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Wednesday, March 15, 2017
WND Is Concerned About Whites In South Africa Again
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily has long had an affinity for the white part of South Africa, from Anthony LoBaido's hanging out with pro-apartheid militant groups to former columnist Ilana Mercer pining for the days of apartheid. Charlreston shooter and white supremacist Dylann Roof, who was also concerned, may have even read about some of that at WND.

Now WND is cranking up its concern for South African whites again.

Alex Newman -- who likes to whitewash apartheid and the militancy of some white South Africans claiming to be victims --  wrote a Feb. 25 WND column about the Suidlanders, "Western-minded Christians" who are "preparing for the worst"; It takes a few paragraphs before Newman admits that these are whites fearing persecution by the black majority. Despite Newman's portrayal of the group as primarily a "Christian organization," it appears that the Suidlanders are just right-wing preppers heavily into fearmongering.

Newman once again whitewashes apartheid to portray the current situation as much worse: "During the apartheid era, there were fewer than 20 race-based laws. Today, more than 100 race-based laws discriminating against whites have been created under the guise of 'empowering' blacks."

Newman then writes:

The result has been hundreds of thousands of whites excluded from the labor market, living in squatter camps that have recently been garnering international media attention.

Estimates suggest as much as 10 percent of the white population is now living in squatter camps, with one analyst classing it an “economic genocide.”

There are approximately 4.5 million whites in South Africa, which would mean that, according to Newman, there are more than 400,000 whites living in squatter camps. In fact, according to the nonpartisan Africa Check, less than 8,000 white households in the country are living in "shacks, informal settlements, caravans or tents."

Further, as CNN notes, unemployment among whtes remains the lowest of all ethnic groups in South Africa.

Newman's column was followed by an anonymously written March 11 WND article that called on "international journalist Alex Newman" to complain about how "scandal-plagued South African president Jacob Zuma recently called for the unity of black parties to allow the expropriation, literally theft, of white-owned land without compensation." Newman doesn't explain that doing so would require a change in the South African constitution, so it's not as easy as he suggests.

We don't dispute that Zuma may very well be a bad, corrupt leader -- heck, "Daily Show" host Trevor Noah admits as much. But Noah also notes that Donald Trump has indicated a Zuma-esque approach to running America, something Newman and WND probably won't want to discuss.

Then, on March 12, Barbara Simpson devoted her WND column to ranting about "white genocide" in South Africa. She concludes with this:

Dr. Gregory Stanton, with Genocide Watch, speaks openly about genocide, what leads to it and how to determine when it’s actually taking place

He said it’s difficult to convince countries outside of South Africa because of our emotional attachment to Nelson Mandela and a resistance to speak openly about what’s really happening in that country – a world record murder rate, more than 100,000 white murders, torture deaths of white farmers, 95 percent black-on-white murder rate and the world’s highest rape rate.

That’s not in your local news.

Dr. Stanton was specific about the terror among South African whites and that they can’t depend on police or government protection.

He spoke of the line of defense against such racial violence, saying “it’s local – the local courts, the political system. Do everything you can legally to draw attention to it.”

And then he said: “For God’s sake, don’t disarm. Do not disarm.”

He spoke of the Second Amendment in our Constitution and that “the founders recognized that the final defense against tyranny is self-defense.”

“Despite any laws passed – do not disarm.”

He said, “No matter what the government ignores … you (the people) must fight back to stop this kind of apartheid.”

It's unclear where Simpson got her "100,000 white murders" claim from, but Africa Check reports that it may have originated by a South African musician, Steve Hofmeyr, who claimed that the number of white South Africans killed by blacks would fill a soccer stadium -- and is wrong. Africa Check points out that while South Africa does have a crime problem, whites are still much less likely to be murdered than other ethnicities. The number of whites murdered in South Africa between 1994 and 2012 may be as low as 6,498, and the rate of black-on-white murder is far lower than the "95 percent" Simpson claims.

One more thing: While Genocide Watch's Stanton has expressed concern about events in South Africa, he has explicitly stated that "white genocide" is not happening there now. The quotes Simpson attributes to Stanton seem unusually strident for him compared with other things he has written about South Africa, and a Google search turned up no original source for them.

We've contacted Genocide Watch to see if they will verify these quotes. We'll let you know if they respond.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:26 PM EDT
MRC Researcher Puts Rants Ahead of Facts
Topic: Media Research Center

Media Research Center research Nicholas Fondcaro is channeling his inner Brent Bozell andgoing well beyond the "research" that's supposed to be his job and into lecturing and insulting ahead of facts.

For instance, Fondacaro huffed in a Feb. 23 post: "President Donald Trump sent ABC and CBS off the rails Thursday when he made public statements about the efficiency of this deportation operations. Trump described the program as running like a 'military operation,' which any normal person would understand was a figure of speech." Fondacaro is simply channeling White House press secretary, who laughably insisted Trump was using "military" as a "adjective," and both are ignoring that "military operation" means a very set thing to "any normal person."

Fondacaro also has a hypocritical thing about anonymous sources. On Feb. 26, Fondacaro cheered over Republican Rep. Tom Cotton so-called "schooling" of NBC's Chuck Todd about how "the claims of anonymous sources should be taken with a grain of salt," adding: "Todd seemed befuddled as Cotton continued to caution about relying on such sources, 'You cannot credit stories that are based on anonymous sources. You should look into them especially if you're in a position of responsibility, but you can't simply credit them.'" Funny, the MRC showed no reservation when it demanded coverage of a Fox News story before the indictment claiming the imminent indictment of Hillary Clinton that was based on anonymous sources --a false story the MRC has yet to correct.

On Feb. 28, Fondacaro grumbled that CBS "hyped anonymous sources that suggested President Donald Trump was playing up the threat from the Middle East" and that it "turned a blind eye to similar accusations that were levied against President Obama." He then cited a 2015 New York Times report about an investigation into allegedly "skewed intelligence assessments about the United States-led campaign in Iraq against the Islamic State" based on -- wait for it -- anonymous sources. So apparently anonymous sources are OK when used against Democrats but not against Trump.

Fondacaro did this again on March 5, touting how White House deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders "chastised" ABC's Martha Raddatz over citing of anonymous sources, once more forgetting the hypocrisy of himself and his employer.

Fondacaro has also been quick to serve as a pro-Trump shill regarding allegations of Russian links to the Trump campaign and Russian meddling in the election. In that March 5 post, he insisted that there has been "no evidence of collusion," ignoring that there has been no official congressional investigation of it.

Fondacaro tried to spin things further in another March 5 post complaining that NBC's Todd brought up the issue:

Give that the FBI’s months-long investigation into possible connections between the Trump campaign and the Russian government has yielded no fruit at all, it’s very premature for NBC and Todd to dedicate a whole show to the idea that it’s true. So far, all the information we have about these alleged connections seems to have been coming from those with close ties to the investigation. And those leaks has even said that they have found no connections. It just exposes who the media is cherry-picking what facts they want to chase.

Fondacaro cannot know that the FBI investigation "has yielded no fruit at all," let alone that there is indeed an FBI investigation at all, given that FBI director James Comey has not publicly admitted that one exists.

When "Daily Show" host Trevor Noah said he didn't know what an "extreme liberal" was, Fondacaro went on an extended rant about it in a March 9 post:

For as educated and intellectual as Noah likes to portray himself as his claims of the far left being tame are ignorant.

An “extreme liberal” is someone who takes the stage at a woman’s rally and declares that the President’s daughter is his “favorite sex symbol.” It’s when a famous liberal singer gets on that very same stage and announces her fantasy about “blowing up the White House.” It’s those who firebomb the election headquarters of their Republican opposition.

It’s the radical college students who rioted during the inauguration, injuring police officers and setting fire to Muslim’s limousine. It’s similar college students who use physical violence to shut down free speech to force conformity of thought on their campuses, and actually have a serious discussion on how ethical it is to punch the face of someone they disagree with. It’s those same students who proudly adorn themselves with the face of a mass murderer on their shirts because they believe in the same radical leftist ideology.

Those are just some of the people Jones is cautious of and doesn’t want in charge. Noah’s assertion that “extreme liberals” just want to give people free stuff is just ridiculous. To use Noah’s own words: that’s what “extreme liberals” have “shown us that they're capable of repeatedly.” Noah’s comments only drive more division and hurt the mission of the show he was a guest on. 

No, Nick, Madonna did not say she was planning to blow up the White House. And whatever "sex symbol" remark Ashley Judd said about Ivanka Trump pales in comparison to what her father has said about her (not to mention other women, which certainly has not terribly bothered Fondacaro or any other MRC employee).

Unmentioned by Fondacaro, of course, was how he and his employer recklessly throw around labels like "far left" at anything they don't like -- for instance, a sports blog -- to the point that the MRC continually loses credibility for putting partisanship before "research."

And research, remember, is the thing Fondacaro was supposedly hired to do.


Posted by Terry K. at 5:23 PM EDT
WND's Kinchlow Falls For Another Bogus Right-Wing Meme
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Ben Kinchlow -- who is unusually prone to devoting columns to discredited right-wing memes and bogus chain emails -- does it again in his March 12 WorldNetDaily column:

Here are 12 steps to facilitate the “New American Way of Life.” A guy has a girlfriend with two kids:

  1. He doesn’t marry her and always uses his mom’s address to get mail.
  2. The guy buys a house.
  3. He rents out the house to his girlfriend and kids.
  4. Section 8 pays $900 a month for a three-bedroom home.
  5. Girlfriend signs up for Obamacare, so guy doesn’t have to pay for family insurance.
  6. Girlfriend gets to go to college free for being a single mother.
  7. Girlfriend gets $600 a month for food stamps.
  8. Girlfriend gets a free cell phone.
  9. Girlfriend gets free utilities.
  10. Guy moves into home, but continues to use mom’s address for his mail.
  11. Girlfriend claims one kid and the guy claims the other on their separate tax forms. Now both get to claim head of household at a $1,800 credit.
  12. Girlfriend gets $1,800 a month disability for being “crazy” or having a “bad back” and never has to work again.

Bottom line total: An unmarried couple with a stay-at-home mom on disability nets $21,600; $10,800 free housing; $6,000 free Obamacare; $6,000 free food, $4,800 free utilities; $6,000 Pell Grant money plus $12,000 a year in college tuition free; $8,800 tax benefit for being a single mother. Grand total for single motherhood: $75,000 per year in benefits. Benefits to legally married mother $0.”

(Mr. John Tabb has been credited with the preceding information. While every single item may not be exactly precise and totally accurate, the fact remains that something, somewhere, somehow is stirring the storm.)

Kinchlow's evidence to back this up is a link to a thread at Quora that discusses Tabb's column. But if he had bothered to scroll down a little bit, he would have found a link to Snopes that explains -- and discredits -- Tabb's column.

Snopes points out that Tabb's column is based on something that had been circulating online at least several months before, adding: "As is often the case with e-mail polemics focused on purported welfare abuse and taxpayer outrage, the 'New American Way of Life' offers an implausible, far-fetched scenario to condemn those who use public assistance to make ends meet."

Afater going through each item in detail, Snopes summarizes:

As the excerpt above concludes, the figures bandied about in the e-mail encompass virtually all programs available to low-income Americans and extrapolates the fictional family described routinely accesses all of them. Some of the benefits described (such as free college for single mothers or free utility programs) don’t seem to exist, and several of forms of assistance (such as Section 8 or disability) are not administered in the simplistic manner suggested by this item.

Furthermore, while this item asserts that the complex welfare hustling plan described here is “perfectly legal,” several aspects of it involve defrauding the system in an expressly prohibited (and largely criminal) fashion. Were any family to hide assets or lie about household income on application forms, they would be subject to severe penalties and prosecution should their perfidy be unraveled. The scheme also rests upon the (fallacious) notion that access to assistance programs is easy to both maintain and retain.

Finally, the causes of the national debt are fairly complex. However, Social Security, Medicare/Medicaid, and Defense broadly account for most government spending.

Kinchlow ironically concludes his column: "Today, the number of blacks on welfare has skyrocketed, and more than 75 percent of black children are born out of wedlock. Could the above stats be a contributing factor? As President John Adams said, 'Facts are stubborn things.'"

Yes, they are, Ben; you might want to try that fact-checking thing out the next time you feel compelled to copy-and-paste a right-wing chain email into your column.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:43 AM EDT
Tuesday, March 14, 2017
MRC's Bozell & Graham Try to Dance On Grave of Gay-Rights Miniseries
Topic: Media Research Center

Hate-watching the ABC miniseries "When We Rise," about the gay-rights movement, was apparently not enough for the Media Research Center. The MRC's Brent Bozell and Tim Graham devoted an entire March 10 column to cheering that the show got bad ratings:

They say network television is a profit-oriented business, but that's obviously not the case when it clashes with Hollywood's sexual politics. Last week, ABC tried to lecture America with a four-part miniseries on the radical gay left called "When We Rise," and it tanked in ratings despite heavy promotion throughout the Academy Awards broadcast the night before the premiere.

Nightly ratings were cracking just below three million viewers. The cable network FX drew far larger numbers for its O.J. Simpson miniseries last year. The History Channel drew almost two million viewers recently for its miniseries "SIX" about Navy SEAL Team Six. Those are obscure cable channels next to ABC.

Of course, lack of popularity does not necessarily equal lack of quality, and these two are indulging in a fallacy to suggest otherwise.

Bozell and Graham also complain:

Then there's just the corrosive hatred. On the first night, the main character Cleve Jones tells one of his lovers: "I say we just get rid of all the heterosexuals. They're so boring."

Can you imagine the outcry if a straight character were to say, "Let's get rid of all the homosexuals"?

That phraseology sounds strangely familiar. Here's the MRC's Alexa Moutevelis Coombs from her hate-watch of the series:

Cleve tells one of his lovers, “I say we just get rid of all the heterosexuals. They're so boring.” Can you imagine if a straight character said, "Let's get rid of all the homosexuals?"

Aside from ripping the quote out of context -- in neither post is it stated what the motivation is for this character to say this, presumably all the better to manufacture anti-gay outrage -- it seems Bozell and Graham are just lazily copying-and-pasting from their own employees.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:27 PM EDT
WND's Farah Decides: Trump Sent By God
Topic: WorldNetDaily

The WorldNetDaily-generated chorus claiming that Donald Trump's election was divine intervention keeps growing (at WND).

In a March 7 article, WND's Bob Unruh cites religious-right fave James Dobson has weigh in in the affirmative:

Now Dr. James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family, Family Talk radio and an adviser to presidents, says he believes Trump is a “reprieve” for America.

Find out the ultimate “Restitution of All Things” in Joseph Farah’s exploration of the coming Kingdom of God on Earth.

In an interview with Todd Starnes at the National Religious Broadcasters Association convention in Orlando, Florida, Dobson said: “I’m convinced Donald Trump is God’s man for this hour. He is not a perfect man. He’s what I would call a flawed vessel. But so am I, and so are you, and so are all of us.”

He cautioned that President Trump “very well may disappoint us.”

“He may not live up to the standards we expect. But I believe he’s there on purpose.”

The 2016 presidential election, in which Barack Obama’s progressive, pro-homosexual, pro-abortion, anti-American agenda, embodied in candidate Hillary Clinton, was soundly rejected by voters, had America on the edge of a cliff, he said.

“I don’t think we would have ever recovered from it, and I thank the Lord for giving us a reprieve,” he said.

Actually, Clinton defeated Trump by nearly 3 million votes, so that's a funny definition of Clinton being "soundly rejected."

WND editor cited Dobson, as well as his earlier interactions with Obama-hating rabbi and WND cash machine Jonathan Cahn, in his  March 12 column, declaring that "I now believe with all my heart" that Cahn's book "The Harbinger" and the movie Farah and WND made from that book "turned the hearts of Christians in America to humility, prayer, to seeking God’s face and repentance, just as II Chronicles 7:14 commands in times of national backsliding." (How convenient that a WND-made product and Farah's close friend caused this to happen.)

Farah continued:

If I am right and we are experiencing a partial “restoration” in 2017, what better time to explore with me what the full, complete, seldom explored, prophetic story of the ultimate restoration will look like?

Peter said it is what all the prophets from Creation onward were talking about and pointing toward with the greatest of hope.

Don’t get me wrong. We live in a time of conflict, turbulence, maybe even a little chaos. But, don’t you feel a little more hope today than you did last year at this time? Don’t you think we might be getting just a glimpse of the possibility of a national “reprieve” in which God smiles upon His people?

I’m convinced.

It’s why there’s a little strut in my step. It’s why despite a lot of bad news, I feel like I can see a glimmer of hope. It’s why I am so sure things are getting better, rather than worse.

But it’s time to recognize what’s happening and why. It’s not time to cease the humbling of ourselves and the fervent, heart-felt prayers, the seeking of His face and the turning away from sin. It’s time to recognize that it really does work – and pour it on!

Are you with me? Let me know.

We've never seen any evidence that Farah has ever humbled himself before the Lord or anyone else, as his column's plugging of not only Cahn's work (on sale at WND) but his own new book (WND-published, natch) in which he claims to examine "the ultimate restoration of all things that comes with the return of Jesus the Messiah to rule and reign over the whole earth from His throne in Jerusalem." Farah never publicly repented for running a dishonest website and pursuing an agenda of personal destruction against Barack Obama, and there's no reason to think he'll make an about-face and humble himself anytime soon.

There's also no evidence that Farah has considered the possibility that Obama was actually the blessing from God and that Trump is the curse. He's too blinded by his right-wing ideology to ever consider that.


Posted by Terry K. at 4:24 PM EDT
MRC Demands Coverage of Meaningless Climate Denier Petition
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Aly Nielsen complains in a March 1 post:

The liberal media love to report on climate change so long as the story affirms an alarmist, man-caused climate change narrative. When scientists question that, the media fall silent.

More than 300 scientists, engineers and meteorologists, led by MIT Meteorology professor Dr. Richard Lindzen, signed a petition asking President Trump to “withdraw from the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)” on Feb. 23, 2017. But ABC, CBS and NBC morning and evening news shows never once mentioned the letter between Feb. 23 and March 1.

Nielsen glosses over the fact that it seems a small minority of those 300-plus signatories to the petition have any expertise in climatology -- hence her adding "scientists" and "engineers" to the list -- which would seem to show that the list is made up of activists who put politics ahead of science.

Indeed, the very first signature on the petition is Habibullo Abdussamatov, whose climate-denier work has been discredited. Also on the list for some reason is Ted Baehr, who's much better known as a professional prude for the film-review site Movieguide and who apparently hasn't done any environmental research work in decades.

Another signatory is denier and birther dead-ender Christopher Monckton.

The premise behind this petition is the same as one circulated for years by climate denier, questionable homeschool curriculum creator and friend of WorldNetDaily Art Robinson. It's been pointed out that well over 10 million college graduates with science degrees have been churned out by universities in the past 40 or so years. Add engineering graduates to that, as Nielsen wants to do, and there are millions more.

Putting the petition's 300 signatories in that perspective exposes what a fringe effort this is. That, and not the old "liberal bias" boogeyman, is why the media isn't covering the petition.

Nielsen also goes on to note the outlets that gave the petition favorable -- "The Washington Times, The Hill, Climate Depot, Fox Nation, The Free Beacon, and climate blog Watts Up With That" -- but she failed to identify them as conservative or denier. By contrast, the sole outlet she cited as critical of the petition, DeSmogBlog, she makes sure to label as "liberal."

DeSmogBlog, by the way, also helps makes our point about the lack of relevant expertise among the petition's signataories: "There are medical doctors, mystery men, coal executives, petroleum engineers, economists, and think tank members. Only a small handful could be considered even remotely 'qualified' or 'eminent' — but not in the field of climate science."


Posted by Terry K. at 1:19 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, March 14, 2017 8:53 AM EDT
Monday, March 13, 2017
WND Clinton Derangement Watch, Spinach Pancake Edition
Topic: WorldNetDaily

For a website founded in no small part to attack the Clinton administration, it's no surprise to see that Clinton derangement is strong at WorldNetDaily. And it has continued well after Hillary Clinton lost the presidential race.

Just check out this snotty March 8 WND article by Chelsea Schilling:

Can Chelsea Clinton do anything right?

The former first daughter’s new book, “Governing Global Health,” is such a flop, Chelsea won’t even discuss it. Upon reading it, one reviewer remarked, “Holy hell, that was horrible.”

Despite her eye-popping $600,000 salary from NBC, her short journalism career was such a disaster, the Washington Post dubbed her “one of the most boring people of her era.”

And now Chelsea is apparently trying her hand at liquefied spinach pancakes – and her new “Soylent Green”-style food experiment has Twitter followers ready to lose their collective lunches.

On March 7, also known as National Pancake Day, Chelsea tweeted a photo of her pea-green spinach pancakes with the message: “Spinach pancakes for #NationalPancakeDay (we won’t eat them all tonight although Charlotte would if we let her)!”

Schilling devotes most of the rest of her article to reprinting insults of how those pancakes looked.

That's right -- WND thought Chelsea Clinton making pancakes that weren't aesthetically pleasing was worth devoting an article to.

But that's not all. An anonmyously written WND article the same day starts off with similarly snice shots at Chelsea's mother:

This latest poll isn’t good news for Hillary Clinton.

Not on the day she scheduled her reemergence on the public stage with a speech at the Kennedy Center in Washington … not on the feminist-sponsored National Day Without Women … not on the day ADP, a global human-resources and payroll firm, reported U.S. companies adding 298,000 new jobs in President Trump’s first full month in office – 100,000 more than economists expected … not on the day Ivanka Trump’s clothing line is reporting record sales despite calls for boycotts by Trump critics … and certainly not the day following another poll showing a majority of likely New York voters not wanting Clinton to run for mayor.

The new poll by Suffolk University shows just 35 percent of registered voters continue to have a favorable view of Clinton, with 55 percent having an unfavorable opinion.

The article went on to claim that "In a gender-swapping experiment conducted in January by two self-identified 'liberal' professors at New York University, where actors of the opposite sex played the roles of the two candidates citing lines and copying body language and intonation, the professors and their primarily liberal audience were shocked with how hard the male version of Clinton was to admire while the female Trump 'shined' in moments they recalled as the real Trump 'flailing or lashing out.'"


Posted by Terry K. at 6:17 PM EDT
CNS' Unemployment Coverage: New Regime Edition
Topic: CNSNews.com

The shift in reporting on monthly unemployment figures at CNSNews.com continues to show a marked change now that a Republican is president.

Susan Jones' main article on February's jobless numbers carries the optimistic headline "152,528,000: Record Number of Employed in February; Participation Rate Rises." By contrast, the headlines in the Obama era would tout how many people were not in the workforce, even though many people choose not to work due to being retired or students. Jones actually notes that prominently in her article -- something she usually failed to do under Obama.

We get the usual sidebar from Terry Jeffrey fretting about increasing government jobs and the comparatively lower number of manufacturing jobs -- but true to right-wing form, Jeffrey gives no credit to Obama for the fact that, according to the chart accompanying his article, manufacturing jobs have been on the increase since 2010.

Missing again from CNS' coverage are a couple of old Obama-era favorites: articles on the "real" unemployment rate and the high rate of black unemployment. Those got replaced by an article by Melanie Arter uncritically quoting White House press secretary Sean Spicer asserting that the unemployment numbers "may have been phony in the past but it’s very real now," though he provided no evidence that the methodology for computing the numbers has changed at all.

If one needs an example of CNS' right-wing, pro-Trump bias, we can't think of a clearer one.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:33 PM EDT
WND's Failed Gotcha Attack On NY Times For Doing What WND Does
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Bob Unruh sure thought he had a big scoop in a March 10 WorldNetDaily article:

The New York Times has removed the word “wiretapped” from the headline of a pre-inauguration story on data being used by the federal government to investigate aides to President Donald Trump.

The stunning move comes after Trump charged his campaign headquarters was wiretapped by the federal government, drawing criticism from longtime federal employees and Democrats.

The Times changed its headline from “Wiretapped data used in inquiry of Trump aides” to “Intercepted Russian communications part of inquiry into Trump associates.” The text of the story still includes “wiretapped.”

Unruh went on to quote Rush Limbaugh: "We’ve got a revised New York Times headline – sneaky, sneaky, sneaky – as they postdate-change the headline, wiping out the word ‘wiretaps’ and ‘wiretapped’ from their headline on a story January 20th.”

You know who else sneakily issues major changes to articles after publication without telling readers? WND. Just five days before Unruh's article was published, we caught WND manufacturing a fake quote from former Attorney General Loretta Lynch, from which it quietly removed the quote marks several hours after publication.

WND quietly rewrote an article filled with false speculatlon in December, and in January it rewrote a false headline and published a Photoshopped picture of then-President Obama as real -- all without telling readers about the changes.

There was another reason Unruh's article was wrong -- but this time, for once, Unruh admits the correction in a editor's note:

Editor’s Note: Rush Limbaugh posted a correction regarding the New York Times’ headline after this story was published. It says: “After today’s show we learned that the New York Times did not alter its headline. They say there were two headlines all along, one in the online version, and one in the print edition. The print edition used the word ‘wiretapped’ and the online edition never did. However, this does not change the premise that the story (Trump and Russians hacked the election) is waning in the MSM.”

This WND story has been corrected to reflect that the change was made between the print version and the online version.

(The original is archived here for posterity.)

What Unruh did not do, however, is explain that this isn't a big deal. Newspapers regularly have different headlines for print and online editions of the same story, typically to reflect changes after publication but also because online headlines are not subject to the same constraints as a print headline. The Times itself explained that "To some degree, there’s nothing new about changing headlines. Editors regularly tweak them in print for any number of reasons — updates, greater clarity, a change in the layout." The Times also said that it often tests two different headlines for the same story online to see which one attracts more readers.

So WND, with Rush Limbaugh's help, tried -- and failed -- to make an issue out of doing what WND itself regularly engages in, though it turns out that the Times wasn't doing that at all. Unruh didn't tell that to his readers either.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:22 AM EDT
Updated: Monday, March 13, 2017 12:57 AM EDT
Sunday, March 12, 2017
Shocker: CNS Actually Criticizes Trump's Health Care Plan
Topic: CNSNews.com

Well, it seems the Trump stenographers at CNSNews.com have finally found a line they won't cross in their servile pro-Trump agenda.

The Trump administration's replacement for the Affordable Care Act brought something almost unprecedented from CNS during the Trump administration: negative-leaning coverage of a Trump initiative.

First, CNS served up the usual stenography:

But it also served up articles that noted conservative opposition:

Then CNS moved to publishing op-eds actually attacking the Trump plan for being too Obamacare-y. A column by the Heritage Foundation's Edmund Haislmaier complains the Trump plan "fails to correct the features of Obamacare that drove up health insurance costs" and does not include "market-based replacement reforms."

CNS editor in chief Terry Jeffrey then went on the attack in a March 10 column, singling out the Trump plan's proposal to "replace the Obamacare penalty [for not having health insurance coverage] with their own penalty" that gets paid to insurance companies. "Americans who work, support themselves and do not take government subsidies are not the beneficiaries of this Obamacare repeal — or, that is, this Republican 'replacement.'," Jeffrey grumbled. (Jeffrey had also written a "news" article about this provision.)

In other words, CNS is permitting criticism of Trump's health care plan only because it's not right-wing enough.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:36 PM EST
Updated: Sunday, March 12, 2017 11:42 PM EDT
WND's Lively Expresses His Love for Russia and Putin
Topic: WorldNetDaily

In his March 6 WorldNetDaily column, Scott Lively -- whose expertise runs more toward hating gays than international espionage -- asserts that Jeff Sessions' recusal from any investigation of links between Russia and the Trump campaign was caused by "a bogus intelligence report invented by Obama for the purpose of discrediting the Trump administration." He doesn't explain exactly what was "bogus" about it.

Lively then launches into a full-throated defense of Russia and its leader Vladimir Putin, with an added dose of Obama derangement:

Next, let’s debunk the false premise behind Obama’s strategy and propaganda: that outrageous lie that the Russian government is an evil America-hating regime that seeks to weaken or control the United States through James Bondesqe subversion and spycraft. Back in the 1960s and ’70, when the liberals were politically aligned with the Russians, the Russian-based Soviet Communist bloc WAS in fact an evil empire, and DID work to subvert America. Indeed, the Cultural Marxism dominant in our university system and mainstream media attest to their success. Today, however, the Russian Federation is socially and fiscally conservative and strongly anti-Marxist.

Obama’s strategy and tactics depend on Americans’ general ignorance of the dramatic reversal of Russian culture since Ronald Reagan facilitated a Christian revival in what is now the Russian Federation and various independent nations in Eastern Europe. When the Berlin Wall came down, the churches torn down by the Obama-style Soviet Communists were rebuilt, and, after a couple of decades of gangsterism due to social disorder, today’s primary cultural influence is not Marxism (as it is in the Democratic Party USA) but Orthodox Christianity.

I am speaking from firsthand observation. I’ve been to Russia three times over the past dozen years, including a 10-day mission trip to the Russian far east in 2006, a 50-city speaking tour in 2007 through Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Belarus, Ukraine and Russia (from Siberia all the way to St. Petersburg), and I was in Moscow in 2013 where I was interviewed on Russian national television by the Orthodox patriarch’s right-hand man for family issues. In 2011 I took a mission trip to Moldova and helped the 95 percent pro-family population stop their U.S.-influenced government from sneaking through a major pro-homosexuality law whose passage was timed to match the arrival of Joe Biden. Since 2013 I have visited Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Slovenia and Kyrgyzstan, helping the latter protect marriage in its national constitution in 2016.

I know from whereof I speak: Ideologically and culturally, the Russian people are the closest match to American conservatives and populists in the entire world, and it is only the constant Obama/McCain/Soros/MSM/Deep State anti-Russian propaganda that keeps the Americans from seeing it. Yet, I fault the conservatives and populists themselves in this, since the very people they’re trusting for news on such matters as Syria, Ukraine, the U.S. election and Russia itself are the one’s they know for a fact always lie about cultural and spiritual issues here at home.

I can’t speak to Putin’s character pro or con, but I know he’s a more faithful representative of the will of the Russian people than any of our U.S. presidents from Bush 41 through Obama, and I certainly don’t trust the people who are poisoning Western minds against Putin. If anything, their hostility toward him should enhance his credibility among conservatives.

One: Funny how Lively is now describing his anti-gay activism in other countries as "mission trips."

Two: The "pro-homosexuality law" Lively claims he helped stop in Moldova in 2011 was actually a law that would have prohibited discrimination based on sexual orientation. He doesn't explain why stopping discrimination against gays makes the law "pro-homosexuality."

Three: Also funny how Lively claims ignorance on "Putin’s character pro or con" yet can proclaim him a good man and his critics evil people who are "poisoning Western minds" against him.

Four: Lively's love for Putin and Russia is in league with that of other right-wing, white nationalist and alt-right leaders in the U.S. -- and, as Right Wing Watch details, it ignores the fact that Putin has cracked down against Protestant proselytizing in an attempt to protect the Russian Orthodox Church, something you'd think an evangelical Protestant like Lively would otherwise find concerning.

Further, Putin's crackdown on political opposition and a free press are things Lively would be opposing if they were happening in the U.S. but is apprently perfectly fine with Putin perpetrating.

The type of blinders-on fealty right-wingers like Lively show that he's he's willing to dismantle a free society just to pursure his hatred of gays.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:50 PM EST
Saturday, March 11, 2017
MRC Finds No Humor In Sitcom's "Thanks, Obama" Running Gag
Topic: Media Research Center

How utterly humorless are the folks at the Media Research Center? A recent episode of the CBS sitcom "Man With A Plan" featuring a "Thanks, Obama" running gag had Justin Ashford frowning:

President Barack Obama ruined so many things in America and CBS’s Man With a Plan hysterically takes this to the extreme by blaming him for every bad thing that happens, from potholes to bankrupt businesses to running out of juice.

On Monday’s episode, “Assisted Living,” Adam’s parents, Joe and Bev, visit the family in their RV. It's made apparent that Adam’s dad certainly did not approve of Obama’s administration, as he blames him for the potholes during their road trip, saying "Thanks, Obama." We also find out Joe thinks Andi “accidentally” voted for Obama. No surprise there as we’ve seen her liberal stance on same-sex couples.

Later, Obama gets blamed again when the company Bev uses for lard goes out of business.

[...]

Joe's antics get passed on to the youngest of Adam and Andi’s kids, Emme. She opens the fridge and slams the door, saying, “Thanks Obama!” because they’re out of juice. This doesn’t sit well with Andi, as she states, "He turned our little girl into Bill O'Reilly.”

Though it's said in jest, there are many terrible things we have Obama to "thank" for such as the rise of ISIS, rising health care costs, a crippling national debt, and being a more divided nation than ever before.

All together now: #THANKSOBAMA

Ashford seems to be unaware that the show is mocking humorless people like himself who blamed everything wrong with the country on Obama and are too committed to their right-wing ideology to admit that just maybe Obama was an actual human being who was not the manifestation of pure evil Ashford insists that he is.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:12 AM EST
WND Columnist Blames Christian Bookstore Chain's Demise on Selling 'Heretical' Things
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily columnist Jim Fletcher is normally a hype man for the books published by the same folks who publish his column -- he does this again most recently in a column touting Carl Gallup's new book while failing to mention it was issued by WND -- but he also likes to opine about Christian publishing in general.

He does this in a Feb. 24 column speculating on the failure of the Christian bookstore chain Family Christian Stores. Unfortunately, he decided to blame it on the chain selling things other than the Bible:

A powerful entity, Family was courted by publishers and their sales reps. The result was a multi-headed monster that gouged itself on heretical books and other materials.

The demise of Christian retail and, by extension in my view, the majority of the Evangelical church in this country, came about from a tightly coordinated effort. This ranged from celebrity pastors and ministry heads to publishers and, yes, Christian retail.

The irony is, while Family Christian Stores has imploded, the carcass will simply remain for a while on the highway of “Christian” resources, and the road is well traveled. If books are no longer sold by Family Stores, they will be sold by Amazon, or Saddleback Church, or North Point, or Willow Creek. Et cetera.

You see, a dirty secret of the Evangelical world is that if heretical books no longer have a home in bankrupt retail stores, they live and thrive in conferences, mega-churches, and media.

[...]

At the Family Christian Stores fire sale, one can find books by Jen Hatmaker (a Never-Trumper, socially progressive “evangelical”), Hillsong’s Brian Houston and William Paul Young, who wrote “The Shack.”

That’s just the tip of the iceberg that has rendered the Evangelical community just another glitzy, over-confident Titanic.

Family Christian Stores made a conscious decision years ago to make cash the only real priority. No vetting of books being peddled by publishers and salesmen who were, in some cases, more pagan than Baal. Anything labeling itself “Christian” was allowed in the door, more enthusiastically if the book sold like hotcakes as we used to say.

[...]

It is a sign of our times that when I tell audiences or readers that their best Christian resources are a Bible, pen and notebook, I hear laughter from the audience. It sounds funny, I guess. But it is also the truth. If the American Christian community would study the Bible, pray, and make real disciples, there would be a thriving Christian bookstore on every street corner.

How dare Family Christian try to sell Christian things to Christians to make money! Most people would call that the American way. Of course, in Fletcher's word, anything that doesn't follow a narrow, right-wing interpretation of Christianity is "heretical."

Needless to say, Fletcher's biased analysis overlooks the actual reasons the chain is going out of business. CBN points out that, like most book retailers, Amazon ate into their business and that other chains such as Lifeway and Mardel will likely fill the void; they presumably sell many of the same things Family Christian did.

Christianity Today adds that Family Christian has been in financial peril for years, filing for bankruptcy in 2015, a couple years after buying itself out of private equity ownership and turning itself into a nonprofit company that donated all profits to charity. In order to get out of bankruptcy, though, suppliers reluctantly agreed to write off $20 million of consigned goods to the chain, an act that itself bankrupted a couple of those suppliers.

Patheos blogger Hemant Mehta commented on Fletcher's narrow view of Christianity and Family Christian:

In Fletcher’s world, every Christian bookstore would focus on a single book, and only sell other products that point to how amazing that Bible is. No criticism. No questioning. No alternative perspectives.

If Family Christian Stores had just invested more in their KJV-coated bubble instead of trying to reach more people, they would totally be around right now. Economic forces be damned.

Fletcher offers no evidence to back up his suggestion that his extremely narrow view of Christianity constitutes a viable retail model.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:23 AM EST
Friday, March 10, 2017
Michael Reagan Forgets Trump Is Also An Anti-Vaxxer
Topic: Newsmax

Michael Reagan complains in his March 4 Newsmax column:

It’s significant that the more the left’s cultural Marxism permeates the nation, the more superstition, ideology, and paranoia take precedence over science.

And President Trump’s recent appointment of Robert F. Kennedy Jr. as chairman of a new commission on vaccines certainly doesn’t help matters. Kennedy is a believer in the repeatedly disproved superstition that vaccines cause autism.

This damaging assertion, combined with gullible members of the media and the public, has caused vaccination rates of schoolchildren to fall in many areas.

While Reagan is correct on the efficacy of vaccines, he gets a couple of things wrong.

First, his attempt to blame the anti-vaxxer movement on "the left’s cultural Marxism" is ridiculous. It's more prevalent on the right than it has ever been on the left, as anti-vaccine fearmongering by WorldNetDailly and the Media Research Center demonstrate.

Second, nowhere in his column does Reagan mention the highly relevant fact that Trump himself has pushed that very same repeatedly disproved superstition that vaccines cause autism.

We don't know if Reagan has ever criticized Trump for his anti-vaxxer stance -- we could find no example of such in a quick Google search. This column would have been an appropriate time to do so. but he didn't.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:39 PM EST
The MRC's 'Far-Left' Fascination
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Curtis Houck used a March 3 post to come to the defense of right-wing author Charles Murray, who was "chased ... from far-left Middlebury College by an angry mob" where he was planning to give a speech. He further complained that the Associated Press cited "the far-left Southern Poverty Law Center, touting their belief that Murray is a 'white nationalist' using 'racist pseudoscience and misleading statistics to argue that social inequality is caused by the genetic inferiority of the black and Latino communities, women and the poor.'"

Strangely, Houck didn't actually challenge the SPLC's description of Murray (other than that it was expressed), nor does he defend Murray's views let alone explain why they would be considered controversial enough to protest; he just benignly describes Murray as a "longtime conservative author, columnist, and think tank scholar." The full SPLC profile of Murray is here, since Houck couldn't be bothered to link to it.

But let's look at something else: Houck's overuse of the "far-left" descriptor. That's just cheap and lazy heat on Houck's part; neither the SPLC or the entirety of Middlebury College can plausibly be dismissed as "far left" by a neutral observer.

Indeed, attacking anything and everything as "far left" is something of an avocation at the MRC. Here are the things have attacked as "far left" so far in 2017 alone:

(And here's a bonus entry from late December: Walter Cronkite.)

Not all of these things are "far left." In fact, most of them aren't.  They only look "far left" if you're a right-winger like Houck and his MRC stablemates. It's as if the MRC doesn't understand that words mean things.

Except they do. In 2015, the MRC's Rich Noyes complained that the broadcast networks "have gone out of their way to relentlessly paint House Republicans, especially the Freedom Caucus, as ideologues who are outside the American political mainstream" by using labels such as "far right." Noyes went on to huff that "The media’s repeated labeling of conservatives as outside-the-mainstream is something that liberals don’t have to face."

Except from the right-wing ideologues at the MRC, who again refuse to hold themselves to the same behavior they demand from others.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:55 AM EST

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