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Monday, October 15, 2018
AIM: It Must Be True That Trump Has Accomplished So Much -- Trump Said So!
Topic: Accuracy in Media

In a Sept. 26 Accuracy in Media post, Brian McNicoll declared that the Washington Post's Glenn Kessler engaged in "partisan bias" when he called President Trump's assertion that "In less than two years, my administration has accomplished more than almost any administration in the history of our country" to be less than accurate. McNicoll rebutted:

But Trump has rolled back the Waters of the United States rule – a massive incursion on property rights – and the Clean Power Plan, and he has signed legislation to remove requirements of the Dodd-Frank Act.

He has remade American trade, moved the U.S. embassy in Israel to the capital of Jerusalem – a promise the last five presidents made but did not deliver on – and has made historic inroads with North Korea.

Trump said at the UN that “America’s economy is booming like never before.”

Those two links in McNicoll's rebuttal are to the same place: a document from the Trump White House titled "President Donald J. Trump’s 500 Days of American Greatness." Combined with that final statement, McNicoll is asserting that whatever Trump says must be true because it comes from Trump.

McNicoll later complained:

Kessler again incorrectly savaged Trump over the American Jobs and Tax Cuts Act.

“We have passed the biggest tax cuts and reforms in American history,” Trump said at the U.N.

“Trump loves this line so much he has said it more than 100 times,” Kessler wrote. “But it’s not true. His tax cut ranks eighth when measured as a percentage of the size of the economy.”

But when measured in whole dollars returned to the people from Washington, it is the largest cut ever – and whole dollars is at least as legitimate a statistic for this as percentage of the size of the economy. The Post simply refuses to acknowledge Trump’s success in this matter.

But is it, Brian? It seems you want to cling to the whole-dollars statistic only because it makes Trump look good. In other words, Nicoll is the one who's engaging in partisan bias by cherry-picking statistics.

That's hardly the way to claim that someone else is engaging in "clear bias," as the graphic from AIM's new rating system insists Kessler did.


Posted by Terry K. at 7:58 PM EDT
CNS Unemployment Coverage Distortion Watch
Topic: CNSNews.com

The employment numbers were good in September, so CNSNews.com went into full pro-Trump rah-rah mode, with the lead article by Susan Jones indulging from President Trump's self-aggrandizing boasts:

"Just out: 3.7% Unemployment is the lowest number since 1969!" President Trump tweeted on Friday.

Not since the end of 1969 has the nation's unemployment rate been this low. The Bureau of  Labor Statistics reported on Friday that the unemployment rate dropped two-tenths of a point to 3.7 percent in September.

Last month, the number of employed Americans (155,962,000) remained near the record high of 155,965,000 set in July; and in September, the number of unemployed persons decreased by 270,000 to 5,964,000, a level not seen since 2000.

The unemployment rate for Hispanics, 4.5 percent, tied the record low set in July. For African-Americans, the unemployment rate in September was 6.0 percent, just a tenth of a point above the record low set in May.

And 70,656,000 women age 20+ were counted as employed in September, a record number for this group.

“Since the election, we have created over 4 million new jobs,” President Donald Trump told a rally in Minnesota Thursday night. “We've added nearly half a million new manufacturing jobs...and we have companies pouring into our country.”

Jones' article was accompanied by the usual sidebars: articles from Terry Jeffrey on growing manufacturing jobs and declining government jobs, and one from Craig Bannister on CNS' new obsession, Hispanic unemployment.


Posted by Terry K. at 5:57 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, October 15, 2018 5:57 PM EDT
Fake News: WND Pushes Falsehood That Judge Lost Job Over Opposing Same-Sex Marriage
Topic: WorldNetDaily

An anonymous WorldNetDaily writer opines in an Oct. 4 article:

The state of Oregon dismissed a judge for refusing to promote same-sex “marriage,” and now the U.S. Supreme Court, which already has ruled for a baker forced to make such an endorsement, is to review the situation.

It’s Judge Vance D. Day who was removed by Oregon’s Supreme Court.

“Day was found to manifest bias toward same-sex couples because he declined to perform same-sex marriages for a brief period of time in 2014,” according to his defenders at the Bopp Law Firm. “During that time, Oregon’s traditional marriage statute had just been found unconstitutional and the law was unsettled. Judge Day, a committed Christian, believes that performing same-sex marriages – a voluntary role for a judge – violates his sincerely-held religious beliefs.”

The firm said the same-sex activists in the state court system wouldn’t even consider that he had a Free Exercise defense in the case and “exhibited hostility throughout the disciplinary process because of Judge Day’s religious beliefs.”

Among other things, state judicial officials called him a “religious zealot” akin to ISIS or the Taliban intent on “fomenting disorder within the judicial system.”

But in regurgitating biased spin from Vance's law firm without bothering to fact-check, WND has forwarded a falsehood -- fake news, if you will -- in claiming that Day was removed from the court solely because refused to "promote" same-sex marriage (which WND lovingly put in scare quotes).

As an actual news outlet explains, Day not only refused to refuse to marry same sex couples, "he instructed his staff to employ a scheme to avoid 'public detection' of his plan." But that's not all: Day also "included a portrait of Adolf Hitler as part of a 'Hall of Heroes' artwork display he erected in the Marion County Courthouse; Day shoved his judicial business card at his son’s soccer referee in an attempt to intimidate the referee into backing off; and Day wrongfully allowed a felon to handle a firearm." WND mentioned none of this.

Meanwhile, another actual media outlet reports that Day's bogus attempt to portray himself as a victim of liberal culture warriors is a key part of the plan to raise money for his defense, soliciting out-of-state contributions and accepting money from a right-wing foundation run by his lawyer, then turning around and paying his lawyer's law firm for work on his defense. WND didn't mention that either.

An anonymously written Oct. 12 article repeated the falsehood, asserting that Day "was punished for refusing to perform same-sex ceremonies." Again, WND dishonestly failed to report the full extent of the charges against Day.

Publishing fake-news reports that willfully ignore the full truth doesn't help forward the case that WND is living up to its "credible" slogan and, thus, deserves to live.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:56 AM EDT
Sunday, October 14, 2018
MRC Finds An Anonymous Source It Likes -- Because It Attacked Kavanaugh Accuser
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center spends no small amount of time ranting about the "liberal media's" use of anonymous sources. For instance, Brent Bozell and Tim Graham ranted that the Washington Post "quotes anonymous sources multiple times a day" in order to make President Trump look bad, and Jeffrey Lord denounced the anonymous Trump administration staffer who wrote a New York Times op-ed assuring the country that there were indeed adults in the room when Trump goes on dangerout tangents as a "self-righteous idiot" who "anonymously showcase[d] Inside-the-Beltway arrogance."

But in the midst of the Brett Kavanaugh saga, the MRC was demanding that the media promote an unverified, anonymously sourced claim. Kristine Marsh huffed in an Oct. 3 post:

ABC, CBS and the first two hours of NBC’s morning news programs completely ignored a damning letter sent to the Senate Judiciary Committee last week by Christine Blasey Ford’s ex-boyfriend, which contradicted several of Ford’s statements under oath. The only mention of the letter during the networks’ morning news coverage came during the third hour of Today, with host Megyn Kelly.

The letter obtained by Fox News late Tuesday, was written by a man who said he dated Ford for 6 years, with some of that time being spent living together. In the letter, he contradicted many of Ford’s statements under oath, the most important being that she had never prepared or helped anyone prepare for a polygraph test before.

[...]

The rest of the letter also calls into question Ford’s credibility, as many of the stories she told on the witness stand about the trauma she’s suffered don’t add up to what the former boyfriend experienced living with her. Despite telling the committee she needed two front doors installed on her home, he pointed out they lived in a tiny apartment for years with only one front door and frequently took trips flying together, even on a small propellor plane. He also claimed that Ford lied to him once about using his credit card to rack up debt, and only admitted to it once he threatened to call the bank’s fraud prevention department.

But instead of reporting on this important letter, the networks diverted attention to a New York Times’ report on President Trump’s supposed tax evasion revealed in his father’s tax returns. The networks also spent time giving credence to a letter written by Kavanaugh during his youth that joked about warning neighbors at a spot he and friends would be vacationing at, that they were a rowdy, group of drunks. So clearly letters are important pieces of evidence to the media only when they corroborate the narrative they are trying to argue.

For all of the MRC's repeated insistence that Ford's claims against Kavanaugh were never corroborated, Marsh offers no evidence the ex-boyfriend's claims have ever been corroborated -- indeed, the woman for whom Ford puroprtedly helped prepare for that polygraph emphatically denied the claim by stating that it "NEVER" happened (all-caps are hers), something Marsh nor anyone else at the MRC bothered to tell their readers -- and Marsh downplays the fact that the ex-boyfriend is hiding behind anonymity, something the MRC was heretofore repeatedly offended by.

Over at the MRC's echo-chamber "news" division CNSNews.com, managing editor Michael W. Chapman emphasized that "The signed letter by the ex-boyfriend is legally binding, which means that if he lied, he faces a felony penalty of up to five years in prison, explained a spokesman for the Senate Judiciary Committee." He similarly played down the anonymous nature of the accusation. He did add the woman's denial of the anonymous claim in an update to his article, though he inexplicably took her all-caps "NEVER" statement out of all-caps and made the word lowercase.

Without double standards, it seems the MRC wouldn't have any standards at all.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:31 PM EDT
Your Monthly CNS Stenography Tally
Topic: CNSNews.com

It's another month of writing about the usual suspects at CNSNews.com, where its favorite sources still get favored stenography even as the Brett Kavanaugh nomination saga took up much of the news space.

Judicial Watch: 2

Franklin Graham: 2

Mark Levin: 8

White House press secretary, by Melanie Arter: 1

The declining number of Arter articles on WH pressers is largely because the White House has held so few of them in recent months.

Year-to-date totals:

  • Judicial Watch: 43
  • Franklin Graham: 27
  • Mark Levin: 102
  • WH press secretary: 79

We hope Levin is paying his buddy Brent Bozell and the MRC well for all this free "news" coverage it's giving him.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:46 PM EDT
Saturday, October 13, 2018
More Bogus "Media Research" From The MRC on Kavanaugh Coverage
Topic: Media Research Center

The bogus, shoddy count of the word "rape" used in connection with Brett Kavanaugh, devoid of context or an admission of its news value, isn't the only bit of bogus "media research" the Media Research Center has engaged in while trying to protect and defend Kavanaugh's Supreme Court nomination. A Sept. 26 item by Brad Wilmouth claims under the misleading headline "Study: TV News Is Rigged Against Brett Kavanaugh":

During the twelve days since Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein publicly announced the existence of an unspecified allegation against Brett Kavanaugh, the ABC, CBS and NBC morning and evening news shows have spent nearly six hours (344 minutes) regurgitating various unproved allegations against the Supreme Court nominee.

But only a tiny percentage of that coverage — a measly eight percent — has been devoted to Kavanaugh’s denials and the lack of corroboration for his accusers’ accounts.

The headline is misleading because it alludes to purported bias by all of "TV news" when, in fact, the MRC once again did its usual highly narrow focus on only the broadcast TV networks and pretended that Fox News doesn't exist.

Wilmouth's study in dishonest in other ways. Wilmouth complained that "Back on September 14, Kavanaugh issued a statement “categorically and unequivocally” denying Ford’s charges. For most of the coverage that followed, his flat denial was relegated to a few seconds in lengthy stories about the charges — sometimes no more than a parenthetical clause that reporters mechanically inserted in stories that bombarded viewers with the salacious details of each accusation." Wilmouth didn't explain how Kavanugh's "flat denial" could have been stretched out to match the detailed allegations provided by Christine Blasey Ford.

Wilmouth was also obsessed with trying to portray "Ford's politics" as the partisan motivation for her accusations against Kavanaugh:

On September 17, National Public Radio — hardly a right-wing outlet — passed along how Ford’s lawyer, Lisa Banks, said the accuser “was not motivated by politics,” but NPR added crucial context to that statement: “Ford is a registered Democrat who has made small political contributions to Democratic organizations. In April 2017, she attended a March For Science in San Francisco, which was held to protest Trump administration cuts to research, and she signed a letter in June 2018 condemning the Trump administration’s policy, since abandoned, of separating immigrant children from their parents at the border.”

None of these facts made it onto the broadcast networks. Only NBC bothered to mention this topic, when on September 17 Today co-host Savannah Guthrie invited Ford’s attorney, Debra Katz, to knock down the idea that partisanship was a factor: “According to the Washington Post, she’s a Democrat. A lot of people look at this and say here’s somebody who has a political motive to tell this story. What would you say to that?”

That amounted to just 12 seconds of airtime, which was still better than ABC and CBS, which never spent a second telling viewers about Ford’s liberal activism. You can be sure that if a liberal Supreme Court nominee was being accused by a woman with an equally conservative background, the networks would make sure viewers were aware of that background.

But Wilmouth himself omitted crucial context. Ford's political contributions since 2014, all to the liberal group ActBlue, totalled a whopping $80.50 -- hardly the mark of a fire-breathing partisan who would lie about Kavanaugh for political purposes, as Wilmouth seems to be implying she is.

Such politically motivated "media research" shows why the MRC's work isn't taken seriously outside partisan circles, who will treat Wilmouth's misleading headline as undisputed fact ... as the MRC intends.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:31 AM EDT
WND Censors Retraction of Seth Rich Conspiracy Theory
Topic: WorldNetDaily

On Sept. 30, the Washington Times published a retraction of a column by James Lyons which claimed that Aaron Rich, the brother of Seth Rich -- the murdered Democratic national Committee staffer about whom WorldNetDaily has pushed conspiracy theories for two years -- helped Seth download DNC emails and provide them to Wikileaks. "The Washington Times understands that law enforcement officials have interviewed Mr. Rich and that he has cooperated with their investigation. The Washington Times did not intend to imply that Mr. Rich has obstructed justice in any way, and The Washington Times retracts and disavows any such implication," the retraction further states.

Despite spending a good part of the past two years obsessed with Seth Rich conspiracies, WND has not reported on the retraction.That's a bit dicey on its part, because WND has highlighted Lyon's bogus claim.

A March 3 article cribbed from an item at the fake-news operation Zero Hedge about Lyons' column, though neither WND nor Zero Hedge repeated Lyons' claim about Aaron Rich. In a March 27 article on Aaron Rich's lawsuit against the Washington Times,  it noted: "Aaron’s lawsuit also cites a Washington Times opinion article dated March 1, 2018, and written by James A. Lyons. The commentary piece stated, 'Interestingly, it is well known in the intelligence circles that Seth Rich and his brother, Aaron Rich, downloaded the DNC emails and was [sic] paid by Wikileaks for that information.' The Times piece does not clarify which intelligence sources believe the Rich brothers took the emails and what evidence they have showing WikiLeaks paid for the documents." That article went on to rehash other Rich conspiracies.

You'd think that since it was so into the Rich story, WND would want to report the entire story. But just as it censored evidence that its years-long Obama birther crusade was increasingly discredited, WND will also censor the collapse of the Seth Rich conspiracy theories.

In other words, WND was only interested in both stories until it could no longer exploit them for its right-wing political agenda, and is now dropping them as if it knew they weren't true all along -- meaning that it never really cared about journalism at all but, rather, only about exploiting a story wheter or not it is actually trut. Not a good look for a website perpetually trying to save itself from extinction and insisting that it's "credible" and "fearless."


Posted by Terry K. at 2:25 AM EDT
Friday, October 12, 2018
CNS Went Biblical To Back Kavanaugh, Smear His Accusers As 'Wicked,' 'Demonic'
Topic: CNSNews.com

As if its worse-than-usual media bias wasn't enough to try and make the case for Brett Kavanaugh, CNSNews.com also went the biblical route to defend the judge and smear his accusers and critics.

An Oct. 5 blog post by Craig Bannister resorted to some creative Bible interpretation to portray Kavanaugh as a "just one" and his critics as "wicked":

You don’t have to be religious to see how this Bible passage applies to the treatment of Judge Brett Kavanaugh and to politics, in general.

Wicked people don’t like to be shown up, to have their ill deeds and hypocrisy exposed – so, they lash out at the just, the Book of Wisdom, Chapter 2, explains:

The wicked said among themselves,
thinking not aright:
"Let us beset the just one, because he is obnoxious to us;
he sets himself against our doings,
Reproaches us for transgressions of the law
and charges us with violations of our training.

Judge Kavanaugh has, indeed, been “beset” during his Senate confirmation proceedings. And, as Wisdom goes on to note, the wicked are also offended that the just one “judges” them:

To us he is the censure of our thoughts;
merely to see him is a hardship for us,
Because his life is not like that of others,
and different are his ways.
He judges us debased;

Their solution: beset the just one with “revilement and torture” in order to test his gentleness and “try his patience”:

Let us see whether his words be true;
let us find out what will happen to him.
For if the just one be the son of God, he will defend him
and deliver him from the hand of his foes.
With revilement and torture let us put him to the test
that we may have proof of his gentleness
and try his patience.
Let us condemn him to a shameful death;
for according to his own words, God will take care of him."

Judge Kavanaugh has been threatened, smeared, verbally attacked, subjected to horrific unsubstantiated accusations and called the most vile names, and – when he lost his “patience” and “gentleness,” daring to defend himself – accused of having a temperament unbefitting a Supreme Court justice.

Only God truly knows the hearts and motivations of those who have so grievously beset Judge Kavanaugh. But, the similarities between their treatment of him and the thoughts and deeds described in this Bible chapter are striking.

Bannister didn't explain how he determined that Kavanaugh is "just," despite not knowing his heart and motivation any better than those who have "grievously beset" him. Apparently, merely getting nominated by a Republican president was enough.

A blog post the same day by managing editor Michael W. Chapman called on the wildly pro-Trump pastor Harry Jackson to push the idea that Kavanaugh was being targeted by "demonic forces":

"What’s happening in D.C. is very unusual,” Bishop Jackson said during an Oct. 2 discussion on TCT Today. “It’s the worst dimension of warfare we’ve ever seen and I believe that God has drawn a line in the sand and he wants to restore and renew America. But the spiritual forces that be want to thwart that."

"So, the Kavanaugh hearings have become a circus because darkness has decided—or demonic forces—that they’re going to try to block him from being in office," said the bishop.

“Once he [Kavanaugh] is affirmed and additional judges are affirmed --- I believe that’s one of Trump’s assignments in a way to shift America for good," said Jackson. "Right now, there is a de facto severe limiting and almost a canceling of Roe v. Wade because the Supreme Court is not going to bring crazy rulings, and that Trump has already changed so many judges that there’s a different kind of judgment that is going forward.”

Chapman went on to tout Jackson's Trump fanboyism, asserting that Jackson said that "the very strong economy under President Trump is helping minorities and women and this is maddening to the forces of evil."


Posted by Terry K. at 2:18 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, October 12, 2018 2:25 PM EDT
WND's Lewis Tries To Justify Her Nasty Mocking of Kavanaugh's Accusers
Topic: WorldNetDaily

The last time we checked in on WorldNetDaily columnist Patrice Lewis, she was viciously mocking the women who accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misdeeds in his youth. This time around, she's trying to defend doing so:

Last week I wrote a scathing satirical column focusing on the collected accusations against Brett Kavanaugh. To say I got emails in response would be a huge understatement. Critics did everything from question my Christian beliefs to express hope our two daughters would be raped so I would feel more sympathy for sexual assault victims.

Here’s the thing: If Kavanaugh’s accusers did suffer sexual assault during their lives, I believe Kavanaugh wasn’t the perpetrator. I believe they’re accusing the wrong man … and they’re doing it on purpose.

[...]

Now we’re finding out all sorts of interesting things about Kavanaugh’s accusers. How Ford lied when she said she never coached anyone on how to take a polygraph test. How her “second front door” was installed for business, not trauma. How Swetnick confessed a predilection for group sex to one of her lovers.

Do these sound like honest and trustworthy women? Or do they sound like vindictive [w]itches out to “get” a decent, conservative man to further the feminist agenda? If this were a trial, the case would be thrown out of court in a heartbeat. But since was merely a hearing with no legal repercussion for the accusers, anything was fair game.

Needless to say, Lewis offers no proof that the women are lying about Kavanaugh "on purpose."

Then, in an attempt to justify "my hostility toward Kavanaugh's accusers," she recounted a case in which a relative was falsely accused of indecent exposure. She then ranted:

When I look at Kavanaugh, I see my cousin. I see a good man facing down unprovable allegations from decades before. I see berserk frothing-at-the-mouth feminists clawing him into the ground to fulfill their “women first” victimhood agenda, despite the lack of evidence of any wrongdoing. In the insane defense of women’s feelings, they’re spitting on the feelings of unjustly accused men and their families.

They’re also forgetting something else: The presumption of innocence, which is the bedrock of our legal system.

[...]

Critics are wrong when they accuse me of not being sympathetic to women who have been sexually assaulted. On the contrary, I have the deepest sympathy for women who are truly victims.

It’s for this reason I don’t want to see the claims of genuine victims diluted by the actions of contemptible women who accuse without evidence, and who happily ruin the lives of good men because they are bad women.

“Rape is a devastating crime,” wrote columnist Michelle Malkin. “So is lying about it.”

Victims tell how the raw emotions can still come flooding back, even decades later. They’re right. As I wrote this column and remembered what happened to my cousin, the raw choking hatred did indeed come flooding back, a bitter and vile loathing for the woman who accused an innocent man at random.

You can never forget an assault – and that includes a false one.

But in her previous "scathing satirical column," Lewis wrote: "Bill Clinton is a saint who would never mistreat a woman. Juanita Broaddrick was a liar. Oh wait, didn’t I just say women can’t lie? Um, forget I said that. We’ll just forget Broaddrick exists. Don’t believe her." She apparently believes Broaddrick, despite a similar lack of corroborating evidence. Why does she believe Broaddrick and not Christine Blasey Ford? Is it because of the political views of the accused?

And as we pointed out, Broaddrick is a liar -- she spent 20 years telling one story about Clinton's alleged rape of her, then spent the next 20 years telling a completely different story. Shouldn't Lewis be troubled by a story that changed so drastically as she is by Ford's lack of corroboration?

We look forward to her future column trying to explain away her apparent double standard.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:30 AM EDT
Thursday, October 11, 2018
MRC Follows McAleer's Script To Promote His 'Gosnell' Movie
Topic: Media Research Center

We've documented how for years, the Media Research Center has been the willing -- and, apparently, secretly paid -- servant of Phelim McAleer and his wife Ann McElhinney to promote the crowdfunding for, and making of, their film about rogue abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell that's designed to advance a right-wing anti-abortion agenda. The movie is finally set for release on Oct. 12, and the MRC has been ramping up the publicity for it -- again, it seems, as McAleer's direction.

When conservative Daily Beast columnist Matt Lewis received "leaked" emails from "Gosnell" executive producer John Sullivan of his negotiations with National Public Radio over wording in proposed advertising sponsorships in promoting the movie -- read: Sullivan eagerly gave him the emails -- both the MRC and its "news" division CNSNews.com eagerly regurgitated the tiny controversy. Never mind that the emails themselves were the point of Sullivan's stunt; it's unlikely that Suliivan ever intended to actually advertise on NPR, and he likely intended to create this email chain for the express purpose of "leaking" it to a friendly outlet who would used them to 1) promote the film and 2) portray the media as biased against his little film. 

When actor Dean Cain, who stars in the film, was doing publicity for it, that got rapt MRC coverage as well. A Sept. 24 MRC item by Brad Wilmouth dutifully transcribed Cain's recounting of "the challenges he faced in producing and advertising the film" as well as how he "called out the double standard employed by liberals on issues of sexual assault." Wilmouth even regurgitated the McAleer-Sullivan PR line about how "We couldn't even buy ad time on NPR because we called him an 'abortion doctor.'"

The next day, Katie Yoder -- the MRC's most enthusiastic PR agent for McAleer -- spun for Cain and his film once more:

Actor Dean Cain calls himself “pro-choice,” but that didn’t stop him starring in an upcoming film revealing the horror story of Philadelphia abortionist Kermit Gosnell.

Cain stars as Detective James “Woody” Wood in Gosnell: The Trial of America's Biggest Serial Killer, which opens in as many as 750 theaters October 12. MRC Culture interviewed Cain Sept. 21 at Family Research Council’s 2018 Values Voter Summit. He called Gosnell’s crimes “absolutely ghastly” and guessed that the media’s silence surrounding Gosnell was because “abortion’s a bad word.”

Yoder even credulously promoted Cain's blatantly false insistence that "We’re not taking sides in this film" or "trying to preach to anybody" but just "telling the story."

We know that's false because of McAleer's history as a right-wing polemicist (he previously made a film that engaged in the right-wing practice of bashing the idea of global warming) and by the simple fact of the MRC's heavy promotion of the film. If McAleer was, in fact, not taking sides, would the MRC be working so hard to promote his film?

And don't forget that McAleer was sued for defamation a judge involved in the Gosnell trial after McAleer portrayed him in his related book on the case as part of "Philadelphia's liberal corrupt government." The MRC ever-so-briefly noted the existence of the lawsuit and that it was settled out of court, paving the way for release of the film, but Yoder and crew expressed no curiosity whatsoever about the terms of the settlement. Of course, that's negative news that would eat into the precious PR space. that McAleer is apparently paying the MRC to engage in.

CNS also did an interview with Cain in which he advanced the same bogus claim that "we don't preach in the film." It also publishesd a column by Michelle Malkin hyperbolically declaring the film "the most important movie in America right now."

Even the MRC's video-centric site MRCTV got into the promotional with an interview Nick Kangadis did with McAleer. Kangadis gushed over the film:

The actors in the film do an excellent job of bringing the script to life, as the viewer also learns so much about the case that they most likely didn’t know beforehand.

'Gosnell' should be a major eye-opener for anyone that watches it, whether the viewer is pro-life or pro-choice. It’s a very well-done film that grabs a hold of you in the first 10 minutes and doesn’t let go.

As with Yoder, it's almost as if he was being paid to say that.


Posted by Terry K. at 7:20 PM EDT
Satanic Panic: WND Freaks Out Over 'Sabrina' Reboot
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WND is apparently seeing Satan everywhere these days. The latest freakout comes in the form of an anonymously written Sept. 30 article:

Chilling indeed!

Back after a hiatus of 15 years, “Sabrina the Teenage Witch” is now the “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” – leaving nothing to the imagination in a show targeted for teen girls.

It’s dark, Satanic, with plenty of blood and gore, maggots and Baphomet – just in case parents didn’t have enough to worry about.

For those too young to remember. “Sabrina the Teenage Witch” was a 90s sitcom featuring a talking cat and dumb jokes emphasized by a laugh track.

No more. Netflix decided to reboot the show from one emphasizing laughs to horror. Judging from the trailers, gone are the laughs, in is the terror – not exactly what one would expect from Archie Comics.

The story line?

“As her 16th birthday nears, Sabrina must choose between the witch world of her family and the human world of her friends. Sabrina Spellman must reconcile her dual nature as a half-witch, half-mortal while fighting the evil forces that threaten her, her family and the daylight world humans inhabit.”

Somehow the central character is still in high school after all this time, but, of course, the target audience won’t remember anyway.

There’s little question teens will be widely exposed to the world of occultic, demonic “entertainment.”

WND provided no attribution beyond a link to Netflix's page about the show to back up its claims -- not even its usual retinue of Satanic panic-mongers. Thus, it completely misses the fact that the series is based on a comic book that is a darker take on the Sabrina universe, much as the TV series "Riverdale" is a darker take on the Archie universe from which Sabrina sprung.

(You might remember that pseudonymous WND columnist "Marisa Martin" had a serious freakout over a newer Archie story in which Archie died taking a bullet for his gay friend.)

It's also weird that WND seemingly has no problem with the original '90s "Sabrina" sitcom because it had "a talking cat and dumb jokes emphasized by a laugh track," even though it's about basically the same character that leads "Chilling Adventures" -- you know, a witch. Apparently, witchcraft is cool with WND as long as it has a laugh track.


Posted by Terry K. at 5:37 PM EDT
CNS Misquotes Reporter To Justify Trump's Insult Of Her
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com has no problem falsely smearing reporters to make President Trump look good. Case in point: an Oct. 1 blog post by Craig Bannister, who writes thusly:

When an ABC reporter told President Donald Trump she was “not thinking,” she was taken aback when he agreed with her.

Monday morning, Trump was touting a new trade deal with Canada and Mexico, when he called on ABC’s Cecilia Vega. Vega did not respond, prompting Trump to comment that she was “shocked” that he called on her. When Trump understood Vega to say she wasn’t thinking, Trump agreed, teasing, “I know, you never do.”

Trump: “She’s shocked that I picked her. She’s like in a state of shock.”

Vega: “I’m not thinking, Mr. President.”

Trump: “That’s OK. I know you’re not thinking. You never do.”

Vega: “I’m sorry?”

Trump: “No, go ahead. Go ahead.”

Vega then proceeded to ask, not about trade, but about the controversy surrounding Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Trump said he wasn’t finished answering questions about trade and that he’d field her question about Kavanaugh afterwards.

But Vega didn't say, "I'm not thinking, Mr President." As an actual news outlet reported, she said, "I'm not. Thank you, Mr. President."There was no justification or pretext for Trump's insult of Vega, and it continues the pattern of Trump's belittling of people, especially women, whom he perceives as his critics.

Bannister even included a video of the exchange, which makes it clear that Vega never said "I'm not thinking." It seems Bannister didn't watch it before posting.

On top of that, Bannister's headline -- "ABC Reporter Shocked When Trump Agrees With Her That She Was ‘Not Thinking,’ Says ‘I Know, You Never Do’" -- is completely false as well. Vega did not say she was shocked, and she did not say she was "not thinking."

Meanwhile, Bannister's post is live and uncorrected, as if CNS approves of publishing false information to serve its favorite president.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:39 AM EDT
Wednesday, October 10, 2018
WND Praises Trump For Aid in Yemen Humanitarian Crisis (Which Trump Helped To Create)
Topic: WorldNetDaily

An anonymously written Oct. 2 WorldNetDaily article goes back to the well of the right-wing Gatestone Institute -- from which it got a fake-news piece last year about mosques in France that is still live and uncorrected on the WND website even though Gatestone deleted its source material -- but this time to attempt to lionize Presdient Trump's purported humanitarian leanings:

The left’s perception of President Trump is that he spends his days promoting unqualified candidates to federal courts, snubbing America’s allies by abandoning longstanding trade agreements and reversing what he can of Barack Obama’s agenda.

The truth includes far more, as the Gatestone Institute’s Ahmed Charai points out.

Charai, a Moroccan publisher on the board of directors of the Atlantic Council and several other organizations, and is an advisory member for the Gatestone Institute, explains that what’s being called the “world’s worst humanitarian crisis” by United Nations World Food Program Executive Director David Beasley, has been noticed by President Trump.

But few others.

Charai says Beasley “is not exaggerating” how bad the crisis is in the Arab Gulf country of Yemen.

[...]

“Meanwhile, the Trump administration, has quietly stepped up to the challenge. The U.S. has sent more than $854 million in aid since the start of fiscal year 2017. Through USAID and the State Department’s Bureau for Population Refugees and Migration, the U.S. has supplied food, medicine, vaccinations, emergency obstetric services, blankets, pots and pans for displaced families. Water-treatment filters and chemicals have been shipped in to shrink the spread of disease, such as cholera and hepatitis,” the report said.

“In the early 2000s, the world was moved by the sight of starvation, war, and disease in Darfur. Campuses held demonstrations, and network cameras trekked to the Sahara to record the civilized world’s efforts to prevent genocide. This time, however, the colleges and networks do not seem to notice,” Charai wrote.

“It is welcome that President Donald J. Trump has.”

WND describes the issue in Yemen only as a "civil war." Charai is slightly more descriptive, admtting that part of the issue in the civil war is "air strikes from Saudi and United Arab Emirates warplanes," though he also blames "Houthi rebels as Al-Qaeda terrorists" for committing "atrocities against civilians."

But the Trump administration is helping to cause the humanitarian crisis Charai and WND laud Trump for responding to, in the form of providing support to the Saudi Arabia-led coalition. As Foreign Policy reports, the majority of civilian casualties in Yemen in August were from airstrikes by the U.S.-Saudi coalition using U.S.-made munitions, including a busload of children. The U.S.-Saudi bombing is also making the humanitarian crisis worse by targeting critical civilian infrastructure.

Meanwhile, as Washington Post writer Ishaan Tharoor points out, the Trump adminstration has shown little interest in engaging in diplomacy to end the Yemen conflict -- which all but guarantees the humanitarian crisis will continue.

But those are inconvenient facts to Charai and WND. Trump must be praised and lionized, no matter how much such praise diverges from reality.


Posted by Terry K. at 6:11 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, October 10, 2018 6:25 PM EDT
MRC Serves Up Bogus, Shoddy 'Research' On Kavanaugh Coverage
Topic: Media Research Center

It is a day, so it must be time for another bit of bogus Media Research Center "research," courtesy of an Oct. 5 post by Bill D'Agostino and Rich Noyes:

During the past three weeks, Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh has received a deluge of news coverage accusing him of vile crimes, including attempted rape and even organizing gang rapes. Though these charges did not originate with the news media, the lack of satisfactory corroborating evidence should have caused ethical reporters to refrain from gratuitously repeating allegations that painted Kavanaugh in a monstrous light.

The media have shown no such restraint. Take CNN as a case in point. MRC analysts reviewed all of the network’s Kavanaugh coverage during an 18-day period from September 16 through October 3 and found CNN’s on-air anchors, reporters and contributors associated Kavanaugh with the word “rape” 191 times, or more than ten times per day. Note that this does not include the many other instances in which the word was used by guests, or by participants at live or replayed news events (such as the hearing on September 27). This count also excluded milder synonyms, such as “sexual assault.”

[...]

Hour after hour, the likes of Alisyn Camerota (New Day), Anderson Cooper (Anderson Cooper 360), and Don Lemon (CNN Tonight) performed laborious readings of Ford’s opening statement on their shows. These were supplemented with clips of Ford reading the statement herself, as well as a videotape in which CNN International correspondent Sarah Sidner summarized the document.

The following passage in particular was given considerable airtime: “I believed he was going to rape me. I tried to yell for help. When I did, Brett put his hand over my mouth to stop me from screaming.”

In other words, the MRC is complaining that Ford's words were accurately quoted -- that CNN is guilty of reporting.

As usual, the MRC provides none of the raw data in the form of the quotes in full context. The fact that it won't do that shows that it knows it's attacking CNN for correctly quoting Ford.

So it must distract with a good ol' Clinton Equivocation:

Nearly 20 years ago, Juanita Broaddrick accused then-President Bill Clinton of raping her while he was the Attorney General of Arkansas — reportedly leaving her with a bloody lip and the words, “You’d better put some ice on that.” In the 18 days which followed Broaddrick’s story appearing in the Wall Street Journal (February 19, 1999), a Nexis search found CNN’s on-air personalities (also excluding guests) only talked about Clinton as an alleged “rapist” 34 times, and then mostly on talk shows like CNN & Company (12 times) and Larry King Live (9 times). That’s less than one-fifth the rate at which CNN today have tarred Brett Kavanaugh with the same devastating label.

The caution with which CNN approached Broaddrick’s claims back then makes their handling of the Kavanaugh controversy appear all the more punishing.

First: Note the different search databases used: the MRC's own database for the Kavanaugh clips, Nexis for the Broaddrick clips. They're not equivalent, largely because it's unclear that CNN was transcribing its entire broadcast day for Nexis in 1999; some networks made only prime-time or branded shows available, meaning that it's likely CNN's run-of-the-mill news coverage that was not part of a branded program was never submitted to Nexis -- and, thus, making the MRC's data not necessarily an accurate reflection of what was actually broadcast on CNN.

So: we have another selectively edited piece of "media research" that ignores context to hide the fact that reporting is accurate, complete with an unreliable apples-to-oranges comparison to previous coverage and another refusal to make the raw data public.

This is the MRC.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:44 PM EDT
WND's Cashill Tries -- And Fails -- To Make A 'To Kill A Mockingbird' Allusion to Kavanaugh
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily columnist Jack Cashill tries for a literary allusion over the Brett Kavanaugh saga in his Oct. 3 column:

The plot of the classic 1960 novel “To Kill a Mockingbird,” hinges on one key fact: Attorney Atticus Finch, the man liberals have historically seem as the avatar of their best selves, did not believe “survivor” Mayella Ewell.

Under pressure from her father and the society around her, Ewell had accused black handyman Tom Robinson of sexual assault. Finch believed she was lying and heroically defended Robinson in a court of law.

“The state has not produced one iota of evidence that the crime Tom Robinson is charged with ever took place,” said Finch at the trial. “It has relied instead upon the testimony of two witnesses – witnesses whose testimony has not only been called into serious question during cross-examination, but has been flatly contradicted by the defendant.”

“I have nothing but pity in my heart for the chief witness for the State,” Finch continued. “But my pity does not extend to her putting a man’s life at stake.”

In perhaps the movie version’s most dramatic scene, Finch stood on the jailhouse steps, shotgun in hand, to ward off a mob of would be lynchers.

Today, mindlessly chanting “we believe survivors,” leftist crowds around the country have abandoned the Atticus Finch model for the thrill of joining a lynch mob.

Slate's Jamelle Bouie explains why applying "To Kill A Mockingbird" to Kavanaugh is a big, dumb mistake:

By necessarily casting Brett Kavanaugh in the role of the unfairly and unjustly accused Tom Robinson, however, the comparison falls apart. Kavanaugh is unpopular, but he does not belong to a disfavored group. He is not disadvantaged by class or burdened with the weight of caste. He has lived a life of wealth and privilege, moving in and between elite spaces with little apparent friction. For five years he worked with the president of the United States. For 12 years he’s been one of the most powerful judges in the country. Robinson did not have the power to call defenders other than his court-appointed attorney; Kavanaugh is backed by nearly half of the Senate as well as a sitting American president, who has attacked his nominee’s accuser with the full force of the bully pulpit. Atticus Finch risked everything defending Tom Robinson; Kavanaugh’s defenders risk nothing. Robinson, a stand-in for the thousands murdered under Jim Crow, was fighting for his life. If Kavanaugh isn’t confirmed—if enough Republicans decide he’s too damaged to sit on the Supreme Court—he’ll return to his life of power and privilege as a federal appeals court judge.

[...]

The accusers in To Kill a Mockingbird, like those in the actual Jim Crow South, weren’t concerned with sexual violence as much as they held a libidinal desire to harm and kill black people. In real-life Depression-era Alabama, nine black Americans were lynched between 1929 and 1939; two of the victims were accused of “rape.”

That charade of justice stands in stark contrast to the #MeToo movement, a sincere effort to uncover sexual abuse, build solidarity for survivors, and hold abusers accountable. The process of allegations, investigations, and—when appropriate—criminal action is on the opposite side of the lynch mob, which tortured, mutilated, and murdered on the basis of whispers and rumors. The testimony of Christine Blasey Ford—measured, meticulous, and forthright, with no proven falsehoods—is a far cry from the breathless accusations used to justify anti-black terrorism, as is her unheeded call for a full investigation of her allegations.

To make the analogy to Atticus Finch in the context of Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court is to ignore the real pain and real suffering of actual people killed after knowingly false accusations, while obliterating vast worlds of history and context. It’s not just a bad argument. It’s an immoral one, made for cheap partisan thrills. And conservatives who make it have revealed their politics of aggrieved privilege, where the presumably “real” victims of society are those asked to account for any potential misdeeds before ascending to ever-higher planes of power.

Cashill loves his Atticus Finch analogies, though. In a 2015 column, he attacked those who criticized George Zimmerman for killing Trayvon Martin: "Has no one told them they have become the mob outside Atticus’ courthouse demanding the head of the mockingbird?" Remember, Cashill thinks Zimmerman is a saint even as he continues to prove Cashill wrong.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:17 AM EDT

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