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Tuesday, November 14, 2017
MRC Incapable Of Unequivocally Denouncing Roy Moore
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center is running into the same problem with Roy Moore that it had with Bill O'Reilly: an inabilty to criticize the bad behavior of a prominent conservative without equivocating it with something else.

Mike Ciandella, for instance, complains that the Moore's perving on teenage girls is being covered more than the corruption trial of Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez (as usual limiting his media view to network news and completely ignoring cable). Of course, he plays the "if true" card on the way to his equivocation:

The media are right to cover the allegations of child molestation against Alabama Senatorial Candidate Roy Moore. If these allegations are true, they are inexcusable and unforgivable, and voters in that state have a right to know about them. Yet, the same media outlets that have moments of clarity when it comes to Republican scandals and corruption turn a blind eye when the scandals and corruption come from a Democrat.

Rich Noyes churned out a more in-depth -- but still biased and narrowly constructed -- study comparing Moore and Menendez coverage, with an added whine about "the liberal media’s double-standard on ethics: A Democrat’s corruption scandal is kept under wraps, while a Republican’s alleged transgressions are given saturation coverage." Speaking of double standards: Noyes apparently doesn't know that the "news" arm of the MRC, CNSNews.com, completely ignored the Moore story for four days.

Jeffrey Lord -- who played dumb about sexual harassment claims against Roger Ailes -- echoed Ciandella: "This sudden and massive coverage of Alabama GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore and a 38-year old charge of sex with a 14 year old? Where is all the massive on-going liberal media coverage of Democratic Senator Bob Menendez’s trial for corruption and bribery? It isn’t there. Funny how that works, yes?  No, actually."

Scott Whitlock conceded that the accusations against Moore are "serious" -- then whined that the media identified him as a conservative Republican.

Curtis Houck also agreed the allegations are "damning" -- but then attacked the Washington Post for publishing them:

The allegations are damning and a clear example of not living life according to The Ten Commandments, but that doesn’t mean The Post is absolved from being labeled a part of the liberal machine. Allegations and important reporting can come from outlets across the political spectrum (e.g. Ronan Farrow’s masterful Harvey Weinstein stories in The New Yorker), but it’s important to recognize where stories are coming from.

Yet we can't recall an instance in which the MRC dismissed an allegation about a liberal made by a conservative media outlet because of where the story came from.

The MRC then moved to the Clinton Equivocation phase of the story. Tim Graham cheered that "Slick Willie" was brought up, however briefly, and Nicholas Fondacaro huffed: "Voters couldn’t be skeptical about the allegations against Moore, but her network and the rest of the media could be skeptical, omit, and deny the allegations against their precious Bill Clinton." And Houck rejoiced when CNN's Jake Tapper claimed that Clinton's accusers did not get "the same respect" in the media that Moore's accusers have.

Meanwhile, the MRC that contiuously portrayed Bill Clinton's accusers as unimpeachable has yet to make any sort of statement about the veracity of Moore's accusers, apparently incapable of even the most innocuous statement that they should be believed. By staying silent, the MRC is not showing them the same respect they showed Clinton's accusers.

In other words, the MRC sexual harassment double standard continues.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:01 PM EST
Updated: Tuesday, November 14, 2017 3:12 PM EST
WND Columnist Fabricates A Story to Defend Roy Moore
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Once-regular WorldNetDaily columnist Janet Porter -- an Obama-hater and anti-abortion extremist -- writes only sporadically for WND these days, but she makes up for lost time in her Nov. 12 column, in which she fabricates an alternate history to defend Roy Moore:

Godly. Courageous. Unwavering. These are not words typically used to describe members of the United States Senate. Maybe that’s why there’s so much pushback against Judge Roy Moore, a godly, courageous and unwavering man, if ever there were one.

The Republican establishment couldn’t take him out, so now the fake news arm of the Democratic Party is at bat against the man who would rather lose his job on the Alabama Supreme Court than break one of the Ten Commandments or give up his right to display them.

But how do you attack a man of untarnished integrity?

When your target is so squeaky clean, there’s no mud to sling. Mud must be manufactured.

Here’s a glimpse at how:

Amazon’s Jeff Bezos checks in on his $250 million investment by dropping by his Washington Post, which just endorsed Judge Moore’s opponent: “Judge Roy Moore is still up in the polls? What do I pay you people for?

“I’ve got it! Let’s hop on the Weinstein wagon and accuse him of something sexual.” 

 Such an outrageous suggestion couldn’t even pass a Washington Post straight-face test.

A young reporter, wanting to impress: “Hey, I got a woman who said Moore played the guitar and read her poetry when she was 18.”

“Will she say she was younger?”

“Not this one.”  

“Then find someone else – did he ever sit next to an underage girl at the courthouse?”  

“Yes … but she’s a self-admitted suicidal, drug-using, three-time divorcee who filed for bankruptcy three times, whose statute of limitations on her claim without a witness ran out 35 years ago.”

“What are you waiting for? Print it.”

And, on que, the gleeful Republican establishment lined up to repudiate an innocent man.

And on queue, a gleeful Moore supporter slimes an accuser because she can't discredit anything she says.

Porter then slobbers over Moore again, proclaiming him "the godly, courageous, unwavering candidate the establishment and the enemy want most to destroy."

As someone who embraced anti-Obama conspiracy theories, Porter is no stranger to spreading lies.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:10 AM EST
Monday, November 13, 2017
Not News Here: CNS Very Slow To Report on Roy Moore Scandal
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com purports to be a news outlet, what with the word "news" in its name and all. But it clearly cares little for reporting news that does not advance its right-wing agenda.

Take, as just one example, the story of Roy Moore and his perving on teenage girls as a 30-something adult. When the Washington Post broke the story on Nov. 9, CNS apparently didn't think it was news, even though it concerns a prominent conservative politician who attack on the Southern Poverty Law Center managing editor Michael W. Chapman touted earlier this year and whose ranting against gay marriage CNS promoted in 2015.

No stories about Moore appeared the next day -- its lead story for much of the day was about the Air Force needing pilots. What did appear, oddly enough, was two stories highlighting child marriage in Islamic countries. If that was a way for CNS to deflect from Moore bypointing out other places that are even more pervy about teen girls that Moore has been accused of being, that was a bizarre way to do it.

Finally, four days after the story broke, CNS finally got around to doing a story about Moore -- a summary by Susan Jones of Moore's friendly appearance on fellow conservative Sean Hannity's radio show, in which he denied the charges. Jones made sure to write it as favorable to Moore as possible and highlighting his blaming the controversy on a media "agenda," not on his own actions.

It appears that if it's not good news for conservative, CNS is simply not going to report it at all -- at least until it can find a way to put a positive spin on it. That's not anybody's definition of a "news" operation.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:18 PM EST
There's A James Woods-Sized Hole In WND Article On Hollywood Sexual Misbehavior
Topic: WorldNetDaily

It's no surpise that WorldNetDaily would rush to the defense of Roy Moore over allegations of inappropriate behavior with teenagers -- after all, it published Moore's autobiography and has lots of copies to sell.

One of those defenses was a Nov. 9 article by Alicia Powe declaring: "The growing number of celebrities accused of sexual misbehavior have another thing in common: They have unleashed vitriolic and sometimes violent rhetoric against Donald Trump."

But Powe omitted one conspicuous exception to that rule. As we'e documented, actor James Woods has been accused of inappropriate behavior with actress Amber Tamblyn and has a history of dating women young enough to be his granddaughter.

But that didn't make it into Powe's article. Why? Woods is a prominent Trump supporter. That would have spoiled her article and undermined WND's pro-Moore agenda.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:31 PM EST
Updated: Monday, November 13, 2017 11:27 PM EST
Sunday, November 12, 2017
Newsmax's Hirsen Tries to Smear Roy Moore Accuser
Topic: Newsmax

For some reason, Newsmax columnist James Hirsen feels the need to launch nasty attacks on the women who accused Alabama senatorial candidate Roy Moore of perving on them when they were teenagers.

In a Nov. 10 tweet, Hirsen went on the attack: "Purportedly Moore’s main accuser Leigh Corfman has had three divorces, filed for bankruptcy three times, and has been charged with multiple misdemeanors. Posts on Moore's FB page indicate that Corfman, has claimed several pastors at various churches made sexual advances at her."

Hirsen retweeted other attacks on the accusers and defenses of Moore.

Ironically (or perhaps not so much), Gibson is close to a Hollywood star with a history of questionable behavior toward women, Mel Gibson. As we've documented, Hirsen headed a group that owned a tract of land in Pennsylvania where Gibson's father founded a branch of an ultraconservative Catholic sect, and has promoted Gibson on websites including Newsmax without disclosing his personal ties to the star. And when tapes surfaced revealing Gibson saying hateful and abusive things to an ex-girlfriend, he first ignored the story, then ran to his defense by claiming the tapes were edited. Only then did Hirsen finally disclose at Newsmax that he is a "business associate and friend" of Gibson.

Is this really the way Newsmax wants one of its columnists to behave? Given that it's given Hirsen a pass on his unethical behavior so far, perhaps so.

UPDATE: Hirsen, who claims to be an attorney, offered up this Nov. 13 post on Moore's threat to sue the Washington Post for publishing thet story about his accusers: "False publication that harms reputation is actionable defamation."

But if the claims are false, shouldn't Moore be suing his accusers instead of a newspaper? Further, Moore would have to claim actual malice -- that the Post knew the claims were false and published the story anyway -- for Moore's lawsuit to have any chance of success. Thus far, he has offered no such evidence against either the accusers or the Post.

Maybe Hirsen shouldn't be bragging so much about being a lawyer.

And in his new Newsmax column, Hirsen continued his pro-Moore defense campaign, delcaring the allegations to be "fake news." He manages to avoid repeating his defamatory claims about Corfman -- which are arguably more actionable in court than anything the Post has published about Moore, so good on Hirsen for belatedly figuring that out -- but he repeated other irrelevant information about another accuser, as if being "a sign language interpreter for then-Vice President Joe Biden" has any bearing on the current controversy."

Hirsen proudly claims that "It is predictable and wholly rational for Judge Moore’s backers to doubt the veracity of the Post story," adding: "Alabamians have little faith in the mainstream media, particularly the Post. On the other hand, Judge Moore is known statewide as an individual who after successfully running for office served as chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court."

And, now, suspected pedophile. Hirsen won't admit that, of course.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:17 PM EST
Updated: Monday, November 13, 2017 3:04 PM EST
WND's Favorite Ex-Soviet Bloc Spymaster Still Won't Talk About Trump And Russia
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Ion Mihai Pacepa, the former Soviet Bloc spymaster who's a big friend of WorldNetDaily, endorsed Donald Trump and dismissed reports of links between his presidential campaign. Aside from a lame attempt to spin things last December by claiming that Russians do this all the time and that Trump is the real victim here, he's been completely silent on the issue, even as evidence of connections between the Trump campaign and Russia have continued to pile up and the man he touted as Trump's possible CIA chief -- Michael Flynn, who instead was named national security adviser -- was fired over his cozy contacts with the Kremlin.

And that silence continues. Pacepa's first bylined article at WND in more than a year is not not about Trump and Russia -- despite the fact he might actually have some insight into how former KGB chief Vladimir Putin operates -- but, as the article states, about "his latest insights into the Kennedy assassination."

Seems like somebody might be embarrassed to admit they backed a very corrupt horse as president.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:21 PM EST
Saturday, November 11, 2017
AIM's Trump Defense: It All Depends On What The Meaning Of 'Know' Is
Topic: Accuracy in Media

Accuracy in Media's Jon Street is apparently such a Trump loyalist that he devoted a Nov. 2 column to redefining the word "know" to try and separate Trump from George Papadopoulos, a Trump campaign staffer who recently pleaded guilty to lying about his contacts with Russians during the campaign. Street complained the media is portraying Papadopoulos as "among the president's most senior advisors":

CNN, too, pushed the narrative that Papadopoulos was among Trump’s most senior campaign staff.

“President Donald Trump and his stable of surrogates have tried to discredit former campaign adviser George Papadopoulos in the wake of his guilty plea to special counsel Robert Mueller, casting him as nothing more than a low-level ‘coffee boy’ who rarely — if ever — interacted with senior members of Trump’s campaign,” CNN’s Dan Merica in an article published Tuesday.

“Those comments, though, belie Papadopoulos’ actual role in the campaign, as laid out by Mueller’s statement of charges, and use misinformation and inaccuracies to deride the former campaign adviser,” Merica added. Merica based his claim on two factors that do not clearly establish that Papadopoulos’ seniority in the Trump campaign.

First, Merica suggested that a single photo showing Papadapoulous sitting at a conference table with Trump and others in March 2016 somehow proves Papadopoulos was among the campaign’s most senior staffers.

Second, Merica pointed to a March 2016 Washington Post interview in which Trump called Papadopoulos an “excellent guy.” Merica argued that it was because of these two instances that Trump “knew” Papadopoulos.

As a presidential candidate, Trump, like every other candidate, held numerous meetings with various policymakers, advisers and experts. To suggest that Trump “knew” every single one of those individuals is, quite frankly, naive.

As to Trump’s comment that Papadopoulos is an “excellent guy,” Trump often comments on what he thinks of someone, particularly if they work for him, whenever mentioning them by name. This was true when Trump was a private businessman leading the Trump organization. It was true when he was a presidential candidate overseeing a campaign. And it’s true now that he’s president and head of the Executive Branch.

In short, as far as we know at this point, Trump did not “know” Papadopoulos and Papadopoulos was not part of Trump’s senior campaign staff. CNN, the Post and others would do well to acknowledge as much.

In short, Street is effectively confessing that Trump is a serial exaggerator, if not a liar, and anything he says should not be taken at face value. That's hardly a rousing defense.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:19 PM EST
WND's Kupelian Is Giddy Over 'Good News' of Trump Presidency
Topic: WorldNetDaily

David Kupelian's Nov. 1 column is excerpted from the October issue of WorldNetDaily's little-read Whistleblower magazine, with the theme of "good news." one of those "good news" things, apparently, includes "'What Trump has accomplished in just 8 months' – a comprehensive look at genuinely good news you will never hear from the establishment media."

Kupelian -- who sold out his sense of morality to back a thrice-married adulterer and misogynist for president -- embodied that in his column. After citing the usual heartwarming examples of good people doing good things, Kupelian concluded his column this way:

Of course, the best news of the last year is the election of Donald Trump as president, who on Nov. 8, 2016, did what none of the other 16 capable and honorable Republican presidential candidates could have pulled off: He won the election and denied the presidency to Hillary Clinton. He defeated the person anointed and predestined by the D.C. establishment in a rigged game where seemingly the entire Washington “swamp” – including not just the Democratic Party, the globalist elite, the entire press corps, the outgoing Obama administration and the “deep state,” but scandalously many Republicans as well – were arrayed in battle against him.

Why was electing Trump the best news of the year? In case you have forgotten, Hillary Clinton is not just a committed left-winger who would have continued Obama’s utterly disastrous foreign and domestic agenda. She’s also a criminal. Yes, criminal – you know, the kind of person who should be in prison. The Clinton crime currently being publicized – that in return for over a hundred million dollars she gave a fifth of America’s strategic uranium to an enemy state, Russia – is just one out of dozens of crimes spanning decades. And beyond her and her husband’s corruption and rank criminality, Hillary lies, literally, as easily as most people breathe.

One more thing: For a vivid reminder of the truly dark alternate reality we were spared – America under the rule of President Hillary Clinton – read my scariest article of the last year, “President Hillary: America’s Nurse Ratched,” in which I flesh out the chilling parallels between Hillary Clinton as president and Nurse Louise Rached, the notorious villain in “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.” The head administrative nurse in a mental hospital, Nurse Ratched is hands-down the craziest and most dangerous person in the whole “Cuckoo’s Nest.” That is the alternate future Americans were spared – thanks to a merciful God, and to the tireless and courageous efforts of Donald J. Trump.

Think about that the next time you’re offended by one of his early-morning tweets.

Well, we read that column. It was a paranoid, hateful rant in which he attacked Hillary as "vainglorious" and disdainful of "any higher standard of truth." as well as a "malignant" narcissist who is "always phony, manipulative, calculating, blaming, deflecting – always lying."

That describes his idol Donald Trump too, but Kupelian is too invested in the fantasy to ever admit that.

Kupelian will continue to use WND to deceive and lie in order to boost Trump and smear his critics, as well as hurl all the slime he can find at Hillary. We're just not seeing the good news in this sleazy journalistic amorality.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:54 AM EST
Friday, November 10, 2017
MRC's Double Standard on News Outlets Using Fusion GPS
Topic: NewsBusters

NewsBusters' Tom Blumer uses a Nov. 4 post to go on a major tirade over oppo-research group Fusion GPS and its hiring by the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign:

Now that Hillary Clinton has admitted that her campaign and the Democratic National Committee — which we now know her campaign totally controlled beginning in August 2015 — paid Fusion GPS for the infamous Trump-Russia dossier, it's long past time that people understand the full scope of what that firm, which has been serially misrepresented as just another "opposition research" outlet, has done to change the media landscape.

Don't count on the establishment press to do it, because, as we'll see, Fusion has played a major role in corrupting their determination of what "news" is, how it gets covered — and how it gets covered up.

[...]

Fusion doesn't just hand over what it finds to its clients. It actively works to place stories with reporters desperate for scoops they'll never find on their own. Their related dispatches almost invariably claim that their stories came from anonymous sources.

[...]

The overarching point here is that when a political campaign or a client engages Fusion GPS, it is not merely looking for "opposition research."

Hillary Clinton outsourced a key component of her campaign's communications effort to a group of news manipulators and smear merchants. Her campaign concealed that arrangement, and intended to keep it permanently away from public scrutiny, by funneling payments to Fusion GPS through the campaign's law firm. (In the Venezuelan matter noted above, "Fusion GPS says being paid by a law firm means all paperwork about their work ... (was) covered by attorney-client privilege.")

The very act of hiring Fusion GPS indicates that Hillary Clinton and her campaign intended to smear Donald Trump and his campaign with accusations — even if false — about their involvement or "collusion" with Russia. This determination, apparently shared by the lame-duck Obama administration's FBI, continued even after she lost the general election a year ago.

For all this ranting about Fusion GPS' media work, exactly none of his ire is directed at the right-wing media outlet that hired Fusion GPS to look into Republican presidential candidates, including Trump, in the first place: the Washington Free Beacon.Blumer only referenced it in passing by quoting from an article admitting that Republican funder Peter Singer "hired the firm on behalf of the Washington Free Beacon to do research on all of the GOP candidates during the primary, including Trump."

Despite Blumer effectively conceding this inconvenient fact, he does not criticize the Free Beacon for laundering the work of an oppo-research firm through its "journalism" operation. He does not call out the Free Beacon for being among the "news manipulators and smear merchants" who made use of Fusion GPS research while failing to disclose it was hired to do exactly that. And Blumer does not declare the Free Beacon to be a political operation hiding behind a scrim of "journalism."

Just another example of how the Media Research Center has different standards for right-wing media than it does for regular media.


Posted by Terry K. at 6:09 PM EST
WND: White Shooter's Motive Is 'Irrelevant'
Topic: WorldNetDaily

After the recent terror attack in New York City, WorldNetDaily couldn't wait to brand the perpetrator a jihadist, serving up an etymology of his Muslim-y name and complaining that authorities were bothering to investigate the crime at all when all they had to do is look at his name and simply declare him a terrorist.

But when a white guy kills three times as many people as the guy in New York did, WND suddenly wants to tap the brakes.

WND's first story on the church massacre at Sutherland Springs, Texas, -- perpetrated by the decidedly non-Muslim-y sounding and looking Devin Kelley -- included a quote it felt was so important that it was made the article's subhead:

Jim Richards, executive director of the Southern Baptists of Texas told Fox News: “This tragedy is just incomprehensible.”

“They’re wanting to see lives transformed. And just to have such a demonic attack. It is a spiritual war we’re involved in.”

“The motive is irrelevant,” he continued. “It is evil. We live in a fallen world. All of us have a propensity toward evil …”

Funny how motives in violent crime matter to WND only if the perpetrator isn't white.

And remember that article WND published after the Las Vegas massacre insisting that masscare perpetrators are either Muslim or on drugs? Well, WND took the latter approach to deflect hard questions about Kelley in a follow-up article, in which Bob Unruh played up an unverified claim by someone claiming to be "Kelley's former classmate" saying that "I know his parents had him on heavy doses of meds in middle school." That quote also graduated to the subhead.

WND really hasn't published much about the shooter and his motives since. Figures.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:29 AM EST
Thursday, November 9, 2017
WND's Favorite Prophet-Type Guy Cheers ISIS Destruction for Fulfilling His Narrative
Topic: WorldNetDaily

It's not often you see a religious figure -- specifically, a self-proclaimed Messanic Jew -- cheer the work of ISIS in destroying priceless antiquties, but that's what WorldNetDaily's favorite prophet-like figure, Jonathan Cahn, is doing. From an Oct. 28 WND article:

It’s a pattern thousands of years old. And it’s playing out in our own time.

In his latest book, messianic Rabbi Jonathan Cahn identifies “The Paradigm,” a historical pattern that plays out in different eras and in different nations that are falling away from God.

In the book, Cahn sees President Donald Trump as a figure similar to King Jehu of ancient Israel, a somewhat fiery, impulsive and blunt man who nonetheless restored Israel to the worship of the true God.

And in a recent interview with Michael Brown, a WND contributor and the author of “Outlasting The Gay Revolution,” the leader of one of the world’s largest messianic congregations drew more remarkable parallels between the Jewish warrior king and America’s combative commander-in-chief.

“When Jehu enters into the capital city, his agenda is to ‘drain the swamp,'” explained Cahn. “That is the agenda. He’s going to take out the priests of Baal, he’s going to cleanse it, that’s the whole thing, exactly what Donald Trump said he would do.

“And the other thing is that on the way to the throne, Jehu meets a man called Jehonadab … and all the commentaries identify him as saying he represents the religious conservatives of the land. And what happens is that Jehu makes an alliance with the religious conservatives on his way to power,” said Cahn.

“And that’s exactly what Donald Trump did. Without religious conservatives, he would not have won. He would not have been there. And when he gets to the capital city, he gets there with the agenda, he’s going to end Baal worship.”

Cahn pointed out that one of Trump’s first executive orders was to reimplement the Mexico City policies restricting abortion funding abroad, which protects children.

“Well, that’s essentially what Jehu did, taking away state support for Baal worship. [Jehu] even destroys the Temple of Baal.”

The cult of the pagan god Baal was marked by child sacrifice, leading Cahn and others to link it to contemporary practices of abortion. As he noted, the rise of Donald Trump also corresponded to the destruction of an ancient temple of Baal in what is now Syria.

“Kind of eerie, fascinating thing, across the world there actually existed a temple of Baal,” he observed. “It existed for 2,000 years. Well, the paradigm says when the warrior rises, the temple of Baal falls. Well, the very time Trump rose, the summer of 2015, the temple of Baal fell to the ground.”

Cahn apparently didn't tell Brown's listeners that ISIS was the folks responsible for making the temple "fall to the ground" by deliberately destroying it. WND concedes this on the fringes of its article; the picture of the temple accompanying the article notes that it shows its appearance "prior to its destruction by ISIS," and it placed a link on Cahn's statement that "the temple of Baal fell to the ground" to a New York Times article pointing out that ISIS destroyed the temple.

We highlighted earlier this  year how Cahn and WND seem inordinately proud and/or grateful of ISIS' handiwork in destroying an invaluable piece of history as they inveighed against a reconstruction of the temple arch in major cities, accusing those behind it of trying to summon an ancient god and hiding their real purpose of preserving history as a rebuke to ISIS. It seems that Cahn remains aligned with ISIS on this issue because it fulfills the narrative of his book.

Cheering the work of ISIS should not the impression any religious figure wants to leave with the public, but apparently Cahn has no problem with that.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:27 PM EST
CNS Sides With Infowars to Spite Dem Congressman
Topic: CNSNews.com

Susan Jones writes in a Nov. 2 CNSNews.com article:

Rep. Mike Quigley (D-Ill.) made himself the arbiter of "fake news" on Wednesday, pointing to an InfoWars article on the New York City terrorist attack and asking a Twitter executive, "what's your responsibility to set the record straight so that the people who saw this know that it's fake news?"

The InfoWars article in question was titled, "Imam: I Warned DeBlasio About NYC Terror; He Was Too Busy Bashing Trump." For a while on Wednesday, that story was trending at the top when Twitter users went to #NYCTerroristAttack.

But is the report fake news? And who gets to decide?

Speaking at the same hearing of the House intelligence committee, Rep. Chris Stewart (R-Utah) said, "We all recognize that fake news is in the eye of the beholder many times."

While some news reports "are demonstrably untrue," Stewart said, "the vast majority" of reports are combinations of "opinion and reality."

That's right -- CNS' Jones is effectively defending the honor of Infowars, run by conspiracy theorist Alex Jones. Instead of reflexively taking the side of a website with a long history of false and outrageous claims just because a Democratic congressman justifiably impugned its credibility, Jones could have, you know, looked into the article in question to evaluate its veracity.

Yes, a self-proclaimed imam named Mohammad Tawhidi did make the claim that Infowars reported, Infowars reporter Paul Joseph Watson -- a major generator of fake news -- doesn't appear to have attempted to verify any of Tawhidi's claims.

It turns out that Tawhidi is kind of a shady character. Based in Australia, he has claimed to be both an imam and shiekh, claims actual Muslim religious authorities in Australia don't recognize, calling him a "fake sheikh." He's earned the approbation of right-wingers by pushing fears of an Islamic caliphate and demanding that certain Islamic texts be banned, thus making him the equivalent of a Fox News Democrat. In reality, he's a Shia extremist who's battling majority Sunnis in Australia.

In other words, he's a fraud. It wasn't that hard to figure out using just a few minutes of online searching.

Yet Jones wants us to treat this Infowars report as credible, for the sole apparent purpose of trying to counter a Democratic congressman trying to expose fake news. This is clear, since the headline on Jones' article makes the point that Quigley is a "Democrat [sic] Lawmaker."

But still, Jones has to know what Infowars is, and defending it damages her own credibility. That's the price of being a pro-Trump shill, apparently.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:01 AM EST
Wednesday, November 8, 2017
WND Misleads on Obamacare Premiums
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Bob Unruh ramped up the scare tactics in a Nov. 1 WorldNetDaily article:

Obamacare costs for a 27-year-old on a benchmark plan have exploded from $2,616 during the program’s first year to nearly double, at $4,932, for the plan year 2018, according to a new report.

The documentation from the office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation in the Health and Human Services Department reveals the extent of problems Americans face if Congress is not successful in repealing and replacing Barack Obama’s signature legislation.

The numbers reveal the failings: a 37 percent average premium increase in the benchmark plan, the fact eight states have only one issuer offering plans under an Obamacare exchange and the plunge from 237 issuers nationwide a year ago to 132 now.

But it's not until the final paragraph of his 18-paragraph article -- after a lot of bashing of Obamacare that Unruh gets around to mentioning a certain mitigating factor:

“A 27-year-old with a household income of $25,000 could receive an APTC [advance premium tax credit] of up to $273 for PY18, a 73 percent increase from PY17 ($158) based on the average premium for the benchmark plan across all HealthCare.gov states,” the report said. “A family of four with a household income of $60,000 could receive an APTC of up to $1,088 for PY18, a 60 percent increase from PY17 ($678) based on the average premium for the benchmark plan across all HealthCare.gov states.”

That's worded poorly -- and Unruh may have intentionally left it that way to hide the truth -- but the point is that subsidies will offset much of the cost of the policy for lower-income enrollees. An actual news outlet, CNN, explains this much more clearly that Unruh could ever be bothered to do:

The big rate increase means premium subsidies will rise 45%, on average, to $6,660 a year. More than eight in 10 enrollees receive premium subsidies, which reduce their cost to less than 10% of their household income.

A 27-year-old making $25,000 a year could receive an annual subsidy of nearly $3,300. That would bring his or her premium down to $1,650 a year if he or she enrolls in the benchmark silver plan.

A family of four earning $60,000 a year could get an annual subsidy of $13,000, bringing their benchmark plan premiums down to just over $4,750.

Thihs is just bad, politically motivated stenography. It's been a long, hard fall for someone who used to have journalistic credibility as an former Associated Press employee.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:07 PM EST
MRC's Double Standard on Reporting on the Economy
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Julia A. Seymour does her pro-Trump duty in an Oct. 31 post:

The U.S. economy maintained strong growth according to the latest government estimates in the latest example of good economic news.

The Bureau of Economic Analysis announced on Oct. 27, that the first estimate of third quarter growth was 3 percent. There are two revisions to come before the end of 2017. But it remained positive news, especially since the BEA also confirmed that second quarter growth was 3.1 percent thanks to consumer spending and business investment.

The broadcast evening news programs ignored that good economic news — just like they ignored the 3 percent GDP announcement in August. However, many other news organizations — from NPR to CNBC — noted the positive result.

Throughout Donald Trump’s presidency the networks have minimized and ignored positive economic news, in spite of the fact many people voted for him thinking his policies would improve the U.S. economy.

Needless to say, Seymour is being utterly hypocritical. In July 2016, for example, she wrote a report complaining that the media was failing to talk down the economy under Obama, declaring that "Overall economic growth remains 'subpar' and labor force participation rates remain shocking, not far from 38-year lows." The economy was "still reveling in pain and weakness," Seymour insisted. As is standard MRC practice, Seymour did only the bare minimum of research by focusing solely on network evening newscasts and pretending they're representative of the entire media.

And in March, Seymour was demanding that Trump be given the credit for February's good jobless numbers, though she offered no evidence of any one thing he did to contribute to them, and was incensed that the numbers were being considered a reflection of President Obama's economy.

Seymour is acting as a partisan, not an objective researcher. Like the media she loves to hypocritically target, she only cares about the numbers that make her side look good. 


Posted by Terry K. at 4:38 PM EST
WND's Farah Blames NYC Attack on America 'Meddling' In Israeli Politics
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Joseph Farah devoted his Oct. 30 WorldNetDaily column to whining that "It looks like Jared Kushner has persuaded his father-in-law to continue the pattern of U.S. meddling in Israeli governance – even in housing policy in the Jewish state’s capital." He added:

I hope and pray I’m wrong about this, but, from past experience, such interference by the U.S. in Israeli policies usually spells trouble for America. I know it sounds crazy to some. But it’s true. With the natural and unnatural disasters the U.S. has experienced this year – from hurricanes to devastating wildfires to the largest mass shooting attack in America’s history – this action by Washington is not a good idea, not for Israel and not for the U.S.

There are consequences for messing with Israel – heavenly consequences.

So, when the truck attack on New York City happened the same day his column appeared, Farah was all too eager to lay claim to having predicted it in his column the very next day:

I’m here in the Holy City watching in sadness, but not shock, at the latest terror attack in New York City.

Twenty-four hours after I wrote a blistering column warning of consequences in America for interfering in Israeli policy-making in Jerusalem, New York City was hit with another terror attack.

Eight people are dead and about a dozen wounded after a Muslim man ran over pedestrians with a truck before slamming into a school bus and yelling, “Allahu Akbar,” a phrase that has become ubiquitous with terror attacks the world over.

I’m not a prophet.

I’m just someone who observes the news and patterns within the news.

And you would have to be in denial not to notice bad things happen in America and to America when Israel’s No. 1 ally in the world – and one of its few – meddles in the internal affairs of the Jewish state.

[...]

I know what I will be accused of for suggesting the terror attack in New York could be related in some way to America’s position on Israel.

Some will say I’m superstitious. Some will say I’m a conspiracy theorist. Some will say I am a religious zealot.

I don’t care. I’m going to say it anyway. It’s not just because I love Israel. It’s because I love America – and I don’t want my country to be hurt like it was Monday, or worse.

That Farah is a conspiracy theorist is beyond dispute. And Farah's religious views bump up against far-right Christian Reconstructionism, so zealotry is not an inaccurate accusation either. But, really, what Farah is an opportunist; he knows how to take advantage of events to push his right-wing agenda, which is exactly what he's doing here.

It didn't matter whether the New York terrorist attack, or something similar, took place the day after his original claim, or a month, or a year -- Farah would take credit for having predicted it because it advances his agenda. That's really all that matters to him. If the NYC attack hadn't happened, he'd be claiming the Texas church massacre as evidence of his prediction coming true.

Farah is a huckster at heart, and he has no problem tying his religious views to his hucksterism. His faith may be at least partially genuine, but he's cynically exploiting it.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:19 AM EST

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