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Thursday, February 28, 2019
CNS Touts Anti-AOC Billboard, Doesn't Disclose It's Funded By Same Folks Who Fund CNS
Topic: CNSNews.com

Craig Bannister gleefully writes in a Feb. 20 CNSNews.com blog post:

On Wednesday, a billboard in New York’s Times Square criticizing Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) for having opposed Amazon’s plans, which Amazon has now cancelled, to open a headquarters in the city, began a one-week run.

The billboard highlights the cost to New York of Amazon’s decision not to open a headquarters there, Job Creators Network, the ad’s sponsor explains in its press release:

“Today, the Job Creators Network is putting up a billboard in Times Square calling out Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for the role she played in the recent termination of Amazon’s HQ2 that was planned to be constructed in Queens. The pullout of Amazon—because of anti-business politicians, notably Ocasio-Cortez—is a major blow to the New York economy. The retreat will not only cost the area $12 billion in economic activity, but 25,000 new jobs that would have paid an average salary of $150,000.”

The billboard, located on 42nd Street near 8th Avenue, is headlined “AMAZON PULLOUT, Thanks For Nothing AOC” and ends with the hashtag, #SocialismTakesCapitalismCreates.

In a tweet, conservative commentator Laura Ingraham thanked Job Creators Network for the billboard and posted a picture of it.

But Bannister is curiously silent on a conflict of interest he should have disclosed.  As Ocasio-Cortez noted in a tweet responding to the billboard (and Mediaite further detailed), the Job Creators Network is funded by the Mercer family, which has their money all over right-wing politics.

And CNS' parent, the Media Research Center, is heavily funded by the Mercers as well -- as we documented, the Mercers are the single largest MRC donor, providing one-fourth of its annual budget, and a member of the family, Rebekah Mercer, sits on the MRC's board of directors.

An honest writer would have disclosed that. Bannister has not proven that he is one.


Posted by Terry K. at 7:52 PM EST
Updated: Thursday, February 28, 2019 7:53 PM EST
WND Baselessly Suggests Criticism Of 'Jewish Diplomat' Was Anti-Semitic
Topic: WorldNetDaily

It was just a few weeks ago that the Media Research Center was complaining that attacks on liberal Jew George Soros were considered by some to be anti-Semitic. Now, the MRC's ConWeb comrades at WorldNetDaily are doing what they condemned, though with somebody else.

Art Moore writes in a Feb. 14 WND article:

Just two days after condemnation from her own party leaders prompted a half-hearted apology for anti-Semitic tweets, Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., took a personal swipe at a Jewish diplomat in a hearing Wednesday of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

Omar opened her questioning of Elliott Abrams, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s special envoy on Venezuela, by attacking his credibility.

Moore also made sure to put "Jewish diplomat" in the headline of his article. Never mind, of course, that  Moore offers no evidence that Omar referenced Abrams' ethnicity or religion during her questioning of Abrams.WND is simply trying to capitalize on right-wing hatred of Omar for her previous criticism of lobbying for Israel, which was considered anti-Semitic (and, as it so happens, was the reason the MRC got so mad about criticism of Soros being called anti-Semitic).

Moore then called in conservative scholar Ronald Radosh to defend Abrams against Omar's accusations regarding his work as a diplomat during the 1980s:

Omar charged Abrams with lying to the Senate in 1982 by denying that a massacre took place in El Mozote, El Salvador when a U.S.-trained Salvadoran military battalion went into the town to attack communist guerrillas.

But Radosh, a former Marxist, points out that while other officials denied the massacre, Abrams called it an “incident that is at least being significantly misused, at the very best, by the guerrillas.” It wasn’t until 1992 that forensic evidence confirmed the massacre had occurred.

But as Vox points out, there were contemporaneous reports that what happened in El Mozote, and that the Reagan administration knew or should have known that before certifying that El Salvador's human rights record was improving.

Moore also enlisted Radosh's help in whitewashing Abrams' conviction for withholding information from Congress during the Iran-contra affair, for which he was later pardoned: "One of Abram’s chief human-rights critics, Aryeh Neier, later changed his mind, Radosh pointed out. Neier wrote in the left-wing Dissent magazine that the facts 'suggest a political prosecution rather than the fair administration of justice.'" Moore ends with touting Radosh's opinion that "Omar be removed from her seat in the Foreign Affairs Committee."


Posted by Terry K. at 3:48 PM EST
MRC Complains Media Doesn't Cover Trump The Way Its 'News' Division Does
Topic: Media Research Center

The Media Research Center's Alexis Moutevelis Coombs complains in a Feb. 8 post:

President Trump spoke about important topics to our country like abortion, adoption and religious liberty at the National Prayer Breakfast, but his critics instead focused on a word slipup to bash and mock him on Thursday.

Delivering his speech, President Trump said, “Since the founding of our nation, many of our greatest strides—from gaining our independence to abolition of civil rights to extending the vote for women—have been led by people of faith.”

The White House transcript indicates that the president should have said “to” instead of “of,” in an unfortunate mistake.

[...]

Liberals and their allies in the media quickly pounced, seizing the opportunity to make their headlines about Trump misspeaking, while ignoring or burying the rest of his speech, with Yahoo! News trumpeting, “Trump credits people of faith for 'abolition of civil rights' at National Prayer Breakfast” and USA Today crowing, “President Trump's gaffe touts 'abolition of civil rights' at National Prayer Breakfast.”

[...]

Of course, all this trolling allowed them to ignore or bury Trump’s important words on abortion: "Children, born and unborn, are made in the holy image of God. Every life is sacred and every soul is a precious gift from heaven, as the Lord says."

Coombs is, of course, being hypocritical -- the MRC had no problem with hammering on President Obama when he misspoke, and it had no problem focusing on certain remarks it didn't like during Obama's appearances at the Naitonal Prayer Breakfast while ignoring his overall message on "important topics." But Coombs is also dictating coverage here by telling media outlets what she and the MRC want to have covered.

Of course, the MRC has a whole "news" operation to conform to those expectations. And CNSNews.com's Melanie Arter did, in fact, write an article on Trump's speech to Coombs' specifications:

In a speech at the National Prayer Breakfast on Thursday, President Donald Trump said that the U.S. must “build a culture that cherishes that dignity and sanctity of innocent human life.”

“As part of our commitment to building a just and loving society, we must build a culture that cherishes the dignity and sanctity of innocent human life. All children born and unborn are made in the holy image of God. Every life is sacred, and every soul is a precious gift from heaven. As the Lord says, in Jeremiah, ‘Before you were formed in the womb, I knew you. Before you were born, I set you apart,’” Trump said.

He also pledged to protect the “country’s long and proud tradition of faith-based adoption.”

Being the loyal Trump stenographer she is, Arter also makes no mention of Trump's misspoken words.

What Coombs is really saying is: Why aren't all media outlets servile pro-Trump stenographers like CNS? And that's why the MRC's "media criticism" really shouldn't be taken seriously.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:36 AM EST
Wednesday, February 27, 2019
Newsmax Columnist Lionizes Late Navy Admiral, Ignores His Right-Wing Conspracy-Mongering
Topic: Newsmax

We missed that retired Navy Adm. James Lyons died in December. But Newsmax columnist Joseph Schmitz served up a gushing tribute in a Feb. 16 piece:

"We the People" need now more than ever a few more "Swamp Foxes" like the late great Admiral James Aloysius "Ace" Lyons: a 21st Century Francis Marion.

Francis Marion served during the American Revolutionary War. According to The Society of the Cincinnati, "the nation's oldest patriotic organization, founded in 1783 by officers of the Continental Army," past presidents general of which include George Washington and Alexander Hamilton, Marion fought "during the defense of Charleston in 1776 and rose to the rank of colonel in the Second South Carolina Regiment. After the fall of Charleston in 1780, Marion was appointed brigadier general of State Troops and launched an effective campaign of harassment against British detachments around the state. His cunning and success in eluding capture in the coastal lowlands earned him the grudging admiration of his opponents and an enduring place in South Carolina lore as the 'Swamp Fox'."

As a modern-day Swamp Fox, Admiral Ace Lyons continued to serve after his retirement from naval service in 1987 by taking on the same swamp that President Donald Trump was elected in 2016 to drain — the administrative state run amuck.

[...]

The ongoing abuses of power by inhabitants of the current "swamp" in Washington, D.C. wouldn’t happen any more if more American patriots would follow the lead of the late great Admiral Ace Lyons, an extraordinarily courageous modern-day Swamp Fox.

May God rest the soul of Admiral James Aloysius "Ace" Lyons, a role model for any patriotic American willing to take on the administrative state run amuck, in or out of uniform.

Schmitz is not going to tell his readers what Lyons was best known for in his later years: pushing conspiracy theories. We caught a few of them: his membership on Accuracy in Media's "Citizens Commission on Benghazi" kangaroo court, his embrace of conspiracy theories about Benghazi, his speaking at Larry Klayman's anti-Obama rally.

And Schmitz is certainly not going to mention one of Lyons' final acts: a March 2018 column published in the Washington Times falsely claiming that Seth Rich's brother helped him download Democratic National Committee emails that were then given to WikiLeaks. That got the Washington Times sued by Rich's family, resulting in a settlement that included retracting Lyons' column.

We're not sure that allegedly meritorious military service balances out causing someone to get sued because of your own malicious screw-up. But Schmitz isn't going to talk about that at all.


Posted by Terry K. at 9:14 PM EST
NEW ARTICLE: The Creeping WND-ization of CNS
Topic: CNSNews.com
The Media Research Center's "news" division has gone from echoing WorldNetDaily's editorial decisions (and columnists) to beating WND to the punch on conspiracy theories. Read more >>

Posted by Terry K. at 2:17 PM EST
WND Columnists Fret Over Poor, Persecuted White Teens
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Poor child, so full of hope and faith. With his big blue eyes and rosy cheeks, Nick Sandmann imagined he was safe, so long as he did the right thing. But then Sandmann discovered he was hated for something he couldn’t right: the color of his skin. And while formative figures around him will hide this fact – for his sake, let us hope young Mr. Sandmann remains hip to it.

And it’s not that Sandmann was guilty of the Orwellian “facecrime” – “wearing an improper expression on your face” in the Planned Society. Toxic liberalism, socialism, cultural Marxism, Trump Derangement Syndrome: None of these provides a complete explanation for the venom unleashed on the Covington kid.

Reducing what these lads endured to “the culture wars” conservative talking points is criminal when the pathology, racism, is plain to see and so very dangerous, if denied.

Failing to pinpoint the white-hot hatred of whites percolating throughout America is to endanger these children, to leave them helpless in the face of unadulterated, dangerous, near-institutionalized hatred.

Beautifully spoken and highly intelligent, the Nick Sandmanns of America are of a culture and color that dare not speak its name.

Their culture, when practiced, is polite to a fault and passive. They exude Christian piety, which had been willfully mischaracterized as smugness by the aggressive, well-oiled, “multicultural noise machine” that monopolizes discourse.

-- Ilana Mercer, Jan. 24 WorldNetDaily column

The media reactions following Covington Catholic High incident in Washington, D.C., Jan. 19, is an excellent example of the same failed progressive narrative in America. The Covington scandal may be one of the worst demonstrations of racism against whites in the U.S. in a long time. The mainstream media automatically judged that “the white, heterosexual, Christian boys, wearing MAGA hats” were to blame, and did not even bother to check the facts. According to the liberal narrative, the white skin color was all the evidence needed to attack.

Dr. Paul Craig Roberts, one of the leading political economists in the USA and a former editor of the Wall Street Journal, recently pointed out in a Herland Report TV Show that identity politics, which the liberals so passionately embrace, has appointed the new exploiter group to be the “white heterosexual males.” This group is completely defenseless and not protected by any quotas, prohibitions against hate speech or hate crimes. You can say anything about a white heterosexual male, Roberts states, but you can’t say the slightest thing about blacks, homosexuals, Hispanics or women. The whole notion of class conflict has been replaced by gender, race and sexual preference conflict.

-- Hanne Nabintu Herland, Feb. 13 WND column


Posted by Terry K. at 12:27 AM EST
Tuesday, February 26, 2019
MRC Demands Coverage of Dubious Poll on Hispanic Support for Trump
Topic: Media Research Center

MRC Latino's Ken Oliver rants in a Jan. 22 post: "Once again showing systemic anti-Trump bias, the principal national evening newscasts of the six leading Spanish-language television networks in the United States all pointedly declined to report on President Donald Trump’s soaring job approval ratings among Hispanic-Americans."

But that NBC/PBS/Marist poll finding -- putting Hispanic support for Trump at 50 percent -- is questionable at best and very much an outlier; as the Washington Post explains, other polls show Trump's support among Hispanics much lower. Further, only 153 Hispanics were polled, and that particular result has a margin of error of 9.9 percent -- exceptionally wide for a poll, making the result not statistically significant.

Oliver tried to spin the wide margin of error into suggesting that Trump is even more popular among Hispanics, insisting that "the 19-point pro-Trump surge in the Hispanic results" is "substantial even given the 10% margin of error within the subset."

This was followed two days later with a column by Miguel I. Prado gushing over this dubious poll result and declaring that Trump's "approval rating could go on to surpass even this marker by addressing the border crisis at its source. This would be a disruptive, transformational development for all of Latin America."

Olliver then noted in a Feb. 1 post that a couple of the Spanish-language networks noted the poll number -- and also complained that they reported how dubious it is:

The Univision report further attempts to undercut the significance of Trump’s Hispanic boost by pointing out that the 50% level of support registered among Latinos has a 10% margin of error, but the 19% increase far exceeds the margin of error, which means Trump’s actual Hispanic support could be as high as 60% or as low as 40%, which would still be notably higher than the 39% approval rating registered among the U.S. population as a whole.

Way to spin away that ridiculously high margin of error, Ken.


Posted by Terry K. at 7:22 PM EST
WND Story Relies On Unreliable Sources
Topic: WorldNetDaily

A Feb. 14 WorldNetDaily article breathlessly declares:

The claim that Russian intelligence officials hacked emails from the DNC server that were later published by Wikileaks is a core tenet of the belief that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia in the 2016 election.

But more than three years later, no forensic evidence has been produced to back the claim. And now an investigation by two cyber-security and intelligence experts has concluded the hard evidence indicates the files were not breached via the internet but downloaded onto a portable storage device.

The conclusion by William Binney, a former intelligence official with the National Security Agency, and former CIA analyst Larry Johnson was reported exclusively by the Gateway Pundit blog.

WND's first problem is that it's citing anything from Gateway Pundit, publisher of all manner of false, misleading and inflammatory dreck. Its second problem is that the co-author of the study is linked to one of the biggest political hoaxes in recent years.

As we noted the last time someone in the ConWeb cited him, Larry Johnson spent years pushing the hoax that somewhere out there, a recording exists of Michelle Obama talking about race and railing against "whitey." When no recording continually failed to surface, Johnson never really apologized for pushing it; despite claiming that "I take full responsibility for my role in putting out that story," he declared that "it did not originate with me" and that he was a victim, "an unwitting tool" in a "dirty trick" perpetrated by Media Matters leader David Brock. (Disclosure: I used to work for Media Matters.)

So, WND is giving us a double dose of untrustworthy sources. That's not the way to build up credibility that will pull it out of its continuing financial crisis.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:52 PM EST
CNS Pushes 'No Collusion' Narrative Again
Topic: CNSNews.com

As part of its editorial agenda to do President Trump's bidding, CNSNews.com has regularly pushed assertions by Trump and his supporters that there was no collusion between Trump's presidential election campaign and Russian interests and/or attacking Robert Mueller's investigation into same. The latest round comes through Senate Republicans insisting that their investigation found no collusion.

CNS managing editor Michael W. Chapman led this particular bandwagon, with a Feb. 8 article headlined "Senate Chairman to CBS: Zero Evidence of 'Collusion by Trump Campaign and Russia.'" When NBC did a fuller story on this, Chapman breathleessly declared in a Feb. 12 post: "BREAKING: Senate Intelligence Cmte: No Direct Evidence of Russia-Trump Collusion."

Chapman conveniently omitted the fact that NBC also quoted Democrats on the Senate Intelligence Committee who pointed out that "no direct evidence" does not mean "no evidence," adding that "Trump and his associates had more than 100 contacts with Russians before the January 2017 presidential inauguration." NBC also points out where Chapman didn't that a Republican-controlled investigation of a Republican president could be considered by many to be partisan and incomplete.

Instead, CNS' Susan Jones touted the next day how "In an early morning tweet on Wednesday, President Trump pointed to the Senate intelligence committee: "THERE IS NO EVIDENCE OF COLLUSION BETWEEN THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN AND RUSSIA!" he wrote in all-caps." Jones did, surprisingly, note Democratic criticism of the GOP conclusion.

On Feb. 14, however, CNS' Michael Morris gave space to Mark Levin fill-in host Dan Bongino declaring that "[t]he Russian collusion fairytale is finally, fully, completely collapsing." This was followed by Jones giving a Feb. 18 platform to  Rush Limbaugh to rant that "People such as Andrew McCabe and Rod Rosenstein 'took it upon themselves to overthrow the election results of 2016,' while ignoring the 'real collusion' between the Clinton campaign and the Russians."

This attempt to downplay any link between Trump and Russia comes straight from the top. A Jan. 30 column by editor in chief Terry Jeffrey portraying Russian election interference as no big deal: "Which is a greater threat to the United States? A shipment of heroin smuggled across the Mexican border that ends up in your hometown? Or a series of Facebook posts made by a Russian operative in St. Petersburg that show up on your Facebook feed?" Jeffrey then huffed:

Yes, our government should work to stop foreign governments from hacking into U.S. computer systems and stealing data, or tampering with vote-counting systems.

But how many Americans died last year from reading a Russian Facebook post or tweet?

The top national security issue facing the federal government today has nothing to do with deceptive political speech on social media. It has everything to do with our southern border.

Build the wall.

As long as the Russians support the same candidate Jeffrey does, it must not be a problem, right?


Posted by Terry K. at 12:35 AM EST
Monday, February 25, 2019
AIM Spins Polls To Make Trump Look Better Than He Is
Topic: Accuracy in Media

Carrie Sheffield writes in a Feb. 14 Accuracy in Media post:

The mainstream media hit President Trump for urging Democrats in Congress not to engage in partisan investigations against his administration, yet their coverage ignores findings from a Gallup poll released yesterday and taken in the wake of the government shutdown showed that the president’s job approval is more than 20 percent higher than the public’s approval of Congress.

But puffing up Trump's popularity rating by comparing it to that of Congress is irrelevant. Gallup's own polling shows that Congress rates perpetually low -- generally fluctuating between 10 and 20 percent since 2012. Further, President Obama's second-term approval average, covering the first few years of that congressional polling, was 46.7 percent -- meaning that he too scored "more than 20 percent higher than the public’s approval of Congress."

We suspect AIM would never have made such a claim about Obama's popularity.

Sheffield went even further in the poll-spinning route, claiming that Trump's numbers were up -- in this case, at 44 percent in the first poll after the shutdown ended -- because "Gallup found that Americans credited the president with ending the shutdown" while also claiming that only "the mainstream media blamed Trump for the shutdown." But Sheffield ignored another Gallup poll finding that 50 percent of Americans believed that Democratic leaders in Congress acted more responsibly during the shutdown, while ly 39 percent believed Trump did.

Sheffield also ignores that Trump remains generally unpopular, having never received more than 50 percent approval in any Gallup poll -- the only president with that distinction.


Posted by Terry K. at 5:08 PM EST
MRC Still Helping Far-Right Activist Play The Victim
Topic: Media Research Center

Last November, the Media Research Center was crying that far-right activist Laura Loomer became the victim of "Twitter's war on conservative thought," laughably calling her a "journalist" and hiding just how far-right and hateful and Islamophobic she is.

Well, the MRC isn't done trying to turn an extremist into a martyr. A Feb. 6 post by Alexander Hall complains that Loomer was banned from PayPal, including a quote from her that she was banned "for no reason whatsoever." Hall, to his credit, didn't call Loomer the "journalist" that she is not, and admitted she is a "right-wing provocateur" and "an activist and performance artist." Hall uncritically repeated the platforms from which Loomer has been removed and let her whine without challenge that "the left" is targeting her.

But as before, Hall doesn't want to give his readers the details of Loomer's extreme behavior. For instance, Hall let Loomer complain she's been banned from Uber and Lyft -- but didn't explain that it's because she went on an Islamophobic rant complaining that the ride-sharing services employ Muslim drivers. And handcuffing yourself to the door to Twitter's headquarters is a desperate cry for attention, not "performance art."

Nevertheless, Hall felt the need to lecture: "The question here is where the legal distinction lies between core values and political ideology. There is a difference between saying one cannot bake a gay wedding cake for religious reasons, but can offer other items versus denying all of one’s services because you don’t like a person’s political ideology." But Hall presents no evidence Loomer has been de-platformed for "political ideology" alone. Indeed, the evidence shows -- if Hall had bothered to present it to the MRC's readers -- that Loomer engages in hateful, extremist and discriminatory behavior.

But Loomer's de-platforming fulfills the MRC's narrative of purported persecution of conservatives on social media, so Hall will continue to give her martyrdom she doesn't deserve.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:32 PM EST
WND's Farah Is Still Pretending There's No Evidence Of Trump's Racism
Topic: WorldNetDaily

In January, WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah decided to do no research whatsoever before writing a column insisting that there's no evidence to back up claims that Donald Trump is a racist. Given that there's plenty of evidence to support the claim, we called Farah exceptionally lazy for writing that column. It's also part of a campaign of pro-Trump sycophancy by Farah that's approaching astronomical levels.

Farah still apparently can't be bothered to do any research before writing, because he devoted his Feb. 14 column to pushing the very same (false) claim. He goes Godwin early, accusing Chelsea Clinton of "engaging in Josef Goebbels’ old Big Lie strategy" by tweeting about Trump's "embrace of white nationalism & anti-Semitic & Islamophobic hate." Let Farah's bogus defense begin:

I grew up in the New York area at the same time Donald Trump was building his real estate empire. He was a famous person, a local celebrity throughout that time. He was a media darling. He was not very political. But he was a star.

It was always clear Trump had an ego, but no one ever called him a racist, an anti-Semite or Islamophobic. Not once.

Later, Trump became an even bigger star through his work on television. In fact, he was now not only the toast of New York, but Hollywood as well. No one ever called him a racist, anti-Semite or Islamophobic. Not once.

Before his bid for the presidency in 2016, Trump was a media darling, a source of all kinds of political speculation; everything the man said was newsworthy – headlines, soundbites. Again, no one ever called him a racist, anti-Semite or Islamophobic. Not once.

Do you know why?

Because he wasn’t. Because there was no evidence to do so. Because he wasn’t perceived as serious political a threat to left.

Farah then shockingly claims to have actually done research: "I’ve searched endlessly through the accusations, and there’s simply no there there." But, as before, the only example he cites is Trump's response to Charlottesville, which he calls "the most substantive and repeated slur against Trump"; he then endeavoered to explain it away by insising that Trump's "fine people on both sides" remark "clearly meant ... was that there are always some nice people caught up on either side of a political rally gone bad. He no more offered support for any white nationalists than he did for antifa."

Again, Farah ignores the various lists enumerating how Trump has been racist even well before running for president.

Farah claims he "searched endlessly through the accusations," but he offers no evidence he actually did so and addresses only the accusation he previously attacked. Why not go through each accusation one by one and explain why they're not evidence of racism? Probably because Farah would then have to admit that substantial evidence exists, and picking the easiest one to debunk is the demagogue's lazy way of suggesting that all of the allegations are similarly flimsy.

Farah may or may not be lazy, but he is definitely dishonest. But we knew that about him already, didn't we?


Posted by Terry K. at 12:46 AM EST
Sunday, February 24, 2019
CNS Touts Another Right-Wing European Politician
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com's love of far-right leaders continued in a Jan. 16 article by Faycal Benhassain highlighting French politician Marine Le Pen launching "her campaign for the European Parliament elections in May.

Unlike the last time CNS wrote about Le Pen, Benhassain did describe Le Pen as "far right," he did give her space to frame her political movement as "populist" and "the defender of the Europe of the people," as well as "a great alliance of French patriots opposed to the globalists." Benhassain then repeated French political analysts who touted Le Pen's chances, citing one who said that "many events happening in Europe and around the world are creating a political atmosphere favorable to the ideas of the National Rally," Le Pen's political party.

Benhassain's article is the latest in a string of articles CNS has published promoting the actions of right-wing authoritarian leaders in Europe and South America. One of them is Hungary's Viktor Orban; CNS surprisingly published a Feb. 20 article featuring criticism of a poster issued by Orban's political party suggesting that Jean-Claude Juncker, the European Union's executive commission, was collaborating with George Soros, a Hungarian native who Orban despises and has portrayed in propaganda as an "enemy of the state."


Posted by Terry K. at 5:39 PM EST
MRC Tries to Downplay Ginni Thomas' Far-Right Views
Topic: Media Research Center

We've noted how the Media Research Center -- particularly Tim Graham -- likes to attack NRC host Chuck Todd's wife for working as a Democratic strategist and perhaps having some malign influence over Todd himself (or, at the very least, that Todd should be barred from covering politics due to his "conflict of interest"). Not only does the MRC not think that Fox News hosts with similar conflicts of interest are a problem, it's also giving a pass to the very political wife of a Supreme Court justice.

A Dec. 28 post by Brad Wilmouth complained that CNN held "a discussion of whether Ginni Thomas -- the wife of conservative U.S Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas -- is expressing too many "far-right" political views on venues like Facebook," citing unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud.Wilmouth offered nothing but whataboutism in response, attacking CNN for being "the network that makes entire documentaries lauding Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who certainly caused this kind of furor about partisan opinions when she harshly attacked Donald Trump, and CNN thinks she's just terrific."

Graham himself chimed in on Jan. 1, attacking a Washington Post writer who pointed out that Thomas "shared a Facebook post that bizarrely described California as a war zone, with illegal immigrants scaling walls and carjacking U.S. citizens," issued then deleted a post "proclaiming that teenage survivors of the Parkland, Fla., school shooting are 'dangerous to the survival of our nation' because of their gun-control activism," and the she "harangued Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton for supposedly wiretapping Donald Trump — a baseless accusation indulged in only by conspiracy theorists." Graham tried to portray these attacks as mainstream views:

Without going deep into these accusations, we can inform [Post writer Dan] Zak: illegal immigrants do scale walls, and some do carjack citizens. Conservatives do believe liberal teenage Parkland survivors are trying to curtail the Second Amendment (and engage in a lot of "erroneous propaganda.") And we now know Paul Manafort was wiretapped, which means the feds probably wiretapped his conversations with Trump. 

Graham then went into whataboutism mode by attacking the reporter for being "nakedly partisan."

After a group of activists led by Thomas met with President Trump, Clay Waters was upset that the New York Times described them as "hard-right" then, yes, played whataboutism: "The paper proved itself hypersensitive to supposed conflicts of interest among conservatives, though one wonders if reporters would be as aggrieved if a spouse of a liberal Justice met with a President Obama."

Waters was also upset that  Thomas' far-right postings were described by the Times as "conspiracy theories," joining Graham in whitewash mode: "The paper didn’t offer any further details about those 'conspiracy theories,' but on the face of it there’s nothing particularly striking or shocking to suggest that left-wing Soros is working to help Democrats, or the possibility of pro-Democratic voter fraud."

Graham, along with MRC chief Brent Bozell, engaged in more whataboutism and deflection in their Jan. 29 column, further attacking that New York Times article by complaining that it claimed Thomas "is, well, extreme. And she's married to You-Know-Who." The attack continued: "Now try to imagine the Times writing in high dudgeon about Obama or Hillary Clinton meeting with people on 'the Democratic Party’s fringes.' For 8 years Obama entertained every leftist group imaginable. And yet the Times can’t find a 'fringe' on that side of the partisan aisle. On the same day they nearly fainted over Ginni Thomas, the Times gushed over hard-left Sen. Kamala Harris announcing a run for president in her hometown of Oakland, California."

Graham and Bozell then immediately attack Harris for being "hard left" and "on the left-wing fringes" for supporting Medicare for all and the Green New Deal. They do not explain how they determined these to be "fringe" views; instead, they're mad that the Times accurately described them as "currently popular among Democrats."

Notice that at no point do any of these MRC writers delve further into Thomas' views -- indeed Graham himself declared that he wouldn't be "going deep" into them. That suggests to us they know her views really are fringe, and that they don't want to give her critics ammunition by admitting that. Which, again, is the MRC putting its right-wing agenda ahead of the truth.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:29 PM EST
Saturday, February 23, 2019
CNS Reporter Rushes to Defend Trump After 'Executive Time' Leak
Topic: CNSNews.com

Not only does CNSNews.com serve as an echo chamber to support President Trump's pronouncements, it's also a source of kneejerk defenses of the president.

A good example of this is a Feb. 4 article by Susan Jones, who's so offended that somebody released Trump's private schedule -- which includes copious amounts of "executive time" -- that she turns it from a "news" item to an opinion piece defending Trump and attacking the leaker:

In another apparent attempt to undermine the Trump presidency, someone described as "a White House source" has leaked "nearly every day of President Trump's private schedule for the past 3 months to Axios' Alexi McCammond," Axios reported on Sunday.

The website published those daily schedules, which show that Trump "has spent around 60% of his scheduled time over the past 3 months in unstructured 'Executive Time.'"

The leak allowed cable news shows such as MSNBC's "Morning Joe" to "report" that "Barack Obama worked around the clock compared to Donald Trump."

According to host Joe Scarborough on Monday, "There are seniors playing shuffle board in Boca retirement communities who work more than the president of the United States right now."

[...]

This is not the first time someone in the Trump administration has tried to undermine the president.

We still do not know which "unnamed Trump administration official" wrote a New York Times op-ed last September, describing the president as “impetuous, adversarial, petty and ineffective.” The editorial said insiders were "working diligently from within to frustrate parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations.”

The leak to Axios may be part of that effort.

Jones also uncritically quotes borderline ludicrous (not to mention unsupported) statements by Trump aides: White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders' assertion that Trump is "the most productive President in modern history, and Trump personal secretary Madeleine Westerhout insisting that "This POTUS is working harder for the American people than anyone in recent history."

The article also includes a picture of "President Donald Trump at work in the Oval Office."


Posted by Terry K. at 2:04 PM EST

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