ConWebBlog: The Weblog of ConWebWatch

your New Media watchdog

ConWebWatch: home | archive/search | about | primer | shop

Wednesday, July 18, 2018
NEW ARTICLE: The Obama Derangement Never Ends At WND
Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily has spent the past three years obsessing over an Obama-era non-scandal -- and now a right-wing legal group is helping keep WND's obsession alive well after Obama has left office. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 10:17 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, July 18, 2018 11:31 PM EDT
CNS Still Taking Potshots At Kavanaugh Despite Trump's Nomination
Topic: CNSNews.com

We wondered how CNSNews.com would handle things if President Trump had named Brett Kavanaugh -- whom it had repeatedly bashed as his name was floated as a replacement for retiring Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy -- to actually fill the seat. Well, Trump did nominate Kavanaugh, and CNS is surprisingly still taking potshots at him despite its usual pro-Trump sycophancy.

CNS did start out in stenography mode, uncritically repeating Kavanaugh's assertion at the nomination press conference that "No President has ever consulted more widely, or talked with more people from more backgrounds, to seek input about a Supreme Court nomination" than Trump did in picking him-- which, given Trump's slavish devotion to a list of possible candidates given to him by the right-wing Federalist Society and Kavanaugh's placement on that list, is almost certainly not true.

CNS also cranked out articles repeating the expected conservative praise and liberal criticism of Kavanaugh, though another article highlighted a bipartisan group of senators who were taking a wait-and-see approach.

It took a few days, but the potshots returned. One article highlighted how "Several leading conservatives and libertarians strongly criticized President Donald Trump’s nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to replace Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court, with some describing Kavanaugh as the 'Bush pick' and a judge who is not like Antonin Scalia or Clarence Thomas," while another quoted CNS figure of adoration Mark Levin complaining that "You have to assume that Kavanaugh would have voted with" Chief Justice John Roberts in supporting the constitutionality of Obamacare's tax provision.

Then CNS editor in chief Terry Jeffrey used his July 12 column to rehash a previous attack on Kavanaugh a few days earlier for accepting an assumption that an undocumented immigrant caught at the U.S. border has a right to an abortion. Jeffrey snarked: "Kavanaugh did not address the question of whether the government must allow her to buy a gun — or send a check to the House minority leader."

As much as Jeffrey and CNS may pick at the fringes of Kavanaugh's nomination, it's almost a certainty that they will ultimately fall in line like good little pro-Trump soldiers and promote it.

UPDATE: CNS published another Kavanaugh-tweaking article: A July 11 item by managing editor Michael W. Chapman highlighted "constitutional expert and Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz" -- whom Chapman noted just wrote a new book titled "The Case Against Impeaching Trump" -- bashing Kavanaugh's views on impeachment.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:51 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, July 18, 2018 6:03 PM EDT
WND Promotes Crazy Lawsuit, Hides The Craziness
Topic: WorldNetDaily

In 2016, WorldNetDaily provided damage control for author Gary Byrne, a former Secret Service officer whose then-new book making dubious, tawdry claims about the Clintons was falling apart as it was debunked as the work of a low-level agent who could not have known the things he claimed, who made claims that differed from those he testified to under oath as part of Kenneth Starr's investigation, and denounced by the Association of Former Agents of the United States Secret Service as eroding the trust between the Secret Service and those it protects.

WND is giving a boost to Byrne again in a July 1 article about his latest venture:

Former Secret Service agent Gary Byrne has filed a mega-RICO civil lawsuit against Bill and Hillary Clinton, their foundation, John Podesta, Media Matters, David Brock and even George Soros charging they are involved in an epic criminal conspiracy against him because of his role in the impeachment and his authorship of a tell-all 2016 book called “Crisis of Character: A White House Secret Service Officer Discloses His Firsthand Experience with Hillary, Bill, and How They Operate.”

But he’ll have his work cut out for him. The judge assigned to the case in D.C. District Court, Paul L. Friedman, is a Bill Clinton appointee.

Byrne asserts, among other charges, he was the victim illegal domestic and electronic surveillance at the hands of the conspiracy – especially leading up the 2016 election.

[...]

“For the past decade in which relevant predicate acts were corruptly carried out by the named defendants as ‘payback’ for Plaintiff Gary Byrne’s role in the Clinton impeachment and his status as a ‘Clinton enemy’ (for his temerity in telling the truth concerning obstruction of justice and gross abuse of power), along with their corrupt surrogates and collaborators (referenced individually and collectively as the ‘Enterprise’), David Brock and William and Hillary Clinton have been synonymous with criminal behavior, malicious baseless attacks (using mainly the illicit and vicious defamatory tactics against perceived political enemies (like Officer Gary Byrne, the Plaintiff here) of those willing to compensate participants like Brock) – and coordinating by mail and wire to violate myriad Federal and State laws in the exploitation of Enterprise nonprofit entities they use for purely partisan purposes,” Byrne says in his summary of the case.

The Clintons and their associates, Byrne says, have effectively run what amounts to an organized crime syndicate.

“This is sedition, bordering on treason, and patently illegal,” Byrne concludes.

He’s suing for more than $1.5 billion in damages for alleged violations of nearly 500 statutes.

The article is very light on details about what, exactly, Byrne is alleging. Perhaps because its link to the lawsuit is behind a paywall and WND's current precarious financial situation doesn't allow WND to spring for the cash to actually see it. But it may also be that the lawsuit is so crazy even other right-wing outlets are dubious about it.

The Daily Caller reports that "Among the many charges that appear in the at times almost incoherent filing is the charge that a criminal syndicate involving the Clintons, David Brock, Donna Brazile, and George Soros murdered Seth Rich." And the Western Journal/Conservative Tribune called the lawsuit "curious," adding that "there’s more than a soupçon of the conspiratorial behind this." But it also added, like a good anti-Clinton obsessive: "Then again, this is the Clintons — and stranger things have happened."

As a side note, both of those articles appeared more than a week before WND's version, which shows the current decimated state of WND's journalistic capabilities.

So it seems WND is doing more damage control for Byrne -- this time by omission.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:52 AM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, July 18, 2018 12:55 AM EDT
Tuesday, July 17, 2018
MRC's Graham Tries To Save Right-Wing Anti-Media Attacks After Newspaper Shooting
Topic: Media Research Center

As we've noted, the shooting of journalists at the Capital Gazette newspapers office in Maryland has put the Media Research Center in a defensive position by trying to draw a line between the MRC's -- and President Trump's -- occasionally vicious anti-media rhetoric and the idea that such rhetoric might inspire violence.

The MRC's Tim Graham did this in a June 30 post, complaining: "One nasty, if hardly unexpected result of the horrific mass shooting at the Annapolis Capital-Gazette newspaper is the attempt to smear it onto "anti-press sentiment." Liberals protest that they're not really accusing conservatives of shooting reporters, but they are, as usual, part of a 'climate' of hatred." Graham attacked Washington Post columnist Margaret Sullivan for making that argument. Graham huffed in response:

The biggest Fake News that people like Sullivan are pushing is that the press equals democracy, and criticism of the media elite is anti-democracy. 

Sullivan would not agree that Black Lives Matters smears on the police can be "connected" to cop shootings. Or that just because James Hodgkinson (the failed softball-field mass murderer of Republicans) liked Rachel Maddow on his Facebook page Maddow can somehow be "connected" to shooting congressmen. So this is a reckless tactic at a highly emotional time.

Funny -- if Maddow can't be blamed for Hodgkinson's actions, why did Graham highlight that connection at the time? It's as if he was trying to create a link or something. Graham also doesn't list the anti-police "smears" made by Black Lives Matter that he thinks are linked to violence -- perhaps because Black Lives Matter's agenda isn't as radical as he thinks.

Amnd it's weird how Graham apparently thinks all journalists who don't reflexively spout right-wing, pro-Trump talking points are somehow "elite" and must be attacked and mocked at every opportunity.

Graham then tried the "I know you are, but what am I?" approach:

If contempt for the press is "dangerous," then why can't Sullivan and [CNN's Brian] Stelter see that the rabid fear and loathing of President Trump might be "dangerous"? Why can't they imagine being on the wrong end of "If you attack the elected president, then you attack democracy"?

This from the organization that defended Rush Limbaugh for declaring that he hoped President Obama failed at his job -- and whose president likened Obama to a "skinny ghetto crackhead." We don't recall the MRC ever being concerned that such overheated right-wing anti-Obama rhetoric having violent consequences.

Finally, Graham pushes the idea that the MRC's and Trump's anti-media rhetoric is somehow meaningful criticism:

CNN reporters have been fulminating against Trump's use of terms like "Fake News" and "enemy of the people" and Trump's "war on the press," suggesting they encourage violence. Stelter quoted Dan Shelley, director of the Radio Television Digital News Association: "Watch your backs, but don’t back down..."

No journalist in America should fear violent reprisals for reporting the news. But calling the media "fake" is not a threat. It's just as much a part of democracy or free-speech as the left-wing diatribes they uncork in the national media, and then call themselves "news" people.

Calling the media "fake" not for reporting something that's fake but for reporting something that doesn't conform to a certain political agenda demeans media criticism -- and exposes the MRC as nothing but a partisan shill. But then, Graham has always been a terrible media critic because he puts right-wing ideology before journalism.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:25 PM EDT
Why Boise Stabbing Spree Didn't Trend At WND
Topic: WorldNetDaily

A July 4 WorldNetDaily column by Jack Cashill snarkily claimed that an incident in which a man stabbed several people in an apartment complex in Boise, Idaho, housing refugees -- killing one child -- didn't get more play because the alleged assailant, Timmy Kinner, is black and "There is nothing 'Idaho' or 'MAGA' about him." Cashill went on th claim that "In the last decade, mentally unstable black men like Kinner have killed scores of non-black victims in serial attacks that often have a racial motivation. If fame was their goal, these killers misunderstood the media.

Ironically, Cashill's column is only one of two articles at WND that even mention the stabbing incident. The other is one of WND's trademark theft of the work of others, this time a CBS report on the stabbing. One curious aspect of the excerpt WND used is that it omits any mention of the fact that the victims lived in an apartment building with refugees.

You might remember that over the past couple of years, WND -- mostly former reporter Leo Hohmann -- relentlessly fearmongered about refugees moving to Idaho, exploiting an incident in which two children of refugees engaged in alleged sexual behavior with a third child in order to inflame anti-Muslim and anti-refugee sentiment. Hohmann was particularly incensed by a Chobani yogurt plant in Idaho hiring refugees, so much so that he and WND published false smears about Chobani and founder Hamdi Ulukaya over the refugee issue -- claims that were quietly and mysteriously scrubbed and corrected months later, presumably after Chobani threatened to sue WND.

(These days, though, Hohmann is reduced to spewing his anti-Muslim hate at his own website.)

You'd be reading a lot more about this incident at WND if a refugee had been the perpetrator. But because refugees were the victims, the story gets shoved down the memory hole with copy-and-paste coverage instead of original reporting.

Instead of asking "why Boise murder didn't trend on Twitter," as the headline of his column stated, Cashill would be better off asking why it didn't trend at the "news" outlet that publishes his column. Of course, the answer -- because WND is hostile to the status and religion of the victims -- is too obvious and wouldn't fill out a whole column.


Posted by Terry K. at 6:22 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, July 17, 2018 6:33 PM EDT
MRC's West The Latest Right-Winger to Lie About Margaret Sanger
Topic: CNSNews.com

Right-wing ranter and Media Research Center senior fellow Allen West clearly knows the dead can't be libeled. Which seems to explain his July 2 column at MRC "news" division CNSNews.com, in which he huffs: "Just the same, the leftists say nothing about an organization, which they embrace, that was founded by a white supremacist, racist, one who spoke at a Klan rallies [sic] and whose work was the basis of Nazi eugenics. That person was Margaret Sanger. The organization is Planned Parenthood."

But as we've repeatedly documented, Sanger was not a white supremacist or a racist, according to experts on her.

West's claim that Sanger "spoke at a Klan rallies [sic]" is misleading as well. West's implication that Sanger is a racist -- as noted above, not true -- and he appears to be blowing up Sanger's admitted appearance to speak at a meeting of a KKK women's auxiliary (which she later described as "one of the weirdest experiences I had in lecturing") into speaking at multiple "Klan rallies."

But, again, Sanger is dead, and you can't libel the dead. Thus, West apparently believes he has free rein to lie about her in every way he can think of in order to advance another right-wing rant about phony "moral outrage" from the left. If only West thought it was morally outrageous to spread lies.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:54 AM EDT
Monday, July 16, 2018
Newsmax's Hirsen Tries To Put Positive Spin on Chaos-Laden Anti-Abortion Film
Topic: Newsmax

In his July 10 column, Newsmax's James Hirsen does his best to put a positive spin on an anti-abortion film whose shooting is beset with chaos -- and, like a good right-winger, blames it all on a Hollywood conspiracy:

When it comes to subject matter that is outside the leftist box, Hollywood just can’t endure any factual information coming to light, as witnessed by the massive overreaction by the entertainment elite to a pro-life project that is currently in production.

But Hirsen proves no "overreaction." He claims that producer and director Nick Loeb "initially attempted to be low key about the project, cast and crew so as to forestall the backlash that would inevitably come." But as the Daily Beast reported, Loeb also hid the nature of the film from the crew and from the owners of real-life locations where he tried to film.

Hirsen asserted that "The Beast is apoplectic that the narrator of the story is Dr. Bernard Nathanson (portrayed by Loeb)," a onetime abortion doctor who became an anti-abortion activist. But the Beast article shows no apoplexy over the film's use of Nathanson; it is apoplectic, however about the screenplay's obvious falsehoods (which Hirsen didn't acknowledge other than to complain that the Daily Beast noted the lies in its headline). For instance:

The year is 1966, and elderly Margaret Sanger, the world’s preeminent birth-control activist, is speaking to Larry Lader on her deathbed. Just before she passes, her dying words to Lader are as follows: “We do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population,” she says. “Larry, they can’t see this coming.” The reproductive rights movement is thus framed by the film as a racist plot on a par with Hitler’s Final Solution.

This oft-repeated conservative falsehood, shared by everyone from Herman Cain to Ben Carson, stems from the willful misinterpretation of a 1939 letter Sanger wrote wherein she outlined her plan to connect with prominent leaders in the African-American community and allay their possible fears concerning family-planning clinics.

[...]

Rather, “Sanger’s correspondence shows this sentence advocates for black doctors and ministers to play leadership roles in the Negro Project to avoid misunderstandings. Lynchings and Jim Crow laws gave blacks good reason to be wary of attempts to limit the number of children they bore. In Harlem, [Sanger] hired a black doctor and social worker to quell those fears,” explained PolitiFact. “She attracted an impressive roster of supporters, including Du Bois; Mary McLeod Bethune, founder of National Council of Negro Women; and the pastor of the Abyssinian Baptist Church. Eleanor Roosevelt also backed the effort. For Sanger to launch a genocidal plot behind their backs and leave no true evidence in her numerous writings would require powers just shy of witchcraft.”

“After reading the script, you realize no, this isn’t opinion, this is lies and propaganda that they’re trying pass off within some historical context,” a crew member on the film, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told The Daily Beast. “With the Margaret Sanger quote, they twisted it and used it to discredit everything that she possibly did. It’s similar to what the right-wing media is doing now: they take one thing that someone said—or even half-said—and then they turn it into something that isn’t true in order to discredit everything they’ve ever done.”

Hirsen also claims: "The untold story includes Planned Parenthood’s scheme to recruit a pregnant girl to file a lawsuit that would create a right to an abortion. According to the film’s description, Nathanson, Betty Friedan and Planned Parenthood searched "the country to find a pregnant girl" that they could "use to sue the government for her right to have an abortion."

But as attorney Hirsen surely knows, finding a plaintiff for the purpose of testing the legality of a law is common, even on the conservatide side. For instance, Dick Heller, the plaintiff in a case that overturned a District of Columbia law restricting gun ownership, plotted for years to mount a legal challenge to the law and eventually hooked up with a libertarian lawyer who "needed plaintiffs" in the form of "media-friendly, law-abiding D.C. residents to serve as the public face of the case."

So desperate is Hirsen to suck up to Loeb and others involved in the film that he touts its executive producer as "Dr. Alveda C. King" even though King's doctorate is honorary, and claimed a cameo by Milo Yiannopoulos merely offers "left-wing discomfort" while not mentioning the fact that he has been shunned by most conservatives (but apparently not Hirsen) for effectively defending pedophilia.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:43 PM EDT
MRC Thinks CNN Is Just Like Infowars. Huh?
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center is doing what was unthinkable not that long ago: defending Alex Jones' conspiracy-laden Infowars operation by insisting that CNN is really no different.

In a July 13 post, Ashley Rae Goldenberg bizarrely takes offense that CNN reporter Oliver Darcy asked Facebook executives why Infowars still has a presence on Facebook despite its current campaign to purge fake news. Goldenberg concedes that Infowars is "known to many for peddling extreme conspiracy theories," but she never details that those claims are beyond offering a link detailing some of them.

Goldenberg then laughably accuses CNN of being no different than Infowars:

CNN’s complaint to Facebook cited three separate types of charges against InfoWars. Those included: items that were “demonstrably false”; “conspiracy theories”; and stories that have “smeared” news subjects. Here’s how CNN has run afoul of similar criticisms[.]"

Regarding "demonstrably false" stories, Goldenberg cited only two: a story CNN later retracted and that "CNN perpetuated the false “hands up, don’t shoot” narrative surrounding the shooting of Michael Brown." For "conspiracy theoires," Goldenberg cited idle speculation in the immediate aftermath of big stories as facts were coming in. Regarding "personal smears," Goldenberg cited Reza Aslan's "profane insult against President Trump" -- even though that was made on Aslan's personal Twitter account and not anywhere on CNN.

Goldenberg will never admit it -- and nor will her editors, given that they were the same ones who let Tom Blumer's links to white nationalist websites stand without challenge on the NewsBusters website --  but these incidents are a fraction of what CNN does, whereas they are pretty much the entirety of Infowars' offerings. There's a huge difference what Goldenberg claims are CNN's offenses and Infowars' Alex Jones claiming that, for instance, the Sandy Hook massacre was a hoax.

But that's not the end of the story. The MRC's activism division, MRC Action, has decided to make this a cause celebre by taking Goldenberg's already ridiculous analogy and ramping it up to ludicrous levels. A July 14 email to readers states (overheated bolding in original):

CNN must not have anything better to do. It’s trying to censor InfoWars.

In a recent article, CNN senior media editor Oliver Darcy revealed how he pushed Facebook to censor InfoWars, a controversial site which Darcy accused of spreading conspiracy theories and smearing news subjects. However, as NewsBusters points out, these are sins of which CNN itself is plenty guilty.

This news is outrageous — not simply because of CNN’s hypocrisy but also their pompous assertion that they have the right to suppress free speech just because they don’t agree with it. Their belief that the liberal media should be able to control what information and what opinions that public are allowed to receive. It is the height of leftist elitist arrogance.

Love them or hate them, in this situation, InfoWars could be any media outlet in America. The press has the right to speak freely in this country but CNN seems to only care about this little fact when it is in line with their agenda. They are testing how far they can go in suppressing outlets that they don’t like. Their next target could be any one of us. Anyone who doesn’t tow the liberal line.

We can’t let them get away with this.

Contact CNN this weekend and tell them what you think. Tell them that they do not get to decide what speech is acceptable in America.

The MRC doesn't bother to tell its reader that Infowars is not "any media outlet in America" -- it's a nasty purveyor of false and conspiratorial information and it should not be treated the same as CNN or any other media outlet, even the MRC's own highly biased "news" division CNSNews.com.

That the MRC thinks CNN is no different than Infowars shows how much it has given up on "media research" and cares only about being a pro-Trump, anti-media attack dog.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:56 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, July 16, 2018 3:00 PM EDT
WND Finds A Seth Rich Conspiracy Story Even It Won't Promote
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Over the past couple of years, WorldNetDaily has cynically exploited the death of Seth Rich (and just barely avoiding getting sued over said exploitation) as a way to attack the Clintons, for whom it has an obsessive hatred, and to feed its own conspiratorial inclinations.

An anonymous written July 9 WND article pushed the latest conspiratorial development:

The convoluted case of the murder in Washington, D.C., of Democratic operative Seth Rich has taken another turn, with a lobbyist who has been investigating the case claiming a “credible” witness has been found.

Jack Burkman, a Washington-based lawyer and lobbyist, told the Gateway Pundit blog: “We believe that we have reached the beginning of the end of the Seth Rich murder investigation. After two long hard years of work, we have a witness who is prepared to identify the two killers of Seth Rich.”

Burkman told the blog in an exclusive interview on Sunday that one of the culprits identified by the witness is an agent for the Drug Enforcement Administration and the other is an agent for the ATF, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Burkman said the witness has conclusive evidence that will bring the killers to justice.

WND didn't mention that the Gateway Pundit article was written by a former WND emplolyee, Alicia Powe, who lost her job as WND shed personnel earlier this year in a cost-cutting frenzy to stay alive.

But Burkman's press conference was, to mut it mildly, a disaster. As Right Wing Watch reported, the purported witness appeared only via "an off-white speakerphone from years past resting on a table" and was coached through the call by Burkman, but "reporters in the room—even those largely sympathetic to conspiracy theories about Rich’s murder—left unconvinced" of the purported witness' credibility.

Even Powe -- who pushed Seth Ricih conspiracy theories, particularly those from Burkman, while at WND -- wasn't convinced. Her follow-up story at Gateway Pundit carried the headline "Activists Sully Second Anniversary of Seth Rich Murder with Batsh*t Crazy Press Conference"; the article itself doesn't really back that, instead uncritically repeating what happened at the presser. It's a badly written, badly edited piece that strangely omits Burkman's name as the ringleader of the charade and concludes (typos in original): "If you presume the witness is telling the truth the reasons he would fear for his safety are quite obvious you are dealin with bad feds. Its clear to me a big problem in law intel bureaucracy the government works out of necessity with too many people who have been on the other side of the laws."

Interestingly, WND did no reporting at all on what actually happened at Burkman's presser. Could it be that WND recognized what a fiasco this was and decided not to give it any coverage even though it's still firmly in its conspiratorial wheelhouse?

Perhaps. The shocker here is that WND apparently has standards.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:28 AM EDT
Updated: Monday, July 16, 2018 10:16 AM EDT
Sunday, July 15, 2018
CNS, WND Play Down Scandals In Reporting on Pruitt's Resignation
Topic: CNSNews.com

The resignation of EPA chief Scott Pruitt amid a lengthy and growing list of scandals and controversies got the ConWeb in the way you'd expect from pro-Trump state media: by heavily downplaying the scandal aspect.

CNS' Melanie Arter led her article on Pruitt's resignation by noting that it came "after months of misconduct allegations" -- but that's the only reference to them. The remainder of Arter's nine-paragraph article is dedicated to repeating President Trump's praise for Ptuitt.

WorldNetDaily's Art Moore began his article by noting the "accusations of multiple ethical failures" against Pruitt, and he later noted that "Government investigators have been looking into Pruitt’s renting of a Capitol Hill condominium linked to an energy lobbyist on favorable terms, the high cost of his travel and security detail and other accusations of mistreatment of employees, wasteful spending and unethical decisions."

But Moore then went on to portray Pruitt as the victim of a "political hit job":

One of Pruitt’s biggest critics, Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., tweeted Thursday that Pruitt remained in his position so long only because Trump “liked his zealotry” on deregulation.

“Scott Pruitt’s reign of venality is finally over,” wrote Connolly. “He made swamp creatures blush with his shameless excesses. All tolerated because Trump liked his zealotry. Shame.”

In contrast, talk-radio and Fox News host Mark Levin on Thursday characterized Pruitt as a victim of a political hit job.

“Well, they finally got Scott Pruitt. The EPA is hostile territory for any true conservative trying to tame it,” he wrote. “And the acting administrator is another lifer. Major step backward.”

[...]

Washington observer Mollie Hemingway, senior editor at the online magazine The Federalist and a contributor for Fox News, said Thursday that the issue is “not that Scott Pruitt showed bad judgment” – although she said some charges were false or exaggerated – it’s that he was effective in his job and, from the beginning, drew the wrath of a campaign called “Boot Pruitt.”

Hemingway, in a panel discussion on Bret Baier’s “Special Report,” said Pruitt was “articulating and advancing an agenda very different than what you had seen from previous EPA administrators.”

She emphasized that the reason Pruitt was under attack for the entirety of his administration was not because he showed bad judgment.

“The campaign that was funded by so many of these environmental groups was about going over every single decision he made, every single casual comment he made, with a fine-toothed comb so they could oust him,” she said.

Hemingway said the success of the Boot Pruitt effort will make it a blueprint for the left, noting that already activists are calling for the new acting administrator, Wheeler, to be removed, arguing he will continue Pruitt’s policies.

Framing Pruitt's ouster as a conspiracy very much up WND's editorial alley.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:29 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, July 15, 2018 9:29 PM EDT
Apparently, Mocking Bono Is 'Media Research' At The MRC
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's brand of "media research" is departing further and further from anything substantive and moving closer to just insulting people its writers don't like.

A good example is this July 3 post by Gabriel Hays, who seems more interested in taking potshots at Bono than having anything useful to say:

The world’s ambassador for peace and self-righteousness, Bono hasn’t been holding up well in light of recent criticisms against the UN and NATO.

The Associated Press reported on Tuesday that the famous U2 frontman warned “that the United Nations and other international institutions including the European Union and NATO are under threat — and nations must work together to ensure their continued existence.”

Bono, a giant in the world of fancy charity events and posing for photos with impoverished African kids, did his best to kiss up to crowd of UN diplomats at an event for a potential Irish UN seat. Referencing the recent criticism by various world governments, Bono worried that the role of unaccountable international organizations was in danger.

He claimed, “I love that it [the UN] exists, and I’ll tell you, I don’t take for granted that it exists, or that it will continue to exist because let’s be honest, we live in a time when institutions as vital to human progress as the United Nations are under attack.”

Well, the UN is at least vital in propping up famous faces like Bono as international do-gooders, but that’s beside the point, right?

Of course, actual media criticism is beside the point for Hays when there's a popular musician -- who, unlike Hays or any other MRC employee, has an actual track record of helping people in the world -- to mock for believing things he doesn't.


Posted by Terry K. at 7:02 PM EDT
Saturday, July 14, 2018
WND Columnist Repeats Evidence-Free Rumor of Ex-CIA Chief's Conversion to Islam
Topic: WorldNetDaily

When we last checked in on WorldNetDaily columnist John Griffing, he was so busy spewing hate that he couldn't be bothered to get his facts straight. He's still at it.

In the midst of a July 8 WND column spreading his usual anti-liberal hate, Griffing described former CIA director "John 'Benghazi' Brennan" as "a man who once voted for the Communist presidential candidate and may have converted to Islam." Griffing actually gets the first claim right, albeit out of context; Brennan did vote for a communist presidential candidate in 1976 -- but he was a college student at the time, it was a protest vote, and he was hired by the CIA anyway despite admitting the vote.

Griffing's so-called proof that Brennan " may have converted to Islam" is a 2013 WND article quoting the evidence-free claim being made by ex-FBI agent John Guandolo. Griffing didn't mention that -- as we noted at the time -- Guandolo is utterly discredited, having left the FBI after being exposed as a serial philanderer and adulterer who jeopardized a federal investigation by having sex with a witness and trying to get her to donate money to a right-wing "anti-terrorism" organization. Guandolo has still not offered any proof to back up his claim.

So, not exactly the most reliable source. Then again, neither is Griffing.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:44 AM EDT
Friday, July 13, 2018
White Nationalist Links Cost Blumer His NewsBusters Gig
Topic: NewsBusters

Well, that was quick.

Earlier this week, Media Matters discovered that a 2015 NewsBusters post by contributing editor Tom Blumer linked to an article on the white nationalist site American Renaissance stating in part that "my experience has also taught me that blacks are different by almost any measure to all other people. They cannot reason as well. They cannot communicate as well. They cannot control their impulses as well. They are a threat to all who cross their paths, black and non-black alike." Blumer also linked in a 2017 post to white nationalist site VDARE, benignly suggesting that it is a "center-right" operation.

NewsBusters has since deleted the links and added editor's notes to both posts noting the deletion, adding to one post, "NewsBusters does not associate with known white nationalists." Blumer has not written any new posts since the story broke, despite near-daily contributions before that; he apparently has been fired, as his NewsBusters author bio page now speaks of him in the past tense, calling him a "former contributing editor."

The thing is, Blumer's white-nationalist leanings should not have been a surprise to NewsBusters. Did nobody at the MRC edit his posts and double-check his links? Are they not aware that AmRen and VDARE are white nationalist websites? Blumer's post apparently don't get a lot of editorial scrutiny, given that we've devoted two articles to their shaky logic and general cluelessness about how the media works.

NewsBusters should have known, especially since it had to edit a post to tamp down some of Blumer's more racially inflammatory claims.

As we documented, NewsBusters published a 2016 post by Blumer in which he tried to argue that a poll showing Trump supporters are more likely to believe that blacks are more “lazy” than whites, “less intelligent” than whites, more “rude” than whites, more “violent” than whites and more “criminal” than whites somehow doesn't indicate racist beliefs. The original version of the post on Blumer's BizzyBlog site went even further, desperately trying to blame those conditions regarding blacks on liberal meddling, insisting that "Those who have seen the difference in behavior in real life are going to regretfully agree, without any hint of racism, that blacks in 2016 America on the whole [engage in a particular undesirable behavior] than non-blacks, as much as they sincerely wish it were not so" and that Trump supporters are simply "more willing to recognize those realities."

It's a delicate bit of needle-threading that fails because it still comes off as racist, and NewsBusters should never have published it in the first place -- or, at least, it should have sent up a red flag about the rest of Blumer's content. But given that NewsBusters' editing of Blumer has been on the lax side -- as the direct white-nationalist links show -- he was given a pass that it seems has not been earned.

As of this writing, Blumer hasn't noted his dismissal from NewsBusters on his personal blog, and NewsBusters itself hasn't mentioned it beyond changing his author bio to the past tense. NewsBusters should, however, publicly explain the editorial process that allowed a link to a white nationalist website making explicitly racist statements to get through in the first place, not to mention remaining live for three years.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:43 PM EDT
Self-Unaware: WND's Farah Complains That People Are Doing To Trump What WND Did To Obama
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Joseph Farah complains in his June 24 WorldNetDaily column:

At what point does the left’s Trump Derangement Syndrome cross the line of criminality?

In criminal law, incitement is defined as encouraging another person to commit a crime.

Threatening the president is a felony under United States Code Title 18, Section 871. It consists of knowingly and willfully mailing or otherwise making “any threat to take the life of, to kidnap, or to inflict bodily harm upon the president of the United States.” This also includes presidential candidates and former presidents. The Secret Service is charged with investigating suspected violations.

There’s been far too much of this going since the day Trump was elected president – in fact, even before.

Celebrities seem especially susceptible to Trump Derangement Syndrome – probably because there is absolutely no price to pay career-wise. In fact, it probably helps. You don’t get the Roseanna Barr treatment if your venomous wrath is directed Trump-ward.

As usual, Farah has forgotten what he's been doing for a living the past couple decades. We doubt Farah was concerned about Barack Obama's safety when he peddled lies and fake news about the president for eight years. We also don't recall Farah being offended when Ted Nugent effectively threatened Obama's life in 2007 when he called Obama a "piece of shit" who should "suck on my machine gun"; not only has Nugent never faced any consequences for it, Farah effectively rewarded him for it a few years later by giving him a column at WND with Farah gushing, "Ted Nugent rocks!"

Farah then complained that "what we euphemistically call the 'mainstream media' ... portrays Trump as a criminal, a Nazi, a white supremacist, an uncaring bigot, a let-them-eat-cake billionaire, a sociopath." Farah apparently doesn't remember that WND used most of those words to attack Obama, with the added slur of Antichrist.

Farah is so obtuse (perhaps strategically so) that doesn't see he's criticizing people for doing to Trump what he did to Obama. Unless he can honestly own up to -- and apologize for -- his role in creating the toxic political environment he now decries because it's his guy being targeted instead of him doing the targeting, WND will never be taken seriously.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:19 AM EDT
Updated: Friday, July 13, 2018 2:22 AM EDT
Thursday, July 12, 2018
CNS Reporter Complains Media Treats 'Socialist ... Latina' Candidate Like CNS Treats Trump
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com reporter Susan Jones is such a pro-Trump stenographer that she regularly presents whatever the Trump administration and Trump-promoting Republicans put out without bothering to fact-check. Which makes Jones' June 27 blog post -- in which she complains that a "socialist ... Latina" candidate who won a congressional primary was "not pressed on her agenda":

The 28-year-old Latina who knocked a Democrat Party leader out of the running in New York's congressional primary Tuesday made her morning television debut on Wednesday.

Maybe it was the contrast with the "Morning Joe" sourpusses, but Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez came across as downright delightful -- happy, peppy and brimming with positivity.

She told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" that Democrats need to "lay out a plan and a vision that people can believe in," rather than getting into twitter fights with the president.

[...]

Ocasio-Cortez, who defeated Rep. Joe Crowley, the fourth-ranking Democrat in the House of Representatives, made it clear that her interests lie with the "working class people of the United States," but no one on the "Morning Joe" set asked her specific questions about the far-left positions outlined on her campaign website.

In other words, Jones is complaining that "Morning Joe" gave  Ocasio-Cortez the same treatment she gives the Trump administration.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:38 PM EDT

Newer | Latest | Older

Bookmark and Share

Get the WorldNetDaily Lies sticker!

Find more neat stuff at the ConWebWatch store!

Read my blog on Kindle

Support This Site

« July 2018 »
S M T W T F S
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 31

Bloggers' Rights at EFF
Support Bloggers' Rights!

News Media Blog Network

Add to Technorati Favorites

Add to Google

Subscribe in Bloglines

Add to My AOL