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Thursday, May 18, 2017
MRC Still Stands Athwart (Obama) History, Yelling 'Stop!'
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center, it seems, can't stop raging that historic things that occured in the Obama years were called "historic" by the media.

The MRC's Mike Ciandella rants in a May 5 post (boldface in original):

If you heard anyone from the media praise the House of Representatives passing health care reform as a “milestone” or “historic,” you may be stuck in 2009. Instead, this year’s Republican health care bill was met with words like “big risk” and “extreme.”

"A critical milestone was reached overnight in the government's big overhaul of the nation's health care system,” Lester Holt announced on NBC Nightly News, November 8, 2009. “Today the president and many of his fellow Democrats are celebrating last night's passage of the House – by the House of a health care reform bill.

The next night, Nightly News correspondent Kelly O’Donnell echoed the same word, “For the House this was a major milestone. Democrats like to use the word "history" because it's been four decades since the last sweeping change to health care; that was Medicare. For Speaker Nancy Pelosi, it was a win with just two votes to spare.”

Over on ABC, Good Morning America anchor Robin Roberts called ObamaCare a “historic health care overhaul” on November 9. As if reliving his stint as White House Communications Director, This Weekanchor George Stephanopoulos boosted “At 11:15 last night the gavel came down and with only two votes to spare the House had passed reform of health care. President Obama summed it up in three words, this is history.”

On cable news, Rick Sanchez on CNN Newsroom on November 9 reported that members of Congress were “there to vote on a historic health care”

CBS Morning News on November 6, CBS anchor Michelle Gielan said “Switching gears. In Washington, Democratic leaders predict passage of a historic health care reform bill.” Two days later on CBS Evening News, anchor Russ Mitchell reported “Tonight, after a last night`s historic but narrow approval in the House, health care reform moves to the Senate where it faces an uncertain future.”

All this just to avoid admitting that the Affordable Care Act was, in fact, historic (and to pretend that the current attempt to gut it somehow is)? Sheesh.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:19 PM EDT
WND Goes All In On Discredited Seth Rich Conspiracy Theories
Topic: WorldNetDaily

This little statistic tells you all about WorldNetDaily's news priorities: In the past day or two, WND published exactly one original article on the claims that President Trump shared classified information with the Russians and that Trump told ousted FBI director James Comey to end his investigation of onetime Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn. Bob Unruh desperately spun the former claim as a "report based on a leak from an unnamed source" and the latter as "purportedly based on a memo supposedly seen by two unidentified agents."

By contrast, WND cranked out six articles on developments regarding the 2016 death of Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich.

First up was Chelsea Schilling asserting that Rich "was communicating with WikiLeaks before his death, according to the family’s private investigator," and had purportedly sent "44,053 emails and 17,761 attachments" to WikiLeaks.

Except that Rod Wheeler, the man Schilling described as "the family’s private investigator," well, isn't -- he was hired by and paid for by money manager and frequent Fox News guest Ed Butowsky, and the family has dissociated itself from Wheeler's claims. Schilling later edited her article to vaguely concede that Wheeler "was hired by a third party to investigate for the Rich family," but curiously did not identify his funder.

That was followed by a usual WND trope: an article by Garth Kant complaining that nobody else is covering the story, in this case "potentially explosive" allegations from private investigator Rod Wheeler that Rich purportedly "emailed 44,053 DNC emails to WikiLeaks" before his death in an apparent botched robbery attempt. That "could throw a wrench into the narrative that Russia hacked the Democratic Party’s emails during the 2016 presidential election in order to influence the presidential election," Kant breathlessly speculated.

Then came a similar complaint from Leo Hohmann that "The story that many conservative media considered a 'bombshell' Tuesday didn’t even register as a blip on the screens of CNN, ABC and CBS."

Bob Unruh then weighed in with an article claiming to recount the history of the case, adding that Rich's murder "took place the same month emails released by WikiLeaks on the eve of the Democratic National Convention revealed the Democratic National Committee was manipulating the party’s primary to ensure Hillary Clinton defeated Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont for the party’s presidential nomination." He too falsely claimed that Wheeler was "hired by the Rich family."

Unruh followed that with a profile of Rich that also recounted the conspiratorial allegations.

Then WND fully goes there in an anonymously written article declaring that "Seth Rich’s death shares some eerie similarities with many mysterious deaths of individuals linked to former President Bill Clinton and twice failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton." That's right -- it's time for WND's umpteenth rehasing of the completely discredited Clinton Body Count (and a minor rewrite of an article WND first published shortly after Rich's death).

While WND was going all in on the Rich story, however, that story was falling apart. Wheeler lacks credibility as an investigator -- we flagged him in 2007 pushing the claim (which WND enthusiastically repeated) that there were "lesbian gangs" in Washington, D.C., who used guns painted pink. Wheeler had to walk back that claim, and he's walking back his claims about Rich as well.

Wheeler is also admitting that he has no evidence Rich ever contacted WikiLeaks and that he has never seen Rich's computer, let alone any emails he might have sent. Wheeler also admitted he never talked to the "federal investigator" he cited as evidence for his claims.

Needless to say, WND can't be bothered to do a story on that.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:20 PM EDT
Another Bogus MRC Coverage Study, This Time Bashing CNN For Covering The News
Topic: Media Research Center

Another day, another bogus Media Research Center study.

The MRC tried to portray CNN as "Completely Obsessed With Donald Trump -- And Not In A Good Way," and the result was a May 16 item complaining that, um, CNN was covering the news. Rich Noyes writes:

To get a handle on CNN’s news priorities during the Trump era, a team of MRC analysts reviewed all of the cable network’s programming on Friday, May 12, starting with the 4am ET Early Start and continuing through the 11pm ET CNN Tonight with Don Lemon, a total of 20 hours of material.

After excluding commercials, teases and promos, our analysts found 13 hours, 27 minutes of actual news coverage, an average of just over 40 minutes per hour. Of that, a whopping 92 percent (12 hours, 19 minutes) was devoted to the Trump presidency, with a mere 68 minutes — a little more than three minutes per hour — devoted to all of the other news of the day.

With the exception of about 21 minutes of live coverage of a White House briefing about the President’s upcoming trip to the Middle East and a smattering of coverage of Melissa McCarthy’s parody of White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer in an upcoming SNL appearance, CNN used that time to endlessly analyze the President’s firing of FBI Director James Comey, then a three-day-old story.

Much of that airtime consisted of interviews and panel discussions giving their assessment of Trump. MRC tallied 123 appearances by guests or panelists over the course of the day. Many of CNN’s analysts showed up in multiple newscasts, each of which would count as a separate appearance. (There were 77 unique appearances by people identified as CNN analysts or commentators, or 62% of all guests).

The vast majority of all of CNN’s guests that day (96, or 78% of the total) were Trump critics, compared to a handful of pro-Trump guests (just seven, or 6% of the total). Another 13 guests were neutral, and seven offered mixed assessments of the administration.

Remember, the MRC thinks there should be no negative coverage of Trump whatsoever, so these results are a lilttle skewed. While Noyes did concede there were "neutral" commetators on CNN -- which somehow didn't make it into the accompanying chart, all the better to push the "anti-Trump" storyline -- he does not account for neutral commentators who said negative things about Trump. Heck, he doesn't even acknowledge that Trump's firing of Comey is something that many neutral people might be critical of.

As usual, Noyes refuses to provide the full details of his research, like how he determined that CNN had 96 Trump-haters on in a single day. And while Noyes whines that Trump's firing of Comey was "a three-day-old story" at the time of his study, he doesn't explain why it's a story that should not be discussed for a third day. A president firing his FBI director under suspicious circumstances is a newsworthy story, and were Trump a Democrat, the MRC would agree.

Like the MRC's other bogus studies, this isn't "research" at all -- it's a political document. If the MRC actually cared about conducting legitimate research, we would have seen a study sometime during the previous eight years titled "Fox News Is Completely Obsessed With Barack Obama -- And Not In A Good Way."


Posted by Terry K. at 12:52 AM EDT
Wednesday, May 17, 2017
WND Cheers Spicer's Stonewalling
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Remember when WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah pushed the myth on WND's 20th anniversary that his website is a "check and balance on government power," complaining about thet "cozy, symbiotic and unhealthy relationship developing between the corporate press and state power" and vowing that "WND would never fall prey or be seduced by that temptation"? That, of course, was stated just a few days after WND's Chelsea Schilling penned a gushy, sycophantic profile of White House press secretary Sean Spicer.

The sycophancy continues in a May 12 article, in which Garth Kant actually cheers Spicer's pathetic stonewalling on the issue of whether President Trump has "tapes" of his conversations with ousted FBI director James Comey, which the president himself suggested he did. Kant just loved how Spicer "would find a way to burst that bubble and deflate all those high expectations with just a few choice words:

The White House press briefing room was more packed than ever, with wall-to-wall reporters and camera operators.

Friday promised to be an explosive culmination of a combustible week that included the firing of FBI Director James Comey.

And there was a buzz of anticipation rippling through the air after President Trump had begun the day with a flurry of tweets that seemed to promise reporters the opportunity to pursue the prospect of a scandal of Nixonian proportions: secret tape recordings in the White House.

However, White House press secretary Sean Spicer would find a way to burst that bubble and deflate all those high expectations with just a few choice words.

[...]

With all this ammunition, the media was ready to pounce.

And they did, with the very first question of the briefing from Reuters’ Jeff Mason, who dutifully asked, “Did President Trump record his conversations with former FBI Director Comey?”

“The President has nothing further to add on that,” simply replied Spicer.

It was as though a lead balloon had dropped. The media suddenly realized there would be no feasting on that red meat of a tweet.

Mason gamely pressed on, asking: “Why did he say that? Why did he tweet that? What should we interpret from that?”

“As I mentioned,” calmly repeated Spicer, “the President has nothing further to add on that.”

“Are there recording devices in the Oval Office or in the residence?” the reporter persisted.

Which evoked the coup de grâce from the press secretary, “As I’ve said for the third time, there is nothing further to add on that.”

Undeterred, Mason made one last stab, asking, “Does he think it’s appropriate to threaten someone like Mr. Comey not to speak?”

To which Spicer responded, “I don’t think – that’s not a threat. He simply stated a fact. The tweet speaks for itself. I’m moving on.”

And that pretty much closed the book on that topic for the day, as it began to become clear the media had been effectively trolled by Trump.

The president hadn’t said Comey had been recorded. He had said Comey should hope he had not been recorded.

That, indeed, left a lot of unanswered questions. Questions the president obviously hoped Comey, and any potential leakers, should consider.

But not questions the White House would be answering.

We doubt that Kant and his boss, Farah, would be quite so praiseworthy of the White House press secretary if he had performed a similar feat of stonewalling for a Democratic president.

Your cozy, symbiotic and unhealthy relationship between a media outlet and state power in one story, folks.


Posted by Terry K. at 5:35 PM EDT
MRC's Double Standard on TV Show Cancellations
Topic: Media Research Center

Writing about the ABC show "The Real O'Neals" -- a show the Media Research Center has despised since its inception for its link to gay activist and sex columnist Dan Savage and for find humor in Catholicism -- in a May 12 post, the MRC's Matt Philbin rants:

The show was bigoted, vile and unfunny. The characters were one-dimensional, the gags were as obvious as they were offensive, and the entire thing never rose above predictable anti-Catholic, pro-gay agitprop. The ratings were bad and even the critics didn’t care for it. So of course ABC went ahead with development and then gave The Real O’Neals a second season.

But ABC just canceled the show, so Philbin was quick to credit divine intervention, stating in his headline that "God is good" and concluding his post by declaring, "Thanks be to God."

Also getting the cancellation ax from ABC  in the past few days is "Last Man Standing," a sitcom the MRC loved to quote for the snide comments about liberals made by the character played by star Tim Allen. Even though it waslikely cancelled by the very same ABC execs who canceled "The Real O'Neals," the MRC had a much different reaction: namely, conspiracy theories.

MRCTV's Nick Kangadis touted how Allen played a "politically right-leaning character" and speculated that the cancallation "might’ve been Hollywood pushing back at Allen for outing them about their clear and consistent bias to the Left" and huffed that "people in Hollywood ... love money, even if it’s conservative money. They just don’t like conservative messages making that money for them."

Matt Norcross went into full conspiracy mode in a NewsBusters post:

If they wanted to cater to average Americans, they would have kept Last Man Standing. They definitely spoke volumes, as people are hungry for shows like this since they cater to flyover country.

As pointed out here before, Disney-ABC Television Group president Sherwood serves on the board of the Center for Public Integrity, a group funded by progressive bomb thrower George Soros. How convenient is that?

It’s high time for Disney to do a thorough analysis of its entire television arm, especially since CEO Bob Iger serves on President Trump’s strategic & policy forum. No company should endorse one of its divisions abusing freedom of speech.

[...]

ABC has only further exposed itself as an arm of the Democratic Party. As part of a major corporation like Disney, ABC has the right to do whatever it wants, but using its airwaves to tow one political line will alienate more than half its audience.

The network and all of its cable operations (including the struggling ESPN) should be spun off into an independent company, but I guarantee you that if Disney were to do such a transaction, this new spinoff would go the way of the old Citadel Broadcasting, and file for bankruptcy.

Needless to say, ABC will regret this decision.

The MRC, meanwhile, clearly doesn't regret its blatant double standard.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:10 PM EDT
WND Gives Fake-News Reporter A Platform To Smear Huma Abedin
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Last August, reporter Paul Sperry published at the New York Post a report falsely claiming that Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin once edited a "radical Muslim publication that opposed women's rights and blamed the US for 9/11." In fact, the "radical Muslim publication" is a standard academic journal, and Abedin didn't do much actual work for it. (Nevertheless, the Media Research Center demanded coverage of the fake story.)

WorldNetDaily -- Sperry's former employer -- apparently like the fake news they saw, and decided they wanted more. 

In an April 26 WND article, Sperry played guilt-by-association by claiming that "the U.S. Justice Department has been actively prosecuting two other Abedin family members – for conspiracy, wire fraud and securities fraud." Sperry provides no evidence of a direct link between Abedin and the relatives.

On May 2, Sperry tried to push the conspiracy further by getting the right-wing ambulance-chasers at Judicial Watch involved -- presumably on Sperry's request. Again, he offers no evidence of any direct connection between Abedin and the alleged wrongdoing of her extended family members.

The beautiful thing is that we don't need to fact-check this. We can just use Sperry's abysmal track record on reporting on Abedin -- as well as the fact that apparently even the New York Post wouldn't touch this after getting burned by Sperry before and had to descend down the credibility spiral before finding a willing outlet in WND -- to presume he's not telling the full truth and that his reporting can't be trusted.

If WND is so adamant about denouncing fake news, why does it keep publishing people who have a track record generating fake news?


Posted by Terry K. at 12:55 AM EDT
Tuesday, May 16, 2017
'Left-Wing, Liberal And Progressive'?
Topic: Accuracy in Media

Accuracy in Media's Spencer Irvine goes on this little mini-rant in a May 5 post:

The Center for American Progress is a left-wing, liberal and progressive think tank which houses allies of former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and former President Barack Obama. Yet, CNN felt it was wise to cite their anti-ObamaCare repeal research. How is CAP a neutral source in the fight over the future of ObamaCare?

CNN entitled the piece, “Think tank on GOP health bill: Coverage to plummet, cancer treatment costs to skyrocket,” and only said that the organization is “a DC-based progressive think tank.”

Sorry, CNN, but by not reporting the Democratic Party ties of some of their employees, such as CAP’s President Neera Tanden andher ties to the Clinton campaign, is dishonest reporting.

Isn't "left-wing," "liberal" or "progressive" sufficient on their own to describe CAP? Aren't the words basically synonymous? How can CAP possibly be all three at the same time? Irvine never explains.

And, actually, identifying CAP as "progressive" is sufficient. Irvine also ignores his own advice; in one recent post, he fails to identify the right-wing ideology of Judicial Watch, stating only that it's "the organization that helped expose the Hillary Clinton e-mail scandal." And another post by Irvine identified the Heritage Foundation only as a "conservative think tank" despite its links to the Trump administration.

Irvine should do what he demands of others.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:54 PM EDT
WND Joins MRC In Bashing Bill Nye For Being A Science Guy
Topic: WorldNetDaily

The Media Research Center is not the only ConWeb outlet attacking Bill Nye for being a science guy. An anonymously written April 26 WorldNetDaily article similarly weighs in:

Bill Nye has built a lucrative career championing science. He’s cashing in on the nostalgia surrounding his old children’s show with a new show on Netflix, “Bill Nye Saves the World.”

In theory, the show promotes a scientific worldview. But in practice, it’s promoting degenerate sexual behavior, claims gender exists along a “spectrum,” and spews out left-wing propaganda no Christian parent would ever let their child watch.

Among the most disturbing segments is one titled “My Sex Junk” featuring minor celebrity Rachel Bloom. Bloom raps about using sex toys, declares her vagina has “its own voice” and urges homosexual experimentation. Nye praised the performance as “very special” and “exactly the right message.”

WND then goes on to quote two guys not exactly known for science -- evangelist Ray Comfort and Creation Museum leader Ken Ham -- denouncing Nye. The latter half of the anonymously written article is effectively a commercial for Ham's museum, which raises the question of whether Ham himself is the one who wrote it.

Needless to say, WND does not give Nye an opportunity to respond to them.

A May 7 WND article by Paul Bremmer goes there again, further attacking Nye for acknowleding that sexuality is a spectrum and rehashing the obscure right-wing attack over editing a segment from a 20-year-old edition of "Bill Nye the Science Guy." Bremmer (remember, he's WND's PR guy, so this is a platform for promoting WND authors) quotes WND managing editor David Kupelian ranting that Nye is pushing an "irrational, body-and-soul-destroying sexual agenda," while LGBT-hating author Michael Brown huffs, "Just because a tiny percentage of children struggle with gender identity doesn’t mean we confuse the rest."

At no point do either Kupelian or Brown offer anything resembling solid evidence that sexuality is not a spectrum.


Posted by Terry K. at 4:17 PM EDT
MRC's Unhinged Response to Comey Firing: Calling Everyone Else Unhinged
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center knew exactly what it needed to do in order to deflect from questions about President Trump's firing of FBI director James Comey: portray anyone who questioned the decision as deranged. And "unhinged" -- one of the MRC's favorite attack words -- was far from the only description used.

Count the derogatory name-calling, complete with added bolding:

  • "CNN’s Jeffrey Toobin Loses His Mind Over Comey Being Fired"
  • "CNN political commentator David Gregory was in a visible rage over the whole ordeal."
  • "ABC and CBS on Wednesday went into full panic mode on Wednesday, seeing Donald Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey as a crisis comparable to Richard Nixon during the darkest days of Watergate. ... Co-host Robin Roberts turned to liberal journalist Cokie Roberts to push this hyperbolic narrative[.]"
  • "Melber chimed back in by wildly speculating that the President had opened himself up to 'criminal liability'[.]"
  • "The New York Times went into full apocalypse mode on Wednesday..."
  • "Dilbert cartoon creator, Scott Adams, had a good laugh over Olbermann's profanely unhinged tweet over the Comey firing."
  • The firing of FBI Director James Comey has pushed the deranged, bloodthirsty media over the edge. Rather than reporting the facts, the media rushed to breathlessly pushing Democratic talking points and conspiracy theories untethered to reason or reality."
  • "Slate may win the award for most hyperbolic reaction to the firing of FBI Director James Comey."
  • "In a hyperbolic segment for MSNBC’s Morning Joe on Wednesday, co-host Joe Scarborough went all in comparing President Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey to the firing of U.S. Attorneys by Richard Nixon at the height of the Watergate scandal."
  • Appearing on CNN Wednesday afternoon to participate in the network-wide meltdown over James Comey’s ouster as FBI Director, longtime liberal journalist and CNN political analyst Carl Bernstein invoked Watergate but went further, fretting that 'this is terribly dangerous moment in American history.' ... Perhaps most unglued was former FBI official and CNN law enforcement analyst Philip Mudd..."
  • "Leave it to MSNBC's Rachel Maddow to beclown herself right out of the gate last night in describing President Trump's firing of FBI Director James Comey."
  • "You can find countless examples of lunatic reactions to the Trump move."
  • "After initially refraining from making irresponsible comparisons between President Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey to the Watergate scandal, on Wednesday’s NBC Nightly News and Thursday’s Today, the network could no longer resist its liberal instincts, joining ABC and CBS in labeling Trump the new Richard Nixon."
  • Appearing as a panel member on Thursday's New Day to discuss the firing of former FBI director James Comey, regular CNN guest Jason Johnson of The Root hyperbolically fretted that "this is how democracy dies" and worried that it was a "constitutional and a sovereignty crisis."
  • "All night on Tuesday, journalists obsessively compared Trump’s move to Richard Nixon’s “Saturday night massacre” of special prosecutor Archibald Cox during the Watergate scandal."
  • "The journalists at MSNBC’s Morning Joe on Thursday were in full freak out mode over the firing of James Comey."
  • "As the Media Research Center has documented since FBI Director James Comey’s firing on Tuesday, the liberal media have been in a rage and desperately trying to tie the firing to Russia."

If you can't beat 'em with the facts, start hurling insults. Right, MRC?


Posted by Terry K. at 10:40 AM EDT
Monday, May 15, 2017
WND Columnist's Transgender Fail
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Patrice Lewis starts off her April 28 WorldNetDaily column with a spectacularly ill-informed anti-transgender screed:

People have always embraced wild, wacky fads. While most are harmless, some delve into darkness and morbidity. Today, one of the most destructive fads is transgenderism – and make no mistake, it’s a fad.

From Australia: “Psychiatrist Stephen Stathis, who runs the gender clinic at Brisbane’s Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital and is responsible for diagnosing gender dysphoria, reports that ‘many’ youth are ‘trying out being transgender’ in order to stand out. Apparently, declaring oneself ‘transgender’ is trendy. ‘One said to me, “Doctor Steve … I want to be transgender, it’s the new black,”‘ Stathis related.”

The silliness includes “fluid” options. (“At the moment I feel like a girl. Now I feel like a boy. Now I feel like, um, a cat. Now I’m a mushroom. Now I’m a vacuum cleaner.”). Social media offers dozens of gender options created out of thin air to cater to this madness.

The more serious gender dysphoria is a mental illness that has resulted in so many mutilated bodies and horrific regrets that until recently Johns Hopkins Hospital refused to conduct surgeries, preferring counseling to help patients address their issues.

It’s worse when an activist parent takes a child’s transitory make-believe and makes it a permanent, life-altering reality. (“Mommy, I feel like a girl today.” “OK, Johnnie, I’ll schedule an appointment with the doctor to have your parts cut off and give you hormones the rest of your life to force your body to conform with your momentary fantasy. Meanwhile, let’s go shopping for Barbies and makeup.”)

So transgenders are at best faddish and at worst mentally ill. No one is born into the “wrong” body, no matter how much someone might feeeeel like the opposite sex.

Needless to say, Lewis provides no example of a parent who ever rushed her child in for gender reassignment surgery based on a single declaration of how a child "feels."

Lewis then relates a tale of what her column's headline claim is "a true tale of a true transgender" ... which isn't one at all. What the person in question has, as Lewis eventyually admits, is androgen insensitivity syndrome, a hermaphroditic condition in which a person has a mixture of male and female genitalia. The person, raised as a girl, became a male named James. Lewis then rants:

When the trendy transgenders are tired of being the opposite sex, they can take off their funny clothes and call it a day. James doesn’t have that option. His condition is the same no matter what clothes he wears. In public, James will use male bathroom facilities, though he must use a stall since he has no external genitalia. This is his reality, no matter how he “feels.”

She then quuotes James' mother as saying, "Don't judge my son until you've walked a mile in his shoes."

The fact that Lewis thinks transgenderism is nothing more than a mentally ill person engaging in cosplay shows that Lewis has no intention to take that same walk before spewing more malicious hatred at transgenders.


Posted by Terry K. at 6:46 PM EDT
The Trump Flip Is Complete: MRC Won't Even Complain About Roger Stone Anymore
Topic: Media Research Center

In April 2016, the Media Research Center rather belatedly congratulated CNN and MSNBC for banning Trump confidante and dirty trickster Roger Stone from their airwaves. MRC chief Brent Bozell called stone "a thug who relishes personal insults, character assassination, and offensive gestapo-like tactics that should be unequivocally dismissed by civil society, most especially those who might give him a platform from which to spew his hatred."

But as it has with many things Trump, the MRC has flipped on Stone as well.

A May 11 MRC post by Kyle Drennen starts off by declaring any comparison of Trump's firing of FBI director James Comey to the Watergate scandal to be "irresponsible." Then he touts how Stone, appearing on NBC's "Today," followed the Trump talking points by calling such a comparison "apples and oranges."

Drennen made no mention of his boss' harsh description of Stone just a year ago, nor did he condemn NBC for having Stone on.

Amazing what the healing powers of time and millions of dollars in donations from right-wing pro-Trump philanthropists will do to change an organization's mind.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:13 PM EDT
WND Still Won't Tell The Truth About Minn. Measles Outbreak
Topic: WorldNetDaily

On April 25, WorldNetDaily published a column by so-called "medical researcher and author" Bill Sardi that is a lengthy rant against vaccines, in which he insisted that recent measles outbreaks have occured largely among vaccinated people, not the unvaccinated, and that "pro-vaccine advocates do not hold the high scientific ground in the battle over whether to vaccinate or not vaccinate school-age children."

Three days later, WND published an article by Leo Hohmann seeking to blame a measles outbreak in a Somali-American community in Minnesota on Islam itself, citing a random Muslim cleric that opposes vaccines. In fact, anti-vaxxer activists -- much like the ones WND has been promoting over the years -- have been aggressively trying to discourage Somali parents in Minnesota from vaccinating their children, something Hohmann omitted from his article.

WND did an update on the Minnesota outbreak in an anonymously written May 10 article. Aside from updating the numbers, it rehashed the same points Hohmann did -- namely, blaming Islam itself for it and repeating a baseless attack by anti-Muslim activist Andrew Bostom citing the random anti-vaxxer Muslim cleric.

WND again fails to acknowledge that its anti-vaxxer friends had been lobbying the Somali community. Nor does it explain how its concern over this story jibes with its previous anti-vaxxer advocacy.

Apparently, at WND it's OK to like vaccines only if you can blame Muslims for ruining it for everyone else.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:45 AM EDT
Sunday, May 14, 2017
MRC's Latest Heathering Target: John Kasich
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center has made it clear that any Republican who dares criticize Donald Trump is now a target of Heathering. Thus, we have this rather petulant example in an April 30 NewsBusters post by P.J. Gladnick:

Ohio governor and failed presidential candidate John Kasich had his new book, Two Paths: America Divided or United, published on April 25 and after just the first week it has already sunk beneath the waves of public disinterest to #264 as of this writing on Amazon. So much for the sales appeal of a presidential candidacy. It doesn't take any great genius to figure out that he thinks President Donald Trump represents the evil "Divided" while the son of a mailman is somehow the enlightened "United" one.

Although it is obvious that Kasich holds himself in incredibly high esteem, the rest of the country has a very different point of view considering that of all the primaries, he won only in his home state of Ohio. After putting all his marbles into winning New Hampshire which he lost to Trump, Kasich never advanced much beyond being permanently relegated to the edges of the debate stages. The only reason why anyone even paid any attention to him was due to his strategy of eating sloppy food like a slob on camera in the latter stages of his failed campaign.

After breaking his pledge to support the eventual GOP nominee, the Buckeye Ingrate showed his utter contempt, as a DIVIDER, for the system by refusing to even attend the Republican convention in the Ohio host city of Cleveland. To rub in his disdain for that convention he even broadcast his spoiled brat attitude by being active on the Cleveland periphery of the convention such as notably appearing at the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame and other non-convention events

Remember the kid who knocked over the Monopoly game board because he was losing? Yeah, that's John Kasich except he has proven himself to be much more delusional than any annoying kid you ever knew. An example is his video late in the primary season, when it was clear he had no hope of being nominated, portraying himself as the Republican nominee at the convention which he didn't attend.

It looks the one with the actual "spoiled brat attitude" here is Gladnick, for his inability to tolerate criticism of Trump.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:57 PM EDT
WND's Michael Savage Petition Is An Email-Harvesting Operation
Topic: WorldNetDaily

An anonymously written May 2 WorldNetDaily article does its best to lay out its case:

Friday will mark the eighth year of Britain’s ban of a prominent American talk-radio host and bestselling author from entry because opinions he expressed on the air purportedly made him a threat to national security.

On May 5, 2009, Michael Savage, host of the nationally syndicated “The Savage Nation” and a member of the National Radio Hall of Fame, was blacklisted by Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s government, which lumped him together with Muslim jihadists and leaders of racist groups for “seeking to provoke others to serious criminal acts and fostering hatred,” as WND reported.

The British government, however, has never specified what Savage has said that might threaten the nation’s security.

Further, government correspondence by top officials revealed the decision was made in an attempt to provide “balance” to a “least wanted” list dominated by Muslim extremists.

Now, with Donald Trump in the White House, a new petition is urging the president and the U.S. State Department to demand that Britain remove Savage from the list.

What WND doesn't tell you: This petition is hosted by WND, and appears to be a business decision rather than any act of altruism or journalism.

WND has had a long-running business and personal relationship with Savage -- it published a couple of his early books, it hosts Savage's website, and WND editor Joseph Farah was touting as early as 2003 about being a "frequent guest" on his TV and radio shows and has guest-hosted at least once. Onetime WND columnist Ellis Washington was so creepily enamored of Savage that he proclaimed himself Savage's "authorized biographer." (No book on Savage by Washington ever surfaced.)

The petition itself reads a bit like a press release, asserting that "Michael Savage has been known to his millions of listeners for more than 22 years as an advocate of the patriotic values of borders, language and culture" and that "Michael Savage has never advocated violence, and his political views are protected by the First Amendment, which is rooted in the civil-rights tradition that began with Britain’s Magna Carta." Savage does, however, have a history of violent rhetoric, which WND conveniently ignores.

But the clue to the petition's real intent comes at the end of it, which states this: "Note: By signing this petition, you agree to receive confirmation email and future notices from co-sponsors WND.com and MichaelSavage.com."

In other words: The petition is being used to build the email lists of both WND and Savage. It's a business proposition, not a cry against censorship.

WND and Savage should stop pretending it's anything else but that.


Posted by Terry K. at 6:25 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, May 14, 2017 6:27 PM EDT
Saturday, May 13, 2017
MRC Writer Still Thinks Gay Conversion Therapy Is A Good Thing
Topic: Media Research Center

The last time we tuned into Media Research Center review Dawn Slusher's hate-watching of the TV show "Greenleaf," she was cheering the show's tiptoeing into the subject of gay conversion therapy and insisting that it actually works despite not being able to cite a scientifically valid, replicable method that does no harm to the client.

In a May 4 post, Slusher laments that the show allowed the main character, Kevin, to "succumb to his desires":

Signs were there that Kevin was attracted to family friend and Calvary’s legal counsel Aaron (William H. Bryant Jr.), but May 4th’s episode left no doubt. As the two got closer and closer, physically and emotionally, on the couch while watching TV, Kevin brushes his hand against Aaron’s leg and Aaron pats Kevin on the back, leaving his hand there to linger and turn into a flirtatious massage. Before long, they are passionately making out, as the scene ends with Aaron removing Kevin’s belt.

It’s a shame that the show took this turn rather than show that many Christian men have found success with conversion therapy. Galatians 1:10 in the Bible reads, “For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.”

Had Kevin sought to change for God and himself, rather than for his wife or any other human, he may have found it easier to stay straight. But by directing his efforts to the success of his marriage and Charity’s happiness, he was bound to fail the moment she abandoned him.

This was a ripe opportunity for the show to feature the stories of Christian men who have converted or have stayed straight for themselves and their faith, stories you won’t find in the mainstream media. Kevin’s outcome is common in the world of entertainment, so Greenleaf could have stood out if it had been brave enough to show the other side that’s never talked about. A side that can offer hope to those in the Christian faith who wish to lead a straight life.

As before, Slusher's evidence that "many Christian men have found success with conversion therapy" boils down to a pro-conversaion therapy group and self-proclaimed ex-transgender woman Walt Heyer, a current fave of anti-gay activists who admits he was misdiagnosed as transgender.

Slusher never explains why one's homosexual desires must be suppressed, and she never mentions that the reason why "the other side that’s never talked about" is never talked about is because it really doesn't exist to any notable extent and, again, there's no rigorous science to back it up. Suppression isn't exactly "conversion," after all.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:01 AM EDT

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