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Sunday, June 4, 2017
MRC's Double Standard on Humanizing People
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Clay Waters whines in a May 17 post:

The liberal media will never forgive Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon for momentarily treating Donald Trump like a normal guest when the then-presidential candidate appeared on the show last September.

In a long profile of Fallon set for the front of next Sunday's Arts page, New York Times Dave Itzkoff returned to the subject, with particular focus on the crime of Fallon playfully mussing Trump’s hair as a harmful humanization of the man, and implying that fateful incident caused Fallon’s show to be overtaken in the ratings by more left-wing ideological competition like the vulgar Stephen Colbert.

By contrast, the MRC has never forgiven the media for treating Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama like a normal human being.

Under the headline "Nets Embrace 'Did You Plug the Hole Yet, Daddy?' Anecdote to Humanize Obama," Rich Noyes grumbled in 2010 that "The White House press corps just loved President Obama's press conference anecdote meant to prove the pressure he's under and responsibility he's taking ("When I woke up this morning, and I'm shaving and Malia knocks on my bathroom door and she peeks in her head and she says: 'Did you plug the hole yet, daddy?'")."

And in September 2016, Tim Graham ranted about media outlets making "desperate attempts to keep trying to portray her as warm and human....just as they tried to convince Americans that in private that cold fish Al Gore and John Kerry were warm in private. " So convinced is Graham that Clinton is subhuman that he even grumbled about one commentator who referred to Hillary as "a funny, personable human being."

So it seems it's perfectly fine at the MRC to treat liberals as less than human.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:20 PM EDT
WND Still Misleading about Confederacy, Monuments
Topic: WorldNetDaily

It seems WorldNetDaily is not done misunderstanding why monuments to the Confederacy are being removed. Brent Smith first uses his May 22 column to throw out the distraction of Robert Byrd:

When I heard that these and many other monuments were being taken down for the same reason, the first thing that came to mind was the late Democrat icon Robert “Sheets” Byrd (hat tip Rush). He was, of course, a long time U.S. senator from West Virginia, but also a member of the Ku Klux Klan. And not just any member – he was a recruiter, a Kleagle.

Yet Byrd has dozens upon dozens of hospitals, parks, office buildings, community centers, federal buildings, etc. that bear his name. No one says a word about that. Of course not. He was a good liberal.

When asked, Democrats merely state that the racist Byrd should be judged on the entirety of his career – his full body of work – not just his years in the Klan.

Smith conveniently omits that Byrd repeatedly apologized for his KKK affiliation, to the point that even the NAACP praised him for supporting a civil rights agenda. Smith offers no evidence that Lee, Beauregard, et al, ever apolgized for their Confederate affiliation.

After unfairly maligning Byrd, Smith then complains that Confederate Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard was being unfairly maligned:

In fact Beauregard was not a racist. A native of New Orleans, he fought for the Confederacy because they were the home team, for want of a better term. It was well-known that he hated Confederate President Jefferson Davis – so much so that he refused to lead Davis’ funeral procession.

He was an equal-rights advocate and led the failed unification effort in New Orleans, bringing together both white and black leaders. He fought for voting rights for blacks, integrated schools, public places and public transportation, many decades before national talk of civil rights.

In a speech in 1873, Beauregard said: “I am persuaded that the natural relation between the white and colored people is that of friendship. I am persuaded that their interests are identical; that their destinies in this state, where the two races are equally divided, are linked together; and that there is no prosperity for Louisiana which must not be the result of their cooperation.”

But as the article Smith links to to support his claims about Beauregard admits, the statue of Beauregard that was taken down in New Orleans did not honor his post-Civil War work; it honored his stint as a Confederate general.

Meanwhile, Joseph Farah does what he does in his May 29 column: portray the removal of Confederate statues as some sort of liberal conspiracy:

First, you will notice that Democrats are nearly always at the forefront of this kind of activity.

Why would that be?

Could it be because they are embarrassed and ashamed of their party’s own history?

You see, Jefferson Davis, the only president of the Confederacy, was a Democrat. In fact, for 50 years after the War Between the States, the white South was dominated almost entirely by the Democratic Party. White Democrats ran the South during the war, through the Jim Crow days of segregation and right up until the early 1960s.

Not a single Democrat in that era ever suggested destroying statues of Confederate heroes, taking down Confederate flags or toppling monuments memorializing the Confederacy.

What’s more, the Ku Klux Klan would have discouraged such demolition. And the Ku Klux Klan was the military arm of the Democratic Party.

As we pointed out when Farah made a similar claim, the KKK was not the "military arm of the Democratic Party"; while many angry Southern whites during the 1860s and 1870s were Democrats and a smaller number of them joined the KKK, that doesn't make the KKK a Democratic creation.

This time around, though, Farah surprisingly concedes that today's Democratic Party is not the one of 150 years ago. Of course, that's a conspiracy too, he writes: "It was President Lyndon Baines Johnson who got the idea of the Democrat [sic] Party becoming the 'champion' of black Americans by enticing them into dependency through welfare-style programs."

Farah doesn't explain why no conservatives hike him are endorsing removal of Confederate monuments and, to the contrary, seem to be opposing it: As we've pointed out, the South has always been conservative; many Southerners started abandoning the Democratic Party starting in the 1960s after it supported integration and other equal-rights laws and shifted their allegiance over a generation from Democrats to Republicans.


Posted by Terry K. at 5:45 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, June 4, 2017 7:26 PM EDT
Saturday, June 3, 2017
Persistent Obama Derangement Syndrome, Newsmax Edition
Topic: Newsmax

And Michelle Obama decided to bully school kids. She thought forcing teenagers to subsist on the same fare enjoyed by Eastern mystics would cure America's obesity problem.

[...]

In the future kids wouldn't be hungry due to incompetent parents. They would be hungry as a result of Michelle's One-Size-Fits-All menu mandate.

Thank God Michelle didn't choose clothing for her legacy. Kids attending government schools would look like Red Guards.

Michelle might be able to keep the menus running on time in the White House where she has the Secret Service to back her up, but in Deplorable America teenagers are much more obstinate.

[...]

The University of Vermont conducted a study of her menu in action and found food waste increased by 56 percent. Michelle even managed to turn formerly law-abiding children into salt pushers as flavor advocates sold take-out packets to an eager client base.

Michelle even managed to make biscuits taste bad, but what would you expect from a woman that demands diners eat grits without butter or brown sugar?

This is why if you passed by any school gullible enough to adopt her school lunch program you could see Michelle's legacy being tossed from school cafeteria trash cans into the dumpster.

[...]

Michelle's real legacy is utter contempt for the average American. Personally, I can get along without the hectoring presence of the First Drill Sergeant. I know what I'm buying in the grocery store without consulting the USDA hotline.

If Michelle's cuisine control causes local school boards to question the role of the feds in education, then she will have left a legacy I can actually support.

-- Michael Shannon, May 26 Newsmax column


Posted by Terry K. at 9:55 AM EDT
WND Slobbers Over Trump Pulling Out of Paris Climate Accord
Topic: WorldNetDaily

The servile slobbering over Donald Trump and his administration at WorldNetDaily is just getting embarrassing.

During President Trump's announcement that he was pulling the U.S. out of the Paris Climate Accord, WND was sending out fawning tweets that may as well have been sent from Trump's own Twitter account.

One reads, "Trump's pulling out of Paris Accord is a reminder what America First looks like!"

Another declares, "Steve Miller and Steve Bannon just wrote a heck of a speech for Trump. Awesome job!"

That's followed by a tweet asserting, "'I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris.' Beautiful. Any American against this statement is a globalist."

The first two tweets added the #MAGA hashtag, another declaration of bias.

We bring this up because WND keeps insisting that it's "independent" and that it will hold government accountable. Nothing could be further from the truth.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:53 AM EDT
Friday, June 2, 2017
CNS Summer Intern Has The Dishonest Right-Wing Reporting Basics Down
Topic: CNSNews.com

Gage Cohen is a summer intern for CNSNews.com, and already he's picking up CNS' dishonest ways.

Cohen writes in a May 31 article:

Planned Parenthood’s newly released " 2015-2016 Annual Report " says that the organization performed 328,348 abortions in the year that ended on Sept. 30, 2015, and received $554.6 million in "government health services reimbursements and grants"--money that came from U.S. taxpayers--in the year that on June 30, 2016.

Cohen conveniently -- and dishonestly -- omits the important fact that none of that "money that came from U.S. taxpayers" paid for any of those abortions because federal law prohibits it.

CNS revels in pushing that dishonesty.

Cohen similarly repeated right-wing talking points in a June 1 article, claiming that "The 2017 hurricane season begins today, June 1--a record 139 months after the last major hurricane made landfall in the continental United States, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration."

As we've pointed out, CNS narrowly defines this as a Category 3 hurricane that made landfall, which conveniently ignores Category 3 hurricanes that grazed the U.S. coast before weakening and making landfall as well as 2012's Superstorm Sandy, which still caused substantial damage despite not being a Category 3 hurricane at landfall.

It looks like Cohen is well on his way to becoming a highly biased right-wing reporter. Congratulations, or something.


Posted by Terry K. at 6:09 PM EDT
Islamophobic WND Doesn't Quote Anti-Muslim Rhetoric of Portland Stabbing Suspect
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily's anonymously written May 29 article on Jeremy Christian's anti-Muslim stabbing rampage in Portland, leaving two dead, is an odd creature.

While the headline calls Christian an "murderous Muslim-hater" and the article itself noted that the incident began "when he began verbally assaulting a woman wearing a Muslim head covering, known as a hijab" using "what would be characterized as hate speech or bias language," the article curiously fails to quote any of that alleged language, instead playing up Christian's "felonious neo-Nazi" past.

One witness said that "He was saying that Muslims should die. That they've been killing Christians for years."Christian was also reported as shouting "Die Muslims" at a rally in April. On Facebook, Christian wrote that "If we're removing statues because of the Civil War, we should be removing mosques because of 9/11."

Christian's rhetoric isn't really all that more extreme that the Islamophobia WND has been peddling.

WND reporter Leo Hohmann has written an entire anti-Muslim book malliciously portraying Muslim refugees escaping war and poverty to come to the U.S. as engaging in "civilization jihad." Hohmann has endeavored to portray all Muslims as potential terrorists and ranted that Muslims "really don't value what we value," complete with shadowy images of armed Muslims. WND has told lies about a measles outbreak in a Somali-American community in Minnesota, falsely blaming it on the Quran instead of their fellow anti-vaxxers who spread their conspiracy theories among thte community, and invoked the vision of scary Muslim hordes in order to promote the right-wing candidate in the French presidential election. And WND has attacked Muslims for making use of the very same religious-freedom laws it has praised Christians for invoking.

It seems Christian was acting on the Muslim-hate WND has been expressing both implicitly and explicitly and putting those hints into action.

Even as Christian sounded even more WND-esque at his arraignment hearing -- where he ranted, "Free speech or die Portland. You've got no safe place. This is America. Get out if you don't like free speech ... Death to the enemies of America. Leave this country if you hate our freedom" -- has devoted no more original coverage to this story. We can probably guess why.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:55 PM EDT
MRC, Bad At Its Job, Launches Revenge Campaign
Topic: Media Research Center

Apparently driven by envy at liberal groups like Media Matters for being effective in raising legitimate concerns about Fox News hosts like Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity in a way that caused advertisers to flee their shows, the Media Research Center is now lashing out at TV hosts it doesn't agree with.

In other words, a revenge campaign.

The MRC explains the plan in a name-calling May 31 post:

Media Research Center (MRC) President Brent Bozell today announced a new campaign  that will focus on informing the American public and corporate advertisers about leftist shows and on-air personalities who use their programs to spread vicious lies and hate.

“We are putting the radical left on notice that we are on to them. We know the inside-outside game that radical organizations are playing with their leftist allies in the "news" media. The radical left’s effort to silence conservative media  by targeting their advertisers with coordinated smear campaigns has gone unanswered, but today is the day the conservative movement fights back, but with a big difference: We'll tell the truth. And we'll take no prisoners.

“Every network and cable news channel is today on notice that the MRC will be closely monitoring their leftist opinion programs and informing their advertisers and the American public when these programs and hosts go beyond political commentary and engage in smear, hate and political extremism.  The difference between our effort and what the left is engaged in is that we will demonstrate to the advertisers of these programs how the hosts of these shows are not simply engaged in disagreeable political discussion but rather outright hate and personal character assassination.

"Today we are putting ten shows, and their major corporate sponsors on notice that we are watching their every move. Additionally, we will be publicly listing the advertisers of these programs and asking them to defend their decision to continue airing ads on these shows. Every time one of their on-air personalities go beyond political commentary and engage in smear and hate, we are going to unleash an army of activists to contact these advertisers by phone and through social media to ask them why they are advertising on programs that are so biased, repulsive and morally bankrupt."

But isn't this kind of monitoring what the MRC's job is supposed to have been for the past 30 years? Is the MRC admitting that it's terrible at its job?

The MRC also whines about "smear campaigns" against cpnoservative hosts, but it never explains how it is a "smear" to point out that O'Reilly paid millions of dollars to settle sexual harassment lawsuits, or that Hannity is peddling discredited conspiracy theories about a murder victim even after the victim's family begged him to stop.

The fact that the MRC can't even mention Seth Rich's name while defending Hannity tells us just how cynical and spiteful this campaign is. It knows Hannity is being as repulsive and morally bankrupt as it claims liberal hosts are, but it will never admit that in public because Bozell's buddies must be defended no matter how blatant the cynicism and hypocrisy in doing so.

Even the MRC's target list is lame. The first show on the list is Al Sharpton's MSNBC show, which got busted down from daily to weekly some time ago and the which MRC itself hasn't written about in two months.

Bozell kept up the dishonesty in a June 1 appearance on (where else) Hannity's Fox News show, where he touted his revenge campaign and once again complained about conservatives being smeared. Again, Bozell failed to explain how pointing out Hannity's malicious conspiracy-mongering is a "smear."

Unless Bozell and the MRC can resolve their hypocrisy in defending Hannity, this new revenge campaign will not be taken seriously -- like the rest of the MRC.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:48 AM EDT
Updated: Friday, June 2, 2017 1:02 AM EDT
Thursday, June 1, 2017
WND Raising Money To Push Seth Rich Conspiracy Theories, Dishonestly Suggests Rich Family Supports It
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily's latest round of Seth Rich conspiracy-mongering start with a pair of meaningless stories:

  • An article by Alicia Powe complaining that Washington, D.C., hospitals wouldn't release any information about Rich -- an outcome she certainly knew would happen because federal law bars hospitals from publicly releasing data about any patient. Powe grudgingly admits this, even quoting the right-wing ambulance-chasers at Judicial Watch pointing out that hospitals must follow "strict patient privacy regulations."So there was no legitimate journalistic value whatsoever in this story -- it's just to pad out WND's story count on Seth Rich.
  • Powe also reported on a completely unrelated gun-theft case, uncritically repeating the assertions of politically motivated lobbyist Jack Burkman, who surprisingly admits he has no information linking the case to Rich. Powe aldo quoted Burkman whining: “I don’t understand why they are withholding key information. We simply don’t know what their motives are. Is there a cover-up? Is there something they don’t want out? They seem to want this in the cold-case file. No new information has been released in this case since late October.” It could be because the police know Burkman is a political hack seeking to exploit Rich's death for his own partisan purposes.

Meanwhile, WND has reached the begging-for-money stage of the Rich story. Another article announced that WND has started a GoFundMe page "to raise support for rewards for new evidence that would lead to a conviction, for funding for a private investigator to uncover the truth and for more resources for investigative reporting."

But on that GoFundMe page, WND is dishonestly suggesting it has the blessing of Rich's family. It states (boldface in original):

We support the GoFundMe campaign of the Rich Family and commend anyone to donate to that cause. Seth Rich’s brother, Aaron, is right when he writes: “One thing that no one tells you, and something we weren’t prepared to hear when we lost Seth, is that if a case isn’t solved immediately, it could take months or years before justice is served. Worse, to keep the investigation active, to seek leads and to follow up on investigations, to make sure that every possible angle is covered – it’s expensive.”

Like that campaign, we seek “to raise and maintain public awareness of Seth's unsolved murder.” Most of all, we want to see this case solved.

WND gives no indication it sought Aaron Rich's permission to quote him, let alone that the Rich family supports WND's efforts. In fact we can assume quite the opposite: The Rich family begged Sean Hannity to stop spreading conspiracy theories about Seth's death, so it's highly unlikely that the family has anything to do with WND, which has spread even more conspiracy theories about it and is simply exploiting the story to feed its lengthy history of anti-Clinton animus.

Further, WND's history in seeking money from the public is one of complete lack of transparency -- and WND offers no specifics about how much money it needs to accomplish what it claims to want to do -- so there's no reason to trust WND to be accountable.

Smart donors are much better off donating directly to the Rich family's GoFundMe campaign than giving any money to WND.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:01 PM EDT
MRC's Graham Distracts From Confederate Statues By Whining About A Random Lenin Statue
Topic: Media Research Center

In the grand Media Research Center tradition of complaining about media coverage by pointing to some random, vaguely related thing, Tim Graham complains in a May 21 MRC post that Washington Post reports about the removal of Confederate statues in New Orleans don't mention a statue of Lenin in Seattle:

Black Americans can obviously look at the history of slavery and Jim Crow and argue the Confederate generals represent oppressors. But what about other oppressors? A friend of mine named Wayne from Texas pointed out another monument The Washington Post could campaign against if they were all about cheering on the removal of men who embody oppression. Seattle has a large bronze statue honoring Vladimir Lenin, the leader of the mass-murdering Soviet regime installed in the Russian revolution of 1917. How does the Post strike a pose on that?

Graham misses the obvious point that the Lenin statue is in Seattle -- rescued from the scrap heap in Czechoslovakia -- as something of an art project, complete with the irony of being located in the midst of a capitalistic business district. It's also for sale and can be moved and/or melted down for the right price. The statue is simply tolerated; nobody stakes it seriously. Graham acknowledges this, whining that the statue as viewed from the lens of "ironic detatchment."

The Confederate statues, by contrast, were installed for the express purpose of celebrating a cause rejected by the rest of the country that was driven by the oppression and even slavery of an entire race.

Graham would be hard pressed to find anyone who will celebrate Lenin the man in Seattle, while racists and white nationalists are fighting -- unironically -- to keep Confederate statues.

If Graham wants to see the Lenin statue go, all he has to do is pay the family that owns it $250,000. But it seems he'd simply sit around and invent specious arguments.


Posted by Terry K. at 4:39 PM EDT
Wednesday, May 31, 2017
MRC Declares Victory in Hannity Boycott Fight, Finally Mentions Why There Is A Boycott
Topic: Media Research Center

After days of attacking insurance company USAA for pulling its ads from Sean Hannity's Fox News show in response to an ad boycott over Hannity's insistence on pushing false, malicious conspiracy theories regarding the death of Seth Rich -- but without telling its readers the reason why the boycott existed -- USAA reversed its decision. Needless to say, the MRC was more than happy to declare victory.

A May 30 post by Curtis Houck repeated MRC chief Brent Bozell's smug declaration: “It goes without saying that USAA has not experienced this kind of customer outrage in its entire history.”

Houck went on to grumble that "USAA withdrew its advertisement spots on Thursday from Hannity’s FNC show after pressure from far-left organizations running a smear campaign in hopes of causing Hannity to lose his job." But curiously, Houck never explains how, exactly, Hannity was being "smeared."

It's only in an excerpt from that AP article farther down in his post that Houck inadvertently reveals the reason behind the boycott: As stated by the AP, Hannity was "reporting a discredited story involving the death of a Democratic National Committee staff member."

There. Now, was it that hard to tell the entire truth to your readers that you couldn't have mentioned it before now?


Posted by Terry K. at 7:34 PM EDT
WND's Farah Proving Himself Wrong About WND's Mission
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Remember when WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah railed against the cozy, symbiotic and unhealthy relationship developing between the corporate press and state power" and that he "vowed WND would never fall prey or be seduced by that temptation"? Yeah, not so much.

Farah himself provides the latest example of WND's fealty to the Trump administration in a May 21 Q-and-A column headlined "A guide to understanding the Trump-Saudi deal" but may as well be called "A guide to understanding how totally awesome Trump is." Farah gushes:

In addition, the Arab and Muslim world respects strength, which they see in President Trump. There’s one more thing: In the past, the Saudis have sought to buy favor with U.S. presidents with millions of dollars in endowments after they left office. These include Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama. They are wise enough to know Trump, a billionaire, cannot be bought off this way.

[...]

All the earmarkings of these meetings and speeches suggest he hit the right tone. It’s imperative to show strength in dealings with the kingdom. It’s imperative not to show subservience. It’s imperative to develop the proper quid pro quos based on national interests, not personal interests. Trump has seemingly done this more artfully than most of his predecessors. He really does understand negotiations, having authored “The Art of the Deal.” Another good sign was the king’s treatment of the women in the U.S. entourage – with Melania and Ivanka Trump and other women being treated with respect and dignity. This is something “feminists” should note, but probably won’t because most are leftist ideologues who have a conflict in their gut between “multiculturalism” and the inherent rights of women.

Farah concluded with one final bit of fawning:

Question: How would you sum up the success of Trump’s first major foreign trip?

Answer: Masterful. He pulled no punches, but showed the necessary diplomacy and respect.

Written like a man who has been seduced by state power.

That was joined by an anonymously written writeup of Trump's speech in Saudi Arabia cheering the "optimistic and hopeful" tone of the speech, which was "delivered to a rousing ovation."

Farah, of course, would never admit any of this is cozy, symbiotic and unhealthy. His guy's in office, and he'll do everything he can to advance Trump's agenda.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:07 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, May 31, 2017 3:35 PM EDT
Kessler's Pro-Trump Semantic Fail
Topic: Newsmax

Newsmax gave Trump sycophant Ronald Kessler (whom it once again failed to identify as a former Newsmax employee) a platform on Newsmax TV to complain about the "dishonest" media coverage of President Trump, using a bizarre sematic argument to claim a Washington Post story was a "hoax":

"Last week, The Washington Post also ran a story saying . . . the FBI has determined that an aide close to Donald Trump is a person of interest in the Russian investigation. Anybody knows anything about the FBI knows they don't use that term at all in any investigation – certainly not counterintelligence, except for violent crime and kidnaping. It simply doesn't exist. They do not use that term.

"Apparently nobody at The Washington Post knows enough about the FBI to recognize that which obviously means that that story is a hoax. Someone made up the story. That is the Post."

The same day that Newsmax published the writeup on Kessler, it also published an article stating that "President Donald Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, a senior White House adviser, is under scrutiny by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the Russia probe." The next day, the Post reported that according to Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak, Kushner tried to open up a secret communication backchannel between Russian officials and the Trump transition team.

Persona of interest? Under scrutiny? Semantics aside, a distinction without a difference. The Post is correct, and Kessler is wrong.

Kessler is rather odioiusly putting his loyalty to Trump before the facts -- a terrible, discrediting situation for someone who portrays himself as a fair and balanced journalist.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:17 AM EDT
Tuesday, May 30, 2017
WND's Weekend of Seth Rich Conspiracies
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily had a busy holiday weekend of trying to perpetuate those Seth Rich conspiracies.

First, WND served up a Seth Rich timeline from birther dead-ender and former WND columnist Diana West that tries to wrap in other conspiracies like the death of John Ashe, whom WND writes "had been scheduled to report to court shortly after this date, along with Ng Lap Seng, as part of a fraud case alleging payola"; Seng was linked to alleged Clinton administraiton corruption, which somehow makes this an entry on the discredited "Clinton body count." But as we pointed out a year ago, legal action against Ashe had nothing to do whatsoever with any Clinton.

WND also touted claims made by "private detective" Rod Wheeler without mentioning the important fact that Wheeler has since retracted much of what he has said about the Rich case.

Another article, by Alicia Powe, pushed unsubstantiated speculation by agenda-driven "private investigators" like sleazy lobbyist Jack Burkman tnat Washingtion, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser "has ordered a halt to the investigation" into Rich's death.

WND columnist Gina Loudon then jumped aboard the Rich conspiracy train, asserting that "I am beginning to change my mind upon studying the behavior and psychology of the left." Loudon, if you'll remember, made an armchair diagnosis of Barack Obama as a mentally ill psychopath but proclaimed Trump's narcissism and egocentricism to be "great attributes for a true leader" and that he "seems mentally sound," so her proclamations about psychology shouldn't exactly be trusted.

WND then took comfort that a fellow fringe-right media outlet has joined the conspiracy, touting how tiny cable TV channel One America News is "boosting the reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the slain Democratic National Committee employee’s killer or killers by an additional $100,000 and issuing a step-by-step report on why the mysterious death is more than a 'conspiracy theory.'"

WND also cheered the appearance of another right-wing ally, with Bob Unruh happily writing that "The chief of the government-accountability group Judicial Watch contends there’s 'credible evidence' that needs to be addressed in the murder investigation of Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich." This from an organization obsessed with President Obama's vacation expenses but are somehow less concerned with the mounting costs of Trump's weekends at Mar-a-Lago.

So the conspiracy continues -- as does the plunging of whatever credibility WND and Judicial Watch might have at this point.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:00 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, May 30, 2017 9:10 PM EDT
The MRC's Most Dishonest 'Study' Yet
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center has been cranking out the dishonest media "studies" lately in support of the Trump administration. The latest one, however, may be the most dishonest yet.

Rich Noyes writes in a May 26 post:

In covering the President’s proposed budget this week, network reporters unanimously claimed it “cut” or even “slashed” federal spending. An MRC analysis of ABC, CBS and NBC morning and evening news coverage since Monday (May 22) finds that not a single reporter ever told viewers that overall federal spending would actually RISE under President Trump’s planned budget — just not as much as forecast under the budget baseline Trump inherited from President Obama back in January.

But Noyes is making an apples-and-oranges comparions. Nearly every example Noyes cited referred to cuts in specific programs, while Noyes is referring to growth in the overall budget. Noyes also grumbles that "The only way journalists can claim Trump is cutting spending is by comparing his plans to the baseline of federal spending" -- which, again, is not what journalists were doing.

Noyes offers no clear example in which an evening news report unambiguously stated, in full context, that the overall budget was going to be cut.

Noyes waited until the final paragraph of his post to admit some of this -- then stayed the dishonest course anyway:

It’s accurate to say that Trump plans to reduce the extravagant increases in spending incorporated in current law, and some programs will see an actual reduction in their spending (after years of increases under Obama). But to repeatedly suggest that there will be “deep cuts” or some kind of “slashing” of federal spending creates a false narrative designed to bully politicians into backing away from a responsible spending plan.

If it's "accurate to say" that Trump is planning to cut some programs, why is Noyes attacking journalists for saying exactly that?

Also note Noyes' pro-Trump bias in declaring the Trump budget to be "responsible" while dismissing  budget s during the Obama years as containing "extravagant spending" -- while providing no evidence to support either claim.

Speaking of lack of evidence: As usual, Noyes refuses to provide the full data from his so-called study, just undated anecdotes.

Talk about dishonest.


Posted by Terry K. at 6:04 PM EDT
WND: Impeach Judges Who Make Decisions We Don't Like!
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily wants to rid the bench of judges who make decisions its writers don't like.

Jane Chastain starts her ranting May 24 column this way:

When the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus closed on Sunday it marked the end of an era. But never fear – those ever-popular clowns are still with us. They lack the grease paint, rubber noses and orange hair that made us laugh. In fact, these clowns aren’t funny at all. They sit on the federal courts at virtually every level.

Perhaps the best-known are the clowns on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals who refused to overturn a federal clown in Seattle who barred President Trump’s travel ban and are now wrestling with essentially the same issue from a clown on the bench in Hawaii involving travel ban No. 2.

After hearing arguments, they are currently preforming twists and turns, like those high-flying circus trapeze artists that entertained us under the Big Top for more than 146 years, sans the tight sequined outfits.

Chastain made it clear her solution for keeping Trump's Muslim ban on the books is to impeach any judge who rules against it:

How do you remove a judge for bad behavior? Through impeachment. This is the responsibility of our duly elected representatives in Congress. However, the people’s representatives have grown lazy. They prefer not to “rock the boat.” They simply want to skate through the next election by avoiding controversy.

Unfortunately, the clowns in the judiciary are only surpassed by the clowns in the media, who make their living not by reporting the truth, but by fanning the flames of controversy.

Clowns are funny in the circus. However, they are a disgrace in the media and have no place on the bench.

The only "bad behavior" Chastain identifies is ruling against the Muslim ban: "Clearly, the weight of law and history is on the president’s side when it comes to his right to issue a temporary travel ban from these nations. ... Therefore, it was not only Trump’s right to do so, it was most reasonable."

Meanwhile, in a May 26 column, Joseph Farah vented his anger at a judge who sanctioned the anti-abortion activists at the Center for Medical Progress for releasing a video despite being prohibited from doing so -- a video that WND eagerly reposted -- and ordered the video pulled down from WND and other right-wing sites.

Like Chastain, Farah then went into rant mode, spewing personal attacks on a judge simply for issuing a decision he didn't like:

There’s a term for this and what the judge did with WND’s content. It’s called prior restraint. It’s against the law. It defies the Constitution and American judicial tradition.

And that’s why it’s time for the Congress of the United States to take action against one of these left-wing political activists masquerading as all-powerful, objective federal judges committed to impartial readings of the law.

Here’s the astonishing record of William Horsley Orrick III.

It almost goes without saying he was a Barack Obama appointee. But he may have bought that appointment by raising $200,000 for the Obama campaign and personally donating $30,000 to committees supporting the campaign. After those lavish donations, in 2013, Orrick was appointed by Obama and confirmed by the Senate to the same seat his father, Judge William Orrick Jr., held from 1974 to 2003. In other words, it was his turn to inherit this lifetime job.

Did you think American justice had become this corrupt?

[...]

This is why I am calling on members of the House of Representatives to make an example out of Orrick and sponsor a bill of impeachment against him. It may not go anywhere – even in the Republican House. It surely won’t result in a conviction for abuse of authority as long as disgraces like Flake, Murkowski and Collins remain in the U.S. Senate.

But it’s time to take the fight to phonies like Orrick who make a mockery of our judicial system.

We'd argue Farah is the real phony for turning his WND into a Trump sycophant while trying to find the next conspiracy theory to latch onto, but you know us, we don't like to complain...


Posted by Terry K. at 12:51 AM EDT

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