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Monday, December 11, 2017
CNS Takes Longer To Write About Franks' Resignation Than Franken's
Topic: CNSNews.com

Around 1 p.m. ET on Dec. 7, Democratic Sen. Al Franken gave a speech in which he announced his resignation from his Senate seat over allegations of sexual harassment. About five hours later, it was announced that Republican Sen. Trent Franks would resign his seat over a surrogacy controversy. CNSNews.com reported on one with a little more urgency than the other.

Melanie Arter's CNS story on Franken's resignation was posted at 9:52 p.m. ET, about 10 hours after the resignation speech was given. It's a surprisingly straight story, given Arter's history of being a pro-Trump stenographer.

Arter also wrote the story of Frank's resignation -- but it wasn't until 2:30 p.m. on Dec. 8, more than 21 hours after his resignation was announced. Unlike with Franken, Arter did try to spin things for Frank.

On top of highlighting that Franks is "pro-life" and "most recently sponsored the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which bans abortions at 20 weeks of pregnancy or greater with exceptions when the mother’s life is in danger or if the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest," she also gave space to a former Franks aide to insist that Franks "never put the question to them if they would be surrogates for him" and that she’s never "been made to feel uncomfortable by the congressman” and “never seen any slightest bit of sexual harassment or intimidation." Arter also uncritically pushes Franks' later abrupt explanation of his decision to change his resignation from January to immediately, claiming he was motivated by his wife's illness.

But as WorldNetDaily did, Arter censored evidence that Franks' staffers were unconfortable with the surrogacy conversations because they thought he personally wanted to impregnate them, and that one staffer said she was retaliated against for rebuffing Franks' surrogacy advances.

Apparently, CNS needed all that extra time on the Franks story to figure out how to put the best face on a scandal surrounding an ideological ally.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:45 AM EST
WND Tries to Spin Away Trent Franks Surrogate Scandal By Pretending It Wasn't Sexual
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily reporter Alicia Powe's Dec. 8 article on the resignation of Sen. Trent Franks over asking his female staffers to be a surrogate mother for his child goes to great lengths to frame the controversy as not a sexual issue. Not only did Powe portray Franks as "adamantly denying anything sexual, either in word or deed," she recruited an anonymous lawyer to try to whitewash it:

Thus, while one news report Friday suggested the two aides were “concerned that Franks was asking to have sexual relations with them” – adding “it was not clear to the women whether he was asking about impregnating the women through sexual intercourse or in vitro fertilization” – a lawyer representing a surrogacy law firm explained to WND that surrogacy has absolutely “nothing to do with sex.”

“There is nothing sexual about it,” the attorney, who asked that her name be withheld from publication, told WND. “If someone claims they felt sexually harassed [by the conversation], it’s just a simple matter of maybe both parties aren’t educated or even knew what they were talking about.”

“I don’t even know about this congressman,” she said of the Franks controversy, but “if an individual feels sexually harassed by someone asking for them to be a surrogate, that would mean they didn’t understand what being someone’s surrogate or gestational carrier really means. There’s a lot of people who don’t even know what surrogacy means, so that wouldn’t be super shocking.”

Surrogacy is a strictly clinical procedure, explained the attorney, who handles contracts with egg donors.

“If somebody is going to be your surrogate, that absolutely does not mean that you are going to have sex, or even any physical contact whatsoever, that’s just a fact of the matter. A clinic would be involved and they would go through psychological screening. Whoever is going to be the surrogate would have to go through extensive screening to actually be cleared to enter into an IVF clinic where the embryo would be transferred. And she is literally just the carrier of that baby.”

Most couples reach out to family members, or individuals they feel close to, to become surrogates, the attorney explained, or else they find surrogates among friends because finding gestational carriers through an agency can be extremely costly.

“There’s many ways that people can find surrogates. If somebody is going through infertility and they want to find someone that will carry a baby for them, you can ask a family member, a friend. People go online. Most people use an agency that is very versed in surrogacy and can help the process so it’s handled professionally and properly. There are so many people that work independently.”

One: What's the purpose in granting anonymity to someone for what is basically non-controversial background information? Powe provides no reason for doing so. Perhaps the lawyer is a Franks-backing conservative who doesn't want to be seen publicly defending him by name.

Two: If there was "nothing sexual" in Franks' conversations with his staffers about potential surrogacy, that message apparently didn't reach the staffers. Politico reports:

The sources said Franks approached two female staffers about acting as a potential surrogate for him and his wife, who has struggled with fertility issues for years. But the aides were concerned that Franks was asking to have sexual relations with them. It was not clear to the women whether he was asking about impregnating the women through sexual intercourse or in vitro fertilization. Franks opposes abortion rights as well as procedures that discard embryos. 

A former staffer also alleged that Franks tried to persuade a female aide that they were in love by having her read an article that described how a person knows they’re in love with someone, the sources said. One woman believed she was the subject of retribution after rebuffing Franks. While she enjoyed access to the congressman before the incident, that access was revoked afterward, she told Republican leaders.

Powe didn't mention any of that in her story.

Powe then posted tweets from "top conservative commentators" who were "arguing the congressman should not be forced to stop down for inquiring about a medical procedure." One of those "conservative commentators" is Mike Cernovich, a discredited conspiracy theorist who peddled the bogus "Pizzagate" conspiracy.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:49 AM EST
Updated: Monday, December 11, 2017 12:50 AM EST
Sunday, December 10, 2017
CNS Columnist: Manson Was The Ultimate Progressive
Topic: CNSNews.com

Think of how Charles Manson could rightly be seen as the penultimate expression of the progressive’s worldview: He was his own God. In fact, he sometimes claimed to be God. Manson rejected organized religion, claiming he was both Jesus Christ and/or the Messiah. When he did quote the Bible, Manson misquoted it, twisted the words, and handled it selectively and self-servingly. Manson bragged he could start wars, purge and remake the culture, and preside over a world-wide reckoning.

Commentators are exhausting their vocabularies in describing the vile nature of Manson’s deeds and legacy. But Manson’s agenda was simply secular progressivism faithfully lived out: Manson, nor today’s liberals/relativists, bow to any deity other than themselves. They invent “truth” to suit their needs, hold unflinching confidence in their own importance and are willing to exploit others to advance their ideas.

It was moving that Sharon Tate’s sister said she had, “prayed for Manson’s soul.” News of the cult leader’s death caused most to think God and divine retribution: If evil is to be judged and if some go to hell—well, you connect the dots. But here is reality, folks: If there isn’t some divine judgement for those complicit with abortion-on-demand, like the presidential candidate we almost elected one year ago this month, then God will owe Charles Manson an apology. Planned Parenthood has murdered millions of times more humans than Charlie’s “family.”

The shedding of innocent blood didn’t faze Charlie. Manson, complicit with seven murders, is vilified. Secular progressives fight for the government subsidy of thousands of abortions each week. He is the personification of their worldview. No, secular progressivism by its very nature doesn’t do what we think of as “church.” But if they did, Charles Manson should quickly be canonized in their pantheon. Over a decades-long, pervasive scale, Charlie simply decreed, “My will be done.”

-- Alex McFarland, Nov. 27 CNSNews.com column


Posted by Terry K. at 9:01 PM EST
WND's Double Standard on Sexual Harassment Accusers
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Not only has WorldNetDaily repeatedly published writers who have defended Roy Moore against allegations he perved on teenage girls, it has given a platform to Moore's team to trash his accusers.

Take. for instance, a Nov. 21 article by Art Moore, who allows Moore attorney Ben DuPre to hurl sleaze at accuser Leigh Corfman (pictured right). DuPre denounced her as a liar who was troubled teen:

Noting Corfman alleges she was with her mother at a court hearing in 1979, DuPré pointed out that the Etowah County document signed by Corfman’s parents asked for custody to be changed from the mother to the father.

While Corfman claims her life spiraled out of control after the alleged contact with Moore, DuPré said the parents indicated in a joint petition to modify custody that they were already concerned about behavioral problems by the child. The father was better equipped to deal with the already existing disciplinary problems, according to the petition, he said.

Further, Corfman claims she had telephone conversations with Moore using a phone in her bedroom at her mother’s home. But Breitbart reported, DuPré noted, that the mother said there was no phone in her bedroom.

The lawyer also disputed the claim that Moore picked up Corfman around the corner from her mother’s house. The supposed pickup place, he said, was actually about a mile away and across a major thoroughfare.

By contrast, a Nov. 29 WND article by Paul Bremmer touts a press conference featuring women who have accused Bill Clinton of sexual harassment and assault. Bremmer told only one side of the story; he did not mention that, for instance, Juanita Broaddrick -- who has accused Clinton of sexually assaulting her -- signed a sworn affidavit saying that the claim is "untrue." Broaddrick uncritically quotes Clinton accuser Kathleen Willey hyperbolically claiming that "Bill Clinton is a rapist and Hillary Clinton is his enabler."

He also quotes press conference organizer and right-wing activist Melanie Morgan huffing, "Today I want to challenge former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and all other feminist leaders to look these women in the eyes – Juanita, Kathleen, Leslie, who have joined us today – we challenge Nancy Pelosi to tell them that they don’t believe their stories after all these years." Bremmer does not note if Morgan has ever demanded the same of conservatives credibly accused of sexual harassment, such as Roy Moore and Donald Trump.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:42 AM EST
Updated: Sunday, December 10, 2017 7:52 PM EST
Saturday, December 9, 2017
MRC's Graham & Bozell Can Only Respond To Their Critics With Insults
Topic: Media Research Center

Ranting about "liberal media bias" is so much easier when you pretend there's no conservative media bias.

That's what the Media Research Center's Tim Graham and Brent Bozell have done in their Nov. 22 column ranting about a piece by an actual longtime journalist, James Warren -- who is not a political activist like Graham and Bozell -- for the journalism training and ethics group Poynter pointing out how the "liberal media" isn't really a thing.They whine:

Rupert Murdoch is looking at unloading some of his Hollywood assets, and among the suspected potential buyers are The Walt Disney Co. (ABC) and Comcast Corp. (NBC). To Warren, this somehow heralds a new era of "not just unceasing consolidation but the unceasing influence of folks of distinctly conservative ideology." The Murdochs explore selling off assets, and that's conservative consolidation?

Not only that, Warren says the "caricature" of a liberal media is "dubious" and can be rebutted by the fact that the "aggressively conservative" Sinclair Broadcasting Group "is primed to become the biggest local TV broadcaster." Yet Sinclair stations are routinely airing network news and entertainment content from ... ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox.

But Murdoch is not selling his right-wing news channel. And Graham and Bozell conveniently omit mention of another key example Warren provided: David Pecker, pal of Donald Trump and owner of the National Enquirer and recent purchaser of Us Weekly. (It just so happens that the managing editor of Pecker's publications, Dylan Howard, was just accused of sexual harassment and being Harvey Weinstein's lackey in using Pecker's publications to undermine allegations of sexual harassment by the once-powerful Hollywood producer.)

And, as the MRC has done in the past, Graham and Bozell deflect the actual issue with Sinclair, which is highly biased local newscasts ordered to run conservative commentary, turning them into Trump boosters.

Graham and Bozell then moved to the childish-insult phase -- literally. They actually declared that one college professor who committed the offense of disagreeing with them "sounds dumber than a grade schooler." And they weren't done insulting anyone who won't adhere to right-wing dogma:

Warren then cites Danny Hayes, a political scientist at George Washington University who doubles down on the idiocy. "The debate about ideological bias in the media is not productive at all," he says. That's true ... if you're a liberal who wants the average (and, apparently, ignorant) media consumer to think the news is objective. Hayes insists "the social science research finds virtually no evidence in the mainstream media of systematic liberal or conservative bias."

Hayes should be teaching geology because, clearly, he is living under a rock. We've been churning out daily evidence of a dramatic liberal bias in the "objective" news media for 30 years, and this "scientist" in Washington, D.C., thinks there's "virtually no evidence"?

Anecdotal, incidental evidence -- which makes up the vast majority of what the MRC claims is "liberal bias" -- is not real evidence. And we've seen the dismal, slanted results the MRC gets when it issues what it purports to be actual "media research."

If your go-to response to criticism is to hurl juvenile insults at your critics, you have no actual defense. Graham and Bozell just proved that.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:27 AM EST
Kaepernick (And Obama, And Muhammad Ali) Derangment Syndrome
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Sports Illustrated named the ungrateful, disrespectful Colin Kaepernick “winner” of its 2017 Muhammad Ali Legacy Award. It’s very fitting.

Evil people honor their own – usually the worst among them. That’s how Barack Hussein Obama became the first black president. It’s why Obama invited wicked people like Al Sharpton and activists with Black Lives Matter (a hate group worse than the KKK) to the White House. Thank God that President Trump is cleaning out the trash now!

But the former football player Colin Kaepernick repeats the same lies and hatred toward whites, police and America that we heard from the late Muhammad Ali. Like Ali, Colin misleads young, black children who look up to him, and he calls it “love.”

For all of Muhammad Ali’s talent in boxing, and his charismatic front, he was an empty shell, consumed by anger and judgment that turned him away from his real identity, away from the truth. He became a pawn for evil.

[...]

Colin Kaepernick, another weak and impressionable male, leveled similar false accusations against the country and against police – in this case, cheered on by his phony “social justice”-oriented girlfriend. Kaepernick said he won’t honor a country that “oppresses black people and people of color.” He spreads the liberal mainstream media lie against police: “There are bodies in the street, and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.” Not true.

In his warped and misled mind, he thinks and pretends he’s doing good. But deep down, he knows he’s wrong. He’s driven by resentment and judgment. He gives money to “social justice” causes that pretend to help kids but push the lie of “racism.” When you’re angry, you believe a lie.

-- Jesse Lee Peterson, Dec. 3 WorldNetDaily column

(CNSNews.com also published this column.)


Posted by Terry K. at 12:18 AM EST
Updated: Saturday, December 9, 2017 9:53 AM EST
Friday, December 8, 2017
CNS Forgets Trump Mocked A Disabled Reporter
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com reporter Melanie Arter goes into stenography mode once again in a Dec. 4 article to uncritically repeat the latest pearls of wisdom from Dear Leader:

President Donald Trump commemorated International Day of Persons with Disabilities on Sunday with a statement saying that “too many people around the world” believe that having a disability justifies “destroying precious human lives.”

“Too many people around the world hold the misguided view that disabilities justify degrading or destroying precious human lives or that people with disabilities should not be entitled to full participation in civic life,” he said in the statement. “This way of thinking will always be morally wrong and contrary to our Nation’s core values. 

“As Americans, we must set the global standard for ensuring those with disabilities are treated with the dignity and respect that all people deserve.  Working with other nations, we will advance the rights of people with disabilities around the world,” the president said.

Arter failed to mention that time when Trump did, in fact, degrade a precious human life by mocking a disabled reporter.

During the 2016 campaign speech, Trump mocked the movements of New York Times reporter Serge Kovaleski -- who has arthrogryposis, which visibly limits the functioning of his joints -- over claims that Kovaleski purportedly altered a story claiming that Muslims in New Jersey allegedly celebrated the fall of the World Trade Center towers on 9/11.

That would seem to undercut the sincerity of Trump's words, but Arter didn't think that was an important fact to relate to her readers.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:01 PM EST
WND Cheers Thank-Trump Promotion From Fellow Right-Wingers (And Alex Jones)
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily's state-media campaign to thank Donald Trump for being president (now with more God!) has been stuck in its little fringe-right bubble, so it's also embracing any fellow fringe-right figure who will deign to promote it.

First up were Fox News hosts Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham, who got praise from WND for doing the bare minimum of tweeting about it.Then Breitbart wrote an article about the campaign, so WND wrote an article about the Breitbart article, giving Breitbart a pass for not getting WND's full name right (it's notthree words, guys) -- perhaps because the article also fed WND's delusions by calling it an "independent news agency."

By last week, though, WND editor Joseph Farah was reduced to appearing on extremist conspiracy theorist Alex Jones' show to plug this campaign. And, yes, WND did an article on that, too:

“I’m even more thankful than I was then, in the ’80s, when Ronald Reagan was around,” Farah said in an interview this week on “The Alex Jones Show.” “You know, for me, I thought we’d never see his likes again. What we’re seeing right now is even more exciting. Trump is a man of action, he’s a man of courage, he cannot be deterred, he doesn’t care what people say about him.”

Farah marveled at Trump’s many accomplishments in his first 10-plus months in office, which WND is tracking and compiling in a BIG LIST.

“We have not seen anything like this in our lifetimes,” Farah told Jones. “I mean, I was around for Reagan. In fact, Reagan was the guy, the personality, who took me from the far left to being a constitutional, limited government kind of guy. That’s what Reagan did for me, but what Trump is doing in his first year, the accomplishments are greater, they’re more stunning. I’m just amazed at how much he’s doing. He’s taken us completely off defense. He’s on offense all the time.”

[...]

“We’d better thank our lucky stars,” Jones said. “The Supreme Court we’ve got, what’s happened with the economy, all of it – they planned to sew it all up when Hillary got in – the censorship, the control.”

He added: “The answer is to get everybody doing what [WND] and Joseph Farah have done, and that’s what’s going to cause a hydrogen bomb explosion of thankfulness.”

(And, yes, Jones' Infowars website did a reciprocal story, and also misspelled WND's full name as three words.)

Farah went on to insist that "This is not a Joseph Farah show; it’s not a WND show,” even though every thank-you card states it was "brought to you by WND."

WND didn't give any ideological label to Jones -- perhaps because he's so off the charts as a conspiracy theorist that he makes Farah and WND look reasonable by comparison.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:53 AM EST
Thursday, December 7, 2017
MRC Demands Brian Ross (But Not Bret Baier) Be Fired For Mistake
Topic: Media Research Center

To nobody's surprise, the Media Research Center went all in on exploiting ABC reporter Brian Ross' error in a story on former national security adviser Michael Flynn for maximum partisan effect.

Curtis Houck touted the "embarrassing correction" that had to be made, which allegedly constituted "the latest epic fail by Ross." Houck was even more giddy when ABC announced Ross would be suspended for the error; under a headline that included the words "About Time," proclaiming it as "yet another reason why people dislike the media." And MRC apparatchik Dan Gainor wondered "how you can trust anything" from ABC.

(Last time we checked, Paul Begala and Erroll Southers are still waiting for their corrections and apologies from the MRC's "news" division, CNSNews.com, for the false stories written about them.)

Also to nobody's surprise, this all culminated in an indignant column from the MRC's Tim Graham and Brent Bozell, in which they declare that Ross hasn't paid enough of a price and must be fired, huffing, "These supposed guardians against 'fake news' make it look like fact mangling isn't really a serious offense."

However, the MRC thinks some media errors are less deserving of punishment than others.

As we've documented, shortly before the 2016 election. the MRC went all in on relentlessly promoting a Fox News story citing anonymous sources to claim that an indictment of Hillary Clinton was imminent and that her email server was almost definitely hacked. So all-in was the MRC that Bozell declared, "We will report developments on this continuing cover-up every hour from here on out." Turns out that story was false, and Fox's Bret Baier had to retract it. For all those hours Bozell said his MRC would report on the story, none of them reported on the development that it was bogus.

The MRC never retracted or corrected all the promotion it gave to this false story. It never demanded that Baier be fired for reporting such egregiously false information. Bozell never dismissed Fox News as "fake news" over the story.

Heck, the MRC still hasn't corrected its false post from a couple weeks ago that confused Time Warner and Time Warner Cable.

The MRC needs to clean up its own house first if it ever wants to be taken seriously as a media critic instead of just being dismissed as partisan hacks.

UPDATE: As the Washington Post notes, ABC also reprimanded another employee of the news division -- Chris Vlasto, the head of the investigative unit for which Ross works -- for providing internal poll numbers to Donald Trump's presidential campaign. The MRC hasn't mentioned Vlasto at all. Wonder why...


Posted by Terry K. at 8:55 PM EST
Updated: Thursday, December 7, 2017 10:07 PM EST
Newsmax Touts O'Reilly's Views on Sexual Harassment Without Mentioning He Was Fired For It
Topic: Newsmax

Newsmax's courting of Bill O'Reilly for its own little TV network is starting to turn into a full-fledged image rehab campaign, like it has done for other scandal-tarred conservatives. But in order to do so, Newsmax has to withhold certain information from readers.

Cathy Burke wrote of an O'Reilly appearance on Newsmax TV in a Dec. 1 article:

President Donald Trump will be the target of a "hellacious amount of accusations" by the "hate Trump media" if Congress passes a tax cut and the economy continues to grow, commentator and author Bill O'Reilly predicted Thursday.

In an interview with "Newsmax Now" host John Bachman on Newsmax TV, the best-selling author of "Killing England" said Trump "needs to prepare" for the attacks, especially if they "resurrect" allegations of sexual misconduct.

"The women thing is hot now," he said. "That's the big thing. They're going to resurrect that. They'll find more women. That's not hard to do in our society today. . . . So it's going to get very nasty, and I think President Trump himself needs to prepare for this."

Missing from Burke's article: the inconvenient fact that O'Reilly was fired from Fox News after he and it spent millions of dollars to settle allegations of sexual harassment against him. Indeed, at no point in the conversation between O'Reilly and Bachman does O'Reily's own history of sexual harassment get mentioned, beyond obliquely mentioning that Matt Lauer "was pretty tough on you when he interviewed you when 'Killing England' came out." Instead, Bachman proclaimed O'Reilly to be "the most successful cable-news anchor of all time" and plugged O'Reilly's latest book as "the perfect gift for Christmas." Not exactly a hard-hitting interview.

Burke did it again, and at length, in a Dec. 6 article:

O'Reilly said the growing sex harassment scandal in the nation has become, however, a "witch hunt."

"I think that you have to want one thing in all of these cases and that's justice, and each case is different," he said.

"We do have in this country now a witch hunt, no question about it," he said. "And the lawyers know it, so if somebody comes in and say 'I was abused' . . . lawyers know they can get a lot of headlines sympathetic to their client."

He added if someone is sexually abused and steps forward, "that takes an act of courage."

But, he said, "you can't say that everyone who lodges an accusation is a victim. That has to proven."

"The media is certainly not looking for the truth, they're looking for the headline, the sensationalism. The media doesn't care really what happened unless they don't like you, then they want to put you out of business.

"So the American people, they need to be cautious when evaluating these things and it comes down a lot along party lines . . . But I think, to be fair, if you want justice, you have to step back and evaluate each situation differently."

O'Reilly also weighed in on the sexual misconduct scandal enveloping Alabama GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore, predicting if the former judge gets elected Dec. 12, he will "walk right into" an ethics investigation in the upper chamber.

"In the meantime, he does vote Republican, which is why the [Republican National Committee] and President [Donald] Trump did what they did," he added. "They want the 52 Republican senators to stay intact. . . . But I do believe at this point it hurts the Republican Party in general to ally itself with Roy Moore."

Again, no mention was made of the fact that O'Reilly was fired for sexual harassment.

A clip on the segment featured an gushy introduction by Newsmax host Bill Tucker calling O'Reilly "the most successful cable-news anchor of all time, and you can catch Bill here once a week here on Newsmax TV, but you can catch him every day at billoreilly.com." At no point in the conversation between O'Reilly and host John Bachman does O'Reily's own history of sexual harassment get mentioned -- not even obliquely.

Yep, a total image rehab operation.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:22 PM EST
Updated: Thursday, December 7, 2017 3:24 PM EST
CNS Reporter Uses 'News' Article To Rush to Trump's Defense
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com doesn't just do stenography for Trump -- it runs to his defense and presents it as "news."

A Nov. 28 "news" article by Susan Jones begins with this lament

President Trump's many tweets criticizing "fake news" and the "dishonest" media are an exercise of his own free speech, but that's not the way his liberal critics see it.

Among those critics is James Clapper, the former director of national intelligence under President Obama, who told CNN Monday night that the president's "attack on the free press" is "dangerous and disturbing."

Jones offeres no evidence that Clapper is a "liberal" (being DNI under Obama is not evidence) or that every critic of Trump is a "liberal," as she appears to be suggesting.

After Clapper raised the specter of repressive regimes that suppress the media, Jones leaped into full defense mode: "Trump has never advocated suppressing acccess to the Internet. In fact, since he began his presidential campaign, Trump has used Twitter, an Internet platform, to get his message past liberal media filters."

Unmentioned by Jones: Trump has, in fact, advocated changing libel laws to make it easier to sue media organizations.

Jones uniroinically concludes her article by whining: "The nation's media outlets remain free, but objectivity has flown out the window in the Trump era." It's also flown away from CNS as a whole, and from Jones in particular, who uses a so-called "news" article -- traditionally the epitome of objectivity -- to attack the media and defend a politician she adores.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:19 AM EST
Wednesday, December 6, 2017
WND Lashes Out Against Not-Guilty Verdict in Kate Steinle Case
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Needless to say, the verdict that the undocumente immigrant charged with killing Kate Steinle didn't go over well in the anti-immigrant confines of WorldNetDaily.

WND reporter Leo Hohmann took a break from hating Muslims to vent his outrage in what was presented as a "news" article in a headline that included the words "Kate's blood cries out":

As shocking as it must have been for the family of Kate Steinle to hear the not-guilty verdict handed down for their daughter’s killer, the aftershocks could be even greater.

Steinle, 32, was fatally shot July 1, 2015, while walking with her father on Pier 14 in San Francisco, a notorious sanctuary city where known foreign criminals are shielded from deportation. She was shot accidentally, the jury decided, by Jose Ines Garcia Zarate, a man who had been deported five times, only to re-enter the country illegally for a sixth time, despite having been convicted of seven felonies.

The fact that a jury did not feel compelled to convict such a man on second-degree murder or even involuntary manslaughter charges could end up being a watershed moment for a nation divided on the issue of immigration.

Historians will look back and say tough lessons were learned, causing sanctuary cities to rethink their policies, or the sanctuary movement continued unchecked, leading to further crime waves that gradually overwhelmed cities in certain parts of an increasingly Balkanized America.

The fact that a jury did not feel compelled to convict "such a man" likely has more to do with the prosecution failing to provide evidence beyond a reasonable doubt that "such a man" did, in fact, murder Steinle, but Hohmann doesn't care about the actual evidence.

For his article, Hohmann interviewed only conservative and anti-immigrant activists (with a single tweet criticizing Trump's exploitation of the verdict serving as "balance"), including one activist demanding that Atorney Genreal Jeff Sessions ignore that whole double-jeopardy thing and "file new charges" against Garcia Zarate.

WND columnist Barbara Simpson also doesn't care about the evidence -- she blames "the liberal Bay Area" for the not-guilty verdict -- demanding a jury conviction apparenly based on what little she has read about the case and not the full complement of evidence the jury saw:

The jury found the accused not guilty of her death – he was found not guilty of any degree of homicide charges.

They had the man who held the gun that fired the bullet that killed her.

He admitted to the media, just after the shooting, that he indeed had held the gun that fired the fatal shot.

He said he had found the gun, wrapped in a T-shirt, under a bench. He used it, he said, to shoot at sea lions in the bay. That was just before it just fired, on its own, and the bullets hit Kate and killed her. And then he threw the gun into the bay.

The only thing he was found guilty of was being a felon in possession of a firearm, possibly facing three years in prison. But with credit for time served, he’ll probably serve no time for that at all.

Simpson then complained that the jury was "kept in the dark" about Garcia Zarate's as an undocumented immigrant. That's because his legal status was irrelevant to the crime he was accused of -- it doesn't make him any more or less guilty.

Finally, Simpson made a racial attack on Garcia Zarate, calling him "a homeless, unemployed illegal-alien felon. And until Kate Steinle was killed, he was someone who could have mixed into the huge illegal population of California. There are so many, no one even notices anymore, but if you do, you’re regarded as a racist."

Well, when you put it that way, Barb, it kinda is.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:09 PM EST
NEW ARTICLE: Letting A Pervy Politician Slide
Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center can't quite bring itself to issue an unequivocal condemnation of Roy Moore's alleged history of perving on teenage girls. And the MRC's "news" division, CNSNews.com, did its best to bury the Moore story. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 2:05 PM EST
Man Who Runs Website That Likened Obama to Antichrist Offended By Trump-Manson Comparison
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily continues to be blind to its own history when it comes to comparisons of presidents to unfavorable historic figures. WND editor Joseph Farah writes in a Dec. 2 column:

On the heels of comparing President Trump to cult murderer Charles Manson two weeks ago, the latest edition characterizes him in a headline as “basically a hate group all by himself under FBI definition.”

While the Manson comparison was dropped by the magazine days later, the following editor’s note explained why: “An earlier version of this story did not meet Newsweek’s editorial standards and has been revised accordingly.”

But, only two editions later, that didn’t stop the once highly regarded news weekly from committing another explosively dangerous smear of the president of the United States – one for which a Secret Service investigation is warranted.

Has Farah forgotten all of the explosively dangerous smears of the president of the United States his website published over the past eight years? You know, likening President Obama to Hitler and the Antichrist? Didn't Farah think those were exposively dangerous?

Farah is once again denouncing behavior his own website has engaged in. WND did its best to tar Obama as the leader of a hate group. For instance, a 2011 article by Aaron Klein promoted a photo that purported to show "President Obama appearing and marching with members of the New Black Panther Party as he campaigned for president in Selma, Ala., in March 2007. That's not what actually happened, of course; he was at a civil rights march in Selma, Ala, that included several thousand people, including Bill and Hillary Clinton, and Obama happened to be in the large crowd somewhat near to the New Black Panthers.

And, yes, WND did try to link Obama with Manson, in an August 2013 column by Robert Ringer:

With the racial conflict that has become increasingly prevalent since Barack Obama first took office in 2009, one is tempted to wonder if Charles Manson, the most famous mass murderer of the last half century, might have been onto something when he predicted the inevitability of an all-out race war between blacks and whites.

While Farah whines about the Newsweek criticism of Trump that "violated Newsweek's standards," it's clear that his own website has no such standards to violate -- all of these smears of Obama remain proudly available to this day at WND.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:28 AM EST
Tuesday, December 5, 2017
MRC Teams With Trump To Try And Discredit CBO Estimates
Topic: Media Research Center

One notable part of Trump administration strategy is to attack the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office as inaccurate as a way to short-circuit any criticism of its policies over cost estimates. The Media Research Center, a loyal supporter of Trump, has joined in the paratisan CBO-bashing.

In a Nov. 28 MRC post, Aly Nielsen pushed back on CNN host Wolf Blitzer's claim that the CBO has a good track record, insisting that "In reality, the CBO’s track record isn’t “pretty good.” and adding:

Past predictions from the CBO -- especially concerning Obamacare enrollment -- have also dramatically missed the mark, according to Forbes and Reason. The conservative American Enterprise Institute repeatedly condemned the CBO for vastly overestimating Obamacare enrollment.

Prior to Obamacare’s passage, the CBO estimated 23 million people would sign up through the health care exchanges by 2017. Enrollment was less than half that — just over 9 million enrolled in that time period — AEI visiting fellow Ramesh Ponnuru revealed in March 2017.

While Nielsen concedes that that AEI as conservatvie, she doesn't ad that the rest are too -- the Forbes piece was written by anti-Obamacare activist Grace-Marie Turner -- and if the MRC has taught us anything, it's that media outlets with a point of view shouldn't be trusted.

But as the Washington Post detailed, the CBO's estimate of Obamacare enrollment was inaccurate in part because it expected all states to expand their Medicaid coverage, when many did not because the Supreme Court ruled that Medicaid expansion was optional. The CBO also thought Obamacare's package of incentives for enrollment and penalties for not enrolling would cause more people to enroll than actually have done so.

Remember, Nielsen's post is done in the service of the Trump agenda. The CBO estimated that the tax-cut plan Trump is championing will add $1.4 trillion to the deficit, and Nielsen quotes Republican Sen. James Lankford bashing the CBO because it "assume[s] if you cut taxes, nothing happens in the economy" and, in Nielsen's words, "tax cuts have historically lead [sic] to economic growth." To back this up, Nielsen cites another article from the conservative AEI, which says nothing about the current situation.

In the real world, PolitiFact tried -- and failed -- to find experts who could demonstrate that a tax cut fully paid for itself in increased revenue, and that the available evidence showed that tax cuts can hurt revenue.

But then, Nielsen isn't being paid by the MRC to do full and impartial research -- she's there to support Trump.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:35 PM EST

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