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Sunday, August 19, 2018
LeBron Derangement At The MRC
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center is mad that LeBron James won't shut up and dribble.

Following James' interview with CNN's Don Lemon, in which he said he would never meed with President Trump because of his expressed views on racial issues, the MRC's Alex Sears declared that "James has been ridiculed for his political hot takes" and lamented that "he refused to harbor the idea that a sit down with the president would be a good thing. For someone who considers themselves knowledgeable enough to comment on politics, he sure doesn’t see the benefit in reaching across the aisle."

Then, Scott Whitlock was upset that another media outlet reported what James said, framing it as the outlet having "touted James' attacks on Trump."

Krstine Marsh ranted further about the Lemon-James interview, complaining that "Lemon kept provoking the athlete to attack Trump, from his border policy to his comments on the NFL anthem protests," then huffed that in a later CNN panel discussion, "Lemon and his panelists then raged against the right for claiming that journalists or any public figure had to be “one-dimensional” and not comment on anything unrelated to their field of work." Yet that's exactly what the MRC is doing here.

Because pro athletes who espouse anything other than conservative politics is an exploitable issue, MRC officials Tim Grahm and Brent Bozell weighed in, attacking James for refusing to meet with Trump: "Pro athletes are free to make that choice, and they feel they should be immune from criticism for making it. Oh, to be coddled like that." Funny, Graham feels that way about anything Trump does.

Graham and Bozell then took a dip into Kaepernick Derangement Syndrome:

[A]thletes can often be divisive – and have recently relished that role – whether they demonstrate a lack of sportsmanship, or get on the wrong side of the law, or they feel they need to use their fame to score political points that offend so many.

Why must the Left always try to create the often false impression that conservatives divide, and they unite? The national anthem, for example, is a time when conservatives call for unity. The kneelers are the original dividers.

When Trump attacked both Lemon and James in a tweet, specifically attacking Lemon's intelligence -- which brought claims of Trump repeated denigrating the intelligence of blacks -- the MRC went into defense mode: Nicholas Fondacaro declared "attacks on intelligence were something Trump preferred to use on African-Americans, it was actually something he has used on a lot of people," and he attacked in a later post the "false assertion that the President reserved insults of intelligence to African-Americans."

Even the reason for James' media tour -- his funding of a school for underprivileged students in his hometown of Akron, Ohio --  couldn't escape criticism, though you'd think such a philanthropic effort might be worth a little praise. Jay Maxson sneered that "James said his funding of the school comes with political strings attached. He endorsed Clinton two years ago and he shilled for ObamaCare; wonder how he leans?" sarcastically adding, "These young children should do well in political science class." He then attacked the media for placing the school James funded "on a pedestal before the first report cards have been issued. Time and longitudinal studies will demonstrate the efficacy of this approach to education."

That sure didn't stop Maxson from attacking James for opening his school, though.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:03 PM EDT
Your Monthly CNS Stenography Tally
Topic: CNSNews.com

There was one clear winner of CNSNews.com's propaganda efforts in July. See if you can spot it as we review CNS' stenography efforts on behalf of its favorite sources.

Judiclal Watch: 2

Mark Levin: 17

Franklin Graham: 3

White House press secretary, by Melanie Arter:7

Our year-to-date tally so far:

  • Judicial Watch: 39
  • Mark Levin: 75
  • Franklin Graham: 20
  • WH press secretary: 74

It was a hot month for Levin, who has pushed ahead of Arter's White House stenography for the year.


Posted by Terry K. at 4:58 PM EDT
Saturday, August 18, 2018
WND Complains About 'Knockoff' Film Hyping 'Last Pope'
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily whines in an anonymously written Aug. 12 article:

The History Channel is airing a documentary tonight with the same title – “The Last Pope?” – and premise as WND Films release from 2013.

“It’s a shock to us,” said Joseph Farah, co-producer of the 2013 documentary that focuses on Malachy’s “Prophecy of the Popes,” which emerged in the late 1500s and made predictions about future popes, predicting the last one would be the 112th.

“We just found out about this knockoff. It’s the same title – the same premise. Our documentary was the first to take an objective and balanced look that includes the official Vatican position and opinions and insights from a wide variety of Catholic and non-Catholic experts who studied the mystery.”

Pope Francis is the 112th. According to Malachy, the last pope would serve until the return of Jesus.

The WND Films project was shot on location in Rome, Geneva, Belfast and the U.S. to study the venerated Irish prophet known as St. Malachy.

Here’s what the History Channel says about its movie: “Nine hundred years ago, a Catholic Saint named Malachy was struck with a prophetic series of visions that predicted the identity of each future pope. This ancient prophecy, buried within the Vatican for centuries, suggests that Pope Francis, the latest in the holy line which stretches back nearly 2,000 years, may be destined to be the last pope. It’s a warning of cataclysmic proportions, and one that experts believe is remarkably reinforced by some of the most famous writings and miraculous visions in all of Christianity, which may point to an imminent end to the papacy, a shattering of the Church as we know it, or worse, the apocalyptic end of days.”

“It sounds a little more sensational than our movie – possibly more exploitative,” says Farah. “Gee, I wonder what took them so long?”

More sensational and exploitative than WND? The hell you say!Yeah, claiming that the current pope may be the final one is not a sensational claim at all.

Well, the trailer for the film at the WND online store doesn't exactly scream "sensational" -- it's  mostly alternating shots of B-roll footage of street scenes in Rome and Belfast and people being interviewed in church sanctuaries, which speaks more to low-budget production values than to an artistic choice not to sensationalize something.

And then there are the people WND features in its film. One of them is Tom Horn, who has a history of dubious claims (all promoted by WND, of course); he bought into the Mayan prophecy that the world would end in 2012, and he also wrote a crazy-sounding book called "Exo-Vaticana: Petrus Romanus, Project L.U.C.I.F.E.R. and the Vatican’s Astonishing Plan for the Arrival of an Alien Savior."

Also popping up in the trailer is Jerome Corsi, who's not sensational at all and has since been tweeting conspiracy theories like "Socialist POPE FRANCIS VATICAN &LGBT gay drug-sex orgy OUTRAGE" -- nope, nothing sensational about that. WND promoted its film in a 2013 article by Corsi purporting to speak for "many Catholics" who are "wondering if the Catholic Church will survive" Pope Francis' papacy. Corsi also wrote an article about "the pope's Bildergerger guru," so we can't possibly imagine he'd be saying anything sensational in WND's film.

Finally, WND's pope film is apparently so well regarded that the only promotional blurb it could come up with for its online store is from ... Farah himself. And it's a pretty bland one as far as blurbs go: "Strong sales of books on the papal prophecies of St. Malachy suggest a strong fascination with the topic. This documentary is the first to take an objective and balanced view that includes the official Vatican position and opinions and insights from a wide variety of both Catholic and non-Catholic experts."

Despite not having seen either of these films, we'll trust the History Channel's treatment over WND's.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:00 AM EDT
Friday, August 17, 2018
FLASHBACK: When The MRC Loved Secret Taping
Topic: Media Research Center

Secret or deceptive taping is suddenly an issue at the Media Research Center.

Callista Ring complained that Sacha Baron Cohen's new show was all about "ridiculing conservatives" in taped encounters as part of a "fake, absurd program" done in character, most of which "mock conservatives through humiliation, the cheapest form of humor." Lindsay Kornick threw more shade at the show, huffing over its "appalling targeting of conservative figures disguised as entertainment. Of course, the result is not entertaining in the slightest which explains why hardly anybody watches it."

And when Omarosa Manigault Newman began promoting her book detailing her time working in the Trump White House, the MRC's Curtis Houck denounced her as making "salacious, unverified claims." When she revealed tapes of conversations she had with administration officials, Kyle Drennen whined that the media was giving too much time to them despite Omarosa's "major credibility problems."

The MRC then swiftly moved into whataboutism mode. Tim Graham and Brent Bozell tried to distract from Omarosa's tapes by reliving NBC "suppressed" Juanita Broaddrick's accusation that Bill Clinton raped her "until the threat of removing their darling President Clinton from office had passed" (though Graham and Bozell suppress the fact that -- speaking of credibility problems -- Broaddrick had spent nearly two decades claiming he didn't). Then, the ultimate whataboutism: A post by Geoffrey Dickens headlined "FLASHBACK: When The Media Despised Secret Taping," in which he complained that "the networks" hyped Omarosa's "negative takes" and played "audio from her surreptitious tapes," when "In 1998 when Linda Tripp recorded her conversations with then-White House intern Monica Lewinsky about her trysts with Clinton, the former Pentagon employee was savaged as a 'treacherous' 'back-stabbing' 'betrayer' by journalists at TV and print outlets."

As long as we're going to play the whataboutism game, let's look back at a time when the MRC loved secret tapes.

In 2015, when the anti-abortion group Center for Medical Progress secretly taped Planned Parenthood officials, then edited those tapes out of context to make claims about things that, for the most part, didn't actually happen, the MRC first nitpicked coverage, complaining that fetuses were accurately described as fetuses instead of the conservatively correct term of "unborn children" and that CMP leader David Daleiden was accurately described as an "extremist" (as if secretly taping people as part of a calculated political attack isn't extreme). The MRC also turned a blind eye to how the CMP selectively edited its secretly recorded tapes, arguing that it was OK because CMP ultimately released unedited versions of its tapes (which came some time after the edited versions and more often than not showed the activities CMP attacked didn't happen as described in the edited versions). Of course, the MRC preferred the term "undercover video" instead of "secretly recorded" and never saw fit to question the credibility of Daleiden and the CMP.

Like everything else the MRC does, this is predicated solely on whatever advances whatever right-wing agenda it's currently trying to push.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:05 PM EDT
WND's Chastain Wants Us To Forgive Trump's Sexual Sins
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily columnist Jane Chastain has a large blind spot when it comes to the sexual foibles of conservative politicians. She gave Roy Moore a pass for perving on teenage girls, trying to slut-shame one of his accusers and insisting that Moore had led a "moral life"; she also dismissed the credible claim that Trump paid off Stormy Daniels after an affair by calling her a "super-whore" and declaring that "We knew that Donald Trump was no choir boy when we elected him."

Chastain tries to do more excuse-making for Trump in her Aug. 1 column while also bringing up allegations of sexual misconduct by CBS chief Les Moonves. She noted that Moonves had received some statements of support, and that Trump deserves the same pass:

Isn’t it a shame that our current president, who has done so much to turn this country around, while taking no salary for his work as the nation’s chief executive, isn’t given the same consideration? After all, the charges against him are at least a decade or more old and don’t involve the workplace.

Men like Moonves, post-Clinton, probably will not survive. Some shouldn’t. However, to allow Moonves to be forgiven would, indeed, be viewed as a double standard for those who hate Trump so much that they now believe any past sexual sins should disqualify him from holding the highest office in the land. They want Trump impeached so badly many seem willing to believe any charge, no matter how spurious, how ludicrous or how old, just to justify their claim against the president’s legitimacy.

Trump, like Moonves, is from another era, where men often measured their manhood against their ability to seduce women. Even if they had no intention of doing anything improper, they were often guilty of bragging about this ability to other men. Some of these men actually viewed making suggestive remarks or flirting as a way to give a woman a compliment. I’ve encountered my share. Smart women either changed jobs, ignored these clumsy advances or found a way to let a man know this was not acceptable while letting him keep his dignity.

However, none of the women who claim Trump had affairs with them or one-night stands or gave them unwanted attention were his employees as was the case with Moonves. In fact, many sought his attention.

Trump is well-known for promoting women in his industry, like Louise Sunshine who rose to executive vice president of the Trump organization. Sunshine worked for Trump for 15 years and has admitted that he often chided her about her appearance. However, she wasn’t offended. She said, “It was a reminder that I wasn’t perfect. … It was just his way.”

They and the others who were promoted by Trump defend him to the hilt and forgave him for his imperfections. Isn’t it time the rest of the country took a deep breath and did the same?

Chastain also called out Bill Clinton's "sexual involvement with an intern, no less, in the hallowed Oval Office." She said nothing about forgiving his imperfections.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:06 AM EDT
Thursday, August 16, 2018
CNS Cheers Ray Lewis' Embrace of Bible, Hides That He Was Once Charged With Murder
Topic: CNSNews.com

Emilie Cochran gushes in an Aug. 6 CNSNews.com article:

In his Pro Football Hall of Fame induction speech, former Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis called for putting prayer back in schools and encouraging people to follow God and the Bible.

“For me, my guiding purpose is to carry out God’s destiny for my life,” said Lewis at the Aug. 4 event.  “How do I do that? By not just loving my neighbors as I love myself, but by challenging people to walk with me in teaching our nation how to love each other again.”

“One of the greatest gifts my mom ever gave me was the Bible,” he said.  “The Bible made me who I am today. Ephesians 3:20 says, ‘Now unto him who is able to do exceedingly, abundantly above far beyond all you ever ask, think or imagine, according to the power that’s working within you.’”

Concluding his remarks, Lewis said, “Walk with me out of here today with the mission in your mind, in your heart. Vow to be a leader in your community. Vow to be a ray of light in the world around you. Together there’s nothing we can’t do.”

In response to school shootings in the United States, Lewis also said, “Can we please put prayer back in schools? Please?”

Cochran is curiously silent on Lewis' criminal record. Lewis was charged with two counts of murder in 2000 following a post-Super Bowl party after which members of Lewis' entourage (and Lewis himself, reportedly) got into a fight with members of another group, two of whom were stabbed to death (members of his entourage had purchased knives the previous day). Blood from one of the victims was found in Lewis' limo, Lewis told his limo passengers to keep quiet about what they saw, and the white suit he was wearing that night was never found.

Lewis ultimately agreed to a deal with prosecutors in which he pleaded guilty to a much lesser charge of obstruction of justice, for which he was sentenced to a mere year of probation, in exchange for testifying against two companions (who were ultimately acquitted). The families of both victims sued Lewis and received undisclosed settlements.

This is all relevant information to readers regarding a man who now talks about love and the Bible. It's a puzzlilng omission from CNS, which by contrast can't stop obsessing about Peter Strzok's sex life, in which nobody was stabbed to death.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:32 PM EDT
WND Columnist Rants About 'Fake News,' Forgets WND Published His Column
Topic: WorldNetDaily

The Aug. 5 WorldNetDaily column by John A. Wemhoff -- who describes himself as "a former international banker" who "closely follows current events" -- is an open letter to the New York Times in response to its meeting with President Trump. What follows is our usual right-wing anti-media claptrap.

One bit of claptrap he repeats is that "The Media Research Center found media coverage during the first 18 months of the Trump presidency was 92 percent negative" -- an utterly fraudulent claim. The claptrap continues:

When President Trump decries “Fake News” and calls the mainstream media “the enemy of the people,” he is stating the truth. The media’s disingenuous umbrage is reminiscent of those who called President Harry Truman “Give-’em-Hell Harry” for his plain-spokenness. Truman famously replied, “I don’t give them Hell. I just tell the truth about them, and they say it’s Hell.”

President Trump is not being “divisive” in his comments. It is you, Mr. Sulzberger, and your fellow travelers in the mainstream media, who – to apply your own words – are “undermining the democratic ideals of our nation, and … eroding … our country’s … free speech and a free press.” Trump is just calling you out.

You speculate that President Trump’s comments are “contributing to a rise in threats against journalists and will lead to violence.” Where is your outrage, Mr. Sulzberger, about the blood spilled in the 538 actual attacks on Trump supporters (including the near-fatal shooting of a U.S. congressmen) since the election?

Ironically, Wemhoff's column appeared the day before a caller to C-SPAN threatened to shoot CNN hosts Brian Stelter and Don Lemon.

Also ironically, Wemhoff failed to notice that his column is published at WND, which is notorious for publishing fake news. We suspect he will not bring that particular subject up in a future column.


Posted by Terry K. at 6:02 PM EDT
MRC's Double Standard on TV Hosts' Alleged Conflicts of Interest, Part 2
Topic: Media Research Center

In May, we noted how the Media Research Center obsesses over how NBC "Meet the Press" host Chuck Todd's wife works as a Democratic strategist -- while it defended Greta Van Susteren when she frequently had Sarah Palin as a guest on her Fox News show without disclosing that her husband worked as an adviser to Palin.

The double standard continues: Tim Graham huffed in an Aug. 2 post about how "Mrs. Todd has donated $13,250 to federal candidates so far in this election cycle, all of them Democrats," denouncing this as an "ongoing conflict of interest in political coverage" for Todd.

Let's look at another relevant comparison. Ginni Thomas, wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, has long been a right-wing activist and was particularly active during the anti-Obama Tea Party years. That's a potential conflict of interest that much more serious than Todd's, since issues of justice are at stake instead of journalism (not that anyone at the MRC has uncovered an instance in which any candidate linked to Todd's wife got favorable treatment on TV from Todd).

Needless to say, the MRC rushed to defend the Thomases.

In a 2010 post, Matthew Balan touted how CNN's Jeffrey Toobin "defended Mrs. Thomas' grassroots conservative work , while Graham complained that "Media outlets from CNN to NPR to the Washington Post have picked up on the Los Angeles Times story suggesting there could be conflicts of interest for Virginia Thomas to start her group Liberty Central while she's married to Justice Clarence Thomas," an article Balan also reference.

When then-MSNBC host Keith Olbermann called for Thomas to resign from the Supreme Court of the conflict, Noel Sheppard sarcastically claimed, "isn't it marvelous how a cable news anchor shows such disrespect to the wife of a Supreme Court justice?" (Though it's about the same level that Graham shows for Todd's wife.) Sheppard then huffed that "despite Olbermann's blathering, the only potential conflict here would be if the Supreme Court heard a case involving a donor to Liberty Central. At that point, there are procedures in place to deal with it."

Later in 2010, Kyle Drennen groused that "questions about Thomas's political involvement" were being raised again following reports that Ginni Thomas called Anita Hill (whom the MRC can't stop hating a quarter-century on) demanding an apology, and that "implied that since Virginia Thomas is the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas her conservative activism in a conflict of interest." And in 2011, Graham lamented that it was revealed that Clarence Thomas never reported his wife's income from right-wing activist groups on financial disclosure forms and that he had to go back many years and revised the forms, and lamented evenmore that then-Rep. Anthony Weiner insisted that Clarence Thomas "should recuse himself on the constitutionality of ObamaCare" if and when that came to the Supreme Court because of that.

Lest anyone accuse the MRC of not knowing what side its bread is buttered on, MRC chief Brent Bozell sat down for a 2012 interview with Ginni Thomas -- by this time working for the right-wing Daily Caller -- "to discuss a wide variety of issues ranging from media bias to the future of the conservative movement." The MRC version of it does not indicate whether discussions of conflicts of interest took place, but since this was a friendly interview with a friendly media outlet, we're guessing it didn't.

Lately, Ginni Thomas has been spreading fake news on social media. Needless to say, the MRC doesn't want to talk about that, let alone what that might mean for her husband.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:46 AM EDT
Wednesday, August 15, 2018
Newsmax's Gizzi Caught Sending Article to Kobach Before Publication
Topic: Newsmax

For a journalist, letting a source see your story before it's published is a tricky issue. While it can be acceptable to double-check a quote with a source, letting that source see the entire article beforehand is generally frowned upon.

So it's worth noting that ProPublica reporter Jessica Huseman -- while looking into recently released documents from the failed voter fraud commission convened by President Trump then disbanded when many states refused to cooperate with it over its apparent bias -- found an email from commission head Kris Kobach showing that Newsmax correspondent John Gizzi had sent an article he wrote to him that was, according to Huseman, "asking for his thoughts." That story ultimately appeared at Newsmax in July 2017.

Gizzi responded that because he doesn't record his interviews, "it is a good policy to run quotes past subject & thus avoid 'corrections' & 'retractions' from subbject [sic] later." But as Huseman pointed out: "You didn't just run the quotes. You sent the entire article to Kobach for approval. That's not normal.

Gizzi then admitted that he sent his entire article to "election law experts" Jay O'Callaghan and Hans von Spakovsky. O'Callaghan is with the conservative Selous Foundation for Public Policy Research, and von Spakovsky is with the conservative Heritage Foundation and was a member of the voter fraud commission. Huseman responded: "Thanks for this clarification. It's interesting that Hans didn't turn that email over to the commission."

In that article, Gizzi highlighted that "Andrew Spieles, a James Madison University student, pled guilty to charges he submitted 18 fraudulent voter registrations last year. Spieles, who worked for the Democratic Party-affiliated organization Harrisonburg Votes, was sentenced to up to 120 days in prison." But as the fact-checkers at Snopes report, Gizzi apparently got his information about Spieles' alleged partisanship from the Department of Justice; it could find "no website, Twitter account or Facebook page currently listed" under the "Harrisonburg Votes" name, and Virginia voters are not registered by party affiliation.

Gizzi cited the Spieles story in an attempt to undercut the only non-conservative he quotes in his story, then-Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe. He doesn't try to contradict any of the claims he quotes from Kobach and von Spakovsky.

Still, submitting the entire article to Kobach is not a good look, especially given how unlikely it is that Gizzi would report uncritically on him. After all, Newsmax is a pro-Trump website whose CEO considers himself a close personal friend of the president.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:13 PM EDT
CNS' Double Standard on Preconditions In Meeting With Iran
Topic: CNSNews.com

Melanie Arter cheerfully types in a July 30 CNSNews.com article:

President Donald Trump said Monday that he would be willing to meet with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani without pre-conditions, saying that it would be good for the country, Iran, and the world.

During a joint White House press conference with Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, Trump was asked what Iran has to do to reduce some of the tensions.

“And you’ve met with the leaders of North Korea and Russia. Are you prepared also -- are you willing to meet with President Rouhani? And under what conditions? And have there been any preliminary discussions about something like that?” the reporter also asked.

“I’ll meet with anybody. I believe in meeting. The prime minister said it better than anybody can say it: Speaking to other people, especially when you’re talking about potentials of war and death and famine and lots of other things -- you meet. There’s nothing wrong with meeting,” Trump said.

[...]

When asked whether there would be preconditions, Trump said, “No preconditions. No. If they want to meet, I’ll meet. Anytime they want. Anytime they want. It’s good for the country, good for them, good for us, and good for the world. No preconditions. If they want to meet, I’ll meet.”

Unmentioned by Arter: CNS attacked President Obama for doing the same thing Trump is doing.

A Novmeber 2014 column by Ken Blackwell and Bob Morrison praised Hillary Clinton for saying during the 2008 presidential primary that "she was unwilling to deal with Iran’s Mullahs 'without preconditions,'" while Obama "took the unusual, not to say, profoundly unserious, position that he could sweep away thirty years of hostility with a handshake.We need to understand what President Obama’s extended hand meant. We would “re-set” relations with Iran while they still held our embassy compound.

A July 2016 column by the Heritage Founcation's James Phillips similarly complained: "The [Obama] administration’s diplomatic engagement without preconditions has enabled Iran’s dictatorship to have its cake and eat it too. Iran remains the world’s foremost state sponsor of terrorism, but has been rewarded on the nuclear front for what could be temporary and easily reversible concessions.

CNS has published no op-eds criticizing Trump for offering to meet with Iran without preconditions. A July 30 article by Patrick Goodenough on Iran's rejection of Trump's offer did parentically admit: "While campaiging for the White House, Barack Obama also expressed a willingness to hold talks with Iran without preconditions. Shortly after his inauguration he undertook to engage with Iranian leaders who were willing to 'unclench their fist' and it later emerged that secret talks began in Oman in the summer of 2012. Multilateral negotiations led to the conclusion of the JCPOA in 2015."

At least Goodenough understands what contextual reporting is. Arter, meanwhile, is simply content to be a stenographer.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:19 PM EDT
WND's Farah Defends Alex Jones, Basically Wants Net Neutrality
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah wrote a hot mess of a Aug. 7 column, in which he attempted to intertwine his usual conspiracy theories with the news of the day, the removal of hateful conspiracy-monger Alex Jones from several social-media outlets. After invoking Martin Niemoller (hence his headline "First, they came for Alex Jones...") Farah fully engaged in said hot mess:

I’m going to defend Alex Jones’ right to say what he wants – even if I sometimes, or even often, find myself in disagreement with him. And I’m going to condemn this cabal of bloated mega-corporations imposing their ideology on America’s most vital public square – the digital media.

Maybe you say, “Well, Farah, don’t these corporations have the absolute right to approve and disapprove of the viewpoints they carry – just like you do?” The answer may be surprising: No, they don’t. None of these conglomerates are publishers, content producers, part of the “press.” They are more akin to “utilities” – like the telephone companies of old or the electricity producers who have a public obligation to be fair and neutral in offering the services they provide to all, without regard to race, religion and ideology. They don’t have to like Alex Jones. They don’t have to listen to Alex Jones. But if they are going to have privileged positions making money distributing all manner of content, data, information, they dare not think of themselves as “gatekeepers” against offensive political speech. And they better not designate the partisan hacks of the SPLC as their content cops, which is what they have done – all of them!

I know I sound like a broken record on this theme, but I’m going to keep pounding on it until the public catches on to the threat these trillion-dollar monopolies pose to America’s precious institutions of free speech, the free press and freedom of religion. We need congressional hearings. We need action in Washington. We need President Trump to recognize who the biggest purveyors of fake news really are. It’s not just CNN and the Huffington Post. It’s their distribution arms – Google, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Apple and Amazon – the Digital Cartel.

It’s time to throw down the gauntlet, draw a marker in the sand, file class-action lawsuits, summon our leaders to action.

Treating internet companies like public utilities? Isn't that what net neutrality is all about? Pretty much --  and Farah and WND oppose it.

In November 2017, WND published an interview its Greg Corombos did with FCC commissioner Brendan Carr, who asserted that net neutrality rules, in Corombos' words, "badly misapplied laws designed to address telephone service and actually wound up with the federal government micromanaging the Internet and its providers" -- in other words, the utility rule Farah wants to apply to Google. And in a June column, Farah complained that net neutrality was one issue with which "Google became aligned with progressive politics."

Oh, and as for Farah's assertion about "who the biggest purveyors of fake news really are"? We know -- as Farah surely does but will never admit -- it's WND.

Farah concluded by ranting:

I’ve been telling you how they have attacked WND relentlessly and ruthlessly through its politically and religiously discriminatory algorithms. I’ve told you how they have been coming after the independent media, especially since the 2016 election that so disappointed all of them.

Do you really want to talk about supposed Russian interference in our free society when this powerful monolithic cartel is setting the rules of debate for Americans out in plain sight – openly censoring voices they don’t like while systematically elevating those they do like? What a sick joke!

As for me, I will defend the voices of dissent, and even controversy, as long as I have a soapbox upon which to stand. I know they are coming after me and the first independent online news company I founded 21 years ago. Once, again, I ask you to stand with me or find yourself living in a country you won’t long recognize. No privacy. No freedom.

Oh, he adds, and send him money so he can publish more fake news.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:57 AM EDT
Tuesday, August 14, 2018
Curtis Houck's Jim Acosta Derangement Syndrome
Topic: Media Research Center

Media Research Center writer Curtis Houck -- who's also the managing editor of NewsBusters, the MRC's main vehicle for disseminating the "sober, substantial" media criticism he claims the MRC issues -- has a weird obsession with CNN correspondent Jim Acosta. Houck is the leader of the MRC's war on Acosta, attacking pretty much every public utterance Acosta makes, hurling insults, cheering every time he's heckled by rabid Trump supporters and portraying him as a mentally deranged partisan. Houck's obsession with Acosta has only gotten worse, to the point that we can declare him a victim of Acosta Derangement Syndrome.

Under the headline "Jim Acosta Loses His Mind, Throws Fit in New Tussle with WH’s Huckabee Sanders," Houck ranted in an Aug. 2 post: "Just a reminder: CNN is straight up lying to you if any of their more prominent figures ever say they don't want to be the story because everything is about them. And Thursday’s White House Press Briefing perfectly illustrated that as chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta lost his mind when Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders wouldn’t fall into a trap he had laid for her." Houck claimed Acosta "angrily responded" as Sanders "took him to the cleaners," while "Acosta’s colleagues soldiered on with more professionalism than Acosta could ever show." Houck also touted how Sanders referenced the MRC's utterly fraudulent assertion that "90 percent of the coverage on [Trump] is negative."

On Aug. 8, Houck promoted a piece in the Atlantic critical of Acosta "for living up to the verb closely associated to his name (accost) and making himself the story when it should be reporting the news" and claimed that the writer offered "advice that Acosta undoubtedly will ignore."

When Acosta appeared on Steven Colbert's late-night show, Houck was ready with more venom (excessive bolding in original):

Receiving a raucous hero’s welcome reserved for far-left politicians, CNN’s Jim Acosta flaunted Jim Acosta on the Wednesday edition of CBS’s The Late Show by reliving his August 2 duel with Sarah Huckabee Sanders, claiming he’s a fact-checker, blaming “conservative outlets” and “websites” for “twist[ing] and warp[ing]” their views of him, and using an either or fallacy to justify his chicanery.

[...]

Acting as though we’re living through the end times, Acosta fretted that “these are tough times” so “tough questions” must “be asked” and “I don't think we do ourselves any good, Stephen, if we shy away from these hard questions and, you know, my goodness, the way I look at it is — and this is the debate I have with my fellow journalists when we talk about this — what if we just did nothing?”

Jeez. This guy really does think he’s Captain America squaring off against Thanos< in  Infinity War.

Houck also wrote -- in addition to complaining that Acosta spoke "smugly" and exhibited "utter stupidity" -- that Acosta "also sought to blame conservative media and websites (which, one could assume included NewsBusters) for giving people a false understanding of Acosta and his colleagues." Interestingly, Houck doesn't dispute that claim -- which tells us he knows Acosta is right.

Houck also claims Acosta exhibits "narcissism," which is "clear to the naked eye." As is Houck's worsening case of Acosta derangement.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:34 PM EDT
WND Gets A Tiny Scalp In Its Sad Little Anti-Gay 4-H Crusade
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily finally got a scalp in its sad little anti-gay crusade.

For months, WND has ranted about the idea that 4-H groups in rural America should be inclusive of all children, repeating anti-gay attacks from anonymous 4-H leaders furious about the proposed concept of treating LGBT kids like everyone else. So it cheered when one person linked to the proposed policy lost his job, a 4-H official in Iowa.

Even though John-Paul Chaisson-Cardenas' dismissal has not been officially linked to the proposed policy, WND took a victory lap anyway in an anonymously written Aug. 6 article, continuing to fearmonger abaout the now-abandoned proposal as "a stealth campaign to impose radical LGBTQ policies, including mandatory transgender bathrooms and pronoun usage."

Needless to say, WND took a little time in its victory lap to praise itself: "As soon as WND got involved in this story, not only did the “Inclusion” document disappear from the USDA website, but even from the web pages of local 4-H leaders pushing for implementation of the LGBTQ policy, due to public backlash once it was made public. Today, virtually the only place it is still publicly available is on WND’s servers." Which themselves may not be running very much longer.

WND also, laughably, benignly describes Liberty Counsel, which helped lead the attack against 4-H over the proposed policy "as a result of WND's investigative efforts," as merely a "non-profit legal group" when, in fact, it endeavors to perpetuate anti-LGBT discrimination.

This gay-bashing is what passes for "investigative journalism" at WND these days.


Posted by Terry K. at 5:03 PM EDT
CNS Appears To Once Again Suggest That Spending Money On LGBT-Related Issues Is A Waste
Topic: CNSNews.com

A few years back, we noticed that CNSNews.com's reporting on supposedly wasteful spending was disproportionately focused on LGBT-related issues -- nor surprising since CNS has an anti-gay agenda and a managing editor who absolutely hates the LGBT community.

Now, CNS appears to be cranking up the wasteful spending outrage machine again -- and the first two items, by Melanie Arter, are LGBT-related.

Arter lamented in a July 27 article: The National Institutes of Health awarded $569,028 in taxpayer funding to the Medical College of Wisconsin to study how the country’s “perceived immigration laws” impact the 'HIV health behavior' of Hispanic immigrants." On Aug. 6 she attacked a similar NIH grant: "The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded Lehigh University $431,119 in taxpayer funds for HIV intervention among heroin and crack users along the U.S.-Mexico border."

Arter doesn't reference homosexuality in either article; both do reference drug use. But HIV and homosexuality are effectively synonymous in CNS' eyes, so these articles count toward its anti-gay agenda. Both articles also reference either immigrants or the U.S.-Mexico border, so your typial right-wing anti-immigrant sentiment is touched upon as well.

Nor does Arter give the grantees sufficient time to respond to her attacks; instead, she states that either grantee responded to her "by the time this article was published," though she doesn't say how much time she gave them to respond.

Finally, Arter never explains why this federal spending is so offensive to her. Is it the immigrants? The HIV? The universities that got the grants?

Absent that, there's no reason not to suspect the most base and biased motives for CNS attacking these grants.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:41 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, August 14, 2018 4:33 PM EDT
Monday, August 13, 2018
Newsmax's Kerik Moves Closer to Right-Wing Fringe With Anti-Media Rant
Topic: Newsmax

Convicted felon (and friend of Newsmax) Bernard Kerik has apparently found his new calling as a right-wing ranter -- part of Newsmax's continuing image rehab of the guy, apparently. He moves further to the fringe with an Aug. 6 column attacking the media in order to defend President Trump:

The media may be putting out some fake news but their primary goal is to be an anti-state propaganda machine for the new Democratic party and its growing number of socialist supporters.

They are no different than state run television in China, Russia, Iran and Iraq, during Saddam Hussein’s rule.

Think about it. The mainstream media aggressively promotes anti-American political activism daily, while at the same time attacking the president, his family and supporters, and intentionally diminishing or outright ignoring all of this administration’s successes and achievements.

Kerik then devolves into an attack on socialism, smearing one particular candidate as "anti-American" for not holding the same views he does:

The New York Times and other outlets work feverishly to turn the administration’s success into negatives, at the same time spewing incendiary propaganda.

They make a far-left New York congressional candidate like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez the poster child for the Democratic Party, a woman who has called on protesters to "occupy" airports, border crossings, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) offices nationwide — clearly criminal conduct.

Everything that comes out of this woman’s mouth is anti-American and based on the same socialist and communist ideology we’ve seen in Cuba, Venezuela, and other poverty-stricken nations, where socialism has failed.

These media outlets aggressively target the president with allegations racism, and bigotry, with their socialist and communist following cheering to their rhetoric.

A bigot is a person who is intolerant toward those holding different opinions, but, there is no one more intolerant than the socialist media, and some members of the Democratic Party, that loath the president because he believes that America should come first before all other nations; that we should secure our boarders and people entering our country should do so legally or be held accountable for breaking the law, or that we should have global fair trade and no longer be taken advantage of by other nations.

Kerik concludes by huffing: "Every day, this movement, the mainstream media, and the Democratic Party are attempting to destroy our Founding Fathers' creation — and what Donald J. Trump is trying to restore." Kerik is sadly mistaken ifhe thinks Trump believes in anything beyond his own ego enough to "restore" it.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:50 PM EDT

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