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Tuesday, August 28, 2018
CNS Still Spreading the 'Fungible' Falsehood About Federal Funding to Planned Parenthood
Topic: CNSNews.com

We've documented how CNSNews.com has spent the past decade promoting the bogus claim that federal funding to Planned Parenthood is "fungible" and thus, somehow, pays for abortions despite the fact that the money is earmarked to specific women's health programs that have nothing to do with abortion. CNS is certainly not about to stop spreading the lie now.

An Aug. 1 CNS article by Max Augros cheering "the Trump administration’s plan to reapply a rule first introduced by the Reagan administration to ensure that federal Title X funds go solely to family planning offices that are separate from abortion providers" uncritically quoted anti-abortion groups and the Trump White House spreading the "fungible" falsehood:

In a press release, the [Susan B. Anthony] List stated that “the abortion industry has used Title X as a slush fund,” and thanked President Trump and Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar for “putting a stop to this abuse.”

[...]

The Protect Life Rule “would ensure compliance with the [Title X] program’s existing statutory prohibition on funding programs in which abortion is a method of family planning,” the White House said in a statement.

“The new proposed rule would not cut funds from the Title X program,” reads the statement. “Instead, it would ensure that taxpayers do not indirectly fund abortions. Contrary to recent media reports, HHS’s proposal does not include the so-called ‘gag rule’ on counseling about abortion that was part of the Reagan Administration’s Title X rule.”

[...]

“The American people have repeatedly and clearly voiced their opposition to taxpayer funding of abortion, but for years, their will – expressed in the statute itself – has been ignored,” the SBA List said in a joint comment with the Life Issues Institute.

“We wholly support the Protect Life Rule, which draws a bright line between abortion and family planning in the Title X program,” the press release stated.

And for good measure, Augros furthered the falsehood by stating that Planned Parenthood's "latest annual report (2016-17) shows that it received  $543.7 million in federal government reimbursements and grants, and performed 321,384 abortions that year" -- as if juxtaposing those numbers prove that the money directly pays for those abortions.

The next day, in an article complaining that Planned Parenthood has received Title X funding, managing editor Michael W. Chapman stated the falsehood more directly:  "However, money is fungible and grants for one purpose can free-up funds for another purpose. As House Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.) has said, 'Today, hundreds of abortion clinics are co-located at Title X family planning facilities. For example, 266 of Planned Parenthood’s abortion clinics are subsidized by U.S. taxpayers in the Title X program to the tune of about $56 million each year.'"

Just because a Republican congressman said it doesn't mean it's true. Chapman offered no evidence to back up the claim, nor did Smith in the Catholic News Agency commentary to which Chapman linked.


Posted by Terry K. at 7:04 PM EDT
WND Promotes A Fawning Huckabee TV Interview, Calls It An 'Exclusive'
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Because of its diminished state as a result of its money woes, WorldNetDaily publishes a lot less original content generated by its own writers; there's now a greater proportion of rewritten press releases and barely disguised promotions masquerading as "news." A sad example of the latter is an anonymously written Aug. 18 article presented as a "WND Exclusive":

WASHINGTON – Sarah Sanders got grilled tonight – but not by Jim Acosta of CNN.

It was her adoring father Mike Huckabee in a long-format interview on his TBN show.

After an big welcome from the studio audience, Huckabee remarked, “Well, obviously you’re not in the Red Hen Restaurant in West Virginia, right now.”

If you missed the first segment, here it is.

But, just so you know, she’s not finished…

There’s more tonight on “Huckabee.”

That's the entirety of the article.

Did Huckabee or TBN pay WND for this fawning promo about a fawning interview? WND certainly needs the money, and it certainly reads like a paid ad.

In other words, this article is lazy at best and unethical at worst. And it doesn't exactly help make the case that WND deserves to live.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:19 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, August 28, 2018 3:23 PM EDT
NEW ARTICLE: Tom Blumer Gets NewsBusted
Topic: NewsBusters
The blogger was fired from the Media Research Center-operated NewsBusters after white nationalist links were discovered in his posts. But what about the MRC editors who let those links go through in the first place? Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 8:51 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, August 28, 2018 5:54 PM EDT
Monday, August 27, 2018
Newsmax's Ruddy Finds A Trump Action He Disagrees With
Topic: Newsmax

Apparently, even Newsmax chief Christopher Ruddy -- who's been using his friendship with President Trump to raise his own profile and that of the news operation he runs, as well as serving as a Trump apologist -- has his limits on Trump sycophancy.

Ruddy declared in his July 29 column that "I strongly disagreed with the White House's decision this past week to remove a CNN reporter from the press pool covering the president," even though "the president is justified to be angry with the press. The billions of earned media in negative attacks on candidate Trump never ended upon his assumption of the presidency."

Still, Ruddy does offer some defense of Trump, as well as some surprising praise for President Obama:

As Jefferson predicted, President Trump has benefited by this overly aggressive media.

Informed citizens see through it and are making a "public judgement."

Trump's approval ratings are up and rising in the wake of these incessant media attacks. His strong record speaks for itself.

But it is never easy to turn the other cheek, especially when questioned about personal matters relating to close friends facing prosecution.

The president is much more empathetic than is acknowledged. His emotions and reactions can be raw.

The banning of the CNN reporter, however temporary, is not a wise move. In fact, it is potentially a dangerous step.

Early in the Obama administration, President Obama sought to permanently ban Fox News from the White House press room. The press corps, including CNN, banded together to oppose this authoritarian urge. [Obama, I believe was a patriot, and over time became less hostile to Fox and the press in general. He ended up being an exemplary role model as president, though I strongly disagreed with many of his policies.]

The CNN ban may seem small to some. Still, the press was right to sharply criticize the move by the Trump White House.

Most of Ruddy's right-wing media comrades -- or even most other people at Newsmax -- would never concede the idea that Obama was a patriot.


Posted by Terry K. at 6:07 PM EDT
CNS Promotes Jordan's Speaker Bid, Censors Abuse-Related Allegations Against Him
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com managing editor Michael W. Chapman wrote a ridiculously fawning Aug. 10 piece touting how "A new poll by the grassroots organization Tea Party Patriots shows that 98.4% of its supporters would like to see conservative Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) as the next Speaker of the House of Representatives, should the Republicans hold onto Congress after the mid-term elections in November." After copiously quoting sycophantic quotes about Jordan from the Tea Party Caucus, Chapman then made his own appeal, noting that "Some of the Republicans who say they support Jordan for Speaker include Freedom Caucus Chairman Rep. Mark Meadows (N.C.), Rep. Matt Gaetz (Fla.), Rep. Dave Brat (Va.), Rep. Andy Biggs (Ariz.), former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli. The conservative group FreedomWorks has also announced its support for Jordan." Chapman also promoted Jordan's platform: "In a July 26 letter to Republican members of the House, Jordan said the GOP members should push for 'actually repealing Obamacare,' reforming welfare across-the-board, building a real wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, making the 2017 tax cuts permanent, ending taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood, and 'enacting meaningful, immediate spending cuts to ensure that we never see $1 trillion deficits.'"

Chapman declared in his final paragraph: "Jim Jordan, 54, is in his sixth term in Congress. He is married to Polly Jordan." Never mind that Jordan's first name and length of service in Congresshad already been established earlier in the article; apparently Chapman simply copied-and-pasted that from elsewhere and didn't bother to edit it.

What Chapman didn't report: the fact that several former athletes at Ohio State University, where Jordan served as a wrestling coach, have accused Jordan of knowing about sexual abuse of athletes by a team doctor but doing nothing about it -- despite those accusations being around for a good month before Chapman's article appeared.

In fact, CNS has never published a story -- "news," blog or otherwise -- regarding the allegations against Jordan. It has, however, published numerous articles featuring Jordan, mainly in his role as member of a Republican-dominated House committee looking into links between Russia and President Trump -- including a separate July 27 article on Jordan announcing he planned to seek the House speaker position. The only thing that even alludes to it is an Aug. 17 post (again, well past a month after the accusations first became public) that is only a headline, a video and a link to a post at sister website NewsBusters complaining about a Democratic ad likening Jordan to Joe Paterno, who also allegedly turned a blind eye to abuse allegations.

In other words, CNS is very much attuned to Jordan's importance in the current political scene. Which means that the only possible reason CNS has failed to report on the abuse allegations regarding Jordan is that  it is deliberately censoring them from its readers.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:56 PM EDT
WND's Farah Gets Desperate As Another Money Deadline Approraches
Topic: WorldNetDaily

For most of this month, WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah has been railing against the "digital cartel" of Google and Facebook that he claims is running out WND out of business. (He has spent zero time explaining why WND's shoddy, fake news-laden editorial practices are in no small part to blame for that.) In the process, he's turned even more conspiracy-obsessed than usual.

WND has seized upon a "confidential, 49-page memo for defeating Trump by working with the major social-media platforms to eliminate 'right wing propaganda and fake news'" to blame for WND's woes. Art Moore, one of the few remaining WND employees, declard that "The recent wave of censorship of conservative voices on the internet by tech giants Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Apple mirrors a plan concocted by a coalition of George Soros-funded, progressive groups to take back power in Washington from President Trump’s administration."

Of course, Moore never makes any explicit, credible connection between the memo and the current practices of Google and Facebook to fight fake news. The only "George Soros-funded, progressive group" he names as behind this memo is Media Matters; president Angelo Carusone has claimed that his organization received only one donation from Soros, in 2010, while others claim other donations exist. (Disclosure: We used to work for Media Matters.)

Naturally, Farah ran with it:

You can’t make this stuff up.

Never, even in my fertile imagination, would I have guessed that we would find a smoking-gun 49-page memo revealing how George Soros operatives, including David Brock, were there at the genesis, the planning stages, with their hands on the ignition key, of the most concerted, well-funded, diabolical attack on free speech in the history of America.

But there it is.

Millions saw it on the DrudgeReport – including, no doubt, President Trump, Vice President Pence and Republican congressional leaders. But most Americans still know nothing of its existence – because it was not reported among the Big Media. They don’t want you to know about it. They would be embarrassed if America found out how they have been used and manipulated – from their focus on “Russian collusion” to other wild conspiracy theories targeting their No. 1 villain, President Trump.

It was nothing short of a plan to turn Google, Facebook and other social media into hyper-partisan Democratic Party activists, promoters, cheerleaders, and off-the-books donors in an effort to turn the country into a one-party state.

[...]

The timing of this insidious plot is key. When did it begin? Right after Trump was inaugurated. That’s when the attacks on the independent, alternative media – WND, Breitbart, et al. – began. We’ve been feeling the squeeze ever since – through politically skewed algorithms and speech codes.

The Google-Facebook-YoutTube-Twitter-Amazon-Apple cabal is trying to ensure we never have a free and fair election again in America. The “Russian-collusion” hoax is meant to take your eye off the real collusion by un-American, anti-free speech radical political activists.

Of course, Farah has been making stuff up -- in the form of the copious amount of fake news WND has published in the past couple years alone -- and that is one big reason why WND is in its current, ongoing fix

Farah continued his conspiratorial ranting in his Aug. 23 column: "You think it ends with Alex Jones being muzzled? Forget about it! This insidious cabal is already coming after WND, Dennis Prager, Breitbart.com and individual voices you’ve heard about like Diamond and Silk, for crying out loud. We have Democrat members of Congress trying to ban the sale of certain books at Amazon.com. Where does this insanity stop?"

When Farah admits to the error of his ways and WND stops publishing fake news, maybe?

Farah, however, sounded a little desperate in his plea for to raise $100,000 this month in that column: "We’re hunkered down and many are working without pay. I’ve subsidized WND with all the money I have and there is no more left. We thank you for getting us nearly 50 percent of the way to our total so far – but it’s not what we had hoped for with just a few days remaining. Please pray for us and shower us with your most generous donations to keep us alive and fighting for truth."

Farah was even more desperate, and a little jealous, the next day:

Traffic is down, revenues have plummeted 75 percent since January 2017. We’re hanging on by a thread.

Almost daily since August 1, I have brought you these reports and pleas for help in the form of prayer and financial sustenance. I’m so grateful to those who have answered the call. Yet it’s unlikely we will reach our goal of $100,000 this month. It alarms me that Peter Strzok, the disgraced FBI agent so instrumental in the Deep State attacks on President Trump, set a GoFundMe goal of $150,000 after being fired less than two weeks ago, and has raised more than $450,000 in that time, with a revised goal of $500,000.

Has this country gone insane?

No, not really, Joe. Strzok is getting funding because he is being correctly seen as the victim of a political attack led by the president of the United States that cost him his job and career because Trump needs a scapegoat to distract from his own behavior. WND is not getting support -- Farah conveniently omits that it has already taken in more than $200,000 in donations in a fund drive earlier this year -- because Farah and Co. cling to conspiracy theories instead of fixing what's wrong with their editorial product. Also, remember that Farah also apparently lowballed numbers in the last drive in an apparent effort to create some urgency for people to donate, so things might not actually be as dire as he's portraying.

Ultimately, Farah's problem that for all his begging and conspiracy-mongering, he has yet to offer a compelling reason why WND deserves to live. If he can't -- and as long as he takes refuge in conspiracy theories and refuses to take responsibility for all the fake news WND has published -- then it doesn't.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:18 AM EDT
Sunday, August 26, 2018
MRC Loves It When Media Conform To Its Pro-Trump Agenda
Topic: Media Research Center

We already know the Media Research Center attacks any media outlet that lacks a sufficiently pro-Trump bias. Butit also hands out gold stars on occasion to news stories told in a way that supports the MRC's pro-Trump agenda.

In a July 27 post, Julia Seymour was delighted that some outlets properly, in her view -- credited Trump for a high GDP increase last quarter:

CNBC’s Squawk on the Street and Bloomberg.com viewed the latest U.S. GDP report as good news for the Trump administration.

The 4.1 percent second-quarter GDP estimate announced July 27, was the best quarterly pace in almost four years. Bloomberg.com called it a “Win for Trump” that same day.

Squawk on the Streetco-anchor Sara Eisen said, “Though, look, he is right to take a victory lap here because there are places in this GDP report he can point to to show that his policy is working.”

Seymour was disappointed, however, that it "remained a question for CNBC" that the economy would achieve the 3 percent annual growth Trump has predicted.

In an Aug. 9 post, Nicholas Fondacaro ranted that NBC covered the story of Melania Trump's parents becoming citizens, having "speculated that they received special treatment in the process and possibly used chain migration, a program the President opposes, even though the process still exists and still legal."Fondacaro pretended he could divine the purported emotions and agenda of the reporter and anchor involved, calling anchor Lester Hold "seemingly offended" by the story and insisting that the reporter"gloated" while reporting it and is "often resentful."

Fondacaro then described another network's coverage to show how NBC should have behaved:

In sharp contrast, CBS Evening News was congratulatory to the First Lady’s parents. “Melania Trump's parents became U.S. citizen today! Viktor and Amalija Knavs, natives of Slovenia took the oath at a ceremony in New York City. They had been living in the U.S permanent residents,” reported anchor Jeff Glor.

Not only was CBS welcoming to the Knavses but they completely separated them from their story on Trump’s immigration policy. They kicked off the broadcast by reporting on a federal judge who blocked the administration from deporting asylum seekers who were already in the judicial process. The news brief on Melania’s parents was the second-to-last story they covered that evening.

So that's what the MRC wants -- uncritical praise of Trump. Remember that the next time it offers what it claims to be "media research."


Posted by Terry K. at 3:09 PM EDT
CNS Columnist Freaks Out Over Gay Content in 'Anne of Green Gables' Remake
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com columnist Eric Metaxas has an anti-gay freakout over the idea of gay characters in "Anne With an E," Netflix's revisionist take on "Anne of Green Gables," in his Aug. 7 column:

It’s been filmed a number of times over the years. And given the non-stop campaign to normalize the LGBT lifestyle, it should come as no surprise that the most recent version introduces several homosexual characters.

The Netflix series, titled “Anne with an E,” just began its second season. The episodes are charming—until you get to episode three, in which Anne, her friend Diana Berry, and a boy named Cole attend a gathering at the home of Diana’s great-Aunt Josephine. It turns out the party is a “queer soiree,” featuring men dressed as women, and wearing heavy makeup, and women dressed as men. They are there to honor the memory of Josephine’s departed “partner,” Gertrude.

Looking around her, Anne exclaims to Diana, “Isn’t this the most amazing group of people!” Well, I can’t help thinking that if a sheltered young girl like Anne actually encountered cross-dressing men and women in 1908, she would be shocked and probably frightened—not delighted.

[...]

Diana—who is nonplussed by her discovery of her aunt’s relationship with Gertrude, tells Anne their love affair was “unnatural.”

But the boy Cole—a character who is invented for the TV series—soon straightens her out. “If your aunt lived her life feeling … that she was broken, defective, or unnatural, and one day she met someone that made her realize that wasn’t true … shouldn’t we be happy for her?”

Cole later confesses to Aunt Josephine that he thinks he is “like you and Gertrude.” Josephine tells him, “You have a life of such joy before you.”

And in case you missed the gay-is-good point of the episode, the writers have Anne asking another character: “How can there be anything wrong with a life if it’s spent with a person you love?”

To answer Anne’s question: Plenty. People have suffered greatly through inappropriate “love”: For instance, a child whose father decided to love someone other than his wife, or a child who is loved, in an erotic way, by an adult.

It’s unlikely that Anne would ever have heard a sermon about homosexuality in her day and age. If she had, she would have known what scripture teaches about homosexual relationships: that they run counter to God’s plan for human flourishing.

Note how quickly Metaxas likens being gay to pedophilia. What he doesn't note, of course, that the seeds for this interpretation of Aunt Josephine appear in the original story, according to series creator Moira Walley-Beckett: "Upon reading [the novel] again as an adult, I was wondering about Aunt Jo. ... In the book, she’s a spinster and she’s just a bit of a curmudgeon, and that’s kind of it. So I’m like, ‘Well, she coming to the Barrys for a month and she’s grieving,’ that’s why I decided to justify why she’s there: Who is she grieving?"

Just wait until Metaxas discovers the more obvious LGBT subtext in the books...


Posted by Terry K. at 11:41 AM EDT
Saturday, August 25, 2018
Another WND-Linked Author Turns Anti-Semitic
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Earlier this year, WorldNetDaily ever-so-slowly backed away from Paul Nehlen -- a candidate it heavily hyped and whose book WND published -- after he heavily embraced anti-Semitism and white nationalism (though WND has yet to make a public statement about the status of its relationship with him). Now another WND-linked author has gone down a similar path.

Walid Shoebat was a rock star at WND in the early 2000s. As we documented, WND loved the right-wing-friendly story he told about being a Palestinian terrorist who became a "Christian Zionist" (never mind the scant evidence that his terrorist past ever actually happened) -- not only did WND editor Joseph Farah write a fawning profile of him and touting his new self-proclaimed mission "to go to Americans and churches and anywhere I can go and explain God’s plan for the state of Israel, and how God intended Israel to be a light unto the nations, and how all of our hatred toward Israel is really evil." Shoebat was also the star attraction in the 2008 WND-published anthology "Why We Left Islam," one of the few contributors who was given a full bio.

Well, Shoebat appears to have soured on the whole "Christian Zionist" thing to the point where he's gone full-blown anti-Semitic. Israel National News reports:

Walid Shoebat’s foundation has a website, Shoebat.com that would expose persecution of Christians and Jews in the War on Terror. I hadn’t looked at the site in a while but when I went there I was greeted by a headline that read, “Judaism is Satanic”. It also featured a strange trailer from either the Arab miniseries A Horseman Without A Horse which is based on the Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion and was used to foment pogroms since the 19th century on Jews or else from Mel Gibson’s Passion of Christ which is just as bad.

When I scrolled down on the website I was besieged with all manner of mendacious lecturing by Walid’s son, Theodore, describing the Talmud and Judaism as Satanic devices, also spewing out attacks on gays. The messages were the same as those on militant Islamist websites or those of Neo-Nazis,  yet declared to be true representations of Christian doctrine and “telling it like it is” about the Jews who “killed God.” Some readers even carried on further: The Jews in Israel aren’t real Jews; The Talmud teaches ideas from the Devil; The Church revealed the devil worship of the Jews and on and on. Readers can see all this by visiting the website. I recommend viewing it on the Internet Archive here in case it has been removed by the time you read this article, but it was up at this writing.

At first, I thought maybe the site was hacked or that Walid wasn’t aware of what his son, Theodore was doing; the attacks on Judaism and Jews, the attacks on gays, his militant and almost persecutorial representations of Christianity that were Taliban-like behavior. But Walid told me everything was right, or so he said, and followed his 27 year-old son’s ideas. Now, the Shoebats say the Jews, not the Romans, killed Christ, and how Judaism is a Satanic cult. Walid and son described me as a “money grubbing Jew.”

Walid asked me if I wanted to do an interview with his son. But when his son called me he began insulting me with obscenity-laced accusations and nonsense.. The Palestinian militant came out, it seems, in both Walid and his son. This wasn’t a misunderstanding of Judaism, this was every bit as anti-Semitic as Hamas.

WND hasn't written much about Shoebat in recent years. The last time appears to be 2015, when WND soured on him itself after he attacked Farah's favorite messianic rabbi and meal ticket, Jonathan Cahn, by claiming his Shemitah theory linking stock market crashes to biblically defined cycles was somehow supportive of Adolf Hitler. The article, by Leo Hohmann, is pretty much a reversal of WND's earlier praise for Shoebat, dismissiing the origin story it one touted by stating that Shoebat was "claiming to be a former Palestinian terrorist turned Christian" who wrote an "angry rant."

Hohmann didn't report how Shoebat was a onetime WND star featured in a book it published, but it did quote Farah lamenting Shoebat's attack: "I have always considered Walid a good friend. Normally good friends call one another when they have a problem with the other. That’s what Matthew 18 is all about. Instead, he seems to be lashing out in anger and rage at both friends and at people like Jonathan and Mark Biltz whose only offense is bringing people to the Lord and to repentance and to the Bible. You expect anger and rage from people hostile to the Gospel, but not from friends who profess to be believers." Farah gave no indication that he or anyone else at WND reached out to Shoebat for this article.

Meanwhile, "Why We Left Islam" is still for sale at the WND online store at this writing, albeit heavily discounted to $2.99.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:44 AM EDT
Updated: Sunday, August 26, 2018 6:11 PM EDT
Friday, August 24, 2018
MRC Does Damage-Control Work For Makers of Right-Wing Roe v. Wade Film
Topic: Media Research Center

Last month, Newsmax's James Hirsen tried to do damage control over reports of production problems on a right-wing film purporting to tell the "untold story "of the Roe v. Wade court case that legalized abortion across the U.S. Now the damage-control baton has passed to the Media Research Center.

In an Aug. 10 post, the MRC's Gabriel Hays attacked the "fake news" that the "liberal media" has been spreading about the in-porudiction film. But Hays never identifies anything that's "fake" about the reporting, just repeats director Nick Loeb's assertions that everything is fine. Most outlets that reported on the film's problems got a dismissive label by Hays: the Daily Beast is "lefty," Jezebel is "radical feminist,"
and apparently even the Hollywood Reporter is "liberal" by implication. By contrast, he quoted from a Washington Times article about the film but never labeled it as conservative.

Hays portrayed Loeb and his associates involved in the film's production as depicting "what's really going on," as if they don't have a vested interest in spinning things to their benefit:

In terms of what’s really going on with “Roe V. Wade,” the director and several other members of the team stated that it is running smoothly and that the bad press covering the production is just that. In terms of the reports of graphic abortion imagery present in the film, Loeb seemed surprised that anyone claimed to have that kind of information, asking “How do you know what’s in a film until it’s done?”

The Hollywood Reporter’s claims that the movie presented the typical, debunked anti-abortion talking points. She stated that “The filmmakers based the story on 40 research books on the subject and used ‘two sources for every fact we stated.’”

[...]

Those who are actually working on this controversial film see this as a concentrated attack by the fake news media to cripple their work. Mr. Loeb stated, “The ‘fake news’ is incredible. They’re falling all over themselves to lie and spin the truth.”

Hays doesn't bother to note any evidence Loeb has supplied to prove his claim that everybody but him is spreading "fake news" about the production, let alone consider the possibility that Loeb himself is the one spreading "fake news" in order to counter a mounting PR disaster.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:53 PM EDT
Farah Tries Emotion To Sell This Year's WND Holy Land Tour
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily has a bit of a checkered record regarding its recent annual tours to the Holy Land -- it repeatedly pushed back deadlines for the 2016 tour to get enough people to show up (and then Joseph Farah and Jonathan Cahn staged a publicity stunt at the Temple Mount), and last year WND all but promised meetings between tour-goers and Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. ambassador to Israel David Friedman (neither of which ultimately happened, as far as we know).

This year, Farah is going for the shamelessly emotional appeal. One column he wrote promoting the tour, first published Aug. 13, starts with a brief explanation of how he moved from thinking "as a teenager during the 1967 Six-Day War, I found myself scouring the news reports for hope that the Arab powers would put an end to this “neo-colonial” intrusion into a region that rightfully belonged to the Arabs" (if the birth date on his Wikipedia page is correct, he would have been 13 at that time, making him unually precocious, if not Zelig-like, about poliltics) to going to "Jesus directing my life."

Farah then ramped up the shamelessness while segueing into a hard sell:

Is God tugging at your heart to visit His land? If so, I want to tell you about two opportunities to come with me and my wife, Elizabeth, to Israel to answer that calling in obedience. I promise you it will change your life, strengthen your faith, inspire you and provide you with an unforgettable spiritual experience of a lifetime.

Option No. 1: The first opportunity is coming up this November, and you will need to act fast. It’s your chance to get to Israel in this biblically historic 70th anniversary year of 2018.

Here’s just some of what you will get to experience under the direction of the most unlikely of tour leaders, plus the assistance of the greatest Israeli guides and the logistical support of the best tour company in the Jewish state:

[...]

The theme of this tour in “restoration,” and that’s what those on the tour will experience personally while seeing the undeniable evidence of the Kingdom restoration already taking place in Israel today.

You will never be quite the same after this trip. It’s a refreshing of the spirit. It’s a connection with your Savior that will never be broken.

And that’s option No. 1, but you better act fast to secure the best airline fares available. If this sounds like the trip for you, visit the WND Israel Tour website now and call Coral Tours at 866-267-2511 today. Time is of the essence. Don’t put it off for another day.

After describing the second tour WND is also offering, Farah added "In fact, why choose? Why not do both?"

Strange how Farah has the money to go on all these Holy Land tours when the website he runs is circling the drain (again).


Posted by Terry K. at 1:14 AM EDT
Thursday, August 23, 2018
CNS Ignored Report On Catholic Sex Abuse Scandals Until Bill Donohue Attacked It
Topic: CNSNews.com

The leaders of CNSNews.com -- specifically, editor in chief Terry Jeffrey and managing editor Michael W. Chapman -- are so Catholic, they feel they can use the "news" operation they run to lecture the pope on religious priniciples. So when a grand jury report was released last week detailing sexual abuse cases involving Catholic clergy in Pennsylvania, you'd thinkg that Jeffrey and Chapman -- being the double-plus-good Catholics they are -- would want to treat this report seriously and report on it journalistically (or, at least, what passes for that at CNS).

Well, not so much. The report was released on Aug. 14; for three days, CNS reported nothing whatsoever about it -- and, to date, it has yet to run a "news" article about the report.

The first mention of the report of any kind at CNS was three long days later, when it published a lengthy screed by its favorite Catholic, Bill Donohue of the Catholic League (on whose board of advisors Jeffrey and Chapman's boss, Brent Bozell, sits), purporting to "debunk many of the myths, and indeed lies, that mar the report and/or interpretations of it" and insist that "it's been a homosexual scandal all along."

Donohue also desperately repeated his fallacious attacks on the John Jay College report for previously shutting down his anti-gay argument by pointing out the fact that even though many of the priests' victims were boys and young men, that does not equate to the priests being gay since one does not need a homosexualidentity to commit homosexual acts:

It won't help to say that the John Jay report did not conclude that homosexuals committed most of the offenses, even though their own data undercut their interpretation. The professors played the self-identity game: they said that many of the men who had sex with adolescent males did not identify as gay. So what?

If a straight priest who abused a teenage girl said he thinks of himself as gay, would the researchers list him as such? Self-identification that does not square with the truth is a lie. I recently spoke to a person in the media about this. I told him that I consider myself to be a Chinese dwarf—even though it is obvious that I am a big Irishman—and asked if he would describe me that way in his story. He got my point.

Donohue is playing a game as well, and it's called homophobia.

The only other article CNS has run regarding the scandal is a blog post by Chapman the same day featuring Cardinal Raymond Burke -- a right-wing cleric who was removed by Pope Francis as the head of the Vatican's high court -- attacking the "homosexual culture" in the church that purportedly led to the scandal and repeating Donohue's talking points about blaming gays for it.

There are other things CNS hasn't done besides not run an fair and objective "news" article on the scandal despite the fact that it calls itself a "news" operation. It has not published a voice on the scandal that is not right-wing and anti-gay, let alone allow that voice to rebut the homophobia of Donohue and Burke. It did not disclose in Donohue's post that Bozell is on the board of the organization Donohue runs. violating conflict-of-interest guidelines. It did not mention that the pope removed Burked from a Vatican post.

And the same day CNS published Dononue's screed, his Catholic League issued a wildly insensitive tweet attacking "conservative Catholics" (isn't that what Donohue is?) for allegedly being "singularly incapable of making a cogent argument, so all they do is vent like little boys." CNS hasn't said a thing about that.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:21 PM EDT
WND Touts Jordan Witness Flip, Doesn't Mention Pressure Campaign To Flip Them
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily's Art Moore writes in an Aug. 9 article:

A former Ohio State University wrestling coach says comments attributed to him regarding Rep. Jim Jordan were not accurate or were misconstrued by media, distancing himself from the Ohio Republican’s chief accuser, who maintains the congressman ignored claims of sexual abuse while serving as an assistant coach more than two decades ago.

Mark Coleman, who wrestled at OSU and later served as an assistant wrestling coach, said that “at no time did I ever say or have any direct knowledge that Jim Jordan knew of Dr. Richard Strauss’s inappropriate behavior.”

“I have nothing but respect for Jim Jordan as I have known him for more than 30 years and know him to be of impeccable character,” said Coleman, a former UFC champion.

[...]

Coleman made it clear he is distancing himself from the primary accuser in the case, Mike DiSabato, who has brought several lawsuits against OSU in recent years.

“Mike DiSabato and his PR representative have released information and made statements publicly without my authorization and, in my opinion, are using them to exploit and embarrass The Ohio State University,” said Coleman.

DiSabato, he said, “is not my manager and does not speak for me.”

But Moore is not telling the full story about Coleman's flip. First, as TPM reports, Coleman's revised claims were released from the PR firm that is working for Jordan to counter the charges.

Second, Moore doesn't report Coleman's original comments so readers can examine how they were allegedly not accurate or "misconstrued." TPM reports:

This stands in stark contrast to Coleman’s statement to the Wall Street Journal in early July.

Coleman had been one of the nine wrestlers who asserted that then-assistant coach Jordan definitely knew about the widespread culture of sexual abuse on the team, especially at the hands of team doctor Richard Strauss, took no action at the time and later lied about his knowledge.

“There’s no way unless he’s got dementia or something that he’s got no recollection of what was going on at Ohio State,” Coleman said in July. “I have nothing but respect for this man, I love this man, but he knew as far as I’m concerned.”

There seems to be little room for misconstruing there.

Third, TPM also reports -- where Moore didn't -- that there is apparently a pressure campaign against Jordan's accusers:

The rumors of a pressure campaign have long been swirling around this case, as reports surfaced in early August that [former Ohio State couch Russ] Hellickson, at Jordan’s behest, was using his power over and relationship to his former wrestlers to push them to recant their accusations against the congressman.

All of that would seem to be relevant information -- information that Moore should have reported but chose not to. But Jordan is a key ally of President Trump and right-wing senators, and WND has apparently decided it must protect him.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:48 AM EDT
Wednesday, August 22, 2018
MRC Continues To Be Callous About The Lives of Journalists
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's callous attitude toward the safety of journalists has been notorious, and it hasn't stopped. Typical is an Aug. 1 post by Scott Whitlock:

According to Chuck Todd, booing and nasty language towards reporters could well lead to the killing of journalists. Specifically, he compared a Trump rally this week to the 2017 horrific car killing (and injuring of multiple others) by a racist white nationalist in Charlottesville. Todd began by lecturing his MTP Dailyviewers on Wednesday: “Tonight, I'm obsessed with how we're no longer obsessed over the things President Trump says.” 

The MSNBC journalist then made his vile comparison. First, he played a clip of the President talking about fake news. Todd sneered: “But when you ignore this, you get this... And this kind of unfocused visceral anger at the other side of really neutral people like folks in the press corps, it can lead to this.” Then, he played 2017 footage of accused white nationalist James Alex Fields Jr., who was charged with murdering Heather Heyer via his car.

Todd concluded by huffing: “This is not normal. We shouldn't be in the business of just shrugging our shoulders and normalizing it.”

Whitlock then played the ol' whataboutism card: "We shouldn’t be normalizing violence. That's true. Then why did Todd in 2017 by bringing on Antifa supporter Mark Bray to promote the violent organization. Todd oozed at the time: 'Mark Bray, you are writing this book Antifa, the Anti-Fascist Handbook. Explain this movement and its roots.'"

Whitlock seems to have overlooked the word "explain." Bray is a scholar, not an activist, and his explanation of why antifa protesters may resort to violence is often presented by right-wingers as an endorsement of it.

The same day, Nicholas Fondacaro took yet another shot at the MRC's favorite enemy, CNN's Jim Acosta, for being "worried that one day, one of those Trump supporters would snap and try to hurt a journalist, or worse. 'I think it's been dangerous for some time. I was worried during the campaign that a journalist was going to get hurt and it has been building,' he opined. 'But when you refer to members of the press as the enemy of the people, you're essentially putting targets on our backs.'" Fondacaro then dismissed Acosta and his CNN ilk by trotting out the old canard of denouncing non-conservatives as "elitists" who "look down their noses at Trump supporters in the heartland."

Curtis Houck then mocked reporter April Ryan for allegedly having "dismissed the harassment and threats against the White House Press Secretary and melodramatically surmised that Jim Acosta’s 'life...was in jeopardy' at Tuesday’s Trump rally." Houck then ratcheted up his dismissive attitude: "Later, she also showed a visceral disdain for conservatives and Second Amendment supporters by brushing aside that part of the Constitution in favor of the First Amendment which many journalists seem to think only concerns them."

And Ryan Foley complained that "During Sunday’s edition of MSNBC Live With Alex Witt, the panel engaged in some serious hyperbole while discussing President Trump’s most recent tweet declaring the press the enemy of the people with two predicting that his “incendiary” rhetoric towards the press will lead to someone in the media to “get injured or possibly killed.” He added : "As always, the liberal media will never cease to disappoint when it comes to predicting that, when push comes to shove, they make things about themselves."

Well, yeah, people do tend to get a tad self-centered when the think their lives are in danger for simply doing their jobs -- as Foley undoubtedly would if he ever felt his life was threatened because he worked for the MRC.

And a separate post by Fondacaro showed just how self-centered he and the MRC are acting: "All weekend, the liberal media had been decrying Trump’s attacks on the press and suggested it would lead to violence against them. Clearly, they only care for themselves because what do they think will come from their own anti-Trump and anti-conservative 'hate movement'? This is just another way to delegitamize perfectly reasonable criticism of the the media." Fondacaro didn't how Trump denouncing the media as the "enemy of the people" -- or even the MRC's war on Acosta -- is "perfectly reasonable."

It seems that a little violence, real or threatened, shouldn't be allowed to get in the way of the MRC's anti-media mission.

Meanwhile, April Ryan now has a bodyguard due to death threats, and a caller to C-SPAN said of CNN's Brian Stelter and Don Lemon, both also frequent targets of the MRC: "If I see them, I'm going to shoot them." The MRC has yet to weigh in on either incident, let alone explain if those things are "perfectly reasonable."


Posted by Terry K. at 10:56 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, August 22, 2018 11:44 PM EDT
WND Columnists Return to Fretting About South Africa, 'White Genocide'
Topic: WorldNetDaily

A couple days ago, we noted the interest from Newsmax columnists in the purported "white genocide" of white farmers in South Africa -- completely ignoring the fact that blacks in  Sough Africa are murdered at a much higher rate, making them the real "genocide." Well, the usual WorldNetDaily writers have been on the case as well, having first obsessed about it last year.

Ilana Mercer -- a South African native who still misses apartheid -- launched into a tirade of Obama derangement, railing against the "modern day messiah" and the "estrogen-oozing amoebas of mainstream media" who liked him. She asserted that Obama, in a recent visit to South Africa where he allegedly "laud[ed] genial thug Cyril Ramaphosa," was "silent about the systematic ethnic cleansing and extermination, in ways that beggar belief, of South African farmers in particular, and whites in general. Does the barefaced Barack care that white men, women and children are being butchered like animals, their bodies often displayed like trophies by their proud black assassins?" She also asserted that 3,000 white farmers have been "slaughtered" since 2011,

That's a highly dubious number. Australia's ABC found that less than 80 murders annually took place on farms since 2011 -- and that number includes whites and blacks. Also, as we previously noted, Ramaphosa is a moderate who has tried to slow down the rush by extremists to forced land redistribution.

Mercer, needless to say, is silent about the thousands of blacks murdered every year in South Africa. Instead, she praises Russian leader Vladimir Putin for having "purportedly offered to give shelter to 15,000 white South African farmers, so far, recognizing them for the true refugees they are." She added: "It should be news to no one that American refugee policies favor the Bantu peoples of Africa over its Boers. ... Whichever way you slice it, on matters South Africa, Russia is the virtuous one."

Jane Chastain, meanwhile, stayed away from the "genocide" claims and focused on the current attempt by the black-led South African government to take the land of white farmers without what they consider just compensation to spin an alternative history of apartheid:

South Africa’s early settlers were a racial mix. They included black tribes, primarily Xhosa and Zulus, who had migrated from the north; Europeans from Portugal, who arrived in the 1400s, and the Dutch and the English who arrived in the 1600s.

The blacks were organized by tribes and preferred the bush country where game was plentiful, while the white settlers took to farming and gradually created towns and cities. After some time, blacks began migrating to the cities and began to adapt to the advances that had taken place there.

In the 20th century, other black tribesmen began to travel and see the progress their relatives had made in the cities. This trickle of migration soon turned into a flood. Legislation then was enacted to control the flow of people into the cities. In 1948, the white-led government instituted a system of racial segregation known as apartheid to protect its minority.

By the time our country began to beat up on South Africa, this segregation practice – while still on the books – existed in name only and was mostly economic, as it has been in our country.

But as the Smithsonian points out, how strictly apartheid was practiced in the final hears before its repealed doesn't mean that the economic effects were not significant or went away at apartheid's end: At apartheid's end, whites made up of 10 percent of South Africa's population but owned 90 percent of its land. As we noted, such inequity remains a key contention in the land redistribution: whites own or control as much as three-fourths of South Africa's farmland, while blacks own just over 1 percent.

Chastain also argued that apartheid wasn't so bad because "black citizens already had the vote in all but the national elections." That was actually meaningless because blacks were not considered full citizens of South Africa but, rather, of "homelands," supposedly autonomous nation-states inside the country. Even the Tricameral Parliament established in 1983 and lasting until apartheid's demise excluded representation from the black majority, restricting that to whites, native indians and the multi-ethnic "coloured" population.

Simpson then complained that "We forced South Africa into holding premature “universal” elections and now the rest is history – a history the liberal media is unwilling to tell." If only Simpson was as eager to tell the full history of apartheid.


Posted by Terry K. at 5:22 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, August 22, 2018 5:26 PM EDT

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