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Wednesday, March 21, 2018
WND Still Begging For Money To Make Film of WND-Published Book
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Since last July, WorldNetDaily has been trying to crowdfund preproduction costs (not actual production costs, mind you) of a film based on Anita Dittman's WND-published book "Trapped in Hitler's Hell." It's even invoked the film "Dunkirk" as something its film could be, conveniently ignoring the fact that, unlike "Dunkirk," WND has no prospect of landing a $100 million budget and/or Christopher Nolan as director.

In the eight months since the crowdfunding drive first began, WND has raised just over $16,000 -- a small fraction of what it claims it needs. But it's still at it, and a new pitch showed up earlier this month, invoking yet another film:

How long does it take to get a movie made? It depends on the story, often the budget. It also requires patience. For a big budget biographical film about heroic figures, it can sometimes take decades. The most recent example is the film “Unbroken” about the life of World War II hero, Louie Zamperini. Universal Pictures bought the book rights in January 2011 to augment the film rights to Zamperini’s life story, which it had already acquired at the end of the 1950s.

WND Films is looking to fast-track this process as it undertakes to make the movie version of “TRAPPED,” based on the book “Trapped in Hitler’s Hell” by Anita Dittman and Jan Markell. “TRAPPED” is the true story of teen-ager Anita Dittman’s harrowing journey of survival during the Holocaust. Anita escaped twice from Nazi prison camps as she fought to reunite with her mother who was sent to a death camp hundreds of miles away.

[...]

The team is endeavoring to make “TRAPPED” as an independent film as much as possible. The main reason for this is to preserve the critical faith elements of Anita’s story.

The movie “Unbroken” was mentioned as an example of big budget biographical film. That movie was financed and released by Universal Pictures in 2014. If you saw the movie, you would remember that it revolved around Zamperini’s life as an Olympian representing the U.S. at the Berlin Olympics. It also centered on Zamperini as an army officer who survived a crash landing of his bomber, along with a handful of others. They drifted in a raft for 47 days before a Japanese vessel picked them up only to send to a series of prison camps. The rest of the movie is how Zamperini endured the deprivations and extreme physical torture meted out personally against him by a sadistic camp commander.

What you didn’t see was Zamperini’s fight against alcoholism and PTSD, and most significantly his conversion to Christ after attending Billy Graham evangelistic crusade.

The team behind “TRAPPED” does not want God’s work in Anita’s life ignored or set aside as was done for “Unbroken.” That’s why it wants “TRAPPED” to remain an “independently” financed film. That’s why it is seeking donors and investors to support the movie financially.

That's because the film of "Unbroken" focused on Zamperini's wartine experience, not events that happened years later. Besides, another faith-based filmmaker is already making a film telling the rest of Zamperini's story.

The article also doesn't mention that Dittman once likened President Obama to Hitler, while also denying that Donald Trump exhibited Nazi-esque tendencies despite the obvious narcissism and cult of personality he's cultivating.

The article then quotes WND Films vice president George Escobar repeating an earlier claim that the film needs to be made because "All the critical issues young Anita faced in the 1930s and ’40s are resurfacing today," citing as an example "Fake news being perpetrated like Nazi propaganda, undermining our freedoms."

Um, Escobar does know who he works for, doesn't he?


Posted by Terry K. at 11:35 PM EDT
CNS Whitewashes Right-Wing Hungarian Leader As Just A 'Populist"
Topic: CNSNews.com

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban is a right-wing autocrat, in a country with no genuinely free press, who's currently promoting conspiracy theories about George Soros as part of his re-election bid (which is mostly assured anyway due to the fractured nature of the opposition). But at CNSNews.com Orban is just a misunderstood populist.

Patrick Goodenough wrote in a Feb. 27 CNS article:

Hungary’s foreign minister called Monday for U.N. Human Rights Commissioner Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein to be removed from his post, after the U.N. official singled out Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán for sharp criticism.

During opening remarks at the Human Rights Council in Geneva, Zeid cited Orbán as an example of “xenophobes and racists in Europe.”

He was the only leader mentioned by name by the high commissioner in his hard-hitting remarks to the HRC as it opened a month-long session.

Goodenough made sure to mention that Orban is a "democratically-elected prime minister" running a "populist government," then tried to explain things away:

The context of the quote cited by Zeid was a Feb. 8 speech in which Orbán argued that a diverse community is not necessarily preferable to a homogeneous one.

“The simple fact that something is colorful and varied in character does not make it more valuable than something which is not,” he said.

“And it is very important for us to use this as a firm footing: we must not allow the ground to be cut away from under our feet in moral or ethical debates, because we must defend Hungary as it is now,” Orbán said.

“We must state that we do not want to be diverse and do not want to be mixed: we do not want our own color, traditions and national culture to be mixed with those of others. We do not want this.”

Doesn't exactly dispel the idea that Orban is a racist and xenophob, does it?

Goodenough's companion article features another Hungarian official sounding more than a little xenophobic:

Hungary’s populist government ramped up a dispute with international institutions on Monday, accusing U.N. officials of promoting migration as a right, at the expense of “the right to a safe and secure life, where we live.”

“It is not a human right to pick a country where one would like to live,” Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto told the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva, adding that the crossing of borders must comply with international and national regulations.

[...]

“It is not a human right to pick a country where one would like to live. Crossing borders can only happen according to international regulations, and staying in another country can happen only in the case of respecting the national regulations.”

“It’s time to get rid of hypocrisy and political correctness,” he concluded. “We have to offer solutions to help enhance the security of all our member-states, because the number one human right is that we all have the right to a safe and secure life, where we live.”

In addition to one again claiming that Orban is a "populist," Goodenough suggested he was following in the footsteps of President Trump, adding that "The Trump administration formally withdrew from" the U.N. migration negotiations Hungary is railing against, "also citing sovereignty concerns."


Posted by Terry K. at 8:57 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, March 21, 2018 9:03 PM EDT
NEW ARTICLE -- Exhibit 69: WND's Arch of Fake News, Part 2
Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily is still weirdly taking the side of ISIS on the destruction of priceless antiquities, and it's maliciously accusing those who try to reconstruct the destroyed artifacts of promoting pagan religions. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 8:48 AM EDT
Tuesday, March 20, 2018
MRC Treats Oscars Joke As A Statement of Fact
Topic: Media Research Center

We highlighted the other day how the Media Research Center is a bit humor challenged. Here's another example.

During the Academy Awards telecast, host Jimmy Kimmel joked that movies like "Call Me By Your Name," about a gay relationship, weren't made to make money but "to upset Mike Pence," whose anti-gay attitudes are well known. The MRC basically took that joke as a statement of fact.

Karen Townsend and Alexis Moutevelis Coombs hate-watched the Oscars for the MRC -- which already hates Kimmel for expressing political opinions it doesn't agree with -- ranting that the show was "so self-indulgent and stuffed with liberal propaganda, that it ran a full 50 minutes late." They barely acknowledged that Kimmel's joke was a joke, portraying it instead as an endorsement of "gay pedophilia":

Then, as Kimmel pointed out the youngest actor nominated, he said his movie, Call Me by Your Name, was not made to make money but to irritate people like Vice-President Mike Pence. See, that movie is about an older man's intimate relationship with a teenage boy. The liberal audience ate it up, it was easily one of the biggest joke reactions of the night. They love to say Pence hates gays, even if they have to throw in some gay pedophilia to do it.

One: The younger protagonist in the film is age 17, which is above the age of consent in most areas of the world. Two:  How interesting that an organization that had trouble finding issue with Roy Moore's perving on teenage girls suddenly finds the moral clarity to identify "gay pedophilia"between two legally consenting people.

Meanwhile, at the MRC's "news" division, CNSNews.com, Craig Bannister portrayed Kimmel's joke as a statement of fact:

Hollywood makes anti-Christian movies to upset people like Vice President Mike Pence, not to make money, Jimmy Kimmel revealed as host of the 2018 Academy Awards Sunday.

Kimmel made the declaration while praising a nominated movie about a 17 year-old gay boy who has an sexual relationship with a 24 year-old man in the movie, “Call Me By Your Name” starring Timothee Chalamet

Kimmel said the movie was unsuccessful at the box office – but, that’s okay, because Hollywood makes movies to offend people with conservative, traditional values like Pence:

Then again, the MRC also tried to pass off Hank Williams Jr.'s vicious smear likening Preident Obama to Adolf Hitler as a "bad joke," so it seems the real issue here is the serious recalibration needed on MRC's humor meter.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:55 PM EDT
WND Blames Fla. Bridge Collapse On Obama, Because Of Course It Would
Topic: WorldNetDaily

The Obama derangement never stops at WorldNetDaily, it appears.

A March 4 WND article by Art Moore first laments that the deadly collapse of a pedestrian bridge under construction  at Florida International University was being "politicized" -- then joined in said politicization by blaming President Obama for it:

It didn’t take long for the horrific, deadly collapse Thursday of a newly installed pedestrian bridge at Florida International University’s Miami-Dade campus to become politicized.

On Twitter, President Trump is being blamed for wanting to build a wall while “our infrastructures are falling apart, for going out of his way to loosen building regulations and passing a tax-cut bill instead of doing “some REAL work for the country.”

While it’s too early to determine the precise causes of the tragic accident, which killed at least six people, Reason magazine assistant editor Christian Britschgi points out in a column Friday that, if anything, President Obama’s fingerprints are on it.

Installed only last Saturday, the bridge, he writes, was funded with $11.4 million from a federal grant program that has been criticized for a shoddy review process that puts politics ahead of technical and safety concerns.

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Transportation Investments Generating Economic Recovery, or TIGER program, was created as an economic stimulus measure under Obama and morphed into a permanent program, wrote Britschgi.

Yes, it's somehow Obama's fault for something that happened more than a year after he left office. That the kind of thinking at WND that pushed it to the brink of extinction -- and will again if it can't figure that out.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:07 PM EDT
Once Again, CNS Is Selectively Offended By What Celebrities Think
Topic: CNSNews.com

Craig Bannister writes in a March 6 CNSNews.com blog post:

A new PragerU video gives Hollywood activist-celebrities a harsh taste of reality.

“I follow Beyonce’ because, let’s face it, nobody does a break-up anthem better – but, can someone please tell me why I should care if she’s for Hillary or for Garfield the Cat?,” Candace Owens explains in PragerU’s “Dear Celebrities: No One Cares What You Think.”

Owens, director of Urban Development for Turning Point USA, says it’s understandable, given the adulation they’re showered with because of their talents, that celebrities believe other people care what they believe. But, it’s just not true, she explains:

“Nobody cares what you think. Nobody. Well, maybe your mother and your therapist do, but we don’t – not even a little.

“Allow me to spell this one out for you.”

And, she does – just watch.

But as we pointed out the last time it discounted celebrity opinions, CNS actually does care a lot about what celebrities think -- but only as long as they adhere to right-wing orthodoxy. CNS still carries a political column by celebrity entertainer Charlie Daniels, and it has treated us to the political thoughts of Fabio.

CNS has further treated its readers to the political opinions of the wife of a celebrity. An October post brought us the views of Sam Sorbo, "wife of famed Hercules actor and 'God’s Not Dead' star Kevin Sorbo." She's also described as an "actress, radio talk show host and writer," but let's be honest: Would you have heard of her if she wasn't married to "Hercules"? The next day, CNS gave Sam Sorbo, a homeschooling advocate, an entire column to rant about the evils of sending your children to preschool.

CNS showed her celebrity husband some love as well, using a February post to compile Kevin Sorbo's tweets about he "called into question the left's policy on immigration."

Apparently, nobody at CNS -- or at PragerU -- ever told Sorbo that nobody cares what he thinks.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:30 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, March 20, 2018 1:39 AM EDT
Monday, March 19, 2018
Newsmax Is Publishing, Promoting New Book By Jerome Corsi
Topic: Newsmax

When birther and conspiracy theorist left WorldNetDaily a year ago to move further down the credibility spiral for a job at Alex Jones' Infowars -- where he has been peddling even wackier conspiracy theories -- we thought we were done with him, since that particular cesspool is too toxic even for us.

But Corsi is back -- and not at WorldNetDaily.

Newsmax has a promotion going on centered around Corsi's newest book "Killing the Deep State," which tries to sell the contents of the book and the author's credibility this way:

Secretly operating behind the curtain of “national security” in Washington, D.C., exists the real government of the United States — the Deep State. This is the story of the players who pull the strings, no matter who you voted for, who actually sits in the Oval Office, or even who controls Congress.

Now, the New York Times bestselling author of The Obama Nation, The Late Great USA, and Unfit for Command pulls the veil off the Deep State and the powerful agencies behind it — the FBI, CIA, DOJ, NSA, and the Federal Reserve.

In his latest bestseller, Killing the Deep State, Dr. Jerome Corsi reveals for the first time powerful evidence that the Deep State is seeking to remove President Trump from office.

Corsi argues that no government agency, department, or official inside Washington — including the president of the United States — is immune from the powerful grip of the Deep State.

It also includes this Corsi-esque quote from Corsi: "The Deep State will not care if Trump is removed from office by impeaching him, declaring him mentally incompetent, or in the final resort, by assassinating him, as long as he is removed from office before the completion of his first term."

The cover blurbs Newsmax includes in the promotion are a rogue's gallery of dubious fringe right-wingers -- discredited author Ed Klein, dirty trickster Roger Stone, and Corsi's former boss, WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah.

Needless to say, Newsmax's promotion doesn't mention Corsi's deep involvement with bogus birther conspiracy theories -- so deep, he got himself to Joe Arpaio's bogus "cold case posse" on the subject -- or that Corsi is employed by conspiracy-crazy Infowars, or any other aspects of his sleazy history that ought to discredit him from being taken seriously by anyone.

Newsmax also doesn't mention that it's the publisher of Corsi's book. Humanix Books is listed as the publisher, which we've previously noted is a division of Newsmax.

Newsmax is also promoting Corsi on its website as well. A March 19 article let Corsi opine about the questionable firing of FBI official Andrew McCabe, and a rather lame article the same day notes that "The Barnes & Noble flagship store at Union Square in New York City is featuring best-selling author Jerome Corsi’s new book 'Killing the Deep State' on the front table of the store." The article doesn't disclose whether Newsmax paid for that front-of-store placement -- nor did it disclose that Newsmax published the book being promoted.

If Newsmax is trying to be taken seriously as a news operation, its current dalliance with Corsi will not help that effort.


Posted by Terry K. at 7:46 PM EDT
MRC Bashes 'Black Panther' For Violence While Praising Violent 'Death Wish'
Topic: Media Research Center

The movie "Black Panther" is near-universally beloved and highly rated -- except at the Media Research Center. Gabriel Hays found something to complain about in a Feb. 20 post:

Black Panther set box office records on its way to becoming “a watershed in cultural history of African Americans,” wrote The Miami Herald’s Leonard Pitts Jr. Yet, the movie was typical Hollywood – filled with violence, including 163 shootings, while Marvel stars call for gun control.

Lupita Nyong’o, who played Black Panther’s love interest Nakia, advocated for gun control in the wake of the Orlando shooting. The actress posted a long message on Instagram, saying “most importantly, we simply need to put down the guns!” Other Marvel Avengers have weighed in as well. Captain America’s Chris Evans has called for “common sense gun reform.” And the Hulk, played by Mark Ruffalo, has criticized conservatives for giving thoughts and prayers, and not actively pushing gun reform.

This hypocrisy is unusually blatant even for the film industry. It doesn’t matter whether the movie is Black Panther, Kingsman: Golden Circle or Gangster Squad. Hollywood promotes violence.

Hays did not document where his "163 shootings" stat came from, nor did he indicate he counted them himself.

A couple weeks later, however, Hollywood released another ultra-violent movie. But this time, the MRC was totally cool with that because  it makes liberals mad, as Scott Whitlock gleefully details in a March 2 post:

Liberal film critics hate the new remake of Death Wish. They REALLY hate it. So much so that it sounds like NPR, New York Times and  Los Angeles Times reviewers are sharing talking points. Or maybe it's just a lefty mind meld.

The Bruce Willis-starring film (opening on Friday) follows the template of the 1974 Charles Bronson action hit: Willis uses a gun (and other tools) to hunt down the men who murdered his wife and put his daughter in a coma.

While the MRC was eager to count (through some undisclosed method) every single time a gun was shot in "Black Panther," Whitlock is curiously silent about the amount of violence in "Death Wish."  How violent? Movieguide, a conservative website that does tally such things, documents the atrocities:

Some extreme bloody violence includes some gunshots to the head with gun splatter, gunshots to the body, man staples a wound on his bicep, and a man’s body is squashed by a car (very brief sudden image of that), and lots of strong violence includes gunfights, man hurts his hand, bullet ricochets on man doing target practice in his garage or a shed, point blank shootings, fighting, burglars with guns threaten two women, man beaten up, nightmares, implied shooting of two women in a house from outside the house (gun flashes are seen through the window), and operation scenes;

Movieguide also counts "At least 74 obscenities (many “f” and “s” words), three strong profanities, two light profanities, and an obscene gesture."

But as long as a movie sufficiently pisses off liberals, it can have as much violence as possible, according to the MRC.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:45 PM EDT
WND Denounces Farrakhan's Anti-Semitism, But Still Won't Publicly Comment On The Anti-Semitic Author It Published
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily was in high dudgeon in an anonymously written March 8 article:

Conservatives say Twitter’s continued allowance of tweets such as this is damning evidence of a striking double standard at the social-media network over what it considers “hate speech.”

The social-media network verifies the account of anti-Semitic, anti-white Nation of Islam minister Louis Farrakhan with a coveted blue checkmark while simultaneously blacklisting and censoring several high-profile conservatives. Farrakhan is known for blaming Jews for the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, declaring that white people “deserve to die” and heaping praise on Adolf Hitler. As WND reported, Farrakhan has called for black Americans to “rise up” and overthrow their white oppressors.

Just before Farrakhan’s tweet blaming the Jews for controlling the FBI and blocking black advancement, Farrakhan had tweeted: “What have I done to make Jewish people hate me?” His tweets were accompanied by videos of his speeches to Nation of Islam supporters during which he made several anti-Semitic remarks. Farrakhan’s speech was attended by Women’s March co-president Tamika D. Mallory, who has refused to denounce his anti-Semitic remarks.

Twitter continues to allow Farrakhan’s rhetoric while taking action against other users for far less inflammatory posts.

But WND has its own double standard to contend with. As we've documented, WND last year published a book, "Wage the Battle," by Wisconsin Republican congressional candidate Paul Nehlen. When Nehlen's public rhetoric turned anti-Semitic and white nationalist a few months after the book came out, WND slowly stopped promoting him and his book and eventually removed his book from the WND online store (as well as the anti-Muslim film he made, "Hijrah") and wiped him and his book from WND Books website -- but it has never made a public statement about Nehlen, whether it was aware of his extreme views before agreeing to publish a book by him, or whether it has pulled Nehlen's book from the marketplace.

In the three weeks since we last wrote about Nehlen, WND still hasn't issued a public statement regarding its relationship with him and his book. And Amazon is still selling new copies of the book, which indicates that WND has not withdrawn it.

WND seems to want the fact that it published a book by an anti-Semitic white nationalist to simply fade away without any consequences. But it forgets that we're watching.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:44 AM EDT
Sunday, March 18, 2018
CNS Managing Editor Pushes Bogus Claim That Federal Money to Planned Parenthood Is 'Fungible'
Topic: CNSNews.com

We've previously noted how CNSNews.com managing editor Michael W. Chapman complained that companies like Enterprise car rental were disassociating themselves from the National Rifle Association while donating to "groups that, in turn, either support abortion or send grants to Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider in the United States." Chapman also embraced a bogus claim in that same article:

Enterprise donated to dozens of organizations across the country. Among those organizations was the Susan G. Komen group, which is dedicated to fighting breast cancer. However, Komen itself donates hundreds of thousands of dollars to Planned Parenthood every year.

Komen claims that its grants to Planned Parenthood are for "breast cancer screening and outreach programs" and that it does not fund abortion. However, money is fungible. For instance, if in its budget Planned Parenthood had $100 allocated to do "breast cancer screening," and then Komen donated $100 to "breast cancer screening," it would free up $100 in Planned Parenthood's budget, which could be spent elsewhere.

Chapman provides no evidence to back up this claim. In fact, federal money to Planned Parenthood is by law prohibited from paying for abortions and pays for other services to women. Amanda Marcotte points out at Slate: "Republicans who tout the 'money is fungible' line want you to imagine that Planned Parenthood draws on one big pot of government money for all its services. But since medical services are billed and funded individually, that's not actually how this works. For instance, if subsidies that discount contraception disappear, the price of contraception goes up, but the price of abortion will stay the same."

Further, even if this fungibility argument were somehow factually proven, it would undermine federal funding to other private and faith-based groups. As the Guttmacher Institute notes: "If public funding for contraceptive services indirectly subsidizes abortion, then public funds going to organizations controlled by or affiliated with the Catholic hierarchy inevitably subsidize its inherently religious activities." And yet we never hear anyone complaining about that.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:27 PM EDT
WND's Farah Whines That SPLC Is Flagging Extremist Content on Google
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Joseph Farah's March 1 WorldNetDaily column complains that Google is using the Southern Poverty Law Center to help flag extremist content. He goes on to rant:

If Google finds your standards don’t meet those set the SPLC, you fall in search rankings.

Now, that is reason for real concern. In fact, it’s a travesty.

Let me use my own SPLC profile as an illustration. In 1997, I launched the first-ever independent online news service, WorldNetDaily, now known as WND.com, after a distinguished career in what we euphemistically still call the “mainstream media.” Besides working as an investigative reporter, foreign correspondent and senior newsroom executive, I also served as editor-in-chief of two big market daily newspapers. I served as an expert witness on newsroom standards and practices in high-profile defamation cases. I won awards for honesty and integrity in journalism, for writing, for editing and for newspaper design.

I took those standards and practices that I learned in a 20-year career in the so-called “mainstream media” and parlayed it into the first independent online news service in the world – an extremely popular one, I might add.

Would you like to know what the SPLC says about me? I don’t mind. I wear the description as a badge of honor, if you don’t take their outrageous caricatures to heart.

Here it is: “Joseph Farah runs WorldNetDaily, one of the most unhinged far-right ‘news’ sites on the Internet .WND specializes in anti-Obama ‘birtherism,’ wild accusations against LGBT people, anti-Muslim rhetoric and a huge dose of just plain lunacy. …”

Now, I ask you sincerely, with the SPLC serving as part of the media speech code police at Google, how do you suppose that affects the search results at WND.com?

For all of his ranting, though, Farah doesn't dispute the accuracy of that description of him and WND -- or, for that matter, anything else the SPLC about wrote him and WND. He can't because he knows this description of him and WND is entirely accurate.

Farah ended his column with yet another plea for people to donate money to WND in order to "protect the independent, non-fake news media in this country." despite the fact that WND is neither.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:44 PM EDT
Humor-Challenged Tim Graham -- Who Fact-Checked A Game-Show Joke -- Mocks Snopes for Fact-Checking A Satire Website
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Tim Graham was in full condescension mode on a March 3 post:

When you proclaim yourself a fact-checking website, dedicated to helping people you believe are easily hornswoggled, that poor opinion of the audience can cause problems. Take satirical web sites. Do most readers understand the difference between jokey fake-news and real news?

Snopes.com followed other fact-checkers in warning about the Christian satire site Babylon Bee. But was anyone really going to buy this headline as real, Snopes? "CNN Purchases Industrial-Sized Washing Machine To Spin News Before Publication." [This included the whimsical washer illustration to the right.] They felt the urgent need to call this out as “FALSE.”

Their humor-deprived headline was “Did CNN Purchase an Industrial-Sized Washing Machine to Spin News? The news media organization reportedly invested in mechanical assistance to help their journalists and news anchors spin the news before publication.”

[...]

Nevertheless, David Mikkelson of Snopes reported he found people dumb enough to take this literally: “Although it should have been obvious that the Babylon Bee piece was just a spoof of the ongoing political brouhaha over alleged news media ‘bias’ and ‘fake news,’ some readers missed that aspect of the article and interpreted it literally.”

Guess what happened next? Facebook uses Snopes as one of its fake-news flagging sites, so Babylon Bee's owner Adam Ford received a little note that an "independent fact checker" found "disputed" information in their humor. Facebook warned "Repeat offenders will see their distribution reduced and their ability to monetize and advertise removed.”

Funny thing, though: Two weeks earlier, Graham was very humor-deprived in fact-checking a comedy game show:

Everyone knows when the liberal comedians are joking, they're just making up Fake News, right? Or does the audience suspect there's a lot of truth behind the humor? Fans of the weekend NPR news quiz Wait! Wait! Don't Tell Me! heard the notion that President Trump's new budget "slashed" spending on everything, including Medicare and Medicaid.

Spending on those enormous health programs is never "slashed" -- they grow by leaps and bounds, even if some spending formulas inside the program get adjusted, or the Republicans propose a lower trajectory of skyrocketing growth than Democrats -- which is not"cuts." Reporters (and comedians) never look at actual overall Medicare/Medicaid spending on a chart.

The moderate-to-liberal Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget reports that under the Trump budget proposal, "Between 2018 and 2028, nominal Medicare spending would grow by 120 percent instead of 134 percent."

[...]

Throwing in TBS and T.J. Maxx is a way to suggest there's some serious fakery going on in this joke. But people might actually think this argument as a whole is true -- that Trump is wildly slashing the social programs to buy "guns and tanks."

But then, Graham is nothing if not humor-deprived, as painfully illustrated in a March 14 tirade against the Comedy Central "The Opposition" for mocking, yes, conservative humor for being humorless. Which seems to prove "The Opposition's" skit correct.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:07 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, March 18, 2018 7:50 PM EDT
WND Gives Platform to Trump-Linked Pastor To Spin For The President
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily edidtor Joseph Farah says his website "has not been adversarial toward Trump" -- which, of course, is a massive understatement. WND is effectively a state media outlet that's so pro-Trump it's embarrassing (or would be if Farah and Co. had any sense of shame about its fake news-laden brand of journalism that has pushed it to the brink of extinction).

WND's Art Moore serves up another example of fawning pro-Trump coverage in a Feb. 27 article. Moore's goal here is to spin away the Trump administration's apparent elimination of the White House'soffice for faith-based initiatives, as well as the elimiation of the "Evangelical Advisory Council," about which Moore offers no details. Instead, Moore gives a platform to pastor and Trump backer Johnnie Moore to handwave it because there are so many Christians in the White House now it's not necessary:

His relationship is informal – interacting sometimes daily with the administration, he said, and about every four to six seeks directly with the president – and he sees advantages to that lack of structure.

“Based on my experience, this White House doesn’t need to have a faith-based office in order to have a positive, open and productive relationship with the faith-based community,” Moore told WND.

The issues discussed, he said, range from the “obvious,” religious liberty and the sanctity of life, to the “less obvious,” paid family leave and criminal-justice reform.

[...]

“This is an administration that wants our community not down the road meeting with staffers, but actually in the heart of the conversation,” Moore said.

He said he personally has been in substantive meetings in the White House with a cumulative total of about 500 religious leaders.

“I’m not sure that many of those offices, over the course of previous administrations, have had so many meaningful and substantive interactions with religious leaders,” said Moore.

Art Moore also gave Johnnie Moore an uncritical platform to explain away the seeming preponderance of conservative evangelical Christians hanging around Trump as well as Trump's alleged "personal faith and a deep respect for pastors."

Art Moore does not seek a reponse to any of Johnnie Moore's claims -- he simply presents them as irrefutable fact and not as spin from a pastor with an agenda.

This is the kind of biased reporting WND has done in the past and, depite its financial scare, intends to keep doing in the future. Which means WND ultimately may not have much of a future.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:12 PM EDT
CNS Unemployment Coverage Distortion Watch
Topic: CNSNews.com

Since February's unemployment numbers were better than the previous month, CNSNews.com didn't have to severely spin things as it did for January. Instead, it was full pro-Trump rah-rah mode. The chief cheerleader, as always, was Susan Jones:

The number of employed Americans has now broken eight records, most recently in February, since President Donald Trump took office.

155,215,000 Americans were employed in February, 785,000 more than last month’s record 154,430,000, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on Friday.

The number of employed Black Americans hit a record high of 19,087,000 last month, and a record 72,530,000 women 16 and older were counted as employed.

The labor force participation rate increased three-tenths of a point, and the nation’s unemployment rate remained at a low 4.1 percent for a fifth straight month.

To put the unemployment rate in perspective, the last time we saw rates this low, Bill Clinton was president. In the final four months of 2000 -- Clinton's final full year in office -- the unemployment rate was 3.9 percent, and it dipped to a Clinton-era low of 3.8 percent for one month only, in April 2000.

The sidebar on black unemployment by managing editor Michael W. Chapman saw better numbers this time as well, to the point where he proudly harrumphed: "It is a historical fact that the unemployment rate for black workers in America has been the lowest in nearly 50 years, and this occurred under the Trump Administration."

Even editor in chief Terry Jeffrey went the pro-Trump stenography route for his sidebar, declaring that "The United States added 31,000 manufacturing jobs in February and employment in the manufacturing sector has now increased by 263,000 since December 2016, the last month before President Donald Trump took office." He went on to assert:

The last time there were more manufacturing jobs in the United States than there were in February was in December 2008, the last month before President Barack Obama took office. That month, according to BLS, there were 12,850,000 manufacturing jobs. But, in January 2009, the month Obama was inaugurated, manufacturing jobs dropped to 12,561,000—and did not move back above 12,600,000 until last month.

Jeffrey didn't mention that the U.S. was suffering a major recession at the time of Obama's inauguration. Gee, wonder why...


Posted by Terry K. at 1:52 AM EDT
Saturday, March 17, 2018
WND Columnist Blames Women's Sports (Not The NHL) for Men's Hockey Olympics Loss
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Andy Schlafly comes up with a novel explanation for why the U.S. men's hockey team didn't do well during the Olympics in a Feb. 27 WorldNetDaily column:

After the poor showing by the U.S. men’s hockey team at the Winter Olympics, it was inspiring that the Marjory Stoneman Douglas boys’ hockey team captured the state championship on Sunday and will represent Florida at the national championship next month. The sister of one of the team’s hockey players was among the recent shooting victims at the high school in Parkland, Florida.

Boys’ hockey is thriving at the high school level, and this remarkable victory by the Marjory Stoneman Douglas team brings welcome relief amid the tragedy. Medals from this championship team were added to the memorial site of the shooting victims.

But boys’ hockey stars will find limited opportunities to play when they get to college. There are only a few dozen competitive college men’s hockey teams, not enough to develop the talent needed to compete with the rest of the world.

As a result, a ragtag team of Russians humiliated the U.S. men’s hockey team with a 4-0 drubbing in Pyeongchang, South Korea. The American team fared slightly better for its final game prior to its elimination in an overtime shootout against Slovenia, but NBC failed even to broadcast that exciting finish.

When the U.S. women’s hockey team won the gold in a victory against Canada, there was praise but none of the national excitement that occurred when our men’s hockey players defeated the Soviet Union at Lake Placid in 1980. Men’s hockey is far more popular than women’s hockey, for both men and women spectators.

Unfortunately, federal regulators who implement Title IX against college sports refuse to recognize this fundamental difference between men’s and women’s sports. Regulators require colleges to provide more athletic opportunities for women than for men, simply because there are now more women than men attending college.

The hockey competition won by the Marjory Stoneman Douglas team in the Sunshine State of Florida illustrates how much boys’ hockey has grown in popularity. Colleges, however, are generally forbidden from having more sports teams for men than women, so if there is not enough interest in women’s hockey or another large team sport for women, the college is not likely to start a men’s hockey team.

In fact, the main reason the U.S. Olympic hockey team didn't do well is that the National Hockey League refused to allow its players to take part, meaning the best players in the world couldn't take part and that the U.S. team was made up mostly of amateur and minor-league players. The "ragtag" Russian team, meanwhile, was made up of pro players.

Schlafly built his column around a false premise just so he could bash girls and women in sports. That's pretty sad.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:23 AM EDT

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