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Friday, September 7, 2018
Manafort's Conviction, Cohen's Plea Deal Aren't News At CNS
Topic: CNSNews.com

As we saw with its coverage of the latest Catholic Church sexual abuse scandal, the news isn't "news" at CNSNews.com -- only the right-wing spin is.

Here's another example. Any news junkie -- and anyone working in the news business should be one -- would agree that Aug. 21 was a big news day. After all, it was the day that former Trump presidential campaign manager Paul Manafortwas found guilty on eight counts of fraud, and it was also the day that President Trump's former attorney, Michael Cohen, pleaded guilty to eight criminal counts.

Those stories warrant coverage by any news organization. But CNS is not any news organization -- it's a pro-Trump state media outlet.

The first story CNS did on Cohen's plea deal was spin, a stenography piece by Melanie Arter uncritically quoting White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders insisting that "just because Michael Cohen made a plea deal doesn’t mean that that implicates the president on anything." This was followed by two blog post quoting CNS' favorite right-wing radio host and Trump loyalist, Mark Levin (95 articles on him this year and counting!): The first featured Levin asserting that the media "don't know what they're talking about" in the Cohen plea deal, and the second on Aug. 24 on Levin's desperate rant that Cohen's plea deal is "nothing, nothing, nothing."

Manafort's criminal conviction, meanwhile, didn't warrant a headline story of any kind at CNS. The only mention it received in a "news" story is in the last four paragraphs of Arter's story on thte White House reaction to Cohen, in which she quotesSanders' declaration that "The Manafort case doesn’t have anything to do with the president, doesn’t have anything to do with his campaign, and it doesn’t have anything to do with the White House" and her denial that Trump was thinking about pardoning Manafort.

It's not as if CNS didn't know Manafort was on trial. A June 28 blog post by Craig Bannister touted how the judge in the trial said that "any blind person can see" that the trial was really about getting Trump.

So CNS clearly knows what's going on. It's simply choosing not to report news unfavorable to its favorite president until it can find a way to put a positive spin on it.

Perhaps it's time for CNS to take the "news" out of its name, since that's no longer what it does.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:13 PM EDT
Has Farah Considered That Nobody Wants To Read WND's Shoddy Content?
Topic: WorldNetDaily

After we highlighted WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah's complaint (well, conspiracy theory) that Google includes WND in so few search results that it's hurting WND's revenue (and that it's doing so to punish WND for bashing Google), we heard from blogger Richard Bartholomew, who pointed out one reason for the dearth of traffic to Google -- which is not Google's fault.

Bartholomew showed a screenshot of a Google search regarding the 2017 death of former Haitian government official Klaus Eberwein, in which a WND article was listed among the "top stories":

As we reported at the time, WND's reporting on Eberwein's death is what we would call fake news. WND hyped claims that Eberwein "was expected to testify against alleged Clinton Foundation corruption and malpractice" and that he "reportedly told acquaintances he feared for his life for his fierce criticism of the Clinton Foundation." In fact, Eberwein was set to testify in a case unrelated to the Clinton Foundation, and there's no independently sourced on-the-record evidence to back up anything he purportedly said about the Clintons.

So, rather than Farah's conspiracy theory, it appears the real problem is that WND reports stories that are either fake news or that nobody cares enough about to search in any significant quantity on Google.

Which all goes back to the thing we've been pointing out all along, and which Farah and WND have aggressively refused to discuss: that WND's perpetually imminent demise is being caused not by a grand conspiracy against it by the "Digital Cartel" but by bad, biased, fake news-heavy content that fewer people want to read.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:17 AM EDT
Thursday, September 6, 2018
MRC Mocks Another Reporter For Being Concerned About Her Safety (Again)
Topic: Media Research Center

The last time the Media Research Center mocked reporter April Ryan for being concerned about her safety at a time when President Trump has declared the media to be the "enemy of the people," we pointed out that Ryan felt sufficiently threatened to need bodyguards.

The MRC's Kristine Marsh address the issue of Ryan's bodyguard in a sneering Aug. 24 post -- only to argue that she ought to feel threatened:

In a laughably obtuse interview with The Hollywood Reporter published August 21, April Ryan, the White House correspondent for American Urban Radio and CNN contributor, griped about needing to pay for security because of how often she is approached or heckled in public. This comes just a few weeks after Ryan complained that White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders shouldn’t need security guards.

According to the media outlet, Ryan said she feared for her personal safety at times because she is approached in public and complained that the White House should fund her bodyguards:

[...]

She added:

There is a concern now. I mean, I've had death threats, I've had craziness, so I have a real concern. An honest, real concern.... Do I have a bodyguard? Yes, I do. Am I paying for it? Yes, I am. And, I think [Sanders] should have to pay for it, especially if she's stirring it up with her boss [Trump].... I did not sign up for this. I was just doing a job.

Sound familiar? Isn’t this exactly what Democrat Rep. Maxine Waters explicitly ordered liberals to do to Republicans? The media didn’t care about public harassment then, as long as it wasn’t happening to them. In fact, many journalists went on television and defended the abuse of Trump Administration officials and Republican party members. But suddenly it’s a different story when the shoe is on the other foot.

So Ryan should feel threatened because some people in the White House feel threatened? Tallk about utter hatred for -- and the desire for vengeance against -- journalists doing their jobs.

The MRC's callousness toward the safety of journalists continues to be appalling.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:30 PM EDT
Yet Another WND Author Turns Out To Be An Anti-Semitic White Nationalist
Topic: WorldNetDaily

What is it with WorldNetDaily authors who turn out to be white nationalists and/or anti-Semites? First we had Paul Nehlen, who turned so egregiously hateful after WND published his book and promoted his right-wing candidacy for Paul Ryan's seat that WND was forced to ever-so-slowly stop selling his book (Nehlen, by the way, came in a distant third in the Republican primary to replace Ryan; WND still has yet to make a public statement about its business relationship with Nehlen). Then there's Walid Shoebat, the self-proclaimed ex-terrorist-turned-"Christian Zionist" who was the star of a WND-published book about people leaving Islam who has become rabidly anti-Semitic.

Now comes word from reporter Rosie Gray at the Atlantic that Scott Greer, a former editor at the conservative Daily Caller, wrote anti-Semitic and white nationalist articles under a pseudonym for the Radix Journal, published by white supremacist leader Richard Spencer.

Last year, WND published Greer's book "No Campus for White Men," which WND Books claims "shines a bright light on the growing obsession with diversity, victimization and identity politics on today's college campuses, and shows how it is creating an intensely hostile and fearful atmosphere that can only lead, ultimately, to ever greater polarization in American society." Milo Yiannopoulos, the right-wing provocateur who was abandoned by most conservatives (and, maybe, WND) after he was caught defending pedophilia, wrote the foreword.

WND had been giving Greer a platform for his racial grievances as early as 2013, when he cited none other than WND columnist Jack Cashill -- whose best know foray into racial relations is to denigrate Trayvon Martin as a thug and George Zimmerman a hero for shooting him -- in claining that the fim "12 Years a Slave" could "heat up racial tensions." We caught WND promoting Greer complaining that some Trump White House aides "are closely associated with white nationalists" -- not because it wasn't true, but because the label is "menacing" to conservatives.

WND has made no public statement yet about Greer as of this writing, his pro-white, anti-Semitic past has not been reported on the WND website, and his book is still for sale at the WND online store.


Posted by Terry K. at 6:17 PM EDT
CNS Cheers Franklin Graham's Insults, Ignores That He Went Godwin
Topic: CNSNews.com

One of CNSNews.com managing editor Michael W. Chapman's favorite right-wing clergymen (who's not Catholic, anyway) is Franklin Graham, who hates gays and Muslims as much as he does. Chapman loves publishing Graham's rants, and will never criticize him for going to far or for contradicting himself.

For instance, in a Aug. 9 blog post, Chapman touted Graham's attack on New York Times columnist Frank Bruni for being critical of Vice President Mike Pence's right-wing Christianity, which he called "slanderous" and "vile." Chapman himself piled on by claim tha Bruni was making "tawdry claims" (though he cites only one complete sentence from it and fragments and single words elsewhere, which is journalistically tawdry) and tried to denigrate Bruni as "openly homosexual and a militant promoter of the LGBT agenda (his proof for the latter is a column of Bruni's in which he argues that Christians shouldn't hate gays -- what a sinister "agenda"!).

Just 11 days later, an Aug. 20 blog post by Craig Bannister detailedGraham's freakout over Chelsea Clinton claiming that abortion has added money to the economy because women were able to work: "What a lie. Hitler probably also claimed that killing the Jews would be good for their economy."

Isn't likening someone -- and not just anyone, the daughter of a former president -- to Hitler just as slanderous and vile as and what he claimed Bruni wrote about Pence? Is going Godwin a good idea for someone who claims to be a man of God (not to mention an admission that he had no better argument)?

Chapman and Bannister will never ask those questions. Graham served up the conservatively correct goods, and that's all that matters.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:41 AM EDT
Wednesday, September 5, 2018
Fundamentally Unfair Farah Complains About Unfairness
Topic: WorldNetDaily

As part of the past month of ranting in order to keep his website from going down the tubes (again), WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah served up this little Aug. 22 sermon on fairness:

I don’t. I’ve worked in the media all my life – about half in what we euphemistically call “the mainstream,” and the last half in the alternative or independent media, as I call it. As a reporter, I never worked in a newspaper that wasn’t dominated by leftist bias. I’ve never been covered by one that didn’t inject that bias into the story. There is no restraint on leftist bias in the media today, nor is there any restraint on leftist bias among their Overlords in the “Speech Code Cartel.”

Without restraint, leftist ideology will always dominate. Without competition, leftist ideology will always dominate. And, believe me, when people like Jack Dorsey admit their leftist bias, there is no restraint and no competition in sight.

[...]

And this is what we’re up against at WND and the rest of the independent, alternative media. It’s why we are all fighting for our professional lives, our very existence, our very survival in the battle to counter the lies and “fake news.”

You cannot trust leftists to be fair. And leftists control the media and the means of distribution. If left unchallenged, if not forced to play by the rules, they will reset the rules. And resetting the rules means the First Amendment is null and void for all intents and purposes.

The unspoken claim of Farah's column is that he and WND are eminently fair -- which couldn't be further from the truth.

WND wasn't fair to Clark Jones when it lied about him being a drug dealer. It took nearly eight years and a defamation suit -- and an undisclosed out-of-court settlement that involved an abject apology and, presumably, no small amount of cash -- before WND was fair to him.

WND wasn't fair to Barack Obama, refusing to publish all the things that discredited its birther consipracy theories. Farah even refuses to acknowledge that Obama was president -- how fair is that?

WND wasn't fair to the Chobani yogurt company when it published false and malicious claims about it. WND corrected the record months later, presumably after Chobani's lawyers demanded a little fairness.

WND wasn't fair to Muslims when it blamed Islam for a measles outbreak in a Somali-American community in Minnesota when, in fact, it was WND's anti-vaxxer friends who had been lobbying the community.

And we haven't even gotten to all the rewritten press releases and one-source wonders WND has published over the years that are unfair for their lack of an alternative view or failure to give the targeted person a chance to respond.

And now Farah is complaining how others aren't fair? Fix your own house first, Joe -- after all, whether you admit it or not, WND's shoddy reporting and fundamental unfairness is one big reason it's going down the tubes (again).


Posted by Terry K. at 11:53 PM EDT
Updated: Thursday, September 6, 2018 9:01 AM EDT
MRC Gushes Over A Movie Trailer (For Anti-Abortion Film It's Been Promoting For Years)
Topic: Media Research Center

For years, the Media Research Center has been hyping. and helping to raise money for the production of, a film about rogue abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell with the cooperation -- if not direct payments from -- producer Phelim McAleer. Now that the film is finally approaching an actual release, the MRC has cranked up the hype machine once more.

The latest love letter to McAleer and his film is an Aug. 15 piece in which Katie Yoder gushes over the film's trailer:

On Tuesday, The Hollywood Reporter (THR) broke the news that filmmakers had released a trailer for the anticipated Gosnell film, which stars big name actors.

In the moving video, actor Michael Beach’s character, district attorney Dan Molinari, warns those investigating Gosnell that, “When you get to the courthouse, you are going to be swarmed by reporters.”

But as they walk past empty rows of seats with signs reading “This row reserved for press,” actor Dean Cain, who plays a detective, asks, “Where is everybody?”

Yoder is in full PR mode, declaring that "the film isn’t just for pro-life audiences, as one scene in the trailer stresses."

Since she's doing press for the film instead of being even remotely objective, Yoder never gets around to asking McAleer an unanswered question from her last post on the film, despite getting access to an "exclusive statement" from him: How did McAleer settle the defamation lawsuit filed against him by the judge who presided at Gosnell's trial over his portrayal in McAleer's book on Gosnell and his presumed treatment in the film? That would seem to be an important, newsworthy issue, given that the lawsuit had stalled production on the movie and settling it allowed the film to move forward.

But Yoder isn't interested in reporting -- this is PR, remember? Thus, she concludes by gushing even further, "With big names involved, the film promises to be a success."

It's almost as if McAleer paid Yoder to say that.

Yoder's fawning promotion for McAleer's film -- which doesn't even open until October -- is doubly hypocritical given that a couple weeks earlier, her MRC colleague (well, intern) Peter Sifre was complaining that CNN was "devoting an entire segment to the promotion of an anti-Trump book that hasn’t even come out yet," huffing that "reporting of non-news stories should not be tolerated," adding: "[B]ecause the book has not come out yet, we don’t know what it contains. Thus, there is no news to report. This segment is nothing but book promotion of an obviously anti-Trump book that hasn’t even come out yet."

Peter Sifre, meet Katie Yoder.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:32 PM EDT
WND Columnists Love That Trump, Fox News Put Spotlight on 'White Genocide' In S. Africa
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Shortly after we wrote about how WorldNetDaily columnists were once again fretting about the "white genocide" of farmers in South Africa (which isn't actually happening), President Trump tweeted about it. (Coincidence? You decide.) And WND's writers -- particularly Ilana Mercer -- loved the spotlight Trump put on the issue.

Mercer -- a South African native who still pines for the days of apartheid -- spent her Aug. 23 column ranting about the proposal by the black-majority government in South Africa to seize land from whites and give it to blacks (an admittedly controversial issue). She praised Fox News' Tucker Carlson (who actually did inspire Trump's tweet) as a "superhero" for highlighting the story, adding: "If anyone can make the thuggish African National Congress and its leader, Ramaphosa, reconsider their plot to simply steal privately owned land from whites and gift it to the clamoring black citizens of South Africa – it’s President Donald Trump."

Mercer also cited "Dr. Philip du Toit, a farmer (with a doctorate in labor law) and author of 'The Great South African Land Scandal,'" as having "traversed the 'beloved country' from the Limpopo to the Cape, from Natal to the North West to document the transfer and consequent trashing of the country’s commercial farms." Mercer doesn't mention that du Toit is a white nationalist and a bit of a fraud.

The Mail & Guardian newspaper in South Africa reports that du Toit's doctorate is from Pacific Western University, an unaccredited school that was considered to be a diploma mill. Du Toit has also spoken to the American white nationalist group American Renaissance, and one of the researchers he used in writing "The Great South African Land Scandal" is a known far-right activist.

In her Aug. 30 column, Mercer serves up some whataboutism regarding apartheid, arguing that "apartheid South Africa sustained far more critical scrutiny for its non-violent (if unjust) resettlement policies than did the U.S. for its equally unjust but actively violent mass resettlement agenda, say, in South Vietnam." After invoking the Wounded Knee massacre and the Japanese-American internment during World War II, she added: "Nothing in Afrikaner rule, even at its least enlightened, can match such episodes in American history."

She also blamed the British for starting black oppression in South Africa, insisting that "the Afrikaners fought Africa’s first anti-colonial struggles, are native to the land and not colonists in any normal sense,' and that "while the honing of apartheid by the Afrikaner National Party started in 1948, after Daniel Malan assumed the prime minister’s post, elements of the program were part of the policy first established in 1923 by the British-controlled government."

That reads more like excuse-making than anything else.

Hanne Nabintu Herland then took a shot at it in her Aug. 29 WND column, doing her own for of whataboutism by suggesting that what happened in the Belgian Congo is likely to happen in South Africa:

Before independence, primary education was provided for all in Congo, including uniforms, school books, etc. There were functioning roads, airports, hospitals built, universities begun by the Belgians. This, of course, is not mentioned in most books today; rather we are notoriously and chronically presented only one side of the Congolese reality, namely the atrocities by the Belgians.

It is true that there were atrocities committed by the Belgians. Yet, has there not been atrocities done to black Africans by their own black leaders post-independence?

[...]

Remarkably little critique is put forward toward black African leaders – a consequence of the 1960s neo-Marxist thought: If you criticize a black man, you are automatically “a racist.” Thus, if anything goes wrong in an African country, it has to be the white man’s fault. The complaint that several Western companies exploit Africa is absolutely true – but is it not African leaders that allow them to do so? It is the African population who are suffering from it.

Now, much the same process is happening in South Africa, horrifying atrocities are being committed and apartheid is being reinforced. And the Western elites, including the United States, say nothing.

Herland also cheered that "Fox News Channel’s Tucker Carlson recently addressed one of the minority issues that are not so popular to speak about: racism against whites in South Africa."

We last wrote about Herland fretting that abortion was killing too many white, Christian fetuses.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:29 AM EDT
Tuesday, September 4, 2018
MRC Just Can't Stop Denigrating Anita Hill, Stormy Daniels
Topic: Media Research Center

When confronted with a sex scandal involving a conaservative, the Media Research Center's default mode is to go into Clinton whataboutism mode. And as the MRC continues to insist that teh likes of Paula Jones and Juanita Broaddrick must be believed because they accused a Clinton, they also believe that all accusers of conservatives must be discredited.

The MRC continues its quarter-century-long quest to bash Anita Hill for committing the offense of accusing conservative darling and Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment in a July 31 post by Isaac Cross complaining that HBO's John Oliver interviewed Hill, calling her an "old liberal hero" who achieve notoriety because "Thomas is a strong conservative and one of the media’s favorite targets." Cross sneered:

Oliver painted Hill as a victim of “character assassination.” (Clarence Thomas called himself the victim of a “high-tech lynching,” for what it’s worth). The interview quickly turned into an Anita Hill pity party as Oliver listened to her talk about her misfortunes.

[...]

Other than helping Hill claim victimization, Oliver asked questions about how to address sexual harassment and even had time to talk about his previous innaction and failings regarding assault. This last part the newsite Salon gawked over as an “extraordinary … moment of self-reflection.”

Oliver’s show was a big hit across the media as Vanity Fair called the interview “a must watch”, and USA Today headlined a piece “John Oliver tackles sexual harassment, Les Moonves with help from Anita Hill.” The interview also got hits on sites like Rolling Stone, Huffington Post, and Time magazine, among others.

The media simply fell over themselves trying to give voice to their fallen hero, Anita. Who knows? Maybe with the #MeToo movement, Hill will be able to tople that terrible conservative Clarence Thomas after all.

As for Stormy Daniels, who has credibly accused Trump of paying her hush money to conceal an affair with her, the MRC is even more dismissive. It has tagged articles about her as "pornography" (because she was a porn star, you see, which should raise questions about Trump instead of her), and its "news" division CNSNews.com had trouble speaking Daniels' name.The MRC has launched several attacks on her just the past month alone.

On Aug. 1, Gabriel Hays huffed that Daniels had been invited to take part in a satirical awards show designed to mock sexism created by comedian Lizz Winstead:

Ms. Stormy appeared grateful for the invitation. She claimed that she was “surprised and honored when I was invited to be a presenter at this year’s Golden Probe Awards and I’m very much looking forward to the exciting evening.”

And in case you were hoping a porn actress would show more class than Winstead, you were wrong. “With reproductive rights under assault in Washington, there’s never been a more important time to shine a light on the assholes trying to take our rights away.”

Hays weirdly didn't mention Trump at all in his piece, let alone that Trump is credibly accused of paying hush money to Daniels.

In an Aug. 28 post, Tim Graham describes Daniels as a "porn star" and "liberal stripper" as well as a "#Resistance mascot and plasticized container of impeachment fantasies-- again, no mention of the hush money, and again, no mention of how this reflects on Trump rather than his critics -- as he whines about Vogue magazine "trying to glamorize" Daniels.

Graham was also triggered by Daniels' lawyer, Michael Avenatti, complaining that he's quoted in the Vogue article as saying that "Stormy is 'really f---ing smart' three times...like it's a porn version of Beetlejuice."

The same day, Curtis Houck was similarly triggered by the appearance of the "liberal journalist" who wrote the Daniels profile for Vogue appearing on TV calling Daniels the "perfect adversary" to Trump.Houck also complained that the writer "passed her off as just [a] 'working mom' with 'a family to support'" even though "Daniels doesn’t have full-time custody of her child and makes money that most Americans could only dream of making."

The MRC would never treat Broaddrick like this, even though she's a documented liar.


Posted by Terry K. at 7:20 PM EDT
NEW ARTICLE: The Slow Death Of A WND Conspiracy Theory
Topic: WorldNetDaily
As its insistence that Seth Rich was murdered because he leaked Democratic emails to WikiLeaks either collapses or gets even more ludicrous, WorldNetDaily slowly retreats to the sidelines -- but refuses to admit that it was wrong. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 8:55 AM EDT
Monday, September 3, 2018
Your Monthly CNS Stenography Tally
Topic: CNSNews.com

August is a slow month, so some of the folks for whom CNSNews.com most enthusiastically does its stenography saw a little less attention this time around. But not all of them.

Judicial Watch: 2

Franklin Graham: 5

Mark Levin: 19

White House press secretary, by Melanie Arter: 4

Year-to-date totals:

  • Judicial Watch: 41
  • Mark Levin: 94
  • Franklin Graham: 25
  • WH press secretary: 78

Arter apparently took the final week of August off, so that monthly total is lower than usual. But CNS had summer interns to help do Levin stenography, which put in far into the lead.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:06 PM EDT
WND Still Serving As D'Souza's PR Agent
Topic: WorldNetDaily

One of the sadder spectacles in the continuing deterioriation of WorldNetDaily as it runs out of money is its blatant shilling for right-wing filmmaker Dinesh D'Souza and pretending that he hasn't been repeatedly discredited. As D'Souza still has a new film to promote, the shilling has continued.

As if promoting his views without an opposing viewpoint wasn't enough, WND also let D'Souza write a few columns excerpted from the book that accompanies his film:

  • On July 23, D'Souza treated us to the "5 phases of the Democratic plantation."
  • An Aug. 10 column tried to explain who the "white nationalists" are, and of course blames Democrats for their existence: "And as long as the Democratic Party mobilizes groups along ethnic lines, they are going to feel justified in doing as whites what every other group does in the name of its own ethnicity. Multiculturalism has come home to roost, and white nationalists are its newest advocates."
  • On Aug. 19, D'Souza tried to insist that Republicans and Democrats didn't switch ideologies on racial issues because "Lincoln’s basic ideology that people have a right to the fruits of their labor, and that government, if it gets involved at all, should merely provide idlers and indigents with the means to become self-supporting, is even today the basic ideology of Republicans" and "it is equally clear that the confiscatory principle “You work, I eat” is even today the basic ideology of Democrats."

Meanwhile, WND editor Joseph Farah -- having already fawned over D'Souza's movie earlier in the month -- did so again in his Aug. 17 column: "I strongly urge you to see Dinesh D’Souza’s new movie, 'Death of a Nation,' in theaters across the country. It’s a shocking exposé of the Democratic Party and its extremist allies that will curl your hair – especially when you think it’s possible this party could reclaim control of the House and Senate this November."

D'Souza is too good for WND to fact-check, apparently.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:48 AM EDT
Sunday, September 2, 2018
MRC's Graham Complains CNN 'Blurred' Reporting, Opinion (In Article Clearly Labeled As Opinion)
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Tim Graham huffed in a July 28 post:

CNN has blurred any distinction between reporting and editorializing not only on television, but also on their own website. On Thursday, CNN Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr raged against President Trump just like every other correspondent and host on CNN....this time in a commentary on CNN's online opinion page. 

Weirdly missing from Graham's post was a link to Starr's piece. Perhaps because if he did, MRC readers would discover that Graham is lying.

As Graham concedes, Starr's article is placed on CNN's opinion page in the "Political Op-Eds" section. The top of the article contains an editor's note stating, "Barbara Starr is CNN's Pentagon correspondent. The views expressed in this commentary are her own."

In other words, there is no blurring -- Starr's piece is clearly labeled as opinion.

If Graham really wants to attack reporters who also expressed opinions, he need not go any farther than down the hall at MRC headquarters, where reporter Susan Jones has a bad habit of injecting opinion into articles that are supposed to be "news."

He doesn't even have to leave the building to vent his outrage over alleged violations of journalistic standards -- at least, not if the MRC wasn't embracing double standards and refused to hold its own "news" operation to the same standards it holds the rest of the media.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:55 PM EDT
CNS Beats WND To The Punch Of Promoting A Conspiracy Theory
Topic: CNSNews.com

We're previously written about the creeping WorldNetDaily-ization at the Media Research Center, which is also happening at its "news" division, CNSNews.com. It's gotten to the point now that, due to WND's severe financial problems, CNS is beating WND to the punch on things that have historically in WND's wheelhouse.

Conspiracy theories, for example. Susan Jones came up with a doozy in a July 25 CNS article:

Let's take another look at that June 9, 2016 Trump Tower meeting, where Donald Trump Jr. met with a group of Russians who supposedly had dirt on Hillary Clinton, but never delivered any.

[...]

Transcripts released by the Senate Judiciary Committee in May show that the people who met with Donald Trump Jr. at Trump Tower on June 9, 2016, crossed paths not only with each other but also with people in the Clinton orbit. They all worked and socialized with each other at various times.

And some of them went out of their way to be in New York City on June 9, the day of the meeting.

Another fact: The June 9 meeting happened at a time when the Democrat Party and Hillary Clinton’s campaign were paying Fusion GPS (through a law firm) to conduct opposition research on candidate Donald Trump. Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson testified that he started paying for the Steele dossier in “May or June of 2016.”

What follows is an examination of those alleged connections, which is so lengthy that one wonders if Jones has a wall of pictures and strings at the CNS offices dedicated to illustrating this.

It's not until Aug. 13 that WND's Art Moore got around to spinning its own version of the same conspiracy theory:

Newly released records and a pattern of efforts by Hillary Clinton operatives employed by Kremlin-linked figures to connect the Trump campaign to Russia indicate the infamous Trump Tower meeting between a Russian lawyer and Trump campaign staff may have been a set up.

Lee Smith of RealClearInvestigations reported the first line of evidence includes emails, texts and memos recently turned over to Congress by the Department of Justice.

The records, he said, show how closely senior Justice Department officials and the Federal Bureau of Investigation worked with employees of Fusion GPS, the research firm paid by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee to create the still-unverified “dossier” of dirt on Trump obtained from Russian operatives.

Smith noted the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting between high-ranking Trump campaign staff, including Donald Trump Jr., and a Russian lawyer is cited as key evidence that Trump colluded with Russia to defeat Hillary Clinton.

But Smith contends a growing body of evidence indicates “the real collusion may have taken place among those who arranged the meeting rather than the Trump officials who agreed to attend it.”

WND is so decimated at this point that it must outsource its conspiracy theories -- and lets other right-wing outlets get to those conspiracy theories first.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:58 AM EDT
Saturday, September 1, 2018
What LGBT Stuff Is The MRC Freaking Out About Now?
Topic: Media Research Center

So many LGBT freakouts at the Media Research Center, so little time.

Matt Philbin mocked the "good old days" when "if you show up at the border -- or, more likely, get caught crossing it illegally -- you can claim anti-LGBT discrimination in your home country and get asylum," then sneered at reports of undocumented transgender immigrants being mistreated by ICE: "Our immigration personnel are so benighted they haven’t figured out the special treatment required by .4% of the people they encounter. Monstrous!"

Philbin followed that by huffing over a story about a largely lesbian synchrohized swimming team that aspires to perform at the Gay Games. After quoting one participant saying about her chosen sport that "I get to be sporty, but I get to do it in a sparkly costume," Philbin cattily added: "Just like Bruce Jenner!"

The mysterious Jay Maxson was annoyed that after a few pro baseball players saw racist and homophobic tweets they made when they were teenagers resurface, Major League Baseball is pushing sensitivity training: "Three of MLB's 750 players have racially tinged skeletons in their Twitter closets, so now MLB must whirl into action. Sensitivity training assignments have been made, programs must be initiated and everyone must look deep inside to find that inner racist. That's the progressive media way." Because trying to root out homophobia is worse then the homophobia itself, apparently.

Melissa Mullins threw a fit over a New York Times theater critic having "abjectly apologized" for not referring to a transgender actress, huffing that "'Misgenders' is PC code for 'uses a pronoun that is offensive to the gender benders'" and concluding that "Once again, political correctness wins. And they don't celebrate 'ALL people.' They don't celebrate people who won't bow before their demands."

Gabriel Hays is weirdly disappointed that Guns 'n' Roses omitted from a massive box set reissue of its debut album the song "One In A Million," whose racist and homophobic content was retrograde when it came out and hasn't, shall we say, aged well since. Hays insisted the offensive song is "an integral piece of the original formula" and that "Many would skip this purchase on principle." He then bizarrely likened the song to a statue of a Confederate general:

Offensive and ignorant garbage? You bet. But should it be memory-holed -- especially in a big retrospective? Wouldn’t a “warts and all” approach be justified. It would certainly be more honest.

I know, it’s only rock n’ roll. But erasing history -- whether a dumb Guns N’ Roses song or statues of Robert E. Lee -- is engaging in Stalinism for the mere sake of not triggering someone.

And Rachel Peterson whined that transgender activists want better representation in movies, suggesting they're overrepresented already: "The New York Times estimates transgender people make up, '0.6 percent of the adult population.' This doesn’t stop activists from bashing Hollywood for not catering to them."


Posted by Terry K. at 10:03 AM EDT
Updated: Saturday, September 1, 2018 10:24 AM EDT

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