow's wife said in a conversation with friends at a restaurant that "Judge Snow … was determined to conduct the litigation … in such a way as to ensure that Sheriff Joe Arpaio would not be re-elected as sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona, in 2016." Unruh didn't mention that Arpaio had his attorneys do a secret investigation of the claim, which have also involved Maricopa County attorney or sheriff's resources.

Rather than being fair and balanced and report both sides based on information easily available online , Unruh takes the lazy way out by sending some WND flunkie to Snow's courthouse chambers with the full knowledge that no comment would be made "Armie Gonzalez, contacted by WND in Snow’s courthouse chambers, told WND, 'We don’t talk to reporters.'"

Perhaps the fact that WND reporters like Unruh are so ridiculously biased is one big reason WND is in deep financial trouble.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:35 PM EST
NEW ARTICLE -- Slanties 2017: Time to Make the Slantie Chimichangas
Topic: The ConWeb
It's time to honor (as it were) the worst ConWeb reporting and craziest ConWeb opinions of the year, with the bonus opportunity for a literal ConWeb deadpool. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 8:42 AM EST
Wednesday, January 11, 2017
WND -- Which Likened Obama to Antichrist -- Gets Huffy Over Criticism of Trump-Messiah Comparisons
Topic: WorldNetDaily

First, WorldNetDaily lashed out at Trump-Hitler comparisons, despite the fact that it spent the past eight years regularly likening President Obama to Hitler and other Nazis. Now, WND is looking askance at anyone who criticizes the idea that the election of Donald Trump was divinely inspired. Jack Minor writes in a Jan. 5 article:

After years of fostering the narrative of President Obama as a messiah, members of the media now seem to have developed a sudden aversion to attributing divine attributes to the leader of the free world.

For years after Obama’s election, establishment media described Obama often with soaring language, sometimes in photographs capturing him in a halo.

But now they seem alarmed by the claim that the GOP thinks President-elect Donald Trump is Jesus.

The issue began when Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairman Reince Priebus and Co-Chair Sharon Day sent out a statement celebrating Christmas, as the party has done for many years.

Part of the statement read: “Merry Christmas to all! Over two millennia ago, a new hope was born into the world, a Savior who would offer the promise of salvation to all mankind. Just as the three wise men did on that night, this Christmas heralds a time to celebrate the good news of a new King. We hope Americans celebrating Christmas today will enjoy a day of festivities and a renewed closeness with family and friends.”

Some immediately seized on the phrase “new King” to suggest that since Trump was the new president, the passage was a reference to him, and the RNC was comparing Trump to Jesus Christ.

Minor goes on to cite various isolated instances in which people have ascribed messianic qualities to Obama. He doesn't mention the rhetorical pro-Trump excess that has billowed forth from the place that published his article.

The biggest Trump fangirl at WND has been Gina Loudon, who proclaimed that Trump is "the candidate we have been waiting for all these years since Ronald Reagan" and literally credited his election as president for saving Christmas, asserting that "It has never felt so good to say Merry Christmas, because I believe now that the overreaching government won’t take it from us and replace it with something agnostic or satanic." And she, like the RNC, also suggested that Trump was our new Savior.

Numerous other WND writers, meanwhile, were quick to ascribe Trump's victory to divine intervention, apparently not considering that the opposite of their biased religious interpretations might be true: that Obama was the divine blessing and that Trump is the divine curse.

And while Minor and WND have long been critical of Obama-Messiah comparisons, WND also has a record of portraying Obama as the Antichrist.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:21 PM EST
MRC Pretends Trump Didn't Mock A Disabled Reporter
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center reacted in two predictable ways to Meryl Streep's Golden Globes speech calling out Donald Trump.

First was to declare that she should not be listened to because she's a rich Hollywood liberal. For instance:

  • Karen Townsend and Alexa Moutevelis Coombs huffed that Streep "delivered a dramatic, sanctimonious diatribe to the viewing audience and her fellow leftists in the audience" that featured "laundry list of perceived wrongs that must be righted by liberal Hollywood." They added: "Hey, Meryl, shut up and act."
  • Dan Gainor pointed out that Streep is "a major Democrat funder -- giving $113,810 to Democrats since 2012" and "appeared at the DNC convention as part of a huge lineup of Hollywood celebrities."
  • Scott Whitlock grumbled that "All three networks on Monday eagerly hyped liberal celebrities trashing Donald Trump at Sunday night’s Golden Globes awards."
  • Matt Philbin harrumphed that Streep's speech was "just another instance of an entitled Hollywood gasbag using her position to speak whatever the opposite of truth to power is."

The second was a lame attempt to counter Streep's claim that Trump once maliciously mocked a disasbled reporter. Townsend and Coombs claimed Streep "accused Trump of mocking a disabled reporter for gestures he regularly uses." Whitlock dismissed the mocking as mere "comments and gestures Trump made about journalist Serge Kovaleski in 2016." Philbin insisted that the mocking was "something that didn’t happen" and that "the incident that gave Streep the genuine frowny face wasn’t itself genuine."

The evidence Townsend and Coombs and Philbin cited to deny the mocking was a post by an obscure pro-Trump blog purporting to offer "The Catholic Case for Donald Trump" insisting that Trump mocks everyone like that so it's totally OK.

In fact, as actual fact-checker Glenn Kessler of the Washington Post documents, Trump's claim that he did not know Kovaleski prior to the incident he mocked the reporter for -- pointing out that Trump's assertion that "thousands" of Muslims celebrated the fall of the World Trade Center on 9/11 lacked a factual basis -- was not credible, and "as the evidence shows, Trump clearly mocked Kovaleski."

The MRC's Curtis Houck later mocked the Associated Press for doing a fact-check on Trump's tweet-storm dismissal of Streep as "overrated." He said nothing about the fact-checks proving the MRC wrong about Trump's mocking of Kovaleski.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:01 PM EST
WND Repeats Discredited Climate Change Denier's Latest Claim
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Bob Unruh writes in a Jan. 3 WorldNetDaily article:

A posting at Real Climate Science has delivered a body blow to the global-warming agenda – now called “climate change” since the globe doesn’t appear to be warming anymore.

It shows the Arctic sea ice today is about the same thickness as it was 75 years ago.

That’s despite the massive spread of SUVs, the use of coal-fired power plants to generate heat for homes and gasoline-powered lawn mowers and leaf blowers.

The posting Tuesday from Steven Goddard, blogs under the pseudonym Tony Heller, featured the image of a 1940 Townsville Daily Bulletin report that “ice measurements were on an average only 6 ½ feet,” according to a just-returned expedition of Soviet explorers.

The blogger noted that in 1940, Arctic sea ice was two meters thick.

Then, alongside a posting of a New York Times image stating the ice was “only about seven feet thick” in 1958, he wrote it was “about two meters thick” then.

And he posted an image from the Danish Meteorological Institute, dated Monday, that shows much of the Arctic sea ice cover was some two meters thick or more.

“All of the official fake news agencies and fake government agencies have been claiming that Arctic sea ice is getting thinner,” he said, citing online headlines from NOAA that “Arctic sea ice getting thinner” and the same from Scientific American.

This being Bob Unruh, no effort is made to talk to anyone else, such an actual climate scientist, on the issue -- he's simply taking Goddard/Heller at his word. (Goddard/Heller's degrees are in geology and electrical engineering.)

He shouldn't. DeSmog Blog reports this detail about Goddard/Heller's background:

Steven Goddard is known for a 2008 article in The Register where he posited that Arctic Sea ice is not receding and claimed that data from the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) showing the opposite was incorrect. Goddard later issued a retraction on his statement.

Meanwhile, PolitiFact debunked another assertion Goddard/Heller mad , that the hottest year on record was 1934, not 1998, and that NASA scientists were fudging data to claim otherwise.

Unruh is such a terrible reporter -- er, stenographer that he gets a basic piece of information wrong. He claimed that Steven Goddard "blogs under the pseudonym Tony Heller," but the opposite is the true: Heller is the real name, Goddard is the pseudonym.

These two peddlers of biased misinformation deserve each other, it seems.

Unruh fills out the rest of his article with the usual denier propaganda, including that "Scientist Art Robinson has spearheaded The Petition Project, which has gathered the signatures of at least 31,487 scientists who agree that there is 'no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gases is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the Earth’s climate.'"

But as we've documented -- Robinson is a close buddy of WND managing editor David Kupelian -- very few of the signatories to Robinson's petition scientific background in climatology, there's no apparent verification mechanism to ensure that the signatories do in fact have the scientific qualifications they do claim, and the existence of millions of science graduates that makes the 31,000-plus signatories (a number that has stayed static for years) a drop in a fringe bucket.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:07 AM EST
Tuesday, January 10, 2017
Newsmax Doesn't Understand Difference Between Weather And Climate
Topic: Newsmax

A Dec. 30 Newsmax article on an upcoming cold snap carries the headline "Coldest Snap in US in 15 Years Coming, Climate Change or Not." The article itself, by Clyde Hughes, does not reference climate change.

 

 

We'll leave it to Neil deGrasse Tyson to school Newsmax on the difference between weather and climate, and how one can have a cold snap even as the overall climate is warming.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:45 PM EST
Updated: Tuesday, January 10, 2017 2:46 PM EST

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