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Sunday, August 27, 2017
Harvey Ends CNS' Years Of Writing About How Long It's Been Since A 'Major Hurricane'
Topic: CNSNews.com

Over the past couple years, CNSNews.com has loved to tout how long it's been since a "major hurricane" has made landfall in the U.S. -- making sure to define "major hurricane" as narrowly as possible -- as an (failed) argument agains global warming. Hurricane Harvey, however, has forced CNS to change its arguments -- though not its conclusion, since that's right-wing dogma, since climate denialism is right-wing dogma that can't be disputed.

On Aug. 24, reporter Susan Jones bid a fond farewell to that longtime template: "Thursday, August 24, 2017 marks a record 142 straight months since the last major hurricane made landfall in the continental United States. But that record major-hurricane drought may be coming to an end." She continued CNS' arbitrary designation of "major hurricane" as one being category 3 or higher.

The next day, as Harvey bore down on Texas, Jones seemingly contradicted CNS' previous talking point by pointing out how hurricanes hit Texas seemingly all the time: "A total of 63 hurricanes have made landfall in Texas since record-keeping began in 1851, according to data posted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Harvey would be number 64." She also included a list of hurricanes that hit Texas, highlighting how many years it was between hurricanes.

That was followed a couple hours later by another Jones article, in which she flip-flopped again by downplaying how many "major hurricanes" there have been:

Major hurricanes, defined as Category 3 or higher, have made direct landfall in the continental United States in every decade since 1851, except for the present decade. That may change tonight.

Since 1851, when the government started keeping records, 274 hurricanes have made direct landfall in the continental United States (see note below), according to data provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Of those 274 direct-landfall hurricanes, only 94, or 34.30 percent, have been "major" storms, defined as Category 3 or higher, with winds at or above 111 miles an hour.

A note at the end of Jones' article demonstrated just how narrowly she was defining things: "The 274 direct-landfall number excludes hurricanes that did not make landfall in the continental U.S. but may have produced hurricane-force winds on land from locations offshore; and it excludes four storms that made landfall in Mexico, producing hurricane-force winds in Texas."

Finally, when Harvey made landfall, Jones wrote a rare weekend article with a final body count, as it were: "Hurricane Harvey roared ashore near Corpus Christie as Category 4 storm late Friday night, breaking a record 4,323-day (142-month, 12-year) major hurricane drought." And, of course, morecaveats about how narrowly she's defining things:

Since 2005, only nine relatively minor hurricanes (Categories 1 or 2 – and yes, they can be damaging) have made direct landfall in the United States.

That does not include the devastating superstorm Sandy, which approached New Jersey as a Category 1 hurricane, but transitioned into a “post-tropical cyclone” just before making landfall near Atlantic City, N.J. in October 2012, according to the National Weather Service.

[...]

(As noted above, Superstorm Sandy devastated parts of the crowded New York-N.J.-New England area during Obama’s term, but it was not a hurricane when it hit land.)

Jones concluded her article with a little Trump stenography, this time transcribing Trump's Harvey-related tweets.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:51 PM EDT
MRC Gives Right-Wing Catholic Activist A Platform to Misdirect
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center regularly gives Catholic League leader Bill Donohue a platform to lie and mislead about untoward sexual matters regarding Catholic priests. It does so again in an Aug. 18 post in which Donohue desperately tries to distract from a Boston Globe story about children fathered by priests.

After trying to reframe the issue by claiming it's really only "as little as one percent or less of priests having fathered a child," Donohue really lets the spin fly:

So the question arises: Is the phenomenon of priests fathering children, then neglecting or abandoning them—while clearly sinful and morally wrong—so singularly egregious as to warrant such an exclusive exposé?

How do these speculative numbers and percentages compare with Protestant, Jewish or Muslim clergy illegitimately fathering children, then neglecting or abandoning them? We don't know, because Rezendes and the Globe show no inclination to investigate any clergy other than Catholic priests. To do so might undermine what is clearly part of the agenda here: to attack the Catholic Church's rule on priestly celibacy. Neglected children of priests, Rezendes writes, "are the unfortunate victims of a church that has, for nearly 900 years, forbidden priests to marry...."

And what of our secular culture? Citing the U.S. Census Bureau, the National Fatherhood Initiative reported recently that "24 million children, 1 out of 3, live without their biological father in the home." And "millions more," notes the  National Center for Fathering, "have dads who are physically present, but emotionally absent."

"If it were classified as a disease," the National Center for Fathering observes,   "fatherlessness would be an epidemic worthy of attention as a national emergency."

But that is apparently not worthy of the attention of the Boston Globe's "Spotlight" team. They would rather focus on the apparently tiny minority of Catholic priests worldwide who have fathered and neglected their children, than on the epidemic in our own country that has left fully one-third of American children growing up without fathers.

Donohue conveniently fails to mention that most of the religions he cites, unlike Catholicism, permit their priests to marry and do not make them take a vow of celibacy. And Donohue's attempt to grouse about "secular culture" is simply an attempt to put up a smokescreen to hide the fact that Catholic priests are not supposed to be fathering children.

Meanwhile, the MRC once again failed to disclose an important confict of interest: MRC chief Brent Bozell is on the board of advisers for Donohue's Catholic League. Which just makes Donohue's rant even more dishonest.


Posted by Terry K. at 7:01 PM EDT
Saturday, August 26, 2017
WND Columnist: Taking Down Confederate Statues Like Whitewashing Holocaust (?)
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Ted Baehr begins his Aug. 23 WorldNetDaily column by Ted Baehr begins by bizarrely claiming that the Dachau concentration camp had been "cleaned up, sanitized and almost turned into a park. There was none of the terrible remnants of the genocide that occurred. They had scrubbed and whitewashed the history of Dachau."

Actually, no -- the folks running the Dachau memorial site make sure you know it was a concentration camp.

Baehr then even more bizarrely presents his flawed Dachau claim as an analogy for the debate over removal of Confederate monuments:

Certainly, those who are sanitizing and removing Confederate monuments are also wiping away the memory of the brutality and horrors of slavery. Yes, these monuments might be offensive, but there are lots of things that are offensive. Dachau was offensive. However, anyone who thinks clearly will know that knowing history is important to keep us from repeating the same mistakes and indulging in the same evils over and over again. If you remove all the Confederate monuments and statues in the United States, people will no longer be able to talk about the history of the Confederacy during the Civil War, including the part slavery played in how that war began and how it developed during the four years in which it occurred, or all the many people who died during the war and why.

Hoo boy. First, Baehr doesn't seem to realize that his Dachau-Confederacy analogy makes the Confederacy look even worse than he probably intended.

Second, and more importantly, Baehr doesn't understand that those Confederate monuments were not built to serve as a reminder of "the brutality and horrors of slavery" -- they were built to celebrate the Confederacy and to further the idea of white supremacy and black subjugation. The people who erected many of these monuments wanted to repeat the mistake of the Confederacy.

As for Baehr's claim that "if you remove all the Confederate monuments and statues in the United States, people will no longer be able to talk about the history of the Confederacy during the Civil War," he will be pleased to learn about the existence of things called books and TV shows where the Civil War is discussed in depth. Removal of Confederate statues doesn't affect the existence of other media.

If the Confederacy really was as evil as Baehr says it is, shouldn't he be in favor of removing statues that were erected for the express purpose of celebrating that evil?

Looks like we have a frontrunner for next year's LoBaido Award for dumbest ConWeb commentary.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:04 AM EDT
Friday, August 25, 2017
MRC Defending 'Patriot Prayer' Rally, Hides Its Alt-Right Roots
Topic: Media Research Center

In an Aug. 18 CNSNews.com post, Craig Bannister was eager to serve as stenographer for "Patriot Prayer" organizer Joey Gibson when he appeared on Fox News (of course) to defend an upcoming rally in San Francisco from allegations of white supremacist ties:

Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is calling for the National Park Service to revoke the permit for a Patriot Prayer event because she says it’s a “white supremacist rally” – even though the organizer and all but one speaker are not white.

“The National Park Service’s decision to permit a white supremacist rally at Crissy Field raises grave and ongoing concerns about public safety,” House Minority Leader Pelosi declared in a statement calling for cancellation of the conservative event scheduled for Aug. 26 in San Francisco, California.

[...]

But, Patriot Prayer rally organizer Joey Gibson calls Pelosi’s claim a “ridiculous lie” intended to gin up violence, not stop it.

Speaking to Fox News Host Tucker Carlson on Wednesday, Gibson explains that he’s not even white – and has scheduled an extremely diverse group of speakers:

“I’m not white. We have about eight speakers and only one speaker is white. You know, we have a couple of black speakers, a Hispanic, we have a transsexual speaker; we have a woman speaker. It’s very diverse. It’s really just about what’s on the inside – what you believe, what’s in your heart, your soul – it has nothing to do with skin color.”

[...]

Gibson not only promises to keep Nazis and white supremacists out of the event, he also says they won’t even want to attend - because all, but one, speaker is non-white[.]

Similarly, Corinne Weaver rushes to Patriot Prayer's defense in an Aug. 25 MRC NewsBusters post attacking counter-protester Terrence Ryan for calling the rally "alt-right" in an article on the website Bustle:

One has to wonder: did Ryan read the Patriot Prayer announcement on Facebook? The group specifically stated that they are bringing in minorities to speak at the rally. It said, “Before you accuse Patriot Prayer as being hateful, please find specific examples. You will not find any hate speech, you are being lied to by corrupt politicians. SF is supposed to be a safe haven for minorities. If this is true then please be respectful to the speakers we are bringing in. 3 black, 2 hispanic, 1 asian, 1 Samoan, 1 muslim, 2 woman, and 1 white male. There will also be an opportunity for an open mic for moderate Americans.”

There is also a transexual who will be leading a prayer group at the rally. But all the people saw was that it was organized by a Trump supporter. While Bustle begrudgingly admitted that the group had stated that it was not a “hate group,” it also gleefully reported that the rally has less than half of the pledged attendees that the “poop protest” has.

Why is Bustle encouraging this kind of passive-aggressive childish behavior? The Patriot Prayer Rally isn’t illegal, while a rally to have dogs defecate on public property is an act of civil disobedience.

Are these people--and Bustle--guilty of the same kind of hatred that they accuse Neo-Nazis of harboring?

Well, Bannister and Weaver are definitely guilty of trying to whitewash the fact that Patriot Prayer does indeed have alt-right origins.

David Neiwert explains at the Southern Poverty Law Center that a previous Patriot Prayer rally featured members of the white-nationalist Identify Evropa group, and the right-wing "III Percenter" militia provides security at all of Gibson's events. The SPLC adds that a typical Gibson "prayer" event "clearly appears more an attempt to troll the left than a sincere effort at dialogue."

In other words, there are legitimate concerns about the intent of Gibson's rally. Too bad the MRC doesn't feel like telling its readers the whole truth, instead gullibly taking Gibson at his word when he claims there's no alt-right ties.

UPDATE: Matthew Balan insisted that NPR "improperly" labeled Patriot Prayer as "alt-right"; his only defense is that "the controversial liberal Southern Poverty Law Center "does not list Patriot Prayer as such, nor is [founder Joey] Gibson considered an extremist," acccording to a Wednesday report from The Mercury News."

Oh, suddenly the MRC considers the SPLC to be authoritative when it's in the MRC's interest to do so? Balan didn't mention that the SPLC considers Gibson to be a troll.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:16 PM EDT
Updated: Saturday, August 26, 2017 1:12 AM EDT
WND Complains People Are Calling Trump What WND Called Obama
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Alicia Powe devotes an Aug. 10 WorldNetDaily article to complaining that people are calling President Trump names regarding his heated rhetoric against North Korea. The headline on Powe's article: "Trump 'unhinged,' 'reckless,' 'bombastic,' psychopath."

Funny thing, though: Those are all insults WND has hurled at President Obama.

"Unhinged"

  • "Seven years of Obama’s compulsive lies and deceit combined with his casual indifference about criminals, terrorists and contagious diseases crashing our border, not to mention his laxness toward Islamonazi slaughter of innocents and destruction of world heritage, indicate a mind unhinged from reality." -- Howard Carter, Feb. 6, 2015
  • "Yes, he's been unhinged for a while, but his latest actions and rhetoric show he's totally losing it." -- Choice of 13% of respondents to the WND poll question "Is President Obama becoming mentally unstable?" July 13, 2014

"Reckless"

  • "Obama's reckless, quixotic fantasies" -- headline of David Limbaugh column, March 4, 2011
  • “This confirms what I have said all along: President Obama was engaged in the same reckless conduct as then-Secretary Clinton: engaging in exchanges of highly sensitive information — information that is presumptively classified under the president’s own executive order — over a non-secure, non-government system.”-- Andrew McCarthy, Oct. 14, 2016
  • "Obama’s reckless spending and fiscal policies have added more to the national debt than most U.S. presidents combined[.]" -- Chuck Norris, Aug. 12, 2012
  • "Obama’s reckless disregard for American lives should have resulted in his being impeached by now." -- Mychal Massie, June 20, 2016
  • He becomes more reckless and defiant as his second term comes to an end. Never has an American president been so absorbed with the use and abuse of power, and unfortunately, he still has seven months to go. What is next?" -- James Dobson, May 30, 2016

"Bombastaic"

  • "If the American people are going to have any hope of reversing Obama’s bombastic plot he described as 'fundamentally transforming the United States,' that will have to begin in the classroom." --Alex Newman, April 12, 2015

"Psychopath"

  • "Psychopaths often act audaciously, without regard for those affected. They get away with actions that others in their positions haven’t, because of their ability to remain calm even when committing atrocities, and their ability to manipulate whole groups of people. Obama has taken more luxury vacations than any other president, and he has done so as the American economy was in collapse for his policies. ... No one knew that Pol Pot, Hitler or Ceausescu were psychopaths until they knew. Could America be more perceptive, more insightful, more predictive of a psychopath in leadership before it is too late?" -- Gina Loudon, April 6, 2014
  • "Ben Carson, an emerging presidential candidate for the Republican Party, was captured in an unguarded moment by a GQ reporter calling President Obama a 'psychopath' for the seeming ease with which he lies to the American public." -- Cheryl Chumley, March 24, 2015
  • "I have recognized Obama as a psychopath for months. Rush needs to use the label psychopath." -- Marlene Gantt, Nov. 18, 2014
  • Paraphrasing the email, [Michael] Savage said that what German Chancellor Angela Merkel is 'doing to Germany, what the weakling is doing to England, what the socialist is doing to France, what Obama the psychopath is doing to America, will render this country non-existent in less than 50 years.'" -- Oct. 22, 2015

In other words, Powe is just projecting -- complaining that others are calling Trump the exact same things WND has called Obama.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:19 AM EDT
Thursday, August 24, 2017
MRC's Bozell Hypocritically Complains About Media Giving Platform to Radicals
Topic: Media Research Center

When NBC's Chuck Todd had Mark Bray, "a prominent voice in the radical left-wing Antifa movement," on his MSNBC show, Media Research Center chief Brent Bozell was in high dudgeon:

Chuck Todd and MSNBC are providing a platform for radical leftists who use violence as a means to intimidate political opponents and suppress free speech. Allowing Antifa supporters to promote violence unchallenged is not only repugnant, but irresponsible. MSNBC and their sponsors must be held accountable for providing a platform for any violence and destruction perpetrated by these hateful groups.

When Todd had Bray on his "Meet The Press " a few days later, Bozell cranked theh dudgeon even higher:

“Violent leftists have broken into the mainstream and Chuck Todd is guilty of aiding and abetting. It is abhorrent that NBC and Todd believe it acceptable to normalize extremist groups like Antifa which use terror to silence their opposition.

“After last Wednesday's softball interview, Chuck Todd had the opportunity to correct his mistake but instead chose to again allow a radical to promote domestic terrorism with little pushback. Can you imagine Chuck Todd inviting a member of a militant right-wing group on his show to rationalize violence against the left? NBC must cease giving legitimacy to supporters of this violent left-wing movement immediately.”

And in his and Tim Graham's (which is to say, Tim Graham's) Aug. 23 column, Bozell rants that "Todd & Co. are ushering antifa's extreme into polite society."

Needless to say, Bozell is being an utter hypocrite, because his operation gives an uncritical platform to radicals as well.

As we've documented, Michael W. Chapman, managing editor of the MRC's "news" division, CNSNews.com, routinelygives legitimacy to radical, virulently anti-gay activists who believe homosexuals are literally the spawn of Satan. Chapman is an employee of Bozell, which means Bozell is ultimately responsible for this extreme rhetoric.

Bozell (and Graham) close out their column by huffing: "One arm of the far left believes violence is necessary. NBC thinks it's worth discussing." Meanwhile, one arm of the right wing believe gays are literal evil just for existing. Bozell's MRC thinks it's worth discussing.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:15 PM EDT
Post-Charlottesville, WND Brings Back Its Favorite Race-Baiter
Topic: WorldNetDaily

For most media organizations, a week after a notorious racial incident in which a protester was run down and killed by a white supremacist would not be the best time to give a platform to a notorious race-baiter obsessed with "black mob violence" and conspiracy theories. but that's what WorldNetDaily's Liam Clancy does in an Aug. 20 article:

There is no doubt that the United States is a country divided, especially along racial lines.

But while the white population of America is continuously derided as “racist,” things are not as simple as they appear.

Colin Flaherty, author of “White Girl Bleed a Lot: The Return of Racial Violence in America and How the Media Ignore It,” was a recent guest on“The Hagmann Report” to discuss what he believes is a dramatically under-reported factor of racial division in the United States: violence from the black community.

According to Flaherty, race relations reached their lowest point under the Obama administration, and a lack of media discourse on the issue exacerbated the problem.

He noted that two weekends ago there were four large examples of black mob violence on the streets of America.

Violence of this kind, he said, is often swept under the rug.

[...]

Flaherty noted the establishment media justify black violence in three ways: “Either a) it’s not happening, b) white people do it, too, or c) white people deserve it.”

The justification began during the Obama administration, as many government agencies pushed the concept of “white privilege” into the mainstream, Flaherty believes.

He said “everyone” in the Obama administration was behind the race-baiting, claiming the Obama DOJ even sent employees to Ferguson, Missouri, to agitate for violence.

“It’s just hard to believe how much black-on-white hostility was incorporated into the federal government for eight years,” Flaherty added.

“Reporters and public officials are in denial, deceit, and delusion” when they refuse to cover this hostility, he said.

Instead of covering the incidents as an outpouring of black-on-white hostility, reporters push what Flaherty calls “the big lie,” the idea that blacks in America are victimized.

You might remember Flaherty as the guy who is so obsessed with "black mob violence" that he put white people and dogs into his "black mobs." It was only until Google threatened to pull ad revenue over all the race-baiting that WND finally saw the light and backed off (enlightened self-interest and all that). WND published Flaherty's race-baiting tome "White Girl Bleed A Lot" but apparently wouldn't do so for his follow-up, unsubtly titled "Don't Make the Black Kids Angry."

Yes, the perfect guy for WND to bring back. Gotta make sure those racially charged flames stay fanned, after all.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:07 PM EDT
CNS Reporter Contradicts Herself to Promote Trump
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com's Melanie Arter does her dutiful Trump stenography in an Aug. 16 article:

President Donald Trump announced Wednesday that he is ending two of his economic councils following an exodus from both in the wake of his comments regarding the violence in Charlottesville.

"Rather than putting pressure on the businesspeople of the Manufacturing Council & Strategy & Policy Forum, I am ending both. Thank you all!" the president tweeted.

 But Arter's next two paragraphs directly contradict the first two:

Executives on Trump's Strategic and Policy Forum agreed to disband as a group, according to a member of the council, so it would have more impact, CNBC reports.

"The thinking was it was important to do as a group," a member told CNBC. "As a panel, not as individuals because it would have more significant impact. It makes a central point that it's not going to go forward. It's done."

Arter never addresses this contradiction. Why? Perhaps because she would have to admit that Trump is lying. This is a pattern at CNS; Arter's fellow reporter Susan Jones similarly buried the fact that Trump's Twitter rants about Amazon not paying taxes are factually incorrect.

Speaking of which: An Aug. 16 CNS article by Jones returned to the issue with a glancing reference to a Trump Amazon-bashing tweet: "In his first tweet this morning, Trump wrote: 'Amazon is doing great damage to tax paying retailers. Towns, cities and states throughout the U.S. are being hurt - many jobs being lost!'" This time, however, Jones completely censored the fact that Trump is wrong and that Amazon does, in fact, collect and pay state sales taxes.

CNS is becoming even less the "news" site it claims to be and even more of a Trump protection organization.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:43 AM EDT
Wednesday, August 23, 2017
WND Puts Discredited Author on Its Homeschool Reading List
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Liam Clancy writes in an Aug. 12 "news" article that, like so much of WND's content, is actually just an ad targeted to homeschoolers:

It’s August – and you know what that means.

It’s “back-to-school” madness, and parents around the country are shopping for supplies that will help propel their children to success.

But what does your child really need?

As state-run education gradually clamps down on freedom of expression, freedom of religion, and the values that make the United States so great, the WND Superstore has you covered on the books your kids might not find on the classroom bookshelf.

And what's the first book Clancy lists, after a "mini United States Constitution"?

Another great selection for more advanced readers is “The Jefferson Lies: Exposing the Myths You’ve Always Believed About Thomas Jefferson,” a book that uncovers truths about the third president of the United States that your child won’t learn in school.

Author David Barton, a historian, attempts to set the record straight, upending centuries of smears from disingenuous scholars.

Except, of course, it does none of that. Clancy doesn't mention that the book's original publisher pulled the book from the marketplace after historians and others found numerous errors. Not only did WND continue to sell Barton's book despite it having been withdrawn everywhere else, it published its own version of the book, which made few changes to the challenged content but added a section attacking the book's critics. To this day, WND is still trying to defend Barton and his book.

Clancy continues shilling:

For adults, especially those interested in homeschooling, the Superstore also has a variety of books for parents directly invested in the education of their children.

“Crimes of the Educators” reveals how “progressive” educators have dumbed-down American children by taking over government schools and pushing dubious reforms such as Common Core.

“How many parents … send their children to school so central planners can mold them into functionally illiterate cogs in a centrally planned machine, having just enough knowledge to do their preassigned task? How will such cogs be able to think critically, much less sustain liberty and the American experiment?” ask authors Samuel Blumenfeld and Alex Newman.

The answer is far too many.

Smearing teachers as criminals, as Newman and Blumenfeld effectively do here, is hardly the way to make that argument and should disqualify Newman's book from serious consideration. But this is WND, after all.


Posted by Terry K. at 4:04 PM EDT
'Far Left' Hurlers At MRC Complain About Purportedly Indiscriminate Use of 'Far Right'
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Scott Whitlock grumbles in an Aug. 15 post (boldface his):

Get it? The vile racists who promoted violence in Charlottesvile, Virginia over the weekend, groups that include the KKK and Nazis, are part of the “far right” and “hard line conservatives.” That’s according to the New York Times in a front page story on Tuesday. The paper used the phrase “far right” or “conservative” six times to connect racist thugs to the political right. 

The headline trumpeted, “Far Right Plans Its Next Moves With a New Energy.” Writer Alan Feuer began, “The white supremacists and right-wing extremists who came together over the weekend in Charlottesville, Va., are now headed home.” He later underlined, “The far right, which has returned to prominence in the past year or so, has always been an amalgam of factions and causes.”

First, Whitlock doesn't explain why he's defending the honor of the "far right" by trying to disassociate it from neo-Nazis. Despite his complaining, Whitlock offers no evidence that "racist thugs" are not on the far right.

Second, Whitlock seems to have forgotten that he works for an organization that uses the term "far left" even more indiscriminately than he's accusing the Times of using "far right." The MRC was quick to label violent Antifa protesters as "far left," which by Whitlock's standards equates them with, among others, Stephen Colbert and sports blog Deadspin.

The MRC is clearly never going to apologize for equating violent protesters with people and publications who merely said something it didn't like. Therefore, it has no moral standing to complain when it thinks others are doing the same (though we still don't understand why Whitlock is so desperate to claim that white supremacists are not "far riight").


Posted by Terry K. at 1:34 AM EDT
Tuesday, August 22, 2017
Anti-Muslim Propagandists at WND Warn of 'Islamist Propaganda'
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Leo Hohmann warns in an Aug. 18 WorldNetDaily article, headlined "Islamist propaganda coming soon to local newspaper near you":

An investigative journalism center is passing off as fact a report by the Hamas-tied Council on American-Islamic Relations that hate crimes against American mosques jumped sharply in 2015 and continue to occur at historically high rates — about once every three days.

ProPublica is a New York City-based nonprofit journalism center partially funded by billionaire George Soros that shares data-driven investigative stories with newspapers of all sizes and local TV stations across the United States.

But ProPublica‘s newest project on hate crimes is raising eyebrows because of its reliance on a questionable source for its data. The report says more than 370 “hate incidents” directed at U.S. mosques and Islamic centers have been catalogued by CAIR since April 2013.

“Most of the incidents are threats to worshippers’ lives or acts of vandalism,” according to the report, which depends solely on CAIR for its list of anti-Muslim hate crimes.

[...]

One revealing statement in the article says: “Note: ProPublica has not researched whether any updates or follow-ups to these articles exist.”

In other words, ProPublica did very little of its own independent research to confirm CAIR’s findings, or to determine whether there were any updates or changes in the original stories, notes Philip Haney, a former Homeland Security officer who co-authored the whistleblower book “See Something Say Nothing.”

Haney said many supposed anti-Muslim “hate crimes” reported in the wake of President Donald Trump’s election were reported as fact but later turned out to be fake reports. CAIR, however, never followed up to inform its followers on Twitter and Facebook that many of these initial complaints of “Islamophobia” were in fact pure fiction.

Of course, Hohmann -- a virulent Muslim-hater -- is engaging in propaganda himself by writing this article. While he criticizes ProPublica for not following up on CAIR's claims, Hohmann doesn't follow up either. WND has published Hohmann's false propaganda claiming that a measles outbreak in a Somali-American community was caused by a Quranic dictate against immunization (in fact, WND's anti-vaxxer fellow travelers have heavily lobbied the community).

And it was just a couple of weeks ago that WND published another piece of anti-Muslim propaganda -- an uncritical report on a bogus study by the anti-Muslim Gatestone Institute falsely linking old churches being torn down in France to the construction of new mosques there.

It's truly hilarious to see the propagandists at WND accusing others of engaging in propaganda. You want it to stop, WND? You first.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:16 PM EDT
Monday, August 21, 2017
MRC's Gainor Admits Conservative Media Will Put Truth Over Reason to Back Trump
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Aly Nielsen sums up an appearance by MRC VP and right-wing apparachik Dan Gainor on Fox Business:

According to MRC Vice President of Business and Culture Dan Gainor, Steve Bannon’s White House exit will not “alienate the conservative media.”

“Donald Trump is a smart guy. He can never go left enough to satisfy the media and the left,” Gainor told Intelligence Report host Trish Regan, “So he’s not going to alienate the conservative media. He will make nice in some way.”

Gainor seems to be inadvertently admitting what we knew all along: the conservative media -- which includes all the MRC's various outlets, including "news" division CNSNews.com -- is putting loyalty to Trump over truth and reason. While Gainor seems to couch this in reflexive media-bashing in complaining about a hostile "left" media, he's also admitting that his conservative media will always give Trump the benefit of the doubt, and if Trump does something that appalls the rest of the nation, CNS and their ilk will contort themselves to excuse it.

Gainor demonstrates this further in his interview, as Nielsen writes:

Bannon, The Chief White House strategist, is leaving his position two days after talking to a liberal journalist at Soros-funded American Prospect. 

“I don’t understand why conservatives consistently feel like they’re gonna -- they, they can go and out themselves to any sort of liberal outlet,” Gainor said on the Aug. 18 Intelligence Report, “You know you’re never going to get good treatment, you know the results’ always going to be bad.”

“This also emboldens conservative outlets to be more of a check and a balance on the people who are seen as more liberal on the--in the White House,” Gainor concluded.

Note that Nielsen and Gainor don't blame Bannon for doing the interview; they blame a "liberal journalist" at a "Soros-funded" publication for running it. Talk about attacking the messenger.

Ah, but holding Bannon accountable for his own actions would have meant he alienated the MRC and the conservative media , and Gainor already said that will never happen. Gotta keep that Mercer money rolling in, after all.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:17 AM EDT
WND: Won't Someone Think of the Poor Confederate Memorials?
Topic: WorldNetDaily

In addition to hot takes, conspiracy theories and stolen glory, WorldNetDaily has been embraced another reaction to the events at Charlottesville, Va.: defending the Confederacy and its memorials.

WND let discredited adulterer Dinesh D'Souza rant in an anonymously written article:

“Let’s start with the fact this whole thing was kicked off because of an attempt to take down a monument to Robert E. Lee,” D’Souza told WND. “Here’s the irony: Robert E. Lee was the most decorated soldier in the U.S. Army. He was a man of unimpeachable integrity. Lincoln offered him command of the Union Army, but Lee refused only because his loyalty was to Virginia. Lee opposed both secession and slavery.

“And yet to the historically illiterate left, a man who opposed both slavery and secession has come to symbolize both slavery and secession.”

Yeah, when you turn down the opportunity to fight for America to lead the Army fighting for slavery and secession, that tends to happen. It's not "historically illiterate" to point that inconvenient fact out.

Jerry Newcombe similarly defended Lee:

Gen. Lee is an ironic lightning rod for such violence. He was such a statesman that had he been born a few miles north, that is, north of the boundary of Virginia, he likely would have gone on to become a winning general for the Union, and possibly on from there to the presidency.

[...]

Gen. Lee didn’t fight to preserve slavery. He freed slaves, at great personal cost, he had inherited by marriage. He hated the “peculiar institution.” He also was in favor of the preservation of the union and opposed to secession. But when asked by President Lincoln to lead the troops to squash the burgeoning rebellion, he asked, “How can I draw my sword upon Virginia, my native state?” 

States’ rights was the ostensible reason men like Lee and Jackson fought for the Confederacy, but clearly the catalyst cause was slavery. This reality is clearly a mark against Lee, Jackson and others who fought for the South. But we should also remember them for who they actually were, rather than as two-dimensional cutouts in a simplistic morality play of obvious good versus obvious evil.

If we start to tear down all statues of Lee, Jackson and Jefferson Davis, the president of the Confederacy, why stop there? What about the nine presidents of the United States who owned slaves? Washington was the only one of those who freed his slaves.

Well, removing prominently placed statues of people who fought against the United States seems like a reasonable stopping point.

Speaking of monuments, an Aug. 15 article serves up a "big list of the nation’s endangered Confederate monuments and symbols" and approvingly quoted right-wing radio host likeningtaking down Confeerate statues to "the Talilban, pulling down Christian historical sites." The more accurate analogy would be to newly liberated Eastern Europeans tearing down statues of Lenin.

And because WND must make everything about scary, swarthy Muslims, an Aug. 15 article by Art Moore complains that the Council on American-Islamic Relations is "providing a template resolution to be introduced by public bodies such as state legislatures, city councils and school districts" asking for Confederate monuments to be removed.

In an Aug. 18 article, Alicia Powe complained not only that Nancy Pelosi is asking that Confederate-related statues be removed from the Capitol rotunda, but also that she waited so long to do so:

Over the last 100 years, Democrats have controlled Congress almost twice as long as Republicans and there have been 35 years during which they controlled both houses and the presidency. But only in 2017 did the Confederate statues in the Capitol become an issue for them.

Some suggest it’s a way to help eradicate the strong Democrat [sic] connection with the Confederacy – something about which Americans are oblivious. Not only did Republicans lead the charge against slavery, they also were targeted for death and intimidation by the Ku Klux Klan, which represented the military wing of the Democratic Party.

But today, Democrat [sic] lawmakers are accusing President Trump of being proponent of white supremacy, even though he has repeatedly condemned the white supremacists and neo-Nazis who rallied in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Powe didn't mention the inconvenient fact that the post-Civil War Democratic Party is not the Democratic Party of today, and that it is conservatives like her and her fellow WND employees who are now rushing to the defense of the Confederacy.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:51 AM EDT
Updated: Monday, August 21, 2017 12:56 AM EDT
Sunday, August 20, 2017
CNS Blogger Tries to Spin Away Trump Reneging On Border Wall
Topic: CNSNews.com

We already know CNSNews.com blogger Craig Bannister is a terrible media analyst. We now also know he's a rather desperate spinmeister for the Trump administration.

After transcripts of President Trump's conversation with the president of Mexico went public, Bannister used an Aug. 3 CNS post to spin away the negative parts of it:

On Thursday, The Washington Post published purportedly-leaked, classified transcripts of President Donald Trump’s conversations with the leaders of Mexico and Australia - but, the worst thing The Post could find to headline its expose’ is that Trump asked Mexico’s president to stop saying he’s against a border wall.

[...]

The Post’s top six ‘Highlights” from the Trump-Nieto conservation, according to its “annotated transcripts” are:

  1. “Trump threatens potential tariffs on Mexican goods,”
  2. “Trump vows to help fight the ‘tough hombres’ driving the Mexican drug trade,”
  3. “Trump seems to acknowledge that his threats to make Mexico pay had left him had left him cornered politically,”
  4. Trump asks that they avoid publicly disagreeing over how the wall will be funded
  5. Trump describes the wall as ‘the least important thing we are talking about,’”
  6. Trump tells Peña Nieto to stop saying publicly that his government would never pay for the wall.

Thus, the biggest scoops from The Post’s claimed leaked documents are that an American president:

  1. Threatened to use tariffs,
  2. Wants to fight drug smuggling,
  3. Says it’ll make him look bad if he doesn’t deliver on his promise,
  4. Discourages public opposition,
  5. Says there are more important problems to tackle than building a border wall, and
  6. Discourages public opposition (See above).

Of course, Bannister is ignoring that Trump is effectively admitting that he's reneging on his own campaign promise to build the wall and make Mexico pay for it. But Bannister cannot admit that's happening, so he must spin things to trying to falsely turn this into a fake-news nothingburger.

This is the kind of so-called analysis for which the MRC is paying Bannister the big bucks.


Posted by Terry K. at 4:29 PM EDT
MRC Turns Trump Tweet Into An Item
Topic: Media Research Center

On Aug. 14, after reluctantly expanding his condemnation of the violent events in Charlottesville, Va., to specifically call out neo-Nazis and white supremacists, President Trump tweeted: "Made additional remarks on Charlottesville and realize once again that the #Fake News Media will never be satisfied...truly bad people!"

Three hours later, the Media Research Center turned it into a media-bashing item. Nicholas Fondacaro wrote (excessive boldface his):

On Monday, President Trump called out the racist hate groups involved in Saturday’s chaos in Charlottesville, Virginia. In addition to calling them “evil” and “repugnant,” Trump said: “Those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs including the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists and other hate groups.” This full throated denouncement was exactly what the Big Three Networks (ABC, CBS, and NBC) craved from the President, but now that they had it, they shifted their attacks to: “What took him so long?”

President Trump finally finds the words to condemn white supremacists two days after facing an intense bipartisan backlash for blaming quote “all sides” for the violent unrest in Charlottesville,” sneered Anchor Lester Holt during the opening tease of NBC Nightly News. Soon thereafter, Holt called Trump’s first remarks “tone deaf” and then mocked him for trying “today to find the right notes.

[...]

During CBS Evening News, White House Correspondent Major Garrett turned the snark up to 11 when he chastised Trump. “The leader of the free world, President Trump, was behind his daughter, Attorney General and Vice President in denouncing white supremacists and neo-Nazis by name,” he chided.

Garrett also pretended that leftist counter protesters didn’t do anything violent during Saturday’s clashes, not that it justified the car attack. “On Saturday, the President implied counter-protesters and armed shield-wielding white supremacists were equally to blame,” he said.

That initial equivocation echoed ways in which Mr. Trump has played to racially motivated segments of American politics,” Garrett added.

Trump’s latest and most refined condemnation of the violence in Charlottesville was exactly what they had been begging for him to do. But not that they got it from him, they moved the goal post and bemoaned how it wasn’t good enough.

Fondacaro didn't mention the tweet from Trump or that he was effectively writing on orders from the president.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:44 PM EDT

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