While observing World Press Freedom Day on May 3, MSNBC aired an advertisement encouraging viewers to watch not just that liberal channel, but also follow more than 25 other left-leaning sources and newspapers while not mentioning Fox, the most-watched news network on cable TV.
On the print side, it included newspapers as The Guardian, Financial Times, USA Today, The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times,Chicago Sun-Times,Baltimore Sun, Philadelphia Enquirer, Florida's Sun Sentinel, The Daily Press(Newport News, VA), the Sun (Naperville, Illinois), and the New York Daily News.
Also mentioned were BBC News, the global Inter Press Service and magazines like New York Magazine, The New Yorker, and The Atlantic.
The closest the advertisement to conservative outlets were the Wall Street Journal and National Review.
But Hall never proves that any -- let alone all -- of these outlets are "left-leaning." Apparently, he's just parroting the MRC's propganda that any media outlet that's not as far to the right as Fox News is "liberal." And his suggestion that the Wall Street Journal (owned by Fox News' Rupert Murdoch) and National Review are merely close to conservative and not actually conservative is ridiculous.
Hall spends the rest of his post complaining that the MSNBC ad didn't offer Fox News as an option. But he didn't note whether Fox News ran a similar ad to mark World Press Freedom Day -- probably because if it had, it almost certainly wouldn't have told people to watch MSNBC. Does Hall really think otherwise?
An anonymous WorldNetDaily writer does a fine job of stenography in a May 7 article:
Conservative filmmaker and author Dinesh D’Souza is calling revelations that comedian Rosie O’Donnell made repeated, “oversized” donations to Democrats – using five addresses and four different names –”an egregious violation.”
In 2014, D’Souza was fined $30,000 and forced to serve five years probation and eight months in a confinement center after he gave $20,000 to Wendy Long’s run for the U.S. Senate. In a tweet Monday, D’Souza suggested there’s a double standard in how his case was handled in comparison to O’Donnell’s.
He tweeted: “Justice isn’t merely about whether you broke the law – it is also about whether others similarly situated receive the same penalty #Rosie.”
A New York Post investigation revealed Saturday that O’Donnell made large donations that exceeded legal limits to at least five Democratic Party candidates.
But D’Souza said the facts indicate O’Donnell knew she was breaking the law.
“It seems clear, from what we know, that Rosie broke the law and she broke the law five times,” D’Souza told Fox News.
“What makes it particularly sneaky on her part is that she used four different names and five different addresses,” he said. “It seems clear that she knew what she was doing and she tried to cover her tracks.”
D’Souza continued, “You exceed the campaign finance limit, and the law is the law whether you actually know it or not.”
In fact, D'Souza was pushing fake news -- so much so that other conservative outlets came to O'Donnell's defense. Becket Adams of the conservative Washington Examiner points out that O'Donnell's donations were effectively made under the same name, adding:
If her aim was to avoid detection, having her occupation (“comic”) and employer (“Showtime”) included on the receipts seems like an odd choice. And let’s not lose sight of the fact that her name is on every single filing (how do you think the Post and the Washington Examiner found them?). Lastly, it’s probably worth mentioning that it is common for the recipient of a campaign donation to fill out the necessary FEC forms.
Put more plainly, it's more likely that O’Donnell was careless rather than nefarious. She's also probably in the clear, especially considering that excessive contributions are routine, non-felonious issue for the FEC. They are so routine, in fact, that there’s a page on the agency’s website dedicated to this specific issue.
Adams then reminds us of what, exactly, D'Souza did and why he's full of crap:
Now, let’s compare all of this to D’Souza, who is playing the victim angle hard this week.
D’Souza pleaded guilty in May 2014 to using straw donors to funnel an estimated $20,000 to a New York Senate candidate. He enlisted the aid of two acquaintances, a friend and a woman with whom he was romantically involved, to carry out the illegal donations. D’Souza promised that he would reimburse them later. This is all illegal, which is why he was sentenced to serve eight months in “community confinement.”
There’s a significant difference between over-contributing, which is a routine matter, and using straw donors, the latter of which is a felony. D’Souza is guilty of the latter. There’s no real comparison between his $20,000 felony and O’Donnell giving a combined $5,400 in over-the-limit contributions to five candidates. D’Souza used personal acquaintances as donor mules, and now he’s playing the victim.
No thank you.
WND could have easily fact-checked D'Souza; it chose not to. Thus, WND is once again publishing fake news -- one of the things that contribued to its near-death experience earlier this year, even if Joseph Farah won't admit it.
CNS Doesn't Mention Oliver North's Iran-Contra Scandal Topic: CNSNews.com
If you were a news outlet writing a story on someone, wouldn't you mention the thing for which that person is most famous?
If you were a real news outlet, yes. But we're taking about CNSNews.com here, which is in thrall to right-wing ideology and associated activist groups like the National Rifle Association.
Thus, the May 7 article by managing editor Michael W. Chapman on Oliver North being named NRA president describes him as a "decorated veteran, best selling author, and former National Security Council member" and gushing quotes from NRA official Wayne LaPierre -- but no mention whatsoever of the one thingthat catapulted him to fame -- his involvement in the Iran-contra scandal.
Chapman shoved down the memory hole the fact that North is only technically not a convicted felon, with his convictions on destroying documents, obstructing Congress and taking a bribe dismissed only because of having been granted immunity for his congressional testimony.
A follow-up story by Susan Jones the next day touted a North appearance on "Fox & Friends" (of course) in which he said various pro-NRA things. Jones similarly failed to mention North's role in the Iran-contra scandal.
Again, this is CNS, where it's all about the ideology, not about the journalism.
WND's Fake Democrat Laments the Decline of 'Real Men' Topic: WorldNetDaily
We've identified WorldNetDaily columnist Bob Just as a "WND Democrat" who claims to be a member of the Democratic Party yet does nothing but bash the party he supposedly belongs to. He does a little bit more of that in his May 2 column.
Headlined "Guns and guts: Why effete media fear real men," Just seems to be trying to latch onto the big damn manly trend WND columnists have been pushing recently. He throws in meaningless and gratuitious shots at "the leftists who control my party" and "my increasingly un-American Democratic Party." But it's mostly about complaining that boys aren't taught to be men -- well, Just's idea of a man, though he looks a little effete himself:
Sadly, teaching masculinity to boys is increasingly rare – unless you are on the football team. Most all-male schools like the one I attended (founded in 1709) are a thing of the past. Yet, they once provided a great service by showing boys “what it means to be a man.”
And don’t think the old code of “women and children first” is relegated to the days of the Titanic. That ethic will never leave us. Who of us would have accepted the James Cameron 1997 “Titanic” if he showed Leonardo DiCaprio allowing Kate Winslet to drown so his character might live on to tell their love story?
But does this means that women who accept the sacrifice of men are cowards or wimps? Of course not! It means they respect men. You can be sure the women of the real Titanic would have gladly also drowned if it meant protecting their children.
This is “the code” – the traditional understanding of duty and responsibility. It’s as deeply connected to the gun issue and our freedom as it is to our personhood. And it will always be such in America if this nation is to survive. Effete cultures have no future.
He goes on to bizarrely complain that boys were hiding along with the girls as the Columbine killers were shooting at them: "Didn’t anyone teach those boys what it means to be a man? Didn’t anyone teach them to take responsibility in a moment like that?" He doesn't mention that any boy who did that would likely have been murdered too.
Would a real man prtend to be a member of a political party that stands for everything he despises? Yet that's what Just is doing.
The Worst Hot Take Ever on Michelle Wolf, Courtesy of the MRC Topic: Media Research Center
Needless to say, the Media Research Center was incensed by Michelle Wolf's comedy routine at the White House Press Association Dinner, crankingoutpostafteroutragedpost about it. But it was even more incensed at the the idea forwarded by some commentators that Wolf's provocative language was no different than that of President Trump -- which led to a ridiculous hot take that didn't even make it to the MRC.
The MRC works with conservative, Trump-fluffing Washington Examiner writer Paul Bedard to produce a weekly "Mainstream Media Scream" that gives Bedard a way to fill space and a way for the MRC to promote its latest "liberal media" outrage. For the one about Wolf, Bedard highlighted those likening Wolf's language to Trump, then quoted the MRC's Brent Baker retorting: "When has Trump ever disparaged someone’s physical appearance in front of them? Wolf displayed a new low for public discourse, yet after three years of decrying Trump’s caustic comments, these journalists rationalize bad behavior by their profession’s chosen dinner entertainer by reflexively lashing out at Trump instead of holding accountable those who chose Wolf. That illustrates so well why Trump supporters have such disdain for journalists."
Yes, Baker is actually suggesting that Trump is better than Wolf because he doesn't insult people to their faces (that we know of, anyway, though Kirstjen Nielsen might beg to differ).
When you're resorting to that level of sycophancy and whataboutism to try to make Trump look good, you know the MRC are made Trump men.
Farah Marks WND's Anniversary With More 'Digital Cartel' Conspiracy-Mongering Topic: WorldNetDaily
Joseph Farah marked the 21st anniversary of WorldNetDaily with a downbeat column that engaged in his usual conspiracy-mongering:
Last Friday marked the 21st anniversary of WND – the original, pioneering, independent online news-gathering source, the first one created for the new digital world.
If you’re wondering why I didn’t mention it then, the answer is simple.
I was so busy trying to ensure that we would have a 22nd anniversary next May 4, that I forgot.
That’s how rough it has been recently for WND and the rest of the independent online media that have followed our lead over the decades.
Despite the many articles I have written about this in recent months and the fine work Tucker Carlson and a few others have done explaining the existential threat we face from an increasing hostile internet infrastructure, few seem to understand the gravity of the situation.
Yet, I’m convinced it’s not just the independent media targeted for extinction by this cabal composed of Google, YouTube, Facebook, Amazon and a handful of other monopolistic mega-corporations.
The other bigger targets include free speech itself and Donald Trump.
I do not believe I exaggerate.
Knowing what we know about Farah, we believe he does.
Farah has continually denied that the conspiracy-laden, misleading (if not outright false) so-called journalism he has published played a major role to WND's near-death experience earlier this year. Inastead, he rants about the "digital cartel" of Google and Facebook purportedly suppressing WND because it's conservative (and not because it's low-quality, fake news-laden content). The fact that WND is doing a gimmicky cryptocurrency giveaway in return for donations does not help matters.
Farah's claim that he's been working to save WND is also a bit dubious, since he was apparently distracted from its survival earlier by writing a book that he's now begging for money to publish and making a deal with a small ministry to solicit tax-deductible donations.
Farah self-righteously (and laughably) portrays himself as part of the "independent media" that needs to survive in the face of the "digital cartel." But Farah has never demonstrated that WND deserves to live, and he doesn't do so here.
Newsmax Gives Bolling The Image Rehab Treatment Topic: Newsmax
We've noted how Newsmax took a step toward trying to rehabilitate Eric Bolling with a fluffy profile that focused on his son's tragic death via drug overdose and omitted the inconvenient fact that Bolling was fired as a Fox News host over allegations of sexual harassment. Well, it looks like Newsmax is giving Bolling the patentedrehabtreatment with more interviews on Newsmax TV:
An April 10 article detailed Bolling's opinion on the possibility of President Trump firing special counsel Robert Mueller. It curiously described Bolling only as an "author," despite the fact that he wasn't plugging a book and his last book (of the two we's written) came out a year ago.
An April 25 article -- which also described Bolling as an "author" -- highlighted Bolling's stance on medical marijuana (pro, despite his son's opioid-related death).
A May 11 article described Bolling as a "commentator" and featured him commenting on President Trump and North Korea.
Going back a little farther in the archive, a March 22 article called Bolling a "former Fox News commentator," while a March 2 Newsmax article called Bolling a "former Fox News anchor." Neither of these articles mentioned how Bolling earned that status.
It appears the last reference at Newsmax to Bolling's disgraceful departure from Fox News is a Feb. 20 article calling Bolling a "Conservative political commentator and former Fox News host" but adding that "Bolling had exited Fox News after allegations surfaced that he had harassed colleagues."
UPDATE: In other image-rehab news, Bill O'Reilly is apparently in talks to have a nightly show on Newsmax TV. Newsmax has been courting O'Reilly formonths.
Bash-Public-Schools Week at CNS Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com had a spasm of public school-bashing at the start of the month.
A chart-filled May 1 article by editor in chief Terry Jeffrey played up a claim that "Sixty-five percent of the eighth graders in American public schools in 2017 were not proficient in reading and 67 percent were not proficient in mathematics." That was followed a few hours later by an article by managing editor Michael W. Chapman touting how "A fifth-grade teacher who has worked in the San Diego Unified School District for 21 years was recently charged with distribution of child pornography, including videos involving a toodler girl with an adult male and another video involving a seven-year-old girl engaged in rough sex with an adult male."
The next day, Jeffrey wrote a column bashing public schools -- and touting Catholic schools -- further based on those numbers: First: Public schools are doing a bad job teaching their students these two basic subjects. Second: Catholic schools are doing a better job."
Jeffrey then complains that public schools don't incocxtrinate their students in "Catholic values," then demands that parents be given school vouchers:
Then there is the second contest in which the Catholic schools beat the public schools: Teaching values.
Public schools generally teach secular left-wing values — that, in some instances, cannot be reconciled with the laws of nature and nature's God, whom the Founders invoked when they created this republic.
Catholic schools teach Catholic values, which are wholly consistent with the natural law, which must ultimately form the foundation of every American law.
But many parents who sent their children to public schools also got a bad deal — because their child got a bad education.
States should take every penny they now spend on the public schools and give it to parents in the form of a voucher that carries just one requirement: Educate your child where you see fit.
Jeffrey doesn't explain how destroying public schools helps anyone other than right-wing ideologues like himself.
NEW ARTICLE -- Out There, Exhibit 70: Denial of Reality Attack, Trump Propaganda Division Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's Brad Wilmouth doggedly defends President Trump over a muddled message regarding whether he supported the death penalty for the later-exonerated Central Park Five. Read more >>
WorldNetDaily keeps trying to make a mountain out of a molehill, as this May 7 article by Bob Unruh shows:
It’s been confirmed now – there WAS election interference.
By the Barack Obama administration.
The American Center for Law and Justice has revealed it has uncovered documents showing the Obama State Department even misled Congress about U.S. tax money being used to try to manipulate the results of an election in Israel, America’s strongest ally in the Middle East.
The organization confirmed that through its Freedom of Information Act case involving the U.S. State Department’s support for OneVoice Israel and OneVoice Palestine, it obtained revealing details.
“While the United States regularly issues grants to international organizations that provide services such as humanitarian relief, educational opportunities, and even opportunities and activities aimed at encouraging democratic voter participation, it turns out the OneVoice organizations went well beyond such measures and actively campaigned against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the 2015 elections – using resources established and developed with grant funds from the Obama State Department,” the ACLJ has reported.
And, the ACLJ found, “one of the senior advisers to OneVoice Palestine was none other than the son of Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian Authority – something the Obama Administration clearly knew (since these documents were in its possession).”
As we pointed out the last time WND hyped the right-wing ACLJ's dubious claims about this non-scandal, it's been public record since 2003 that Abbas' son was an adviser to OneVoice -- as were Israeli politicians from across the political spectrum, including Netanyahu's Likud party.
And the ACLJ's hyperventilating and heavy implication about this non-scandal doesn't change the fact that the money paid to OneVoice by the State Department paid for a separate project, a Senate subcommittee found that OneVoice fully complied with the terms of the original grant, no grant money was used in the election, and the State Department placed no limitations on the post-grant use of infrastructure the grant paid for.
As expected, Unruh quotes only the ACLJ and can't be bothered to contact OneVoice or anyone else involved in this non-story for a reaction.
CNS Promotes Bogus Attack on Calif. Bill Banning Conversion Therapy Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com managing editor Michael W. Chapman is no stranger to the CNS culture of stenography. Thus, he kicks off an April 27 article -- headlined "Liberty Counsel: CA Bill Against Gay Conversion Could Ban Christian Books, Speech" -- with some dedicated stenography:
The California House recently passed legislation (AB 2943) that says "advertising, offering to engage in, or engaging in sexual orientation change efforts with an individual" is a fraudulaent business practice, and if it passes in the Senate and becomes law, it could result in certain books, speakers, and conferences being banned, including the Bible, said Mat Staver, president of the Liberty Counsel.
The bill "is so broad that it bans books, printed materials and advertisements that provide information that a person facing unwanted same-sex attractions or gender confusion can change," said Staver. "[It] is a dramatic infringement on First Amendment rights and is a classic viewpoint discrimination. It declares certain kinds of speech as consumer fraud."
Interestingly, Chapman actually includes alternative views that shoot down Liberty Counsel's alarmism; several paragraphs later, he quotes the head of the group Save California as saying that it is "not likely" that the bill would ban the Bible. Yet the fact that the article contains differing views is not reflected in the headline.
Chapman never bothers to seek out the sponsor of the bill, Evan Low, who has specifically stated that the bill does not ban book sales, let alone that of the Bible.
Interestingly, while Chapman labels a California assemblyman who supports the bill as a "liberal Democrat" and the Human Rights Campaign, which also supports the bill, as "a pro-homosexuality advocacy group," he does not provide any ideological labels for Liberty Counsel and Save California -- both of which are right-wing anti-LGBT groups.
Chapman did go on to try and rebut the HRC:
The HRC also claimed that there is no "credible evidence" that conversion therapy can help a person turn away from same-sex attraction. However, some doctors have shown how homosexuality can be prevented and explained how reparative therapy can repair people.
Chapman provides as an example of "some doctors" a link to the biography of Joseph Nicolosi, a psychologist and a founder of the notoriously anti-gay group NARTH who championed conversion therapy. And the link on "reparative therapy" goes to a YouTube video of a 1974 TV appearance by fellow anti-gay psychiatrist and NARTH co-founder Charles Socarides, whose son is gay. Chapman doesn't seem to understand that critical thinking about homosexuality has evolved over the past 40 years.
And that's the closest Chapman ever comes to providing any evidence to back up the view of himself and his right-wing anti-gay buddies that conversion therapy works.
WND Gives Perpetual Candidate Another Platform Topic: WorldNetDaily
Art Robinson is such a perpetual candidate for the Oregon congressional seat held by Peter DeFazio -- and such a buddy of WorldNetDaily managing editor David Kupelian -- that Kupelian simply reruns his endorsement columns for Robinson (and the attendant whitewashing of controversies regarding the homeschool curriculum Robinson developed and the climate denier petition he started) with only minor tweaks to fit the appropriate year.
Well, Robinson is at it again, trying for a fifth time for the Republican nomination to run against Democrat DeFazio, which means Robinson is sorely testing the rule about repeating the same behavior and expecting different results (after having been soundly defeated the previous four times, receiving more than 40 percent of the vote only once). And WND has given Robinson a forum to tout his campaign.
Robinson's May 8 column is centered around thatthe idea that if elected, Robinson "would replace the political staffers in the Oregon office with real people. In this way, our office could have a much greater influence on wisdom in the Congress."
That falsely assumes that the staffers who currently work there aren't "real" and, thus, somehow evil because are familiar with the political process. That's just lame populism, which Robinson feeds into with an highly unrealistic image of how one of these "real people," a hypothetical timber faller, would operate in his would-be office:
When that timber faller throws one of those long Oregon chain saws over his shoulder and walks down the halls in Congress, they will never forget it. And, his seminar on work in Oregon forests – across the hall the next day in the Capitol building – will have standing room only. He will speak in the language and dialect of his working people. I guarantee that the denizens of Congress will learn this language!
That timber faller will be there day after day. Each day he will sally forth from that desk spreading needed knowledge about Oregon forests throughout the Capitol building.
At this rate, Robinson's campaign will go about as well as his previous ones.
MRC Is Unhappy That A TV Show Insufficiently Retracted A Story It Never Aired Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's Kyle Drennen grouses in a May 4 post:
After MSNBC spent four hours on Thursday breathlessly promoting what turned out to be a false story that federal investigators had been “wiretapping” President Trump’s personal attorney Michael Cohen for months, NBC’s Today show on Friday only managed 41 seconds of air time to correct the phony bombshell.
First: This is a strange complaint to make given that the original claim never appeared on the "Today" show and, indeed, was made on a completely different channel. "Today" was not obligated to correct reporting that was never made on the show.
Second: We would remind Drennen that his employer breathlessly promoted a false story by Fox News before the 2016 election claiming that an indictment of Hillary Clinton was imminent -- so much so that MRC chief Brent Bozell declared that "We will report developments on this continuing cover-up every hour from here on out." None of those hours, though, were devoted to telling MRC readers that Fox News retracted the story.
If the MRC can't be bothered to tell its readers that a story it heavily promoted has been retracted, it has no moral authority whatsoever to demand that a TV show retract a story that it never aired.
Ministry 'Adopts' Farah Book (Whatever That Means) For the Tax-Deductible Contributions Topic: WorldNetDaily
We highlighted that when WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah launched his crowdfunding to publish his new religious book that there was an option for a tax-deductible donation through a small ministry called Gospel for All Nations. WND has now shed a little more light on that:
Gospel for All Nations, a ministry focused on bringing the “Good News” to the least reached peoples of the world, has “adopted” Joseph Farah’s upcoming book release, “The Gospel in Every Book of the Old Testament,” providing a non-profit, tax-exempt opportunity for churches, corporations, foundations and individuals to support what is being called a “breakthrough Bible book,” WND and WND Books have announced.
Farah says voluntary financial support is desperately needed to meet the overwhelming public demand for the book, which systematically finds the Gospel in all 39 books of the Hebrew Scriptures.
Like dozens of other Christian leaders who have endorsed the book – including Franklin Graham, Mike Huckabee, Ben Kinchlow, Ray Comfort, Jack Van Impe and Greg Laurie – Gospel for All Nations sees the book as a breakthrough because of its focus on a forgotten component of the Gospel which Jesus and His disciples emphasized.
“This project fits squarely within our own objectives as an organization: to disseminate the gospel message,” said Richmond Douglas, ministerial and worldwide missions director of Gospel for All Nations.
Farah urges those seeking a tax-exemption to send their contributions directly to Gospel for All Nations to help defray the costs of printing and promotion of “The Gospel in Every Book of the Old Testament”for its September release.
“We literally need hundreds of thousands of dollars to get this book into churches for educational and evangelism purposes as well as to the retail stores across the country, which are expressing high demand for it and its focus on what Jesus called ‘the Gospel of the Kingdom,'” said Farah.
The way WND puts scare quotes around "adopted" tells us there's something more going on -- which neither WND nor Gospel for All Nations (which simply reprinted the WND article) want to talk about. Itappears that it's a business deal of some sort in which Gospel for All Nations agrees to lend its tax-deductible status to WND for unspecified things in return. Shouldn't they publicly disclose the nature of this relationship before anyone donates money to it?
As before, Farah and WND never prove that there is "overwhelming public demand" for Farah's book (beyond the blurbs they solicited through those "special VIP advance reader copies" it sent out) or why they need $200,000 for a massive first printing of it, instead of doing what many small publishers do by starting small and using the profits from those sales to publish more books. They also don't explain why, if the book is such a sure thing, why WND can't get a bank loan for the initial printing. Is it because WND's credit is so shot that no bank will lend to them?
There's still a whiff of shadiness to this entire venture -- something that could be dispelled if WND would be more forthcoming about its financial situation and its arrangement with Gospel for All Nations.