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Sunday, February 10, 2019
At The MRC, Personal Attacks Are 'Media Research'
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center seems to have given up doing anything that remotely resembles "media research" these days. When it's issuing bogus "research" that's narrowly crafted to forward the MRC's right-wing agenda, it's issuing personal attacks against people for the offense of not being as right-wing as it is.

One recent example: The mysterious Jay Maxson marked Bob Costas' departure from NBC Sports with a hateful diatribe sparked by his being triggered by any injection of politics into sports that isn't right-wing or overtly Christian (even if the person injecting said Christian messaging played a part in a double murder). Maxson ranted that Costas has "worn out his welcome among sport fans who tune into sports broadcasts for sports and prefer that politics be left to the newscasters." He then listed what he claimed were Costas' "most disgusting political lectures and controversies," one of which was simply receiving an award. This was objectionable, Maxson huffed, because it's "a who's who award that goes to the left-stream media's heaviest hitters, including: Anderson Cooper, Gwen Ifill, Scott Pelley, Bob Schieffer, Christiane Amanpour, Diane Sawyer, Brian Williams, Tom Brokaw, Helen Thomas, Al Michaels and Ben Bradlee, among others."

Maxson was also offended that Costas pointed out the overall homophobia of Russia during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, which earned him "the Gold Medal awarded by GLAAD, the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation." Maxson does not dispute the accuracy of Costas' observation -- only that it was voiced.

Another example: A Jan. 21 post by Gabriel Hays went well beyond criticizing Lady Gaga for criticizing Vice President Mike Pence from the stage of her Las Vegas residency -- the MRC is now reviewing Vegas stage shows now -- to attacking her for daring to speak out at all:

For an artist who spent the better part of a decade trying to be as unique as possible, she sure has ended up the same way as the rest of her colleagues: as a sour, angry, liberal.

[...]

The sad thing is that her deluded opinions are amplified by her pop star status — even more so now because she has become an A-list actress. Still there’s hope that, as with most of these Hollywood types, many people are starting to see them as preening windbags whose “Christian” goodwill only extends to those to kiss their butts or spoon feed them the political worldview that they’re most comfortable with.

Hays seems to be lacking Christian goodwill and, with such nasty attacks, seems to be moving quickly toward being a preening windbag in the tradition of his boss, Brent Bozell.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:48 PM EST
CNS Stenographer Hides Kudlow's History of Bad Economic Predictions
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com reporter Melanie Arter went into pro-Trump stenography mode once more for a Jan. 29 article:

National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow said Monday that the economy is “very strong” despite the government shutdown and that no “permanent damage” was done.

“I still think the economy is very strong. I know there are some disagreements, sut I think, as the numbers shake out, the Commerce Department is reopening, we're going to get a GDP report probably next week, we'll get a jobs report this Friday. So that'll work out,” he said.

“Based on things we've talked about here -- unemployment claims, low; industrial production, strong; business investment, strong; holiday sales, very strong -- I still think we're on a three percent trend line growth rate, and I'm proud of that. I think that the program of lower tax rates, and regulatory rollback, and opening up energy and so forth is working and is continuing to work,” Kudlow said, adding that he thinks the optimists “are going to be right.”

Arter is certainly not going to mention -- and she doesn't -- Kudlow's long history of terrible economic predictions, as we've documented, even though it's newsworthy regarding his veracity as an economic adviser. Yet Arter lets Kudlow attack without challenge the economic reports of the Congressional Budget Office, even though he's frequently wrong in his CBO-bashing. (Though Kudlow has no problem with CBO numbers that align with his political agenda.)

This is what happens when pushing a political agenda becomes more important than reporting the news.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:48 PM EST
Saturday, February 9, 2019
What LGBT Stuff Is The MRC Freaking Out About Now?
Topic: Media Research Center

Yes, the Media Research Center is still freaking out about LGBT stuff. Let's document the atrocities, shall we?

Karen Townsend is stuck hate-watching "I Am Jazz," about a transgender teenager, and she sympathizes most with Jazz's father, who's been ambivalent about the transitioning process:

Jeanette reminds me of a stereotype of a stage mother. She is much more comfortable and supportive of Jazz’s transgender life than her husband, Greg seems to be. He is frequently uncomfortable with the constant chatter about vaginas and penises, for example, and he lets Jeanette know that he will not be eating the penis cake she intends to bake for the party. Most of all, Jeanette and Jazz are gung-ho for the party because it will make Greg feel uncomfortable. How sad, if you ask me.

In the following episode, which featured Jazz's "bottom surgery," Townsend took offense when the surgeon declared, "It's a girl!" at the end of it: "Really? Did Jazz’s chromosomes change on the operating table? How cliché. It was as though a baby was delivered."

The mysterious Jay Maxson ranted that anyone who criticizes a proposed South Dakota bill to require participation in high school sports based on birth gender as "gender deniers" and ranted about "the kettle of 'misinformation' coming directly from LGBT-conforming media."

Maxson was even triggered about something that's not at all gay: the Los Angeles Rams' cheerleading squad including two men, the first male cheerleaders to accompany a team to a Super Bowl -- and turned into something vaguely gay anyway. Maxson huffed that this was "history in the making that contributes to the feminization of the American male" and denounced it as "this effeminate form of masculinity."

Tim Graham had a meltdown over PBS discussing President Trump's ban on transgender people in the military without having an transgender-hating activist on:

The true sour cherry on top came when Feliciano asked the ACLU advocate to address how the media coverage is insufficiently progressive. It even "perpetuates misconceptions." To which many Americans would say: The biggest misconception on this issue is people looking at their genitals and denying their gender. But that viewpoint is verboten on taxpayer-funded PBS.

[...]

Allowing a debate would be "dehumanizing" and somehow questioning the "existence" of gender-deniers. Nobody's denying they're "real" people or that they have a "core humanity." But you can't even say that on PBS. 

Brad Wilmouth similarly complained that CNN "provided a sympathetic forum to transgender activist and former Navy SEAL Kristin Beck to complain about a new policy by the Trump administration that puts restrictions on the recruitment of transgenders by the military for the future."

Lindsey Kornick, meanwhile, is stuck hate-watching "Supergirl," so the idea that the show will introduce a transgender superhero is grinding on her:

The January 27 episode “Blood Memory” has our transgender superhero-to-be Nia Nal (Nicole Maines) going back to "her" fictional hometown of Parthas with friend and boss Kara Danvers aka Supergirl (Melissa Benoist). Previous episodes have revealed that not only is Nia a transgender woman but she is also part alien with the ability to dream the future. Yes, this one character has hit the liberal and super-power jackpot. That’s only part of the annoyance.

Parthas is, in fact, a haven where humans and aliens live peacefully and progressively. They are so progressive that they even quickly and readily except gender dysphoria as normal.

[...]

Parthas is praised as some form of paradise, but any place that encourages transitioning young as “affirming an authentic self” sounds like a nightmare. Anyone who really cares about a family member or an “authentic self” should realize that most children who go through gender dysphoria eventually outgrow it by the time they become adults. If anything, transitioning Nia at a young age is probably the opposite of affirming her authentic self.

And Alexander Hall was not pleased that Facebook reported that its "LGBTQ employment has jumped to eight percent in 2018, far higher than the 2017 Gallup Poll estimate that claims only 4.5 percent of the national population is LGBT," a 14.29 percent jump. He huffed that "This won’t surprise social conservatives, who have complained heavily about mistreatment on the platform — especially on moral issues like marriage." Hall is conveniently ignoring all the times Facebook has sucked up to conservatives to respond to that criticism.

We have an idea: Hall should disclose what percentage of the MRC workforce is LGBTQ -- if he has the guts.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:10 AM EST
Updated: Sunday, February 10, 2019 4:59 PM EST
WND's Peterson Plays the Victim, Lacks Proof
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Jesse Lee Peterson huffed in his Jan. 20 WorldNetDaily column:

This weekend I was physically assaulted at the Women’s March in Los Angeles.

My staff and I attended the march on Saturday, as we have in previous years to do street interviews for my web series “ The Fallen State TV.” It was a typical Women’s March with a cadre of leftist Democrats (of all races) representing LGBTQ, Planned Parenthood, environmentalists, pro-illegal immigration groups and others radical leftists. Some of the marchers wore pink p—y hats and were screaming obscenities about Donald Trump and the “patriarchy.”

There was one universal theme at the Women’s March in Los Angeles: Donald Trump is bad, and conservative Christian men – especially white men – need to be stripped of their “toxic masculinity” and their “white privilege.”

While I wasn’t surprised by their awful signs and hateful words, this year’s crowd was more hostile toward Trump supporters and anyone else who disagreed with their leftist world view.

The rage and hatred these people have toward President Trump and for his supporters was on full display. During my interview with two feminists (who appeared to be lesbians), I was physically assaulted for supporting the president and the big beautiful border wall. The attack was sudden and violent. One woman repeatedly kicked me while the other physically assaulted me with blows to my head, neck and shoulders. They also threw drinks and liquids on me while repeatedly calling me a n-gger!

Meanwhile, I was surrounded by an angry mob screaming and cursing at me. It was wild, and I was shocked that these leftists were bold enough to attack me in public for being a black Trump supporter. This was a hate crime; these out-of-control feminists must be stopped.

Strangely, Peterson provides no documentary evidence of this alleged assault, though he claimed to be filming for  his "web series." He links only to a general YouTube page to the series as well as a 2017 video headlined "Jesse Peterson Crashes 'Dirty' Women's March" -- which may be alluding to something Peterson's not telling us.

Note that Peterson never describes what led up to the alleged incidents against him -- or, again, supplies video of it. We're guessing that any alleged "attack" on Peterson did not occur unprovoked, or that Peterson was merely standing and doing nothing when he was purportedly "surrounded by an angry mob screaming and cursing at me." Peterson is a provocateur -- he wants this sort of reaction from people so he can play the victim. After all, he loves to portray President Trump as the "Great White Hope" while being ignorant of (or very aware of) the phrase's racist origin. He likely said -- or shouted -- something similarly provocative to the marchers and generally acting like a jerk.

For provocateurs like Peterson, the only thing worse than a negative reaction to his provocations is no reaction at all. He's only playing the victim to get attention.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:14 AM EST
Friday, February 8, 2019
Will CNS Report On Bozell's Tangental Link to Trump-Russia Scandal? Doubtful
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com -- as befits a loyal pro-Trump stenographer -- typically doesn't report on negative things about President Trump unless it can be spun to his advantage, which is why much of its reporting on the Trump-Russia investigation is mostly limited to random people insisting that there was no collusion. It's also why the only story CNS has published about Russian operative Maria Butina and her alleged attempt to infiltrate the conservative movement by acting as a gun-rights enthusiast is framed around the idea that the arrest of a former U.S. Marine by Russian authorities was done in retaliation for Butina's arrest.

But there's another tangent to this story that nobody at CNS or its Media Research Center parent want to talk about -- because it involves MRC chief Brent Bozell.

Butina was romantically involved with a conservative political operative, Paul Erickson, who helped ingratiate her with various conservative groups (and who also just got indicted in relation to the Butina case). Despite his conservative bona fides, Erickson was a bit of a scammer, and Bozell got scammed, as a newspaper in Erickson's home state of South Dakota reported:

Erickson, 56, landed in hot water with many of his associates, including L. Brent Bozell, III, a descendant of conservative royalty, over a failed business deal that ended up in court.

[...]

In the late 1990s, Erickson set out to use some of the contacts he had developed over the years to raise money for a nursing home and Alzheimer's care company called Compass Care. Investors were sold on the idea of building 24 facilities that would be Christian based.

Although Erickson raised money, the venture went nowhere. By 2003, the same year in which he was telling donors he wanted to raise money to defeat Daschle, creditors began seeking judgments worth hundreds of thousands of dollars against Compass Care, including on the red Ford Mustang Erickson drove.

The creditors included Blue Stem Capital Partners, an investment company founded by former GOP Lt. Gov. Steve Kirby, who ran for governor in 2002.

In 2007, Bozell filed suit against Erickson after losing nearly all of a $200,000 investment into Compass Care. The lawsuit showed how deep Erickson was willing to tap his conservative allies to raise money.

Bozell, the founder of the Media Research Center, a group founded to highlight alleged liberal bias in the media, had an unmatched pedigree within the conservative movement.

His father had been among the post-World War II intellectuals who revived the conservative movement, and his uncle, William F. Buckley, was the founder of National Review, a conservative magazine that for decades represented the zenith in conservative thought.

In his lawsuit, Bozell said he had known Erickson socially for years.

"Defendant Erickson had from time to time represented to plaintiff Bozell that he was an astute businessman and an accomplished investor of his own and other people's money," the lawsuit said.

Erickson, the lawsuit said, promised Bozell that he would double his money. Bozell sued a year and a half after nearly all of his money disappeared.

A court eventually awarded Bozell a judgment of $190,000. Christopher Craig, a lawyer who represented Bozell in the case, said the judgment, which includes interest, was never paid.

Don't look for CNS to report on any aspect of this story anytime soon.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:21 PM EST
WND Leaps On Northam Blackface Story -- But Still Won't Talk About The Racist Writers It Published
Topic: WorldNetDaily

When news broke that Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam had a picture of a person in blackface and another in a Ku Klux Klan robe on his page in his medical school's yearbook, WorldNetDaily uncurprisingly pounced. In addition to the original story on the controversy, it did a follow-up suggesting that Northam's refusal to shake hands with his opponent in a 2013 debate with his opponent for lieutenant governor, the notoriously homophobic provocateur E.W. Jackson, was a racist act, and another on Virginia's attorney general admitting to a blackface act in college.

But WND is hardly one to pass judgment on the racist acts of others, given how many racists it has published over the years.

As we've documented, three authors whose books were published by WND were exposed last year alone as having white nationalist and/or anti-Semitic views: Paul Nehlen, the Wisconsin politician who quickly became an anti-Semitic white nationalist after WND published his book in 2017; Scott Greer, whose "No Campus for White Men" was published in 2017 and who was later found to have written articles under a pseudonym for a white nationalist journal; and Walid Shoebat, whose questionable claim to be a Palestinian terrorist turned "Christian Zionist" was the centerpiece of WND's 2008 anthology "Why I Left Islam" and who has since given up the "Zionist" part and become a full-blown anti-Semite. And that's on top of serving as the home for the race-baiting, "black mob violence"-obsessed rants of Colin Flaherty (and republishing his book "Wtite Girl Bleed A Lot") and publishing columnist Ilana Mercer, who can't quite stop pining for the days of apartheid in her native South Africa.

WND was very slow to respond to the Nehlen controversy, only belatedly and quietly withdrawing his books and an anti-Muslim film he made from the WND's online store and scrubbing him from the WND Books website -- but it never issued a public statement denouncing him or his views. It was similarly silent when the hate of Greer and Shoebat were exposed.

Perhaps WND should clean up its own closet o' racism before dunking on the situation in Virginia. Some might call what it's doing now projection.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:35 AM EST
Thursday, February 7, 2019
CNN Derangement Syndrome: MRC Feeds Conspiracy Theory Over Roger Stone's Arrest
Topic: Media Research Center

We were a bit surprised to see CNSNews.com latch onto the conspiracy theory that CNN cameras were present at Roger Stone's arrest because they were tipped off by Robert Mueller instead of, say, had been following the story long enough to know that he was being arrested and staking out his house just in case.

Given that, we are less surprised to see that CNS' parent, the Media Research Center, hates CNN enough to give the conspiracy theory a test ride as well.

Chief CNN-hater Curtis Houck wrote in a Jan. 25 post:

Americans awoke Friday morning to find that, as expected, Trump associate and InfoWars fan Roger Stone been arrested by the FBI at his Ft. Lauderdale, Florida home on seven counts related to the Trump-Russia probe. 

But what made this long-expected arrest surprsing? Well, somehow CNN had a camera and producer on scene for the arrest, airing by 6:37 a.m. Eastern providing footage of armed agents swarming his house. According to CNN, they just had a hunch. 

Not surprisingly, more than a few people are skeptical of this and, also not surprisingly, CNN is puffing its chestwhile attacking those expressing doubts.

The rest of Houck's post was dedicated to on-air CNN discussions about how its cameras captured Stone's arrest, including the key assertion from a CNN producer that reporters had noticed "unusual grand jury activity" the day before that was suggestive of a Stone arrest. But Houck refused to concede CNN's point that the "skeptical" conspiracy-mongers are wrong. He linked to a right-wing Daily Caller article that similarly advances the conspiracy theory without telling readers it's bogus.

Houck and the MRC hate CNN so much that it can't even give the network credit for a scoop without mixing a conspiracy theory into it. The MRC has also refused to correct the record after spreading the false claim that CNN scripted a question for a Parkland massacre survivor at a CNN-televised forum.


Posted by Terry K. at 4:46 PM EST
Updated: Thursday, February 7, 2019 4:51 PM EST
CNS Unemployment Coverage Distortion Watch
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com's coverage of January's employment numbers brought more pro-Trump rah-rah, since the numbers were good enough. The main story by Susan Jones trumpeted in its headline: "Labor Force Participation at Trump-Era High of 63.2% in January," but further down in the article she concedes that number isn't actually that good:

The 163,229,000 who participated in the labor force equaled 63.2 percent of the 258,239,000 civilian noninstitutionalized population.

The participation rate was 62.9 percent when Trump took office, and it has showed little change since then, as retiring baby boomers offset additions to the nation's workforce.

As we've documented, CNS regularly played up the relatively low labor force participation rate during the Obama administration, but it only rarely told readers it was due to baby boomers retiring.

From there, we get our usual sidebars Terry Jeffrey obsessing about manufacturing jobs and goverment jobs, and Craig Bannister hyping Hispanic employment for the seeming purpose of CNS' Media Research Center parent trying to shame Hispanic TV networks into reporting it. CNS also published another op-ed by Mickey Levy -- which first appeared at the right-wing Manhattan Institute -- touting the good numbers.

This time, though, CNS also threw in an anonymously written article featuring House Speaker Nancy Pelosi responding to the numbers "by issuing a statement attacking congressional Republicans for embracing an attitude that 'disrespects workers.'"


Posted by Terry K. at 2:30 AM EST
Updated: Thursday, February 7, 2019 2:31 AM EST
Wednesday, February 6, 2019
NEW ARTICLE: The MRC's Failing War Against Facebook
Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's narrative that Facebook is unrelentingly hostile to conservatives keeps getting undermined every time it's revealed how much Facebook is sucking up to conservatives in an attempt to respond to those attacks. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 6:11 PM EST
WND's Farah Says He Doesn't Know Roger Stone; Evidence Suggests Otherwise
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah rants in his Jan. 25 column:

You probably didn’t hear FBI Director Chris Wray whining about what makes him really mad – that some of his agents are not working because they’re not getting paid during the government shutdown, forcing other agents to cover their assignments.

He had his little hissy-fit the very day a dozen of his agents conducted a pre-dawn raid – SWAT-style – on Roger Stone’s house. They were packing lots of heat – automatic weapons, body armor. They banged on the door in the residential area of Fort Lauderdale demanding the guy who fully cooperated with Special Counsel Robert Mueller investigation into alleged “Russian collusion” with the 2016 Donald Trump presidential campaign come out with his hands up.

He was cuffed and treated like a terrorist mastermind or drug kingpin for his process crimes by Wray’s agents – presumably at his command.

You know what makes me angry? Gestapo police-state tactics by the FBI, Mueller and Wray.

I don’t know Roger Stone, but I know he’s no threat to me, his neighbors or the national security of the United States. It’s an absolute disgrace how he was arrested Friday. If the FBI hasn’t humiliated itself enough over the last several years, the spectacle of Stone’s raid made the agency look like either a joke or confirmation it is indeed a highly politicized national police agency punishing people whose only crimes are being in the periphery of President Trump.

We somehow doubt that Farah doesn't know Roger Stone -- he was a key figure in their reporting during the 2016 election.

As we documented, WND and then-reporter Jerome Corsi aligned themselves with Stone starting in 2015: WND columnist Myra Adams conducted an interview with Stone in which he listed Corsi, and Corsi used WND to promote an anti-Clinton book co-written by Stone. Corsi then worked with Stone to use WND to promote a man who claims without evidence to be Bill Clinton's illegitmate son. And in October 2016, a month before the election, Myra Adams interviewed Stone again.

Further, Corsi, while still at WND, was working with Stone when he found out that Russian operatives, not murdered Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich, stole DNC emails and gave them to WikiLeaks -- and still allowed WND to promote Seth Rich conspiracy theories for months afterward.

On top of that, Farah played a bit role in the current controversy involving Mueller, Corsi and Stone. The Washington Post reported in November that Corsi said that he offered to fly to London in July or August 2016 and meet with WikiLeaks leader Julian Assange if Farah would buy the plane ticket.

There may have been Farah-Stone contact well before that. The New York Times reported that in 2012, Stone urged Donald Trump to promote Obama birther conspiracy theories, which put Trump in conversation with Farah and Corsi.

There's enough incidental contact here that makes Farah's claim that he doesn't know Stone to be highly suspect. And we haven't even gotten to his odious "Gestapo" reference, which is highly hypocritical given how offended WND gets when anyone uses a Nazi reference in describing Trump.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:12 AM EST
Tuesday, February 5, 2019
CNS Touts Ben Stein Likening Ocasio-Cortez To Hitler
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com has gotten its right-wing marching orders to cast newly elected Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez -- and that's just what it's been doing, lame shots and all. Another one of those lame shots came in an anonymously written Jan. 24 item complaining that Ocasio-Cortez "sent out a Tweet on Wednesday responding to criticism of her views on climate change by quoting from the Bible." The post further complained that "Ocasio-Cortez did not indicate which translation of the Bible she was using or provide links to the passages she cited," then, as an apparent rebuttal, published the entirety of the first two chapters of the Book of Genesis that Ocasio-Cortez referenced (though not the chapter from Leviticus she referenced). The anonymous writer did not explain what, exactly, was being rebutted by doing that.

The same day, however, CNS went from lame to full-on nasty in a post by Craig Bannister touting how Ben Stein likened Ocasio-Cortez to Hitler:

Democrat Socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is promisng Americans the same thing brutal dictators promised, and those promises are never realized, Ben Stein explained in a Fox News Channel interview this week.

Stein, an economist, lawyer and writer, warned that, when politicians promising to punish success in the name of equality obtain power, their policies invariably have terrifying results:

"We have a society in which there are an awful lot of people who have no idea that Stalin, Hitler, Mao Tse Tung all came to power promising the same kinds of things that Miss Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is promising.

"These promises are old promises, and they invariably lead to bad things. The promise of saying to the people do what you can within the law to make your life better and your family's life better that system works extremely well. Capitalism is a system that allows people to make something of themselves instead of oppressing other people."

In addition to the crass, politically motivated insult -- presented without criticism, by the way -- CNS is engaging in a double standard. It has previously complained when others have likened President Trump to Hitler: Susan Jones feigned outrage that "MSNBC's Joe Scarborough actually compared Trump to Hitler on Tuesday morning, reading a U.S. government psychological profile of Hitler on-air," while managing editor Michael W. Chapman listed a Hitler comparison as among the things that the "liberal media" have called Trump that are "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."

Needless to say, Chapman has not lectured Stein about his uncivil, repulsive and noxious attack on Ocasio-Cortez.


Posted by Terry K. at 8:13 PM EST
WND's Cashill Brings Back An Old, Discredited Conspiracy
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Never underestimate the ability of WorldNetDaily columnist Jack Cashill to cling to a bogus conspiracy theory. Thus, we have this blast from the past in Cashill's Jan. 16 column, appearing in the midst of a larger rant about his pet conspiracy theories about the crash of TWA Flight 800:

When testifying before the 9/11 Commission in the spring of 2004, then CIA Director George Tenet first addressed the “wall that was in place between the criminal side and the intelligence side.”

Tenet, a Clinton appointee who kept his job under President Bush, made that barrier sound impenetrable. “What’s in a criminal case doesn’t cross over that line. Ironclad regulations,” he insisted.

“So that even people in the Criminal Division and the Intelligence Divisions of the FBI,” he continued, “couldn’t talk to each other, let alone talk to us or us talk to them.”

[...]

In her response to Tenet, 9/11 Commissioner Jamie Gorelick acknowledged the wall and claimed to have used “brute force” as Clinton’s deputy attorney general in her attempt to penetrate it, but she took no responsibility for its creation.

The task of assigning credit was left to Attorney General John Ashcroft. In fact, he was the first witness to call attention to the inherent conflict in Gorelick’s double agency. 

“The single greatest structural cause for Sept. 11 was the wall,” Ashcroft testified before the commission on April 13, 2004.

He was referring here to the same memo Tenet had, the one issued in 1995, which provided instructions on the “separation of certain foreign counterintelligence and criminal investigations.”

These instructions, as Tenet noted, disallowed FBI agents from communicating with intelligence gatherers at the CIA and elsewhere.

“Full disclosure,” Ashcroft continued, “compels me to inform you that its author is a member of the commission.”

That author, of course, was Gorelick. “We predicted Democrats would use the 9/11 Commission for partisan purposes, and that much of the press would oblige,” thundered a Wall Street Journal editorial.

“But color us astonished that barely anyone appreciates the significance of the bombshell Attorney General John Ashcroft dropped on the hearings Tuesday.”

But as we documented at the time, Gorelick responded to Ashcroft's conveniently declassified memo with a  Washington Post op-ed pointing out that she didn't create the so-called "wall"; it was created in 1978. Her 1995 memo merely detailed procedures that she said permitted a freer exchange of information between criminal and counterterror investigators than had been allowed under the Reagan and first Bush administrations. Additionally, she said, Ashcroft's own deputy attorney formally reaffirmed the 1995 guidelines just a month before 9/11.

Cashill apparently doesn't know that we have at least as long a memory about his bogus conspiracies as he does.


Posted by Terry K. at 5:30 PM EST
Updated: Tuesday, February 5, 2019 5:53 PM EST
Time For Another Bogus Trump Coverage Study
Topic: Media Research Center

Since the Trump presidency started, the Media Research Center has pushed narrowly defined studies purporting to show that the media's coverage of President Trump has been highly negative. As we've pointed out, the MRC's studies 1) focus only on a tiny sliver of news -- the evening newscasts on the three networks -- and suggests it's indicative of all media; 2) pretends there was never any neutral coverage of Trump by explicitly rejecting neutral coverage in favor of dishonestly tallying only "explicitly evaluative statements"; 3) fail to take into account the stories themselves and whether negative coverage is deserved or admit that negative coverage is the most accurate way to cover a given story; and 4) fail to provide the raw data or the actual statements it evaluated so its work could be evaluated by others. Not only does the MRC get huffy when the extreme narrowness of its so-called studies are highlighted, it actively encourages falsely extrapolating its bogus results into an indictment of the media as a whole.

The latest installment came on Jan. 15, and Rich Noyes began by falsely conflating his tiny sliver of "research" as representative of the entire "establishment media": "At the midpoint of Donald Trump’s first term, the establishment media’s obvious hostility shows no signs of relenting, but polls show this negative coverage has had no discernible impact on the public’s attitudes toward the President." Fox News has been firmly established for more than 20 years, but Noyes will never admit it's part of the "establishment media."

Noyes does admit that "neutral statements" are excluded from the MRC's work, then bizarrely complains that the so-called "negative" coverage of Trump peaked when "a White House aide [was] accused of domestic abuse." Noyes did not explain what positive spin the networks should have been done to lower that number.

That, of course, is one key flaw in the MRC's methodology -- it refuses to acknowledge that at least some negative coverage is deserved.

Still, Noyes concludes by whining: "The media elite have clearly waded into the political fray to wage war against this President. But have they accomplished anything beyond cementing their reputation as political partisans, not objective journalists?"

Yes, that's coming from an organization whose "media research" lacks all objectivity and is narrowly designed to reinforce a right-wing narrative instead of following where the evidence leads.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:45 AM EST
Monday, February 4, 2019
Newsmax Columnist Joins Snowflakes Triggered By Challenges to Toxic Masculinity
Topic: Newsmax

The message I see in this ad is that men need to stop being men and that men’s default position is bestial. I think that’s outrageous.

I am not surprised that ad executives have fallen prey to the "men are bad" narrative, which is the extreme and ridiculous response to the equally extreme and ridiculous “women are victims” narrative that has become conventional wisdom in the wake of the sexual abuse accusations against Harvey Weinstein. Madison Avenue has about as much of a social conscience as Wall Street.

Unfortunately, the executives at Gillette aren’t the only ones who think that men are a problem.

This month, the American Psychological Association (APA) released its first-ever guidelines designed to help psychologists work with men and boys to address the so-called epidemic of “toxic masculinity.” According to the APA’s research, "traditional masculinity - marked by stoicism, competitiveness, dominance, and aggression - is, on the whole, harmful.”

I believe this hostility toward men is dangerous, but I also know that it’s nothing new. As the second and third wave feminists gained momentum over the last 50 or so years, they bolstered a narrative that has become accepted wisdom: Men, the patriarchy, and masculinity in general have been the source of women’s suffering. Women are taught to blame men for everything bad that has ever happened to them. The #MeToo movement is just the next generation of this.

The new guidelines put a negative spin on characteristics that have traditionally belonged to the male of the species.

[...]

The people who support the APA’s new guidelines and praise Gillette’s message are pretending to care about the welfare of boys and men, but I don’t believe that’s true. I believe they are mistakenly trying to protect women from a patriarchy that they deem to be harmful.

Masculinity is not toxic. It’s normal, it’s human, and it’s good. We need to remember that, despite what Madison Avenue or #MeToo wants us to believe.

-- Christine Flowers, Jan. 22 Newsmax column

(Flowers joins writers at WorldNetDaily and the Media Research Center who were similarly triggered by the Gillette ad and the APA guidelines.)


Posted by Terry K. at 6:09 PM EST
Updated: Monday, February 4, 2019 8:07 PM EST
CNS Keeps Cheering On Its New Favorite Right-Wing Authoritarian Leader
Topic: CNSNews.com

We've previously noted that Brazil's Jair Bolsonaro is the latest hardline right-wing leader CNSNews.com has become infatuated with. That infatuation has grown over the past month as Bolsonaro assumed the presidency in Brazil.

A Jan. 1 article by Patrick Goodenough highlighted Bolsonaro's inauguration and his pledge to free Brazil from "corruption, crime, economic irresponsibility and ideological submission" and to respect its "Judeo-Christian tradition." Goodenough described Bolsonaro's ideology only as "conservative" but did concede that his critics "accuse him of homophobia and misogyny."

On Jan. 7, CNS managing editor Michael W. Chapman touted how Bolsonaro "suggested it is possible that a U.S. military base could be installed in Brazil dependent up on what happens in the world ... to counter Russian influence in nearby Venezuela, a socialist regime that is collapsing under the dictatorship of Nicolas Maduro, a Marxist."

Three days later, the homophobic Chapman cheered when Bolsonaro "signed an executive order removing LGBT concerns from the government's human rights ministry, apparently affirming his traditional Christian, pro-family views and his rejection of 'gender-based ideology.'"

All three items also noted that President Trump has tweeted his congratulations to Bolsonaro.

In addition, a Nov. 28 item by Chapman proclaimed that "Brazil's newly appointed foreign minister, Ernesto Frago Araujo, who starts his new job in January under President Jair Bolsonaro, has stated that the climate change issue was invented by 'cultural Marxists' to help push a globalist agenda that is anti-growth and anti-Christian." Chapman also highlighted Araujo's wild anti-gay, anti-socialism rant:

The incoming foreign minister also criticized Brazil's left-wing Workers' Party for promoting a "socialist ideal" while crushing individualism, freedom of thought, and economic freedom.

It is nothing more than totalitarianism, he wrote, because it "criminalizes everything that is good, spontaneous, natural and pure. Criminalizing the family on charges of patriarchal violence. Criminalizing private property. Criminalizing sex and reproduction, saying that any heterosexual act is rape and every baby is a risk to the planet because it will increase carbon emissions."

Socialism is "criminalizing faith in God," he said. "Criminalizing patriotism. Criminalizing biology by prohibiting the statement that a person is born a man or a woman. Criminalizing competition ("sport is a fascist thing," I once heard a leftist colleague). Criminalizing red meat. Criminalizing air conditioning [for climate science reasons]. Criminalizing beauty. Criminalizing all Western thinkers since Anaximander [d. 536 BC]. Criminalizing history and its heroes. Criminalizing Disney movies. Criminalizing love for children and ancestors. Criminalizing oil or any energy efficient and cheap."

Chapman probably thinks this is all true. Fact-checking isn't CNS' strong suit, after all.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:20 PM EST
Updated: Monday, February 4, 2019 3:21 PM EST

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