ConWebBlog: The Weblog of ConWebWatch

your New Media watchdog

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

Thursday, April 20, 2017
Why The MRC's New Study of 'Negative' Trump Coverage Is Bogus
Topic: Media Research Center

Last month, the Media Research Center put out a so-called study claiming that the "liberal media" (read: just the evening news on CBS, NBC and ABC) was overwhelmingly negative toward President Trump.

Well, Rich Noyes and Mike Ciandella have apparently updated that study, and its predictable results (the MRC wouldn't be touting if it didn't conform to its agenda) making the right-wing rounds once again:

As President Trump approaches the end of his first 100 days in office, he has received by far the most hostile press treatment of any incoming American president, with the broadcast networks punishing him with coverage that has been 89% negative. The networks largely ignored important national priorities such as jobs and the fight against ISIS, in favor of a news agenda that has been dominated by anti-Trump controversies and which closely matches what would be expected from an opposition party.

Unusual for an MRC study, the MRC prominently touts what it claims to be a methodology for its study:

Methodology: Our measure of spin was designed to isolate the networks’ own slant, not the back-and-forth of partisan politics. Thus, our analysts ignored soundbites which merely showcased the traditional party line (Republicans supporting Trump, Democrats criticizing him), and instead tallied evaluative statements which imparted a clear positive or negative tone to the story, such as statements from experts presented as non-partisan, voters, or opinionated statements from the networks’ own reporters.

Using these criteria, MRC analysts tallied 1,687 evaluative statements about the Trump administration, of which 1,501 (89%) were negative vs. a mere 186 (11%) which were positive.

This prominently stated methodology, however, can't hide the fact that it's not a valid one. "negative" and "positive" are subjective values, and thus, difficult to quantify for the purposes of objective research. Given, for example,  the MRC's propensity to label anything and everything as "far left," its sense of value judgment in research probably shouldn't be trusted.

The study also fails to account for negative news reported objectively in its methodology. That means a negative story about Trump is classified as "negative" even if it was reported accurately and without bias. There's also no comprehensive list of evaluated statements, so less subjective observers can evaluate their work.

Finally, the MRC offers no baseline from which to judge the relative purported "liberal bias" of the networks. The MRC would never subject the Trump-fluffers at Fox News to such a study -- in addition to not wanting to jeopardize future appearances on Fox News and Fox Business by MRC talking heads, the fact is that even conservative-leaning researcher Robert Lichter admits Fox News' coverage of Trump has skewed negative.

Indeed, MRC chief Brent Bozell has already appeared on Fox Business to promote the study, where he ludicrously ranted that "This is not a press that has any interest in objective truth." So the guy whose organization effectively denied the existence of objective truth in order to protect Trump from his continual stream of lies is now passing judgment on the media for refusing to be as sycophantic toward Trump as he demands them to be?

Trump and the MRC really are in this together, given the fact that both have benefited from the largesse of right-wing philanthropist Robert Mercer and his family (Mercer's daughter Rebekah is on the MRC board of directors).

Bozell and the MRC are in working-the-refs mode here -- they simply don't want any negative coverage of their boy Trump.


Posted by Terry K. at 7:59 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, April 20, 2017 11:31 PM EDT
WND Still Mocking Transgenders With Photo It Stole From AP
Topic: WorldNetDaily

We've documented how WorldNetDaily loves to smear transgenders by illustrating photos about them with a picture of the hairy legs of a man wearing a dress and heels (from a 2012 "hairy legs on heels" race, meaning the person in the photo is not transgender) that it stole from the Associated Press.

WND just can't get enough of that photo, apparently. It recycled the photo again for an April 13 article headlined "Boys with vaginas cause wild confusion in U.S. emergency rooms":

The anonymously written article rants about "the confusion that comes with gender surprises" in medical care, which WND then extends into "confusion in the world of athletic sports."

It's a lame and gutless article -- and about the speed of WND these days.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:59 PM EDT
CNS Lends Its Stenography Skills to Judicial Watch
Topic: CNSNews.com

The Trump administration is not the only group for which CNSNews.com serves as a committed and loyal stenographer. Right-wing legal group Judicial Watch also benefits from CNS' stenography services to the point where CNS is effectively Judicial WAtch's PR shop.

In the past few months, CNS has churned out these press releases -- er, "news" articles for Judicial Watch's benefit:

All of these articles quote only Judicial Watch officials or things taken from Judicial Watch press releases. No attempt is made to obtain reaction to Judicial Watch's actions.

As if that wasn't enough -- and it apparently wasn't -- CNS also gave Judicial Watch chief Tom Fitton his own column in which the tone is little different from the "news" articles about most of the same things. Fitton has written these for CNS since the beginning of the year:

Fitton hardly needs to write columns for CNS, since its "news" articles are pretty much the same thing.

Of course, such stenography work will eventually dry up for CNS because Judicial Watch has little interest in holding the Trump administration accountable in the same way it went after the Obama administration.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:51 AM EDT
Wednesday, April 19, 2017
WND's Farah Still Sucking Up to Steve Bannon
Topic: WorldNetDaily

We've detailed how WorldNetDaily and editor Joseph Farah is trying to glom onto Breitbart in its ascendancy as a state-run media outlet due to Steve Bannon being a top aide to President Trump, in what seems to be an attempt to bask a little in Breitbart's reflected glory. It hasn't really stopped.

WND suddenly remembered that its online store offered a pro-Reagan documentary Bannon made, so it started plugging that while playing up how it was "directed by top Trump adviser Steve Bannon." Farah wrote a companion promotional column that did some serious sucking up:

I’m here to say some nice words about Steven Bannon – to offset some of the hysteria raging across America and fueled by the Big Media.

If you want to know Steve Bannon’s heart, watch some of those “weaponized” documentaries. I will recommend one in particular. It goes back a few years. When I saw it in 2004, it was the first time I heard Steve Bannon’s name. Instantly, I knew we were kindred spirits. And, you know what, it stands up as well today as the day it was released.

The movie is called “In the Face of Evil: Reagan’s War in Word and Deed.” It’s the best documentary on Reagan I’ve ever seen. In fact, it’s one of the best documentaries I’ve ever seen on any topic. And I know something about making documentaries, having produced a few.

[...]

The obvious question the viewer was left with was: What would Reagan do about the new face of evil? Bannon saw what was around the corner, when few others did. His movie was prophetic. That’s what makes it a must-see – especially for a generation that may have missed it 13 years ago.

I bet you’ll stand up and applaud when you see the end. I bet you’ll ask yourself, “How did he see that coming?”

That’s why I am so grateful that Donald Trump saw fit to select Steve Bannon as his special adviser and strategist – even allowing him to sit in on National Security Council meetings.

Then, on April 16, Farah penned a column detailing 10 reasons "why Trump’s worst enemies are now targeting Bannon" that's also "a list of reasons why Trump to stick with him and listen closely and carefully to his wise counsel":

1) Because Bannon is as committed to accomplishing the Trump agenda laid out during the 2016 campaign every bit as much as Trump himself. (Can anyone honestly say that about everyone advising the president today?)
2) Because Bannon, as the chief executive officer of the Trump campaign, helped accomplish something that few in the media thought possible – beat Hillary Clinton. (No, he didn’t win the election single-handedly, and I’ve never heard him suggest that. Donald Trump’s name was on the ballot, and he won the election. But Bannon’s campaign won, and John Podesta’s didn’t.)
3) Because Bannon is a proven political strategist, and that’s what it takes to change the political culture in Washington and get things done. (The job of political strategy doesn’t end when governance begins.)
4) Because if Bannon falls, the sharks will just circle some other effective, committed Trump aides in hopes of taking them down one at a time.
5) Because Bannon doesn’t care about being loved by his ardent adversaries, only about defeating them.
6) Because Bannon, perhaps second only to Trump himself, has a genuine connection with the president’s base of support who elected him.
7) Because it’s good for Trump to have someone around who the media hate more than him.
8) Because Trump should have some close advisers who are not family members.
9) Because Bannon is not a “yes man” and will never just tell Trump what he wants to hear.
10) Because Bannon is as disdainful of the Big Media as I am, having declared war on them as chief executive officer of Breitbart.com, long before Trump did in the 2016 campaign, but, I might add, not before me.

Farah sycophantically concluded: "If I were Donald Trump, I would never give my enemies the satisfaction of allowing the one guy whom they hate so much to get away."

Is Farah trying to give Bannon and Breitbart a reason to buy out WND so Farah can finally cash in? That's one possible explanation for Farah's suck-up campaign, though we can see no advantage Breitbart would gain by doing so.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:02 PM EDT
MRC Won't Tell Readers How Reporter Who Exposed Trump Won His Pulitzer
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Curtis Houck rants in an April 12 post:

Speaking to a packed audience at Washington’s The Newseum, Washington Post reporter and new Pulitzer Prize winner David Fahrenthold proclaimed that the Trump era has yielded “a time of extraordinary power for the media in Washington and that — I mean that, power.”

[...]

With some laughter, Fahrenthold got serious as he touted the media’s “extraordinary power” that miraculously appeared starting on November 9. He fretted about Trump supporters who would be speaking later at the event, noting that they “have called us fake news or the enemy of the people.”

“We actually — the truth is we live in a time when the folks in power — the folks with power in Washington often lack the cohesion, the ability, the organization to shape the narrative about themselves. Usually, one of the dynamics we deal with in Washington is that a presidential administration sort of acting as a unit to shape the way the public sees them,” he added.

Translation? The media now has the power to destroy you if you stand in their way or don’t fit their narrative. With journalism largely on a hiatus the last four years, the profession has found new energy since their pals in the Democratic Party lost the chance to stay in the White House.

Curiously, Houck never mentions how Fahrenthold won his Pulitzer: for exposing Donald Trump's failure to follow up on his charitable giving promises until those broken promises were reported, as well as the self-dealing of his family charity. It's as if Houck is a little jealous of the attention.

That's a bit of misplaced pettiness, given that even the MRC found little to criticize in Fahrenthold's reporting on Trump. When mentioned at all, it was usually only in passing, according to a search of the NewsBusters archive. If the MRC couldn't find anything to attack Fahrenthold on, his reporting must have been especially solid.

Also, Houck's interpretation of Fahrenthold's remarks as claiming that "the media now has the power to destroy you if you stand in their way or don’t fit their narrative" is rather rich, given how the MRC uses its power to try and destroy all liberals they despise and even any conservative who fails to toe right-wing or pro-Trump orthodoxy.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:35 PM EDT
WND Still Giving Space to Dubious Claims about White 'Genocide' In South Africa
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Alex Newman -- he of the whitewashing of apartheid -- is still at it, and WorldNetDaily is still giving him a platform.

An anonymously written April 11 WND article details Newman's conversation with birther Carl Gallups about Newman's factually dubious claim that white farmers in South Africa are facing a "genocide." Once again, Newman ignores the fact that the murder rate for blacks in South Africa is much higher than for whites.

Nevertheless, Newman is allowed to claim that "There is no other group in the world that faces this kind of slaughter" than South African whites. Except, you know, for South African blacks, but he won't tell you that.

Newman then tries to pass the buck:

Newman suggested the reason the media are ignoring the violence against white South Africans is because journalists played a large role in creating the political climate that led to the atrocities of today. He noted South Africa had many different options during the 1980s and 1990s about how to dismantle apartheid, but the “media and the Western establishment” demanded an immediate surrender of power to the communists and the terrorists.

“There were a lot of black groups and white groups who said, no, this is a terrible idea, let’s think about this a little bit before we hand all power to this Soviet-backed militant organization that has been murdering people, that has been putting tires around black people’s necks and setting them on fire for opposing their policies,” explained Newman. “But no, the media had to have it their way … and so now we see the fruits of it, and no one wants to look at it.”

Gallups said there are ominous signs of the same kind of slow-building demonization campaign in the United States. He noted former President Barack Obama’s attempts to incite people against police officers and Christians, a process Gallups outlined in his book, “Be Thou Prepared.”

At no point in the article is Newman quoted as saying that apartheid was a horribly racist and unfair system (you know, kinda like former WND columnist Ilana Mercer) that deserved immediate replacement.

Also, Gallups blaming Obama for  a "slow-building demonization campaign" against "police officers and Christians" is laughable given Gallups' own demonization campaign against Obama. Not only is he a hard-core birther, he introduced the meme that the Bible proves Obama is the literal Antichrist.

As might be expected from a white "former resident" of South Africa, Newman remains condescending toward blacks in the country and argues against multiculturalism, which appears to be a veiled argument for the return of apartheid because he certainly does not want the blacks running things:

“In South Africa, you have this Christian minority that brought Western Civilization to what was at the time an almost uninhabited land. I think people in America have a hard time understanding this because we have a different point of reference, but the chasm between the culture of the Afrikaners – Western Christian farmers – and some of these African people groups which exist to this day, which worship ancestors and things like that, is enormous. Imagine taking farmers from Kansas and dropping them into the middle of Rwanda and saying, ‘Now you guys are going to have a democracy.’ It’s a very hard thing to understand, but you could see where it would lead.”

Newman said the attempt to force all peoples and cultures under a single system will cost Western Christians dearly.

“I think people need to realize that we’re moving toward this global system,” he warned. “The U.N. is now constantly declaring itself to be the global government. The last secretary general said the U.N. is the ‘parliament of humanity.’ So what’s going to happen to what remains of the Christian West, under this system that they’re talking about imposing on us? Well, we’ll be a tiny, outnumbered minority with no ability to control our own destiny, no ability to control our own schools and our own education and our own institutions.

“I think what’s happening to the Afrikaner community in South Africa is essentially a sneak preview of what will come to the remnant of the Christian West if we allow this all to continue.”

Perhaps Newman should review a bit of South African history -- and accept apartheid for the evil it was -- if he wants to understand why some black have an animus against the Afrikaners who repressed them for decades and the "Western Civilization" they used in their repression.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:54 AM EDT
Tuesday, April 18, 2017
At CNS, Trump's Flip-Flop on NATO Is Just A 'Policy Shift'
Topic: CNSNews.com

When President Trump declared that NATO is "no longer obsolete" -- a complete reversal from a position he had articulated just three months earlier -- most news organizations pointed it out as the flip-flop it was.

And then there's the loyal Trump stenographers at CNSNews.com, who would never be so gauche as to report that their dear leader was caught in a flip-flop.

Melanie Arter's April 12 article on his NATO remarks doesn't even mention the reversal; instead, like a loyal stenographer, she simply repeats Trump's statement that "I said it was obsolete; it's no longer obsolete" and made the lead of her story about Trump calling on NATO "to work together to resolve the disaster currently taking place in Syria."

Two days later, Arter wrote a follow-up article that spins Trump's numerous flip-flops as "policy shifts" by, yes, uncritically quoting Trump press secretary Sean Spicer:

When asked to explain some of President Donald Trump’s recent policy shifts, the White House said Thursday that in some cases - NATO, for example - the issue is evolving towards the position that the president articulated.

“I think you can look at what you're referring to as a shift in a lot of ways,” White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said in response to a question about what the American people should make of the policy shifts the president has made on issues such as labeling China as a currency manipulator and asking Congress to do away with the Export-Import Bank.

“By that I mean I saw a couple instances with respect to NATO being one of those shifts yesterday, and if you look at what’s happened, those entities, or individuals in some cases, are issues evolving towards the president’s position. And NATO, in particular, he talked about the need of countries to pay their fair share, to live up to their commitments of 2 percent of GDP. He talked about the need for NATO to focus more on terrorism. NATO has done just that,” Spicer said.

“And it's something that he pointed out in the debate -- the first debate in September of last year. He talked about the fact that NATO is moving towards what he has been calling for, and I think in some cases, the issues evolve -- that it's not just a clear and fast statement that this is -- the entity itself is moving towards his -- or the issue is evolving towards the position that he articulated,” Spicer said.

But as Politico pointed out, NATO has been focusing on terrorism for decades, which means any "evolution" Trump claims happened always exists.

Again, a Trump stenographer like Arter simply wouldn't be so gauche as to commit journalism by noting that.


Posted by Terry K. at 6:11 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, April 18, 2017 6:15 PM EDT
Obama Derangement Syndrome Watch, Mychal Massie Edition
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Why aren’t the radical, liberal women’s groups that are in a constant state of angst claiming they’re being abused my men, apoplectic that a spineless Obama uses a woman to suffer public indignities for what he wanted done. And make no mistake; there is no way [Susan] Rice’s actions were taking place without White House approval.

Why aren’t these women’s groups caterwauling about the public abuse and mental anguish Rice is made to suffer by a man in the ultimate position of power who instead hides behind her dress?

It is the same thing with Hillary Clinton. Bill Clinton has publicly humiliated Hillary to the point of making her a joke and a laughingstock. Why do the media that are quick to label all discussion of the criminality of Rice as racist and sexist not condemn the emotional abuse of Rice by Obama?

Why didn’t Obama send a man out to publicly lie about Benghazi since he didn’t have the guts to do it himself? Why did he send a “po little African-American” woman to suffer shame, public humiliation and face prosecution?

Liberals like Obama talk big, but at the end of the day they are craven sissy-boys who hide behind the skirts of women – while so-called women’s rights groups remain silent, blaming instead those who expose law breaking and claiming they do so only because they’re sexist and/or racist.

-- Mychal Massie, April 10 WorldNetDaily column


Posted by Terry K. at 3:50 PM EDT
Monday, April 17, 2017
WND Columnist: That Guy Chose To Be Dragged Off That Airplane!
Topic: WorldNetDaily

The incident of a man getting dragged off a United Airlines flight despite having paid for his seat has received near-universal condemnation.

Note that we said "near-universal." That's where WorldNetDaily columnist Sean Harshey comes in. He actually blames the man, David Dao, for making the decision to be dragged off the plane, and also for some reason "leftist individualism" for Dao thinking he had a right to take his flight because he paid for his seat and was already seated in it.

No, really. Harshey writes in his April 14 WND column:

Over the past several decades, Western civilization has been under relentless siege by leftists seeking control of the foundational institutions of our communities – courts, legislative bodies, academia, media, etc. – in order to tear down collective norms.

Over the past few years, however, there has been a new twist. A push by leftists to give individuals a veto over community standards with which they personally disagree. What to do when someone personally decides that marriage should be something besides what it has always been? The leftist answer is to allow every individual to redefine marriage to whatever they personally want it to mean. What about a man who decides that he wishes he were a woman – a biological, scientific and medical impossibility? Leftists control over foundational institutions is used to enforce his personal fiction on society, demanding he be treated and referred to as a woman, going so far as to permit him to dominate women in sports and intimidate them in restrooms.

The common theme is to turn community norms and standards upside down and portray them as an evil thing to be defeated instead of a good thing that holds us together. Chaos and confusion are the new “good” in place of order and peace.

[...]

To recap, Dr. Dao was in his seat on an airliner prior to takeoff. United reportedly overbooked the flight. Without sufficient volunteers, the airline selected random travelers for rebooking. Dao was asked by the flight crew to leave the aircraft. He refused. The flight crew summoned police who asked him to gather his belongings and exit the aircraft. He still refused. In video of the incident, Dao – a Kentucky physician – is seen screaming and physically fighting police efforts to remove him from his seat. Once pulled out of his seat, he goes limp on the floor, requiring police to drag him by the arms down the aisle of the aircraft.

As in the matters of Brown, Gray and Garner, most discussions ignore Dao’s fighting with police by debating the underlying reasons for his contact with officers. Why are airlines permitted to overbook flights? Or why was Dr. Dao allowed to board the airplane before being bumped? But these are not the decisions of police. They are not policies of the flight crew. When Dao was asked by the crew to leave the aircraft, or when he was ordered off the flight by police, that was not the time for a debate about the correctness of airline policies any more than a sidewalk on Staten Island was an appropriate place for Eric Garner to fight police because he disagrees with a law against selling individual cigarettes.

The difference with Dr. Dao is that many more Americans can relate to the aggravation of being bumped from a flight than can understand walking in the middle of a street, resisting arrest or selling cigarettes on the sidewalk. And, unlike Brown, Gray and Garner, Dr. Dao did nothing to cause the initial interaction with the flight crew. He was randomly selected.

The question remains, however: What should police have done instead? The doctor was forcibly removed from the aircraft because he would not stand up and walk out. The screaming, fighting and lying on the floor were all Dao’s choices.

If someone believes a law is dumb, should he be allowed to violate that law if he resists hard enough?

The situation with Dr. Dao and the police is another step toward the chaos liberals are urging in every corner of our culture. As much as we sympathize with his situation, we should resist joining in the calls for people to assert themselves as individual islands or sovereign nations in any and every situation at the cost of confusion and turmoil in our society.

Harshey is misleading in claiming that only "leftists" push individualism: The organization that publishes Harshey's column loves to tout individuals who break laws they think are dumb. The ones that say you have to pay your income tax, for instance.

Also, Dao violated no laws; United Airlines, utilizing what it claimed to be a company policy, arbitrarily chose him to be removed from the plane to allow an airline employee to fly in his place. If you are unfairly and arbitrarily being singled out because of a company policy, that would seem exactly the time to resist it.

United went there by dragging Dao off the plane and somebody caught it on video. Now it's paying the costs in terms of bad publicity and customer anger, and it's also been forced by the incident to change its policies.

Dao was clearly not planning to do what he did, but it worked in terms to drawing attention to the injustice of United's policies, and any lawsuit over it he may file against the airline is highly likely to be successful.


Posted by Terry K. at 5:39 PM EDT
MRC on Spicer's Hitler Gaffe: He Apologized, Quit Talking About It!
Topic: Media Research Center

The unenthusiasm with which the Media Research Center greeted the subject of White House press secretary Sean Spicer trying to argue that Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad was worse than Hitler was demonstrated by its first post about it, by Curtis Houck -- which focused on a typo in The Hill that was corrected 20 minutes after it was originally posted.

In other words: deflect and distract.

Nicholas Fondacaro followed with a post complaining about the coverage of Spicer's comments, not about the content of what Spicer said:

Tuesday was an, unfortunately, embarrassing day for White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, after he made a self-admitted “blunder” while trying to compare Syria’s Bashar al-Assad to Adolf Hitler. Spicer claimed that not even Hitler used chemical weapons on his own people, even though he did during the Holocaust. In response, all three of the liberal Big Three networks (ABC, CBS, and NBC) lead their evening programming with the gaffe. But CBS got bizarrely personal by mocking him directly and even questioning his intelligence.

In other words: Spicer apologized, so why is everybody criticizing him?

Fondacaro followed that with another post in which he conceded Spicer made a "historical gaffe" but also suggested that NBC reporter Katy Tur not being on top of every right-wing anti-Obama obsession was a blunder akin to Spicer's, huffing: "Tur getting on Spicer’s case in regards to “stepping in it” when it comes to history, is sort of like when serial liar Brian Williams chastised the White House for creating an 'alternative universe.' It brings to mind the old saying that 'people who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.'"

Kristine Marsh downgraded Spicer's remarks to a "Hitler blunder" while attacking a reporter for discussing it.

Scott Whitlock, meanwhile, was angry that Spicer was still being discussed the next day even though the guy apologized:

Sean Spicer’s Hitler gaffe on Tuesday was dumb and embarrassing, something he’s since admitted. Yet, that wasn’t enough for the journalists on Wednesday's CBS This Morning. They hyped attacks from an organization that smeared the White House press secretary, calling him a “Holocaust denier.” The Anne Frank Center, which famed lawyer Alan Dershowitz has derided as “tiny” and "phony,” also called for Spicer to be fired. This neatly ties in with what Nancy Pelosi is demanding. Of course, CBS also touted her remarks.

[...]

Now, does it seem more likely that Sean Spicer is a Holocaust denier or that he simply fumbled for an ill-conceived analogy?

Would the MRC give the same pass to a liberal who made an "ill-conceived analogy"? Doubtful.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:59 PM EDT
WND's Favorite Ex-Soviet Bloc Spymaster Stays Silent About Trump-Russia Links
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Last fall, we detailed how WorldNetDaily's favorite ex-Soviet Bloc spymaster, Ion Mihai Pacepa, proclaimed his support for Donald Trump's presidential run despite questionable links to Russia and Vladimir Putin.  Pacepa's public mouthpiece, Ronald Rychlak, told us that we shouldn't worry about those ties because Michael Flynn would likely be Trump's CIA chief. How'd that work out?

Well, the Trump-Russia links have continued to pile up. And where has Pacepa been? Totally AWOL: WND has not mentioned Pacepa since the election.

That is, until an anonymously written April 9 article in which mendacious birther and climate change denier Christopher Monckton proclaimed Pacepa to be the "most influential man of the 20th century and, arguably, the beginning of the 21st."

The article mentioned nothing about Trump or his Russian connections. It does note, however, that "Pacepa, having survived multiple assassination attempts, lives under deep cover in the United States due to ongoing security concerns."

Pacepa wasn't living so far under cover last fall that he and Ronald Rychlak weren't blocked from speaking out about the election. What's stopping him (and Rychlak) now from saying anything, let alone, say, admitting he was wrong about Flynn?


Posted by Terry K. at 1:00 AM EDT
Sunday, April 16, 2017
CNS Editor Admits Iraq War Was A Failure
Topic: CNSNews.com

How much does CNSNews.com editor in chief Terry Jeffrey not want President Trump not to get involved militarily in Iraq -- thus splitting CNS from the rest of the rah-rah bombers at the Media Research Center? He admits what few conservatives do: admit that the Iraq War was a mistake.

Jeffrey writes in his April 12 column:

When President George W. Bush decided he wanted to remove and replace Saddam Hussein, he made a bad decision to go to war in Iraq but a good one to seek congressional authorization first.

Large bipartisan majorities in both houses approved the resolution authorizing Bush to use force.

In the House, it won 296 to 133. Rep. Adam Schiff, now the ranking Democrat on the House intelligence committee, voted for it.

In the Senate, it won 77 to 23. Future Democratic presidential candidates John Kerry and Hillary Clinton joined future Republican presidential candidate John McCain in supporting it. So, too, did Harry Reid, the future Democratic majority leader.

Most of Washington's elected elite joined in making perhaps the most imprudent foreign policy decision of this century.

The House passed the authorization on Oct. 10, 2002; the Senate, the next day. Fifteen years later, the battle for Iraq continues. But the adversary is no longer the secular dictator Saddam Hussein — whom U.S. forces captured less than 11 months after entering Iraq — it is the Islamic State.

Jeffrey making other members of Congress complicit in passage of Bush's use-of-force resolution omits the fact that it wasn't sold as a means to go to war. As Hillary Clinton's speech in support of the resolution details, she expected Bush to exhaust all diplomatic avenues first, adding:

I take the president at his word that he will try hard to pass a United Nations resolution and seek to avoid war, if possible. Because bipartisan support for this resolution makes success in the United Nations more likely and war less likely—and because a good faith effort by the United States, even if it fails, will bring more allies and legitimacy to our cause—I have concluded, after careful and serious consideration, that a vote for the resolution best serves the security of our nation. If we were to defeat this resolution or pass it with only a few Democrats, I am concerned that those who want to pretend this problem will go away with delay will oppose any United Nations resolution calling for unrestricted inspections.

Nevertheless, Jeffrey touts Bush's seeking authorization; otherwise, "if he had not, his action would not only have been unwise, it would have been unconstitutional." He goes on to surprisingly huff given that CNS has been a slavish Trump stenographer:

When President Donald Trump ordered military action against the Assad regime last week, he had no more constitutional authority than President Washington had in 1793 to order military action against the Chickamaggas.

Washington did not act unilaterally. Trump did. Which one was the constitutional originalist?

[...]

Having acted unconstitutionally in using force against the Assad regime without prior congressional authorization, the question now is whether Trump will act unwisely in seeking to remove Assad's regime without weighing the long-term consequences.

Will Trump, like Bush, unleash a greater threat than the one he seeks to destroy?

This is, by the way, something of a flip-flop on Jeffrey's part. In a 2006 appearance on CNN, Jeffrey argued that pulling out of Iraq was a bad idea because the U.S. needs to "use our military in such a way as we optimize the outcome in terms of our own security interests and also what happens on the ground."


Posted by Terry K. at 10:09 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, April 16, 2017 10:11 PM EDT
WND's Farah Gets Syrian Civil War Wrong
Topic: WorldNetDaily

In attempting to take Bashar al-Assad's side on the Syrian civil war and issuing an out-of-character criticism of President Trump for launching missiles on a Syrian air base in response to a gas attack on civilians, Joseph Farah wrote this in his April 7 WorldNetDaily column:

There are two warring parties in Syria – the Syrian government, which is attempting to repulse an invasion and partial occupation of Syrian territory, and ISIS, a terrorist plague on the entire world, not just Assad’s regime.

False. There are several warring parties in Syria's civil war, which began when Assad attempted to violently suppress Arab Spring-type protets in his country. In addition to Assad's regime and ISIS, there are anti-Assad rebels, some of whom may be Islamists, and Kurds who are seeking autonomy in their part of Syria. As the Atlantic explains, the civil war has spawned a Sunni-Shia sectarian war and a proxy war with the U.S. and other Perisan Gulf states against Iran, Russia and Hezbollah.

Farah also conveniently ignores the fact that Assad actually built up ISIS by permitting the radicalization of anti-government rebels in an attempt to discredit the uprising against him and actively refused to prevent al Qaeda-linked terrorists from entering the country.

Mind you, Farah portrays himself as an expert on these sorts of things. Farah issues an "intelligence resource," the G2 Bulletin, for which he charges a whopping $99 a year, so he should know all of this about Syria. Which means he's either lying to his readers or so incompetent on the issue of international conflict that neither he nor his G2 Bulletin are worth reading.

Either way, his falsely simplistic portrayal of the Syrian civil war doesn't make Farah look good.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:40 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, April 16, 2017 9:03 PM EDT
Saturday, April 15, 2017
MRC Heathers More Anti-Trump Conservatives
Topic: Media Research Center

It's not just Jennifer Rubin: It seems that any conservative who dares to be critical of Donald Trump has earned the opportunity to be Heathered by the Media Research Center.

One of those is Wisconsin radio host Charlie Sykes. Years ago, the MRC came to Sykes' defense after another radio host made a nasty remark about the death of Sykes' mother in a house fire. Back when the MRC was anti-Trump in early 2016, it noted that Sykes conducted a tough interview with Trump.

But the MRC flip-flopped and boarded the Trump train, while Sykes didn't. Cue the Heathering.

In a Feb. 8 post, Curtis Houck called Sykes a "former conservative host" and complained that he appeared on MSNBC "to lambaste conservative media (like the one you’re reading) for being why no one trusts mainstream media in the age of Trump and alternative facts" and launched "an exclusive attack on conservatives for supposedly enabling President Trump to offer misstatements without consequences." Houck also complained that Sykes wrote a piece on the subject for the New York Times, which "sent liberals swooning."

Houck doesn't refute anything Sykes wrote or said; instead, he whines that Sykes had purportedly "fail[ed] to realize that he’s joined an echo-chamber in which Manhattan elites sit around reading The New York Times and The New Yorker while watching The Daily Show," then lamely blamed the "mainstream media" for starting all of this: "If Sykes wants to blame conservatives for simply pointing out the faults of the mainstream media, perhaps he should instead emphasize that legacy media should think twice before concocting untrue narratives or going forward with stories without sufficient fact-checking."

Houck offered some backhanded praise for Sykes in a March 29 post, claiming that in another appearance on MSNBC he "took time away from being the token right-of-center guest who agrees with his liberal colleagues on everything to push back on these praises for Obama’s environment moves in the last eight years."

On April 5, Brad Wilmouth grumbled that Sykes "took aim at President Trump" over his actions in Syria.

Wilmouth further trashed Sykes in an April 9 post, calling him "an alleged conservative guest for the purpose of having him bolster the views of the liberal host rather than provide a contrarian point of view." This time, though, it was over Sykes' telling the truth about Milwaukee County sheriff and right-wing darling David Clarke, whom Sykes said was using his uniform as a prop to push his political ambitions while being AWOL from his day job.

Another conservative who has gotten the Heathering treatment from the MRC is libertarian P.J. O'Rourke, who earned the scorn of Nicholas Fondacaro in a March 15 post by nothing that Trump is "a giant toddler and there's nothing going around inside his head except, you know, when do I get to suck my thumb next?" Fondacaro complained that the "toddler" insult is "nothing original" and "low hanging fruit," and huffed: "It’s difficult to determine what’s worse: their raging disdain for the President of the United States or their utter lack of creatively [sic] in their jokes."


Posted by Terry K. at 10:27 AM EDT
WND's Hohmann Freaks Out Over Another Muslim Politician
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Last year, chief WorldNetDaily Muslim-hater Leo Hohmann went into freakout mode over a Muslim politician clinching a seat in the Minnesota legislature.

It's a new year, there's a new Muslim politician, and it's time for Hohmann to freak out again:

The Democratic Party may have found its next Barack Obama.

His name is Dr. Abdul el-Sayed, he’s a 32-year-old medical doctor and he recently launched his campaign for governor of Michigan, the election for which is in November 2018. If he wins he would be America’s first Muslim governor.

He speaks articulately, without an accent, inserts humor into his speeches at seemingly just the right moments, and he has the full backing of America’s powerful Muslim Brotherhood-linked network of Islamic organizations.

[...]

Sayed is highly educated, a Rhodes scholar who attended Oxford University in 2009 and became a practicing epidemiologist.

[...]

Sayed is the recipient of several research awards, including being named one of the Carnegie Council’s Policy Innovators. He created and taught the Mailman School’s first-ever course on systems science and population health. He co-edited a textbook on the topic published in 2017 by Oxford University Press entitled “Systems Science and Population Health.”

So Hohmann is upset that al-Sayed "speaks articulately, without an accent"? Shades of what conservatives liked to mock Joe Biden for saying about Barack Obama.

And because Hohmann is having trouble thinking of things to criticize al-Sayed about -- he simply can't knock the fact that el-Sayed is a fully assimilated second-generation immigrant -- he has to play the Muslim card and mention the dark specter of a purported link to the Muslim Brotherhood (a link he does not substantiate, by the way).

He also has to rely on a fellow anti-Muslim activist in Michigan, Dick Manasseri, who helps him toss out unsubstantiated attacks on el-Sayed: "Any Republican would be afraid to confront him on his Muslim Brotherhood connections or his views on Shariah. ... He is a devout Shariah-compliant guy, and I would predict that he will be endorsed by the Catholic Church, which is very powerful in Michigan."

And, of course, all this proclaiming el-Sayed to be the next Obama indirectly perpetuates another right-wing conspiracy theory: that Obama is a secret Muslim. Nice dog whistle there, Leo.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:02 AM EDT

Newer | Latest | Older

Bookmark and Share

Get the WorldNetDaily Lies sticker!

Find more neat stuff at the ConWebWatch store!

Read my blog on Kindle

Support This Site

« April 2017 »
S M T W T F S
1
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30

Bloggers' Rights at EFF
Support Bloggers' Rights!

News Media Blog Network

Add to Technorati Favorites

Add to Google

Subscribe in Bloglines

Add to My AOL