Bogus MRC Coverage 'Study' Watch Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center has applied its highly dubious and ridiculously narrowly focused methodology to claim that media coverage of President Trump is too negative to coverage of the midterm elections. The headline of Rich Noyes' Oct. 30 post references "TV News," but that's only if you believe as Noyes apparently does that Fox News, CNN and MSNBC aren't on TV; once again, it's narrowly focused on the TV networks' evening newscasts. Noyes imparts:
With just one week to go before the 2018 midterm elections, the broadcast networks are heavily spinning their campaign coverage against the Republicans, even as President Trump’s campaign activities have received more airtime than all of the individual Senate, House, and gubernatorial contests combined.
Not only was network coverage of Republicans far more hostile (88% negative) than that meted out to Democrats (53% negative), but we found nearly ten times more negative statements about Republicans and President Trump (97) than all of the Democratic candidates combined (10).
In fact, coverage of the entire field of Democratic candidates would have been 67 percent positive if it hadn’t been for negative comments in stories about Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren’s DNA test.
Again, Noyes methodology is very narrowly defined:
We calculated spin by tallying all clearly positive and negative statements from non-partisan sources (in other words, reporters, anchors, voters and other unaffiliated sources). This excludes coverage that merely reflects the partisan back-and-forth of the campaign, in order to isolate the spin being imparted by the networks themselves. It also excludes “horse race assessments” about the candidate’s prospects for winning or losing.
And, again, Noyes can't be bothered to post the raw data so readers can double-check his almost certainly biased pronouncements of what constitutes a "negative" or "positive" statement, or expl;ain why neutral coverage wasn't factored in, or explain whether he thinks "negative" coverage can be the most accurate way to cover a given story, or whether he believes all stories must be "balanced" whether or not the story warrants it.
But dubious methodologies and murky data are how the MRC's "research" rolls.
WND Pushes More Anti-Muslim Activism From Right-Wing Legal Group Topic: WorldNetDaily
In September, WorldNetDaily promoted the work of the right-wing Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund in fighting what it called "proselytizing" of Islam in a California school district. In fact, what was happening was an attempt to counter discrimination and bullying against a Muslim student and allowing Musilm groups explain to students that Muslims are not the evil people right-wingers portray them as.
Well, WND and the right-wing group were at it again in an anonymously written Oct. 27 article:
Parents of San Diego public school students have returned to a federal court in their case against the district’s promotion of Islam, asking the judge to reconsider her denial of their request to halt an “anti-Islamophobia initiative.”
The parents, who are organized as the Citizens For Quality Education San Diego, charge the San Diego Unified School District’s program in partnership with the Council on American-Islamic Relations favors Muslim students in violation of the Constitution.
Ahead of a hearing scheduled for Nov. 26, the Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund, on behalf of the parents, have filed a brief in support of a motion asking the Judge Cynthia Bashant to reconsider her denial of a preliminary order to stop the program while the case proceeds.
The brief contends the judge overlooked material facts demonstrating the district is advancing the sectarian agenda of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR. It asserts her conclusion the district no longer is partnering with CAIR is “manifestly erroneous.”
The FCDF actually goes on to argue that there must be documented hatred of Muslims before any anti-Islamophobia initiative can take place, according to the article:
The brief contends the judge “ignored the statistics showing no evidence of Islamophobia in the school district and instead held that President Trump’s election was a reason compelling enough to override the parents’ argument that the initiative violates the First Amendment.”
“Relying on spurious claims of rampant nationwide ‘Islamophobia’ squarely conflicts with Supreme Court precedent,” said Daniel Piedra, FCDF’s executive director. “There is zero evidence of MAGA hat-wearing students prowling the schools and terrorizing Muslim students. No doubt the school district has good intentions, but a religiously preferential school program requires an actual problem in need of solving.”
The school’s deal with CAIR “offers Muslim students special bullying protections and empowers the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a controversial Islamic advocacy organization, to revise school curricula for a more ‘inclusive’ portrayal of Islam. CAIR also is authorized to prosecute students accused of being Islamophobic,” the legal team said.
“Government statistics show schoolchildren of all religions face bullying, not just Muslim students,” Piedra said. “While combating religiously motivated bullying is a compelling interest, any school initiative that singles out a specific religious sect for preferential treatment is unconstitutional.”
As with the previous article, WND simply rewrote an FCDF press release and couldn't be bothered to contact the school distric being sued by FCDF for a response. And it's not established how fighting anti-Muslim discrimination is the exact same thing as "promotion of Islam."
The WND article concludes by rehashing earlier attacks by anti-Muslim groups on schools after ominously stating, "The influence of Islam in public schools has become a nationwide issue." We don't recall WND ever complaining about, say, the influence of Christianity in public schools, except perhaps to argue there wasn't enough of it.
It's yet another example of lazy press-release journalism and reflexive anti-Muslim bias on WND's part. Not the sign of a "news" organization interested in surviving.
NEW ARTICLE: The Kavanaugh Playbook At CNS Topic: CNSNews.com
Like its Media Research Center parent, CNSNews.com had marching orders to push through Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court nomination and attack his accusers. Read more >>
WND Pushes False Conspiracy Theories That Soros Is Behind Migrant Caravans Topic: WorldNetDaily
Like any good right-wing conspiracy-obsessed website, WorldNetDaily hates George Soros After all, its columnistshavepushed the false smear that Soros was a Nazi sympathizer during World War II, and it refused to correct the record when it had a chance. So it was unsurprising that WND latched onto dubious claims that a Soros-funded group and, thus, Soros himself -- was involved in the migrant caravan moving through Central America and Mexico toward the United States.
Brent Smith ranted in his Oct. 19 WND column: And who is coaching these marchers? Is it once again Pueblo Sin Fronteras, the George Soros funded group who bankrolled the April 2018 march to the border, or is it Honduran communist Bartolo Fuentes, looking to cause upheaval to regain power in his country?"
An anonymously written Oct. 22 WND article repeated Smith's speculation, adding speculation from the right-wing American Thinker site claiming that "Evidence of Soros funding of an earlier ‘spontaneous’ migration have been found among the tentacles of support that flow from his Open Society group coffers."
An Oct. 29 WND article repeated a claim from the highly discredited Gateway Pundit claiming that "the George Soros Open Society is working behind the scenes with the United Nations to assist illegal migrants like the caravans marching to the southern U.S. border." It also touted a claim from Judicial Watch's Chris Farrell, who "accused Soros of funding the migrant caravan," going on to invoke an even more discredited source: "Infowars said Judicial Watch is calling for a criminal investigation into funding for the campaign after its Chris Farrell suggested George Soros was linked to the move, including grant money given to his groups afer pushing leftist agendas."
WND columnist Mychal Massie wrote on Oct. 29 that "it’s Soros’ Open Society Foundations that are the primary threat to our way of life," ranting: "Bankrolling violent subversive groups for the express purpose of subverting the government of the United States of America and deconstructing our Constitution for purposes of bringing about insurrection is by definition sedition. This is exactly what George Soros has been knowingly funding since at least 1984." Massie added that "An example is the so-called “caravan of refugees,” which is an act of organized politico-subversion intended to create a Marxist climate of anti-American resentment from within the borders of America." Massie concluded his screed: "We are a country of laws, and it’s past time to investigate and punish the person behind this intended seditious subversion of our culture. 'Someone’s got to go to jail' for this, and that someone is George Soros. At the very least he should be deported back to Hungary where it is my understanding that their government would love to see him again."
Except that's not true at all. A New York Times fact-check found no evidence that Soros or Pueblos Sin Fronteras were involved in the current caravan (though Pueblos Sin Fronteras has been involved in organizing earlier journeys). USA Today has documented how the Soros lie spread through right-wing social media.
This is not the first time WND has pushed such a Soros conspiracy theory. An April 29 article, headlined "Border Caravan? Call it the George Soros Express" -- promoted on WND's front page with the more benign headline "Who's paying for caravan to U.S. border?" -- blamed "billionaire George Soros" in part for purportedly funding a "well-organized caravan-style invasion" earlier this year, touting a state Republican official calling Soros a "leftist puppet master" -- a term that is considered to be longtime anti-Semitic language. But that didn't appear to be true either.
Embracing false conspiracy theories about George Soros is probably not the way to profitability for WND if it's genuinely interested in not going out of business.
MRC Blogger Claims To See Reporter's Secret Political Agenda In His Use Of A Common Pronoun Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center tends to do a lot of mind-reading in indicting various people in the media as "liberal." Mysterious MRC sports blogger Jay Maxson takes it to the next level by deducing political leanings from a person's use of a common pronoun.
Maxson's Oct. 29 NewsBusters post berates Huffington Post writer David Barden for writing about LeBron James' "political activism," particularly that he was spotted wearing a cap supporting Democratic Texas Senate candidate Beto O'Rourke. Maxson noted that Barden wrote of the cap that ""If we ever needed a clearer sign that LeBron James isn’t going to just 'shut up and dribble,' this is it," then divined Barden's purported partisan intent in writing that sentence: "From the start of his post, Barden identifies himself as a supporter of O'Rourke and James. The word 'we' is the second word in the post."
Funny, we just see a writer using a common rhetorical device that uses a common plural pronoun that can be resonably argued applies to all basketball fans and observers, not just LeBron and the writer. At no point does in his article does Barden state any personal political preferences -- he's simply reporting what James did.
That's the kind of right-wing paranoia that's driving the MRC these days.
WND Does More State-Media Work For Trump At Midterms Topic: WorldNetDaily
Becoming total pro-Trump state media didn't keep WorldNetDaily from circling the drain not once but twice this year. So what did WND do to prepare its dwindling readership for the midterms? Double down on sucking up to Trump.
An anonymously written Oct. 29 article updated one of WND's old tricks, a dubious list of Trump's alleged "accomplishments":
If Americans want more of deregulation, lower taxes, economic growth, record-low unemployment, job creation, immigration enforcement, border security, a stronger military, conservative judges, improved trade deals and unprecedented foreign policy victories with nations such as North Korea, the party of the person they vote for in congressional elections matters.
Since WND published a list of 183 accomplishments in Trump’s first 14 months, the president has continued to fulfill campaign promises.
Most recently, Brett Kavanaugh became the second judge confirmed to the Supreme Court who interprets the Constitution according to the text, following Neil Gorsuch. The negotiation of a trade deal with Mexico and Canada to replace the North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA, fulfilled a major campaign vow. Another eight trade deals have been negotiated with Japan, South Korea, Europe and China.
In a typical diplomatic victory, the Trump administration, employing tough sanctions and behind-the-scenes diplomatic maneuvers, secured in October the release of pastor Andrew Brunson from an otherwise defiant Turkish regime, without any apparent concessions.
The only thing more embarrassingly fawning than this article was WND editor Joseph Farah's Nov. 2 column promoting it:
Who knows how things will turn out next Tuesday?
If the results were based on good outcomes, the party supporting the incumbent president might just turn the midterm jinx on its head.
But there’s the media, of course.
There’s also the media-amplifiers at Google and Facebook and Twitter.
Then there’s academia.
There’s also the Big Cities.
There’s the Deep State.
And then there are stupid people.
Otherwise, how could he NOT rock the house?
It shouldn’t even be close.
I’m optimistic. I was in 2016. I said so. In fact, I may have been overly optimistic – even fantasizing about how even New Yorkers and Californians could shock the country with their votes.
But here’s what I want you to do for us right now – before it’s too late.
I want you to spread this BIG, BIG, BIG LIST OF TRUMP ACCOMPLISHMENTS far and wide before Election Day.
It’s truly breathtaking.
Before Trump, my standard was Reagan. I didn’t think we’d ever see another president like him. I was wrong. He out-conservatived Reagan – without even trying.
Where does the man get the energy, the stamina, the grit?
God bless him.
He did what he said he would do.
How often do you see that?
I can’t even think of a significant disappointment. When has that ever happened?
Despite all Donald Trump as done in the last 24 months, and make note of it, we are on the precipice of throwing it all away.
This is what not just the “fake news media” have done. This is what Google and Facebook have wrought on us all when powerful, special interests turn the truth on its head.
Am I throwing in the towel?
Not at all. I have never sold Donald Trump short. He is a force of nature. I’m always been a fan. He has stood boldly and with clarity. But I’m just not sure how far his voice can carry.
Maybe God gave us a stark choice between Barack Obama and Donald Trump and said: “Choose.”
Farah than complained: "There was a time in America at which we could talk to one another, respect differences of opinion and agree to disagree. That is long gone. There is no tolerance for dissent or disagreement." He wrote that without irony, apparently oblivious to his and WND's major role refusing to respect differences of opinion (he refused to call Obama the president, remember?) and his own very thin skin regarding any criticism of him and his website.
And just a few paragraphs earlier, he was demonizing and maliciously mischaracterizing anyone who disagreed with his view of the midterms:
Choose between one who believes in nation-states and one who does not.
Choose between one who breaks the law and one who does not.
Choose between one who fosters the production of wealth and one who does not.
Choose between one who supports life and one who does not.
Choose between one who supports Brett Kavanaugh and one who promotes scurrilous, unsubstantiated accusations.
Choose between one who acts in the best interest of his country and one who does not.
Choose between whether sovereign citizens vote or just anybody.
You get the idea. This is what it has become in the United States of America in 2018. It’s a critical state of the affairs indeed. Though we have been blessed by two years of Donald Trump, the choice is clear, and about half the country appears relatively close to choosing unwisely – whether they have been manipulated or conned.
Is a person who thinks that anyone who disagrees with him must have been "manipulated or conned" into having those views really sincerely concerned with the failure to "respect differences of opinion and agree to disagree"? Highly unlikely.
CNS' Chapman Rants About 'Liberal Media' To Deflect From Trump's Heated Rhetoric Topic: CNSNews.com
We've documented how CNSNews.com managing editor Michael W. Chapman is, at heart, a hard-right polemicist, and the commentary he chooses to publish -- as well as his own commentary, which leans hard in the hating-gays direction -- reflects that.
As befits a Media Research Center employee, Chapman reflexively attacks the "liberal media" for being biased despite running one of the most biased "news" organizations on the planet. His Oct. 29 blog post was a desperate bit of whataboutism designed to take the heat of President Trump's rhetoric in the wake of a series of pipe bombs sent to promient Democrats and actual news organizations by a Trump enthusiast and a massacre perpetrated by a man who hated a Jewish group for bringing in refugees in an echo of Trump's immigration policy:
The liberal media in America -- CNN, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, NBC, NPR, New York Times, most newspapers -- complain because President Donald Trump often calls them "fake news" and "the enemy of the people." They also charge that Trump's criticism fuels an uncivil atmosphere that sparks violence, e.g., they are now blaming Trump's rhetoric for the mail bomber and the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting.
But the liberal media do not view their own extremist, hyperbolic "news reporting" and commentary as contributing to America's political incivility, even though their diction is far more militant, repulsive, and noxious than anything Trump has said about the press.
For instance, these liberal media prima donnas are comfortable in describing the president of the United States as a sociopath, a disturbed person, a traitor, white nationalist, white supremacist, white bigot, racist, sinister, destructive virus, treasonous, straight out of Munich 1928, Mussolini, Joseph Stalin, Nazi, evil, mentally unfit, dictatorship, Hitler, unfit to be human, domestic terrorist, psychologically troubled, hate monger, imperial wizard, neo-Nazi, Axis Power, unfit, a national security threat, piece of sh*t, killer, out of control, domestic terror group, a menace, nuts, dictator, mentally unstable, Putin's c**k holster, madman, giant a**hole, bigot-in-chief, and racist-in-residence.
What follows is a long list of things Chapman copied-and-pasted from his MRC cohorts down the hall of things Trump has apprently been called. They're out of context, of course, since that would take too much work to copy and paste, and most are from commentators offering an opinion, not reporters claiming to be objective. And he certainly would never admit that there's a factual basis to the name-calling.
Funny, we don't recall Chapman ever complaining about vile things conservatives have said about Democratic presidents and politicians -- no mention of Hank Williams Jr. likening President Obama to Hitler, no mention of Ted Nugent calling Obama a "subhuman mongrel" and a "chimpanzee" and telling him to "suck on my machine gun" (and calling Hillary Clinton a "worthless bitch") -- and certainly no mention of his boss, Brent Bozell, calling Obama a "skinny ghetto crackhead."
Chapman is being wildly and ridiculously hypocritical by attacking "liberal media" criticism of Trump whiled condoning the smear from the "media prima donnas" on his own side. But then, hypocrisy is the MRC way.
WND Gives Perpetual Congressional Candidate More Space To Tout His Sure-To-Lose Bid Topic: WorldNetDaily
Art Robinson is a perpetual candidate who keeps getting the Republican bid to run against Democratic Rep. Peter DeFazio for a congressional seat in Oregon despite his long record of losing to DeFazio. WorldNetDaily loves him, though, and keeps giving him promotional space that's so rote that WND managing editor David Kupelian was recycling endorsements of Robinson from election to election.
This year -- his fifth bid to seat DeFazio, which is expected to end with yet another loss for Robinson -- WND has already given Robinson space for one column, and it gave him another one on Oct. 31, in which he rants about DeFazio and "career politicians" in general and heaps praise on President Trump, laughably claiming that Trump "has a strong Judeo-Christian ethic and a strong constitutional ethic."
As far as we know, WND did not give DeFazio similar space to make his own arguments to its readers -- thus making an effective in-kind contribution to Robinson's campaign. We'd be bothered by it if anybody outside WND's offices and Robinson's campaign thought Robinson wasn't going down in flames yet again.
MRC Mad That 'Murphy Brown' Counted How Many Lies Trump Has Told Topic: Media Research Center
Karen Townsend served up some of that good ol' Media Research Center hate-watching in an Oct. 26 post about an episode of the rebooted "Murphy Brown":
The reboot of Murphy Brown is getting old quick. It has become a boring, paint by numbers exercise in liberal vanity, with shots (both direct and veiled) at President Trump, Melania, the Trump Hotel, and, of course, Fox News.
In the CBS show’s episode titled “The Girl Who Cried Wolf” airing October 25, Murphy Brown went to a frequent gag. Murphy (Candice Bergen) is forever in need of a new assistant and the show’s social media/tech guru comes up with a solution – an artificial intelligence one. Murphy is skeptical and then the techie, Pat (Nik Dodani), demonstrates by hammering Donald Trump as a liar.
Townsend then added a transcript in which the AI assistant notes that "President Trump has made false or misleading statements 5,247 times." She was apparently so bothered by this that she made this the headline of her piece: "Lame ‘Murphy Brown’ Hits at Trump for Lying '5,247 Times' in Office." Townsend doesn't dispute the claim, just complains that it was made.
Of course, Townsend can't dispute the claim because not only is it true, the number is actually underestimated. A few days after Townsend's post, the Washington Post reported that Trump has made 6,420 false or misleading statements since he took office.
Instead, Townsend laments: "Sadly, this show is still little more than a vehicle used to bash President Trump and conservatives, even if it’s only lame remarks sprinkled into the dialogue and a silly parody of a Trump property. I’d like to think it will be better in future episodes but I'm finding it hard to believe."
It seems that hate-watching TV for the MRC is starting to take its toll on Townsend.
Newsmax's Softball Article on Rep. King Downplays His White Nationalist Sympathies Topic: Newsmax
John Gizzi kicks off his Nov. 4 Newsmax article about Republican Iowa Rep. Steve King with a bit of soft gushiness:
With several polls showing a closer-than-ever race for Rep. Steve King (R-IA), the controversial Republican assured Newsmax that he was in strong shape to win a ninth term.
As national Democratic money pours into Iowa’s 4th District, King dismissed media claims he was facing a defeat.
“Things aren’t as bad for me as you’re hearing,” King told Newsmax. King is best known for his outspoken opposition to illegal immigration.
A new Emerson Poll shows him leading Democrat J.D. Scholten by 51 to 42 percent.
This then becomes full-blown misleading:
King has long been under fire from national media over his hardline stand against illegal immigrants.
This year, the “Des Moines Register” abandoned King and gave its endorsement to Democrat Scholten.
In addition, political action committees, including Land O'Lakes dairy company, have switched from King to Scholten.
Gizzi is falsely portraying King as being nothing more than merely "against illegal immigrants" and that the newspaper and Land O'Lakes abandoned King solely because of that stance.
The Register summed up its decision to endorse King's opponent without once mentioning his stance on "illegal immigrants" (unless you count a reference to King's "virulent xenophobia"): "In his almost 16 years in Congress, King has passed exactly one bill as primary sponsor, redesignating a post office. He won’t debate his opponent and rarely holds public town halls. Instead, he spends his time meeting with fascist leaders in Europe and retweeting neo-Nazis."
Similarly, Land O'Lakes withdrew its support for King after it was pointed out to the corporate entity that King "is the member of Congress most openly affiliated with white nationalism. He has retweeted a Nazi sympathizer and has displayed a Confederate flag on his desk."
Curiously, Gizzi never details any of King's white nationalist ties and sympathies, let alone admit that this is the reason for the current growth in criticism of King. It's only alluded to when Gizzi quotes a member of the National Republican Congressional Committee, tweeted that King’s “actions, comments and retweets are completely inappropriate. We must stand up against white supremacy" -- not that Gizzi ever describes the actions the person is referring to -- then allowsKing to play off the criticism by saying that "The NRCC hasn't backed me since 2012."
Gizzi's article is nothing more than a lame puff piece by a reporter who's more than willing to overlook the actual story.
CNS Gives Mark Levin's Hypocrisy A Pass Because Of Course It Would Topic: CNSNews.com
Like it has more than 100 times this year already, CNSNews.com promoted a rant by right-wing radio host Mark Levin on Oct. 25. This time, Levin was ranting about hateful rhetoric:
Do the media in this country understand that they are leading the charge on the heated and hateful rhetoric? Do you know, yesterday alone, Donald Trump – I counted four – four times was compared to Adolf Hitler on MSNBC and CNN? Six times, he was called a racist.
And yet they – they want to know if Donald Trump is responsible for the heated and hateful and divisive rhetoric that’s going on. Did Donald Trump compare somebody to Adolf Hitler? And he’s called a racist all the time.
Because it only does stenography when it comes to Levin, CNS will never report that Levin is a complete hypocrite. The Daily Beast sums it up:
In June 2015, Levin yelled about Obama being a “low-life” and a “racist” and a “hater” for using “the N-word.” (Levin was not impressed by the fact that Obama is black, or that then president was using the word in a frank conversation about racism.)
“So, Obama has an affinity for Islam far more than Christianity or Judaism, no question about it,” Levin alleged on his radio show two years ago, adding that Obama seeks to “destroy Israel.”
In November 2014, Levin warned the American people during a Fox News hit about Obama going “full Mussolini” after the midterm elections.
The year before that, Levin was all about how “the Muslim Brotherhood has infiltrated our government,” and that President Obama, though “not a formal member,” was a “sympathizer.”
So, basically Levin’s position for the eight-year duration of the Obama administration was that Barack Hussein Obama was constantly putting the country in Nazi-Islamist danger.
Meanwhile, FAIR found an instance in which Levin claimed that Obama was “really into these big German-like events that he creates in this country.”
Remember, Levin is a close buddy of Brent Bozell, whose Media Research Center runs CNS, and Levin and the MRC have had (and may still have) a cross-promotion agreement.
So Levin gets a pass, just like the misogynous, violent right-winger Gavin McInnes gets one because he has a show on Levin's CRTV.
WND Frets Some More About Alleged Decline of White Christians in Europe Topic: WorldNetDaily
Another manifestation of WorldNetDaily's white nationalist predeliction is to fret about a "demographic winter" in Europe in which swarthy, Muslim-y immigrants are allegedly replacing the white, Christian native population. It's been doing this morelately, and it happens again in an anonymously written Oct. 26 article:
The low birth rate across much of Europe has been a concern for a long time.
Now, with millions of immigrants flooding into the historically Christian nations, changing not just the politics and economics but the culture, Europe faces a “crisis of survival.”
That’s according to Giulio Meotti, the cultural editor for Il Foglio, who observes in a commentary at the Gatestone Institute that Europe is in a downward spiral, “slowly dying out by failing to reproduce.”
For example, 42 percent of children under the age of 6 in Western Germany now come from migrant backgrounds.
Well, there's WND's problem right there. Meotti was the person at the right-wing Gatestone Institute who wrote and item WND seized upon in August 2017 making the claim that only only were more mosques have been built in France in recent years, but churches were being "bulldozed." Except that claim was highly misleading -- France has a huge number of churches and the mosques are still a fraction of that number, and there's no link whatsoever between closing churches and opening mosques becausethe French government appropriated church property and church buildings more than a century ago. Gatestone has removed the false and misleading article, but the WND article it's based on appears to have been only recently deleted (it was still live when we last checked in early January of this year).
And as usual for those concerned about such things, Meotti downplays the undeniable racial angle to all this fretting, and WND follows suit, although it repeats quotes in Meotti's piece sliming African natives as "modern-day slaves."
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."
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.
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.
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 justloves the right-wing authoritarian Orban, whitewashing him as a "populist" who's merely trying to "reintroduce the Judeo-Christian ethic into a secularized Europe."
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?"