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Wednesday, October 25, 2017
CNS Obeys White House Marching Orders to Ignore Kelly's Falsehood
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com's Melanie Arter serves up her latest bit of stenography on behalf of the Trump White House in an Oct. 20 article:

The White House said Friday that the media’s focus on President Donald Trump’s phone call to the widow of a soldier who died in Niger should have ended yesterday after White House Chief of Staff Gen. John Kelly spoke on the issue, but instead, it’s the main topic of news coverage a day later.

A reporter asked White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders why Kelly felt the need to address Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-Fla.) publicly and call her “an empty barrel” instead of calling her privately like he’s done with other members of Congress who were critical of the president and why Trump felt the need to tweet about Wilson again Friday.

“I think that it's real simple: You guys are the ones talking a lot about that story, and he felt it was important to address you and all of America directly. This story has been given an enormous amount of coverage over the last 48 hours, and he thought it was important that people got a full and accurate picture of what took place,” Sanders said.

It seems Arter took Sanders' complaint as marching orders, because CNS has indeed stopped talking about what Kelly said. That's too bad, because Kelly got some key facts wrong in attacking Wilson.

In his remarks, Kelly said this about Wilson at a 2015 dedication of an FBI building in Florida:

And a congresswoman stood up, and in the long tradition of empty barrels making the most noise, stood up there and all of that and talked about how she was instrumental in getting the funding for that building, and how she took care of her constituents because she got the money, and she just called up President Obama, and on that phone call he gave the money -- the $20 million -- to build the building. And she sat down, and we were stunned. Stunned that she had done it. Even for someone that is that empty a barrel, we were stunned. But, you know, none of us went to the press and criticized. None of us stood up and were appalled. We just said, okay, fine."

PolitiFact responds:

A video unearthed by the South Florida Sun-Sentinel of the April 10, 2015, event preserved Wilson’s speech. While it does portray Wilson speaking animatedly and indulging in some braggadocio -- she is known as a colorful, outspoken politician with a soft spot for fashionable hats -- Kelly mischaracterized her remarks in significant ways.

[...]

Kelly said that Wilson "stood up there ... and talked about how she was instrumental in getting the funding for that building, and how she took care of her constituents because she got the money, and she just called up President Obama, and on that phone call he gave the money -- the $20 million -- to build the building. And she sat down."

However, in her speech, Wilson didn’t mention funding for the building, much less claim credit for it or tell the audience how she leveraged influence with Obama to secure it.

Wilson did describe how she helped secure legislation to name the building for two slain agents, but Kelly’s description leaves out that the FBI pressed her to make that effort and that she shared credit with several other lawmakers, including the Republican House speaker and Florida’s Republican senator. Wilson also spoke at some length about the bravery of the slain agents and the FBI in general.

We rate Kelly’s statement False.

Since CNS has acceded to the Trump White House's demand to not report this story anymore, its readers are being deprived of the truth. Sad!


Posted by Terry K. at 3:02 PM EDT
WND Tries to Find A Conspiracy in Hillary's Broken Toe
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily hates Hillary Clinton so much, it refuses to take even the most innocuous information about her at face value. Take this anonymously written Oct. 16 article:

Hillary Clinton rarely wears high heels.

She says she doesn’t drink coffee.

And at nearly 70 years old, she hasn’t been known to run.

But now Hillary wants the world to believe she was running in high heels down the stairs, carrying coffee when she apparently broke her toe. And many people simply aren’t buying it.

Hillary was spotted with a special boot on her foot Monday.

“I was running down the stairs in heels with a cup of coffee in hand, I was talking over my shoulder and my heel caught and I fell backward,” she told “The Graham Nortion Show.” “I tried to get up and it really hurt. I’ve broken my toe. I’ve received excellent care from your excellent health service.”

(Curiously, Hillary told Katie Couric in a 2008 interview for “60 Minutes” that “I drink tea, not coffee anymore.”)

Hillary has canceled several media appearances due to the latest injury. She failed to show up for a BBC interview Monday during which she planned to promote her new book, “What Happened.”

But not everyone is buying her explanation.

The anonymous WND writer is creating a bit of fake news here -- Clinton did not say she was wearing "high heels" as WND claimed. This shows the malicious intent of the article (and perhaps the reason the writer did not want his or her name associated with it).

WND's idea of "many people" who "aren't buying" Clinton's story, by the way,  are rabid Clinton-hater Dolly Kyle and random commenters at the right-wing Daily Mail.

This is pretty weak sauce for a conspiracy, even by WND standards.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:50 AM EDT
Tuesday, October 24, 2017
MRC's Declaring Time Mag A 'Liberal Dying Husk' Seems A Tad Exaggerated
Topic: Media Research Center

The headline on the Oct. 11 Media Research Center post by Scott Whitlock declares, "Liberal Dying Husk Time Magazine to Slash Circulation." Whitlock then goes on to called Time a "liberal dinosaur," touting how the magazine is cutting circulation by one-third. But he then goes on to contradict himself, conceding that perhaps the publication and its parent not, in fact, dying:

Writer Kevin McCoy [of USA Today] explained of Time inc (which also includes other publications), “Revenue for the quarter that ended June 30 fell $75 million, or 10%, to $694 million compared with the same period last year, the company reported. The drop reflected declines in advertising and circulation revenues.” 

So, no, not quite a dying husk. Also, Time's purported "liberal" leanings have nothing to do with its circulation decline -- like many other print outlets, the Internet is taking its toll on Time. Further, digital subscriptions are helping to fill some of the slack.

Whitlock's evidence of Time being "liberal" is rather meager; it noted the economic upheaval as post-Soviet Russia moved from communism to something kinda representing capitalism, and calling Barack Obama as "Obi-Wan Kenobi" but Donald Trump a "demogogue" upon their respective "person of the year" designations.

Besides, if being "liberal" is really what's killing Time, why was the first major newsmagazine to permanently suspend its print edition the right-leaning U.S. News & World Report?

 


Posted by Terry K. at 1:39 PM EDT
WND Columnist Complains About 'Nonstop Lies' (But Not Those Published By WND)
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Barry Farber complains in his Oct. 10 WorldNetDaily column:

Too many Trump adversaries are more belligerent than adversarial. And too many Trump supporters think being a supporter is sufficient when Trump really needs combative allies! The smarter Americans are already aware that powerful forces are out to get Trump. Those forces can’t stand losing the election of November, 2016, and they fully intend to reverse it by any means necessary! Some swamps don’t want to be drained, especially if they pay off so well to the swamp-masters!

The rhetorical ammunition being used to bring Trump down consists of exaggerations, distortions and lies. Too many Americans, however, blithely assume exactly what those forces want them to assume, namely that Donald Trump really isn’t fit to be the president of the United States. Nice speaker, to be sure. Entertaining, to be sure. “But now we all see the flaws, and we really can’t allow a guy who screws up so much and so monumentally to be the Leader of the Free World!”

That Kool-Aid is being pumped at us from many formidable fountains. And we can excuse Americans dismayed by the steady tattoo of Trump’s failure. However, it’s a dangerous lie, and honest, patriotic Americans have to fight it.

Funny, we don't recall Farber being concerned by the nonstop lies being forwarded by the publisher of his column.

Farber then makes it clear what he really wants, and that's pro-Trump propaganda, 24-7:

Yet we hear so little about Trump’s achievements. Why are the media so bashful to report the many solid achievements this White House has handed to America? I don’t mean only the litany of stock market highs, recorded seemingly day after day. Much more important is the more than 3 percent growth in the latest report. Stock market highs are mere perfume, while a whole extra percentage point of growth is protein. 

Respect for America has returned. Did Hillary’s diplomacy or that of her boss, Obama, ever yield America the 15 unanimous votes in the Security Council, including Russia and China, to slap sanctions upon North Korea?

It seems Farber is too bamboozled by his publisher doing things like suggesting that Trump was chosen by God to lead the country to understand that people want to read news, not propaganda.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:31 AM EDT
Monday, October 23, 2017
Bozell's Less-Than-Full Disclosure About The MRC And the Mercers (And His Latest Soros Freakout)
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Brent Bozell and Tim Graham rant in their Oct. 18 column:

Charles Pierce, the resident radical-left political pundit at Esquire magazine — that intellectual powerhouse best known for its Sexiest Woman Alive award — is lamenting the role of Steve Bannon in electing President Trump, as well as Trump financial backers "Robert and Rebekah Mercer, the reactionary New York gozillionnaires."

Pierce wanted everyone to read about a lawsuit filed in May (news that's almost half a year old is "breaking" if the targets are conservatives) by a former Bob Mercer employee named David Magerman who, reportedly against company policy, felt compelled to tell The Wall Street Journal that his boss had "contempt for the social safety net" and wanted "government be shrunk down to the size of a pinhead." (Horrors!) In his lawsuit, Magerman upped the ante and claimed that Mercer held racist views.

Full disclosure: The Mercers are not just supporters; they are friends. That kind of repugnant slur is undeserving of a response and will get none here.

Actually, Bozell and Graham's "full disclosure" is not so full. As we've documented, the Mercers are much more than "supporters" of Bozell and the MRC; they're among the largest donors to the MRC, donating $13.5 million between 2008 and 2014 and providing a full one-fourth of its annual budget in 2014 alone. On top of that, Rebekah Mercer is a member of  the MRC board of directors, and she appears to be partly responsible for Bozell's and the MRC's big Trump flip in 2016, turning from a Trump critic to a Trump defender.

The rest of Bozell and Graham's column is dedicated to whining that politicaly active conservative billionaires get more scrutiny in "the media" than liberal ones, then lambasting longtime right-wing bogeyman George Soros, adding, "As we type these words, it has just been announced that Soros has transferred a cool $18 billion to his radical Open Society Foundations in recent years, making it instantly the second largest foundation in the world after the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation."

The MRC has long lashed out against Soros to raise a few bucks, and his boosting of his foundation's finances has prompted it again. It has launched a new campaign with its patented combination of Soros fearmongering and plea for money:

Liberal puppetmaster George Soros is back to his old dirty tricks. And this time, he’s doubled down with a whopping $18 billion cash infusion across his tangled web of radical left-wing organizations, the Open Society Foundations (OSF).

The Media Research Center is once again taking a stand against Soros and his toxic influence on American society-- but we can’t do it alone. We need your help.

NewsBusters reported that the infamous left-wing financier has nearly tripled the size of his foundation by shifting an additional $18 billion in assets to the foundation he regularly uses to fund radical left wing causes.

This is on top of the more than $14 billion Soros has already funneled into “progressive” causes, such as abortion, open borders, radical environmentalism, opposing “hate” speech, and the Women’s March.

Soros has also given massive amounts of money— $103 MILLION! — to support the liberal media AND $10.5 million to Hillary Clinton’s doomed presidential campaign.

Please donate today. It is going to take an army of patriotic Americans to stand a chance against Soros and his liberal empire. 

With a donation of $50 or more, you will receive a mailed copy of the MRC’s latest Soros report. For all donors, of all amounts, you will receive future email updates from MRC Action detailing our efforts to take measureable action against ongoing liberal media bias.

The campaign does not disclose how much money it has received from the Mercers.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:39 AM EDT
Updated: Monday, October 23, 2017 2:41 PM EDT
The ConWeb vs. A Fiction Writer
Topic: The ConWeb

The ConWeb really, really hates author Dan Brown.

The Media Research Center's Brent Bozell Tim Graham started their Oct. 6 column with a personal shot at him:

Dan Brown, the author of "The DaVinci Code," is back with another blockbuster anti-religion novel, and CBS "Sunday Morning" rolled out the red carpet on Oct. 1 to honor him and his massive commercial success.

The segment began with what he called his "fortress of gratitude" — his house loaded floor to ceiling, over several stories, with bookshelves ... stuffed with copies of Dan Brown's own books.

So we know who Dan Brown worships.

So Bozell and Graham hae never engaged in self-promotion in a media appearance before? They then rant further:

For all the folderol about "fake news," the media never found it necessary to challenge the veracity of Brown's scurrilous charges he posits as facts in his novels — that Jesus married Mary Magdalene and had a child; that the Catholic Church took the human Jesus and cynically invented him as a god at the Council of Nicaea in 325; or those nonexistent "monks" in the Catholic group Opus Dei. They spent hours on ABC, CBS and NBC elaborating on Brown's "intriguing" theories, when what they were enthusiastically broadcasting was an atheist version of birtherism.

Brown's new novel, "Origin," once again features his hero, Harvard professor Robert Langdon, who tries to learn what discovery computer genius Edmond Kirsch was prepared to reveal that (as The Washington Post explains) "boldly contradicted almost every established religious doctrine, and it did so in a distressingly simple and persuasive manner."

So Bozell and Graham are mad that Brown presents fictional things as fact in a book of fiction? Isn't that the very definition of fiction?

Meanwhile, WorldNetDaily was taking even more shots at Brown. Joseph Farah huffed in his Oct. 13 column:

How do I say this politely?

Dan Brown is a fool.

The author of “The Da Vinci Code” may have sold 200 million copies of a novel based on enormous lies about the history of Christianity, but that does not mean he has wisdom.

Farah goes on to complain that Brown "did his best to make news about his latest release, “Origin,” by explaining why the Creator of the universe will not survive science, which, of course, is another way of saying God never existed except in the imaginations of man."

The same day, WND gave a platform to various and sundry fellow travelers to trash Brown. Birther pastor Carl Gallups, for instance, declared that “Dan Brown has been used as a tool of Satan for many years" because "A big chunk of his life has been dedicated to the task of minimizing and marginalizing the pure biblical message of salvation in Jesus Christ.” WND managing editor David Kupelian groused that "Brown has sold 200 million books, which I guess says something about the low state of ‘consciousness’ in today’s world" -- which sounds a little like professional jealously on Kupelian's part, since his books haven't sold 1/200th of the number Brown's have.

WND also brings on right-wing radio host Jan Markell to assert, "“Brown mocks the God who ‘sits up there and judges us.'” ... Someday Brown will be judged by that very same God and he won’t be laughing – and he won’t be mocking. He will have to say he was wrong, but it will be too late. The fires of hell will not be pleasant.”

None of these writers, by the way, offer any proof whatsoever that they have read Brown's new book, let alone "The DaVinci Code."Which means they're just bashing an undeniably popular author without knowing what they're talking about.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:28 AM EDT
Saturday, October 21, 2017
WND's Farah Presents Biased, Politically Motivated Gay-Basher As Someone Offering 'Real Science'
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Joseph Farah writes in his Oct. 16 WorldNetDaily column:

Somebody has to state the obvious when it comes to the political agenda of “transgenderism.”

There’s no science behind it. There’s no common sense behind it. There’s no morality behind it.

Yet, our society has embraced the idea of allowing gender-confused small children to determine for themselves whether they are boys or girls and want to choose chemical castration and/or sterilization – ignoring the dire medical and health risks such procedures pose.

That’s why I appreciate Dr. Michelle Cretella, president of the American College of Pediatricians, for speaking out boldly against the advance of political correctness and for sound medical practices.

“Chemical castration is what you’re doing when you put any biologically normal child on puberty blockers,” she said recently. “It’s treating puberty like a disease, arresting a normal process which is critical to normal development and bad for kids.”

I’m not a doctor, but this seems like simple common sense to me. What about you?

Farah is quoting from an op-ed by Cretella published three months ago at the conservative Heritage Foundation's "news" website, The Daily Signal. He goes on to tout Cretella's attacks on transgenders, claiming that "Her credentials affirm her expertise in this area."

But Farah is lyining in portraying Cretella as someone without a political agenda. In fact, the entire existence of the group Cretella heads, the American College of Pediatricians, is politically motivated, and the Southern Poverty Law Center considers it an anti-gay hate group. The Daily Beast details the love for the group on right-wing websites (like WND):

ACPeds is a favored citation among the far right because the organization disagrees with most major medical associations on LGBT and other social issues. It is not the leading organization for U.S. pediatricians. That would be the similarly named American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), which has 64,000 members. The much smaller ACPeds was founded in 2002 to protest the AAP’s support for same-sex adoption.

But despite its small size, the Gainesville, Florida-based ACPeds makes frequent appearances in conservative news articles, especially stories about LGBT issues.

ACPeds recently published a position statement arguing that transgender health care for youth is a form of “child abuse.” Breitbart, The Daily Caller, and The Blaze promptly published that claim without contrasting their primary source with the AAP. The truth is that most major professional organizations in the health care industry affirm the validity of transgender identity and that the AAP supports transgender youth.

Further, the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine has refuted all eight of the "hard facts" from Cretella Farah touts in his column, pointing out that Cretella repeatedly cites correlated claims without establishing causation, concluding of Cretella: "One cannot claim to be an unbiased medical professional writing for the greater good when one’s entire article is predicated upon gender dysphoria as a choice."

Farah concluded: "This crazy cultural tide needs to be reversed – with real science, real common sense and real morality." Too bad he offers someone who ignores the former to push the latter.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:36 AM EDT
Updated: Sunday, October 22, 2017 1:10 AM EDT
Friday, October 20, 2017
Crappy MRC Media Study Watch
Topic: Media Research Center

It's another month, so it must be time for another terrible media "study" from the Media Research Center! Take it away, Rich Noyes and Mike Ciandella:

With September’s news coverage now in the record books, the latest Media Research Center analysis finds TV’s hostility to the Trump presidency continues unabated. According to our analysts, the President received 92% bad press, vs. just 8% good press on the ABC, CBS and NBC evening news shows last month.

Since Inauguration Day (January 20), the broadcast networks have tilted 90% anti-Trump, vs. 10% pro-Trump, not counting partisan statements or neutral/informational coverage. (See our methodology statement at the bottom of this article for details.) While coverage has pivoted from topic to topic — the travel ban, Obama wiretap claims, Russia investigation, ObamaCare repeal, Charlottesville — there’s been little variation in the negative tone of coverage each month.

[...]

The networks focused most of their evaluative coverage on immigration, the NFL and the private jet flights of cabinet officials (especially Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, who resigned September 29).

Not surprisingly, 100% of the coverage of the expensive jet flights by Cabinet officials was negative, as was nearly all (96%) of the coverage of the administration’s immigration policy. On September 5, for example, CBS Evening News anchor Anthony Mason framed the President’s decision to end the Obama-era DACA program as “a dream lost for thousands of undocumented immigrants,” while a subsequent story by correspondent John Blackstone focused only on the negative reaction of those who benefited from the policy.

In other words: Noyes and Ciandella are once again complaining that stories are being accurately reported. They don't explain what possible "positive" coverage should have been given to, say, those private jet flights by Cabinet officials.

As before, Noyes and Ciandella have ensured their results are biased by narrowly focusing only on network evening newscasts(and pretending they're representative of the entire media) and refusing to acknowledge the existence of neutral coverage, forcing everything into a binary narrative in which everything is either "negative" or "positive" -- their so-called "methodology" states it counted only "evaluative statements which imparted a clear positive or negative tone to the story." And once again, they refuse to back up their work with a complete list of the actual statements they claim to have evaluated.

It's bad research specifically designed to reinforce a political agenda -- the only kind the MRC is apparently capable of doing.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:07 PM EDT
WND Wants You To Know Shooter Had A 'Muslim Name'
Topic: WorldNetDaily

When WorldNetDaily called on Leo Hohmann to write about a pair of shootings in Maryland and Delaware, he knew what his job was: to demonize the shooter as a Muslim, even though he had no idea of his actual religion.

So, while the gunman was still on the loose, Hohmann wrote an article carrying the headline "FBI hunts gunman with Muslim name in 2-state shooting spree." It carried the subhead "'Armed and dangerous' Radee Labeeb struck in Maryland, Delaware."

Actaully, the shooter's name is Radee Prince -- somewhere along the line, Hohmann forgot he had a last name, because he had to sell Prince as a Muslim:

“Labeeb” is one of Allah’s 99 names, according to Islamic tradition. Al-Labeeb means “the one with passion and heart” in Arabic. “Radee” means approval. The whole name Radee LaBeeb means “an approval or agreement of Allah.”

Never mind that at no point does Hohmann offer any evidence at all that Prince actually is Muslim. He sounds like a Muslim, and that's all the "fact-checking" Hohmann can be bothered to do.

After prince was captured, Hohmann updated the headline but kept the Muslim-baiting: "Shooter with Muslim name kills 3, now in custody."ANd he was mad that authoritiesdidn't immediately rush to judgment and declare Prince a jihadist without bothering to do an investigation:

Police initially called it a “workplace shooting” because Labeeb Prince is reportedly a machine operator at the Advanced Granite Solutions in Edgewood, a little over 25 miles northeast of Baltimore. He has worked there about four months, according to company owner by Barak Caba.

At a 4 p.m. press conference, Wilmington Police Chief Robert Tracy was still trying to sell the attack to the public as work place violence.

“Every one of the victims that this individual shot, the victims and the offender knew each other. So these were targeted shootings, for whatever reason,” Chief Robert Tracy told reporters.

Rather than work place violence, it’s also possible that Prince was carrying out a planned jihadist attack on multiple soft targets.

Again, Hohmann offers no evidence -- none -- that Prince is a jihadist or even a Muslim. Merely having a Muslim-sounding name is enough for Hohmann to spew unfounded conspiracy theories.

That's extremely lazy and biased journalism, even by WND standards.


Posted by Terry K. at 4:16 AM EDT
Thursday, October 19, 2017
NEW ARTICLE: The MRC's Selective Outrage on Sexual Harassment
Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center is happy to lecture about Harvey Weinstein -- but was mostly AWOL when prominent conservatives were exposed as sexual harassers and misogynists. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 10:30 AM EDT
After Vegas Massacre, WND Still Doesn't Want To Talk About Dylann Roof
Topic: WorldNetDaily

We've previously documented WorldNetDaily's reluctant to hae a serious conversation about Dylann Roof, the young man who murdered several black churchgoers in Charleston, S.C., in 2015 -- WND would rather talk about anything other than the white supremacist views he held, and which WND was working on the fringes of prior to the shooting.

After the Las Vegas massacre -- which seemed like a good time to rehash previous mass shootings -- WND made sure not to talk about Roof.

Shortly after the shooting, WND's Alicia Powe wrote an article declaring that "Over the last 20 years, the perpetrators of nearly all the deadliest mass shooting in the United States have shared one of two traits: Besides killing innocents with firearms, they either were Muslims or were using mind-altering psychiatric drugs." The article included a list of those perpetrators -- a list that curiously omitted Roof, despite the fact that WND has previously argued that Roof was "a young man who was into long-term and hard-core drug abuse" and allegedly using the "powerful narcotic" suboxone, and published another article placing Roof on its "big list of drug-induced killers."

WND managing editor David Kupelian followed with an Oct. 8 column that rushed to blame "the left" for somehow making Stephen Paddock commit the Vegas massacre:

Within this nihilistic worldview, a person like Stephen Paddock, who for whatever reason decides to shoot hundreds of human beings, is arguably just changing the form and configuration of their energy and matter from one form into another. Not that Paddock consciously thought this way; demons controlled his mind. He was extremely angry at whatever had gone wrong in his life and wanted revenge – and, probably, also to be remembered as a notorious mass-murderer.

Friends, this is a dangerous realm into which the left is ushering us, this place where there is no objective meaning, no absolute right and wrong, no good and evil, no moral and immoral, no male and female – where everything is relative and means whatever you choose it to mean, all because you demand ultimate freedom. Because when nothing means anything, even murder is reduced to rearranging matter and energy in other people from one form to another.

Kupelian doesn't mention Roof in his article -- he can't, because he can't blame "the left" for Roof's racism.That's a phenomenon of his side of the ledger.

WND did do an article that referenced Roof, albeit a few days before the Vegas massacre. An anonymously written Sept. 30 article noted the claim that a black man who killed one person and wounded several others at a church in Tennessee did so in retaliation for Roof's massacre. WND called Roof a "white supremacist" but didn't note how his views on black crime and South Africa paralleled that of WND.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:52 AM EDT
Wednesday, October 18, 2017
MRC Still Pretending Anti-Muslim Group Isn't Anti-Muslim
Topic: Media Research Center

We've noted how the Media Research Center has defended right-wing anti-Muslim group ACT for America against charges that it's, well, anti-Muslim. It did so again in an Oct. 5 post by Corrine Weaver:

The Southern Poverty Law Center is at it again -- spreading hate against people it disagrees with.

This time, the SPLC targeted ACT for America during ACT’s seventh annual national conference. The assault triggered a response among liberals eager to prove their fidelity to SPLC’s intolerant agenda of hate. The SPLC attacked ACT as the “largest anti-Muslim organization in the U.S.,” and criticized Marriott hotels for hosting the conference. It also claimed Media Research Center president Brent Bozell was a person “better known for bashing LBGT persons.”

ACT for America isn’t what the SPLC pretends. It’s a “national security grassroots organization,” that has more than 750,000 members and 12,000 activists who help to “educate, engage, and mobilize citizens and elected officials to impact legislative outcomes to protect America.” The group, founded by Brigitte Gabriel, focuses on radical Islamic terrorism. However, the SPLC has translated this mission to mean “anti-Muslim,” even though a practicing Muslim spoke at ACT’s 2016 conference.

Founder Brigitte Gabriel defended ACT in a written statement to Newsbusters, “Our members include Jews, Christians, Muslims, Atheists, Buddhists, Hindus, gays and Lesbians indeed people from all backgrounds coming together to ensure America stays a safe and free country. The speaker right after Brent was an Ex-Muslim from the Palestinian territory. The man who read his introduction was a gay guy that works for us who organized ‘The Deplorable Inaugural Ball’ and had worked on the Trump campaign. He is our lead activism strategist.”

How funny that the extent of Weaver's "research" on whether ACT! for America hates Muslims is peruse its website and talk to its leader to get quotes denying. She also doesn't bother to examine the evidencethe SPLC uses to identify Gabriel's group as anti-Muslim, such as her various Islamophobic rantings.

Weaver also fails to mention ACT for America's ties to white nationalism, which the SPLC has also pointed out. She also didn't mention one other reason she's rushing to Gabriel's defense: She'll be a guest on the MRC's cruise to Alaska next year.

Instead, Weaver was merely content to engage in some lazy SPLC-bashing, rehashing the usual right-wing attack lines.

Weaver isn't the only MRC employee who got marching orders to defend Gabriel and her group. CNSNews.com managing editor Michael W. Chapman ranted in an Oct. 13 "news" article:

Left-wing activists and Muslim advocates are trying to besmirch and silence the mainstream national security group ACT for America, labeling the organization an "anti-Muslim hate group," protesting against its conferences and rallies, and urging lawmakers to condemn them, according to documents from the activists and remarks made by ACT for America President Brigitte Gabriel. 

"We are the NRA of national security," Gabriel, a Lebanese-American, told CNSNews.com. "We want to empower citizens to become active in their community.... We want to make sure America preserves its identity, its traditions, its Constitution, its American values, including especially the protection of freedom of speech -- preserve America in the way our Founding Fathers envisioned it.”

As Weaver did, Chapman lazily takes Gabriel at her word that ACT for America isn't anti-Muslim -- and uncritically repeats her assertion that any criticism of her group might as well be coming from the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a longtime bogeyman for conservatives -- and refuses to examine the particulars of the SPLC's case against it.

Chapman is rather desperate to paint ACT for America as "mainstream," using the word in the headline of his article as well as the lead paragraph. Perhaps that's an attempt at cover for the MRC to justify inviting Gabriel on its cruise (which Chapman, like Weaver, neglects to mention).

Interestingly, at  no point in either article -- despite both Weaver and Chapman serving as pro-Gabriel stenographers -- does Gabriel offer any definitive evidence that would disprove the claim that ACT for America is anti-Muslim.

Both Gabriel and the MRC seem to think that hurling enough empty words at critics are enough to dispel criticism.

UPDATE: While we were writing the above, the MRC posted another item on Gabriel, an interview with her at the Values Voter Summit in which Katie Yoder lets her rant at length against the SPLC's designation of her group. Again, no refutation of the claim ACT for America is anti-Muslim, no mention of the evidence the SPLC used to make its claim, and no disclosure that Gabriel is a guest on an MRC cruise.


Posted by Terry K. at 5:17 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, October 18, 2017 5:22 PM EDT
WND's Dubious Doc Flip-Flops on Opioid Epidemic
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Dubious doc Jane Orient of the far-right Association of American Physicians and Surgeons opines on the opioid epidemic in a Sept. 29 WorldNetDaily column:

Legalizing what was formerly called the “gateway drug” obviously hasn’t reduced heroin use. The new gateway is now said to be prescription painkillers, and the chief villains are claimed to be legal pharmaceutical manufacturers, doctors and pharmacists. Because of multiplying regulations and physician prosecutions, patients who urgently need pain relief are being left in agony. But the ODs continue to mount, mostly on drugs not stocked at Walgreens – such as heroin laced with fentanyl, an extremely potent synthetic opioid.

What is going on? On the demand side, Americans are well indoctrinated by the sea of advertising about taking a pill for every ill. Nearly 70 percent of Americans take at least one prescription drug. Then there is the pervasive culture of instant gratification and moral relativism. As Paul Harvey predicted in his classic 1965 monologue “If I Were the Devil,” these trends would lead to metal detectors and drug-sniffing dogs in schools.

On the supply side, profits are enormous. The largest seizure to date of 63.8 kg of powdered fentanyl plus 30,000 counterfeit drug tablets, found in a tractor-trailer rig at a checkpoint near Yuma, Arizona, had a street value of $1.2 billion. Most of the fentanyl comes from China – a turnabout from the Opium Wars.

[...]

While pouring billions into costly treatment methods with a one-year failure rate of around 90 percent, the government continues to provide “free” opioid prescriptions to Medicare and Medicaid enrollees, some of whom sell them on the street. And the Massachusetts attorney general shut down a network of sobriety-centric primary-care-based clinics with an astonishingly high success rate and imprisoned the founder, Dr. Punyamurtula Kishore. His alleged crime: ordering too many urine tests.

Is there any way such massive international trafficking could thrive without some level of political protection? And is the government attempt to remedy the problem making it worse?

Ini fact, what Kishore actually did was far worse than ordering "too many urine tests"; he paid illegal kickbacks to the operators of sober houses to do urine tests for them, which was even more illegal because those sober-house clients never met with providers employed by Kishore as required. Kishore pleaded guilty to fraud, received a jail sentence and was ordered to pay $9.3 million in restitution. The success of Kishore's methods are irrelevant if he's committing fraud to promote them.

Further, Orient seems to have forgotten that the AAPS -- for which she serves as executive director -- used to defend opioid-pushing doctors. In 2005, we documented how AAPS was an excuse-maker for William Hurwitz, a Virginia doctor specializing in chronic pain relief sentenced to prison for drug trafficking in the form of prescribing hundreds of opioid pills per day to patients, at least one of whom died.

Orient heself wrote a commentary defending Hurwitz, asserting that "many patients, who had tried everything else that modern medicine offers without relief, have been restored to a productive, relatively normal life by opioids, even in doses that could knock out an opioid-naïve horse." She insisted that "High-dose opioids, used properly, are relatively safe," going on to lament that "Opioids, however, are unique in the risk they pose to the physician: prosecution for drug dealing -- or even for murder should a patient die while using the drugs." Orient went on to huff:

Now that he's been shackled and carted off to prison, possibly for life, prosecutors may be popping champagne corks and preparing new indictments. 

The effect on the illegal prescription-drug traffic in Virginia because he has been convicted will be precisely zilch. This is known with absolute certainty: the last prescription Hurwitz wrote was in December 2002 when he voluntarily closed his practice.

We won't know how many patients will suffer torture because of the deterrent effect on other doctors. But it's not the DEA's problem. It did its duty. A message has been sent, in the interest of protecting the public health from demon drugs. 

Shouldn't all patients be willing to be sacrificed for such a noble objective?

In her WND column, Orient admits that "medical opinion is shifting in the opposite direction" on opioids. Perhaps she should apologize for her past defense of massive doses of opioids and show that her medical opinion has shifted as well.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:50 AM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, October 18, 2017 8:49 AM EDT
Tuesday, October 17, 2017
MRC Blogger Freaks Out Over Idea That Conservatives Should Challenge Their Readers
Topic: Media Research Center

Media Research Center blogger Clay Waters devotes an Oct. 13 post to a big ol' freakout over a New York Times column:

It was only a matter of time. A New York Times opinion piece attacked conservative opinion media outlets as prejudiced and cowardly (including a rising conservative star) while purportedly criticizing right-wing groupthink in “The Hollow Bravery of Ben Shapiro,” posted Thursday.

Contributor Jane Coaston, a former MTV news writer who has recently penned liberal political essays for the New York Times Sunday magazine, smeared influential conservative writer and speaker Ben Shapiro (who has appeared in threatening environments when delivering talks on liberal college campuses) as cowardly for not challenging his fans' awful right-wing opinions.

Keep in mind that Shapiro opposed Trump, which hardly ingratiates him to the people Coaston is considering.

The focus of Coaston's column is Shapiro's initial refusal to remove a racist Columbus Day video off his Daily Wire website until the bipartisan criticism grew too loud for him to ignore. Waters immediately rushed to Shapiro's defense, declaring that "Shapiro had that video taken down and apologized for leaving it up on the Daily Wire as long as he had" and later complained, "Shapiro did everything he could after the Columbus Day video gaffe, but Coaston still roasted him."

Well, no. Shapiro initially defended the video -- something Waters ignores -- because "conservatives are allowed to make satire, too." It took another day for Shapiro to realize the controversy wasn't going away; only then did he relent and have the video removed. That's hardly doing "everything he could."

Waters then went on a defensive tit-for-tat tirade against the column writer, first responding to Coaston's criticism of conservative attacks on transgenders that require "denying scientific fact":

The new official term is “gender dysphoria," but until 2013, “gender identity disorder” was included in theDiagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM, in various editions), meaning the diagnosis was accepted in the authoritative manual of the psychiatric field until a few years ago.

She attacked one of Donald Trump’s campaign “falsehoods” that “America’s inner cities are hellholes and that black people have ‘nothing to lose’....”

Many liberals consider black life in America to be a racist hellhole, but when Trump says something similar it’s ludicrous?

Water's then deflected from Coaston's point that conservative media are cowardly for failing to encourage debate on issues among its readers:

Actually, it takes far more courage for a conservative to speak on a left-wing campus than it does a liberal speaker to talk on a conservative campus, as shown by how then-presidential candidate Bernie Sanders appeared at Liberty University without unleashing violent acts. To get to her unbalanced blame of the right, Coaston had to glide over the violence and property damage radical leftists like Antifa provoke on college campuses, not to mention the intolerance of conservative thought in general.

Sanders at Liberty University is not the best example Waters could have cited, since, first, Liberty refuses to permit the existence of a College Democrats chapter at the school and otherwise strictly controls the lives of its students; and second, Sanders was a token liberal chosen to dispel the (not unfounded) notion that the school only invites conservatives to speak. And third, Sanders' appearance was in August 2015, well before politics got really ugly.

If Waters wants to see firsthand the monoculture of conservative thought the Times columnist was railing against, all he has to do is visit the MRC's "news" division, CNSNews.com, which these days is largely Trump stenography.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:42 PM EDT
90-Year-Old Fake News: WND Columnist Gets Hollywood Scandal Wrong
Topic: WorldNetDaily

In his Oct. 11 WorldNetDaily column, Erik Rush recites the history of "Hollywood excess" that allegedly resulted in the Harvey Weinstein sexual harassment scandal. His first example of this: "silent film actor Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle killing ‎Virginia Rappe with a wine bottle in 1921 (he did not beat her to death with it)."

In fact, the available evidence is that he didn't do either.

Actual historians at the Smithsonian recounted the case. Witnesses reportedly corroborated Arbuckle's claim that he was never alone with Rappe, and he claimed that she tore off her own clothes complaining she couldn't breathe. As far as Rush's implication that Arbuckle killed her by raping her with a wine bottle (she died of a ruptured bladder, and medical evidence introduced at trial showed she had a chronic bladder condition) even the National Enquirer doesn't buy it.

Arbuckle was tried three times; the first two ended in hung juries, and the third returned an innocent verdict in five minutes, four of which were reportedly used to prepare a statement apologizing to Arbuckle for the injustice he suffered. Alas, Arbuckle's career and life were ruined beyond repair by this point, driven by sensationalized media coverage of the case, and he died in 1933.

WND's penchant for publishing fake news is clearly not limited to current events.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:21 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, October 17, 2017 3:45 PM EDT

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