CNS Follows Right-Wing Playbook In Attacking Trump-Russia Investigation Topic: CNSNews.com
We've previously noted the Media Research Center's huffiness when it's pointed out how its bretheren in the right-wing media ahve launched a full-scale attack on Robert Mueller's investigation into collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign as well as related issues. One likely reason it was huffy was that the MRC's "news" division, CNSNews.com -- like the good pro-Trump stenographers they are -- was a part of the right-wing attack on Mueller.
Here are some of the articles CNS published over the past couple months attacking the investigation, the FBI and related issues such as the notorious Trump dossier:
Jesse Lee Peterson is oblivious to a lot of things -- for instance, the racism in the term "great white hope." He forgets something else in the midst of this rant in his Dec. 24 WorldNetDaily column:
Incomes from 2009 to 2014 fell more for blacks than any other racial or ethnic group.
The following are some more unfortunate statistics about the decline of blacks under Obama cited by Deroy Murdock in National Review:
During Obama’s tenure, the percentage of black Americans struggling below the poverty line advanced, according to the Census Bureau data, from 25.8 in 2009 to 26.2 in 2014 – up 1.6 percent.
Real median income among black households during those years, according to the Census Bureau, sank from $35,954 to $35,398 – down 1.5 percent.
The seasonally adjusted labor-force-participation rate for black Americans across the board slipped from 63.2 percent to 61.7 percent – down 2.4 percent.
The number of black food-stamp participants exploded across that time frame from 7,393,000 to 11,699,000, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reports – up 58.2 percent.
Also, from Obama’s swearing in through the fourth quarter of 2015, the percentage of black Americans who own homes plunged from 46.1 percent to 41.9 percent, according to the Census – down 9.1 percent.
Donald Trump has done more for black Americans in one year than Obama did in eight years!
Since the 2016 election, the black unemployment rate has fallen by a full percentage point in the last year, black labor-force participation is up, and the number of black Americans with a job has risen by 600,000 from last year. Black wages and incomes are also up.
Missing from this rant: any mention of the inconvenient fact that there was a recession that had to be dug out of for the majority of Obama's presidency. That seems important -- but not to Peterson.
Peterson also fails to name any one thing Trump has actually done to create those conditions for blacks during his presidency -- which tells us that Peterson is giving Trump credit for policies that began under Obama.
Peterson contiunes his weird self-hatred for blacks by huffing, "Blacks are the one group Democrats can count on to support them no matter what. Look at the Alabama special Senate election where 96 percent of black voters blindly followed Democrat talking points and voted for liberal Democrat Doug Jones." It's a "Democrat talking point" to expect people not to vote for guys who like to perv on teens?
Peterson concludes by whitesplaining Trump to blacks, while also playing the divine-Donald card:
Kamala Harris, Cory Booker and other selfish Democrats only care about themselves; therefore, they keep lying and misleading blacks to keep them angry, blind and stuck on the Democrats’ plantation. They keep blacks in a perpetual state of anger with false allegations of “racism” (which doesn’t exist) to convince them that Donald Trump hates them and that Democrats are their saviors. It’s an evil and calculated agenda used to promote their selfish political desire for power and wealth.
I’m convinced that this president was sent by God to restore and unite our nation. This Christmas season and in the new year, black Americans should thank God for President Trump.
The only person we see who's perpetually angry here is Peterson.
MRC Tries to Defend Fox News As A News Outlet Topic: Media Research Center
We've shown that the Media Research Center has a Fox News-shaped blind spot when it comes to things it does that it criticizes other media outlets for doing. When it comes to Fox News' reputation as a right-wing opinion machine that's light on the news part, the MRC will rush to the defense of the channel that serves as the premier media outlet for its talking heads.
So when CNN's Brian Stelter questioned whether Fox News is actually news, the MRC's Alex Xenos was quick to retort in a Dec. 19 post, insisting that Fox News really does news, except for the stuff that's not, and that CNN is the real problem here:
Everybody understands that Fox & Friends presents a friendly viewpoint toward the Trump administration. Meanwhile, CNN still acts as if they are the arbiter of news as they fret over the President’s Diet Coke consumption and how he's a bully for taking an extra scoop of ice cream.
The point is that it's CNN's hypocrisy here that's troubling (not to mention that Fox News does excellent journalistic work and covers stories that the major broadcast networks refuse to even consider).
Sean Hannity is not a journalist. He is a pundit and admits to being one. Fox & Friends has had their reputation of being a right-of-center news program for years while Special Report will never be confused with Hardball or The Ingraham Angle. To Stelter's credit, he admitted as much regarding Shepard Smith and Special Report host Bret Baier. Using the former two examples to blugeon Fox News as an illegitimate news source is dishonest.
Actually, Hannity has claimed to be a journalist when it suits him to do so. And if "CNN's hypocrisy" is really the issue here, why is Xenos devoting so much time to defending Fox News' purported journalistic bona fides and dismissing its obvious right-wing bias as something "everybody understands" and, thus, something that doesn't need to be discussed?
Author Pays WND To Publish Her Book, Run 'News' Article, Hide The Full Story About Her Topic: WorldNetDaily
A Dec. 17 WorldNetDaily article introduces the sob story:
The mission of the health non-profit Daniel Chapter One was simple. Using biblical principles, Jim and Patricia Feijo created a series of products enthusiastically endorsed by customers who claimed it soothed their ailments.
Yet that was enough for the Food and Drug Administration and the Internal Revenue Service to launch an aggressive raid, complete with screaming and drawn guns, to shut down the ministry.
On March 31, 2015, the United States government closed the 30-year ministry of Daniel Chapter One, claiming it might violate a governmental order – without any customer complaints or any evidence of harm.
The consequences could be dire. As Jim Feijo noted, the rationale behind the government’s action could open practically every American to the charge of “practicing medicine” for sharing or utilizing folk remedies, with fines and punishments to follow.
Now, Patricia Feijo is sharing her story in the new book “Called To Stand,” from World Ahead Press.
“The government attacked us almost 30 years after we had been in business with our ministry,” Patricia Feijo said in astonishment. “No consumer ever complained; people were happy, thousands of people were being healed from all kinds of illness.”
However, Feijo noted some of the people helped by Daniel Chapter One credited the products with assisting their recovery from cancer.
“That was the thing that really got us,” she mourned.
Daniel Chapter One posted testimonies from some of its satisfied customers in the customers’ own words, accompanied by a disclaimer. This opened them up to an attack by the federal government, which was cracking down on natural health treatments.
What was behind the attack? Nothing less than the Trilateral Commission itself, in the form of the Trilateral Cooperation Charter, which aimed to harmonize America’s food and drug regulations with Canada and Mexico.
This unleashed a legal nightmare in which the Feijos were accused of claiming they possessed cancer cures, which they denied. At the same time, they were unwilling to deny the testimonies of their customers.
“They charged us with false and misleading advertisement really in order to shut us down,” Patricia Feijo said. “That was the whole agenda from the beginning. I believe we were threatening because our products were effective, because nobody was complaining, nobody had been hurt, not in 30 years.”
There are a few things missing here, starting with the fact that World Ahead Press is the self-publishing division of WND, which the article doesn't disclose. Since it's effectively a self-published book -- which means Feijo is paying WND "as little as $4999" to edit, produce, distribute and market her book, and this "news" article is apparently bought and paid for as part of that deal -- there's no attempt made at fact-checking or fairness.
We covered this story when WND first reported on it years ago, and there's a whole other side that Feijo and WND won't tell you: Daniel ChapterOne consistently refused to substantiate the curative claims it made about its products with scientific evidence, and it refused to stop making those unsubstantiated claims by insisting they were testimonials by users of its products, not medical claims by the company. The feds also pointed out that the Feijos claimed to have taken a vow of poverty, but are using the proceeds of Daniel Chapter One "to buy things like two Cadillacs, two homes, restaurant meals, tennis memberships, country clubs, pool and gardening services, cigars, carries around a Gold American Express card." Oh, and Jim Feijo stopped paying his taxes sometime in the mid-1990s, and the person who did the paperwork for incorporating Daniel Chapter One was later prosecuted by the IRS for tax evasion.
That would seem to explain why the Feijos can afford to pay WND to publish and market this book.
Ultimately, in 2015 Jim Feijo pleaded guilty to fraudulent marketing and tax evasion -- he falsely portrayed his employees to the IRS as independent contractors, paid his employees with checks made out to cash, and he failed to pay withholding taxes. Feijo was sentenced to a six-month prison sentence and six months of home confinement, was ordered to pay more than $218,000 in restitution, and people who bought their products were eligible for partial refunds.
We suspect that didn't make into Patrica Feijo's book, since it certainly didn't make it into the WND article -- Feijo certainly isn't paying WND to tell the full truth about her. That's just one more bit of dishonesty in a paid media hit fraudulently presented by WND as "news."
NEW ARTICLE: Susan Jones' Year of Trump Stenography Topic: CNSNews.com
The CNSNews.com reporter is so dedicated to making President Trump look good that she's penning pro-Trump opinion pieces that are presented as "news." Read more >>
WND Won't Give Obama Credit For Role In Defeating ISIS Topic: WorldNetDaily
Bob Unruh writes like a good Trump sycophant in a Dec. 18 WorldNetDaily article:
President Trump has won a war for the United States – the acknowledged defeat of ISIS – and the response from the media has been mostly crickets.
“This is one of the best stories of the young Trump administration. While many of the battles were fought under Obama, Trump pursued the enemy relentlessly. He delegated decision-making to commanders in the field, they fought within the laws of war, and they prevailed. Trump promised to defeat ISIS, and he has delivered a tremendous victory,” writes National Review columnist David French.
So why isn’t this in the headlines?
Because, explains New York Times columnist Ross Douthat, while there are several contributing factors, the success “does not fit into the narrative of Trumpian disaster in which our journalistic entities are all invested.”
A more likely possibility that Unruh -- who quotes only right-wing analysts as desperate as he is to credit Trump for this -- doesn't explore: Trump simply followed in Obama's footsteps in finishing what he began.
When Trump's purportedly "secret plan" to defeat ISIS was revealed last May, analystsnoted that it basically followed and continued Obama's plan. And the Pentagon has credited Obama's plan for training Iraqi soldiers with ISIS' defeat in Mosul.And as CNN national security analyst Peter Bergen pointed out, the majority of ISIS fighters killed in the conflict died under the Obama presidency.
After all the biased pro-Trump rah-rah was done, Unruh shifted to promotional mode:
For ending the war, and other accomplishments, WND now offers the Thank Trump Card Campaign. Some 17,000 already have gone online to send him a thank you, an effort that already has been praised by both Laura Ingraham and Sean Hannity.
For a continuously updated list of reasons to be thankful for President Trump, check out WND’s BIG LIST of Trump accomplishments.
Unruh is sounding a bit desperate here, which doesn't get any less so with a final paragraph giving out WND's email address for "media representatives who would like to interview WND founder and CEO Joseph Farah about the campaign."
A Dec. 19 post by Curtis Houck carries the hyperbolic headline "Grab Your Popcorn: Katy Tur Gets Annihilated by Dave Brat in Tax Policy Debate."But there's little actual annihilation going on; Brat simply disagrees with her. Houck is condescending to Tur throughout his post, ranting about her purported "smug factor" and mocking her status as a "MSNBC host extraordinaire" who's supposedly an idiot because she "grew up in a family of journalists." Perhaps Houck needs to be reminded that petty personal attacks on someoneyou don't like are not "media research."
Just as condescending and spiteful was Houck's MSNBC colleague Chris Reeves, whose Dec. 27 post ridiculously called Tur an "uber-liberal partisan" (what is an "uber-liberal"? Reeves never defines the term) and ranted that she was "fomenting political tribalism by promoting rank partisan propaganda" and is "a repeat offender when it comes to pure, unadulterated liberal lunacy."
One purported example of this, according to Reeves, is that Tur recently, and accurately, pointed out that President Trump has not held a full solo press conference since February. This, needless to say, sent the MRC into spin mode. Tim Graham retorted, "Trump has held a series of press conferences this year, but most of them have come with foreign leaders, and only two American reporters and two foreign reporters are allowed to ask a question. That’s a fraction of a press conference, perhaps, but it’s wrong to say he 'hasn’t had a press conference.'" Reeves joined in: "In reality, Trump’s last press conference was on October 16th, and the President regularly answers press questions in informal sessions on the White House lawn. This hardly constitutes a “laughable” fear of the press, as Tur characterized it." But that presser was an impromptu one, held in the White House Rose Garden with Sen. Mitch McConnell -- again, not the formal, planned press conference Tur was talking about.
Again: Personal attacks do not qualify as "media research" -- except, apparently, at the MRC.
WND's Favorite Ex-Soviet Bloc Spymaster Peddles The Disinformation He Claims To Despise Topic: WorldNetDaily
Ion Mihai Pacepa is the former Soviet Bloc spymaster-turned-Trump fanboy, as we documented. But as questions have grown about Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election for the apparent benefit of Donald Trump, Pacepa remained curiouslysilent.
Pacepa has finally broken his silence in the form of a Dec. 20 WND column headlined "The real Russian collusion." And as you'd expect from a guy who wrote a (WND-published) book called "Disinformation," Pacepa's column contains a lot of, um, disinformation. His first false claim came early:
Out of 1,331 daily newspapers in our still-capitalist nation, only two – the Las Vegas Review-Journal and the Florida Times-Union – unconditionally endorsed the capitalist candidate Donald Trump during the election campaign, and little seems to have changed since then.
In fact, most newspapers no longer endorse political candidates. Of those that did during the 2016 election, 19 endorsed Trump while 240 endorsed Clinton.
Nevertheless, Pacepa rants that "the media are disinforming America" -- a paragraph before he falsely claims that Katharine Weymouth was the publisher of the Washington Post in 1990. Weymouth was the publisher of the Post from 2008 to 2014; Pacepa may have been thinking of her grandmother Katharine Graham, but she was publisher from 1969 to 1979 and chairman of the board of the Washington Post Co. after that.Her son, Donald Graham, was the actual Post publisher in 1990.
Having made two major factual errors already, it's hard to take Pacepa seriously when he cheers Donald Trump as a "capitalist entrepeneur" and calls Barack Obama "the first undercover Marxist to become president of the United States" who engaged in a "ruinous flirtation with the alien god of Kremlinist autocracy" -- then uniroinically complains that "Ridiculing the U.S. president is an anti-American dezinformtsyia tool smuggled into the U.S. by the KGB community" and whines that "During the age of Obama, the KGB-style vilification of American political leaders became a standard journalistic tactic in the U.S. as well."
Pacepa then declares: "Now I am joining the efforts of WND (whose founder and editor was also a Marxist when he was young, and whose managing editor edited “Disinformation,” the book I co-authored with professor Ronald Rychlak) to persuade our media to stop colluding with Russia and with undercover Marxism, and to become American again."
Pacepa concludes: "But national unity is difficult if not impossible when the press, that near-sacred institution on which we rely for digging up and communicating vital truth, instead becomes the chief purveyors of lies and half-truths – in a word, of disinformation." Perhaps, but he will never demand that the publisher of his book and columns adhere to that standard of truth-telling.
CNS Stenography By the Numbers: Mark Levin and Franklin Graham Edition Topic: CNSNews.com
If CNSNews.com has been known for anything in 2017, it was servile stenography. Mostly that was of the Trump administration, but it also covers the various rantings of CNS' favorite commentators. Two of those commentators who regularly get CNS love are right-wing radio host Mark Levin -- with whom CNS' parent, the Media Research Center, has had (and may still have) a cross-promotion deal -- and increasingly right-wing pastor Franklin Graham, whose anti-gay and anti-Obama rants WND managing editor Michael W. Chapman has given much love (and stenographic promotion) in the past.
We've looked through the CNS archives, and here's a tally by month of the articles CNS devoted to Levin and Graham in 2017.
Feb: 6 (plus 1 on Levin guest)
March: 6 (plus 1 on Levin guest)
May: 7 (plus 2 on Levin guest)
June: 14 (plus 2 on Levin guest)
Sept. 7 (plus 1 on Levin guest)
Nov: 8 (plus 1 on Levin guest)
Total: 102 (plus 8 on Levin guests)
Feb: 6 (plus one on Anne Graham Lotz, Franklin's sister)
The pace for Graham is a little slower in the past -- we've noted that Chapman devoted 46 articles to Graham's rantings in one previous six-month period -- but it's still a lot for someone who's known mostly for hating gays and loving President Trump.
CNS' promotion for Levin, meanwhile, didn't stop with serving as a transcription service. It promoted Levin's "new best-seller" book in a July interview with CNS editor in chief Terry Jeffrey, and a November post by Michael Morris was basically a lightly rewritten press release on Levin's new show on Fox News -- so lightly rewritten that Morris simply copied-and-pasted the last three paragraphs of the press release to fill out his article.
The fact that CNS has outsourced such a singificant part of its content to right-wing ideologues is a big indicator of how much of a non-factor it's becoming.
Newsmax's Hirsen Repeats Old Smears of Anita Hill Topic: Newsmax
The Media Research Center isn't the only ConWeb outlet still seeking to smear Anita Hill 25 years after the fact for committing the offense of forwarding allegations of sexual harassment against a conservative icon.
Like the MRC, Newsmax columnist James Hirsen was outraged that Hill was chosen to head a panel examining sexual harassment in Hollywood, and he devoted his Dec. 18 column to rehashing those old smears:
The problem for Hollywood is that Hill failed to tell the truth. Her behavior was inconsistent with someone who had been a victim of sexual harassment. Hill followed Justice Thomas from one job to another, made numerous personal telephone calls to the man she claimed had sexually harassed her, and the calls continued even after she was no longer working for him. She denied having ever made the calls but changed her story after phone records were produced.
Hill initially asked that her name not be mentioned when the accusations were presented to Justice Thomas. The accusations referred to events that were supposed to have occurred when only she and Justice Thomas were in the same room, so if the allegations were true, Justice Thomas would certainly have known who had made them. The anonymity request only made sense if the charges were false.
Does Hirsen agree that all women to want to remain anonymous in forwarding sexual harassment allegations are lying? We don't recall being outraged when, as a Dec. 15 MRC NewsBusters post, a woman who accused NBC's Matt Lauer of sexual harassment was "terrified" that the network would leak her identity and cause her to be "hounded and harassed."
Of course, identifying the accuser would allow people like Hirsen to personally attack her, as he did with one woman who accused Roy Moore of perving on her as a teen. Then again, Hirsen would never try to smear one of Lauer's accusers, and he certainly never tried to attack any of the accusers of, say, Harvey Weinstein who chose to remain anonymous or demand that they go on record. There's also no evidence that Hirsen has held any woman making harassment allegations against a Hollywood figure to the same exacting standards of veracity he holds Hill.
It seems that, like the MRC, Hirsen just can't let go of his quarter-century-old anger.
The MRC's 'Soros-Funded Journalism' Fail Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center has longbeenobsessed with George Soros as some kind of liberal string-puller through his funding of allegedly liberal groups (despite the fact that the MRC has a string-pulling moneybags benefactor in the form of the Mercers). We see this again in Aly Nielsen's Dec. 13 post, in which she writes:
Soros-funded journalism is coming to seven states in 2018, thanks to ProPublica. The liberal journalism nonprofit announced on Dec. 9 it had chosen journalists in Louisiana, West Virginia, Oregon, New Mexico, Indiana, Illinois and Florida to receive year-long stipends to pursue ProPublica-approved investigations.
Nielsen's article is accompanied by a chart of dubious origin -- no source is given, but it's apparently taken from the MRC's apparently dormant "Buying Bias" website, which claims to track "the funding sources behind non-profit journalism" and where a version of Nielsen's post first appeared in October -- purporting to show donors to ProPublica over an unspecified period of time, but unfortunately for Nielsen's "Soros-funded journalism" angle, it shows that Soros' Open Society Foundation donated only $737,411, while five other foundations donated more than $1 million, and the biggest donor, the Sandler Foundation, utterly dwarfed OSF's conrtibutions with a whopping #44 million donation.
Yet, even though Soros' foundation donated less than 1/33 of the money of ProPublica's biggest donor, Nielsen's headline claim is "Soros-funded journalism."
The MRC has done this before. For example, a 2013 post about ProPublica calls it a "Soros-funded news operation," and Nielsen herself did it again last January, using a similar chart that curiously omitted the Sandler Foundation's donations -- presumably to not undermine her Soros-bashing argument.
Nielsen also huffed that "ProPublica has a history of liberal alliances and reporting," but she cited random, cherry-picked examples and offered no comprehensive research on ProPublica's coverage.
Divine Donald Watch, WorldNetDaily Edition Topic: WorldNetDaily
Mueller’s problem is that he is fighting against the Lord God of Hosts, also known as Yahweh, the God over the armies of Israel. I believe He’s the one who placed Trump into the Oval Office.
If I am correct, then there are two important questions to consider:
If God is omniscient and actually knows the end of a matter before its beginning, then wouldn’t you think He would have foreseen Robert Mueller being appointed special counsel before it happened on May 17, 2017?
If that is so, wouldn’t you also think God would have something in mind to handle Mueller and his investigation?
Do you realize it has been 50 years since all of Jerusalem came under Israel’s control in the Six-Day War of 1967?
In all the time since then, how many American presidents have done the obvious by recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital? Not one until President Trump did it on Dec. 6, 2017.
Now, does anyone really believe God placed Trump in the White House to carry out His plans for Jerusalem and then would allow him to be embarrassed at Mueller’s hands?
There is not a gnat’s chance in the universe of that ever happening.
So, if I were Special Counsel Robert Mueller, I’d constantly look over my shoulder, wondering how God will vindicate President Donald Trump in this so-called Russian collusion case.
How can I offer such a ridiculous warning to Mr. Mueller?
Nehemiah’s life was an example of leadership and organization. He gave up a comfortable and affluent position in Persia to return to the fractured homeland of his ancestors, and he united the people to reconstruct Jerusalem’s wall. In the face of opposition, he used wise protection measures for the security of the people.
Donald Trump is likewise comfortable and affluent, and has a zeal and desire to protect the American people by way of building a border wall of protection to keep America safe.
If God ordained walls to be built for the protection of Jerusalem, how could this same strategy be wrong for America? Do we not have the right to protect our homeland from not only jihad, but also from any foreign enemy that would do us harm? How many times must nations, including our own, be attacked by enemies – Islamic or otherwise – before someone will stand up against terrorism and protect America?
I believe that building the wall of protection is singly the most important act that can be accomplished for the protection of our great nation. Every human being that comes to the United States of America should be thoroughly background checked.
I believe our borders absolutely must be guarded for the protection of the citizens of the United States of America. And when I look into the faces of my innocent grandchildren, I believe that any dereliction of the duty to protect them and the American people should be a legally actionable offense.
President Trump, in this case, is a modern-day, biblically based Nehemiah.
CNS Doesn't Disclose Its Link To Group Run By Bozell's Son Topic: CNSNews.com
Craig Bannister dutifully types in a Dec. 19 CNSNews.com blog post:
On Tuesday, in anticipation of final passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, ForAmerica President David Bozell issued a statement touting the tax reform plan’s benefits.
“The American people should be pleased to see the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act cross the finish line. Congratulations to the Trump Administration and Congress on their accomplishment,” Bozell said.
Bozell declared the bill “a home run for the middle class,” as well as for small businesses:
ForAmerica is an award-winning, national grassroots organization whose mission is to use social media to reinvigorate the public with the principles of American exceptionalism: freedom, prosperity and virtue, be it in its educational efforts, the support of legislation or the support of public policy.
Despite writing for what purports to be a "news" operation, Bannister breaks a basic rule of journalism by failing to disclose a major conflict of interest. As we've noted, David Bozell is the son of Brent Bozell, CNS publisher and head of the Media Research Center, which owns CNS. Brent Bozell also founded ForAmerica, and the group shares a building with the MRC.
Further, a look at the ForAmerica website reveals it's filled mostly with posts copied from various MRC divisions, including CNS and NewsBusters.
So, yeah, it's pretty integrated with the MRC. Bannister should've told his readers that -- but journalistic ethics isn't a big deal these days for the Trump stenographers at CNS.
Fake News: WND Still Misquoting Obama As A Current Supporter of Erdogan Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily has endeavored on occasion to portray former President Obama as a current supporter of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan by quoting out-of-context statements by Obama that were actually made before Erdogan turned authoritarian and instituted a brutal crackdown following an attempted coup in 2016.
That misinformation -- fake news, one might call it -- is still going on. In a Dec. 12 WND article on allegedly anti-Semitic statements Erdogan made, Art Moore wrote: "President Obama praised Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as 'a man of action' and one of the five world leaders with whom he had the strongest bond." The "man of action" quote comes from a statement attributed to Obama by former national security adviser in 2011; the New York Times noted the quote in a 2016 article pointing out how the relationship between Obama and Erdogan deterioriated after Erdogan "began tilting in the direction of authoritarianism" and that "Obama has periodically warned Erdogan to curb his authoritarian tendencies."
The "strongest bond" statement is a relatively accurate interpretation of what Obama said, but Moore didn't mention that Obama said that in 2012 -- which, again, was before Erdogan turned authoritarian.
Then, in a Dec. 27 WND article, Bob Unruh uncritically quotes Joel Richardson -- who once wrote a WND column headlined "What Obama and the Antichrist have in common" -- getting the timeline right but still blaming Obama anyway: "As recently as 2012, President Obama named Turkey’s current President Erdogan as one of his top three closest friends among world leaders. A quick five years later, Erdogan has emerged as one of the most dangerous dictators of our day.”
Actually, Obama never said Erdogan was among his "closest friends"; that's a beyond-the-facts extrapolation of the "strongest bond" statement, and it also ignores the fact that the Obama-Erdogan relationship deteriorated during those five years.
This fake-news link between Obama and Erdogan that WND is trying to spread ignores the fact that just a year ago, then-WND reporter Jerome Corsi was cozying up to Erdogan by pushing the unproven narrative (via anonymous "trusted sources close to the Turkish government") that the coup attempt was inspired by Fetullah Gulen, a Turkish spiritual leader who currently lives in the U.S. and whom WND has tried to link to the Clintons for some reason.
It seems WND's stance on Erdogan depends on whatever political agenda it's pursuing on a given day.
MRC Writers Attack Mueller Probe As Biased, Ignore Ken Starr's Partisanship Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center just hates it when conservative media bias is called out. And they're really put out that the right-wing media's attacks on Robert Mueller's investigation into Trump-Russia links are being exposed for what they are.
In a Dec. 15 post, the MRC's Curtis Houck responded to CNN's Wolf Blitzer and "rabble rouser" Jim Acosta calling out those right-wing attacks by insisting that they're just asking questions and aren't trying to discredit the FBI at all:
What’s interesting was that the pair seemed to give zero thought to the possibility that this matter should be thoroughly examined in both the interest of transparency and the benefit of the investigation.
One prevailing thought in the media has been if the President has nothing to hide, then he should be more cooperative with the Special Counsel. Using that logic, the same should be expected of the FBI when it comes to snuffing out claims of political bias. Most reasonable people should and do believe that the FBI (and CIA) are among the country's most cherished institutions. Simple questions don't harm that credibility.
The other tidbit is how the media have defended the Mueller probe to the ends of the earth, but did the opposite with the Ken Starr investigation into the Clintons. My colleague Rich Noyes published a fascinating story that showcased the press’s viciousness roughly two decades ago when the subject of a special counsel investigation was a Democratic President.
In stark contrast to their supportive coverage of Mueller, the media’s treatment of Starr in the 1990s was savage. Almost as soon as he was named — and long before the Lewinsky story broke — Clinton-friendly journalists tried to discredit him as an unfair partisan.
The media’s Starr-as-partisan mantra was merely the first step. At the same time Bill Clinton was running for re-election in 1996, Starr was putting his ex-business partners, James and Susan McDougal, on trial for fraud uncovered during the Whitewater investigation. Again, Clinton’s friends in the press raced to innoculate the President from the damaging scandal.
It is, of course, impossible to imagine one of today’s journalists scolding Robert Mueller for distracting President Trump from important national business, or suggesting his investigation has become a partisan mission to destroy a President whom the Washington Establishment has never liked.
The double standard is obvious to anyone who will look.
That double standard is even more obvious at the MRC. Starr actually was the partisan the MRC insists Mueller is. As Joe Conason -- who covered the many bogus Clinton "scandals" in the 1990s -- explains, Starr "had served as solicitor general under President George H.W. Bush, who considered him for a Supreme Court nomination; he had raised funds for Republican candidates; he had served as a stalwart of the Federalist Society, the high-powered organization of right-wing Republican lawyers; and he had nearly run for the U.S. Senate in the 1994 Virginia Republican primary." He also provided legal advice to a conservative women's group in support of the Paula Jones lawsuit against Clinton. Starr was placed as independent counsel by Republican-appointed judges apparently upset that the original counsel, Robert Fiske, was going to clear Clinton in the Whitewater alleged scandal, Conason adds.
Needless to say, neither Houck nor Noyes mentioned that fears about Starr's partisan affiliations -- none of which, by the way, can be found with Mueller -- were well-founded. Neither did the MRC's Tim Graham and Brent Bozell, who whined in their Dec. 13 column that "among the 15 Mueller lawyers, nine are Democratic donors — several of whom contributed to Clinton's 2016 campaign" and complained that "Back then, anti-Kenneth Starr commentary wasn't 'shocking.' It was mandatory."
Just as it is currently mandatory for MRC writers to issue anti-Mueller commentary.