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Saturday, October 6, 2012
CNS Won't Report Good News About Economy

How in the tank for Mitt Romney is Terry Jeffrey and his Jeffrey's website won't report that the unemployment rate went down last month because it might make President Obama look good.

Instead, Jeffrey wrote two stories cherry-picking obscure statistsics. The first carried the headline "Unemployment Rate Plummets to 4.3%--For Government Workers." Jeffrey doesn't mention that the public sector has decreased by more than 580,000 since 2009, or that the ratio of government employment to the general population is at its lowest point in nearly 30 years.

Jeffrey's other article makes a big deal about how there are "there are now 1,035,000 fewer construction jobs in the United States than there were in January 2009, when Obama was inaugurated." It's not until the final paragraph that he mentions that "Construction jobs in the United States started declining before Obama entered office, having peaked at 7,726,000 in April 2006."

Neither article mentions that the overall unemployment rate decreased from 8.2 percent to 7.8 percent.

Such biased reporting is blatant electioneering for Romney. How does that square with the nonprofit status of CNS' parent, the Media Research Center?

Posted by Terry K. at 9:32 PM EDT
Friday, October 5, 2012
CNS Bats Cleanup For Romney After the Debate

CNS is moving beyond merely promoting right-wing talking points as "news" and becoming a full-fledged media arm of Mitt Romney's campaign. Several CNS articles published after the debate served to reinforce Romney's talking points, attack President Obama, and even elucidate on issues it felt Romney didn't sufficiently cover during the debate.

An article by Fred Lucas does the latter:

During Wednesday night’s presidential debate, when Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney explained why wanted to repeal and replace Obamacare, he cited four reasons, including because it is “expensive,” it “cuts $716 billion” from Medicare, it includes an “unelected board” that could determine what kind of medical treatments people get, and it “killed jobs.”

He did not mention as one of the reasons he would like to repeal Obamacare the fact that if mandates that all Americans must purchase health insurance, a mandate that conservatives have argued is unconstitutional and that only survived a Supreme Court challenge earlier this year when Chief Justice John Roberts sided with the liberals on the court and said the government had the authority to order people to buy things as long as it did so under the Constitution’s General Welfare Clause not the Commerce Clause.

Yes, pointing out that Romney failed to mention the individual mandate is the entire point of Lucas' article. He did concede, however, that an individual mandate exists in the health care plan Romney spearheaded as Massachusetts, though he fails to mention that the individual mandate had longtime support from Republicans before it was opposed by them in the wake of Obama's health care plan embracing it.

Then, Melanie Hunter claimed that Romney "corrected the president" on his claim that Romney supports a plan that calls for a $5 trillion tax cut. In fact, Romney made no correction; he simply denied that he has such a plan. But Romney arguably does -- the Tax Policy Center interpreted that Romney's call for a 20 percent tax rate reduction and other tax cuts he has called for add up to about $5 trillion over 10 years. Hunter fails to mention the TPC report; instead, she documents all the instances in which Romney countered Obama on the $5 trillion tax cut claim.

An article by Susan Jones dismissed Obama's claim that companies can "a [tax] break for shipping jobs overseas" because "the full story" is that it refers to a tax deduction for business moving expenses that doesn't discriminate on where the business moves to. Jones quoted a senator criticizing a bill that would disqualify business operations moved overseas for the tax break. 

Another article by Lucas essentially calls Obama a liar for claiming that Americans can keep their health insurance under Obamacare because "the law’s regulations on contraception, sterilization, and abortion-inducing drugs may compel some people to change their health insurance plans or drop them entirely." Of course, any such insurance change is not a mandate of Obamacare, it's a personal decision.

And Christopher Goins attacked Obama for claiming that Social Security is "structurally sound" because "Social Security’s Board of Trustees said in their 2012 annual report that the program faced $8.6 trillion in 'unfunded obligations.'"

How does CNS' blatant shilling for Romney  square with the 501(c)3 tax-exempt status of its parent organization, the Media Research Center? Perhaps CNS editor in chief Terry Jeffrey can explain that to his readers.

Posted by Terry K. at 11:14 AM EDT
Updated: Friday, October 5, 2012 11:18 AM EDT
Sunday, September 23, 2012
CNS Touts Poll On How Nobody Trusts The Media -- Of Which CNS Is A Part

It seems that Terry Jeffrey couldn't be prouder that nobody trusts the "news" website he runs.

A Sept. 21 CNS article by Jeffrey touts how "Only 8 percent of Americans say they have a 'great deal' of trust in the news media, according to a new Gallup poll," which is "a record low for the 40 years that Gallup has been polling on the question."

While the Gallup poll question Jeffrey features "the mass media--such as newspapers, T.V. and radio," a significant share of news consumption takes place on the Internet. CNS proclaims itself to be "a news source," which means it's part of the "news media" being rejected as untrustworthy. 

In other words, Jeffrey is touting now few people trust his own "news" organization. That's a strange thing for the head of a "news" organization to be proud of; if Jeffrey wasn't, he wouldn't have taken the time from whatever other duties he has as the editor in chief of CNS to summarize these poll findings.

Not only that, Jeffrey's article was promoted at the top of CNS' front page for much of this past weekend with a huge accompanying photo (albeit irrelevant since NBC is not referenced in his story):

Jeffrey clearly wants everyone to know that nobody trusts his "news" organization. Very peculiar.

Posted by Terry K. at 7:13 PM EDT
Friday, September 21, 2012
CNS' Jeffrey Flip-Flops on Women in the Workforce

Terry Jefrey writes in his Sept. 19 column:

In November 1968, however, only 41.8 percent of American women 16 or older worked. By November 2008, that had grown to 59.4 percent.

By contrast, in November 1968, 77.6 percent of American men 16 or older worked. By November 2008, that had dropped to 67.3 percent.

As of August, only 64 percent of American men were working.

What happened? Why did the percentage of American women working climb while percentage of men declined?

Liberals might point to this as a sign of societal progress, the success of women's liberation.

A better explanation may be this: Women are being driven into the American workforce — and men are being offered a way out — by the demise of the traditional family and the rise of paternalistic government.

So you'd think that Jeffrey would approve of women leaving the workforce, right? Wrong.

Jeffrey wrote in a June 1 CNS article:

The number of American women who are unemployed was 766,000 individuals greater in May 2012 than in January 2009, when President Barack Obama took office, according to data released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

In January 2009, there were approximately 5,005,000 unemployed women in the United States, according to BLS. In May 2012, there were 5,771,000.


When Obama took office in January 2009, the female civilian non-institutional population was 121,166,000. In May 2012, it hit 125,788,000—an increase of 4,622,000 since January 2012.

Three months ago, Jeffrey thought women leaving the workforce was a bad thing because he could blame it on Obama (despite the fact that the number of women not in the workforce has been steadily increasing for more than a decade). Now, Jeffrey is upset that women are working at all because it harms the "traditional family."

This sort of embarrassing flip-flopping is what happens when you change your opinions based on who your political enemy is on a given day. Which tells us that Jeffrey is not quite the principled, moral person he portrays himself as.

Posted by Terry K. at 7:33 PM EDT
Saturday, September 15, 2012
CNS Presents Right-Wing Talking Points As 'News'

Matt Cover writes in a Sept. 14 "news" article: "Average retail gasoline prices have more than doubled under President Obama, according to government statistics, rising from $1.84 per gallon to $3.85 per gallon."

If Cover sounds like he's merely regurgitating right-wing talking points, that's because he is.

As it so happens, a group called the American Energy Alliance is currently running an ad making that exact same claim, with the tag line, "Tell Obama we can’t afford his failing energy policies." The American Energy Allianceis a group funded by oil industry executive, specifically the Koch brothers.

As befits a propagandist doing the work if the oil lobby -- which CNS loves to do -- Cover fails to present all of the relevant facts regarding the price difference. As the Consumer Energy Report points out:

In the summer of 2008 — Bush’s last year in office — gasoline prices climbed above $4/gallon for nine straight weeks on the back of oil prices that reached nearly $150/barrel. But those prices were unsustainable in the short term, and unsurprisingly, they collapsed. By the end of the year, oil prices had retreated into the $30′s, and gasoline had fallen back to $1.71/gallon.

But those low prices represented an overcorrection. I noted at the time that I didn’t believe prices would stay at those levels for very long, and by the time Obama was inaugurated gasoline prices had already climbed by $0.20/gallon over the three weeks before his inauguration. Gasoline prices would continue to climb as oil prices recovered.

So the claim of gasoline prices doubling under Obama is technically correct, but irrelevant because the reason it happened was that he came into office near the bottom of a price overcorrection. Blaming Obama for the price rise would be like blaming him for cases of lung cancer that were detected during his term. 


There are substantive discussions to be had about President Obama’s energy policies, and how they will impact the U.S. in coming years. Blaming him for high gasoline prices are not part of that substantive discussion.

Blaming Obama, of course, is exactly what Cover is doing. Is it because he's a lazy reporter or because he's working as a right-wing propagandist?

Posted by Terry K. at 9:49 PM EDT
Updated: Saturday, September 15, 2012 9:55 PM EDT
Friday, September 14, 2012
CNS' Starr Touts Flawed Study To Bash Federal Regulation

In a Sept. 10 article, Penny Starr asserts that "the bound edition of the Code of Federal Regulations has increased by 11,327 pages – a 7.4 percent increase from Jan. 1, 2009 to Dec. 31, 2011." She adds:

Randy Johnson, senior vice president of labor, immigration and employee benefits at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, distributed a handout of a Congressional Research Service analysis of a 2008 study commissioned by the Small Business Administration that estimated the annual compliance price for all federal regulations at $1.7 trillion that year.

In fact, that study has been criticized for flawed methodology and cherry-picked data. the Economic Policy Institute said the study "should not be used either as a valid measure of the costs of regulation or as a guide for policy."

Further, as media Matters points out, the Office of Management and Budget has found that the benefits of regulations significantly outweigh their costs.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:03 PM EDT
Wednesday, September 12, 2012
CNS Politicizes Libya Attack By Bashing Obama
Topic: wastes no time in exploiting the killing of an ambassador and other Americans in Libya for political gain with a Sept. 12 article by Melanie Hunter headlined, "‘Is This an Act of War?’ Obama Turns His Back on Question about Libyan Attack."

In fact, as Hunter reports, Obama simply declined to take any questions after issuing a statement condeming the attack in Libya. Still, she does her best to vindictively portray Obama as callous for not answering any questions:

President Barack Obama took no questions at the White House Rose Garden press conference on the attacks in Libya, turning his back and walking away as a reporter asked, “Is this an act of war?”

One has to wonder: If it was a Republican president who made such a statement then declined to take questions afterwards, would Hunter and CNS treat him as harshly as they treat Obama? Don't count on it.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:35 PM EDT
Churchill Bust Derangement Syndrome
Ken Blackwell writes in his Sept. 10 column:

We have praised President Obama for getting Osama bin Laden. And we respect how the president consigned Osama’s body to the deep. Ironically, Winston Churchill, whose bust he pitched out into the snow, would have approved, too. 

As we've previously pointed out -- and the White House has since confirmed -- the bust of Churchill that was loaned to President Bush was scheduled to leave at the end of his administration. An identical bust of Churchill has been in the White House since the 1960s and remains there today.

Why does Blackwell obsess over this bust? We don't get it.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:12 AM EDT
Monday, September 10, 2012
CNS Columnist's Revisionist History of The Depression

Kevin Price ("a syndicated columnist, publisher and managing editor of US Daily Review, and host of the Price of Business radio show") serves up this, er, interesting take on history in his Sept. 10 column:

Another president who inherited a terrible economy was FDR from Herbert Hoover.  How did FDR compare to Obama? Well, in spite of the romantic notions of liberal ideologues, Roosevelt was a disaster as he took a serious recession into the nation's worst Depression. Interestingly, Obama's approach to solve our economic crisis is similar to FDR's and we are getting similar results.  Big government, outrageous subsidies, and massive increases in regulations guaranteed that the Great Depression would be the worst economic period in our nation's history to date. It appears Barack Obama may be committed to out performing FDR in this notorious area.

Actually, most economists agree that Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal policies lifted the country out of the Great Depression, not deepened it.

And this guy hosts a radio show about business? Apparently an understanding of economics and history was not required for Price to get that gig.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:29 PM EDT
Thursday, September 6, 2012
CNS' Starr Desperately Trying To Manufacture Another Controversy
Topic:'s Penny Starr is desperately trying to smear Michelle Obama, but sadly for her, nobody seems interested.

Starr -- who's best known for her manufactured controversy over a gay-themed art exhibit --  tried to manufacture another one over Michelle Obama's stint as a "guest editor" at the women-oriented website

Why is Starr so faux-outraged by this? Because iVillage, according to her Aug. 22 CNS article, "offers sexually explicit material, including graphic sex tips from prostitutes, '20 kinky things you SO can do,' and a list of 'naughty' apps for mobile devices."

It seems that Starr has some issues with sex that perhaps shouldn't be played out in public as she's doing. And she's still outraged even though she concedes that "the first lady herself does not discuss sex."

When that story didn't get enough attention for her, Starr rewrote it for a Sept. 4 article with the hook that "Michelle Obama tweeted and shared a link to iVillage on Monday," using the opportunity to again rehash her manufactured outrage over the site's "sex tips from prostitutes." Again, Starr offered no evidence that Obama provided sexual content.

It's clear, however, that  Starr's manufactured controversy has been a failure -- so much so that Starr is begging her Twitter followers to promote. In a Sept. 5 tweet linking to her article the day before, she let out the anguished cry, "WHY is this story not getting more attention???"

Um, because it's obviously written by an Obama-hater trying to manufacture a controversy? Starr seems not to have considered that her politically motivated wolf-crying is making people tune her out.

Oh, and iVillage is not a "sexual explicit" website -- it's an news, advice and "conversation" website for women that occasionally discusses sex because, hey, women have sex. Starr never explains why talking about sex is so horrible.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:38 AM EDT
Tuesday, September 4, 2012
CNS Portrays DNC Caucus Meetings As 'Division,' Ignores Actual RNC Division

Under the headline "While Republicans Stressed Unity, Democrats’ Convention Schedule Already Shows Division," Susan Jones writes in a Sept. 3 article that Michelle Obama "will address -- separately -- several key Democratic constituencies as they divide themselves into smaller groups based on race, ethnicity, gender or sexual preference." By contrast, Jones wrote, 'Speaker after speaker at the Republican convention ... are racial or ethnic minorities who stood up to celebrate the values and dreams they share with all Americans."

Of course, caucus groups are not the same as intra-party "division," no matter how much Jones and CNS would like it to be. Further, Jones failed to mention one actual division at the Republican convention -- an attempt to change the rules of how delegates are selected that, in the words of CNN, pitted establishment Republicans against "the likes of Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann and grassroots activists."

Jones offered no evidence of that kind of actual division at the Democratic convention.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:35 PM EDT
Saturday, August 25, 2012
CNS Ignores Kris Kobach's Romney Connection

An Aug. 24 article by Penny Starr promotes a lawsuit by sseveral Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers against the Obama administration to halt a directive that delays deportation of illegal immigrants who came to the United States as children.

In noting that Kris Kobach is the ICE agents' attorney, Starr writes that "Kobach also serves as Secretary of State in Kansas and he is the author of SB 1070, the Arizona immigration law that was partially upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court earlier this year." Starr fails to mention, though, that Kobach is also an adviser to Mitt Romney's presidential campaign, raising the specter of a partisan political motive behind the lawsuit.

That seems like something significant to report, but Starr ignored it.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:37 PM EDT
Wednesday, August 22, 2012
CNS' Jeffrey Parses Akin To Save Anti-Abortion Talking Point
Topic: editor in chief recognizes that Todd Akin's statements on rape and pregnancy undercut the absolutist right-wing argument that abortion should be outlawed in all instances, including in cases of rape. So his Aug. 22 column is devoting to parsing Akin's remarks to disassociate that claim from the rest of what he said:

Akin's answer had two distinct parts. In the first, he made a claim about the physiological likelihood of a rape victim conceiving a child as the result of the criminal act committed against her. In the second, he made a policy statement about whether aborting such a child ought to be permitted.

The first part of Akin's answer was worse than gratuitous. It made a claim he could not back up and did so in language that itself raised questions.

But what about the second part of Akin's statement — that rapists ought to be punished but not children conceived through rape?

Is this a logical, morally defensible, even laudable and courageous position?

Needless to say, Jeffrey insists it is, and also that Mitt Romney believes the same thing, even though he has never explicitly said so and has actually denied the position in criticizing Akin:

Given Romney's premises, what would be the logical position for Romney to take on whether American law should permit the taking of an innocent human life conceived through a rape?

"Gov. Romney and Congressman Ryan disagree with Mr. Akin's statement, and a Romney-Ryan administration would not oppose abortion in instances of rape," Romney campaign spokeswoman Amanda Henneberg told multiple news organizations on Monday.

This has been Romney's position ever since he declared himself pro-life. "I am pro-life," Romney wrote in a July 26, 2005, op-ed in the Boston Globe. "I believe that abortion is the wrong choice except in cases of incest, rape and to save the life of the mother."

So, if abortion is not the "wrong choice" in cases of rape, what kind of choice is it?

Who exactly benefits when the government permits the deliberate killing of an innocent child conceived through rape?

Like WorldNetDaily's Joseph Farah, Jeffrey wants to change the subject away from Akin and insist his larger point was accurate:

Rep. Todd Akin's substantive position that we should protect the right to life even of those conceived through rape — who are themselves a second victim of that evil act — is not only in keeping with the good heart of America, it is plain and simply right.

By the way, Jeffrey's "worse than gratuitous" statement was his only criticism of Akin.

Posted by Terry K. at 2:58 PM EDT
Friday, August 17, 2012
Guilt By Association: CNS Tries to Blame SPLC's Map for FRC Shooting
Topic: has gotten its right-wing talking points: Blame the Souther Poverty Law Center for the shooting at the Family Research Council, even though there's not a shred of evidence to link the two.

Elizabeth Harrington gives it a go in an Aug. 16 article:

The man who shot a security guard at the Family Research Council (FRC) on Wednesday was “given a license” to do so because of groups such as the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) that have labeled the FRC a “hate group,” said FRC President Tony Perkins.

The SPLC has posted what it calls a "Hate Map" on its website that points to the FRC as a "hate" group located in Washington, D.C..

Harrington offers no evidence that the alleged shooter ever saw this map -- which lists only the city, not the street address.

By contrast, the FRC's website not only provides the street address of its headquarters, a video on the website features an image of the building its headquarters is in.

If the FRC's own website provides more information about how to find its offices than the SPLC's map does, shouldn't Harrington be blaming the FRC for making it so easy for the shooter to find it?

Harrington also complains:

The map and SPLC listing of "hate organizations" equates groups such as the Family Research Council, which promotes the traditional Christian view of marriage and sexuality, with racist groups that violate Christian teaching on human dignity.

In fact, the SPLC has explained that mere opposition to gay marriage is not why it named  the FRC as a hate group:

The SPLC has listed the FRC as a hate group since 2010 because it has knowingly spread false and denigrating propaganda about LGBT people — not, as some claim, because it opposes same-sex marriage. The FRC and its allies on the religious right are saying, in effect, that offering legitimate and fact-based criticism in a democratic society is tantamount to suggesting that the objects of criticism should be the targets of criminal violence.

As the SPLC made clear at the time and in hundreds of subsequent statements and press interviews, we criticize the FRC for claiming, in Perkins’ words, that pedophilia is “a homosexual problem” — an utter falsehood, as every relevant scientific authority has stated. An FRC official has said he wanted to “export homosexuals from the United States.” The same official advocated the criminalizing of homosexuality.

Harrington did not report the SPLC's statements, nor its statement it "eplores all violence, and our thoughts are with the wounded victim, Leo Johnson, his family and others who lived through the attack."

Posted by Terry K. at 3:11 PM EDT
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
CNS Quotes Anti-Gay Hate Group Leader to Attack Transgenders

Reporting on how "The District of Columbia Office of Human Rights announced on Aug. 7 plans to launch a government-sponsored ad campaign to combat transgender discrimination in Washington, D.C.," an Aug. 10 article by Patrick Burke gives a platform to a gay-basher:

Peter LaBarbera, president of Americans for Truth About Homosexuality, said these types of ads promote “gender confusion” to the general public, and often go beyond their original purpose of combating discrimination.

“A lot of times these ad campaigns go well beyond discouraging abuse to promoting abhorrent behaviors,” LaBarbera told

“Basically, this is a market campaign for gender confusion in the name of human rights, and made all the worse by the fact that it’s taxpayer funded,” he said.

LaBarbera added that government agencies often become vehicles for the “radical left agenda,” in this case “sexual and gender experimentation.”

“What’s happened is that this whole agenda is an agenda of the left,” he said.  “Something that sounds so innocuous -- ‘The Office of Human Rights,’ how could you be against that? -- is used to promote a radical left agenda, and sexual and gender experimentation.”

“They [the left] create these agencies with noble sounding names that really do nothing but have a leftist social vision, in this case promoting incredible abhorrent gender confusion and putting a smiley face on it and using taxpayer dollars to promote the radical transgender agenda now to the public. And I think that’s wrong,” he said.

LaBarbera's AFTAH is listed as a "hate group" by the Southern Poverty Law Center for its "often vicious" anti-gay activism. Burke did not inform readers of AFTAH's status as a hate group, nor did he permit anyone to respond to LaBarbera's attacks.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:00 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, August 15, 2012 12:02 PM EDT

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