ConWebBlog: The Weblog of ConWebWatch

your New Media watchdog

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

Tuesday, July 31, 2018
Newsmax Joins In Post-Putin Damage Control for Trump
Topic: Newsmax

The Donald Trump-Vladimir Putin press conference was such a disaster for Trump that Trump sycophants from all over (i.e. CNSNews.com) had to go into damage control mode. Even Newsmax had to rush to defend Trump in the aftermath.

David Patten cranked out a piece hidden behind its "Platinum" paywall titled "Sanctions Galore! The 22 Times Trump Has Slapped Down Putin," in which he insisted that Trump "already has been much tougher on the Russians than Barack Obama was during his entire presidency."

Meanwhile, Newsmax chief and Trump buddy Christopher Ruddy made a TV appearance making the same point, effectively arguing that whatever Trump said during the presser doesn't matter:

Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy said Sunday that President Donald Trump drew on his 50-year experience in business, where “words are not so much important as concrete actions,” in his summit with Vladimir Putin, and likely got “huge concessions” from the Russian leader.

In an interview on CNN’s “Reliable Sources” with Brian Stelter, Ruddy, a longtime friend of Trump, lamented the relentless criticism by the mainstream media of a president who is “new at his job.”

“I think the president made missteps, he admitted he misspoke,” Ruddy said of Trump’s controversial remarks about Russian meddling during a joint news conference with Putin. “But the idea I've heard on your program for the past 40 minutes, [columnist] Max Boot saying [Trump] was colluding in open daylight, he's engaging in treason, this is beyond belief.”

Trump’s a “relatively new president” who for 50 years has “been a business guy.”

“As a business guy, words are not so much as important as the concrete actions of the deal,” Ruddy said. He added that although he didn’t speak to Trump about his one-on-one Putin meeting, “my guess is [Trump] got huge concessions, the meeting went better than anyone expected. He thought ‘I’m going to be overly nice to this guy.’”

Ruddy noted “we'll see in the next coming months” if his guess is correct, but declared that Trump “didn’t want to go into meetings having a weak nuclear arsenal,” and before the summit, got NATO to increase military spending and has increased U.S. military spending.

“This is not a friend of Russia,” Ruddy said.

And when pressed why he seemed to talk like a friend, Ruddy explained it was because of his “negotiating style.”

“Go beyond the words and look at his concrete actions,” Ruddy said, asking: “Why would he put people like [Secretary of State] Mike Pompeo, [national security adviser] John Bolton, and [Defense Secretary] James Mattis, who are all Russia hawks, in key positions?”

Spoken like a true Trump believer.


Posted by Terry K. at 6:37 PM EDT
WND Becomes Putin's Stenographer, Pushes His Bogus Anti-Hillary Claim
Topic: WorldNetDaily

We've noted how CNSNews.com uncritically promoted Russian President Vladimir Putin's assertion that a critic of his, Bill Browder, donated $400 million to Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign while not bothering to mention the fact that it's false.

An anonymous WorldNetDaily writer did the same thing in a July 16 article:

A quip by Russian President Vladimir Putin during his conference in Helsinki with President Donald Trump that ‘business associates” sent $400 million to Hillary Clinton’s campaign has sparked a long list of questions.

Tyler Durden at ZeroHedge discussed the comment.

“Vladimir Putin made a bombshell claim during Monday’s joint press conference with President Trump in Helsinki, Finland, when the Russian president said some $400 million in illegally earned profits was funneled to the Clinton campaign by associates of American-born British financier Bill Browder – at one time the largest foreign portfolio investor in Russia. The scheme involved members of the U.S. intelligence community, said Putin, who he said ‘accompanied and guided these transactions.'”

ZeroHedge is a fringe blog prone to publishing fake news -- which WND should know, having published fake news from ZeroHedge a couple years back. Also, "Tyder Durden" is not a real person; it's a pseudonym for a group of writers that post at the website. That tells you how far WND has fallen -- it has to outsource its fake news.

Needless to say, WND has not updated its story to point out the $400 million claim is false -- heck, even Putin himself has walked it back, now saying it was just $400,000 (which appears to also be false). Instead , WND rehashes ZeroHedge's attack on Browder, which claims that Browder "allegedly was behind the 2012 Magnitsky Act" but skips the part about how he died in a Russian prison after allegedly uncovering tax fraud committed by the Russian government against Browder's businesses. (The fake-name ZeroHedge piece blames Browder and Magnitsky for the alleged fraud, citing ... the Russian government.)

By serving as Putln's stenographer, WND is, in effect, promoting Russian propaganda. That's not how one regains the credibility to remain a viable "news" operation.


Posted by Terry K. at 5:09 PM EDT
MRC's Spin on Stormy Daniels Arrest Is Falling Apart
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Kyle Drennen huffed in a July 12 post:

On Thursday, all three network morning shows promoted the conspiracy theory that the arrest of porn star Stormy Daniels at an Ohio strip club for misdemeanor sex offences was a “politically motivated” “sting operation” designed to embarrass the adult film actress, who accused President Trump of having an affair with her in 2006. The NBC, ABC, and CBS broadcasts all touted such claims from Daniels’ media hound attorney Michael Avenatti.

Drennen's post isn't aging well so far. CNN is reporting that appears Daniels was indeed targeted for arrest; newly released emails between officers in Columbus, Ohio -- where she was arrested following a performance at a strip club there -- reveal that included photos and videos of Daniels and a map to the club, and that one officer was "seemingly giddy about the arrest after the fact."

Given the MRC's historic refusal to correct fake news that appears on its website, you will not be surprised to learn that neither Drennen nor anyone else at the MRC has reported this development, which puts his dismissal of the "conspiracy theory" into serious doubt.

The MRC has, however, published a column by Tim Graham and Brent Bozell attacking Daniels' lawyer, Michael Avenatti, for appearing on TV too much for their liking -- which tells us that they would like the whole Daniels story to be censored -- and a rant from right-wing radio host Mark Levin, a propagandist pushing an agenda, attacking the "liberal media" for being "propagandists who push an agenda" because they reported on Daniels:

Stormy Daniels is a non-story. Stormy Daniels is a non-story. It was a non-disclosure agreement apparently signed. So why is there a story? Because she’s violating a non-disclosure agreement. They’re trying to embarrass the President. So what? Week after week after week after week. A porn star, the media, mainstreams a porn star and her crackpot, slip-and-fall lawyer.

We suspect that Levin didn't think a president having sex with a woman not his wife was a "non-story" when said president was a Democrat.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:25 AM EDT
Monday, July 30, 2018
WND's Farah Redefines 'Independent' To Falsely Portray WND As That
Topic: WorldNetDaily

For years, WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah has laughably insisted his "news" organzation is "independent," despite it having an obvious right-wing editorial agenda that colors its "news" coverage. Farah finally offered a defintion of the term in his June 25 column -- which he conveniently redefines to fit what he thinks WND is:

I founded the very first independent online news-gathering company in 1997 – some 21 years ago. We’ve faced many crises over those two decades, but nothing like we are experiencing at the hands of this cartel that shares a worldview so narrow, so tyrannical, so bullying and so disrespectful of dissent that all five of these companies count on an extremist organization called the Southern Poverty Law Center to help them police content. Is that a coincidence?

The combined clout of these companies makes them the de facto gatekeepers of all media in the U.S. If they like your content, it is treated favorably. If they don’t like your content, they treat you … well, harshly. That means your content doesn’t show up in searches, you don’t get much if any advertising, social media outreach is strictly limited. Thus, independent media are in crisis. They’re dying – and not slowly. It may be too late to save what’s left.

What do I mean by independent media? WND was the first, aside from the DrudgeReport, which is a genre all its own – perhaps the inspiration for all efforts that followed.

  1. I use the term to describe media efforts created specifically for the digital online age. When I started WND, I was a refugee of the so-called “mainstream” print media. I saw in the promise of the internet, a chance to level the playing field in such a way that an upstart, strictly digital enterprise could compete head to head with the corporate media established in the print and broadcasting era. For 20 years, we proved it could work. Others followed. Another old dearly departed friend of mine, Andrew Breitbart, took it to new heights with Breitbart.com. Tucker Carlson introduced innovations at the Daily Caller before moving on to Fox where he has become one of the finest hosts on cable news. Glenn Beck left television to start TheBlaze.com. There are now dozens of such efforts. And they are all experiencing what I am experiencing – a fight for survival, with some closer to losing than others, but none with answers for long-term prosperity.
  2. Independent media are also defined by independent thinking. We don’t all agree politically. But we all agree the establishment media are part of the problem, not part of the solution.
  3. Independent media also tend to be skeptical of Big Government and other big institutions, cultural, corporate, political or otherwise.

Note that all the websites Farah lists are right-wing sites like his. Pushing a right-wing ideology through a biased editorial agenda is not "independent thinking" at all. And being "skeptical of Big Government and other big institutions, cultural, corporate, political or otherwise" is another tenet of right-wing orthodoxy.

There is no independence at WND. There might have been at one time early on, when it dared to break from the Republican agenda during the 2000 election and admit that few voters were discouraged from the polls in Florida when the networks mistakenly called Florida for Gore while some polls in the state were still open, forgetting that the Florida panhandle is in a different time zone than the rest of the state. But since then, Farah and WND have renounced true editorial independence to be pro-Bush, then anti-Obama, and now pro-Trump.

A truly independent media outlet reports facts without fear or favor -- something that can't said about WND, where agenda always comes first.

If Farah can't honestly tell readers what his website does, WND doesn't really deserve to live, despite Farah's bogus framing that WND going out of business means the death of the First Amendment.

Meanwhile, WND is sliding into yet another existential crisis. More on that later...


Posted by Terry K. at 10:56 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, July 31, 2018 8:58 AM EDT
CNS Becomes Putin's Stenographer, Defends Trump After His Disastrous Putin Presser
Topic: CNSNews.com

We've already noted how CNSNews.com uncritically regurgitated a falsehood from President Trump in reporting on his performance during his press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin. But that's far from the only pro-Trump stenography service CNS performed in order to spin away Trump's disastrous performance.

CNS led up to the Trump-Putin meeting with an article by Melanie Arter quoting a Republican senator repating the Trump-GOP line that Russian meddling in the 2016 election did not change the outcome, while Susan Jones quoted Rand Paul saying international election medding is no big deal because everybody does it.

Arter also did some pro-Putin stenography, uncritically quoting the Russian leader claiming that he didn't know Trump was in Moscow in 2013, the time frame in which some of the incidents in Steele dossier are alleged to have taken place -- something that is likely not true given that Trump personally invited Putin to the 2013 Miss Universe Pageant in Moscow, which Trump owned at the time, and that Putin planned to attend but canceled at the last minute. Arter also asserted that the Steele dossier is "discredited," which is also not true.

Arter served up even more pro-Putin stenography in another article uncritically quoting how Putin "offered to allow Special Counsel Robert Mueller and U.S. officials to travel to Russia to witness the questioning of the 12 Russian intelligence officers that were indicted by a U.S. grand jury last week of hacking the computers of the Democratic National Committee in an effort to interfere with the 2016 election." Arter also repeated Putin's attack on "Putin critic and CEO of London-based Hermitage Capital Management Bill Browder, saying Browder allegedly contributed $400 million to Hillary Clinton’s campaign." Arter didn't mention that Putin's claim about Browder is false.

As the bad reviews for Trump's performance rolled in, it was time for CNS to go into defense mode. An article by Patrick Goodenough complained that "Former Obama administration officials came out firing in response to President Trump’s press conference comments with Russian President Vladimir Putin, accusing him variously of treasonous behavior, siding with Russia against his own country, “bowing to Putin” and having become a threat to U.S. national interests." Goodenough waited until the 22nd paragraph of his 24-paragraph article to admit that "some leading Republicans did voice concern about the press conference statements." Jones also provided Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer criticizing Trump.

Another article from Goodenough went even more defensive: "President Trump’s press conference remarks in Helsinki are drawing fire from Democrats and Republicans at home, but one thing he did not do publicly was announce any concessions or tempering of administration policies that have arguably been tougher on Russia than those of his predecessors." Arter later reported that Trump "clarifed his comments on the intelligence community’s assessment that Russia meddled in the 2016 presidential election, saying that he agrees with their conclusion," then followed up with another White House clarification on Trump's remarks about whether he believed that Russia is still targeting the U.S.

Meanwhile, Michael W. Chapman called up Republican Rand Paul to accuse Trump's critics of having "Trump Derangement Syndrome," while Gavi Greenspan quoted Republican leader Paul Ryan denying that Trump committed treason in his obsequiousness to Putin and Max Augros quoted another Republican congressman similarly denying it -- both in response to former CIA director John Brennan making the accusation.

Capping all of this off was a column by CNS editor in chief Terry Jeffrey complaining that "Former CIA Director John Brennan never accused his old boss Barack Obama of 'treasonous' behavior" when Obama told then-leader Dmitry Medvedev that he would have "more flexibility" to negotiate with Russia after the 2012 election. Curiously, not only did Jeffrey never argue why such a statement might have been treasonous, Jeffrey never identifies Obama as the president anywhere in his column, though he does reference "President Donald Trump."

Jeffrey was also in cleanup mode as well: "Yes, Trump's statement suggesting he accepted Putin's denial of Russian interference in the 2016 election — despite the conclusion of the U.S. intelligence community — was wrong. But the next day, Trump admitted as much, saying he misspoke."

The fact that CNS has to do so much cleanup and deflection tells us just how insanely pro-Trump they have become.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:07 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, July 30, 2018 7:13 PM EDT
WND Columnist Disappears Eight Years Of Right-Wingers Treating Obama Like A Manchurian Candidate
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Rich Logis rants in a July 17 WorldNetDaily column:

“Constitutional crisis” and “Democrat” have never been more closely aligned. Considering all the dangers of the Democratic Party – exploiting our youth into Redcoat Hitler Youth gun-control activists and violence against fellow Americans who don’t share their political beliefs, to name just two – one under-the-radar danger will soon, I expect, become over the radar:

The Democrats will never, ever again accept presidential election losses.

So what’s to stop them from ever accepting congressional losses, either in the House or Senate? What about gubernatorial and state elections? Local? School board? Dog catcher?

But in all his ranting about how Democrats questioned the legitimacy of Republican presidents and treated him as a "Manchurian candidate" for winning the Electoral College but not the popular vote, Logis curiously omits the eight years that right-wingers questioned Barack Obama's legitimacy and pushed bogus conspiracy theories about where he was born. Heck, the website that publishes Logis' column issued an anti-Obama book called "The Manchurian President."

It's unclear whether Logis ever promoted anti-Obama conspiracy theories -- his day job is that of a right-wing radio host --  but given that he writes things like "We must view the Democratic Party and their sycophantic voters, addicted to the anti-Trump occult and the DMIC, the Democrat Media Industrial Complex, like the Allies viewed the Nazis: as an existential threat to (lowercase d) democratic institutions and, in our case, constitutional institutions" tells us he was likely a carrier of Obama Derangement Syndrome.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:56 AM EDT
Sunday, July 29, 2018
MRC's Double Standard On Religious Insults Involving Ben Shapiro
Topic: Media Research Center

Alec Sears huffed in a July 2 Media Research Center post:

Late Saturday night Joshua Topolsky, Co-Founder of The Verge, tweeted a hideous statement directed at prominent Jewish, conservative pundit, Ben Shapiro. The since-deleted tweet read, ”Ben Shapiro is the Jew who helps other Jews onto the train.” Topolsky has not apologized, and claimed to have deleted the tweet because “a mob of right wing babies were flooding my mentions.” Topolsky also said he received death threats over the tweet.

Sears added that "Conservative Twitter discovered the tweet on Sunday and lept to Shapiro’s defense." Sears doesn't mention, however, that Shapiro himself has engaged in similar Holocaust-referencing insults.

As we've noted, in a 2010 column ranting about President Obama's purported "anti-Semitism" -- published by the MRC's "news" division, CNSNews.com -- Shapiro declared that then-Obama White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel "is a kapo" (Shapiro also laughably described himself as"a charter member of the tribe" -- which, unless he was born several thousand years ago, is almost certainly not true.) Later that year, Shapiro asserted in a tweet that George Soros is a "kapo."

A "kapo" was the term used for trustee prisoners in Nazi concentration camps -- some of them Jewish -- who supervised other prisoners and carried out the will of the Nazi commandants.

The MRC did not notice these nasty insults, let alone call him out on them -- though it once got outraged that someone on TV used the word to attack black Tea Party members, and a 2016 post by Brad Wilmouth appears to condone U.S. ambassador to Israel David Friedman's declaration that liberal Jewish groups who advocate a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict are "kapos." Shapiro only recently semi-apologized for the Emanuel insult -- though not for the Soros insult -- admitting it was "probably too charged."

We're not defending Topolsky's tweet here, just putting it in context with the level of vitriol Shapiro himself has engaged in -- something the MRC has no interest in doing here because that weakens its case.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:47 AM EDT
Updated: Sunday, July 29, 2018 12:42 PM EDT
Saturday, July 28, 2018
Another Newsmax Writer Offers Sycophantic Defense of Trump Foundation, Baselessly Attacks Clinton Foundation
Topic: Newsmax

Michael Reagan's July 14 Newsmax column, co-written with Michael R. Shannon, is so slavishly devoted to following in the footsteps of Newsmax chief Christopher Ruddy in defending the Trump Foundation over allegations of impropriety that he actually quotes Ruddy:

After state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman resigned in disgrace his placeholder Barbara Underwood took up the cudgel and continued bashing the president. She accused the president’s Trump Foundation of “persistent illegal conduct” continuing for more than a decade.

Proving that the lawsuit is simply a political strategy dressed up in a statute book, the trial is scheduled for a date just prior to the November mid-term election. What’s more, the attack and the timing has the total support of the judge in charge of the show trial. The New Yorker reported that when a Trump Foundation lawyer asked that the case be delayed due to the trial’s proximity to the election, the judge thought the request was funny.

“Judge Scarpulla laughed in response [to the Trump request], did not change the trial date, and hinted that she is likely to require the president to testify.”

These shenanigans caught the attention of Newsmax CEO Chris Ruddy who has known the president for a number of years.

Ruddy points out the Trump foundation is almost unique in that it donated more money than it received in contributions: $19.2 million in donations after receiving $18.8 in contributions.

As we pointed out when Ruddy went into defense mode, the point of the investigation is not whether the foundation paid out more than it took in -- it's about apparent self-dealing in receipt and distribution of funds.It appears much of the foundation's money came from people and organizations that did business with Trump, foundation money went to settle legal disputes with his businesses, and some donations went to organizations that rented out his Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach.

Reagan then made an apples-and-oranges comparison to the Clinton Foundation:

Compare that to the Clinton Foundation, which vacuumed up $500 million in contributions from 2009 to 2012 and only donated $75 million to unaffiliated charities.

The “persistent[ly] illegal” Trump Foundation was also strange in that it spent not one thin dime on salaries and its overhead costs can be measured with an electron microscope. While the Clinton Foundation serves as the Human Resources department for Hillary’s various campaigns and spent $110 million on salaries during the same time period. And another astounding $290 million went to “other expenses.”

We agree there is a foundation based in New York State that deserves close scrutiny from the AG’s office, but it is not the foundation named after Trump.

Reagan apparent got his numbers from the right-wing Federalist website and Rush Limbaugh, which is an indicator of how they are designed to mislead. But the Clinton Foundation is a global public charity, compared with the family-run Trump Foundation. As a group that actually cares about facts reports, the Clinton Foundation conducts most of its charity in-house and doesn't need to donate to outside groups, and the salary money mostly pays for people actually doing the foundation's charity work. Experts on charities say the Clinton Foundation's spending is not out of line with other charities in good standing.

Reagan concludes by calling the Trump Foundation investigation a "kangaroo prosecution." But that's exactly what he wants against the Clinton Foundation.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:20 PM EDT
Friday, July 27, 2018
Unhinged: MRC Thinks Media Outlets Discussing The Same Thing Is 'Collusion'
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center has been been moving in lockstep with its fellow conservative media outlets in defending President Trump and denouncing the Russia investigation as a witch hunt. Which means it's hilarously hypocritical for the MRC to accuse the non-conservative media of "collusion," which Ryan Foley did in a July 17 post:

For all of the talk about collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, the liberal media seems to have engaged in a little bit of collusion themselves. On six different programs over the past 24 hours, hosts either suggested or asked their guests to weigh in on whether Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats should resign due to President Trump's refusal to accept the DNI's assertion that Russia meddled in the 2016 election.

The latest montage of meltdowns came after President Trump's Helsinki summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, Finland.

[...]

In all honesty, the media could care less whether or not Director Coats resigns. They just see the hypothetical resignations of Coats or other Trump Administration officials as stepping stones in achieving their ultimate goal: the premature end of the Trump presidency.  

Foley and the MRC could care less about journalism -- they're just cobsessed with scoring political points and destroying the non-conservative media for failing to lionize Trump 24/7. It's absurd for Foley and the MRC to see "collusion" everywhere except on their own side.

Before he goes on another "collusion" rant, perhaps Foley could explain to us just how much his employer colludes with other conservative groups in pushing its pro-Trump, anti-media message.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:51 AM EDT
WND's Peterson Sounds Like A White Supremacist Again, Declares That It's 'White History Month'
Topic: WorldNetDaily

You know how Jesse Lee Peterson loves to rant like a white nationalist but gets away with it because he's a black right-winger? Well, he's taken that to a whole 'nother level in his July 15 WorldNetDaily column:

For the last 60 years or more, white people have been under attack, falsely called “racist,” and blamed for the failure and problems of black Americans and other so-called “people of color.”

Each year reveals new levels of insanity celebrating radical Black History Month, transgender and homosexual history, feminist women – celebration of everyone except for straight, white, conservative Christian men of power.

White people have been under attack, unappreciated and under a spell of fear for so long that most of the country can’t even remember that it was whites who made this country the destination that it is!

The simple fact remains: Without white people, there would be no America. White men founded this country and made it great. White men like President Trump are the last ones holding America together – and it is hanging by a thread.

So out of appreciation, I deemed July as White History Month

For some reason, whites allowed others to come in to this country who would turn around and betray them! Reportedly, whites will soon be a minority in their own country!

If we allow the vilification and replacement of whites to continue, then our country will become a ghetto. We will see more black-on-white crime, more laws against Christians and men, a total loss of freedom, and destruction of communities.

Aside from the fact that this rant would be not be out of place on white-nationalist or supremacist websites such as Stormfront or VDARE, Peterson misses the point hard here. Just as every day is Children's Day, every month is already White History Month by dint of whites being the dominant culture in America despite Peterson's fearmongering to the contrary. Thus, there's no need to declare one.

Peterson once again labeled President Trump the "Great White Hope" -- apparently still oblivious to the fact that the phrase originated as a racist, anti-black insult --  and then showed he's still learning the wrong message from all this:

Some friends and callers express concern for my safety, fearing a violent backlash against White History Month. We should be wary of violent leftists and white haters, given the incitement by anti-Trump agitators like Maxine Waters (the Wicked Witch of the West), corrupt government officials, media and Hollywood. There are places where it’s not safe to be an open Trump supporter. But the children of the lie proudly tout their beliefs with no sense of shame for being wrong – they’re in your face promoting evil!

If you are a child of God, you have no fear. Perfect love, the nature of God, drives out fear. But if you have fear, you are still of your father the devil. In counseling and talking with people, I notice most men and women have fear. Men are afraid to deal with their wives. Grown men and women are afraid to face their mothers and be honest with them!

Where does fear come from? Anger and unforgiveness. Unless you forgive, you will not be forgiven. And you will have all of the children of anger: fear, doubt, insecurity and suicidal thoughts. So forgive and be free!

Peterson seems to be confusing a lack of fear with a lack of shame. And his continuing Obama derangement demonstrates that he still harbors a massive reservoir of the anger (and, we can assume, its children) that he claims not to have.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:43 AM EDT
Thursday, July 26, 2018
Tim Graham's Anti-CNN, Anti-Media Rants Getting More Unhinged
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Tim Graham is growing as unhinged as he claims the rest of the media is. He begins a July 14 post about whether Fox News' John Roberts should have defended CNN's Jim Acosta (a key target in the MRC's anti-media war) after President Trump and declaring that Fox News is "real news," began this way:

CNN has branded itself as savagely, incessantly anti-Trump, as well as savagely, incessantly anti-Fox News. So why on Earth do they expect that when the president mocks CNN at a press conference, "unity" demands that Fox defend CNN in the moment of the insult? 

This is especially true of Brian Stelter, whose boss Jeff Zucker has ordered the network's attack on Fox as "state-run TV." But then, Stelter is shameless enough to tell Kellyanne Conway to her face "I'm not on a side of an aisle."

Graham, notably, doesn't deny that Fox News is so pro-Trump that it is esseially "state-run TV" -- then again, ridiculously pro-Trump is how Graham and the MRC want the media to act. He followed that with an even more scattershot attack on CNN:

When other media outlets have defended Fox is normally a question of access, as in pool events. It wasn't expected that other reporters would defend Fox in front of President Obama. Fox's questions to Obama didn't have Jim Acosta's angry and desperate tone, and Obama didn't normally attack reporters during press conferences.

Jake Tapper is really not the person who should fuss about letting insults go on TV. He famously let Nancy Pelosi suggest Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch was a bad choice "if you breathe air, drink water, eat food, take medicine." In another town hall after the Parkland school shooting, allowed an obnoxious child to compare Sen. Marco Rubio to Nikolas Cruz, who shot 17 people dead.

Jim Acosta isn't more honorable than Gorsuch or Rubio.

Finally, Graham huffed at the idea that there should be, in Stelter's words, "unity" among media outlets "when a president insults your competitors and then calls on you instead":

"Unity." Liberal media are routinely unified in attacking Fox as not a real-news network. CNN defends Acosta even when he says Trump's fake-news insults are dangerous because "people around the country" who "don’t have all their faculties in some cases — their elevator might not hit all floors."

This is not the first time the MRC has mocked Acosta for being concerned about his safety as a journalist when Trump -- and the MRC -- have singled him out as a target.

By the way, Graham and the MRC have no record of how many insults Fox News personalities have hurled at CNN. Perhaps he should do that before complaining further about things CNN personalities have said about Fox News.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:43 AM EDT
WND Thinks A Mischievous Wikipedia Edit That Lasted Only 9 Minutes Is 'News'
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Treating minor political mischief as "news" is among the laziest thing a so-called journalist can do -- which is probably why WorldNetDaily is no stranger to the practice. For instance, WND once devoted an entire story to a picture of Hillary Clinton's book that somebody placed in the science-fiction section of a bookstore.

That sort of politically motivated lameness resurfaces in an anonymously written July 17 WND article:

John Brennan, who shoved himself into the headlines this week with the wild claim that President Trump’s actions at his summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin were “treasonous,” was described in a new way, briefly, at the online site Wikipedia.

“Silly old fart.”

The entry for Brennan, for a few minutes Tuesday, read: “Brennan withdrew his name from consideration for director of the Central Intelligence Agency in the first Obama administration over concerns about his support for transferring terror suspects to countries where they may be tortured while serving under President George W. Bush. Instead Brennan was appointed deputy national security advisor, a position which did not require senate confirmation … is now best known as an irrelevant silly old fart who spends his days in his favourite slippers tweeting furiously about the Trump administration.”

The Washington Examiner explained the page was edited only a day after he lashed out against President Trump for comments at the summit.

The edits were live for about nine minutes before the text was changed back to its original.

So the Wsahington Examiner actually did the reporting on this lameness, and WND is merely repeating it secondhand? That's even more lame than we originally thought.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:00 AM EDT
Wednesday, July 25, 2018
CNS Dutifully Regurgitates Trump's Bogus Obsession With 'Missing DNC Server'
Topic: CNSNews.com

A July 16 CNSNews.com article by Max Augros is yet another bit of pro-Trump stenography:

When asked about U.S. intelligence claims that Russia interfered in the 2016 U.S. elections and whether he would call on Russian President Vladimir Putin to not interfere again, President Donald Trump said he wants to know why the FBI did not seize the Democratic National Committee’s server, which was allegedly hacked by Russian actors, and he wants to know why the FBI has not tracked down Hillary Clinton’s apparently missing 33,000 emails.

“But I don’t think it can go on without finding out what happened to the sever,” said Trump.  “What happened to the servers of the Pakistani gentleman that worked on the DNC? Where are those servers? They’re missing. Where are they?”

“What happened to Hillary Clinton’s emails?” he said. “33,000 emails gone, just gone. I think in Russia they wouldn’t be gone so easily.”

If Augros had cared more about journalism than stenography, he would have pointed that, as the headline of this Daily Beast article explained, the purportedly missing server Trump is obsessed with is neither missing nor a server:

The “server” Trump is obsessed with is actually 140 servers, most of them cloud-based, which the DNC was forced to decommission in June 2016 while trying to rid its network of the Russian GRU officers working to help Trump win the election, according to the figures in the DNC’s civil lawsuit against Russia and the Trump campaign. Another 180 desktop and laptop computers were also swapped out as the DNC raced to get the organization back on its feet and free of Putin’s surveillance.

But despite Trump’s repeated feverish claims to the contrary, no machines are actually missing.

It’s true that the FBI doesn’t have the DNC’s computer hardware. Agents didn’t sweep into DNC headquarters, load up all the equipment and leave Democrats standing stunned beside empty desks and dangling cables. There’s a reason for that, and it has nothing to do with a deep state conspiracy to frame Putin.

Trump and his allies are capitalizing on a basic misapprehension of how computer intrusion investigations work. Investigating a virtual crime isn’t a like investigating a murder. The Russians didn’t leave DNA evidence on the server racks and fingerprints on the keyboards. All the evidence of their comings and goings was on the computer hard drives, and in memory, and in the ephemeral network transmissions to and from the GRU’s command-and-control servers.

[...]

Both the DNC and the security firm Crowdstrike, hired to respond to the breach, have said repeatedly over the years that they gave the FBI a copy of all the DNC images back in 2016. The DNC reiterated that Monday in a statement to the Daily Beast.

“The FBI was given images of servers, forensic copies, as well as a host of other forensic information we collected from our systems,” said Adrienne Watson, the DNC’s deputy communications director. “We were in close contact and worked cooperatively with the FBI and were always responsive to their requests. Any suggestion that they were denied access to what they wanted for their investigation is completely incorrect.”

See, that wasn't so hard -- in fact, a simple Google search would have easily uncovered it, had Augros bothered to do so. But, again, pro-Trump stenography trumps even the most basic explanatory journalism at CNS if explaining things makes Trump look bad.


Posted by Terry K. at 7:14 PM EDT
WND Buys Into Fake-News #WalkAway Campaign
Topic: WorldNetDaily

An anonymous WorldNetDaily writer enthused in a June 29 article:

It’s “intolerant, inflexible, illogical, hateful, misguided, ill-informed, un-American, hypocritical, menacing, callous, ignorant, narrow-minded and at times blatantly fascistic,” says a new political activist who has created a campaign online to oppose a party that he says he’s leaving.

Naturally, he was a silver-spoon-in-mouth Republican, with corporate executive parents and privilege from morning until night, and he’s fed up, right?

Well. No.

He’s leaving liberalism and the Democrats.

His video is titled “#WalkAway Campaign – Why I left liberalism & the Democratic Party” and is one of those must-see projects.

Brandon Straka explains he’s, “for years,” watched as the “left has devolved” into that list of negatives above.

So now it’s over.

He’s online at Facebook and other social media sites and his campaign is moving in viral leaps and bounds.

Like most things too good to fact-check -- and the latest in the pile of fake news WND has promoted -- the #WalkAway campaign turns out to be a bit on the bogus side.

As the Washington Post reports, a significant portion of those "viral leaps and bounds" were apparently artificially generated by Twitter bots, not real people. And one of themost heavily retweeted #WalkAway tweets is itself apparently fake, with a profile image stolen from a book about making money in penny stocks. And later #WalkAway images simply use stock photos of people and not actual humans who actually are members of the movement.

Even the WND article promoted a tweet that doesn't sound like an actual American human, with the Twitter handle @Zealandian and the name "52-75-73-6b-69," which sure sounds like a Russian bot to us.

All that shadiness, however, didn't keep WND columnist Patrice Lewis from promoting the alleged movement in her July 13 column. She insists it's a real thing and attacks anyone who points out otherwise:

Unable to accept the idea that people loath their hateful message, the left is denying anyone is leaving. FrontPage Magazine notes, “The paranoid leftists at hate site Salon.com claim #WalkAway is a Russian-operated misinformation campaign. Bob Cesca writes that #WalkAway ‘is a likely Kremlin operation’ that is fueled by ‘online trolls.’ It is a myth that ‘real-life Democrats [are] leaving the party in disgust[.]'” Huffington Post makes a similar claim. The Washington Post redefines the definition of “viral.”

That FrontPageMag article is written by the dickish Matthew Vadum, so  it too is of dubious descent.

If WND bothered to actually do some basic fact-checking, it wouldn't have to publish so much fake news.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:24 AM EDT
Tuesday, July 24, 2018
CNS, MRC Keep Up Their Love Affair With Tim Tebow
Topic: CNSNews.com

As the baseball season continues, so does the Media Research Center's love for former pro football player and current minor league baseball player Tim Tebow. CNSNews.com writer Michael Morris in particular loves the overtly Christian athlete.

In February, Morris wrote a blog post touting how New York Mets general manager Sandy Alderson was "making waves with his prediction that Tebow 'will play in the major leagues' at some point." Morris then listed a bunch of Tebow's minor-league stats, leaving the fact that he hit a miserable .226 for the season for second to last.

The MRC's Jay Maxson wrote his own version of Morris' post on July 1, substituting an ESPN host for Alderson in making the Tebow-will-play-in-the-majors prediction. Maxson largely ignored stats but enthused: "Tebow just made the Eastern League all-star team as a member of the New York Mets' Binghamton Rumble Ponies minor league team. After a sluggish start in April and May, Tebow had a sizzling month of June and gained newfound respect."

CNS followed up with a July 13 column by Eric Metaxas lionizing Tebow for his "unabashed Christian witness and pro-life beliefs" and declaring, "Those who think Tebow has returned to pro sports for glamour and glory do not understand Tim Tebow." This is also a bit of a retread, in this case of a 2017 column by Metaxas' "BreakPoint" colleague John Stonestreet, also published by CNS, in which he gushed that "what has long set Tebow apart, of course, is his Christian faith. It’s drawn millions of people to love him."

Well, it has certainly drawn right-wing writers with an agenda to love him, anyway.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:45 AM 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