CNS Reporter Is WH Press Secretary's Unofficial Stenographer Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com has a White House press pass, it seems, and the CNS reporter who has it a majority of the time is Melanie Arter.
But according to ConWebWatch research, Arter is using that press pass the way the Trump administration would like the news media to act: as a servile stenographer.
In September and October alone, Arter wrote 26 articles that primarily or entirely -- including making it the story's lead element -- are simply repeating what White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said, largely without full context, fact-checking or analysis.
That's 26 stories by Arter in which the White House saying something is presented as the most important aspect of the article and in the headline -- something that fully functioning journalistic judgment should tell you is not accurate. A spokesperson's parroting of official talking points about a given thing is almost never the most important thing said about it, let alone worthy of an article in its own right, yet Arter is repeatedly portraying it as such.
In short, she's a stenographer, not a reporter. And CNS is paying her to do exactly that.
WND Quietly Walks Back Another Attack on Yogurt Maker Over Refugees Topic: WorldNetDaily
Earlier this year, we documented how WorldNetDaily had to walk back articles by reporter Leo Hohmann falsely claiming that Chobani Yogurt founder Hamdi Ulukaya explicitly called for employers to hire more Mulsim refugees and a suggestion that Chobani prefers Muslim refugees over other workers at a plant in Idaho.
Apparently, WND didn't learn its lesson, because it was at it again. An anonymously written Nov. 14 article -- though one can probably assume it was written by Hohmann -- carried the headline "U.S. yogurt billionaire expands plant to hire more foreign refugees." The article complained that "Chobani Yogurt, the world’s largest yogurt company, which relies heavily on imported refugee labor, is investing $20 million to expand its plant in Twin Falls, Idaho." The article includees quotes from Ulukaya, but nothing that explicitly states he was expanding the plant solely to hire more "foreign refugees."
For Hohmann's and WND's purposes, "foreign refugees" means "Muslim refugees." This is made clearer later in the article by stating that "Chobani’s welcoming of refugees in Idaho also has taken a darker turn, however, prompting calls to boycott the yogurt giant after a spike in violent crimes perpetrated by Muslim refugees."
But Chobani is not afraid to sue, or threaten to sue, those who tell lies about it -- just ask Alex Jones -- and it appears that has happened again at WND, because some undisclosed editing has taken place on this article
By Nov. 17, he headline of the article had been shortened to "U.S. yogurt billionaire expands plant" and a statement later in the article referencing "criticism that Chobani’s drive for cheap labor and the refugee resettlement there were to blame for the string of horrific crimes" in Idaho has been removed, while a statement that "none [of the crimes] have been connected to any Chobani employee" had been added.
Also deleted was a claim that "The influx of refugees has also caused the number of active TB cases in Twin Falls to spike by 500 percent between 2011 and 2012, according to Breitbart News." That's highly misleading, because as even Breitbart admits, the actual number of cases increased from one to six; the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare has added that none of the cases were infectious and have been treated, and that none of the TB cases being treated in the state in 2016 involved refugees.
Despite these arguably significant changes, the article has not been flagged as updated or corrected.
It's a shame -- and a sad commentary on the state of fact-checking and journalism in general at WND -- that Chobani apparently has to threaten legal action against WND in order to get reported on fairly and accurately.
MRC Writer Resorts to Victimization, Generalization To Justify Attacks on 'Liberal Media' Topic: Media Research Center
In a Nov. 17 post, the Media Research Center's Curtis Houck tries to justify his employer's existence in the face of a podcast discussion by CNN nemesis Brian Stelter, who accurately complained that "right-wing outlets" are impugning all media with the mistakes of a few.
Houck first reportted that "a reason for conservative distrust in the media had been repeated instances of fake news, mass plagiarism, and/or scandals that did serious damage and called into question entire outlets. In reality, Stelter should admit that those instances and subsequent rehabilitations for offending parties only further damaged the media’s credibility, but more on that later." Indeed, Houck later listed instances of poeple in the media caught in plagiarism who "were given slaps on the wrist and then welcomed back into the journalism community with open arms."
Needless to say, Houck omitted exposed plagiaraists on his own side, like Ben Domenech, who lost his job as a conservative blogger for the Washington Post after his background of plagiarism was exposed. Where is he today? Publisher of the conservative website the Federalist. And far from being drummed out of the right-wing journalism community, he was welcomed back with open arms; one of Houck's fellow MRC writers cheered when Domenech "shot down the 'partisan' slams on Congressman Devin Nunes, attacks that are coming from Democrats as well as their enablers in the media" in a March TV appearance.
For a more recent example, Breitbart published a column last month by right-wing politician Kris Kobach that was largely copy-and-paste talking points from various message boards and Yahoo! Answers posts. Where was Houck's outrage about that?
Houck might have more credibility in attacking the foibles of "liberal" media if he held the media on his own side to the same standards. Even the "news" division of his employer has gotten things wildly wrong over the years -- i.e., falsely portraying an official's reference to "Christian Identity" as a reference Christianity in general instead of the extremist group by that name -- with no correction and no apology. Shouldn't CNSNews.com be held to the same standards the MRC holds the "liberal" media? (But since the MRC won't, we will.)
Houck went on to play the usual right-wing victim card. While conceding that "conservative media do have a seat the table," he huffed: "The problem is when it’s still five networks against one and droves of liberal newspapers against a handful of conservative websites, having one seat at the table seems almost irrelevant."
Houck slipped into MRC-speak here. Do any of those five networks (presumably CBS, NBC, ABC -- which have only a couple hours of news at most a day -- CNN and MSNBC) pursue a partisan agenda as aggressively as Fox News? Reporting things conservatives don't like to hear does not equal "liberal media." And Houck's framing of the media landscape as "droves of liberal newspapers against a handful of conservative websites" is just pathetic. How much is in a drove, anyway? Or an handful? And does Houck have documentation that every single newspaper is "liberal"? Again, he's assuming that every newspaper that ever reported anything negative about a conservative is, by default, "liberal."
That's generalization on steroids. If that's the only way Houck can justify the MRC's existence -- completely avoiding the fact that it's apparently profitable conservatives to bash the media -- that's a bit on the pathetic side.
WND Embedded Russian Troll's Tweet In Article Topic: WorldNetDaily
We've already caught WorldNetDaily doing a fawning profile of a someone claiming to be a black woman who supports Donald Trump -- and who apparently doesn't exist, revealing the nonexistent vetting of facts at WND. Now, we've caught WND retweeting an account belonging to a Russian trolling operation.
Earlier this month, a Twitter account popular among conservatives and Trump supporters, under the name Pamela Moore, was revealed to be the creation of the Internet Research Agency, a "troll farm" funded by the Russian government that also operated thousands of other fake Twitter accounts. According to Philly.com, the "@Pamela_Moore13" account heavily promoted Trump's presidential campaign and was retweeted by Trump administration officials.
WND also forwarded a "Pamela Moore" tweet. In a June 16 article, Alicia Powe embedded several tweets attacking CNN for a tweet containing incorrect information. One of those was from "@Pamela_Moore13" screaming "CNN IS SO BIAS." The formatting on"Moore's" tweet has disappeared because the account was deactivated after it was exposed as a troll-farm production, but the content of the tweet and a now-dead link to the original is still there.
It's unlikely that WND could have known at the time that "Pamela Moore" was a fake and a Russian troll. Still, it doesn't look good for WND to have promoted her, since it rails against the idea that the Russian government tried to help Trump get elected.
MRC writer Corinne Weaver was in a lecturing mood in a Nov. 10 post that took country singers Tim McGraw and Faith Hill to task for expressing an opinion on guns in the wake of the Las Vegas massacre that killed dozens at a country music concert. Weaver started her post by huffily declaring, "Celebrities who don’t understand the meaning of political debates should stop alienating their audiences and keep to themselves."
It seems that to Weaver "the meaning of political debates" actually means "expressing only conservative-friendly opinions." The issue Weaver has with McGraw is that he committed the offense of thinking that we perhaps should look at the issue of gun regulation in the wake of repeated massacres. That set Weaver on a lecturing roll, with an added dose of rich-shaming:
But gun control is about the Second Amendment -- “the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” Gun control is an infringement, and ineffective to boot.
Faith Hill added her two cents in the interview: “In reference to the tragedy in Las Vegas, we knew a lot of people there. The doctors that [treated] the wounded, they saw wounds like you’d see in war. That’s not right. Military weapons should not be in the hands of civilians. It’s everyone’s responsibility, including the government and the National Rifle Association, to tell the truth. We all want a safe country.”
Again, taking guns away from law-abiding citizens isn’t going to solve anything. In fact, it might make the situation much, much worse. Stephen Willeford, an NRA instructor, was able to stop the shooter in Sutherland Springs by shooting him, forcing him to drop his gun and flee. More people could have died.
While the pair is being hailed by liberal celebrity activists, such as George Takei and Julianne Moore, it’s important to remember their fan base is not necessarily privileged enough to leave the self-defense to their bodyguards. Parroting a stale cry that has become the left’s tiresome refrain in the face of every tragedy isn’t going to win anyone over.
How hilarious that Weaver thinks McGraw and Hill have suddenly turned into George Takei simply for expressing a non-controversial opinion. And that she thinks that any celebrity who expresses an opinion different from hers should just shut up and sing-- which is what she really means by the "alienating their audiences and keep to themselves" crack.
It's hypocritical as well -- Weaver's employer currently regularly gives a platform for the opnions of a wealthy country music celebrity, Charlie Daniels. Ah, but he expresses the correct (to Weaver) opinions on things (read: right-wing), so he gets a pass -- and certainly no condescending questions about whether he "understands the meaning of political debates" -- even as Weaver rages against other artists who say anything at all.
Anti-Muslim WorldNetDaily reporter Leo Hohmann goes the demographic winter route in a Nov. 12 article. He made sure to speak in the usual code words conservatives use when broaching the subject in order to hide the racial agenda:
If anyone wants to know why Western countries import so many migrants from the Third World, the answer may lie in the cultural norms that have dominated over the past 50 years.
Women are expected to go to college, become professionals in the work force, and “contribute” to the national economy.
But, as many of these countries are now discovering, the female contributions come with a cost.
With women having fewer babies, there comes a point when there are not enough worker bees to support the growing number of elderly who retire every year in countries like Germany, Italy, Greece and Spain.
All of these countries have dismal fertility rates of between 1.3 and 1.5 children per woman of child-bearing age. Sweden, the U.K. and the U.S. are not much better at 1.8 children per woman.
Economists agree that any nation with a fertility rate of less than 2.1 children per woman will not replace its aging population and ultimately fall into decline. Unless, they say, the nation uses immigration to make up for its birth dearth.
In 2016 America’s fertility rate fell to its lowest point on record, and in 2017 it stands at a frightfully low rate of 1.87 babies per woman. But the country’s population continues to increase because of historically high rates of immigration.
One country, Poland, has decided to try another route to reversing its paltry 1.35 fertility rate.
Rather than importing a younger work force from Africa or the Middle East, which is seen by some conservatives as a highway to national suicide, Poland has kicked off a national fertility campaign where it encourages its own women to have more babies.
In Hohmann's telling, "Western countries" means "white Christians," and "migrants from the Third World" means swarthy Muslims.
Hohmann effectively conceded this at the end of his article, in his reaction to "the left-leaning Salon" accuratelypointed out the racial undercurrent of such concerns, specifically Republican congressman Steve King's tweet referencing "cultural suicide by demographic transformation":
The left-leaning Salon reported it this way: “The text [demographic transformation] is a reference to a racist tenet – common among white nationalists and fascists – that people of color, immigrants and Muslims pose a threat to ‘white purity.'”
Globalists can’t have it both ways: Encouraging family planning, more women climbing the career ladder and having fewer children, then complaining about the aging population and smearing the reputations of everyone who balks at the idea of seeing their city, their state, their nation transformed into an Islamic enclave.
So Hohmann wants white women to be stuck at home cranking out babies to beat back the swarthy Muslim hordes? He's even more retrograde than we thought.
CNS Managing Editor Censors Trump's Frederick Douglass Faux Pas Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com managing editor Michael W. Chapman couldn't have been prouder to be a Trump shill than he was in a Nov. 3 "news" article:
Although completely ignored by the major news networks, President Donald Trump signed into law on Thursday legislation to establish the Frederick Douglass Bicentennial Commission, which will make plans to honor the 200th anniversary of the birth of Frederick Douglass (1818-1895), a slave who escaped to freedom and became a leading orator, abolitionist, writer, publisher, and statesman.
Douglass was a Republican who often criticized the slavery-supporting Democratic Party.
“Our Nation rightly honors the life of Mr. Douglass, a former slave who became an outstanding orator and a leader of the abolitionist movement," said President Trump. "I also welcome the participation of the members of the Congress in the valuable work the Commission will perform."
“… All Americans have much to learn from the life and writings of Mr. Douglass," said President Trump, "and I look forward to working with the Commission to celebrate the achievements of this great man.”
So proud was Chapman of Trump's achievement in signing a bill to honor Dougless that he completely ignored the fact that Trump once thought Douglass was still alive.
In Febraury, Trump blathered his way through a Black History Month event by saying, "Frederick Douglass is an example of somebody who’s done an amazing job and is getting recognized more and more, I notice" -- implying that he thought Douglass was a living person.
Chapman is surely aware of this; his website published an Associated Press article about the event noting that Trump's comments "drew immediate backlash on social media from critics who perceived it as a reference to a still-living Douglass."
Rather than remind readers of the relevant history of a faux pas made by the president for whom his "news" operation has become a servile stenographer, Chapman focused instead on detailing Douglass' religious leanings.
In other words, Chapman is censoring from his readers facts he thinks will harm his president. Is that what the managing editor of a real "news" operation does? Nope.
CNS, by the way, will trash even Frederick Douglass if doing so serves its agenda. And it apparently did in a Nov. 22 column by the Catholic League's Bill Donohue that's a long diatribe against Douglass and his "anti-Catholic bigotry," which he then turns into a thing about not tearing down "the monuments and markers of American icons.," adding: "Finally, nothing I have said should be read as a plea to remove the statue of Frederick Douglass from Central Park. It should stay."
Um, has that statue of Douglass been an issue? Not that we're aware of. Donohue was obviously alluding to questions about statues honoring Confederate generals, but he misses the obvious fact that they were not "American icons"; they fought a war against America.
Brazile Gives WND An Excuse To Push Seth Rich Conspiracy Theories Again Topic: WorldNetDaily
The recent controversy regarding Donna Brazile's new book gave WorldNetDaily all the excuse it needed to rehash one of its favorite (and discredited, not that they'll admit it) conspiracy theories, the death of Seth Rich.
Chelsea Schilling ran with it in a Nov. 6 article with all the drama she could muster:
It was just a botched robbery, they said.
Move along, there’s nothing to see here, they said.
Quit being paranoid and assuming there’s some conspiracy behind the random murder, they said.
So, if it were merely a botched robbery that killed DNC data staffer Seth Rich, why in the world would the former interim chair of the Democratic National Committee fear for her life, believing snipers might shoot and kill her after the mysterious murder of Rich?
In Donna Brazile’s upcoming book, “Hacks: The Inside Story of the Break-ins and Breakdowns That Put Donald Trump in the White House,” she writes about her fears following the July 10, 2016, unsolved murder of Rich. In fact, she dedicated the book to Rich, whom she calls a “patriot.”
The next day, when Brazile changed her story on a claim regarding purported "rigging" of the Democratic presidential primary by Hillary Clinton, the headline on Schilling's article about it conspiratorially blared, "WHO GOT TO HER?" Schilling also rehashed the Seth Rich stuff.
And when opportunistic troll Jack Burkman -- whose partisan exploitation of Rich's death WND has dutifully publicized -- trolled further by wanting to subpoena Brazile, WND's Alicia Powe was only too happy to give him a platform to proclaim that "Brazile knows the truth about Rich's mysterious death":
Brazile has provided incomplete information about what she knows, Burkman argues, but filing a lawsuit will force Brazile to say what she knows – under oath.
“If this were a random murder like police have maintained, why did Ms. Brazile fear for her own life?” he asked. “Brazile can clearly also offer critical information about what role the DNC [had in] Hillary Clinton’s primary win.”
“Brazile has openly admitted to liability in her book. She has admitted that she and others rigged the Democratic primaries in favor of Hillary Clinton. We are, therefore, expanding our complaint to include her.
“More importantly, she is now openly suggesting that the DNC may have killed Seth. Her comment that she felt compelled to draw her blinds and avoid the window is one of the most striking comments in modern American political history.”
Of course, Burkman doesn't actually give a damn about Seth Rich as a person -- he only exploit Rich's death as a way to attack Democrats in general and the Clintons in particular, and for a perverse love of the conspiratorial. It's something he shares with WND, so they are perfectly matched in that perverse dysfunction.
MRC Is Still Trashing Anita Hill Topic: Media Research Center
You'd think that with the recent spate of sexual harassment scandals -- some of which involving employees of the so-called "liberal media" -- the Media Research Center would adjust its policy of judging the veracity of the accusers by the claimed or suspected political orientation of the accused. But it hasn't -- the MRC still implicitly trusts the claims of accusations made against liberals, while ranging from indifferent to hostile regarding women who accuse conservatives of bad behavior.
For a quarter of a century, the MRC has repeatedly trashed Anita Hill for raising accusations of sexual harassment against conservativ icon Clarence Thomas. And as Hill's name has come up amid the current spate of scandals, it's trashing Hill anew.
The MRC's Nicholas Fondacaro suggested that Hill was a liar in a Nov. 19 post attacking "make-believe Republican" Matthew Dowd (apparently in Fondacaro's world, "real Republicans" must never hold their own to account) for bringing up Hill:
They basically called Anita Hill a nut and a liar in order to get Justice Thomas on the court. They empowered Bill Clinton, ” he continued to proclaim, devoid of any facts or reason. “ But in order to get those things, they decided the ends justify the means. They decided that a tainted person was better to get what they wanted.” He also claimed Trump’s supporters were guilty of siding with a tainted person just to get what they wanted. But his “tainted” label could also be applied to the Clintons.
Apparently, in Dowd’s version of history, there were no Senate hearings or Senator Joe Biden grilling Thomas in a “high-tech lynching” over Hill’s claims, or her evolving story, or all the testimonies from other women who contradicted her.
Yes, Foncacaro suggested Hill was lying in the very next paragraph after accusing Dowd of lacking "facts or reason" to back up his claim that Hill was attacked as a liar.
Two days later, Tim Graham proved Dowd right again as he once again portrayed Hill as a lying gold-digger who made her accusations solely in order to get a book advance and a cushy law-school job:
Republican Sen. Arlen Specter suggested Hill may have committed perjury, which outraged the liberals. Hill insisted she wasn’t making the allegations to make a buck....and then signed a million-dollar book deal and took a prestigious law professor job at Brandeis, where she still works.
Over at the MRC's "news" division CNSNews.com, Craig Bannister cranked out a "flashback" blog post insisting that "Hill’s claims were discredited by, among other things, the testimony of more than a dozen female former co-workers who came forward to declare, in no uncertain terms, that Thomas was 'a man of the highest principle, honesty, integrity and honor in all of his personal and professional actions.' They called Hill’s claims 'ludicrous' and 'unbelievable.'"
As evidence, Bannister cites a website called ConfirmationBiased.com (whose name Bannister gets wrong), which he writes was "launched to expose the political bias and inaccuracies of the 2016 HBO movie 'Confirmation'." But he doesn't mention that the attack website was created by Mark Paoletta, an attorney who worked on the team assembled under President George H.W. Bush to forward Thomas' nomination and who considers himself a personal friend of Thomas. It's hardly an objective view of things.
Yep, trashing women who threaten conservative politicians and media figures will always be a part of the DNA of the MRC.
WorldNetDaily managing editor David Kupelian devoted an entire Nov. 8 column to complaining about how liberals like to make people feel guilty. Then he adds this:
Such is the warp and weft of current American politics – all day, every day, to the point that America has grown used to it. The left advances a shockingly destructive agenda; the right complains; the left accuses the right of being fascists and Nazis … and the right shuts up.
The left’s guilt-tripping mania has gotten so bad – with constant attacks on President Trump as “Hitler” and his supporters as “white supremacists,” and violent antifa assaults on the constitutionally protected free-speech rights of others (while calling them “fascists”) – that some progressive activists have had enough and are finally sounding the alarm.
It seems that Kupelian has forgotten howmanytimes the website he operates likened President Obama to Nazis in general and Hitler specifically. He clearly had no problem in using his website to hurl that smear around as a cheap, crass political attack; in fact, Kupelian's WND was proud to do so.
Does this mean that he and WND were trying to guilt-trip America into ... something -- you know, the same thing he's spending an entire column railing against? Why, that makes him a total hypocrite -- you know, just like when he sold out his moral code to back Trump.
Let's not pretend that Kupelian has had a sudden change of heart and will repent the very behavior he now decries. He won't, because it served its purpose -- just like criticizing the very behavior he engaged in serves a purpose now.
MRC Is Totally Cool With CMA's Attempt to Censor Journalists Topic: Media Research Center
You'd think that a blatant attempt at media censorship -- in the form of the Country Music Association trying to bar journalists, under threat of credential revocation, from asking musicians questions about “the Las Vegas tragedy, gun rights, political affiliations or topics of the like” until backing down after the restrictions were made public -- would earn some criticism from even the folks at the Media Research Center.
Nope -- the MRC was cool with that, to the point that it pretended that no such draconian guideline ever existed.
A Nov. 8 post by Karen Townsend whined that CMA presenters made Trump jokes and referred to "the guidelines the CMA gave to participants," failing to mention those same guidelines tried to bar journalists from asking certain questions. Townsend surely knew that was the case -- it's the lead of the article she links to in backing up the statement.
Tim Graham followed up with even more whining:
The Washington Post was a day late in whining about the lack of gun-control advocacy (or as they put it, “courage”) at the Country Music Association awards. Music writer Chris Richards wrote a “Critic’s Notebook” commentary headlined “A monolithic silence from top artists at CMA Awards.” Online, the headline was “Country music is becoming the soundtrack of a nonexistent, apolitical no-place.”
Like Townsend, Graham completely ignored the fact that the CMA tried to censor journalists, even though it's prominently highlighted in the piece he's criticizing. From that piece:
Despite the circumstances, the telecast’s organizers were hoping for a business-as-usual night anyway. Last week, after CMA officials announced that they reserved the right to eject any journalist who asked an artist about their politics, Paisley immediately spoke out against that preemptive censorship, tweeting, “I’m sure the CMA will do the right thing and rescind these ridiculous and unfair press guidelines.”
And voila, they were promptly rescinded. But that didn’t embolden any of the artists to volunteer their thoughts on the state of the nation on Wednesday night, not even Paisley. “I love the way we’ve all come together,” he said during one interstitial segment, as if he might be warming up some spontaneous bombshells. Then he confessed that he’d “gone off script,” and returned to the business of introducing the next performer.
Graham just served up more whining: "This is how the liberal media operate: They expect TV awards show to produce liberal propaganda moments, and when they aren’t created, they get grumpy at the lack of 'progress.'"
And because the CMA's attempted censorship of journalists served its purpose of keeping politics out of an event the MRC didn't want it inserted into, Townsend and Graham approve of the means.
If drag queens interacting with children didn't exist in real life, WorldNetDaily would have to invent it as an excuse to go into freakout mode. Fortunately for WND, it didn't have to invent even more fake news in order to do so.
In an Oct. 16 article, WND got its perfect storm -- a drag queen reading to children at a library named for Michelle Obama. Alicia Powe is very unhappy:
The Michelle Obama public library in Long Beach, California, has presented to children who are part of its young readers program a huge array of diversity and “inclusion” agendas.
In one shot.
It was when Xochi Mochi arrived for a visit.
That made the program pro-LGBTQ.
And drag queen-friendly.
And Satanist-approved, with the character’s red-tipped, demon-like horns.
All to read to children for LGBTQ History Month.
An anonymous WND writer found other instances for a Nov. 13 article, and WND declared it a "phenomenon":
It was only days ago when WND reported Xochi Mochi made an appearance at the Michelle Obama public library in Long Beach, California, hitting the pro-LGBTQ, transgender, drag-queen friendly, Satanist-approved political hot buttons all in one shot.
Mochi was there to read to young children, a fad that is spreading, with new reports that there now are drag queen story hours for children as young as two years old in the United Kingtom.
It was the Daily Mail that reported that drag queens were being brought into taxpayer-funded nursery schools in the U.K., “so that children as young as two can learn about transgender issues” and be taught “LGBT tolerance.”
Nursery managers reported in the Mail that children need to have the indoctrination so they can “see people who defy rigid gender restrictions.”
In addition to calling this "indoctrination," the anonymous WND writer later calls having drag queens read to children part of an "agenda." WND offers no evidence to support either claim.
CNS' Jeffrey Forgets There Was A Recession, Makes Dumb Spending Claim Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com editor in chief Terry Jeffrey writes a lot about economic stuff. Perhaps he shouldn't, if his Nov. 14 article is any indication:
If Congress had frozen federal spending at the level it reached in fiscal 2008, the last full fiscal year before President Barack Obama was inaugurated, the federal government would have had a balanced budget from fiscal 2014 onward based on the actual revenues the federal government collected under the existing tax laws in those years.
However, rather than freeze federal spending after 2008, Congress permitted it to rise by $998 billion—or 33.5 percent.
Um, remember the recession that hit the U.S. during fiscal 2008? Jeffrey doesn't seem to -- he makes no reference to it in his article. He does, however, allude to recession-related things while complaining about the spending that has been associated with it:
But federal spending increased dramatically after fiscal 2008, jumping to $3,517,677,000,000 in fiscal 2009, driven in part by the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), which Obama voted for in the Senate and President George W. Bush signed in October 2008, and by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act stimulus bill, which Obama signed in February 2009.
In fiscal 2009 through 2012, federal revenues fell short of the $2,523,991,000,000 the federal government took in during fiscal 2008. But in fiscal 2013, federal revenues climbed to $2,775,105,000,000; then, in fiscal 2014, they climbed to $3,021,491,000,000.
Why was there a TARP and a recovery act? Because there was a recession. Why did federal revenues drop between 2008 and 2013? Recession. Why did federal revenues increase above 2008 levels in fiscal 2013 and 2014? In part because of TARP and the recovery act.
Since Jeffrey is ignoring the existence of the recession, he also ignores that his hypothesis has a huge hole in it: If federal spending didn't increase in response to the recession -- as Jeffrey seems to have wanted to happen, and which runs counter to generally accepted economic theory -- it's likely that the economy would not have recovered enough to increase revenues starting in 2013.
In short, there are consequences to not increasing spending during a recession, and Jeffrey makes sure not to examine any of them in order to stay resolutely on point and completely divorced from the last decade of economic reality: "Had federal spending been frozen at the fiscal 2008 level through fiscal 2017, the federal government would have run a surplus of $332 billion in the last fiscal year."
Such fantasy-based analysis will not help CNS with maintaining any sense of credibiility.
With 'Thank Trump' Campaign, WND Officially Becomes State Media Topic: WorldNetDaily
No discerning news consumer has ever mistaken WorldNetDaily for a real news operation that was fair and balanced and was concerned about the truth. It's always been among the most highly biased "news" operations, and it became even more so with the advent of Donald Trump's presidential campaign, selling out any moral prinicples to back a thrice-married adulterer and misogynist just because it wanted to be on the winning side.
WND has sealed its status as pro-Trump state media with a new website for sending thank-you cards to Trump. No, really.
The WND article promoting the campaign lamented that "every day brings new slurs, attacks, 'fake news,' unsubstantiated allegations, threats of impeachment" against Trump -- which, ironically, if you substitute the name of Barack Obama for Trump, is what WND had been dishing out for the previous eight years.
As a good state-media outlet would, WND insisted that Trump had "a staggering, perhaps unprecedented, list of accomplishments for a first year in the White House." Then it was time for a little self-aggrandizement:
It’s all the idea of Joseph Farah, founder of WND.com, the world’s first independent online news service – a unique and innovative opportunity to Americans, and, in fact, the people of the world, to send thanks and encouragement for what the president has accomplished in his first year in office.
There is no cost to participate in this campaign.
“While there are always going to be some disappointments in the imperfect art of politics, the Trump White House has fulfilled dozens of campaign promises, changed the tone of Washington, reversed the headlong plunge into socialism and raised the spirits of Americans like no one since Ronald Reagan in 1981,” said Farah. “Such an occasion should not go unnoticed or overshadowed by the angry and vitriolic response from his disgruntled opposition. It’s time for the president to hear from those who elected him – and those who have come around since Election Day.”
The goal, Farah says, is to get millions of Americans participating in the campaign in a genuine display of sincere thanks and encouragement to Trump and his team for a “breathtaking” record of accomplishment in the face of unprecedented adversity and enraged opposition from Democrat politicians, the entrenched Washington establishment, what Trump calls the “fake news” media and street thugs, some paid and some violent, who have sought to disrupt and subvert the will of the people.
Farah is hoping the campaign will catch on fire with the help of social media activists spreading the word and the promotion of the campaign by alternative media outlets and talk radio.
“I don’t expect much help from the ‘fake news’ cartel,” said Farah. “But it wasn’t the ‘fake news’ cartel that helped elect Donald Trump president. It was the new independent press, including the pioneer in that area, WND.com. Now, Donald Trump needs encouragement to stay the course, turn up the heat, open up the throttle and continue fulfilling campaign promises one by one. That’s what this campaign is all about, in addition to demoralizing and defusing the angry, thuggish opposition led by the Democrats and establishment Washington.
WND has run other innovative political campaigns in the past, including the famous “Pink Slip” project, which sent 9 million messages to Congress on pink paper threatening members with rejection at the polls in November 2010 if they did not act on their campaign promises. The campaign was so successful, it exhausted supplies of pink paper in North America. Republicans gained control of the House of Representatives in that election by picking up a historic 63 seats and another six in the U.S. Senate.
Some credit the “Pink Slip” campaign with the birth of the tea party movement, which followed in its wake.
As we documented, the "pink slip" campaign was a way for WND to cash in on its readers, which paid it a whopping $29.95 to send 535 letters to members of Congress in large boxes with hundreds of other identical letters, which presumably diluted any impact WND hoped to have. And the "some" that credit the campaign "with the birth of the tea party movement" is none other than WND itself; the link on those words goes to a 2014 WND article stating only that "Ultimately the pink slip campaign presaged the tea party movement and one of the biggest voter revolts in American history in 2010" -- not that it was an inspiration.
(Unlike the pink-slip campaign, WND isn't charging anyone for the Trump thank-you cards; apparently the only tangible benefit it gets is the email-harvesting aspect.)
Accompanying the campaign is a lengthy list of what WND claims are Trump's accomplishments since his election. There are 149 of them, so you can be sure there's lots of padding going on.For instance, the very first one on the list -- "After his election, Trump met with top tech leaders, including Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, Bill Gates of Microsoft and Jeff Bezos of Amazon. According to Gates, it was 'a good conversation about innovation, how it can help in health, education, the impact of foreign aid and energy, and a wide-ranging conversation about power of innovation'" -- is utterly meaningless as an "accomplishment"; it's just a meeting.
And No. 150 -- "Trump issued a memorandum Nov. 16 determining that the U.S. has enough petroleum coming from countries other than Iran to permit 'a significant reduction in the volume of petroleum and petroleum products' purchased from the mullah-led nation" -- has a factual problem; the memorandum was actually issued on May 17, not Nov. 16. WND hides the fact that the U.S. currently prohibits U.S. purchases of crude oil from Iran, so this memo is utterly meaningless as well; indeed, it appears to be a reiteration of current U.S. policy as required by law than any new action by Trump.
Apparently, the only way WND thinks it can get any credibility (or revenue) of any kind is to become a "made man" in the form of pro-Trump state media. But WND has always been a joke; this will make it even more so.
MRC: Trump Wants To Investigate Sec. of State Hillary, Not The Hillary Who Ran Against Him Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's Kristine Marsh writes in a Nov. 14 post (random bolding is hers):
It seems the media can always find a new excuse as to why the Clintons’ numerous scandals over the years should be overlooked. Tuesday morning, the networks dismissively treated reports that Attorney General Jeff Sessions would be looking into hiring a special prosecutor to investigate the Clinton Foundation’s dealings with Uranium One and Hillary Clinton’s e-mails, casting blame on Sessions instead. All three networks also characterized the potential investigation as a partisan hack job orchestrated by President Trump against his former election “rival,” instead of against the former Secretary of State.
We hate to break it to you, Kristine, but the Hillary Clinton that was secretary of state is the very same Hillary Clinton who ran against Trump in 2016. If Trump is going after Secretary of State Clinton he is, by definition, going after candidate Clinton.
We're not seeing how Marsh thinks those are two separate people -- unless, of course, she's trying to justify an investigation because, you know, the Clintons.