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Sunday, January 29, 2017
MRC's Bozell Can't Deal With Media Mentions of Catholic Scandals
Topic: Media Research Center

Media Research Center chief Brent Bozell has a long history of downplaying and deflecting from the history of sexual abuse scandals in the Catholic Church. He does it again in his Jan. 20 column with Tim Graham, in which he complains about what he considers insufficient coverage of a female teacher who had an affair with a 13-year-old student:

One could guess that reverse sexism plays a role: An adult woman abusing a boy seems more acceptable than a grown man molesting a young girl. One could also guess that adding an abortion to the sinister plot made it less interesting to liberal journalists.

These are the same networks that will not stop covering and lecturing about the child sexual abuse — real and alleged and untrue — by Catholic priests, even after the church created new systems to vet not only priests but also even church volunteers who deal with children in parish life.

How about newspapers? The New York Times never loses interest in advocating against the Catholic Church on this issue. But on Alexandria Vera in Houston? Nothing. The Washington Psot, whose editor Marty Baron was painted as a crusading captain of the church-busting team at the Boston Globe in the Oscar-winning movie "Spotlight"? It never made the actual paper but drew two blog posts over the last six months that barely surpassed 1,000 words between them.

[...]

Child sexual abuse in secular schools doesn't seem to inspire liberal journalists, which underlines that on this absorbing subject, as on many others, what's "news" depends on perspective, and in the American media, it is both liberal and libertine.

Bozell and Graham ignore the key difference in these cases. The above case he cites -- as well as the Mary Kay Letourneau case -- are isolated, independent cases and are not representative of a larger pattern.

By contrast, the Catholic abuse cases were marked by systematic cover-ups in which diocesean officials tended to move offenders from one parish to another, covered up the abuse and didn't admit the abuse to parishoners until decades after the fact.

In November 2015, Graham railed against the film "Spotlight," which is based on how systematic cover-ups of sexual abuse in the Catholic diocese of Boston was uncovered by reporters, whining abaout "contrary facts" the film omitted.

By contrast to Bozell and Graham's sensitivity about the mere mention of Catholic sex abuse scandals, the MRC has a weird fixation on Chappaquiddick even though that was more than half a century ago.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:01 PM EST
CNS -- Which Cares Deeply What (Right-Wing) Entertainers Think -- Now Says We Shouldn't
Topic: CNSNews.com

Back in December, CNSNews.com's Mark Judge published a blog post touting how conservative-leaning celebrity Joe Piscopo said that "no one cares what entertainers think" because "This is the time of the people."

But as we've noted before, CNS is utterly hypocritical about this. CNS cares intensely about what entertainers think -- at least as long as they're thinking conservative things Plus, there's irony of CNS having cared enough about whan an entertainer thought to quote him telling us not to care what entertainers think.

Here are some of the entertainers' thoughts CNS cared enough about to devote articles to in the month or so since that Piscopo post (some of which, ironically, were written by Judge):

That's a lot of caring about the thoughts of people who -- according to the website that published them -- we're not supposed to care about. (And, yes, CNS called on a former pro football player to opine on Obamacare.)

And that's not even counting the fact that CNS publishes a regular column of political thoughts by entertainer Charlie Daniels.


Posted by Terry K. at 4:09 PM EST
Updated: Sunday, January 29, 2017 4:18 PM EST
Saturday, January 28, 2017
MRC Writer Hates 'Pure Genius' For Not Hating LGBT People, Like He Does
Topic: Media Research Center

Media Research Center contributing writer Justin Ashford really, really hates that there are LGBT characters on the CBS show "Pure Genius."

Oh, he liked the show at first -- when it conformed to the MRC's right-wing dogma. The premiere episode centered on a woman with cancer who refused treatment because she was pregnant. Ashford gushed over the "self-sacrificing love [the character] showed for her unborn daughter" and how that "shows just how powerful pro-lifers really are."

But Ashford soon changed his tune. In December, he complained that the show "followed the liberal Hollywood PC script by adding a transgender character" to one episode. He ranted: "The most alarming thing about this is [the transgender character] claimed to identify as a woman at age six – clearly trying to push the envelope of gender identification at such a young age. A six-year old is still learning to read and write. How the heck does one know their “identity” then? And yet this is what liberals are pushing on kids."

Ashford ranted further, "The Human Rights Campaign reports that only 18 states consider transgender a protected class in the workplace, but it’s their goal to run roughshod over religious freedom and commonsense to make it all 50. " He doesn't explain how protecting the rights of transgenders interferes with "religious freedom." He concludes: "Such a shame as this show started with an actual conservative approach. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out Hollywood has their own agenda, and they want to ensure we all comply. No thanks."

On Jan. 2, Ashford whined that the latest episode included "a gay ex-prostitute, a lesbian outing and a transgender actor/actress portraying a Christian!" He huffed: "What’s next for Pure Genius? Possibly cancellation. We can only hope the liberal Hollywood LGBT agenda dies with it."

Ashford had another anti-gay freakout over the show on Jan. 12:

Well, no surprise, CBS’s Pure Genius again reminds us that pushing the LGBT agenda is vital to their concept of entertainment. This time, we see two gay dads with a son.

[...]

If this were on TV ten or even five years ago, it would be anything but normal. But hey, these are the times we’re living in. Thanks to Hollywood, the only abnormal folks are those deplorables who still support the traditional family.

That's Ashford and the MRC for you: Anyone who doesn't agree with them, or look like them, is "abnormal" and must be held to scorn and ridicule.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:09 AM EST
WND Author Says Trump's Not Hitler -- But She Loved Likening Obama to Hitler
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Paul Bremmer writes in a Jan. 25 WorldNetDaily article:

From the left come the cries – Donald Trump is the new Hitler! His “America first” slogan has Nazi undertones! He hates Hispanics, Muslims and gays as much as Hitler hated Jews!

But Anita Dittman lived through the Holocaust as a Jewish girl in Germany during the 1930s and 1940s, and on this International Holocaust Remembrance Day, Jan. 27, she has a message for those who think Trump is the American Hitler.

“When they say he is another Hitler, they are crazy,” Dittman told WND in a phone interview. “If he was another Hitler, he’d be shooting people that riot, and they wouldn’t have the freedom to riot. If anybody was against things in Nazi times, they would ship them off to the ovens, as we called the camps. There was no freedom.”

What Bremmer fails to tell his readers: None of those things applied to President Obama either, yet Dittman was not shy about likening Obama to Hitler.

As we documented, WND publicized Dittman's book "Trapped in Hitler's Hell," which it published in 2014, by touting how she thought Obama reminded her of Hitler, claiming that "Liberals’ blind idolization of Obama mirrored Germany’s hypnotic fascination with Hitler" as did "Obama’s empty rhetoric that energized his followers."

Now that's a better description of Trump and his followers than Obama -- witness WND managing editor David Kupelian's blind loyalty to him -- yet she curiously doesn't see the resemblence. Perhaps Dittman is motivated by something else her Hitler-comparison flip-flop.

But since Bremmer is in marketing and not in news, he can't be counted on to tell us.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:28 AM EST
Friday, January 27, 2017
MRC Takes Madonna Out of Context to Smear Women's March
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center has always been hypocritical in demanding that the media follow standards that it refuses to enforce on its own operations. One prime example of that is the use of context: The MRC loves to criticizing others for omitting it but it regularly fails to provide conext when not doing so suits its right-wing agenda.

One key part of the MRC's agenda these days is denigrating last weekend's Women's March on Washington for daring to be critical of President Trump. One way ity's doing that is taking one particular remark Madonna made at the march out of context. You know the one.

Nicholas Fondacaro set the stage in a Jan. 22 post:

If Ashley Judd’s R-rated rant comparing President Donald Trump’s team to the Nazis wasn’t insane enough, loony Madonna admitted to wanting to kill the newly inaugurated president of United States. “Yes, I am angry. Yes, I am outraged. Yes, I have thought an awful lot about blowing up the White House,” she proclaimed to the hundreds of thousands of march attendees in Washington, DC on Saturday. But yet, she started her address declaring, “Welcome to the revolution of love!”

Tellingly, Fondacaro waited until the seventh paragraph to include the full context of that "blowing up the White House" 'comment:

Yes, I am angry. Yes, I am outraged. Yes, I have thought an awful lot about blowing up the White House. But I know that this won't change anything. We cannot fall into despair. As the poet, W. H. Auden once wrote on the eve of World War II, “we must love one another or die.”

But Fondacaro immediately followed that by taking Madonna out of context again: "Trump’s inauguration has really taken the radical leftist off their hinges and exposed their violent nature. Between descriptions of Trump as the secessionist South from ABC’s Matthew Dowd, to comparisons to Nazis’ and gas chambers, and now the blowing-up of the White House they have really escalated things very quickly in just two days."

Unsurprisingly, that would be the last time thte MRC would put Madonna's words in their proper, accurate context:

  • Another post by Fondacaro ripped her out of context again, complaining that the media didn't report "Madonna’s fantasy of 'blowing up the White House.'"
  • Fondacaro then did it one more time, again concocting "Madonna’s fantasy about 'blowing up the White House.'"
  • A Jan. 25 MRC post by Geoffrey Dickens on "the worst attacks on President Trump" falsely claimed that "Madonna threatened: 'I have thought an awful lot about blowing up the White House.'"
  • Rich Noyes took it even farther by claiming about "Madonna seeming to suggest assassination: 'I have thought an awful lot about blowing up the White House.'"
  • Thomas A. Glessner huffed that "Aging pop singer Madonna showed up as a speaker and stated that she had considered blowing up the White House."

It's much easier for the MRC to lie to its readers and portray Madonna as a mad bomber and wannabe presidential assassin than to tell the truth.

(Photo: Associated Press via New York Daily News)


Posted by Terry K. at 3:23 PM EST
AIM Defends The Truth of 'Alternative Facts'
Topic: Accuracy in Media

Accuracy in Media has totally bought into the reality-warping powers of Donald Trump and his administration. So much so, in fact, that AIM's Roger Aronoff devotes a Jan. 25 column to defending the honor of Kellyanne Conway's "alternative facts":

When White House counsel Kellyanne Conway said on NBC News that the White House Press Secretary, Sean Spicer, had presented the press with “alternative facts” about the size of Donald Trump’s inauguration crowd, the press immediately concluded that alternative facts were, in fact, lies. They’ve had a field day with it ever since.

Yet Spicer argued at a January 23 press conference that if the press publishes a correction, it is not necessarily seen as lying. So, too, the press shouldn’t assume the White House is lying if they are proven wrong. However, Spicer maintained that the inauguration viewership—including online viewers and television viewers—was the largest ever.

[...]

But alternative facts aren’t necessarily lies, or even false. Sometimes they are misleading, but other times they provide context which illuminates the original lie—often the ones perpetuated by the mainstream media.

“We believe there is an objective truth, and we will hold you to that,” states a letter to President Trump from the press corps authored by Kyle Pope of the Columbia Journalism Review. “When you or your surrogates say or tweet something that is demonstrably wrong, we will say so, repeatedly,” states the letter. “Facts are what we do, and we have no obligation to repeat false assertions…”

We have repeatedly reported about how the media have continued to distribute fake and false news in the service of President Obama, most notably the continued claim that the Iran deal is signed. It is not, and the lack of anything that would make this agreement enforceable explains continued Iranian aggression. 

Aronoff then tries to spin the whole inauguration-attendance thing:

As for the inauguration turnout, it is clear that the press is playing a duplicitous game. This New York Times article contains a video that shows vast open white spaces at President Donald Trump’s inauguration. However, our screen captures of CNN’s gigapixel panorama of the event shows those areas filled. I am no expert in this area, but it appears that there were a lot more people at Trump’s inauguration who weren’t in the Times’ photo, so this is guesswork. Brit Hume of Fox News tweeted that the Times’ photo with all of the empty space was “taken early,” and that the “area was considerably fuller by time of speech.”

The problem with Aronoff citing CNN's gigapixel panorama is that it was taken from the front of the crowd and from a low angle that doesn't fully show the crowd -- not from the back and from high up, the angle that enraged Trump. Which means it's Aronoff who's being dupicitous.

Aronoff also tries out a few "alternative facts" of his own:

Accuracy in Media has reported how the media have used unemployment statistics to support the contention that Obama handed off a growing, thriving economy to Trump. The alternative fact here, however, is that millions of Americans are being left behind in our economy. The relevant data is not the rosy unemployment rate so much as our ailing labor participation rate. The only reason the unemployment rate is so low is that millions of people have quit looking for work because so few good jobs were available, and Obamacare’s mandates forced millions of people into part-time jobs. The unemployment number by itself doesn’t mean much, without additional, or alternative, facts that give it context.

But Aronoff conveniently ignores one other contextual "alternate fact"  as we've documented when CNSNews.com obsesses over the labor participation rate, many of the people who aren't working are retired people or students who have no interest in finding a job; the rate is further skewed by the retirement of baby boomers. Even the conservative American Enterprise Institute agrees that the labor force participation rate is meaningless as a barometer of unemployment.

Aronoff laughably concludes: "None of this is meant to justify Trump or his appointees saying things that they can’t back up with some credible evidence or sources. Being the president is different than being a candidate or even President-elect. They have to be more careful. But the media’s disposition towards Trump is proving far more adversarial than towards previous administrations." If Aronoff wasn't trying to justify the falsehoods spun by Trump and his crew, he wouldn't have written this column.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:04 PM EST
WND Mocks Looks of Women At The Women's March
Topic: WorldNetDaily

It wouldn't be WorldNetDaily if it wasn't taking nasty shots at the participants of last weekend's Women's March.

First up is columnist Bert Prelutsky, who sneered that the participants were "post-menstrual harpies" who should just "write a memoir reminding people that there was in fact a time when a great many famous men had sex with them":

The media couldn’t get enough of the anti-Trump demonstrations staged by left-wing female fanatics the day after the inauguration. One kept hearing reports that a million or 2 million women took part in these exercises in futility and foolishness.

[...]

Now, they decided to use the likes of Madonna, Gloria Steinem and Ashley Judd to convince us that American Womanhood is opposed to Trump. I’m afraid in a nation with roughly 170 million women, this handful of post-menstrual harpies screaming obscenities, comparing Trump to Hitler and fantasizing the White House being blown up, merely reminded most of us that some people find it more difficult than others to cope with the reality of being an over-the-hill has-been.

I’m sure that the ladies will ignore my advice, but I have their best interests at heart when I suggest they do what so many other aging celebrities have done in the past, and that is to write a memoir reminding people that there was in fact a time when a great many famous men had sex with them.

And so long as they name names and provide all the scintillating details, I’m sure Megyn Kelly, Oprah Winfrey and the shrews of “The View” will be only too happy to interview them.

WND editor Joseph Farah, meanwhile, devoted his Jan. 25 column to ranting about the trash left behind by Women's March participants, contrasting with the (evidence-free) claim that "The mall was clean before, during and after" Donald Trump's inauguration. He didn't mention, of course, that the inaugration had a much smaller crowd than the Women's March.

He then growled: "Whom would you prefer as your neighbor? A self-policing Trump supporter or one of these hags?"

That's WND for you -- a place where any woman who dares to disagree with its right-wing agenda is a "hag."


Posted by Terry K. at 12:53 AM EST
Thursday, January 26, 2017
Will CNS Give March For Life The Same (Terrible) Coverage It Gave Women's March?
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com managing editor Michael W. Chapman shills for his boss in a Jan. 25 article:

The Alliance for Fair Coverage of Life Issues called on the news networks to cover this Friday's annual March for Life, which brings in hundreds of thousands of marchers, and to "cover it fairly" given the extensive coverage the media gave to the pro-abortion "Women's March on Washington" on Jan. 21.

"This Friday is a true test for the media," said Alliance member Brent Bozell, president of the Media Research Center. "They provided massive, and fawning coverage of the pro-abortion ‘Women’s March’ just four days ago. The media’s coverage of the ‘March for Life’ in two days, both in time and tone, will tell you everything you need to know about their support for abortion."

"With media’s trust in the basement, they will be exposed for the partisan hacks they are if they don’t give pro-lifers the same amount of coverage," said Bozell.  "I’m not holding my breath.”

Of course, just because Bozell declares something to be a "news" event doesn't mean it is. The March for Life is not a newsworthy event fore merely existing; it has taken place for 40 years, and we're willing to bet that even Bozell can name a single newsworthy event to occur any any of them off the top of his head. As an annual event that unfolds predictably, the March for Life is not an equivalent news event to the Women's March, a large one-time gathering that turned out to be larger than President Trump's inauguration the day before.

So Bozell and his anti-abortion coalition is demanding that the media give the same coverage to the March of Life that it gave to the Women's March? That means CNS will have to conform as well.

And how did CNS cover the Women's March? Sparingly, and with a negative, dismissive tone:

  • An op-ed by a Family Research Council writer sneering that the march lacked a purpose and "dumbs us down to one-dimensional human beings; it is the exact opposite of feminism."
  • A complaint that march organizers "reversed its decision to grant a pro-life group partnerhip in the march."
  • A blog post featuring how a "Christian satirical website" mocked "the march organizers’ outspoken support for abortion on demand."
  • A stenographical "news" article by Susan Jones approvingly quoting Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway saying she "frankly didn't see the point" of the march.
  • A "news" article that cherry-picked old quotes from march co-chair Linda Sarsour.
  • A blog post by Chapman toutingapprovingly quoting anti-gay pastor E.W. Jackson denouncing the marchers as "on the godless side in this war" and allied with the "rulers of darkness."

In other words, CNS felt no need to engage in the "accurate" coverage of the Women's March its parent organization is demanding for the March for Life. Seems pretty hypocritical.

We've written CNS to ask if it intends to ciomply with Bozell's demand to give equal coverage. We'll let you know if they respond.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:08 PM EST
WND Reporter Attacks Idaho Official Who Called Out His Biased Reporting
Topic: WorldNetDaily

On Jan. 18, Jim Jones, a former Idaho attorney general and former state Supreme Court chief justice, issued a press release as part of a speech at a local service club criticizing right-wing reporters who "have engaged in fear-mongering in order to portray refugees, and particularly those from Syria, as a danger to our country." He added: "Breitbart News, World Net Daily and others have played fast and loose with the truth and should not be regarded as credible. They have unfairly attacked the College of Southern Idaho refugee program, Twin Falls government officials, and Chobani, which has been a wonderful addition to the community. We should not tolerate this type of conduct by outsiders."

The WND reporter who perpetrated that fearmongering, Leo Hohmann, didn't take that very well. WND PR guy Paul Bremmer used a Jan. 23 article to give a platform to Hohmann to retaliate and smear local officials as "corrupt":

“I stand by all of my reporting on the Twin Falls, Idaho, sexual assault of a helpless 5-year-old girl by a group of refugee boys, one of whom was filming the heinous crime in real time,” Hohmann declared.

“I got my facts from the only eyewitness to the crime, an elderly grandmother who saw the crime in progress and stopped it from proceeding to an even more disgusting end. I also interviewed the parents of the child. The father had viewed the video showing the molestation of his daughter.”

Hohmann said his reporting stood in contrast to the reporting of local media, which “chose to get their so-called ‘facts’ from corrupt local officials, who were either intimidated or in the pocket of Obama officials like Idaho U.S. attorney Wendy Olson.”

“As if it weren’t derelict enough for a newspaper to rely on the word of public officials, these so-called ‘journalists’ in Idaho and in nearby Spokane, Washington, had the audacity to go a step further and attack those of us who were doing our journalistic jobs and questioning the authorities, calling our reporting ‘conspiracy theories,'” he said.

“It seems clear to me, when looking back, that the establishment media in Idaho and Washington were the ones engaged in conspiracy reporting by their reckless disregard for the truth and their callous treatment of the victim and her family. They chose to bow to the pressure of bullies like the Obama-appointed Wendy Olson,” he said.

“It was Olson who issued a threat to prosecute anyone who made statements about the perpetrators that she considered false or inflammatory. She later walked back from that statement after some powerful condemnations from First Amendment advocates.”

Hohmann noted Jones did not mention any specific facts he believed either WND or Breitbart had misreported. Instead, the former Idaho official resorted to ad hominem attacks on the two news outlets.

“The public found out, through our reporting, just whose side these corrupt officials in Idaho are on,” Hohmann continued. “The police chief, the mayor, the local prosecuting attorney Grant Loebs, Wendy Olson and now Mr. Jones have made it clear that they are more concerned about offending the groups resettling refugees in the state than they about protecting public safety.

“Because they are so invested in the continuation of resettlements in Idaho, we can expect their assaults on the truth to continue.”

As we documented, WND did get reporting on the Twin Falls assault case wrong. It originally falsely reported that "Syrian refugees" attacked the girl at knifefpoint. The first WND article on the case to carry Hohmann's byline is oddly defensive, blaming others (but not himself or WND) for early false reports and hammering home the claim that "an attack did occur and it was perpetrated by Muslim migrants" (even though he had written a few paragraphs earlier that the juvenile suspects' "migrant" identity was "not yet confirmed"). And Hohmann's reporting relies much more on screeds from anti-Muslim activists in Idaho than alleged eyewitnesses to the crime.

Hohmann does not back up his claim that local officials are "corrupt," which seems to open him and WND up to libel action. Hohmann touted WND's house lawyer, Daniel Horowitz, laughably accusing Olson of "making terrorist threats against American citizens" for asking that people like Hohmann stop lying about Muslims. Hohmann never explains where the right to tell lies resides in the First Amendment.

Bremmer and Hohmann curiously omit the part of Jones' statement referencing Chobani, the yogurt maker with a plant in Twin Falls, Idaho -- presumably because Hohmann has been busted for false reporting on it by none other than Snopes, which pointed out that Hohmann used "a confusing number of metrics and purported statistics" to fearmonger about "Muslims from Syria" coming to work at the Chobani plant in an article he wrote last January.

Of course, the real reason Hohmann is flailing back at Idaho officials is because his anti-Muslim book "Stealth Invasion" comes out this week, and he and Bremmer see nothing wrong with milking a little publicity out of the bias.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:58 PM EST
Updated: Sunday, January 29, 2017 2:33 PM EST
MRC Complains NY Times Reported Accurately on Trump's Ethics Issues
Topic: Media Research Center

Clay Waters beings his Jan. 20 Media Research Center post by ranting:

As if trying to poison the Potomac water for the new president on his first day in office, the New York Times Inauguration Day off-lead story tried to wrong-foot Trump the moment he takes his hand off the Bible: “With an Oath, Complications In Hotel Lease – Ethical ‘Minefield’ for the President-Elect” by Eric Lipton and Susanne Craig.

The jump-page headline read, “At Trump Hotel in Washington, Champagne Toasts in an Ethical ‘Minefield.’” The online teaser was blunt: “From the moment he is sworn in, Mr. Trump may be in violation of a lease with the federal government.”

At no point does Waters dispute the accuracy of the article -- only that it makes Trump look bad.

Waters punts on the idea of defending Trump against violating the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution, farming that out to the right-wing Weekly Standard, where writer Edwin Williamson spins that Trump is exempt from the clause and divesting all financial conflicts is just so hard. And how hard is Williamson spinning all this? This hard:

Trump, however, is going further than the emoluments clause would require, in order to avoid a problem the media has drummed up -- foreign officials will try to curry favor by staying at Trump hotels. Trump has committed all profits on rooms rented by foreign officials to be paid to the U.S. Treasury. Thus, he has taken all profits out of staying at Trump hotels.

Williamson does not provide any reason Trump's words should be trusted, especially given that he notes no evidence that Trump is making the mechanism that will supposedly divert those profits with any sort of transparency.

We suspect neither Waters nor Williamson took President Obama's word for anything, yet they think we should ignore Trump's lengthy trail of falsehoods and take whatever he says at face value.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:12 AM EST
Updated: Thursday, January 26, 2017 1:15 AM EST
Wednesday, January 25, 2017
WND and MRC's Defense of Barron Trump Ignores Limbaugh's Slur of Chelsea Clinton
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Both WorldNetDaily and the Media Research Center were quick to come to the defense of Donald Trump's son, Barron Trump, over disparaging remarks said about him, in particular from a "Saturday Night Live" writer, and equally quick to note a defense of the younger Trump from one particular corner:

WND's Chelsea Schilling noted that "Chelsea Clinton, daughter of former President Bill Clinton, came to Barron’s defense in a Sunday Facebook post: 'Barron Trump deserves the chance every child does-to be a kid. Standing up for every kid also means opposing POTUS policies that hurt kids.'" The MRC's Nicholas Fondacaro touted how "former first daughter Chelsea Clinton spoke up and defended the president’s son" -- then, because the MRC can't let anything nice about a liberal simply stand, went on to complain that "ABC and NBC, of course, touted her defense Monday morning, but none of them mentioned the offense originated from an SNL writer, a show they love to quote."

But neither Schilling nor Fondacaro noted a certain previous incident that likely made Chelsea Clinton feel protective of Barron Trump. It took place on Rush Limbaugh's early 1990s TV show, and we'll let Media Matters take it from here:

Bill Clinton had been president-elect for just a few days when, on November 6, 1992, Limbaugh launched one of the nastiest attacks of his career against an innocent target: 12-year old Chelsea Clinton.

Complete video of that day's program does not appear to be available online, but a portion of Limbaugh's attack was aired in a 1995 documentary about Limbaugh by PBS' Frontline. Also, a transcript of the program is posted in the Nexis database.

Limbaugh began the segment by noting that the New York Daily News' David Hinckley published a list of who's entering and leaving the White House. Limbaugh stated: "He says, In: A cute kid in the White House. Out: Cute dog in the White House.' Could -- could we see the cute kid? Let's take a look at -- see who is the cute kid in the White House."

The program then put up a picture of Millie, the Bush family's dog. Limbaugh responded, in mock confusion, "No, no, no, no. That's not the kid." The program then puts up a picture of Chelsea Clinton, with Rush saying, "that's the kid."

[...]

After the audience had finished laughing and applauding, Limbaugh said, according to Nexis' transcript: "No, just kidding."

The following week, Limbaugh issued an apology, but it's unclear from the transcript alone how sincere he's being; the full video of both the original smear (a brief segment is here) and the apology are not available online.

That's an integral part of this story, but WND and the MRC ignored it. 

In 2011, MRC NewsBusters blogger Noel Sheppard tried to engage in some serious revisionism to claim Limbaugh never actually insulted Chelsea Clinton. Sheppard cited only an anonymous blog post for support which claimed that "Rush has always maintained the incident was an accident."

Fondacaro touted how the "SNL" writer was suspended over his attack on Barron Trump, but Limbaugh suffered no consequences for his smear of Chelsea.

Of course, Limbaugh himself could clear all of this up by releasing the full video.


Posted by Terry K. at 5:22 PM EST
NewsBusters Writer Ignores Context of O'Reilly Joke on 'The Simpsons'
Topic: NewsBusters

Justin Ashford complains in a Jan. 8 NewsBusters post:

For the second time this season, Bill O'Reilly is a topic of ridicule on The Simpsons. This time, Bill gets some free press for his Killing book series (Killing Jesus, Reagan, Lincoln, Kennedy, etc.), but at the expense of a fellow conservative, natch.

On Sunday’s episode, “Pork and Burns,” Marge Simpson is scanning for reading material at the car wash. While making her selection, we see the fake book Killing Hannity by Bill O'Reilly.

The cover is complete with O’Reilly lurking behind fellow Fox News host Sean Hannity with a dagger. Clearly the lefty writers at The Simpsons have a death wish for Hannity.

Ashford failed to mention the context that makes the image funny rather than a partisan attack. In a 2011 Newsweek interview, then-Fox News chief Roger Ailes said that "O’Reilly hates Sean," something O'Reilly admitted was "absolutely true" a few days later in an interview with Don Imus (though he added, "But I hate everybody").

And that first time? That was in October, and it was a relatively minor shot (Kent Brockman saying that "Sometimes I'd watch Bill O'Reilly and pretend it was an older, stupider version of me") that included better shots at Fox News, such as Brockman considering a Fox News job where he'd have to be "willing to call yourself a liberal and lose every discussion" -- and the entire episode was based on the incident in which favorite MRC punching bag Brian Williams was caught fabricating claims about his reporting.

Ashford ended that post by huffing: "It’s clear the writers on The Simpsons have always, and will surely continue, to favor the left and bash the right. After all, this show has been around since 1989 and doesn’t show any signs of ending. Hopefully its viewers investigate the real truth about the media right here on MRC and the leftist lies and propaganda are exposed for what they are."

Of course, given the fawning pro-Trump stenography MRC "news" division CNSNews.com, to name just one example, Ashford is lying when he claims one can find the "real truth" at the MRC.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:06 PM EST
NEW ARTICLE: Another Year of Joseph Farah's Lies
Topic: WorldNetDaily
The WorldNetDaily editor spent 2016 telling new falsehoods and repeating old ones. That's what he does. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 2:14 PM EST
Updated: Wednesday, January 25, 2017 2:15 PM EST
Tuesday, January 24, 2017
CNS Does One Final Word-Counting Article on An Obama Speech
Topic: CNSNews.com

The Washington Post recently reported on right-wing media's obsession with counting certain words President Obama said -- particularly use of the personal pronouns llike "I" and "me" -- and singled out the Media Research Center and CNSNews.com for doing so.

We've noted CNS' obsession with counting Obama's use of personal pronouns and other trigger words, and it managed to squeeze in one more counting article before he left office.

A Jan. 11 CNS article by Susan Jones informs us in her usual sneering tone that "President Obama, the man who has embraced "change" throughout his presidency, used the word 16 times in his farewell speech Tuesday night, but he did not directly mention the change Americans embraced in November by voting for Donald Trump."

The Post added: "If the conservative media really wants to keep monitoring presidential self-references, however, Donald Trump should provide plenty of material." But it seems CNS is too busy uncritically transcribing Trump's words to be bothered to count them.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:10 PM EST
WND Hails Its New Trump Overlord
Topic: WorldNetDaily

As Donald Trump took the office of president, the Trump fluffery was in full swing at WrldNetDaily. Here's a sampling of WND headlines on inauguration day:

Those were the "news" articles. Then we have opinion pieces so ridiculously pro-Trump they verged on the orgasmic.

Bill Cloud's column carries the unironic headline "With President Trump, has America been saved?" Cloud calls former President Obama an "oppressive and ungodly spirit" and added that "thankfully, Hillary Clinton was defeated." He actually backed off the premise of his headline, admitting that Trump has work to do and that he must "humble himself before God and seek heaven’s guidance as he is faced with the crucial decisions that will determine America’s future." Of course, if Cloud had been paying attention at all during the past year and a half, he would know that humility is not in Trump's DNA.

Jesse Lee Peterson declared that "President Donald J. Trump is a living example of God’s love for our country and proof He’s giving the people yet one more chance." Like Cloud, Peterson has also not been paying attention, or else he would not have written this: "Because Donald has no anger, he holds no resentment, fear or doubt in a fight, so he freely says what he needs to say." And like Cloud he takes a gratuitously nasty shot at Obama, calling him "evil" and claiming "It was eight long years of darkness under former President Barack Obama."

Mychal Massie waxed rhaspodic, asserting that "We the People had hoisted a blue-collar billionaire upon our shoulders and carried him to victory, refusing to be sidetracked or swayed by the political illuminati and Erebusic progressives posing as objective media," adding that "President Trump’s inauguration speech was a breath of air so fresh and so pure that it asphyxiated the politicians and progressive mainstream media."

WND editor Joseph Farah, meanwhile, exclaimed "Hallelujah!" about Trump's inauguration speech: "Sitting with my wife in the first row of public seating, I had goose bumps. This guy really means what he says. We need to pray daily that he stays the course he has set." Farah then got misty: "I had to pinch myself to make sure I wasn’t dreaming. I had awakened early to see this with my own eyes and hear it with my own ears. It was stirring. I don’t care what my critics will say: I had tears in my eyes." He added: "Every word is meaningful. And every word was spoken with total conviction. ... How anyone can hear those words, read those words, listen to those words and not be profoundly affected is a bit mystifying. They are inspirational. They are uniting. They are powerful."

The winner for fawning pro-Trump prose, however, has to be WND reporter Garth Kant, who pronounced the Trump White House a new Camelot and Ivanka Trump and Melania Trump the new combined Jackie Kennedy:

Ivanka Trump’s image suddenly flashed on the big screen and the crowd went wild.

Elegant hardly begins to describe her appearance in a simple but smart white double-breasted jacket and white trousers, with her golden blond hair let down.

She was stately, regal and the camera loved her. The first daughter was walking through the Capitol side-by-side with her three adult siblings, but the camera could not help but zoom in on her magnetic smile.

Ivanka looked like a princess descending down the steps.

Then the camera did something funny.

It jumped to an extreme close-up of a sour-faced Hillary Clinton.

And then the crowd did something revealing. They didn’t boo. Or jeer. No, they delivered the unkindest cut of all.

They laughed.

And the camera quickly beat a hasty retreat back to Ivanka.

Just as suddenly, the big picture zoomed into extreme focus.

Hillary is the past.

Ivanka is the future.

Hillary is, arguably, a tired, worn-out, wobbly, spent, political animal and a two-time loser in the presidential sweepstakes. Just winding up her career.

Ivanka is the successful working mom of the future who has it all, spunky, sharp, bright, fresh, happy, optimistic, excited, poised and regal. Just beginning her career.

The contrast between the two, both symbolically and in reality, couldn’t be greater, could it?

Oh, yes it could. Because … wait, there’s more. We hadn’t seen nothin’ yet.

The princess was smashing.

But then the queen arrived.

The crowd actually gasped at first sight of her.

Melania Trump was a show stopper.

Her appearance on the big screen was larger than life, in every way.

Everyone expected something tasteful and elegant. This was something else.

As the initial gasp subsided, the crowd whooped, then hollered and applauded.

Then it began murmuring like a hummingbird on crack. She had electrified the audience and they were absolutely abuzz.

It wasn’t just her supermodel beauty. And it wasn’t just her top notch fashion sense.

The papers would later say she channeled Jacqueline Kennedy’s fashion sense. And their evocations of a new Camelot were all about style rather than substance.

[...]

This was grace personified.

A stately, poised, and stunning elegance were certainly part of it. But there was more. It wasn’t just what she was wearing. It was her bearing. Her perfectly poised demeanor.

And the crowd could clearly sense it, even if they could no more articulate it than to say “wow” over and over, which was what so many were doing.

She was a regal presence.

There was nobility.

Not because of her new station in life, but because of her carriage. The way she carried herself. Full of poise and grace.

Noble in the sense of model character, not fashion queen. It was clear this was a woman of substance by the way she comported herself, not by what she was wearing.

Almost like American royalty.

Americans, of course, don’t have royalty like other nations – but first families are as close as we get. And Melania, born and raised in Slovenia, is perfectly at home on her adopted nation’s greatest stage, and under the glare of the biggest media spotlight in the world.

[...]

America was their candidate. Trump was the vessel.

Almost as though America had become the new JFK in the new Camelot.

And, in his speech, Trump amplified the theme, again and again, that the real winner in November was, indeed, America.

This appears to be the tone of WND coverage for the next four years: drooling sycophancy for Trump, unbridled hate for anyone who dares criticize him.


Posted by Terry K. at 4:36 PM EST

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