ConWebBlog: The Weblog of ConWebWatch

your New Media watchdog

ConWebWatch: home | archive/search | about | primer | shop

Sunday, November 4, 2018
MRC Tries to Shield Trump From Responsibility Over Pipe Bombs
Topic: Media Research Center

When pipe bombs started showing up in the mailboxes of prominent liberals and "liberal media" outlets like CNN, the Media Research Center was at first indignant that the story was being covered at all -- then indignant at the idea that President Trump's rhetoric may have inspired the would-be bomber in an orgy of pre-emptive denials.

An Oct. 23 item by Nicholas Fondacaro huffed that the media reported the story of "a pipe bomb in the mailbox of shady liberal billionaire George Soros’ New York mansion," complaining that "their concern for Soros came after all of them had ignored violent assaults and threat against conservative candidates and lawmakers."Fondacaro then ranted that "While the media were faithfully echoing Soros’ condemnation of “hate,” they ignored his financing of radical leftist organizations" through "his racical Open Society Foundation."

Kristine Marsh complained: "The View co-hosts Sunny Hostin and Joy Behar were quick to condemn President Trump after a suspicious package was found in the mailroom of the Time Warner Cable Center in New York City, where CNN broadcasts from. Hostin and Behar even went further in suggesting this was a conservative who was motivated by Trump’s war with the media."

Gabriel Hays grumbled that "the Hollywood partisans couldn’t wait for details before blaming the president," singling out actor Josh Gad for having "donned the victimhood cap and also declared this as the fruits of the current administration’s rhetoric against the Democrats." Hays concluded by declaring: "Clearly, Wednesday morning’s physical threat to the liberal media and progressive icons is a condemnable and disgusting action. But to blather on about how it is Donald Trump’s fault and indicative of his followers rather than the actions of some deranged criminal is rash and irresponsible."

Kyle Drennen huffed that "MSNBC anchor Craig Melvin teed up a former Hillary Clinton aide to blame President Trump for the incidents without knowing who sent the explosives or why." Curtis Houck was mad that a CNN "panel of analysts, journalists, and pundits promptly lashed out at Trump, insinuating his guilt and deeming his remarks insufficient."

Mark Finkelstein asserted: "Maybe CNN lacks the guts to directly claim that a Republican sent those devices. And so it has resorted to the cowardly contrivance of putting the accusation in the mouths of others." He then bizarrely claimed that New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo "seems to be suffering from a bad case of pipe-bomb envy," linking to an article accusing Cuomo of falsely claiming a pipe bomb was sent to his office (though a "suspicious package" had been sent).

Drennen returned to engage in anti-media rhetoric: "On Thursday, the network morning shows were aghast that President Trump would accuse the news media of incivility and divisiveness, even as they repeatedly suggested that his rhetoric was to blame for mail bombs being sent to prominent Democrats. Reporters ignored recent polling that found people across the political spectrum agreed that the press was one of the main sources of division in the country." He added: "While the journalists repeatedly longed for Trump to “take responsibility” for the foiled bombing attempts and the overall divided state of the country, they failed to spend one moment on any self-examination."

Fondacaro did basically the same thing: "President Trump and the White House refused to bow to the liberal media’s assertions that he was the one responsible for the bombs sent to CNN and other Democrats this week. In response, the liberal media spend most of Thursday throwing a temper tantrum. During ABC’s World News Tonight and NBC Nightly News, these two broadcast networks were clearly irritated as they took shot after shot at the President."

Fondacaro followed with some serious pro-Trump stenography: "Mere moments after President Trump called for national unity at a Wisconsin rally in the wake of attempted bombings of prominent Democrats and CNN, CNN host Anderson Cooper kicked off AC360 by decrying the President’s speech," further insisting that "In his speech, Trump forcefully denounced the attacks." He then sneered: "Even when Trump tries to be presidential, CNN has to fight him on it. This is CNN."

Houck whined further in another post:

That’s right, NewsBusters readers. According to two of CNN’s top personalities on Wednesday afternoon, you have contributed to our coarsening American discourse and tacitly deserve blame for the bombs sent to, among others CNN and former Presidents Clinton and Obama.

While reporting from outside the evacuated Time Warner building, CNN hosts Chris Cuomo and Brian Stelter asserted without evidence on those behind the bombs and heavy usage of the word “but” that it’s the President and “right-wing commentators” and “outlets” who should look at themselves in the mirror.

[...]

So, to recap, it’s the people who bring you the latest liberal media bias, whether that be here at NewsBusters or with our friends such as Conservative Review, the Daily Caller, Townhall, and the Washington Free Beacon who have created a culture of incivility and that CNN (or anyone on the left) have little to nothing to do with that. Classy.

Houck also huffed that a CNN correspondent "offered a repulsive piece of analysis Friday night on the suspect arrested in this week’s mail bombs, comparing the President to Islamic terrorists like ISIS peddling online propaganda to help lone wolves become “self-radicalized” and carry out attacks.

Mind you, all of this came before the Oct. 26 arrest of Cesar Sayoc -- an enthusiastic Trump supporter -- on suspicion of sending all those pipe bombs.

Needless to say, the MRC will never apologize for insulting all those people for speculation that turned out to be absolutely correct. Instead it doubled down on defending Trump -- for a little while, anyway.

Scott Whitlock complained that "MSNBC guests and hosts went into full blame mode on Friday, lashing out at Donald Trump as 'terrorist sympathizer' in the wake of the arrest of alleged mail bomber Cesar Sayoc in Florida." Whitlock also strangely complained that in 2017, one MSNBC commentator "tried to smear Steve Scalise, the victim of Bernie Sanders-supporting attempted murderer James Hodgkinson. He promoted the discredited report that Scalise 'may have' spoken to 'white nationalists.'" As we've documented, Scalise apologized for speaking to white nationalists, so the claim is not "discredited."

Fondacaro railed at "Clinton lackey George Stephanopoulos" for "painting the violence and death of the last few days as the product of the President they couldn’t stand" on ABC's "This Week," ranting that "Blaming President Trump’s heated words for the physical violence of others was the undercurrent of the entire program." He didn't mention Sayoc's arrest, let alone that Sayoc was a huge Trump supporter.

Ryan Foley cheerfully wrote as he went into equivocation mode:

Fox News Sunday, host Chris Wallace contrasted front-page headlines from The Washington Post the day after Republican Congressman Steve Scalise was shot at an Alexandria, VA baseball field by a Bernie Sanders supporter with The Post's headline following the capture of mail bomb mastermind and Trump supporter Cesar Sayoc. Not surprisingly, The Post made sure to emphasize that Sayoc's political views were mentioned in the headline while the assailant's political leanings were not mentioned in the Scalise shooting headline.

Of course, Foley didn't note that while James Hodgkinson, Scalise's shooter, merely liked Bernie Sanders and Rachel Maddow on Facebook -- neither of whom ever urged violence against those they disagreed with -- Sayoc had his van plastered in pro-Trump sentiments and "CNN Sucks" stickers. Big difference.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:33 PM EST
CNS Managing Editor Downplays Anti-Semitism to Justify Attacks on Soros
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com managing editor does a weird thing in an Oct. 30 blog post: he downplays anti-Semitic attacks on George Soros by claiming that the Israeli government hates him too:

Although some pundits, mostly on the left, have denounced criticism of left-wing billionaire George Soros as anti-Semitic, it is important to note that Israel has officially stated that criticism of Soros is legitimate because he "continuously" seeks to undermine the Israeli government and he funds organizations "that defame the Jewish state."

These same Soros-funded groups also seek to prevent Israel from defending itself, according to the Israeli government.

Chapman offered no substantiation of those "official" charges from Israel. He also did not concede that at least some attacks on Soros are very much anti-Semitic, specifically the oft-repeated false right-wing slur that a teenage Soros was a Nazi sympathizer during World War II. (Not to mention the anti-Semitic imagery Chapman's employer, the Media Reserach Center, has used to portray Soros as a "puppet master").

Chapman then recounts an incident in which "Israel's ambassador to Hungary criticized a government-funded billboard campaign that showed a photo of Soros and stated, 'Let's not allow Soros to have the last laugh.'" which was "deemed anti-Semitic by some organizations, including the Soros-backed Human Rights Watch," followed by Israeli officials backtracking by insisting that "In no way was the statement meant to delegitimize criticism of George Soros."

Chapman then touted a "letter to the World Jewish Congress" in which "Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban wrote that the Open Society Foundation and Soros 'bear personal responsibility for the growth of anti-Semitism in Europe. They have brought people to Europe -- among migrants -- whose political and religious views have dramatically increased the vulnerability of our Jewish communities.'" This was followed by noting that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu "has praised Hungary's Orban as a 'true friend of Israel,' a leader who has fought against anti-Semitism and supported the Jewish state."

But Chapman didn't mention that the Voice of America article from which he sourced Netanyahu's praise of Israel also pointed out that "Orban evoked anti-Semitic language in denouncing Soros, saying that Hungary's enemies 'do not believe in work, but speculate with money; they have no homeland, but feel that the whole world is theirs,'" remarks that met with "global Jewish condemnation." Voice of America also cited one member of an Israeli opposition party as stating that ""Netanyahu has a thing with anti-Semitic leaders around the world, from Hungary and Poland, to the head of the Philippines, (Rodrigo) Duterte, who compared himself to Hitler, and instead of suffering condemnation, was invited as well for a state visit with the prime minister of Israel."

You might recall that CNS just loves the right-wing authoritarian Orban, whitewashing him as a "populist" who's merely trying to "reintroduce the Judeo-Christian ethic into a secularized Europe."


Posted by Terry K. at 11:16 AM EDT
Updated: Sunday, November 4, 2018 9:03 PM EST
Saturday, November 3, 2018
MRC Continues Its (Paid?) PR Campaign For Right-Wing Gosnell Movie
Topic: Media Research Center

Phelim McAleer's "Gosnell" continues to show middling performance at the box office -- earning only about $3.3 million after three weeks in theaters -- but the Media Research Center is still on (apparenly bought-and-paid-for) PR patrol for the film.

In addition to publishing a column by Cal Thomas, the MRC is staying on message with its own work (with, presumably the McAleer stamp of approval). An Oct. 15 post by Gabriel Hays made a big deal out of how it "received a 99% score in terms of general audience approval" on Rotten Tomatoes, then launched into an anti-media tirade with the help of McAleer's wife and co-producer, Ann McElhinney:

McElhinney summed it up, stating prior to the movie’s release that “Most Americans have never heard the name Dr. Kermit Gosnell because mainstream journalists chose not to cover the trail.” However she seemed confident that after the release of the film, “the media who ignored the story will have to explain to millions of people who will see the movie why they censored this story.”

Considering that the movie has positive critic reviews and a stellar audience review, it seems as though McElhinney might be right. After all, even when the film was facing problems in trying to find a distributor early on, a historical crowdfund of $2.3 million made sure that the film was finished and set for release. With such a grisly story as that of Dr. Gosnell’s, people want to hear the truth, and hopefully the continued success of this movie will bring wider public awareness of not only abortion, but just how twisted and conspiratorial the media can be.

The media failing to cover something to the extent right-wing activists demand does not equal being "twisted and conspiratorial." The fact that Hays believes this -- apparently inculcated by his work at the MRC -- shows how twisted and conspiratorial his employer is.

The MRC's Tim Graham and Brent Bozell cranked out a column whining that major newspapers didn't review the film and dismissing anyone who might be critical of the film as "elites": "In short, the cultural elites who decry how conservatives live in a 'post-truth era' have sought to bury the truth about the abortion industry. Those factories of death are an important part of the liberal base, and for them, protecting abortion on demand is defending the essence of their cultural movement."

And just like right-wing activists made alleged lack of coverage  of the Gosnell trial an issue, McAleer and Co. -- and the MRC -- are going the conspiracy route on the "Gosnell" film by blaming lack of media coverage of its polemic for its poor performance. An Oct. 22 CNS article by Emily Ward toutted how McAleer and McElhinney are attacking the National Society of Film Critics for purportedly conspiring against the film by not reviewing it. Ward gave no indication she contacted the National Society of Film Critics for a response that would have given her article balance.

(Ward also highlighted a right-wing media report about how "many movie theaters dropped the film in spite of clear interest from audiences" --never mind the fact that a film's opening week is typically the widest theater distribution a film sees and theaters drop it as interest wanes.)

Hays followed in kind in an Oct. 29 MRC post that simply repeats "a press release from the producers" of the film railing that the New York Times for not only not reviewing the film but denying it had been provided to the paper for review. "McElhinney and McAleer did not back down and insisted that this statement was a lie," Hays wrote, but he did not cite any documented proof the producers provided to substantiate their claim. Hays also apparently did not contact the Times for their side of the story.

Meanwhile, over at the MRC's "news" division CNSNews.com, Craig Bannister tried to spin the film's middling opening-weekend performance, where it placed 12th, by highlight that it was "breaking into the top 10 on Sunday." He also touted its Rotten Tomatoes viewer ratings.

CNS published a column by Sam Sorbo -- whose claim to fame is being married to a celebrity, onetime "Hercules" Kevin Sorbo -- repeating the right-wing line that Gosnell's trial was suppressed by the "main stream media' and parrots the movie's propaganstic message: "Let us only hope the movie succeeds as well as the media’s attempt to quash its lessons: Abortion kills, all the time, and the left’s concern for minorities directly corresponds to its financial benefit."

It also published a column by Grazie Chrstie of the Catholic Association -- a conservative group that monitors coverage of Catholicism in the media -- also staying on message, declaring that "The movie poses this question for a caring society: Should not abortion clinics be regulated more, not less, rigorously than manicure parlors?"


Posted by Terry K. at 10:04 AM EDT
WND Columnist Is Sad Hitler Ruined The Idea of Nationalism
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Rich Logis spends his Oct. 25 WorldNetDaily column being sad that Hitler ruined the idea of nationalism, meaning that liberals have a leg to stand on when criticizing President Trump's invocation of nationalism as his policy. He also throws in some right-wing hooey about Hitler being a Marxist:

Most Democrats who besmirch America First voters as Nazis have not a clue that Nazi is shorthand for the National Socialist German Workers’ Party, which Wikipedia categories as “far-right.” Impugning Republicans and conservatives as Nazis is, of course, nothing new. Difference is with Trump, though, none of the lying opprobrium spewed by Democrats, the DMIC ["Democrat Media Industrial Complex"] and Never Trumper acolytes sticks. In fact, the more the lie is told, the bigger its untruth manifests itself to sensible Americans with working cognition. Hell, even the foreign minister of the Islamic Republic of Iran – that bastion of peace, prosperity, freedom and free markets – showed himself to be loyal to the Democrats, DMIC and Never Trumpers when he admonished the U.S. for her “Nazi disposition” under Trump.

No Republican before Trump would have lasted in the Third Reich-ian wilderness as long as he has, and that’s because history – truthful history – is on his, and we supporters’, side. Hitler didn’t invent nationalism; he adulterated and co-opted it.

Can we use Trump’s remark as an opportunity to once and for all lay to rest the falsehood that the Allies in World War 2 fought, sacrificed and died to defeat nationalism? World War 2, at its epicenter core, was a turf war between Hitler and Stalin – two Leninist/Marxist dictators.

The Allies – totaling 17 nations (including ourselves) – warred against the progeny of Leninism, Marxism and Mussolini’s authoritarian fascism; fascism is ultra-nationalism that was also the basis for Japan’s aggression in the war. Yes, we had to side with Stalin; he wanted only the Eastern European bloc, whereas Hitler wanted most of Europe and parts of Africa. Extreme collectivism forces good and just nations to pick the best of the worst choices.

The talking point of Democrats that nationalism leads to war and imperialism is correct in the context of the history of the Axis powers during World War 2. In Trump’s case, he hasn’t remotely looked like a pro-unnecessary-war president, and as a candidate, he promised war would be our last resort.

The worst part of this mindlessness is how the Democrats, DMIC and Never Trumpers whitewash the actual horrors of Nazism, as well as all the other tyrannical, murderous -isms, by constantly parroting the smear like a ventriloquist and his dummy puppet; ditto for the incessant accusations of “racism.” This is their version of tearing down inanimate objects known as “statues.”

I doubt Hitler would agree with the Democrats’, DMIC’s and Never Trumper’s definition of “Hitlerian.”

In fact, Hitler was exact opposite of a Marxist -- he came to power as an anti-Marxist and anti-communist, and Nazi socialism was not liberal at all.

Also, Logis' link for the claim that Democrats "whitewash the actual horrors of Nazism" is to an article detailing how MSNBC host Joe Scarborough drew parallels between Trump and Hitler. That's not whitewashing Hitler; it's an opinion about where the U.S. could be headed if Trump continues unchecked.

Logis concluded by ranting: "The future isn’t Republican versus Democrat; it’s nationalism versus Americanized Leninism. America First patriots versus increasingly useful – and violent – useful idiots.

So much for "truthful history."


Posted by Terry K. at 1:08 AM EDT
Friday, November 2, 2018
At The MRC, Conservatives Are Always Right, And Liberals Are Always 'Discredited'
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center likes to pretend that the conservative position on a given issue is de facto the correct one and that merely repeating it equates to a debunking or discrediting of an alternative view.

So we see with the MRC's attacks on news and commentary about voter suppression tactics allegedly being used in Georgia under Republican Secretary of State Brian Kemp, who's running for governor and arguably has an interest in suppressing potential votes for his opponent.

For instance, an Oct. 12 post by Brad Wilmouth groused that "a number of shows on both CNN and MSNBC have pushed claims by Democrats that Georgia Republicans are engaging in "voter suppression" targeted at black voters," huffing that they "did not bother to inform viewers that the voters affected can resolve the issue on Election Day or at least cast provisional ballots so that the matter will not prohibit them from voting."

Wilmouth groused further in an Oct. 15 post that "several MSNBC shows threw around charges of racism by Georgia Republicans as the liberal news network continued hyping the story of 53,000 new voter registrations being held in a "pending" status until those voters verify their information. Even though verification should be simple for most to do on Election Day, MSNBC hosts and contributors repeatedly made charges of racism by Republicans across several shows." He further huffed: "The fact that the registrations can be fixed when voters show up on Election Day was usually buried well into the segments, and, like previous coverage of the story from Thursday and early Friday, it was not mentioned that the reason a disproportionate number of minorities were affected was allegedly because a limited number of liberal groups that focused on registering minorities had completed forms incorrectly."

Wilmouth never explained why these voters must wait until Election Day to "fix" their registrations when other voters do not have to do so.

An Oct. 18 post by Nicholas Fondacaro whined that the "liberal media" was "trying to scare its base to the polls, they were really working hard to paint the GOP as racist bogeymen" by referencing the voter suppression charges, such as voter applications being denied due to an "exact match" law, and complained that CBS "parroted Democratic talking points, asserting the GOP was purging the voter rolls in Georgia of minorities." Fondacaro retorted by parroting Republican talking points:

There was seemingly little research done into what the law actually did since [correspondent Nancy] Cordes was clearly relying on things “Democrats say.” “Kemp's campaign declined our request for an interview, but on Fox News, he insisted ‘exact match’ won't prevent people from casting their ballots... Election experts say the policy could still cause confusion.

[...]

Clearly, there were stop gaps and efforts to protect people who were registered. And regarding those 53,000 voters, Cordes was worried for, reporting by The [Atlanta Journal Constitution] stated “can cast a ballot if they show a government photo ID that substantially matches the registration application.”

And if they didn’t have one of the six forms of acceptable ID (“a state driver’s license, a state or federal ID card, a valid employee ID from any government agency, a U.S. passport, a U.S. military ID or a tribal photo ID”), they can still fill out a provisional ballot.

The next day, Wilmouth served up more talking points, bashing CNN's Don Lemon for having "engaged in "voter suppression" against black voters without mentioning key parts of the Republican side of the argument." Wilmouth declared that "Not mentioned on either night was Kemp's charge that the New Georgia Project, founded by Democratic nominee [Stacey] Abrams, which disproportionately registers minority voters, has a history of sloppily handling new voter registrations."

On Oct. 22, Wilmouth harped again about "'sloppy' forms being presented by a liberal voter registration group founded by Democratic nominee Abrams which disproportionately concentrated on registering minorities."

Wilmouth complained in an Oct. 26 post:

Over the past few weeks, the broadcast networks -- and especially CNN and MSNBC -- have promoted claims by Democrats that thousands of minority voters in Georgia have been discriminated against because at least 53,000 new voter registrations were put on hold as "pending" until mistakes could be corrected.

But those same networks have ignored recent revelations about why those applications were put on hold in the first place that discredit claims of racial discrimination.

[...]

But, earlier this week, both The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and conservative activist Erick Erickson have written up details of why many of the applications were put on hold. The bulk of the rejections -- about 39,000 -- did not contain proper Social Security numbers as required. And significant numbers of other applications on the list included 17-year-olds who had not yet turned 18, new American citizens who needed to prove their citizenship, applications with apparently made up names or improper addresses, and duplicates.

Wilmouth didn't mention that the Journal-Constitution article also pointed out that government databases aren't integrated and that "Inconsistencies appear to be common among voting records, creating the possibility that discrepancies could result in registrations being placed on hold, said Burrell Ellis, the political director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia," who cited his own experience of his name appearing differently in an online voter database and on his precinct card. The Journal-Constitution also cited another example of a man whose legal name is "Willie" being put on the pending list because government records changed his name to "William."

So it's not entirely true that faulty registrations are the sole issue, and it's not entirely false to claim that the "exact match" law is a little on the picky side. Yet Wilmouth insists that any questioning of the voter registration system in Georgia is "discredited."

And on Oct. 31, Wilmouth whined that "MSNBC host Andrea Mitchell gave former Virginia Democratic Governor Terry McAuliffe an unchallenged forum to repeat discredited claims that Georgia Republicans have engaged in "voter suppression" targeting African American voters" and that ", McAuliffe repeated the discredited suggestion that about 50,000 voter registration applications were put on "pending" status because of picky 'exact match' issues." His link on the word "discredited"? His Oct. 26 piece that censors any information critical of how the "exact match" law was being implemented due to inconsistencies and inaccuracies in records.

And that's how the conservative argument becomes correct and the non-conservative argument becomes "discredited" at the MRC.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:24 PM EDT
Serial Defamer Klayman Sues NY Times for Allegedly Defaming Joe Arpaio
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Larry Klayman writes in his Oct. 19 WorldNetDaily column, headlined "Sheriff Joe and I take on libelous N.Y. Times":

Last Wednesday, on behalf of “America’s Toughest Sheriff,” my friend and client Joe Arpaio, I filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia against the New York Times and its editorial board member Michelle Cottle for defamation per se, tortious interference with prospective business advantage and false light.

The complaint can be found at www.freedomwatchusa.org and was filed as part of Freedom Watch’s Leftist Media Strike Force, which seeks to hold the dishonest and unhinged “fake news” left and other irresponsible and lawless publications accountable to the rule of law.

The defamatory article at issue, published on Aug. 29, 2018, and written by Cottle, a member of the editorial board of the Times, is entitled “Well at least Sheriff Joe isn’t going to Congress: Arpaio’s loss in Arizona’s Senate Republican Primary is a fitting end to the public life of a truly sadistic man.” In this article, the defendants accuse Sheriff Joe of a score of heinous crimes and allegedly seek to trash and destroy his reputation and standing in the law enforcement and political community, severely damaging his future plans to run for public office again. The article is alleged to have been published with malice.

The filing of this complaint was reported by every major publication in the nation if not the world, with the exception of – you guessed it – the New York Times, whose tag line and motto should now be “all the fake news that isn’t fit to print.” Obviously, the Times, stung by our damage claim for over $147,500,000, felt it prudent to shut up for once! That is because few if any conservatives who have been trashed and their lives ruined by this despicable leftist rag previously had the guts, save for the good sheriff and me, to take it on frontally.

According to the brief Klayman filed, he never actually demonstrates that anything the Times wrote about Arpaio is, in fact, "false and defamatory." Instead, he claims Arpaio suffered "defamation per se " and declares that "As defamation per se, damage to Plaintiff Arpaio is presumed as a matter of law." The "tortious interference with prospective business advantage" stuff refers to Klayman's statement that Arpaio is planning to run in 2020 for the Senate seat formerly held by the late John McCain.

Indeed, Arpaio seems not to be aware of Klayman's high failure rate in defamation lawsuits (and lawsuits in general). This one is unlikely to fare any better.

Of course, the idea of Klayman accusing someone else of libel is highly ironic, since he has spent so much time hurling libelous claims himself. We've noted Klayman's  Obama derangement over the years, which includes maliciously defamatory epithets like "mullah-in-chief, "Islamic mole," "traitor," "it is indeed more than likely that he pledges his allegiance to Allah," and "the most disloyal, anti-American, pro-Muslim, anti-Semitic, anti-Christian, socialistic and destructive president in our country’s brief history."

If Klayman thinks Arpaio has a case against the Times, then Obama definitely has a case against Klayman.

(P.S. Remember when Klayman threatened to sue us for telling the truth about him? That lawsuit never happened, presumably because even a shoddy lawyer like Klayman understands that truth is an absolute defense.)


Posted by Terry K. at 12:45 PM EDT
CNS Privileges Trump's Lie About Pre-Existing Conditions
Topic: CNSNews.com

Craig Bannister was in full Trump stenography mode in an Oct. 18 CNSNews.com blog post:

President Donald Trump is slamming claims by Democrats like Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) that Republicans want to eliminate health care coverage for people with pre-existing conditions.

Trump promised that, not only does he totally support pre-existing condition coverage, but all other Republicans do, too – or, they will, when he gets through with them:

“All Republicans support people with pre-existing conditions, and if they don’t, they will after I speak to them. I am in total support. Also, Democrats will destroy your Medicare, and I will keep it healthy and well.”

In fact, Republicans do want to eliminate health care coverage for those with pre-existing conditions -- something Bannister refused to report.

The biggest example of this is the lawsuit pushed by attorneys general in 20 states, all of them Republican, aimed at abolishing Obamacare   -- thus also abolishing coverage for those with pre-existing conditions. Congressional Republicans also voted down a measure to elimiate short-term health plans that don't cover pre-existing conditions.

Further, Trump's own actions -- including reufsing to let Justice Department defend against the GOP attorneys general's lawsuit and the fact that one of the things he ran on was abolishing Obamacare -- show he's not really serious about preserving pre-existing condition coverage.

In other words, Trump is lying. And Bannister won't tell you he's lying.

When it comes to publishing lies and bogus claims, Bannister is having a very bad month. Poor guy.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:15 AM EDT
Thursday, November 1, 2018
WND's Farah Blames 'The Dark Angel' -- Not Himself -- For His Book Tribulations
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah knows who to blame for difficulties in writing and publishing his new Bible-related book, and it is most definitely not Joseph Farah. He writes in his Oct. 18 column:

I’ve seen some dark places in the course of my life, the kinds of challenges that leave little doubt about the existence of an evil adversary.

Thankfully, those experiences have not characterized my life.

In fact, I have never seen anything quite like the last two years – since I began writing my newest book, “The Gospel in Every Book of the Old Testament,” which officially begins shipping today from the WND Superstore and soon Amazon and bookstores throughout America.

There were days when I doubted it would ever happen.

There were days when I cried like a baby because nothing that was supposed to happen did.

I can’t even blame Google and Facebook for this. I can only blame the Dark Angel.

The good news is it’s finished.

The most important, substantive and meaningful project I have ever been involved in over my lifetime is completed – except for the promotional work.

I can’t wait for those of you interested in it to see it.

First, we would argue that Farah spending eight years trying to delegitimize a duly elected president by repeatedly insisting he was not born in the United States and deliberately censoring all the evidence discrediting that claim -- not to mention refusing to even admit that Barack Obama was president of the United States -- demonstrates that he is a man who is, in fact, operating from a very dark place that characterizes his life.

Second: Farah seems to have taken our advice to do a modest launch of his book commesurate with WND's current resources. You might recall that earlier this year Farah was begging for $200,000 -- later upped to $400,000 without explanation -- to do a massive first printing of 100,000 copies of his book, citing interest from the Billy Graham Library and the Museum of the Bible. Farah even set up a way to make tax-deductible contributions to support the book through a murky deal with a ministry called Gospel for All Nations.

Farah and WND never told us how successful that campaign was -- they simply stopped soliciting for it, which tells us it was decidedly less than successful and that it raised nowhere near the money being sought. The support for a massive first printing appears never to have been there in the first place; at this writing, Farah's book is ranked No. 10,138 at Amazon, and even when the category is ridiculously narrowly defined -- in this case, three catetories relating to Old Testament Bible studies -- it ranks no higher than 20th.

As far as Farah blaming "the Dark Angel" for his tribulations, he once again overlooks himself. It seems Farah took his eye off the ball, focusing on writing his book as WND's finances imploded, forcing him to do a hasty begging campaign at the start of the year and another one this summer. And, as usual, there's no acknowledgment of how WND's editorial policies of conspiracy-mongering and fake news played a major role in destroying his company.

P.S. We couldn't help but notice the self-aggrandizing bio of Farah on the Amazon page for the book: "Joseph Farah is the author, co-author or collaborator on more than a dozen books that have sold millions of copies." The vast majority of those "millions of copies" are due to one book: "See, I Told You So," which he ghost-wrote for Rush Limbaugh. Books under his own name have never sold anywhere near as well.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:13 PM EDT
Is The MRC Giving Gavin McInnes A Pass Because He Works for Mark Levin?
Topic: Media Research Center

CRTV host Gavin McInnes is the founder of the Proud Boys, a misogynist, violence-prone group (no matter what Jesse Lee Peterson says). He's so notorious that the Southern Poverty Law Center and the National Review agree on his odious allure. McInnes is a piece of work, as you might imagine; he spouts racist rhetoric even as he insists he can't be a white supremacist because he's married to a woman of color. And Facebook and Instagram just shut down pages affiliated with McInnes and the Proud Boys because of their racist images and incitements to violence.

All of this, one would think, might get the notice of the Media Research Center. It's overly sensitive to right-wingers facing issues with social media networks -- remember, it had a sad over the alt-right Twitter clone Gab getting removed from some app stores. (It just had another sad over Gab being taken offline after it was revealed that the man who shot up a Pittsburgh synagogue, killing 11, spouted his anti-Semitic hate on Gab.)

But we found only five references to McInnes on NewsBusters, the MRC's main content outlet. Two are columns by Michelle Malkin, who like McInnes is a CRTV employee. The third is a 2015 piece by Tim Graham quoting a McInnes tweet about drawing Mohammed.

The other two, though, are pieces by Corinne Weaver -- who also wrote the above-referenced pieces about Gab -- on Sept. 25 and Oct. 4, both of which complain that an antifa-adjacent group "doxxed" McInnes by posting his phone number on Twitter. The earlier post described McInnes as "the founder of Vice Media and host of a show on the Conservative Review," while the second didn't describe him at all. Weaver didn't mention McInnes' link to Proud Boys violence, or that the group mocked McInnes in the "doxxing" by asking people to "tell him you love white genocide."

A piece on MRCTV on the "doxxing" of McInnes did include the mocking message, but writer Nick Kangadis benignly described McInnes only as a "fiery Conservative Review commentator and host" and excluded his links to the violent Proud Boys and rushing to his defense: "McInnes may say some controversial things at times, but at least he tells it like it is. His brand of political analysis might not be for everyone, but that’s not an excuse to essentially dox him and open him up for more constant harassment." Kangadis didn't explain how advocating violence is "telling it like it is."

Why is the MRC giving the obviously offensive McInnes the kid-glove treatement? Perhaps because of who employs him. CRTV is part of Conservative Review, which was founded by right-wing radio host Mark Levin, who also serves as its editor-in-chief. Yes, the same Mark Levin who's a friend of the MRC and chief Brent Bozell, whose "news" division CNSNews.com published more than 100 articles about him in the first nine months of 2018 alone.

So, no, the MRC isn't going to criticize McInnes and and make Bozell's buddy sad. 

P.S. McInnes isn't the only dubious right-winger employed at Levin's CRTV; it recently hired Eric Bolling, the former Fox News host who left the channel last year following allegations that he sexually harassed Fox News colleagues. And, no, the MRC has never mentioned those allegations.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:49 PM EDT
WND Fearmongers About Migrant Caravan
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Like a good, loyal pro-Trump apparatchik (as well as a longtime immigrant-hater), WorldNetDaily is doing what it can to fearmonger about the migrant caravan coming up Central America to seek asylum in the U.S.

On Oct. 18, WND uncritically repeated claims by the right-wing, pro-Trump legal group Judicial Watch that "Some 100 ISIS terrorists have been caught in Guatemala, where a caravan of thousands of migrants is headed to the United States" and that a terrorist “could have easily slipped in considering the minors, coined Unaccompanied Alien Children, were not properly vetted and some turned out to be violent gangbangers who went on to commit heinous crimes in their adopted land of opportunity.”

In fact, the Guatemalan newspaper that originally reported the claim about the ISIS arrests did not specify a time frame in which those arrests took place , and no evidence was provided to support the implication that ISIS terrorists were, in fact, part of the caravan.

Art Moore offered more uncritical stenography in an Oct. 23 article stating that "The Department of Homeland Security said Tuesday it can confirm that gang members and males from the Middle East and Asia are in the caravan headed for the United States that began in Honduras." Moore cited only a tweet from a DHS official and offered no evidence to prove the claim. Meanwhile, an actual news outlet is embedded with the caravan and has not seen any Middle Easterners, and it reported taht another DHS official said the other official's tweet referencing Middle Easterners did not refer to the caravan specifically.

Despite Judicial Watch's dubious grasp of the facts, WND fearmongered again on Oct. 26 by uncritically repeating the group's unsutstantiated claim that "A number of human smugglers operating inside the caravan moving from Central America through Mexico toward the United States’ southern border have been arrested, and seven unaccompanied minor children have been rescued." Judicial Watch vaguely cited "exclusive information and photos from Guatemalan authorities" but WND mentioned no physical substantiation of the claims.

WND gave up on fact-checking completely for pure speculation in an anonymously written Oct. 29 article headlined "Worst fears about migrant caravan ... likely true," in which even more dubious sources like Infowars and Gateway Pundit are cited to fearmonger further about the caravan.

Treating speculation as fact isn't going to help WND find the road to solvency.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:59 AM EDT
Wednesday, October 31, 2018
CNS Runs With Bogus Attack on Pelosi
Topic: CNSNews.com

Craig Bannister solemnly intones in an Oct. 18 CNSNews.com blog post:

“So be it,” House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) declared regarding the possibility of her political opponents suffering “collateral damage.”

In an onstage interview with New York Times columnist Paul Krugman on Sunday, Rep. Pelosi took aim at “others who don’t share our view”:

“We owe the American people to be there for them, for their financial security, respecting the dignity and worth of every person in our country, and if there is some collateral damage for some others who do not share our view, well, so be it, but it shouldn’t be our original purpose.”

“We have to have total clarity about what we do, when it comes to everything,” Pelosi said, citing causes like abortion rights, gay marriage, immigration and gun control.

Bannister conveniently omits the context of Pelosi's conversation with Krugman -- probably because he wouldn't have a blog post otherwise.

As Wonkette explains, Pelosi and Krugman were discussing climate change and its connection to job creation and prosperity, and Pelosi's reference to "collateral damage" refers to those groups who would suffer as a result of efforts to try to stop global warming, i.e., oil companies.

Bannister also included a video of Pelosi's remarks, which Wonkette identified as deceptively edited because it, like Bannister's post, removes the context.

But reporting Pelosi's remarks accurately and fully in context was apparently too much work for Bannister, who took the lazy way out and decided to smear her instead.

CNS has yet to fix Bannister's misquoting of a reporter to justify President Trump's insult of her, so don't expect it to rush to fix this.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:16 PM EDT
WND's Jesse Lee Peterson Thinks Thuggish Proud Boys Are Just A 'Fraternity'
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Jesse Lee Peterson's Oct. 21 WorldNetDaily column is his usual right-wing screed of bashing liberals, "out of control" women, those who point out racism, black leaders he doesn't like and the Southern Poverty Law Center. Then he gets to this part:

The SPLC recently labeled Proud Boys as a “hate group.” Proud Boys are a fraternity headed by talk show host Gavin McInnes, founded to promote pride in Western Civilization. Proud Boys typically show up to protect Trump supporters and free speech advocates at rallies. The media call the Proud Boys “violent” for getting into fights with Antifa’s “masked protestors.” The left don’t care that Antifa vandalizes property and attack people at events – including law enforcement and anyone with a camera.

Needless to say, Peterson didn't link to the SPLC page on the Proud Boys, which explains why it considers them a hate group:

Their disavowals of bigotry are belied by their actions: rank-and-file Proud Boys and leaders regularly spout white nationalist memes and maintain affiliations with known extremists. They are known for anti-Muslim and misogynistic rhetoric. Proud Boys have appeared alongside other hate groups at extremist gatherings like the "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville. Indeed, former Proud Boys member Jason Kessler helped to organize the event, which brought together Klansmen, antisemites, Southern racists, and militias. Kessler was only “expelled” from the group after the violence and near-universal condemnation of the Charlottesville rally-goers.

[...]

McInnes himself has ties to the racist right and has contributed to hate sites like VDare.com and American Renaissance, both of which publish the work of white supremacists and so-called “race realists.” He even used Taki’s Magazine — a far-right publication whose contributors include Richard Spencer and Jared Taylor — to announce the founding of the Proud Boys. 

Further, the day Peterson's column appeared, three Proud Boys were arrested for brawling the week before with anti-fascist groups protesting a speech by McInnes.

Some "fraternity" you got there, Jesse.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:17 PM EDT
NEW ARTICLE: Hating Anita Hill Through Brett Kavanaugh
Topic: Media Research Center
Christine Blasey Ford's sexual misconduct accusations against Brett Kavanaugh allows the Media Research Center to revel yet again in how much it hates Anita Hill for raising questions about conservative icon Clarence Thomas. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 12:47 AM EDT
Tuesday, October 30, 2018
WND Demonized Refugee Agency That Synagogue Shooter Targeted
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Once again, we're seeing that right-wing rhetoric promoted by WorldNetDaily has found an echo in the perpetrator of a mass killing.

Robert Bowers' main target in the Pittsburgh synogogue shooting, in which he killed 11 people, was HIAS, formerly known as the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, which has an affiliate in Pittsburgh. Before the massacre, he tweeted that ""HIAS likes to bring invaders in that kill our people. I can't sit by and watch my people get slaughtered. Screw your optics, I'm going in."

As it so happens, WND has spent the past few years trying to demonize the agency for bringing in refugees.

In 2014, immigrant-hating, Muslim-hating reporter Leo Hohmann complained that HIAS said it was "unacceptable and un-American" for what he called "unaccompanied alien children" to navigate the U.S. legal system without a court-appointed lawyer, and that it "provide[d] a form letter on its website for supporters to send to members of Congress" that was "continuously pushing for more money to pay for higher levels of resettlement work." Another 2014 article by Hohmann listed HIAS among agencies that "often do the bidding of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees" and "push for more foreign refugees to be resettled in America, which results in more federal grants flowing into their coffers."

A May 2015 article by Hohmann detailed how HIAS issued a "field manual" on overcoming resistance to refugees in some commiunities, which Hohmann later described as "a strategy to deride and intimidate any politician or activist who opposes the refuge industry’s agenda to change the demographics of a town." Hohmann claimed the report was underwritten by "a wealthy New York family foundation," and complained that HIAS "is one of nine government contractors who do the resettlement work in more than 190 cities and towns across the U.S. These contractors subcontract with more than 350 smaller agencies and church groups to get the refugees settled into subsidized housing, get their children enrolled in school and families signed up for Medicaid."

Hohmann wrote that "Hebrew Immigrant Aid cited fear of terrorism as one of the primary concerns that residents have with Muslim refugees settling in their communities" and that "the report blames the backlash not on any failure of the government to properly vet refugees but on “anti-Muslim views” held by native-born Americans," then argued the anti-Muslim fear was wholly justified: "Since the report was written in February 2013, scores more Somali refugees have been arrested for providing material support for overseas Islamic terror groups such as al-Shabab. Still others have left the country to fight for ISIS and al-Shabab."

Hohmann also claimed of the "playbook" that "Among the recommendations given by HIAS was to monitor and research the backgrounds of 'resisters' and turn them in to the Southern Poverty Law Center, a far-left 'watchdog' that has in recent years taken to branding mainline Christian organizations such as the Family Research Council as 'hate groups.'"

In July 2015, Hohmann wrote of an incident in which anti-refugee activists were exposed as intolerant, then quoted anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant activist Ann Corcoran ranting, "This kind of trashing of the First Amendment rights of average American citizens who speak out or even question the refugee program is right out of the playbook of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society’s document."

In September 2015, Hohmann claimed that HIAS "started out as a rescue mission for persecuted Jews but now relocates mostly Muslims to the U.S."

In 2016, Hohmann groused that a flood of Honduran refugees weren't actually fleeing violence, citing HIAS as among "religious groups [who] have also done their part to push the “migrants as refugees” narrative" and "have answered the call of the Obama administration, offering shelter, legal aid, advocacy and lobbying, and other mostly government-funded aid to the migrants."

Hohmann wrote in 2017 that HIAS was among "well-heeled resettlement agencies" who "certainly will file lawsuits against any Trump plan that drastically reduces or eliminates the number of refugees flowing into U.S. cities." Hohmann also accused HIAS of "secretly placing refugees into U.S. cities," later asserting that the group is "57 percent funded by taxpayers." One of Hohmann's final articles for WND was a January 2018 piece listing HIAS among resettlement agencies that allegedly "serve as virtual headhunters for these global conglomerates in search of cheap labor for their hotels and factories.

Hohmann wasn't the only WND writer fearmongering about HIAS. An August 2015 column by anti-Muslim activist Pamela Geller ranted that "The Democrats have made refugee resettlement a lucrative business for agencies like" HIAS, adding that it's "ironic how most of these agencies represent religions that are being persecuted and slaughtered by these very Muslim communities.

In its initial report on the Pittsburgh shooting, an anonymous WND writer noted Bowers' tweet attacking HIAS -- but it didn't note the years WND has spent demonizing the group.

Meanwhile, Hohmann -- who's now a freelancer -- hasn't written on his own site in nearly a month, so we don't know how he feels about Bowers' massacre and the role hatred for HIAS played in it.


Posted by Terry K. at 7:50 PM EDT
MRC Takes A Gratuitous Shot At Soros In Its War Against Google
Topic: Media Research Center

A leaked Google report showing its struggles to balance free speech protections and fights against harmful and hateful speech got a lot of play in the usual right-wing circles when Breitbart published the report earlier this month. The Media Rsearch Center's Corrinne Weaver described the report as a justification on how "in order to prevent certain political events, tech companies would have to start censoring web content," and MRC chief Brent Bozell ranted that the report "confirms our worst fear. Contrary to Google's public statements and what they have said to us in private discussions, Google is in the censorship business and apparently the lying business as well. "

The MRC even got to engage in a bit of gratuitous Soros-bashing in relation to the report. An Oct. 12 MRC item by Weaver groused:

Google wants to cite only the best experts in their fields in order to justify its position. Who better than liberal billionaire George Soros?

In the Google presentation, “The Good Censor,” leaked to Breitbart, the search media company cited 27 so-called “experts” for different aspects of digital freedom and online censorship. Among those experts were George Soros, a ProPublica article, New York Times editorial board member Sarah Jeong, former New Republic editor Franklin Foer, and Slate writer April Glaser. (ProPublica is one of many news entities funded by Soros. His Open Society Foundation gave at least $737,411 to the non-profit journalism group.)

Google quoted Soros in the section about transparency regarding global positions, writing: “US-based IT monopolies are already tempted to compromise themselves in order to gain entrance to these vast and fast growing markets. The dictatorial leaders in these countries may be only too happy to collaborate with them since they want to improve their methods of control over their own populations and expand their power and influence in the United States and the rest of the world.”

Weaver found nothing wrong with Soros' statement -- she's just mad that Soros was quoted, period.

The MRC has been at war with Soros for years, even employing anti-Semitic imagery to promote it.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:44 PM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, October 30, 2018 3:56 PM EDT

Newer | Latest | Older

Bookmark and Share

Get the WorldNetDaily Lies sticker!

Find more neat stuff at the ConWebWatch store!

Read my blog on Kindle

Support This Site

« November 2018 »
S M T W T F S
1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30

Bloggers' Rights at EFF
Support Bloggers' Rights!

News Media Blog Network

Add to Technorati Favorites

Add to Google

Subscribe in Bloglines

Add to My AOL