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Tuesday, September 25, 2018
How CNS Is Covering Kavanaugh Accusations: Bias By Omission, Stenography
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com reported on Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court nomination in the wake of accusations of sexual misconduct they way you'd expect: with lots of biased stenography and omission of inconvenient facts.

A Sept. 19 article repeated Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's lament that the accusastion was made public "right at the end" of the process -- even thoughthere's no hard-and-fast rule regarding how long the process must take -- and that "it's pretty obvious this is all about delaying the process." Jones didn't mention that McConnell was all about delaying the process in 2016 when he stopped President Obama's nomination of Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court from even reaching the hearing process. He even said that "One of my proudest moments was when I looked Barack Obama in the eye and I said, 'Mr. President, you will not fill the Supreme Court vacancy.' "

CNS managing editor Michael W. Chapman touted how Juanita Broaddrick tweeted that if the FBI investigates the allegations Christine Blasey Ford made against Kavanaugh, then it should "investigate my RAPE allegations against Bill Clinton, too." Chapman the recounted the story of how Broaddrick "has long maintained that Bill Clinton, when he was the Arkansas Attorney General, raped her -- a 'forcible, brutal rape' -- in a hotel room in Little Rock, Ark., on April 25, 1978."

But Chapman curiously forgot to report that not only did Broaddrick spend 20 years denying that any such "rape" occured, she made a sworn affidavit to that effect to the Ken Starr independent counsel investigation of  Clinton.

Chapman also wrote that "President Bill Clinton apparently has never denied Broaddrick's rape allegation. His attorney, David Kendall, has denied it on Clinton's behalf." But if Clinton's lawyer is denying it on his behalf, that means Clinton is denying it. 

(Weirdly, this is the second time in recent years that someone at the Media Research Center, which runs CNS, has tried to argue that the statement from Clinton's lawyer doesn't count as an actual denial because it didn't come from Clinton personally.)

A Sept. 19 article by Melanie Arter reported that "The brother of Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault, worked for a law firm that hired Fusion GPS, which produced the fake dossier on President Donald Trump." But Arter somehow forgot to report that Ford's brother left that law firm in 2004 -- seven years before Fusion GPS was even founded and several more years before its involvement with the dossier (which, by the way, is not "fake").

CNS is also dutifully highlighting all the various defenses of Kavanaugh -- two women who dated Kavanaugh,  87 women who knew Kavanaugh -- and offered copious stenography of conservatives sticking up for Kavanaugh. In addition, it's highlighting any claim that casts doubt on the veracity of the accusers' claims.

In addition to Jones' retro attack on Anita Hill that we've already highlighted as part of the MRC's continued obsessive loathing of the woman, CNS also reprinted Clarence Thomas infamous "high-tech lynching" speech in response to Hill's allegations against him.

In other words, CNS' editorial policy in a nutshell.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:10 AM EDT
Monday, September 24, 2018
Newsmax's Gizzi Does A Weird Tribute to Paul Manafort's Dad
Topic: Newsmax

The news that Paul Manafort has decided to cooperate with special counsel Robert Mueller prompted Newsmax reporter John Gizzi to do a little mstiy-eyed reminiscing. About Manfort's dad. No, really.

From Gizzi's Sept. 19 article, deceptively headlined "The Paul Manafort I Know":

Official Washington was jolted Friday by the news that former Donald Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort had decided to cooperate with the Department of Justice—including Robert Mueller’s probe of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

The sartorial splendor of Manafort, his vast collection of horses and luxury homes in New York, and his schemes to avoid paying taxes on his foreign income—all will probably be rehashed in the media when the famous political consultant’s name comes up in the weeks ahead.

But, for those of us who are older and grew up in or near the Hardware City of New Britain, Connecticut, the name “Paul Manafort” evokes other memories.  

Paul Manafort, namesake-father of the current Manafort, was the three-term Republican mayor of New Britain. Growing up next door in a close suburb, New Britain was an urban mecca to me — blue collar, industrial, and ethnic.

[...]

In 1981, Manafort’s name appeared in headlines when he was charged with two counts of perjury. He had insisted he did not know that an envelope he was given by New Britain’s personnel director contained answers to exams for promotion to sergeant on the city’s police department (which two Manafort family friends were vying for). A jury subsequently acquitted the former mayor.

When Paul Manafort died in 2013 at age 89, that final black mark on his life of public service was barely mentioned in obituaries. His funeral was one of the biggest New Britain had ever seen.

Today the name Paul Manafort evokes a lot of negative feelings. But to this reporter, who grew up on the New Britain border, it generates quite different memories.

Gizzi made no mention of what exactly Manafort the younger did to generate those "negative feelings."


Posted by Terry K. at 8:51 PM EDT
MRC Reacts To Kavanaugh Accuser By ... Smearing Anita Hill (Again)
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center has been in full spin mode defending Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and attempting to discredit allegations by a woman who said he had sexually assaulted her during a party during high school. One of the ways it's doing so is going back to an old trope: attacking Anita Hill, who had made accusations of sexual harassment against another conservative Supreme court nominee, Clarence Thomas.

The MRC has been bashing Hill for more than a quarter-century, and the Kavanaugh story is giving it yet another excuse to do so. The MRC's Tim Graham and Brent Bozell rant in their Sept. 21 column:

Anita Hill, perennially painted as the "Rosa Parks of sexual harassment" by the national press, is back on the scene as the media push the unproven teenage-groping accusations against Brett Kavanaugh. The New York Times asked her to write an op-ed on how we can get these next Kavanaugh hearings "right." The Boston Globe put Hill on the front page, lecturing about a better protocol in Congress for sexual harassment claims.

Asking Anita Hill how to get a fairer congressional hearing is like asking Janet Cooke how to get better newspaper reporting. If you're too young for the analogy, Janet Cooke won a Pulitzer Prize for selling a fraudulent story in The Washington Post in 1980 about Jimmy, an imaginary 8-year-old heroin addict who "lives for a fix."

On ABC, George Stephanopoulos sympathetically asked if the prospect of hearings for Kavanaugh's accuser Christine Blasey Ford was meant as an intimidation tactic. Yes, that's right — the same Stephanopoulos responsible for running "bimbos" into the political ditch for Bill Clinton.

Donald Trump could tweet it: Anita Hill's 1991 accusations of sexual harassment against Clarence Thomas were "fake news." The American people sided with Thomas. Even The Washington Post editorial board sided with Thomas. Her stories were never proven. But to this day, the media treat her as if her accusations were precious jewels of truth.

Even after her million-dollar book deal — after she pledged she would not cash in on her story — she is still portrayed as the victim, not the victimizer. 

Graham and Bozell provide no evidence that Hill willfully lied about anything a la Janet Cooke. Yet they continued to rant about Hill's "feminist fictions" and that "the accusers of Thomas and Kavanaugh have been 'weaponized' by liberals to spread lies about offenses that never happened."

Meanwhile, over at the MRC's "news" division, CNSNews.com, Susan Jones penned a Sept. 19 piece attacking Hill and drawing parallels to Kavanaugh's accuser:

Anita Hill and Christine Blasey Ford -- the only two women to bring sexual accusations against nominees to the U.S. Supreme Court -- have certain memory lapses in common. And for what it's worth, they both hold degrees in psychology.

Christine Blasey Ford has accused Judge Brett Kavanaugh of sexually attacking her in a bedroom at a party some 36 years ago, when both were in high school.

Yet Ford told the Washington Post she doesn't remember how the gathering came together; at whose home the party took place or exactly when it happened; how she got there; or how she got home after she fled from the house.

[...]

Questioned about that one-on-one dinner with her alleged tormenter, Hill could not remember the restaurant where the dinner took place; what type of food was served at the restaurant; whether she had a drink; or how either one of them got home.

"I took the subway home, if I recall correctly," Hill said in response to a question. "As I am recalling -- I'm not sure how I got home."

Even though Jones purports to be a objective reporter, she was seething with right-wiong bias as she concluded:

Meanwhile, liberal media outlets are full of the "lose-lose" scenario for committee Republicans -- all white men -- faced with an alleged sexual assault victim in the "#MeToo" era, just weeks before the midterm election. And Judge Kavanaugh, even if he is confirmed, will have an asterisk attached to his good name, just as Clarence Thomas has, in what could be nothing more than a replay of an old, dirty trick.

Like her MRC bosses, Jones provided no evidence that Hill or Kavanaugh's accuser have lied.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:58 PM EDT
Farah Hasn't Given Up On Bitcoin-Like Promotion To Save WND
Topic: WorldNetDaily

It seems we spoke too soon when we said that WorldNetDaily's attempt to woo donors by giving away a dubious cryptocurrency was not going over well. We assumed that after WND failed to promote it for months after initially announcing the giveaway that it had given up on the deal.

WND editor Joseph Farah touted it anew in his Sept. 12 column:

We’ve come up with a support program that can benefit you and WND so that we don’t have to bow down to the “Speech Code Cartel” – so that we can remain emboldened and empowered to pursue the truth and nothing but the truth.

At the same time, we’re offering what I believe is an exciting gift for those who can commit at least $100 to the cause today.

For perhaps a very limited time, those who contribute $100 or more to WND will receive – as a gift, a payback, a tangible thank-you – some of the latest cybercurrency about to explode upon the financial scene from AML Bitcoin, with patented anti-theft technology that promises to revolutionize this medium of exchange.

While the purchase of cybercurrency has been red hot, sophisticated hackers – including professional money-launderers, rogue governments like North Korea and even international terrorists – have played havoc with the bitcoin business, prompting government regulations for safeguards. The first company to emerge with the technology and security measures built into its cybercurrency to address this problem can be expected to emerge as the leading provider – not just to individuals like you and me, but for major corporations and even governments.

AML Bitcoin is positioned to do just that – benefiting you and me with cybercurrency that has demonstrated its ability to grow in value over time.

Would you like to get in on the ground floor of this opportunity – or at least get your feet wet in this promising new digital currency?

Not only do I believe you will be happy you did, but it could provide WND with a sustainable future of growth and independence, so we can remain steadfast and strong guardians of the truth without fear or favor.

What am I asking?

I’m asking you to make the largest donation you can to WND – at least $100 – and receive a gift back of AML Bitcoin proportional to your donation. It’s that simple. I believe what you receive could – no guaranties of course – become more valuable than your contribution to America’s guerrilla freedom fighters inside the media.

But as we've documented, AML Bitcoin is not actual bitcoin that's worth thousands of dollars -- it's a separate cryptocurrency variant that, as near as we can tell, has still yet to be officially introduced after months of futures trading and ethically challenged hype by its backers. The value of the currency is currently hovering around 28 cents as of this writing.

Farah went further into huckster mode in his Sept. 19 column:

Those of you who took me up on our offer to send you 10 AML Bitcoins for every hundred dollars you donated to WND may be wondering when they are going to show up in your electronic wallet.

The answer is that they have – for all those who followed our instructions, sent us by email your AML Bitcoin “wallet ID” and confirmed our efforts to send you what I am certain will soon be your valuable cryptocurrency.

If you are among those who have not followed those steps yet, please do so and email us at AMLBitcoin@wnd.com if you have any questions. (You can download your free AML Bitcoin “wallet” here.)

As you may have heard in my previous announcements recently, the patented hack-proof cybercurrency has opened trading on several exchanges, the long-awaited development that was necessary before we could secure them and send them on to those who took us up on the offer. We’re eager to send them all out, but we need your cooperation. The only way we can do it is with your safe, secure “wallet ID.”

But there’s more good news.

WND is not done with this AML Bitcoin premium offer to its subscribers and donors.

or a limited time, now that you can monitor the price of this new cryptocurrency on the exchanges, WND has updated its offer – making it possible for you to secure even more units of this hot new addition to the cryptocurrency exchanges.

It’s possible that your contribution to WND will in the future pay for itself and then some. In fact, I’m counting on it!

[...]

I see the day, in the not-too-distant future, when that little premium token will be worth more than your donation to WND – perhaps lots more.

It's not often we've seen a Farah column that ends with a disclaimer, but there is one at the end of this: "Disclaimer: All donations made in response to this offer are non-refundable. It is the responsibility of the donor to provide WND with an accurate, unique wallet ID downloaded from AMLBitcoin.com within 30 days of the donation to receive the premium offer. By taking part in this offer, you agree to read and accept AML Bitcoin’s terms and conditions." That takes you to a lengthy statement that basically explains how few rights the holders of AML Bitcoin have and that it's not secured by anything.

So, the bitcoin-esque giveaway continues. Despite Farah's hucksterism -- he has yet to disclose the methods and terms under which WND obtained all this AML Bitcoin to give away -- none of his donors should count on it to get rich.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:37 AM EDT
Sunday, September 23, 2018
CNS Embraces Fake-News Strzok 'Media Leak Strategy' Narrative
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com's Susan Jones trumpet the right-wing pro-Trump media's latest narrative in a Sept. 11 article:

“For months, we’ve seen evidence suggesting FBI/DOJ leaked to the media for their own purposes. TODAY, we have a new text,” Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) tweeted Monday night.

Meadows said the newly released texts from former FBI Agent Peter Strzok to former FBI attorney Lisa Page suggest a “coordinated effort” by FBI and Justice Department officials to leak information potentially harmful to President Donald Trump’s administration.

In a letter to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein on Monday, Meadows released the following April 2017 text exchanges, saying they would lead a “reasonable person” to question whether the FBI’s goal was to investigate wrongdoing – or to place derogatory information in the media to justify the ongoing Trump-Russia probe.

The accusation centers on a text from Strzok to Page referencing a "media leak strategy." But Meadows' interpretation, which Jones presents at length and effectively without challenge, is a bit on the bogus side.

As a real news outlet, the Washington Post, reported, Strzok's attorney pointed out that the "media leak strategy" reference was to an internal Department of Justice attempt to stop media leaks. the Post continued:

By itself, the text is difficult to interpret. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and then-FBI Director James B. Comey had vowed to crack down on leaks, and investigating such disclosures if they contained classified information would have been a part of Strzok’s job as a counterintelligence agent. Aitan Goelman, Strzok’s attorney, says that is what Strzok was referring to.

“The term ‘media leak strategy’ in Mr. Strzok’s text refers to a Department-wide initiative to detect and stop leaks to the media,” Goelman said in a statement. “The President and his enablers are once again peddling unfounded conspiracy theories to mislead the American People.”

Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.), the ranking member on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, and Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), the ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, released other text messages from the same day, which seem to show Page and Strzok having a broad discussion about the Justice Department’s regulations on media leaks. The lawmakers accused Republicans in Congress of selectively publicizing messages “to fabricate conspiracy theories to protect President Trump.”

Because Jones' assigned job is to protect Trump and attack his perceived enemies, she gave that defense the shortest of shrifts: "Strzok's lawyer said Strzok and Page were discussing a strategy to stop media leaks, a response that drew scoffs from Trump defenders." Jones elaborated no further about what Strzok's lawyer (whom she couldn't even be bothered to name) said, nor did she detaial any of the "scoffs" she claimed took place.

The next day, CNS published a column by the Heritage Foundation Hans von Spakovsky reinforcing Meadows' conspiratorial narrative, with no mention at all of the context those memos appeared in or the rebuttal offered by Strzok's lawyer.

CNS has recently been sending out links on Twitter to its "news" articles with the statement, "Stay informed and on top of the news. Read the latest from CNS News." But if CNS is more interested in pushing right-wing conspiracy theories, it's not keeping its readers "informed."


Posted by Terry K. at 9:03 PM EDT
What Happened To Gina Loudon's WND Column Defending Teen Daughter's Relationship With Much Older Man?
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Onetime WorldNetDaily columnist Gina Loudon popped up again in the media lately when she appeared on Fox News to declare that President Trump is "the most sound-minded person to ever occupy the White House," according to the "science and real data and true psychological theory" she uses in her new book.That wild claim prompted the Daily Beast to discover that despite the promotional copy on her book, Loudon does not hold a doctorate in psychology (it's in "human and organization systems").

You might remember Loudon making an armchair psychological diagnosis of another president: She used her WND platform to declare that President Obama is a "psychopath," citing as evidence that Obama took too much vacation, his "mysterious and shady past," and his purported "lack of substantive remorse" about the deaths of Americans in Benghazi. That, along with her history of spreading lies and smears, indicates that the psychopathy is on Loudon's side rather than Obama's.

The biggest evidence that something is amiss in Loudon's psyche is a July 2014 column about her then-teenage daughter's relationship with a 57-year-old actor. In this bizarre attempt at damage control and capitalizing on the sensational publicity, Loudon not only defended the relationship by insisting she believes her daughter when she says she "has remained (and remains) pure until marriage," she felt the need to illustrate the column with a decidedly sultry-looking photo of her and her daughter.

When we tried to open the column at the WND website, it now returns a "Error 404 -- Page Not Found" message, which means it was deleted -- presumably at Loudon's request as she raises her public profile as a rabidly pro-Trump surrogate.It has also disappeared from her WND column archive, which jumps from her July 20, 2014, column to her Aug. 3 one and omitting the column that was published on July 27.

Fortunately, the Internet Archive forgets nothing, and it shows that the column was live at WND as recently as September 2017.

Meanwhile, Accuracy in Media's Brian McNicoll devoted an article to insisting that Loudon really is a doctor, insisting that the school that granted her doctorate is fully accredited and that "The chair of her dissertation committee was Marie Farrell, Ed.D., MPH, RN, FAAN, ACC, an adjunct professor at Harvard for 16 years who has worked extensively with distance learning students."


Posted by Terry K. at 5:52 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, September 23, 2018 7:46 PM EDT
Saturday, September 22, 2018
MRC Was Much Harder On CBS Chief's Sexual Harassment Than Fox News Chief's
Topic: Media Research Center

How did the Media Research Center cover the sexual harassment allegations that ultimately forced Les Moonves from his position CEO of CBS? In short, with glee:

  • Kyle Drennen claimed the network was in "damage control" and asserted that one reporter "tout[ed] the company line that the accusations may just be a case of 'corporate hardball' as CBS fights off an attempt to re-merge with its former parent company Viacom."
  • Scott Whitlock sneered that CBS host John Dickerson showed "no self awareness as to the people he’s worked with" when he talked about how "one test of a person’s character is if they do the right thing when they don't think anybody is looking," claiming that "The network that, for years, employed alleged sexual harassers Charlie Rose and CEO Les Moonves decided to lecture Americans."
  • Whitlock cheered that "CBS This Morning co-host Gayle King on Tuesday launched a preemptive strike against her own network. She attacked top officials for not showing transparency in an investigation of ex-CEO Les Moonves, a man now accused of sexual harassment and assault.
  • When CBS "60 Minutes" exective producer Jeff Fager was ousted amid similar allegations though, apparently, ultimately because of a not-so-veiled threat he made to a CBS correspondent covering the allegations, Nicholas Fondacaro praised how the correspondent did "her due diligence as a journalist" and how "CBS Evening Newsanchor Jeff Glor delivered a heartfelt message to his colleague" after reporting the story on his show.
  • Tim Graham and Brent Bozell wrote a column bashing Moonves as a "shameless hypocrite, claiming that "Moonves seems similar to Bill Clinton, who struck women as very warm and charming... until he made unwanted advances – to say the least! – and wasn’t getting what he wanted." They went on to grumble: "Over the years, CBS has championed a commitment to expose sexual harassment, even as inside its studios, it was doing the opposite. They wanted to punish Republicans from Donald Trump to Clarence Thomas, whether the accusations were true or not. All along their executives were harassing and assaulting dozens of staff. This wasn’t a casting couch. It was an entire living-room set."

Let's recall how Bozell, Graham and the rest of the MRC provided a much different tone of coverage regarding allegations of sexual harassment against the head of its favorite news channel, Roger Ailes, its top anchor, Bill O'Reilly, and other Fox News hosts and executives, shall we?

  • Graham made light of the accusations against Ailes by quipping that "If these claims of sexual harassment are true, Ailes seems more like Bob Packwood than J. Edgar Hoover."
  • One NewsBusters blogger insisted that Ailes shouldn't be blamed for the pervasive culture of sexual harassment at Fox News, and another claimed it was "liberal bias" for anyone to even discuss Ailes' sexual harassment issues.
  • Whwen Ailes died a year after his sexual harassment was exposed, Bozell gushed that "The good Roger did for America is immeasurable" while completely ignoring the harassment claims. Meanwhile, his MRC attacked every media outlet who referenced thte sexual harassment while reporting on Ailes' death.
  • Graham and Bozell issued a perfunctory denunciation of O'Reilly ("If all the charges of sexual harassment are true, his case is indefensible"), then spent the rest of their column attacking O'Reilly's critics as guilty of "rank hypocrisy," dismissing the allegations as old news and portraying O'Reilly as the victim of a hypocritical "liberal media."
  • The MRC touted O'Reilly's appearance on NBC in which he denied any harassment without offering any evidence to back him up and insisted he was the victim of a "hit job, a political and financial hit job."
  • Bozell touted in an intervew how Fox News viewers would ignore the accusations and that “They’re not going to stop watching Hannity because of Roger Ailes. ... I don’t think they connect the two of them at all.”
  • Graham attacked one of Ailes' accusers, Gretchen Carlson, suggesting she made the accusations only to get a big out-of-court settlement and to promote her book. Graham also insisted that ex-Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly was making too much money in her new gig at NBC to complain about harassment from her former employer.
  • No MRC item has ever mentioned sexual harassment allegations against Fox News hosts Eric Bolling and Charles Payne.

Given their double standard-laden record, perhaps Bozell, Graham and the rest of the MRC should refrain from acting so high and mighty the next time an employee of a channel they loathe faces sexual harassment charges.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:52 AM EDT
Friday, September 21, 2018
CNS Cheers Conservative Comedian's Mocking of Kavanaugh Accuser
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com blogger Craig Bannister wrote disdainfully of a Democratic congressman for mocking Republican Sen. Susan Collins' claim that she's receiving threats related to the battle over confirming Brett Kavanaugh as a Supreme Court justice by claiming she has Secret Service protection as a senator and that she didn't mention that the woman who has accused Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her in high school has also received death threats. After the congressman apologized, Bannister typed that up too, adding that the congressman "deleted his offensive tweet."

But a few days earlier, Bannister was cheering those who mock -- when the target is Kavanaugh's accuser. Bannister approvingly writes in a Sept. 17 post:

“You can talk to me,” comedian Terrence K. Williams jokes in a video mocking Christine Blasey Ford’s last-minute allegations of sexual assault against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

In a video posted on social media Monday, the comedian, actor and conservative commentator chides Ford for waiting decades to make her claim, since Kavanaugh has “been a judge for almost half his life:

“Girl, so you gonna wait 30 years to speak up? Huh? And, not only that, y’all were in high school. And, you claim he assaulted you at a high school party, and you just now speaking up now, 30 years later?

“And, I find it quite funny that you speaking up now that he is a Supreme Court nominee. But, this man been a judge almost half his life. Well, he’s been a lawyer, a judge…why you didn’t say nothing 10 years ago, 15 years ago?”

Williams jokes that someone in the anti-Trump media or Democrat Party must have put Ford up to making the accusation and that – if she just tells him who it was – she can trust him to keep it just between them:

“Who paying you? Is it CNN? I won’t tell nobody. Is it the New York Times? Who paying you? Is it Hillary? Obama? I won’t tell nobody. You can talk to me.”

Forgive us if we think that Bannister's outrage over Collins being mocked is more than a tad hypocritical.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:36 PM EDT
WND's Zumwalt Pretends That Flynn Pleaded Guilty To Something He Didn't Do
Topic: WorldNetDaily

James Zumwalt makes a valiant effort in his Sept. 12 WorldNetDaily column to paint Michael Flynn as an innocent victim of the Robert Mueller prosecution machine:

Probably next to be sentenced will be an American hero – Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn – who briefly served as President Donald Trump’s national security adviser before getting caught up in Mueller’s witch hunt. Mueller’s team manipulated Flynn in hopes he would become a lynchpin into proving collusion. His team was wrong. Charged with lying to the FBI, Flynn, ironically, was basically forced to lie about having lied as investigators simply would not accept the truth.

Flynn’s prosecution or, more appropriately, his persecution, was reminiscent of that suffered by French military officer Alfred Dreyfus over a century ago. Wrongly convicted of treason – largely due to his Jewish heritage – he was sentenced to life in prison in 1894. It was a sad outcome for an honorable patriot who found himself caught up in the political influences of the day. While Dreyfus had truth on his side, it mattered little for those for whom truth was immaterial.

While a noticeable difference between Dreyfus and Flynn is that the former always asserted his innocence and the latter admitted guilt, numerous pressures plagued Flynn. These were pressures he could only escape by lying about lying.

It should be kept in mind the pressures to which Flynn was subjected were applied by those to whom truth, even as a matter of law, need not be considered. Few people realize what a special counsel’s investigative powers allow. He enjoys tremendous flexibility in charging a witness with lying during an investigation. Where two people tell two different stories, making it difficult to determine which version is true, this poses no dilemma to a special counsel, who can choose whom to charge and whom not to. The obvious tendency here is to select the bigger fish to so charge in hopes of manipulating a witness in furtherance of the investigation’s main focus. Thus, the power is exercised as part of a ploy to obtain leverage over a party powerless to stop an investigator’s steamroller.

It was this trap that ensnared Flynn. Having found someone telling a story contrary to Flynn’s, Mueller could accuse the general of lying. We need then to understand the pressures Flynn was under.

Zumwalt's revisionism is endemic among right-wingers who are seizing on claims that some investigators didn't think Flynn lied intentionally. But Zumwalt ignores that Flynn was being investigated on other charges of making false statements, particulaly regarding his lobbying for Turkey. In his plea agreement, Flynn pleged to cooperate with Mueller in exchange for the rest of the charges against him being dropped.

Nevertheless, Zumwalt continued to insist that Flynn "was forced to lie about having told the truth" and rant further about the "slash-and-burn" tactics of the Muller investigation "destroying the careers of honorable men, like Flynn."


Posted by Terry K. at 1:11 AM EDT
Thursday, September 20, 2018
MRC's Yoder Again Repeats The 'Fungible' Lie About Federal Funding to Planned Parenthood
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Katie Yoder is a repeat offender in spreading the never-proven myth that federal funding to Planned Parenthood is "fungible" and, thus, somehow pays for abortion in violation of federal law. Yoder does it again in a Sept. 13 post attacking new Planned Parenthood leader Lena Wen:

Wen again insisted Planned Parenthood was right: “There are no federal taxpayer dollars that go towards abortions.”

That’s incorrect. The Hyde Amendment, a legislative provision approved annually by Congress, bars federal funding (aka taxpayer funding) for abortion, but not in cases of rape, incest or to save the life of the mother. Wen also refused to address the argument that that money is fungible, or that Planned Parenthood could offset costs with public funds to free up other resources for abortion. Another point highlighted by pro-life groups.

But once again, Yoder never proves that it's "incorrect" to claim that federal funding to Planned Parenthood is "fungible." On the words "money is fungible," Yoder simply links to an old post of hers making the stupid and irrelavant analogy in which we are told to "imagine giving your teen $20 to use specifically for gas. Although he can’t buy beer with that $20, he can now use his own $20 to purchase alcohol since the gas was covered by you." As we pointed out at the time, that's not how federal funding works, and the teen can't legally buy alcohol.

For the rest, Yoder uses weasel words like "could offset costs" and "highlighted by pro-life groups" -- there are no definitive statements of fact.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:22 PM EDT
WND's Farah Regurgitates An Attack On A Fact-Checker
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Joseph Farah's Sept. 11 column is a lengthy tirade against fact-checker Snopes. It reads a lot like a December 2016 WND article on Snopes; both are based on a UK Daily Mail article and obsess over lurid details of the private lives of Snopes' founders and some of its employees, which have nothing to do with its veracity in fact-checking. Nevertheless, Farah tries to link this to "the question of whether Snopes can be trusted to be fair, balanced and unbiased."

That's rich, since the last thing anyone expects from Farah and WND is fairness, balance and a lack of bias.

Farah then regurgitated a post from an obscure blog attacking Snopes for purported double standards and whining that Snopes found thatthe Clintons did not "steal" thousands of dollars of furniture, china and art when they left the White House because intent could not be determined, huffing that "If taking things that do not belong to you is not 'stealing,' then we need a new definition of the word." Strangely, Farah didn't link to that blog post or to any of the Snopes articles it attacked.

Farah concluded:

Ultimately, bias is in the eye of the beholder, but even David Mikkelson admits most often it is conservatives and Republicans who detect bias in Snopes reports.

Is that surprising after learning the history of this enterprise?

And what does it tell you about the worldview of Snopes’ new partner – Facebook?

The fact that Farah and WND have a right-wing Christian worldview has not stopped them from publishing fake news and highly biased journalism -- which makes Farah a bad messenger for the idea that Snopes' "worldview" somehow makes it unreliable as a fact-checker.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:26 PM EDT
CNS' Marching Orders On Catholic Sex Abuse: Blame The Gays!
Topic: CNSNews.com

We've detailed how CNSNews.com refused to report for three days on a grand jury report detailing sexual abuse by Catholic clergy in Pennsylvania -- and that its first mention was a column by right-wing Catholic activist Bill Donohue of the Catholic League dismissing the report and blaming it all the abuse on gays. That has been the narrative CNS has mostly stuck with since.

CNS managing editor Michael W. Chapman used an Aug. 30 article to tout a bishop "prais[ing] the integrity of Vatican whistleblower Archbishop Carlo Vigano -- who has called for the resignation of Pope Francis and other bishops for allegedly covering up Archbishop Theodore McCarrick's reported homosexual abuse of a young boy and seminarians," going on to repeat other conservative Catholic clerics supporting Vigano's accusations. That was followed the next day with Chapman quoting more right-wing Catholic clerics to play up the gay angle:

Commenting on the recent revelations of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church, specifically those of predator Archbishop Theodore McCarrick and the cases detailed in the Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report, several bishops and lay leaders have blamed a "homosexual subculture" in the hierachy of the Church and called for the removal of the priests, bishops, and cardinals involved in that subculture.

Bishop Robert Morlino, head of the diocese of Madison, Wisc., in an Aug. 18 letter, stressed that the Church must stop excusing sin "in the name of a mistaken notion of mercy" and must express more "hatred" toward sin. "What the Church needs now is more hatred!" he said. "It is an act of love to hate sin and to call others to turn away from sin."

"There must be no room left, no refuge for sin — either within our own lives, or within the lives of our communities," said the bishop.  "To be a refuge for sinners (which we should be), the Church must be a place where sinners can turn to be reconciled. In this I speak of all sin. But to be clear, in the specific situations at hand, we are talking about deviant sexual — almost exclusively homosexual — acts by clerics."

Chapman went on to repeat Donohue's deliberate misreading of the John Jay report on sexual abuse in the Catholic Church that because most victims were post-pubescent males "homosexuality -- not heterosexuality or pedophilia -- was in play." In fact, as we've reported, the authors of the John Jay report specifically stated that no connection was found between homosexual identity and an increased likelihood of sexual abuseand that one does not have to have a homosexual identity to commit homosexual acts.

Chapman also touted one anti-gay Catholic activist who called for a "complete and thorough removal of all homosexual clergymen from the Church."

An anonymously written Aug. 31 piece took took a bizarre shot at McCarrick, complaining that he "gave a speech at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., on June 8, 2001, when he was the archbishop of Washington, in which he noted the 'sense of humanity' found in 'all the holy books,' including 'the Koran.'" The anonymous writer (who we're guessing is Chapman) did not dispute McCarrick's claim, nor did he/she explain what it is relevant to anything that's happening now.

Chapman also reported on a Catholic laymen's group withholding a donation to the church over the sexual abuse scandal. And while Chapman couldn't be bothered to report on the Pennsylvania abuse report until Donohue told him how to frame it, he quickly jumped on a appropriately lurid (for his agenda, anyway) report about "two priests performing oral sex in a parked car."

Chapman went into full lecture mode in a Sept. 10 article, declaring "Contrary to the spin by the liberal media, the overwhelming majority of sexual abusers in the Catholic Church are homosexual priests, said Catholic Bishop Marian Eleganti in a recent statement." But Chapman never quotes Eleganti, a bishop in Swizerland, referencing the "liberal media" -- or even referencing the media at all. Nevertheless, Chapman concluded his post by huffing: "That the homosexual subculture in the Catholic Church is the fundamental source of the abuse problems is well documented. Numerous bishops and lay person have commented on this fact but it is a politically incorrect phenomenon that the leftist media and the homosexuals in the Church do not want to discuss."

CNS also gave more space to Donohue in full deflection mode, int he form of a Sept. 12 open letter to state attorneys general thinking of looking into Catholic Church abuses, demanding that "If you want to pursue molesters, you should begin by launching a grand jury probe of the public schools." Of course, Donohue can't point to any systematic, decades-long cover-up of abuse in public schools of the kind that existed in the Catholic Church.

Meanwhile, the Catholics at CNS have no problem exploiting their religion to make political attacks. An anonymously written Sept. 17 article groused that House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi said that "she is a 'practicing Catholic' and that Catholics understand the church to be 'the body of Christ.'" After sneering that Pelosi "(contrary to Catholic teaching) supports abortion on demand and same-sex marriage," the anonymous writer effectively concedes that Pelosi got it right by quoting directly from the Catholic Catechism stating that "The Church is the Body of Christ." Not that CNS would ever forthrightly admit that Pelosi is right on a key matter of Catholic faith.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:55 AM EDT
Wednesday, September 19, 2018
WND's Peterson Hates That His White-Spremacist Schtick Was Called Out
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Earlier this month, Media Matters (disclosure: I used to work there) called out Jesse Lee Peterson for the "torrent of anti-Black, anti-gay, and misogynistic hate" that emanates from him on his various media platforms, including his WorldNetDaily column. We, of course, have repeatedly documented his use of white supremacist language, which he gets away with by being a black right-winger.

Needless to say, Peterson didn't take that well, and he spent his Sept. 9 WND column lashing out at Media Matters:

Far left website Media Matters did another hit piece on me. This time they’re calling me a “racist” and “white supremacist” (of all things!).

They’ve gone after Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson, men who love America and tell the truth. More than anyone else of their prominence in media, these hosts stand up for black people. They decry the crime, violence and lies that hurt the black community.

But Media Matters hates black people. Media Matters wants to keep blacks as slaves on the plantation of the Democratic Party – angry, brainwashed and miserable.

This anti-conservative site calls themselves “Media Matters for America,” but they’re against America. They pretend to correct “conservative misinformation,” but only push the lie of leftism.

So they attack me as a black man with a rising profile on Newsmax TV and YouTube. They can’t allow one man to go free, think for myself, love America and white people – because I might awaken others, as I am doing. Media Matters hates anyone, black or white, who is independent and unafraid to speak the truth – because they are children of the lie. Their father is Satan.

Media Matters makes phony complaints about “Trump’s war on the press,” but they’re truly free and independent press. That’s why they’ve gone after Alex Jones and InfoWars – and now me.

Of course, Media Matters is not the one who's using the racist "Great White Hope" insult to praise President Trump -- Peterson is. Media Matters is not the one who is embracing the idea of a "White History Month" (as if every month isn't already that) -- Peterson is.

Peterson also attacked the co-author of the Media Matters piece as "an angry pro-abortion feminist who hates men and hates God," and called both writers "evil people," then whined that "I’m not allowed to express my appreciation for the white people who made America great."

In the midst of all this hate-spewing, Peterson has the nerve to claim: "Every day on my show, I tell people to let go of anger, which is hate. Anger is evil. It’s of your father the Devil." But the only angry, hateful person we see is Peterson, who apparently has no intention of following his own advice.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:45 PM EDT
NEW ARTICLE -- The MRC's War on Journalists, Part 2: Jim Acosta
Topic: Media Research Center
Endless insults and cheering on hecklers at Trump rallies: That's how the Media Research Center conducts "media research" on CNN's White House correspondent. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 3:18 PM EDT
WND Touts Fake-News Claim of Muslims 'Proselytizing' In School
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily still can't wean itself off pushing fake news.

An anonymously written Sept. 9 WND article is in large part a rewritten press release from the right-wing Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund  accusing Muslim groups -- including the Council on American-Islamic Relations, which right-wingers hate -- to "proselytize" to students in a California school district in the wake of reports of discrimination and bullying against a Muslim student. The FCDF has no evidence that any "proselytizing" ever took place; it just wants to go on a fishing expedition through the school district's emails.

WND made no attempt to contact the school district in question for a response -- that would require work that takes away from rewriting a press release -- though it did soften FCDF's wording to state the district is "suspected of proselytizing." Still, WND is reporting fake news because there's no evidence to back up the claim. It appears the FCDF is merely reacting to an article in a local newspaper on the bullied student and apparently not from any firsthand knowledge of what the groups said at the school, since none is cited in the FCDF press release announcing the email fishing expedition.

What FCDF (and WND) are effectivley arguing is the lie that letting Musilm groups explain to students that Muslims are not the evil peopleright-wingers portray them as is the same thing as trying to convert students. We doubt the FCDF would similarly claim that a Christian group going to a school to counter anti-Christian discrimination had the goal of converting students.

It's this sort of fake news promotion, lazy press-release journalism and baseless anti-Muslim  fearmongering that shows WND is not serious about fixing the editorial problems that are leading it to its grave.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:00 AM EDT

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