CNS Weirdly Bothered By Collins' Claim That Kavanaugh Won't Overturn Roe v. Wade Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com's coverage of the Brett Kavanaugh saga was already wildlybiased, but we're not quite sure what to make of this.
An Oct. 7 article, anonymously written and credited only to "CNSNews.com Staff" and headlined "Sen. Susan Collins Explains Why She Doesn’t Believe Kavanaugh Will Vote to Overturn Roe v. Wade," featured how Republican senator Collins -- one of the swing votes who eventually voted for Kavanaugh's confirmation -- "explained why she did not believe Kavanaugh would vote to overturn Roe v. Wade":
She suggested, instead, that he would be like Justices Sandra Day O’Connor, Anthony Kennedy and David Souter—all of whom, she noted, were appointed by Republican presidents at a time when the Republican platform called for overturning Roe.
All joined in the Supreme Court's 1992 opinion in Planned Parenthood v. Casey opinion that upheld Roe.
Most notably, Collins said in her explanation of why she was not worried that Kavanaugh would overturn Roe that Kavanaugh had told her when they were discussing his nomination that he did not think five sitting justices—a majority of the nine member court—would be a sufficient number “to overturn long-established precedent.”
This was after he had testified, she noted, that Roe--upheld by Casey--was “precedent on precedent.”
That kind of article is par for the course for the rabidly anti-abortion CNS. They want Roe v. Wade overturned, which was the point of its pro-Kavanaugh "news" coverage, and they're perhaps a little annoyed at the idea of precedent.
The next day, Susan Jones wrote an article that covered the same exact territory under the very similar headline "Collins: 'I Do Not Believe That Brett Kavanaugh Will Overturn Roe v. Wade'":
How can you be 100 percent sure that Justice Brett Kavanaugh will not overturn Roe v. Wade? CNN's Dana Bash asked Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) on Sunday's "State of the Union."
"I do not believe that Brett Kavanaugh will overturn Roe v. Wade," Collins said, noting that precedents are not often overturned.
"And listen to the standards that he put forth, again, in his conversations with me and also in the hearing. He says, for a precedent, among established precedents like Roe, to be overturned, it would have to have been grievously wrong and deeply inconsistent. He noted that Roe had been reaffirmed 19 years later by Planned Parenthood vs. Casey and that it was 'precedent on precedent'. He said it should be extremely rare that it'd be overturned."
"You have obviously full confidence?" Bash asked Collins.
"I do," Collins replied.
Jones did offer a little more context for CNS' weird concern: "Collins cast one of the deciding votes in favor of Kavanaugh's confirmation on Sunday, despite her support for abortion. Bash noted that Planned Parenthood gave Collins an award last year for her work on protecting reproductive rights."
Jones' article got the lead slot on CNS' front page that day, despite it effectively being a rewrite.
UPDATE: Jones also lazily and uncritically repeated Collins' incorrect assertion that "Planned Parenthood opposed three pro-choice justices just because they were nominated by Republican presidents -- David Souter, Sandra Day O'Connor and Justice Kennedy." In fact, while Planned Parenthood opposed Souter -- because he didn't make his position on abortion clear during the confirmation hearings, not because he was nominated by a Republican president -- it actually endorsed O'Connor but took no position on Kennedy.
WND Takes A Ride On The 'Gosnell' PR Train Topic: WorldNetDaily
The Media Research Center isn't the only ConWeb outlet doing the bidding of Phelim McAleer and the other makers of the anti-abortion movie about rogue abortionist Kermit Gosnell.
Like the MRC, WND repeated the story of the "leaked" emails (from the movie's executive producer) from NPR over negotiations over a sponsorship to promote the film as it if was a real story and not the publicity stunt it actually was. WND then found another bit of publicity even the MRC didn't latch onto: A Sept. 25 article by Art Moore how, according to the film's producers, they were forced to cancel a screening because the hotel where it was to take place scheduled it "at the same time Planned Parenthood hosts a $400 a plate gala dinner headlined by Cecille Richards, the organization’s former CEO." Moore quoted only the producers and made no apparent attempt to contact the hotel or Planned Parenthood to verify the story or to get another side, like a real reporter would.
Despite the complete lack of corroboration of the "Gosnell" producers' claims about the cancellation, Moore followed up with them anyway in a Oct. 1 article claiming that "McAleer rejected a payment from the hotel to settle the matter, calling it 'blood money.'" Again, no proof is provided to support the claim, and Moore once again can't be bothered to verify it with anybody else.
When the movie opened, the promos came fast and furious:
WND ran an an article featuring Rush Limbaugh begging people to see it because "It’s not the political movie that the left would make about a story like this."
Moore penned another PR piece, claiming "McAleer told WND" that Facebook is blocking ads for the film because they "don't want this film to succeed." Surprisingly, Moore did take a stab at balance, writing that "Facebook’s press office has not replied to WND’s request for comment." Not that Moore would have given the comment much play if Facebook had responded.
A column by consipracy-obsessed WND columnist Jack Cashill gave the expected glowing, highly biased review: "It is well produced, powerful and thoroughly provocative. That said, the major media are refusing to review the movie for much the same reason they refused to report on the trial. Any honest look at abortion unnerves them."
"Marisa Martin" chimed in with her own gushy review, declaring that "it shows what abortion looks, sounds like and smells like."
And when the film generated a paltry $1.1 million on its opening weekend despite showing on nearly 700 screens, good enough only for 12th place, WND rushed to spin it away. Under the misleading headline "'Gosnell' movie defies abortion cartel with big opening," WND cherry-picked numbers to declare that the film was "the No. 1 independent film and was No. 8 in per screen averages" and completely ignored the total weekend take. WND boosted the spin factor even higher by quoting McAleer and the film's oddly anonymous publicist.
It's unclear whether McAleer and Co. paid WND for the fawning publicity, as appears to have been the case with the MRC -- WND could certainly use the money.
UPDATE: WND also published an column by "Gosnell" producer John Sullivan -- the guy who "leaked" the NPR emails -- engaging in WND's campaign of bashing Google and Facebook for purportedly censoring conservatives that also manages to sneak a pro-Trump narrative: "I’m not as concerned about Russians hijacking our elections and our free speech. I’m far more concerned about my fellow citizens who live in area codes like 310, 415 and 212 who try every trick in the book to silence fellow citizens who disagree with them, by rigging – yes, rigging – the game so that they win and their opponents lose in the battle of ideas, before the game even begins."
UPDATE 2: An Oct. 18 article by Moore is largely a summary of previous articles WND has published on the film, with additional emphasis on how few reviews have been done on the film. Moore apparently did not ask McAleer and the rest of the production team whether they made the film available for advance reviews through whatever usual channels advance screenings are made.
MRC Forgets It Used To Hate Kanye West Topic: Media Research Center
Kanye West is suddenly the Media Research Center's favorite rapper, now that he's hanging out with President Trump. As a result, he's now getting the full right-wing defense:
Ryan Foley huffed that "many" people at CNN "spent the entire week slamming Kanye West as mentally ill and/or directing racial slurs at him."
Foley also complained that CNN's Chris Cuomo called the Kanye-Trump meeting a "traveshamockery," adding that "Cuomo also made sure to take shots at West’s mental health ... as he attempted to make the case that people should not take the meeting between President Trump and West seriously."
Nicholas Fondcaro grumbled that "the broadcast networks spent 5 minutes and 59 seconds on Kanye’s visit to the White House (ABC = 1 minute, 58 seconds; CBS = 2 minutes, 4 seconds; NBC = 1 minute, 57 seconds). But when it came to the policy proposals Kanye and [Jim] Brown were there to promote, the nets punted with a total of 27 seconds."
Scott Whitlock claimed that "When it comes to the so-called mainstream media, it’s a case of Kanye West vs. Kanye West" since some media outlets who now criticize West "gushed over the 'thoughtful' entertainer when he derided then-President George W. Bush as a racist."
But Whitlock and the rest of his MRC cohorts will not remind you that it's Kanye vs. Kanye at the MRC as well. Until his political flip-flop, the MRC despised West.
In 2011, the MRC's Erin Brown was outraged that a preview for the video for West's song "Monster" "shows the rapper making sexual advances to a dead or drugged female corpse in his bed, and several dead, lingerie-clad women are seen hanging with chains around their necks." Brown added: "West has objectified women in his videos before such as the 2005 hit 'Gold Digger,' in which attractive young females were seen throughout the video in provocative lingerie dancing around West. But none have gone so far as 'Monster,' which sexually objectifies a woman to the point of death."
Catherine Maggio complained that "Monster" includes "28 F-words," adding about the video: "West's so-called "art piece" opens revealing a dead, young girl, hanging from a ceiling in a noose, wearing nothing but underwear and heels. The video is centered around the graphic violence against and the death of the women in the video, who are often shown wearing only underwear or lying face down, naked, bloody and dead. We are warned before the video that it is to be taken as art, but the saddest thing is that violence and necrophilia would be considered 'art' by anyone at all."
A 2012 post by Paul Wilson declared that West and Jay-Z "have once again expressed their love of gratuitous violence" through their song "No Church in the Wild," the video for which includes "anti-police riots."Wilson further huffed that "Kanye showed up to support the Occupy Movement wearing expensive gold chains," which made him "the embodiment of the 1 percent."
In 2013, NewsBusters' Noel Sheppard cheered a Jay Leno joke about "Kanye West wanting to be the Obama of clothing saying, 'To achieve his goal, he's designing fashion nobody wants and offering it on a website that doesn't work.'"
Sheppard also mocked -- given current events, highly ironically -- one commentator's suggestion that President Obama should meet with West: "Does the President of the United States really need a vulgar, anti-Semitic manager who thinks Obama's inability to get his agenda passed is because black people don't have the connections that Jewish people do?"
In a 2013 column, MRC chief Brent Bozell bashed Weset as a "nattering, narcissistic rapper" and whined that the New York Times was "pandering to West's colossal self-regard," He took offense to West's criticism of Bush, claiming that "West lashed, for no reason, and stupidly, arrogantly, and rudely declared that President Bush 'doesn’t care about black people.,'" thenadded: "West aspires to be a limousine leftist, a race-baiting revolutionary driving a $760,000 Lamborghini. How many poor Katrina victims could he feed if he didn’t have those car payments?"
And in another 2013 column headlined "Kanye, Go Away," Bozell took offense to Kanye "ofending the Jews" by saying blacks "don’t have the same level of connections as Jewish people." Bozell ranted that "This oppressed man is worth an estimated $100 million. But victimization is way too seductive to let go." Bozell added:
It’s just ridiculous that mega-rich black rappers complain about their terrible plight. Or is that all just part of their cynical marketing? Don’t count it as a political act. It’s a craven business strategy. Aren’t they and their race-baiting enablers easily accused of strangling the people’s view of what is possible in America? If Kanye West can’t handle the heat of public opinion – especially the opinion of people who live outside the bubble of his ideological apple-polishers – he should just go away.
The other night he performed in the Sprint Center in Kansas City, a venue that was 75 percent empty. Maybe I’m not the only one wishing him to go away.
Funny how none of this derogatory history was referenced by the MRC in its Trump-era defense of West.
Bozell and the MRC clearly aren't wishing for Kanye to go away anymore -- at least, not as long they can exploit him in order to boost Trump.
UPDATE: In its Kanye flip-flop, the MRC is doing the same thing it accused the media of doing when President Obama invited the rapper Common to the White House in 2011 for a poetry event. Scott Whitlock huffed that Common "has repeatedly defended cop killers such as Mumia Abu-Jamal," and Tim Graham took offense to Common's lyric that God "was able to Barack us" and declared that the media assert that "raising questions about songs honoring convicted cop killers was not a legitimate line of inquiry" (of course, the MRC no longer considers raising questions about Kanye's song a legitimate line of inquiry).
And of course, Bozell felt compelled to rant: "Everyone from record companies to record buyers should be condemned for enabling "music" that glamorizes killing police officers. It's ridiculous and offensive that a black multi-millionaire like Common can still pretend America and the police officers who protect Americans of all colors are racist. It's even more offensive that this man would be honored as a poet at the People's House." Again, Bozell will never raise this issue about Kanye.
NEW ARTICLE -- Beyond Paul Nehlen: WND's White Nationalism Problem Topic: WorldNetDaily
Two more WorldNetDaily-published authors have shown their true colors of support for white nationalism and/or anti-Semitism. But WND has been flirting with white nationalists and race-baiters for years. Read more >>
Another CNS Trump Administration Stenography Factual Fail Topic: CNSNews.com
CNS is socommited to stenography for the Trump administration that it rarely bothers to fact-check President Trump or his officials, even when they say something obviously misleading.
It does so again in a Sept. 21 article by Melanie Arter recounting a speech given by Attorney General Jeff Sessions in which he "blamed the spike in murders in Chicago on the Obama administration’s consent decree, which called for police reforms in response to police harassment and brutality claims." Arter uncritically recounted how "Sessions explained that the consent decree resulted in more violent crime, the victims of which were mostly African-American and Latino. It also required police officers to fill out lengthy paperwork and submit it to the American Civil Liberties Union, a former judge, and a public database for everyone they stopped" and copy-and-pasted rrom his speech:
John’s predecessor as United States Attorney, Zachary Fardon, said in an open letter to the City that the ACLU agreement “[told] cops if you go talk to those kids on the corner, you’re going to have to take 40 minutes to fill out a form, and you’re going to have to give them a receipt with your badge number on it. And he noted that as a result, by January 2016, ‘the city was on fire’ because ‘the rule of law, law enforcement, had been delegitimized.
But Fardon responded in an op-ed that Sessions selectively quoted from his open letter and ignored other reasons than the consent decree that Chicago crime was on the upswing:
Last year, when I resigned as U.S. attorney in Chicago, I issued an open letter in which I cited the ACLU deal as a contributor to the drag on officer stops in 2016. I named other extraordinary events, including the release of the Laquan McDonald video, the firing of CPD’s police chief and the launch of a DOJ civil rights investigation of CPD, all of which occurred in the last six weeks of 2015, as contributors as well.
Last month, in a speech in Palatine, Ill., Sessions quoted from my letter, which he called “honest and important.” He referenced only the ACLU portion of the letter and used that to support his theme that such agreements hamper police and inflame violence.
If Sessions had read the rest of my letter, he would know that my No. 1 recommendation to curb violent crime in Chicago was that we get a broad federal consent decree for CPD — one that goes well beyond addressing “stop and frisk” and guarantees Chicago police officers the training, supervision, equipment and support they need to succeed.
Law enforcement is not the entire solution, but it’s a big part. A consent decree will give our cops support, training and the credibility they need to engage in effective and constitutional policing. A consent decree will give our South and West side citizens greater trust in our officers and institutions, and greater safety in their neighborhoods.
If Sessions spent more time in violence-afflicted neighborhoods, he would know that we still have kids who are growing up more afraid of police than of gangs. When that changes, we mark the beginning of a new Chicago. Sessions is wrong about the CPD consent decree. Those who know and love this great city must hold true.
Arter also uncritically copy-and-pasted from Sessions' speech: "One of the most tragic examples is Baltimore. After the death of Freddie Gray, violence and riots followed. City leadership signed a consent decree with the ACLU. The results were the same as in Chicago." In fact, the Baltimore consent decree did not involve the ACLU, and it was approved two months after Sessions was confirmed as attorney general.
Sessions also insisted that "rape more than tripled" in Baltimore after the consent decree. In fact, while reported rapes increased, they did not triple, and at least some of the increase can be attributed to the FBI changing the definition of rape to be more expansive.
Once again, Arter has published false and misleading information out of either laziness or a desire to suck up to the Trump administration. Not a good look for a "news" operation.
WND Obama Derangement Syndrome, Barry Farber Edition Topic: WorldNetDaily
Yes, I’ll admit I felt sympathy for ex-President Obama. Never enough to vote for him, mind you. I’d feel sympathy for any politician thrust by fate into a comparison with President Trump. Now I wish there were a way to get that sympathy back.
It’s not enough to allege that Obama fell short of Trump in nine out of 12 key areas of government. The entire Obama presidency is a full-blown embarrassment compared to Trump’s. Obama did his time. He rules the Free World no more. I was willing to let it go at that. But that was before Obama trashed the sacred tradition that previous presidents should be seen – and seldom even that! – but never heard criticizing a sitting successor. This maxim should require no reminders, given the startling success of Trump stacked up alongside the multiple failures of Obama. Obama’s broad-daylight attempt to hijack credit away from Trump for America’s economic well-being is the most egregious case of political larceny ever attempted.
I was a witness. It was pitiful. At least Trump’s ego-acrobatics are fun and funny, and a good time is had by all. But when he stood up before all those innocent young people at Illinois University, Obama showed us an ego in great pain, unable to come to terms with his own inadequacies.
“It didn’t start with Trump,” intoned the ex-president. “Trump was a symptom. Not a cause!” Those words cut so deep I didn’t even have to write them down. An analogy begs to be unfurled.
Imagine a football team with two quarterbacks. Let’s call them Barack and Donald. Barack throws six interceptions in a row, the first four of which are run back for touchdowns for the opposing team. Then Barack throws an incompletion, and they take him out of the game.
Donald comes in and throws six touchdown passes. And it’s pretty clear to all the fans what the quarterback prospects are for the team, though out of politeness not much is said about it. And the team with Donald as quarterback zooms off into a wildly successful season.
But wait! Barack calls a press conference. He has something to say. Barack is irked by all the buzz among football fans about how well things are going now that they’ve discovered who’s who among their quarterbacks. He’s beyond irked. He’s got his own view as to who’s who among quarterbacks, and he wants the world to know it.
Listen to Quarterback Barack: “After an admittedly slow start, the last three passes I threw were not run back for touchdowns. That’s progress! And that last one wasn’t even intercepted. It was incomplete. That’s a lot better than intercepted! So, you see, our recovery didn’t start with Donald. Donald is a symptom that things were getting much better. Donald was not the cause. Clearly, the improvement started during my administration as quarterback – and don’t you forget it!”
MRC Is Mad Wikipedia Banned Unreliable Fake-News Website As A Source Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's Corinne Weaver whines in an Oct. 3 post:
Want a place where you can gain a full understanding of any topic, from any perspective? Then Wikipedia is not the place for you.
The editors who can’t seem to prevent the California GOP from being listed as Nazis on their platform have decided that Breitbart can’t be used as a source or reference. One editor wrote, “I think that Breitbart is not a reliable source. It’s my view that we should not source anything to Breitbart other than strictly factual and uncontroversial facts about Breitbart on the articles related to Breitbart and its people.”
Strangely, Weaver never specifically identifies Breitbart as a conservative operation, but does huff that "A site that removes conservative voices from its references is being used for tech companies to promote what they see as the truth."
Weaver also censored the evidence cited in the Vice article she cited as the source for her report that Breitbart is unreliable:
Indeed, Breitbart editor Alex Marlow admitted his operation publishes fake news to protect President Trump. And even Republican voters trust "mainstream" outlets like the New York Times over Breitbart.
But Weaver won't tell you that. Instead she hides the full truth in order to shoehorn the story into the MRC's narrative that social media companies are trying to censor conservatives. She never explains why a website that reports fake news and biased attacks -- even if it's conservative -- must be shielded from scrutiny.
A conserative voice is not being removed from Wikipedia's references -- a factually dubious one is. Weaver is too much of a partisan to admit the difference ... or the truth.
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.
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.”
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.
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 aNew 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.
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.
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.
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 aWashington 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."
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 ofRoe 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."