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Wednesday, July 19, 2017
MRC Hides Pro-Trump Bias of Media-Bashing Guest
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Nicholas Fondacaro has a new favorite media-basher -- and, more to the point, someone who bashes CNN media reporter Brian Stelter -- judging by the giddy tone of his July 16 post:

Things got a little heated during CNN’s Reliable Sources on Sunday when former Editor for The New York Observer Ken Kurson called out the media for acting as the opposition party to President Donald Trump. “ So, the idea here is that the media have become the opposition to Trump … I mean, just listening to the intro to this show,” he told his host, CNN’s ridiculous figure Brian Stelter. As would be expected, that didn’t sit well with Stelter who pretended the media don’t have a disdain for the President.

[...]

The hypocrisy was staggering according to Kurson, who noted that “we’re talking about a newspaper that holds itself out as the most dignified place for American thought and journalism today, and this is what they put forth.” It’s a common narrative among media elitists like Stelter to pretend that news organizations have no editorial control over what it is they print or say.

[...]

“I think a lot of journalists are against lying, against deceit. That’s where we are right now,” Stelter shot back at one point. Kurson made it clear that he stood against those things too, but warned that “when you have a system where the outrageous attack is what’s rewarded with likes on Facebook and followings on Twitter you are setting yourself up.

In all his giddiness, Fondacaro forgot to mention a couple of important things. First: Kurson's former employer was owned by Jared Kushner, son-in-law of President Trump. Second: Kurson has been described as a "friend and associate" of Kushner who helped Trump write a campaign speech he delivered to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.

In other words, Kurson is a pro-Trump shill, and it's no surprise he spouting the Trump White House's anti-media agenda.

That bias seems important to disclose to readers. But Kurson's bias mirrors that of Fonadacaro and the MRC, so he probably didn't even notice his hypocrisy.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:40 AM EDT
WND Rushes to Blame 'Cop Named Mohamed' In Police Shooting Because Of His Name
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily normally supports the police against allegations of excessive violence, especially when the victims are black and the critics are similarly so. But as we've seen with vaccines, WND will happily flip-flop on long-held views in order to adapt to a new designated enemy -- namely, Muslims.

So, when Justine Damond was shot and killed by a Minneapolis police officer on July 16, WND didn't do rush to the defense of the police, as it ususally did in such situations.Why? The victim was white, and the officer had a Muslim-sounding name.

Thus, resident WND Muslim-hater gets the assignment for this story -- and he delivers, under the headline "Cop named Mohamed shoots, kills unarmed woman who called 9-1-1":

The Minneapolis cop who shot and killed a 40-year-old woman after she called 9-1-1 to report a possible crime near her home was identified Monday as the precinct’s first Somali-American officer — Mohamed Noor.

Noor has only been a police officer for two years and has already been sued for alleged unprofessional behavior. The May 2017 lawsuit also involved a female and accusations of brutality.

The shooting late Saturday night happened at the end of an alley in the city’s Fulton neighborhood.

Justine Ruszczyk Damond, a native of Sydney, Australia, was a veterinarian and a yoga instructor who recently got engaged to longtime boyfriend Don Damond. She and her fiancé lived in the 5000 block of Washburn.

[...]

Noor, 31, was born in Somalia.

[...]

Noor joined the department in March 2015 and is assigned to the 5th Precinct in southwest Minneapolis. Before that, he worked in property management.

The Minneapolis Office of Police Conduct Review contains records that show Noor has had three complaints filed against him, two of which remain open, the Star-Tribune reports. Another was closed without discipline.

Minneapolis has the nation’s largest concentration of Somali refugees, with the community estimated at approximately 50,000 strong in the city. The city’s Democrat mayor and council have made every effort to hire Somalis as part of the city’s diversity program.

We're pretty sure WND never published an article with the headline "Cop named Bob shoots, kills unarmed black teenager."

Hohmann followed up the next day by once again putting Noor's name in the headline -- "Killer cop Mohamed Noor was 'diversity' hire" -- something we're also pretty sure WND never did in any of its stories about black teens being shot by white cops. It's another anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant tirade, whining that Minneapolis "makes a special effort to recruit Somalis as part of its affirmative-action plan" and attacked Noor for having "entered the country as a refugee." Hohmann sneered: "Noor, who entered the U.S. as a child from war-torn Somalia, joined four other Somali-Americans on the Minneapolis Police Department. Given that he was not only black but a Muslim refugee, he instantly gave credibility to the mayor’s promises of a more diverse police force."

Hohmann also calls on his fellow Muslim-hating retinue to hate some more:

Given the political makeup of the city’s leadership and its desire to hire more black officers, especially those with roots in the Somali community, it is highly unlikely that investigators will seek to find out if Noor was motivated by his own religious bias in the killing of Justine Damond, said former Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann.

The question that needs to be answered is, was this shooting a mistake or was it a “cultural seizure” by a Muslim officer who snapped and acted irrationally at the sight of a woman in her pajamas?

“The shooting makes no sense, and Noor comes from the mandated cover-up women culture,” Bachmann told WND. “That’s why I’m wondering if they’ll ask whether his cultural views led him to shoot her. That’s something, if true, I can’t imagine the progressives would allow to get out.

“Minneapolis race-baiters traffic in imagined bias,” Bachmann added. “This may have been real bias. But will we ever know?”

WND has never shown such interest in alleged cultural bias behind violent incidents when the perpetrator is white (as Dylann Roof can attest).


Posted by Terry K. at 2:58 AM EDT
Tuesday, July 18, 2017
CNS Blogger Is An Even Worse Media Critic Than His MRC Co-Workers
Topic: CNSNews.com

It turns out that there are media critics employed by the Media Research Center even worse at their jobs than Tim Graham. Like Craig Bannister, whose main job is to be the PR guy for MRC "news" division CNSNews.com but also blogs at CNS.

Bannister writes in a July 5 CNS blog post (needless and excessive bolding and underlining are his):

CNN’s Will Ripley empathizes with North Korea’s side of things in two short videos on CNN.com, suggesting the communist country is misunderstood and mistreated by the U.S.

In “What it's really like to be inside North Korea,” CNN’s Will Ripley – who has visited North Korea 11 times – portrays the country as a place where leaders are viewed in “the highest possible esteem,” not as the outside world stereotypes them:

"This is a society that is built around its leadership; they hold their leaders up to the highest possible esteem. And, that is very much in contrast to the view from the outside world, that North Korea is erratic, unpredictable and moving on a dangerous path as they continue to nuclearize.”

Ripley describes North Korea’s capital, Pyongyang, as a city with an “increasingly modern skyline” filled with music and celebration, day and night:

“You hear music playing on loudspeakers throughout the city all day. In the morning to wake people up, in the evening to put them to bed at night. There is patriotic music, people are marching, they’re practicing for these huge mass celebrations that they often do for national holidays or to celebrate the achievements of their leader.”

What’s more, all North Koreans say they have complete confidence in their leader, Kim Jong-un, who has “supreme power”:

“North Korea is one the only places in the world where, no matter who you ask, at least publicly, you will never hear political dissent, everybody will say they are one hundred percent behind their supreme leader.

Of course, that isn't what Ripley did at all. (The fact that Bannister refused to link to Ripley's video is a big sign that he knows he's not telling the truth about Ripley.) Ripley's not sympathizing with North Korea or trying to make, as Bannister claims; he's trying to explain what life is like there and how it is "radically different" from the rest of the world.

Bannister also engages in some deceptive editing. After Ripley's statement that "everybody will say they are one hundred percent behind their supreme leader," Ripley added: "Given that Kim Jong Un has absolute power in this country, what else would they say?"

That's clearly not a statement of sympathy toward North Korea's leadership nor an assertion that North Koreans have "complete confidence" in Kim -- but theh truth would have interfered with Bannister's dishonest attack on Ripley, so it had to go.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:57 PM EDT
WND's Hohmann Still Won't Admit He Misled About Measles Outbreak
Topic: WorldNetDaily

What kind of arrogance does it take for a reporter to keep on misleading about a story after you've been exposed as an dishonest misleader?

Well, meet WorldNetDaily reporter Leo Hohmann.

Hohmann hates Muslims so much, he actually blamed a measles outbreak in a Somali-American community in Minnesota on the Quran -- actually, the blame lies with WND's anti-vaccine friends who infiltrated the community.

Hohmann returned to that story in a July 12 article -- not to apologize for his maliciously biased reporting, of course, but to exploit it further to further his anti-Muslim hate by painting them as disease-ridden foreigners:

Minnesota pays out millions every year in welfare for refugees, but there are secondary costs that never get tabulated.

In fiscal 2017, which ended last last week, the state spent $1.5 million to combat three infectious disease outbreaks — including the largest measles outbreak in 30 years, which swept through in the Somali refugee community.  And health officials notified legislative leaders this week that they want to tap a special public-health fund to offset additional costs.

Dr. Ed Ehlinger, Minnesota Health commissioner, told the Star-Tribune his department will need another $600,000 for fiscal 2018 to help control the spread of measles, drug-resistant tuberculosis and syphilis.

The state has had 78 confirmed cases of measles this year, in an outbreak that began in March. Of those 78 cases, 64 have been in the Somali refugee community. The outbreak is now showing signs of being under control, with no new cases reported this month. But the costs continue to pile up.

Health Department officials want $100,445 to continue prevention work. About half the money would go toward hiring a “temporary employee” to conduct outreach to the Somali community, including efforts to increase measles vaccination rates, the Star-Tribune reported.

Hohmann was silent on the fact that it's WND's anti-vaxxer fellow travelers that necessitated the outreach.

Hohmann's anti-immigrant smear attempt broke down a couple paragraphs later when he had to admit that some of Milnnesota's infectious disease-fighting money went to "treat a 30 percent increase in syphilis cases in the American Indian community in north-central Minnesota." Nevertheless, Hohmann spent the rest of his article quoting anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant activists.

And that, my friends, is how you become a journalist so arrogant that facts no longer matter.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:57 AM EDT
Monday, July 17, 2017
MRC, CNS Lash Out at SPLC for Accurately Calling ADF An 'Anti-LGBT Hate Group'
Topic: Media Research Center

Corrine Weaver rants in a July 13 Media Research Center post:

Apparently if you defend the 1st Amendment, you are guilty of hate speech. That’s the argument put forth by several news outlets -- ABC, NBC, CNN -- and even Teen Vogue.

On Tuesday night, June 11, Attorney General Jeff Sessions gave a speech to the members of the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), a religious freedom group. The ADF is assisting the Supreme Court case involving Jack Phillips, a Colorado baker who refused to bake a gay wedding cake.

Major networks are enraged. In headlines for both ABC and NBC, they called the ADF an “anti-LGBT hate group.” On what would the networks base that characterization? It’s the hysterical assessment of the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).

How does Weaver know that ADF is not an "anti-LGBT hate group" as defined by the SPLC? The ADF said they weren't, and that's apprently good enough for her,

No, really, that's all the evidence she offers: "In April, 2017, ADF attorney Kellie Fiedorek called the SPLC’s accusation 'simply false,' and stated that ADF is “not motivated by anti-LGBTQ sentiment."

That's it, beyond copying from from ADF's mission statement and touting how ADF "defends religious freedom" (ask, say, a Muslim how well ADF is defending their religious freedom). Weaver makes no attempt to do the very simple thing of looking up the SPLC's writeup on ADF and see the numerous quotes from ADF officials howling about the "homosexual agenda" and demonstrating its "longstanding antipathy toward LGBT people."

In addition to calling the SPLC "hysterical," Weaver rants that the group is engaged in "hate rhetoric" and is an "agenda-driven liberal fund-raising machine" (as if her employer is not also that). Weaver also brings up the story ofFamily Research Council shooter Floyd Corkins and how he "specifically used the “hate map” conveniently provided by the SPLC website" as evidence of the group's "hate rhetoric,"  ignoring that by the same standard,Operation Rescue has culpability in the murder or abortion doctor George Tiller by OR hanger-on Scott Roeder (the MRC was too busy suggesting Tiller's murder was justified to admit that).

This wasn't the only MRC division to take offense to accurate labelling they don't disprove. Over at CNSNews.com, the Catholic League's Bill Donohue rants:

NBC, ABC, and CNN treat SPLC as if it were some kind of gospel source of information. Yet no serious observer would give credence to an organization that lumps ADF, and the Family Research Council (FRC), with the Westboro Baptist Church. ADF and FRC are prominent and well respected organizations that defend traditional moral values and religious liberty. Westboro Baptist Church is a bona-fide hate group: it unambiguously hates Catholics and gays.

Dr. James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family, is a decent and courageous defender of Christianity. He is not a hateful man. NBC owes him an apology.

CNN should fire Laura Jarrett, the reporter who quoted an activist for contending that ADF believes gays have no right to exist. She should be fired not for smearing ADF, but for incompetence.

Like Weaver, Donohue doesn't disprove the SPLC's contention that ADF hates gays, and he doesn't bother to look up the SPLC's page on ADF for its supporting evidence.

This was followed by a July 16 article by Theresa Smith repeating ADF's demand for an apology from ABC for accurately reporting the SPLC's description of it. Smith unironically repeated ADF official assertion that "Journalists are ethically obligated to present both sides of the story" -- but Smith didn't bother to note the SPLC's evidence backing up its claim or even reach out to the SPLC for a response.

Apparently, right-wing media is exempt from being "ethically obligated to present both sides of the story."

And back at the MRC, Weaver came up with another one of those random covearge comparisons: "ABC and NBC can’t seem to accept the consequences of their mistakes. Instead of focusing on the apology called for by the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), the nets decided to cover Game of Thrones instead, calling it “the show so big it crashed the Internet." As before, Weaver ignored the SPLC's evidence supporting its claim and declared that ADF's denial of hating gays as good enough for her.

This, by the way, is all part of a larger war conservatives are waging against the SPLC for its advocacy and highlighting of right-wing hatred.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:33 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, July 17, 2017 2:37 PM EDT
WND Goes Into Freakout (And Dishonest Reporting) Mode Over Speaker's Mention of Trump 'Jihad'
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Islamic activist Linda Sarsour, in a speech a couple weeks ago, told a story about the prophet Muhammad who said that "a word of truth in front of a tyrant ruler or leader, that is the best form of jihad," adding: "I hope that when we stand up to those who oppress our communities, that Allah accepts from us that as a form of jihad, that we are struggling against tyrants and rulers not only abroad in the Middle East or the other side of the world, but here in the United States of America, where you have fascists and white supremacists and Islamophobes reigning in the White House."

Needless to say, WorldNetDaily's chief Islamophobe, Leo Hohmann, selectively quoted from Sarsour's speech, left out the part about "a word of truth" being jihad, andbasically claimed that Sarsour called for President Trump's death.

In a July 6 article, Hohmann sneerred that Sarsour was a "bombastic street-preacher for radical Islam" and called in fellow Muslim-hater Philip Haney to maliciously misinterpret Sarsour's words:

Arabic speaker and terrorism expert Philip Haney, who co-authored the recent book See Something Say Nothing, said Sarsour’s choice of words are terrifying on their face, but they carry additional layers of meaning to Muslims familiar with the Quran and hadith. When heard from that perspective, her words are even more chilling, Haney said.

First off, the word “prepared” carries much weight among Muslims waging jihad – whether violent or civilization jihad. It’s the same word that is embedded within the logo of the extremist Muslim Brotherhood.

“It makes you ask, what are they preparing for?” Haney said.

Sarsour gave the answer: “jihad.” (See Quran 8:60.)

[...]

Chaos is a form of “fitnah,” of which the Quran warns all Muslims.

Fitnah is a type of oppression, persecution or test brought upon by unbelievers. And the Quran gives the foreboding advice that “fitnah is worse than slaughter,” meaning to slaughter is preferable than to be oppressed by the unbelievers.

Sarsour gives her audience the remedy, straight from the Quran, on how to deal with fitnah.

“She says chaos will ensue from this administration. Chaos is a code word for fitnah,” Haney said. “She’s saying this administration is causing fitnah. And fitnah requires jihad.”

Sarsour’s ISNA speech is vitally important because it’s a clarion call for average Muslims to be on their guard and ready to take drastic measures against the Trump administration and its supporters.

The exact same message was provided in more lofty verbiage by the Assembly of Muslim Jurists of America, or AMJA, just a few weeks after Donald Trump’s election as president. In that document, the AMJA, which serves as the source of fatwa rulings to be followed by nearly all Sunni Muslim mosques in North America, the AMJA said that the election of Trump was a “calamity” for the American Muslim community.

It was not until four days later, in a July 10 article complaining that Sarsour was "lashing out at her critics in the conservative media for reporting on her recent speech before the Islamic Society of North America" for taking her "out of context," though in the snottiest way possible by calling in more Muslim-haters to go on the attack:

Most conservatives interpreted the rhetoric as an incitement of violence against President Trump and his supporters. But she turned the tables and made herself appear to be the victim.

[...]

As for her use of the word “jihad,” it should not be seen as a call to violence, she says, but as reference to a spiritual “struggle” and “speaking truth to power.”

For Sarsour, any and all criticism of Islam, no matter how fact-based it may be, makes one a "white supremacist" and an "anti-Muslim Islamophobe":

[...]

Pamela Geller, a Jewish American and anti-Shariah activist, said Sarsour used the platform of the Washington Post to lash back at those who expose her true motives. But she’s just one of many peddlers of the “Islamophobia” meme that has no basis in fact and is really just a tool for implementing Islamic blasphemy laws on the West, she said.

“This Washington Post piece is just damage control. Sarsour knows what jihad means, and so do the terrorists she supports,” Geller said. “There are no passages in the Quran that speak to a spiritual jihad. But there are hundreds calling for holy war.”

But Islamic supremacists such as Sarsour know they can count on the media elites to do their heavy lifting, she said.

“This pro-Shariah Jew-hater is now directly inciting violence,” Geller said. “With the left growing more violent and fascistic by the day, this will only make her all the more their icon. And if Trump is actually assassinated, the left will make her a saint, as much of a hero as Che Guevara.”

Hohmann did not admit that he has proven himself time and time again to be an Islam ophobe, nor did he admit to his dishonest reporting in his first article on Sarsour's speech by selectively quoting from it.

Hohmann was still in blame-the-victim mode in a July 13 article, still complaining that Sarsour called out the dishonest reporting from right-wing Muslim-haters like himself:

So when she used the stage of the nation’s largest Islamist convention earlier this month to openly call for “jihad” against the Trump administration and the “white supremacists” in positions of authority, many conservatives took her at her word. Jihad, as in holy war – the Muslim Brotherhood way, whether violent or civilizational, the end goal is still the same: Islamic dominance over other faiths and other systems of government.

But now that her public profile has been raised and more people are paying attention to her controversial comments, Sarsour is incensed that anyone would consider her a jihadist.

Sarsour is so livid that anyone would take her invocation of the word “jihad” as anything but a benign spiritual “struggle” that she is threatening to unleash a legal jihad against her critics if they don’t back off.

Hohmann refused to consider the idea that the definition of jihad as interpreted by politically motivated anti-Muslim right-wingers like himself might be faulty.Hohmann quoted yet another Muslim-hater, John Guandolo, failing to mention that he's a serial philanderer and adulterer.

In none of his follow-up articles did Hohmann bother to put Sarsour's "johad" call in its proper context of the "word of truth" statement. That tells us  Hohmann cares nothing about journalistic accuracy and everything about spreading Islamophobia.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:08 AM EDT
Updated: Monday, July 17, 2017 11:05 AM EDT
Sunday, July 16, 2017
CNS' Pro-Trump Spin Keeps On Keepin' On
Topic: CNSNews.com

In case you needed another example of how CNSNews.com has become a servile pro-Trump stenographer, take these two stories by Susan Jones about Trump's press conference in Poland.

In the first, Jones huffs that Trump was asked about the Russia controversy, effectively blaming the reporter for asking it:

“Will you once and for all, yes or no, definitively say that Russia interfered in the 2016 election?” NBC’s Hallie Jackson asked President Trump on Thursday morning as he stood side by side with the Polish president at a joint news conference.

“Well I think it was Russia, and I think it could have been other people in other countries. It could have been a lot of people interfered,” Trump responded.

“I think a lot of people interfered. I think it’s been happening for a long time -- it’s been happening for many, many years.”

[...]

Hallie Jackson asked a follow-up question, noting that the U.S. intelligence community has been definitive about Russian interference. "Why won't you agree with them and say it was?" she asked.

Trump said, "Mistakes have been made" by the intelligence community, and “nobody knows for sure.” He noted that the intelligence community was wrong about Iraq having WMDs "and it led to a mess."

He repeated that the election interference came from Russia, "and I think it was probably others, too." And he asked again why Obama did nothing about it.

As the news conference ended, Jackson kept trying to ask a follow-up question, but Polish moderators cut her off, reminding her that she’d already asked her two questions.

Jones' second story, however, was on a question more to Trump's liking, and an answer that conformed much more closely to CNS' right-wing anti-media agenda:

At a joint news conference with the Polish president in Warsaw on Thursday morning, President Donald Trump said he'd take a wait-and-see approach to North Korea's bad behavior, but he wouldn't tip his hand.

"I don't like to talk about what I have planned," he said.

Trump was also asked about CNN threatening to expose the identity of the man who created a parody of Trump beating up a CNN logo -- a parody famously retweeted by Trump.

Trump answered the CNN question first, once again seizing the opportunity to criticize "fake news." More on that in a moment.

[...]

In response to the question about CNN threatening to expose the man behind the WrestleMania/CNN parody, Trump said, "I think what CNN did was unfortunate for them. As you know, now they have some pretty serious problems.

"They have been fake news for a long time. They have been covering me in a very dishonest way. Do you have that also, by the way, Mr. President?” Trump asked the Polish president.

Trump said NBC is just as bad as CNN -- "despite the fact that I made them a fortune with 'The Apprentice,' but they forgot that.

"But I will say that CNN has really taken it too seriously, and I think they've hurt themselves badly -- very, very badly.

"And what we want to see in the United States is honest -- beautiful, free -- but honest press. We want to see fair press. I think it's a very important thing. We don't want fake news. And by the way, not everybody is fake news.  But we don't want fake news. Bad thing. Very bad for our country."

Unlike with the Russia question, Jones declined to identify the reporter who asked about the CNN parody. Perhaps that's because the reporter was the Daily Mail's David Martosko -- who, as it so happens, was recently under consideration for a job in the White House press office. That's how reliably pro-Trump Martosko is.

Either she's trying to hide the pro-president bent of certain members of the White House press corps -- something CNS and its Media Research Center owner was not shy about under a Democratic president -- or Jones is maybe a little jealous that Martosko got to ask softball questions of Trump and not her.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:34 PM EDT
WND Still Trying to Defend David Barton's Discredited Jefferson Book
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily, it seems, still feels theneed to justify its republishing of David Barton's discredited book on Thomas Jefferson, "The Jefferson Lies."

An anonymously written July 1 piece is essentially a rewritten version of a December 2015 WND article defending Barton and his book, which was recalled by original publisher Thomas Nelson after numerous errors were discovered and repulbished with minimal changes by WND. The new article is laughably headlined "How an American book-burning failed"; no evidence is provided that Barton's book was "burned." The article does assert Thomas Nelson "pulled and pulped" Barton's book -- a claim belied by the fact that, as we've noted, WND continued to sell the Thomas Nelson edition of Barton's book long after the publisher supposedly "pulped" them and that Barton himself reportedly bought 17,000 copies of the recalled book.

The article even more laughably asserts that Barton's book is what "they don't want you to read," and that it simply wants to tell "the truth be told behind the cynical attempt to destroy the most feared history book in the world." In fact, the anonymous article simply rehashes old attacks on the book's critics.

Again, WND's main target is Grove City College professor Warren Throckmorton, about whom the article whines is "not a historian." The anonymous author is upset that Throckmorton has no interest in the evangelical pastime of demonizing gays and, even more concerningly, largely backed off the idea that homosexual orientation can be changed. WND also complains that Throckmorton has become associated with a few "far left" groups, and it quotes Barton as saying, "Throckmorton is just wrong – on many, many fronts," which he supposedly details in a new preface in the WND edition of the book "dismantling the claims of Throckmorton and other critics."

Actually, Throckmorton has pointed out that Barton's preface attacking him contains numerous factual errors and that the WND edition of his book still contains errors.

As usual, WND refuses to give Throckmorton an opportunity to respond to Barton's attacks on him. That would interfere with its job of selling a discredited book, after all. Nor does the anonymous writer admit that, as Throckmorton has also noted, the WND edition of "The Jefferson Lies" did correct some claims.

WND touts how "Barton is eager for the chance Thomas Nelson denied him to meet his critics’ charges directly." But it won't give Throckmorton the same opportunity to respond to Barton's attacks.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:14 PM EDT
Saturday, July 15, 2017
MRC's Sports Blogger Freaks Out Over ESPN Mag's Body Issue
Topic: Media Research Center

The mysterious Media Research Center sports blogger Jay Maxson can always find something to hate, especially when it involves involves ESPN. In a July 8 post, he unleashes fury for some reason on ESPN the Magazine's Body Issue:

ESPN's latest controversy has nothing to do with politics or sports performance. The sports network is now resorting to nudity for magazine sales and internet clicks to lead the world in entertainment. ESPN magazine's "The Body Issue" presents 23 male and female athletes not only out of uniform but completely out of clothing. If your business is flagging, as ESPN's is, just resort to the lowest common denominator.

Putting the anti-Trump and LGBT agendas aside for the time being, ESPN's website is promoting the athletes-turned-exhibitionists in shocking athletic poses. Each is portrayed taking athletic stances or actions corresponding to their respective sport. Rear ends are completely exposed in several photos. Men and women hide their fronts, and women cover their breasts with their hands or arms. Very little is left to the imagination.

[...]

It seems this crass outfit is intent on shocking people and distracting sports' fans attention away actual sports. Now when families attend a sporting event, their children may remark about the athlete that actually has his clothes on.

I encourage all parents with children in the home to adjust their computer filters by adding ESPN.com and espn.com/espnw/ to their blocked lists to protect them from this.

ESPN postures itself as culturally enlightening, but the truth is this morally bankrupt media organization is contaminating our culture and taking it downward.

Maxson does concede one inconvenient fact later in his post: that this is not the first Body Issue, but the ninth. Maxson doesn't concede, though, that the Body Issue is such a nonissue that even the outlet that published this manufactured outrage had little problem with the Body Issue until now.

We found exactly two NewsBusters posts in its archives referencing the Body Issue: a 2012 post (on the fourth Body Issue) by Ryan Robertson huffing that it might be "time for ESPN Magazine to don the 'plain brown wrapper' and move to the very top back of the magazine rack where curious youngsters can’t catch a glimpse," and a 2016 post by "Bruce Bookter" ranting the issue featured a transgender athlete.

Interestingly, we could find no record at NewsBusters of Maxson ranting about Sports Illustrated's swimsuit issue, which features a similar "resort to the lowest common denominator" by featuring pictures of nearly or completely naked people. He doesn't explain why sexy models get a pass from him while sexy athletes get the full brunt of his hypocritical scorn.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:23 AM EDT
WND Promotes Anonymous Coward's Seth Rich Vigil
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Alicia Powe has established herself as WorldNetDaily's chief Seth Rich conspiracy theorist, to the point of acting as a public-relations agent for her fellow conspiracy-mongerers. Powe writes in a July 9 article:

Americans will be holding silent vigils across the nation July 10, marking the one-year anniversary of the murder of Seth Rich, the Democratic National Committee voter-expansion data director whom some suspect handed over thousands of DNC emails to WikiLeaks during the 2016 election.

All Americans should be concerned about the investigation of Rich’s murder, a woman who has been at the forefront of organizing the vigil in Washington, D.C., told WND, because “Seth Rich is Russia.”

“The ‘Russia-Trump [election] rigging’ story was a complete lie and fabricated – probably to deflect in part from the murder of Seth Rich,” she said, insisting Rich was the DNC email leaker, not Russia.

“The whole Russian narrative was created to deflect,” she said. “Any time any of the Democratic Party’s crimes are uncovered, within 15 minutes a story pops up in the media to deflect from it.”

In light of the onslaught of leftist attacks on conservatives, the organizer of the D.C. vigil, “Kelly,” requested that her real name be withheld from this report. Kelly’s Twitter handle is @AmericanLuvSong.

Why did Powe grant this coward "Kelly" anonymity? It is because she blatantly lied by insisting that "there is no political agenda" in her vigil?

We know it's a lie because the Facebook page announcing the vigils makes the political intent all too clear, asserting that Rich "was murdered for his knowledge and involvement in the DNC and the Guccifer 2.0 WikiLeaks. He is a true Patriot who gave his life for his Integrity and love for his country."

"Kelly" may also be an anonymous coward because, as her Twitter page shows, she is a tad obsessed with another conspiracy theory, that of "white genocide." One post declares: "White population, through poisoning of food/water/other environmental toxins, is becoming sterile & population is waning."

She also loves to call Muslim refugees "rapefugees," telling us she's not fond of the brown people (and possibly an inciting factor in her "white genocide" obsession). She has also called President Obama "the most racist, arrogant, self-serving fascist, who ever served."

We can see why she's hiding behind a fake name and begged WND to similarly hide her, but that doesn't make her any less of an anonymous coward.

Anyway, "Kelly" soon proved herself to be even more of a liar when the location of the vigil in Washington, D.C., was revealed: at Democratic National Committee headquarters. Needless to say Powe, along with WND's Chelsea Schilling were on the scene.

Powe first asserted there were "dozens" of protesters there, revised downward a few paragraphs later to "at least 30 people." None of the pictures accomapnying the article appear to show 30 people protesting.

"Kelly" didn't appear to be there -- she's not mentioned anywhere in the article -- but Powe and Schilling found many other fellow conspiracy theorists to tell their story. For instance, they quote Neil Wolfe, whom they let describe himself as "an amateur journalist and investigator from TheLightReports.com." That website appears to be a little on the dead side, though with links to articles and videos promoting the discredited Pizzagate conspiracy and the idea that the Sandy Hook massacre was staged.

They even highlight the appearance at the rally of internet troll Jack Posobiec, whom they describe only as a "writer" and not a lying alt-right plagiarist

It's not until the very end of their article -- starting with the 55th paragraph -- that Powe and Schilling get around to blandly noting that the Rich family issued a statement on the anniversary of Seth's death. The entire statement was reproduced, but Powe and Schilling made sure not to highlight that the Rich family denounced people like themselves and their employer:

Finally, we are compelled to address those who are claiming to help by undertaking private “investigations,” staging re-enactments, or traveling to Seth’s old neighborhood to perform citizen interviews. Our request is that anyone with information about Seth’s murder share such information with MPD, which is the law enforcement agency authorized by law to perform this investigation. And while we recognize the futility of this request, we make it anyway: please cease using Seth as a political football in predetermined partisan narratives.

The continual push of false and inaccurate information about Seth’s death, along with the harassment of Seth’s friends, family and co-workers, hurts those who were closest to Seth, and does nothing to bring justice to his killers. Those who still live in Seth’s neighborhood are owed the peace of mind that comes with finding those responsible for this heinous crime, and we deserve that no less.

Curiously, neither Powe nor WND have responded to the Rich family's criticism of their conspiracy-mongering, though WND editor Joseph Farah lied as he whined about Newsweek calling out his website's conspiracy theories on Rich.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:02 AM EDT
Friday, July 14, 2017
MRC Writer Incurious About Why Right-Wingers Won't Fund Fact-Checking
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Aly Nielsen devotes a July 6 post to complaining that Poynter's  International Fact-Checking Network "just received a massive financial boost from two liberal groups: George Soros’ Open Society Foundations (OSF) and The Omidyar Network." After rehashing all the usual right-wing talking points against George Soros and Pierre Omidyar, Nielsen huffs that most of IFCN's funding "does come from known liberal sources," adding: "Can Poynter be trusted to oversee an unbiased fact-checking network when its own leadership -- and IFCN’s funders -- lean left?"

This raises a question Nielsen refuses to ask: Where are the conservative-funded fact-checking operations?

The answer to that, of course, is that the Republican president of the United States is a serial liar, and conservatives don't want to have to hold him accountable. That's why Nielsen's employer has been attacking fact-checkers as biased liberal shills since Trump's political ascent. Nielsen's post is simply another dishonest piece of that anti-media puzzle.

Nielsen could prove us wrong by calling for a conservative-funded fact-checking operation while Trump remains in office. But we're pretty sure she won't. After all, raising uncomfortable and inconvenient truths about her own side is not what the MRC is paying her to do.


Posted by Terry K. at 4:02 PM EDT
Newsmax's Ruddy Spins Hard to Deflect Trump Scandals
Topic: Newsmax

Newsmax editor Christopher Ruddy is a friend of Donald Trump's, and he's been riding Trump's coattails to build up his own prominence -- heck, he's even written a pro-Trump op-ed for the New York Times.

His own website, however, is where Ruddy spins the hardest for his friend. In his June 23 column, for instance, Ruddy tosses out a list of distracting pro-Trump bullet points such as "To repeat, no one has provided any evidence the Trump campaign worked with the Russians to defeat Hillary Clinton" and "Trump won the election fairly and squarely" and "Trump fired FBI Director James Comey, which was his prerogative." Ruddy ironically added that "The president is right to be worried about an investigation that was created with no evidence of a crime" -- apparently forgetting making accusations against President Clinton without evidence of a crime is how he built Newsmax 20 years ago.

Of course, that first bullet point became inoperative when is was revealed that Donald Trump Jr. met with a Russian operative who promised evidence to defeat Hillary Clinton. Thus, we have Ruddy's July 10 column, in which he insists the operative the campaign met with was just an "eccentric Russian lawyer" and that "There is nothing illegal or improper in a campaign talking to a foreign national about their election opponent." Ruddy then added: "I know Donald Trump. He would never collude with the Russians."

And Ruddy was off and spinning again, blaming Paul Ryan for serving up a "damaged bill of goods" in the form of the first House health care reform bill and that "Trump has been trying to fix Ryan's mess." The sycophancy then starts to turn a little embarassing:

There are dozens and dozens of examples where the President set the vision, picked smart and savvy people, and saw the mission accomplished.

In August, Newsmax Magazine will have a blockbuster cover story about the President’s efforts to radically clean up the Department of Veterans Affairs, keeping a campaign promise to do so.

[...]

In business Trump set a strong vision for his companies and his brand. He picked strong people to implement the vision. He constantly checked on results. If things didn’t work out, he made adjustments and sometimes fired people.

Using the same approach as president, Trump has done an amazing job in a short time.

The administration has fallen short in three areas: communications, personnel staffing and allowing Congress, particularly Speaker Ryan, to set the legislative agenda. All three areas are interconnected and will  undermine the President’s future plans if not corrected.

But the President has shown an adroitness in addressing problems and overcoming obstacles.

It's also important to remember almost all new administrations have issues. Remember the first two years of the Clinton administration?

So much you hear about the President is media spin and  myth, such as claims the president doesn't listen or he can't take criticism.

In my experience, he does and he can, then he acts and big things happen.

Written like a man who knows which side his bread is buttered on these days.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:41 PM EDT
Military Chaplain Goes on Anti-Transgender Rant
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Military chaplain Sonny Hernandez's WorldNetDaily column has an extensive disclaimer at the end of it: "The opinions expressed here are solely his and do not necessarily represent the views of any government, military, or religious organization. Sonny Hernandez wrote this article as a civilian on his own time on an issue of public interest." His June 26 column makes it clear why.

It's an extension of WND's hateful war on transgenders in the military, in which he tells the tale of "Christian soldier" seeking a "religious accomodation" to not have to take "transgender training." Hernandez rants:

On June 30, 2016, Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced that transgender individuals will be allowed to openly serve in the U.S. Armed Forces. As a result, the Department of Defense has directed commanders to conduct face-to-face “transgender awareness” training for all military members and civilians who supervise military personnel.

So far, the DOD has provided medical protocol and constructed a commander’s training handbook to ensure homosexual service members that they may begin to change their gender markers in the Defense Eligibility Enrollment System, or DEERS.

If homosexual service members are afforded the opportunity to openly serve and identify as the opposite sex, are Christian service members allowed to openly serve and identify as individuals who do not want to be subjected to transgender training that is antithetical to their faith?

Hernandez apparently doesn't understand that homosexuality and transsexual identification are two completely separate things.

As much as Hernandez rails against the military's "transgender training," he never once explains what it actually entails. Presumably, it involves teaching soldiers that transgenders are humans and should be treated with respect and not hatred. Is that what Hernandez opposes?

Instead, Hernandez rants that the training is somehow "sexually immoral" -- again, he doesn't explain how.

That sort of blind hatred of people different from him would seem to make Hernandez a terrible military chaplain.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:24 AM EDT
Thursday, July 13, 2017
Speaking of Hypocrisy...
Topic: NewsBusters

Right-wing movie critic Christian Toto writes in a June 24 NewsBusters post:

The media's liberal bias keep getting worse in the Age of Trump.

The Motor City Madman has had a change of heart.

Ted Nugent said he wants the country’s political rhetoric to soften in the wake of the June 14 shooting of Rep. Steve Scalise by a Bernie Sanders fan. And he’ll do his part by shelving his own ugly comments regarding the modern Left.

“At the tender age of 69, my wife has convinced me I just can’t use those harsh terms,” he said on the 77 WABC radio program Thursday. “I cannot and will not and I encourage even my friends, slash, enemies on the left, in the Democrat and liberal world, that we have got to be civil to each other.”

The media lapped it up. Outlet after outlet trumpeted the news, from smaller newspapers to the biggest media organs in the country. Type “Ted Nugent rhetoric” into Google News. You’ll see the blanket coverage his comments generated.

And, along the way, reporters recited some of Nugent’s previous, unexpurgated rants. They also mentioned Nugent’s politics. He’s unapologetically conservative.

Nugent’s conversion makes for good copy, no doubt. It also highlights the blaring hypocrisy at work in today’s media.

Toto spends the rest of his post complaining that the Hollywood press didn't cover controversial tweets by George Takei.

Well, as long as we're going to talk about hypocrisy, let's talk about Toto's own. He concedes Nugent's comments about "the modern Left" were "ugly" -- actually, they were borderline death threats against President Obama and Hillary Clinton -- but he doesn't reproduce them the way he served up screenshots of the Takei comments that offended him. Why?

Most of Nugent's offensive comments were made in 2008 and 2012. Where was Toto at the time? Was he quick to condemn them, did he condemn them later, or did he stay silent? A search of Toto's personal website, Hollywood in Toto, turns up just one post carrying a Ted Nugent tag -- and that this very same one he ported to NewsBusters.

And how about his Media Research Center publisher? Well, there are NewsBusters posts that promote Nugent interviews. The MRC's first reaction to the 2012 comments in which Nugent disgracefully called Obama a "subhuman mongrel" and invited him to "suck on my machine gun" was to play the equivocation game, whining that the media "ignored foul-mouthed comedian Bill Maher's $1 million donation to an Obama super PAC" and merely calling Nugent's hate-filled tirade "controversial." Another MRC post took equivocation even further by complaining that the media "failed to mention that Obama has his own history of using violent metaphors."

That was followed by the MRC uncritically posting a CBS interview with Nugent denying that he's extreme, except to grumble that "CBS made sure to emphasize that Nugent is not a moderate." A 2013 post cheered Nugent calling Michael Moore and Piers Morgan "subhuman punks."

It's not until Toto's post that the MRC has offered a judgment of Nugent's hate that went beyond the bland "controversial."

Toto won't write about that hypocrisy, though.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:26 PM EDT
Farah Falsely Claims WND Never Suggested Clintons Had Seth Rich Killed
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Joseph Farah whines in his July 11 WorldNetDaily column:

It’s been 24 hours since I demanded a correction from fake-news Newsweek.

No acknowledgment. Needless to say, no correction.

My demand was solely based on this sentence in a story published Monday written by Alexander Nazaryan: “On social media sites like Reddit and news outlets like World Net Daily (sic), it is all but an article of faith that (Seth) Rich, who worked for the Democratic National Committee, was the source who gave DNC emails to WikiLeaks, for which he was slain, presumably by Clinton operatives.”

Since I am the founder, chief executive officer and editor in chief of WND, I think I would be well-positioned to know whether anyone at the news organization has ever said or written anything remotely resembling this unattributed and unsourced assertion. I can promise you that no one at WND has ever made such a suggestion – publicly or privately.

Yes, you would think that Farah would know what's on his own website. But as before when he has made such sweeping declarations, it's clear he does not.

for instance, here's an anonymously written May 16 WND article making the very suggestion that Farah says doesn't exist, under the headline "Chilling similarities between Seth Rich murder and 'Clinton Body Count' victims":

The unsolved case of Democratic National Committee data analyst 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.

Just as in the Rich case, several of the people who died mysterious deaths were shot spontaneously and in public places, sometimes from behind, sometimes by unknown assailants and often just before they were set to release incriminating evidence concerning the Clintons’ activities. In most cases, there were no signs of theft at the crime scenes. And while some of the deaths were ruled suicides, other cases remain a mystery.

[...]

On July 22, just 12 days after Rich’s death and days before the Democratic Party Convention in Philadelphia, WikiLeaks released 20,000 emails from DNC officials.

And here's an anonymously written August 2016 WND article headlined "'Clinton death list': 33 spine-tingling cases":

How many people do you personally know who have died mysteriously?

How about in plane crashes or car wrecks?

Bizarre suicides?

People beaten to death or murdered in a hail of bullets?

And what about violent freak accidents – like separate mountain biking and skiing collisions in Aspen, Colorado? Or barbells crushing a person’s throat?

Apparently, if you’re Bill or Hillary Clinton, the answer to that question is at least 33 – and possibly many more.

[...]

WND reported DNC staffer Seth Rich was murdered near his affluent neighborhood in Washington, D.C. Rich was shot in the back at 4:15 a.m. while he walked home from his girlfriend’s apartment. Rich previously worked on the failed U.S. Senate campaign of Nebraska businessman Scott Kleeb, whose clean-energy business had come under investigation after losing $300,000 in 2010 and another $300,000 in 2011 despite having been subsidized by the Clinton Global Initiative.

A commentary by Rachel Alexander at Townhall suggested possible corruption between the CGI and Kleeb “led to Sanders’ cronies pressuring Rich to leak what was going on.”

In one interview, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange appeared to suggest that Rich, 27, was the source of the WikiLeaks-exposed DNC emails.

Here's another August 2016 article by Bob Unruh:

Three people with tangential connections to Bill and Hillary Clinton have died in unusual circumstances over the last few weeks, sparking a renewed interested in the so-called “body count” of people who allegedly got in the way of the “Clinton machine.”

And even WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange appeared to suggest Tuesday that recently murdered DNC staffer Seth Rich, a 27-year-old Democratic National Committee staffer who was shot near his townhouse in Washington, D.C. last month, was the source of the WikiLeaks-exposed DNC emails.

[...]

Seth Rich, a DNC staffer, reportedly was shot in the back on July 10 in Washington while he apparently was walking home from his girlfriend’s apartment. Reported [Townhall's Rachel] Alexander: “Some are speculating that Hillary Clinton is behind the murder, because Rich could have been the DNC staffer responsible for leaking the 20,000 damaging DNC emails to WikiLeaks. The allegation is that powerful Sanders allies convinced Rich to leak the data.” Her column notes that Rich previously worked on the failed U.S. Senate campaign of Nebraska businessman Scott Kleeb, whose clean-energy business had come under investigation after losing $300,000 in 2010 and another $300,000 in 2011 despite having been subsidized by the Clinton Global Initiative. Possible corruption between the CGI and Kleeb “led to Sanders’ cronies pressuring Rich to leak what was going on.” Continued Alexander: “The myth-debunking site Snopes labeled the suspicion over Rich’s death as false. This is strange, since how does Snopes know that it is false? The police haven’t even completed their investigation yet, which Snopes admits. Many murders go unsolved, including several of the strange deaths of people associated with the Clintons.”

These are just three easily found examples. Indeed, as we've pointed out, the entire reason WND has gone all-in on the Seth Rich conspiracy theory is to besmirch the Clintons and suggest once again that they are murderers. If not, there's no reason to dredge up the discredited "Clinton Body Count" and put Rich on it, is there?

Nevertheless, Farah goes on to whine:

Notice Nazaryan’s approach: “It’s all but an article of faith,” he claims, at WND that we believe Hillary did in Seth Rich and that he provided the DNC emails to WikiLeaks. Does he know anyone at WND? Did he talk to anyone? Is there any published evidence of this fantasy? Does he cite any? Of course not. In fact, he has no track record as an actual news person. He’s always been a commentator, a pundit, an editorialist. He has no idea what he’s talking about.

If it's not an "article of faith" at WND that the Clintons had Rich killed, why did WND religiously put Rich on its "Clinton Body Count" lists?

Farah has forgotten that other people are well-positioned to know what is published on WND as well, being that it's a public, easily searchable website. 


Posted by Terry K. at 3:47 PM EDT

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