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Sunday, July 8, 2018
CNS Provides Trump-Friendly (Non-) Coverage of Melania And Her Jacket
Topic: CNSNews.com

As we've noted, Melania Trump wearing a jacket emblazoned with the words "I really don't care, do U?" on her way to visit immigrant children in Texas that even leading Trump sycophant and CNSNews.com reporter Susan Jones called her out on it for being a "major distraction." Even then, though, Jones played her sycophant role well; after dutifully quoting Melania's spokesman saying that "I hope the media isn't going to choose to focus on her wardrobe "The media did indeed focus on her jacket and the odd message it sent," then quickly got back on message, declaring in the sixth paragraph of her article that she was "turning from her wardrobe to her actual words" and stayed focused on that for the remainder of her 24-paragraph article.

Meanwhile, Jones' fellow CNS Trump sycophant, Melanie Arter, couldn't manage even Jones' perfuctory mention of the jacket despite its significance as a story. Arter wrote a 10-paragraph article on Melania's visit that -- in apparent accordance with her spokeswoman -- make no mention whatsoever of the jacket and quoted only Melania's communications director.

Content that conforms with what the Trump White House wants to see is how CNS rolls.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:53 AM EDT
Updated: Sunday, July 8, 2018 10:54 AM EDT
Saturday, July 7, 2018
What LGBT Stuff Is The MRC Freaking Out About Now?
Topic: Media Research Center

The latest round of Media Research Center anti-gay freakouts begins with Dawn Slusher hate-watching another TV show:

Freeform’s dramedy The Bold Type is (unfortunately) back for another season, and it’s disappointingly more of the same extremely liberal, sex-obsessed storylines. Considering that the show’s target audience is teenagers, it becomes quite disturbing to see storylines such as an argument between two lesbian characters Kat (Aisha Dee) and Adena (Nikohl Boosheri) over Kat being afraid to “go down” on Adena, then an ensuing discussion about lesbian oral sex between the three main female characters Kat, Jane (Katie Stevens) and Sutton (Meghann Fahy) and, finally, the supposedly triumphant conclusion, shown in graphic detail, as Kat overcomes her fears and treats Adena to an obvious orgasm via cunnilingus.

Ashley Rae Goldenberg is offended for some reason that Apple CEO Tim Cook, "who famously came out as gay in 2014," issued a tweet endorsing Pride Month.

Matthew Balan huffed that "NPR shamelessly slanted leftward on Weekend Edition Sunday, with a segment that spotlighted a drag show in Vermont that was sponsored by a local veterans hospital," further huffing that this was a "taxpayer-funded segment" while providing no evidence that taxpayer money directly paid for any reporting related to that segment.

Gavin Oliver and Ken Oliver think that Univision shouldn't be reporting on LGBT issues because "the audience it purports to serve and know best - the U.S. Spanish-speaking Hispanic population" expresses (slightly) lower support for same-sex marriage than whites and the U.S. poplation as a whole, and besides, gays are "disproportionately influential" because "the LGBT community is estimated by Gallup to comprise only 4% of the population of the United States."

Rachel Peterson is appalled that some Christians are going to pride parades to apologize for theif rellow gay-hating Christians -- which Peterson frames as "Christian belief in traditional marriage" and "the biblical views of same-sex relationships" -- because doing so "further[s] the LGBT agenda."


Posted by Terry K. at 2:23 AM EDT
Updated: Sunday, July 8, 2018 9:37 PM EDT
Friday, July 6, 2018
Priorities: CNS Gives More Space To Trump Lowering Flags For Newspaper Shooting Than To Shooting Itself
Topic: CNSNews.com

On June 28, CNSNews.com's Melanie Arter wrote a bare-bones article about the shooting at a newspaper in Maryland. Here it is in its entirety:

A suspect is in custody after a workplace shooting Thursday at the Capital Gazette newspaper in Annapolis, Md.

Multiple fatalities have been confirmed by Anne Arundel County Sheriff Ron Bateman.

Police are saying there may be more shooters as well as bombs.

The Capital Gazette is owned by the Baltimore Sun.

At most news operations, this sort of sketchy early story would ultimately be fleshed out with more details as they became available. For whatever reason, Arter's article never was updated.

By contrast, Arter's July 3 article on President Trump announcing he will order flags to be lowered to half-staff (the headline incorrectly states "half-mast") as a way of "honoring the five journalists killed last week during a shooting a the Capital Gazette newspaper in Annapolis, Md." received nine fully fleshed-out paragraphs, three of which directly quoted from Trump's proclamation.

While Arter noted that the Capital Gazette had reported that Trump would not at first consent to lowering the flags, she didn't mention Trump's contentious history with the media -- i.e. calling them the "enemy of the people" -- that might make such a gesture feel a bit hollow.

Just goes to show how much of a priority Trump-fluffing is at CNS over actual news.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:20 PM EDT
WND's Farah Pretends Only Democrats Damage Political Discourse, Forgets He's The Editor of WND
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah complains in his June 26 column:

I really don’t think catastrophic climate change is for real – unless we’re talking about the political climate, the national discourse, the way politics in America is being waged like warfare, at least by one party.

How long has this been going on? Who started it? Can the country survive this?

Did it begin in the summer of 2017 with the shooting up of a baseball field full of Republican members of Congress by James T. Hodgkinson, a supporter of Sen. Bernie Sanders, and the near death of Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana?

Or does it go further back – perhaps to the armed attack on the Family Research Council in the fall of 2013 when Floyd Corkins, inspired by the inciteful hate speech of the Southern Poverty Law Center, tried to kill every staffer at the organization’s Washington, D.C., headquarters only to be thwarted by a heroic unarmed security guard who was wounded in the incident.

Or perhaps its seeds were planted as far back as the presidential campaign of 2008, when candidate Barack Obama instructed his supporters in impassioned, fiery language to get in the face of his opponents by lying to them that their man actually supported the Second Amendment and wanted to lower taxes.

Whatever the case, Donald Trump, his supporters, officials, staffers and Cabinet members are in the crosshairs of uncivil political warfare that is unprecedented in the modern history of America’s civil society and political discourse.

It’s thoroughly ugly, unbecoming of our national heritage and ideals. The demonic zealotry of Obama, Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Maxine Waters and their friends in the so-called “entertainment” industry, as I wrote about yesterday, is palpable, irresponsible beyond words and irrational.

Funny, we thought it started in 2008, when Farah's WND began its eight-year war on Obama by portraying him as a foreigner with a forged birth certificate -- not to mention a Nazi and even the Antichrist. Apparently Farah doesn't think that's ugly or unbecoming-- or that any anti-Obama vitriol WND has ever published fits that category. Indeed, Farah is pretending that right-wingers like him have never said anything untoward.

Nevertheless, he huffed that "the country can survive this. It may never be quite the same again, when one of the two political parties has descended to the depths of depravity, tastelessness, obscenity, vulgarity and incivility." He concluded: "Still, I fear, someone is going to get hurt because of this perversity."

We suspect Farah never had that fear when he published his flood of perverse smears of Obama.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:09 AM EDT
Thursday, July 5, 2018
NewsBusters' Sports Blogger Freaks Out (Again) Over ESPN Mag's Body Issue
Topic: NewsBusters

Mysterious NewsBusters sports blogger Jay Maxson generally has two modes of operation: Colin Kaepernick derangement and ESPN derangement. Last year, he engaged in a massive form of the latter by freaking out over ESPN The Magazine's "body issue" featuring naked athletes but carefully shot to avoid showing naughty bits -- despite no record of ever complaining about Sports Illustrated's swimsult issue.

Maxson rectified that with his June 25 rant about this year's "body issue," in which he declares that it's worse than SI's swimsuit issue despite the fact the swimsult models aren't even athletes:

It's a well-known fact that ESPN doesn't always stick to sports. And this week The Worldwide Leader in (Liberal and Naked) Sports will prove again that it doesn't always stick to clothed athletes either. ESPN is unveiling—disrobing is a better word choice—its 10th edition of the Body Issue (online and in its magazine), and 16 current and former athletes will be featured without a stitch of clothing. For the past few days, the network website has been titillating viewers by featuring nude photos from an archive of the past nine years of body issues.

Apparently our sex-drenched culture needs one more media outlet appealing to people's prurient interests. Swimsuits and faux swimsuits painted on models sells magazines and gets clicks for Sports Illustrated. ESPN one-downs SI by featuring completely buck naked athletes to raise viewership during the dog days of summer. No privates are visible on these immodest athletes; those are covered by side views and arms and legs, allowing the athletes to run, jump and cavort about with no fabric restraints at all.

He's particularly incensed about pictures of "rainbow athletes," such as two female pro basketball athletes "who are dating," complete with a sneering reference to "the world's most famous Olympic bronze medalist, Adam Rippon." (The MRC hates Adam Rippon.)

Maxson then tried to link the "body issue" to allegations of sexual harassment against ESPN employees, telling ESPN that if one allegation goes to trial, "you might want to downplay the Body Issue." But Maxon offers no proof of a link between the two that exists outside his fevered, nudity-addled brain.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:42 PM EDT
WND Columnist Places A Christian's Right To Be Bigoted Against LGBT Rights Not To Suffer Bigotry
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Rita Dunaway spends her June 25 WorldNetDaily column defending soccer player Jaelene Hinkle, who declined a call-up to the U.S. national women's soccer team because she didn't want to wear a jersey marking LGBT pride. Dunaway huffed that "U.S. Soccer has employed its power instead to divide, exclude and discriminate" -- despite the fact that the governing body did nothing to discriminate against Hinkle. She explained her convoluted logic:

Hinkle is in good company. Most devout Protestants, Catholics, Muslims, Mormons and Orthodox Jews would also feel constrained by their faith to express “gay pride.” So why would U.S. Soccer force players to wear the emblem of “gay pride” – a religiously divisive emblem – if its goal is to promote “acceptance and inclusion” of individuals “from all backgrounds”? Why not the emblem of a dove, for peace; a heart, for love; or the world, for global connectivity?

As it stands, U.S. Soccer’s chosen means to “promote a culture of diversity, inclusivity and global connectivity” actually excludes devout people of many different faiths from the national teams. That’s not diversity, sports fans.

This all tells us one of two things about U.S. Soccer; either its leaders have an anemic, laughably unsophisticated understanding of the world’s diverse cultures and religions, or they are dishonest bigots. Either way, whether intentional or not, U.S. Soccer is promoting the very type of exclusion it claims to oppose.

Dunaway didn't mention that Christians have promoted exclusion against the LGBT community for centuries.

Her obliviousness to anti-gay discrimination continued by declaring, "Bigotry is always wrong, regardless of its object. But taunting and jeering at a person who has walked away from a lifelong dream in order to honor her faith is worse than bigotry. It is cruel." But Hinkle was not discriminated against -- she chose to discriminate. Yet Dunaway is concerned only with the person who displayed bigotry, however benign, and not the group of people who have suffered a history of bigotry by the group to which Hinkle belongs.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:06 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, July 5, 2018 9:16 AM EDT
Wednesday, July 4, 2018
Your Monthly CNS Stenography Tally
Topic: CNSNews.com

Another month, another tally of the stenography work CNSNews.com did for its favorite sources. Here's the tally for June.

Judicial Watch: 7

Mark Levin: 13

CNS also exhorted its readers to vote for Levin, "a fearless friend of the Media Research Center," for induction into a radio hall of fame, then cheered when he made it in.

Franklin Graham: 3

White House press secretary, by Melanie Arter: 7

Our year-to-date tally so far:

  • Judicial Watch: 37
  • Mark Levin: 56
  • Franklin Graham: 17
  • WH press secretary: 67

Stenography pays!


Posted by Terry K. at 9:48 PM EDT
WND's Secret-Society Obsession Continues
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily hasn't given up its history of pushing secret-society conspiracy theories -- despite the fact that editor Joseph Farah belongs to his own secret society, the right-wing Council for National Policy.

It recently published a pair of columns to promote a book -- which, strangely, WND is not selling in its own online store; it links to Amazon instead -- by Rodney Howard-Browne and Paul L. Williams, "The Killing of Uncle Sam: The Demise of the United States of America. The first cheered America's lack of diversity and warned of the "cabal of British aristocrats" who changed that:

America was a nation because of its lack of diversity. Its organic nature stemmed from its very tribalism, the fact that the people who inhabited the country shared a common heritage, a common history and a common faith. As a nation, it was personified by Uncle Sam, a character derived from Samuel Wilson, a meatpacker from Troy, New York, who supplied rations for American soldiers during the War of 1812. Gradually, however, this figure came to resemble Andrew Jackson, the rough and tumble president who won the Battle of New Orleans, abolished the nation’s central bank and nearly clubbed to death a would-be assassin with his cane. But even fictitious characters, no less than nations, can be killed.

The demise of the United States emerged from a cabal of British aristocrats who sought to establish a global government. Their motive was not idealistic. It did not stem from a dream of universal brotherhood, but rather from their desire to lay hold of the world’s riches. Riches do not come from paper currency but natural resources: gold, oil, natural gas, silver, copper, iron ore, uranium, coal, cobalt and bauxite. The scramble for these resources causes the breakdown of borders, the uprooting of native populations and the onset of war. Since no one possessed greater wealth than Uncle Sam, he had to be killed.

Uncle Sam is gone – visible only on Turner Movie Classics and reruns of “Ozzie and Harriet.” In his wake, the country has transformed into a place unrecognizable – a place plagued by drugs, poverty, pornography and violence. Schools have become warzones and racial conflict commonplace. Forty percent of the present-day inhabitants of the United States do not have a Northern European heritage. There is no blood that binds them. Fifty percent of Americans never darken the doorway of a church; one in five has no religious affiliation; and the country is now inhabited by more Muslims than Jews. There is no faith that unites them. Modern Americans remain almost completely oblivious of their history, with the vast majority (84 percent) unable to identify the author of the Constitution. There is no history that grounds them. Seventy percent believe that the strength of America lies in its “diversity,” and 90 percent remain unaware that a quota system ever existed. The country is not unified by language, let alone morality and religion.

In the second column, headlined "The secret socieites that led to the killing of Uncle Sam," Browne and Williams first attack Cecil Rhodes, then name-checks right-wing bete noires such as the Rothschilds and the Rockefellers, as they face blame for the ultimate creation of the Federal reserve:

When the Federal Reserve was established in 1913, the small group of rich and powerful pilgrims gained control of the U.S. economy. They could increase the money supply to produce prosperity or curtail the supply to create a recession.

The name of the new centralized bank was a misnomer. The bank was not federal, since it was privately owned by many of the American and British pilgrims. It was not a reserve of real wealth since the money eventually was produced out of nothing. And it was not a system but rather a syndicate that operated beyond the control of the executive, legislative and judicial branches of the government.

With the Fed in place, the power elite of American pilgrims began to consolidate their holdings to establish new banks and businesses. The relationship between the pilgrims became so close that, as financial expert John Moody observed, it was impossible to separate the interests of Rockefeller, Carnegie and Morgan.

At the close of World War I, the pilgrims set up the Royal Institute of International Affairs in London (aka the “Chatham House”) and the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) in New York. In time, the CFR would gain a stranglehold on the U.S. State Department. Indeed, every U.S. secretary of state from the tenure of Franklin Delano Roosevelt to Barack Obama would be a prominent member of the inner circle of the CFR.

From the belly of the CFR and the Federal Reserve came the Bank of International Settlements, the central bank of central banks, in Basel, Switzerland. During the 1930s, the gold of all American citizens by executive order of FDR was confiscated and transported not to the vaults of the Federal Reserve in New York or Fort Knox but rather to the new bank in Basel. The American people were being led like lambs to the slaughterhouse.

In time, the CFR would give rise to other organizations, including the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the United Nations, the World Trade Organization and the Central Intelligence Agency – all of which would advance the interest of a money cartel, who remained bound and determined to strip the United States of its sovereignty.

WND is well-versed enough on this conspiracy to provide a link to its own online store to a conspiracy book called "The Creature from Jekyll Island" -- a reference the place where the "power elite of American pilgrims" allegedly met to formulate the Federal Reserve, which the book calls "the most blatant scam of all history."

WND clearly hasn't rethought the editorial policies that nearly killed it earlier this year, even though that should have been a wake-up call.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:32 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, July 4, 2018 3:42 PM EDT
MRC Plays Down How It Championed Anti-Abortion Activists Opposing Trump Border Policy
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Nicholas Fondacaro huffs in a June 20 post:

With the stroke of a pen, President Trump signed an executive order on Wednesday that would officially end the policy of separating parents and children who come across the southern border illegally. It’s what many on the right and left wanted to see happen, but for the liberal media it wasn’t enough, as CBS anchor Jeff Glor demonstrated by opining about how Trump was trying to “ put out a big political fire with a few drops of ink.

In his rush to fulfill his job description of blaming the "liberal media" for everything, Fondacaro seems to  have forgotten that his employer actually touted criticism from the right of Trump's family-separation policy. Not to cast aspersions on Trump, of course -- the MRC is sitll very much loyal pro-Trump state media -- but to defend anti-abortion activists.

The MRC published a pair of posts attacking celebrities claiming that anti-abortion activists don't care much about children after they're born, including those separated from their families at the border. Katie Yoder started her June 19 post by declaring, "Separating children from their parents is wrong – including when they’re in the womb. But don’t expect actress and producer Lena Dunham to understand that." Not that forcible separation by a government agency and abortion are in any way analogous.

Yoder insisted that "Pro-life politicians and others actually have denounced the separation of parents and children as it’s currently happening (think: Sen. Ben Sasse)," adding:

The argument goes both ways. Imagine, for a moment, Dunham responding to her argument in reverse: “My mind simply can’t comprehend that the same people who claim to care so much about immigrants’ children care so little about American children in the womb.”

But she won't.

Yoder followed up the next day by attacking more celebrites making the claim in addition to a repitition of her attack on Dunham. This time, though, she found more people on her side criticizing the policy, including "pro-life leaders like Live Action President Lila Rose, pro-life media like National Review editor-at-large Kathryn Jean Lopez, and pro-life religious leaders like Pope Francis. The list goes on." Yoder concluded by declaring: "But no, too often the media and Hollywood see only one way. And instead of investigating solutions, they’re pointing fingers."

Of course, pointing finger instead of investigating solutions is pretty much the mission statement of Yoder's employer. Indeed, Yoder's archive shows that she hasn't broached the subject since Trump issued his executive order -- which tells us that the issue is moot as long as the "liberal media" can be blamed for things and conservative opposition to family separation can be shoved back down the memory hole.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:01 AM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, July 4, 2018 11:03 AM EDT
Tuesday, July 3, 2018
WND Still Whining People Are Doing to Trump What It Did to Obama
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Art Moore complains in a June 26 WorldnetDaily article:

Amid the recent controversy over separation of families at the border, interview guests and analysts on CNN and MSNBC have frequently branded supporters of President Trump as racists and Nazis.

[...]

Grabien News reported filmmaker and frequent MSNBC guest Michael Moore likened Trump voters to accomplices to rape.

“If you hold down the woman while the rapist is raping her, and you didn’t rape her — are you a rapist?”

We would remind Mr. Moore -- who has been with WND since "shortly after 9/11," according to his bio -- that these are things WND has said about Barack Obama.

Who can forget the countless times WND writers have likened Obama to a Nazi? Or when WND columnist Erik Rush likened Obama to a "cellblock rapist"? Or hyped Michael Savage's rant that Obama is "the most racist president you can imagine" and devoted an entire issue of its sparsely read Whistleblower magazine on "Obama and the new racism," in which WND managing editor David Kupelian accused Obama of having "adopted an utterly racist modus operandi for running the affairs of the nation"?

Once again, WND is complaining that others are doing what WND has done. That's the epitome of hypocrisy.

Maybe Moore should familiarize himself further with WND's past content -- thoughhe's been there when much of it was posted -- before he makes even more hypocritical claims.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:56 PM EDT
CNS Buries Rosenstein's Defense Of Himself Against GOP Attacks
Topic: CNSNews.com

If you had read most of the media regarding last week's appearance by deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein before the House Judiciary Committee, you would have read that Rosenstein acquitted himself nicely against relentless Republican attacks on his work and reputation, in particular accusastions by GOP Rep. Jim Jordan.

If you had read CNSNews.com, you read something else entirely -- a highly cherry-picked selection of testimony designed to make Rosenstein look bad and his GOP inquisitors look important:

  • Susan Jones makes Rosenstein look like a weaselin an article featuring Rosenstein noting that, under questioning from GOP Rep. Ron DeSantis, that he is "not permitted to discuss any classified information."
  • Jones went the weasel route again in an article highlighting his comment, under questioning from GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz, that "since he wasn't working for the Justice Department on July 31, 2016 when the FBI launched its Trump-Russia investigation, he only knows what he's been told by the FBI."
  • An article by Melanie Arter touted how "Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) gave a five-minute speech, but didn’t ask a single question when it was his turn to question Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein."

None of these articles feature any questioning from Democratic members of the committee, nor do the mention the back-and-forth between Rosenstein and Jordan.

CNS waited until the next day to note the Rosenstein-Jordan back-and-forth. And while most other outlets noted how out of control Jordan got -- he referenced conspiracy theories he had seen on Fox News and accused Rosenstein of trying to subpoena phone calls, with Rosenstein retorting that Jordan was trying to "attack me personally" -- Arter chose to present the exchange as drily as possible in transcript form without highlighting any of the above or anything else that made Jordan look bad.

Arter also refused to include any questioning from Democrats in her article, though she made sure to complain that the Rosenstein-Jordan exchange "was repeatedly interrupted by Democrats on the committee."

CNS appears to have once again forgotten its mission statement to "fairly present all legitimate sides of a story," since Jones and Arter made no attempt whatsoever to fairly present Rosenstein's side of the story -- strange, since both are longtime CNS employees. It's as if that mission statement is window dressing designed to falsely portray CNS as a legitimate news operation instead of the highly biased pro-Trump PR shop it has become.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:41 AM EDT
Monday, July 2, 2018
AIM Devolves Into Just Another Pro-Trump Website
Topic: Accuracy in Media

Accuracy in Media has been doing a major reboot of itself over the past year. Conspiracy-happy right-wing ranter Cliff Kincaid disappeared for reasons neither he nor AIM have have yet to explain publicly, and after months of relying on freelancers and anonymous writers of dubious accuracy and Kincaid-esque conspiracy-mongering, it has settled on a new staff led by Carrie Sheffield, who has the title of "national editor." Sheffield's AIM bio leads with her TV and media hits, which probably tells us something about the direction Don Irvine is looking to take AIM -- more media-savvy, less nutball.

In practice, though, AIM is showing itself to be just another pro-Trump website. For instance, a June 22 piece by Sheffield, which takes the Trump White House line that it's the media's fault for noticing Melania Trump's jacket:

Even as mainstream media reporters portray the Trump administration as lacking substance and a substantive policy focus, the New York Times chose to give Page A1 placement of a speculative story by Vanessa Friedman, its fashion director and chief fashion critic, criticizing the jacket that first lady Melania Trump wore before and after a tour of a children’s shelter in Texas.

[...]

Mrs. Trump’s spokeswoman said that “There was no hidden message,” yet Friedman wrote that the First Lady’s fashion choice “may have backfired,” an analysis displaying the most common response among the mainstream media: to project sinister motives despite no evidence.

It's telling that Sheffield never outright states the message that was emblazoned across the back of Melania's jacket -- "I don't really care, do U?" -- that is, in fact, the hard-to-miss "evidence" upon which things were projected; she only offers a partial quote in the final paragraph buried in a quote from the article she's attacking.

Sheffield also makes the partisan mistake of treating whatever Melania's office says as the final word on the subject, as if we should ascribe only pure motives to, and accurate statements from, an office whose function is to protect the first lady. We suspect AIM never took anything that came out of the Obama White House as the final word on anything.

Sheffield's approach is little different from what AIM's better-funded (and even more pro-Trump) rival, the Media Research Center, did.

In trading Kincaid's craziness for a somewhat more professional, highly Trump-protective approach from Sheffield and Brian McNicoll, AIM turns down the heat but doesn't add light. It has gone from lacking credibility to being merely boring, which may not be an impovement.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:27 PM EDT
The MRC's Nasty War on Jim Acosta
Topic: Media Research Center

If there's one journalist whom the Media Research Center sees as a threat to President Trump, it's CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta. It seems that every time Acosta appears on TV, the MRC has a post designed to denigrate and belittle him for failing to be a Trump sycophant.

For instance, a July 1 post by Nicholas Fondacaro rants about Acosta's alleged "out of control shouting, grandstanding, and childish antics," insisting at he was "acting all self-righteous" and "indignantly proclaimed" his need to ask questions of the president. That kind of biased, negative language to describe Acosta is a key part of what the MRC does to delegitimize Acosta for doing his job.

The MRC also cheers every time Acosta is attacked in other forums: For instance, Scott Whitlock gleefully transcribed White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders' insult to Acosta that "I know it's hard for you to understand even short sentences," and Curtis Houck happily reported how a crowd at a pro-Trump rally heckled "carnival barker" Acosta.

We've gone through the MRC archives to see what other belittling language the MRC has hurled at Acosta in the first half of 2018 alone:

  • "With so many possible selections, it's hard to come up with a worst-of list to rank the most pathetic attempts by CNN's Jim Acosta to pose as an oh-so-tough reporter." -- Tom Blumer, June 29
  • "carnival barker ... he fancied himself the most honest, righteous man in America." -- Curtis Houck, June 25
  • "There’s no news in any of Acosta’s comments. These days, he appears on CNN to attack Republicans and opine on issues." -- Scott Whitlock, May 30
  • "Acosta’s fragile ego has been wounded before, with the aggrieved correspondent taking to social media to whine about not being called on." -- Kyle Drennen, May 17
  • "Sanders called out Acosta’s arrogance. ...  He then continued to play the victim." -- Curtis Houck, April 25
  • "When one thinks of liberal reporters who relish showing off at White House press briefings, three individuals who come to mind are CNN chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta and CNN political analysts Brian Karem and April Ryan. ... the petulant Acosta." -- Curtis Houck, April 23
  • "CNN’s infamously incomparable White House correspondent Jim Acosta." -- Curtis Houck, April 11
  • "CNN's perpetually aggrieved Jim Acosta. ... As usual, Acosta is wrong."-- Tom Blumer, April 3
  • "Acosta is 'abused,' he's not the abuser. He's 'reporting,' not editorializing. That's bad enough. But [The Daily Beast's Lloyd] Grove began with the Fakest of News -- Acosta claiming that his showboating routine is oh-so-uncomfortable for him to uncork. ... People have gotten weary of Acosta, who also acts like a reality-TV star, the diva who everyone roots against." -- Tim Graham, March 12
  • CNN’s Jim Acosta threw a hissy fit following yet another White House press briefing where he wasn’t called on to ask a question. ... [Sean Spicer said on 'Hannity' that Jim Acosta is a carnival barker in the pressroom that is both clueless and classless." -- Nicholas Fondacaro, March 6
  • "As we’ve learned since the beginning of the 2016 election, CNN’s Jim Acosta has emerged as perhaps the most melodramatic and self-centered liberal journalists to ever grace the airwaves. ... As this writer reminded Acosta on Twitter, he’s once again shown that he’s not able to realize that the world doesn’t revolve around him." -- Curtis Houck, March 5 (under the headline "What A Bitter, Sad Man")
  • "Then came the Acosta Lecture, which really should have had some pompous-sounding music underneath it." -- Tim Graham, Feb. 7
  • "CNN’s Jim Acosta took a break to whinge about the President’s brief jab at the press during the event. ... After that whine fest, Acosta went on to give Obama credit for Trump’s economic growth." -- Kristine Marsh, Jan. 26
  • "CNN's Jim Acosta has had a rough four days. It's hard not to take some pleasure in that situation, given the Chief White House Correspondent's habitual rudeness and petulance with President Trump, and with his representatives during White House press briefings. ... If there was a Guinness World Record for most self-important, self-absorbed, unaccomplished reporter in Washington, Jim Acosta would be its holder, hands-down." --  Tom Blumer, Jan. 22
  • "Acosta debased his already self-centered act by playing the role of sycophant on Friday morning for Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) by tangling with Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney over basic facts about Senate procedure. ... CNN hack." -- Curtis Houck, Jan. 19
  • "As if their biased outbursts on CNN weren’t enough, chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta and political analyst April Ryan got the chance to unleash more of their rage at President Trump ... Acosta answered first, automatically going to the most extreme ... We’ve seen this behavior before from Acosta." -- Kristine Marsh, Jan. 18
  • "In the third White House press briefing since his promotion to CNN Chief White House Correspondent, Jim Acosta was promptly burned on Thursday by Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders in regards to CNN’s ratings in response to Acosta’s question about what appeared to be contradictory Trump tweets about the FISA program. ... A smirk went across Acosta’s face before gathering himself up to reply ... Acosta was apoplectic afterward on CNN Newsroom." -- Curtis Houck, Jan. 11

Houck -- apparently the MRC's designated Acosta-hater -- also ended 2017 with a post compiling what he claimed were "the Top Ten Jaw-Dropping Jim Acosta Meltdowns from 2017," adding: "In 2017, CNN senior White House correspondent Jim Acosta gave viewers free doctorates in how to become showboaters and throw hissy fits.

This is all on top of Houck mocking Acosta for demanding that people like Houck quote him in context -- which Houck did in the most derisive way only after being shamed into it.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:35 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, July 2, 2018 2:53 PM EDT
WND Paints Corrupt Ex-Congressman As A Victim of the 'Deep State,' Lobbies Trump for Pardon
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily loves Steve Stockman so much that it effectively served as the PR shop flr the right-wing congressman while in office and running for re-election. Stockman repaid the favor by sending money WND's way in the form of buying copies of an anti-Obama book by then-reporter Aaron Klein to give away to his congressional colleagues. When Stockman was convicted earlier this year on 23 counts related to financial crimes, WND editor Joseph Farah rushed to his defense, insisting that "There’s not a corrupt bone in his body. Don’t believe anything else you read about this case anywhere – including Fox News, which hung him out to dry."

Now, WND is cranking up the conspiracy machine, as a June 24 article by Bob Unruh paints Stockman as the victim of the "Deep State" and lobbies President Trump to pardon him:

Former Texas Congressman Steve Stockman, having been accused of using money from mega-donors for personal and campaign expenses, was convicted in April by a Houston jury on 23 counts of financial crimes and sent to prison. Case closed, right?

Maybe not. While his lawyers and family have promised multiple appeals of the verdicts delivered after a trial during which multiple defense witnesses simply were disallowed, the case is also attracting a wider kind of attention.

For one thing, a recent WND online poll, conducted after President Trump announced the pardon of conservative filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza, gave more than a dozen options as to who should be the next person Trump would pardon – names ranging from Hillary Clinton to Harvey Weinstein to Jonathan Pollard to Jack Abramoff to Martha Stewart.

Stewart got 5 percent of the votes, “Everyone being probed by Mueller” got about 25 percent.

But Stockman got the most votes: 53 percent.

[...]

Stockman himself has blamed the case against him on the “Deep State,” referring to established bureaucrats who largely run government.

Patti Stockman told WND she cannot comment on what his lawyers plan next, regarding an appeal or further action, but she just observed that the “Deep State” – whose attempts to take down President Trump Americans are witnessing daily – goes very, very deep indeed.

It’s not just the Loretta Lynches, James Comeys and others, she said, but the entire ranks of federal bureaucrats working with a political agenda, she said.

Needless to say, Unruh doesn't spend very much time examining the offenses for which Stockman was found guilty; instead, he goes for more conspiracy mongering, "The family website says the attack on the former congressman was orchestrated by the very IRS (as well as the public integrity division of the DOJ) that earlier had tried to throttle tea party organizations in opposition to Obama.

Unruh also dutifully parrots his boss, quoting Farah's statement that "I hope President Trump pardons Steve Stockman like he pardoned Scooter Libby."

Missing, however, is any objective poirtrayal of the prosecution's side of the case, which tells us WND is still not into the factual-journalism thing after its years of conspiracy-mongering nearly killed it earlier this year.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:13 PM EDT
Sunday, July 1, 2018
MRC Defends the Indefensible: Melania Trump's Jacket
Topic: Media Research Center

Melania Trump wearing a jacket emblazoned with the words "I really don't care, do U?" on her way to visit immigrant children in Texas was such a disaster that CNSNews.com reporter and normally loyal Trump sycophant Susan Jones called her out on it. In a June 22 "news" article, Jones lamented the jacket was a "major distraction" from the trip and, perhaps more importantly, "The media did indeed focus on her jacket and the odd message it sent." Being a Trump sycophant, she quickly got back on message, declaring in the fifth paragraph of her article that she was "turning from her wardrobe to her actual words."

Jones' lament, however, didn't make it down the hall to the rest of her Media Research Center colleagues,  which did their usual thing in attacking anyone who criticized Melania's fashion choice.

Nicholas Fondacaro complained that "the gossip-prone media spen[t] a considerable about of time trying to divine the secret meaning of the wardrobe choice and there were those who suggested she was saying that to the kids." He went on to huff: "This kind of wild speculation about the meaning of Melania’s outfits is a common narrative when the media trying to attack this administration. ... They must pick whichever explanation they think is more damaging." Of course, the words across the back of Melania's jacket are pretty unambiguous, so divining a meaning isn't terribly difficult.

Fondacaro said nothing about the inappropriateness of the message on the jacket.

Randy Hall similarly whined about the media coverage of Melania's jacket, this time by Stephen Colbert. Like Fondacaro, he found nothing to complain about regarding the words on the jacket and, like Fondacaro, portrayed it as yet another example of anti-Trump bias instead of something deserving of criticism even if her husband wasn't a Republican: "This incident reinforces the notion that as long as the Trumps are in the White House, any member of the administration -- or the family -- is fair game for left-wing commentators, including Colbert and the liberal “analysts” at CNN.

Ryan Foley surprisingly averred that Melania's jacket choice was "controversial" -- then slipped into the usual MRC mode of complaining that people in the media talked about said controversy, blaming the media instead of Melania: "While Mrs. Trump probably could have chosen to wear a different jacket, or no jacket all because of the warm weather, the media once again proved that they could not resist blowing the situation out of proportion; making a mountain out of a molehill. The media will continue to portray the Trump Administration as heartless and cruel as they continue fanning the flames that divide the country regarding immigration all the way to the midterm elections."

This is the same MRC, by the way, that regularly went off on the media every time someone said something nice about Michelle Obama's wardrobe -- and she never wore anything as "controversial" as Melania's jacket.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:59 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, July 1, 2018 9:07 PM EDT

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