For years, WorldNetDaily has repeated lies about the founder of Planned Parenthood, with nary a correction in sight. You can't libel the dead, right? Read more >>
Monday, November 27, 2017
MRC's Graham: Better A Pedophile Than A Democrat
Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's Tim Graham kicked off a Nov. 18 post by complaining that "pseudoconservative David Brooks" had accused Christian supporters of Roy Moore of being "heretics" who are practicing "idolatry" by almost voicing an unequivocal condemnation of Moore:
Graham doesn't live in Alabama, so he'll never have to act on that. Unfortunately, he went on to justify voting for Moore anyway because no matter how "serious" those charges against Moore are, simply being a Democrat like his opponent, Doug Jones, is infinitely worse:
Graham then went on to defend right-woing evangelical Franklin Graham for standing by Graham, with a quick pivot to the Clinton Equivocation:
Finally, Graham attacked the Washington Post for its purported political motivation in running the story on Moore's history of perving on teenage girls -- with even more Clinton Equivocation:
Graham doesn't question why, if this story has been out there so long, why right-wing mrdia outlets -- like the MRC's own CNSNews.com -- didn't beat the Post to the punch and defuse it before Moore got the GOP nomination. Sounds like he's just mad that the truth was told at all.
You know, we're starting to doubt that Graham was telling the truth when he said he wouldn't vote for Moore. He's laboring hard to give Alabama voters every reason why they should.
At WND, The Clinton Derangement Never Dies
If there has been one constant thread throughout the 20-eyar existence of WorldNetDaily, it is the near-patholigical hatred it has exhibited for Bill and Hillary Clinton. Anger continues to seethe and conspiracy theories continue to be obsessed over by Joseph Farah and his crew.
An anonymously written Nov. 20 WND article tries to revive the "Clinton Body Count" conspiracy theory by suggesting that a onetime supporter of Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign died by nefarious, possibly Clinton-related means, despite no actual evidence of such:
This is followed by a lengthy list of those purportedly mysterious deaths -- which, as we've documented, aren't.
The same day, Farah wrote a column attacking Brett Kavanaugh, a lawyer President Trump has nominated for a federal judgeship, over his "role in leading the badly flawed investigation into the death of Vincent Foster in July 1993," citing "smoking-gun information" from a former investigator, Miguel Rodriguez. As we've noted, Rodriguez's claims have been floating about for years.
Curiously, Farah never explains what, exactly, Kavanaugh had to do with any of this.
But Farah wasn't done rehashing the events of nearly a quarter-century ago in as conspiratorial a way as possible. The next day, Farah's column went after Kenneth Starr, independent counsel in the trumped-up Clinton scandals of the '90s , first for hiring Kavanaugh and then for failing to find anything to convict a Clinton on -- and, of course, arguing he was part of a conspiracy to protect Clinton:
Or, you know, it could be that Farah is such a pathologically obsessed Clinton-hater that people long ago stopped taking him -- and his website -- seriously.
Sunday, November 26, 2017
CNS Reporter Is WH Press Secretary's Unofficial Stenographer
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.
Here they are:
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
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.
Saturday, November 25, 2017
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
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.
Friday, November 24, 2017
MRC Attacks Country Musicians For Expressing An Opinion
Topic: Media Research Center
Being perfectly fine with censoring journalists at the Country Music Awards is not the only recent foray into the country music realm the Media Research Center has undertaken recently.
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:
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.
WND's Hohmann Promotes Racially Charged 'Demographic Winter' Meme
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:
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":
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.
Thursday, November 23, 2017
CNS Managing Editor Censors Trump's Frederick Douglass Faux Pas
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:
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
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:
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":
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.
Wednesday, November 22, 2017
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:
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.
WND's Kupelian Hypocritically Denounces Trump-Nazi Comparisons
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:
It seems that Kupelian has forgotten how many times 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.
Tuesday, November 21, 2017
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:
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:
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.
WND's Drag Queen Freakout
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:
An anonymous WND writer found other instances for a Nov. 13 article, and WND declared it a "phenomenon":
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.
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