CNS Lets A Birther Write A Column Topic: CNSNews.com
The Media Research Center's creeping WND-ism continues in an eminently logical direction: CNSNews.com is giving space to a birther.
A June 11 CNS column features Herbert W. Titus and his law partner, William J. Olson, ranting against same-sex marriage and declaring that the Surpreme Court has no right to sit in judgment of the constitutionality of same-sex marriage because Sir William Blackstone said so, or something. CNS' bio for Titus highlights how he "taught Constitutional Law for 26 years, and concluded his academic career as the Founding Dean of Regent Law School."
What CNS doesn't tell you about Herb Titus: He's a birther, and the birthers at WND love him.
In a 2009 WND article, Titus proclaimed that "Obama cannot be a natural-born citizen, even if he’s born in Hawaii," because he did not have two parents who were American citizens and that his "loyalties" lie with his Kenyan-born father. In a 2012 WND article, Titus asserted that natural born citizenship is "God-given" and that the concept "is written into the very nature of the universe of nation-states" and "exists independent of any human power, legislative or otherwise. That is why ‘natural born citizenship’ is not defined in the Constitution."
Never mind that the Constitution makes any mention whatsoever about "loyalties," or that courts over the past century or so have routinely defined the term as applying to anyone born in the U.S. regardless of the parents' citizenship.
By contrast, Titus has been much less vocal about the eligibility status of Ted Cruz, whose political views align much closer to him than Obama's and who is also not eligible to be president under his extremely narrow definition of the term.
Religion Dispatches points out that Titus is an admirer of the late R.J. Rushdoony, the father of the far-right principle of Christian Reconstructionism -- a principle also followed by WND editor Joseph Farah.
This is the guy who CNS has deemed acceptable to write an opinon column for it.
Newsmax-Promoted Investment Analyst Sanctioned By SEC Topic: Newsmax
In early June, self-proclaimed investment guru Todd Schoenberger was sanctioned by the Securities and Exchange Commission for spending $130,000 he was given by investors to put in a hedge fund on personal uses instead, as well as other allegations of fraud. He was ordered to pay $69,000 in reimbursement and "prejudgment interest," and he is forbidden from "associating with any broker, dealer, or investment adviser and from serving as an officer or director of a public company."
Media Matters has already noted that Schoenberger made numerous appearances on various cable business networks. But Newsmax has regularly promoted him as well.
A search of Newsmax archives shows 21 references to Schoenberger between January 2011 and November 2014, usually making dubious predictions.
For instance, in an April 2012 article, Schoenberger predicted that stocks would fall 35 percent by the end of the year, despite the fact that had risen 11 percent so far that year. A July 2012 article quoted Schoenberger doubling down by predicting that stocks would fall 40 percent by the end of the year. That didn't happen, of course; by May 2013, Schoenberger had changed his tune and was advising people to buy stocks in a market that, as Newsmax stated, "has already made big gains for 2013."
Schoenberger asserted in a September 2012 article that only "suckers" were buying Facebook stock, claiming its fundamentals weren't strong and that CEO Mark Zuckerberg is "wearing the hoodies" and "not doing anything." In fact, despite Schoenberger's claim that Facebook stock "is not a bottom right now" at around $18 a share, that was its bottom, and the stock is surrently more than $80 a share.
Missing from Newsmax's Schoenberger archive, however, is any mention of his SEC sanctioning.
A June 8 CNS blog post by Chapman is headlined "John Wayne Schools Liberal Author on American Freedom and Giving Thanks to God."That gives the impression that Chapman will quoting Wayne saying something patriotic to respond to some modern-day "liberal author" who said something Chapman didn't like. Turns out that's not it at all -- Chapman is simply repeating dialogue from a film Wayne starred in. No, really:
The people who founded and built America did not rely on big government for a hand-out or demand “insurance for their old age,” but were rugged individualists, self-reliant, real “men” who looked up at the sky and said, “thanks God, we’ll take it from here,” said the actor John Wayne in the movie Without Reservations.
Wayne, himself a conservative, portrayed U.S. Marine Capt. “Rusty” Thomas in the highly successful 1946 film. In the movie, while traveling by train to California, liberal author “Kitty Kloch,” played by Claudette Colbert, expresses her optimism about a “new world” where the “advantages of citizenship” are shared by all and the “laissez-faire attitude” is cast aside.
John Wayne, “Rusty,” sets her straight.
That is, yes, followed by a copy-and-paste of the relevant dialogue from the film.
Chapman doesn't mention, of course, that "Without Reservations" is a romantic comedy in which Wayne and Colbert are the star attractions who resolve their differences and hook up at the end (in a 1946 way, of course).
Or that Colbert's character actually wants Wayne's character to star in the film adaptation of her book which suggests that the snippet of dialogue Chapman quoted is at least a little out of context.
Or that Wayne was simply repeating dialogue somebody else wrote for him (in this case, Andrew Solt); if he said them with such conviction that it melted Chapman's heart, that makes him nothing more than a very good actor.
Chapman also forgets that, despite insisting on telling us that this film was "highly successful" and pointing out that it had "a reported budget of $1,683,000, and it grossed $3,000,000 at the box office," there is not necessarily a direct relationship between a film's popularity and its quality, a truism Chapman's fellow travelers at the Media Research Center justdon'tget.
It seems Chapman is increasingly living in a fantasy world where he can't tell movies from reality. Yet, somehow, he's still the managing editor of a "news" operation.
WND's Loudon Goes Godwin to Defend the Duggars Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily columnist Gina Loudon is on quite the tear lately when it comes to spouting misinformation and general right-wing wackiness. Two weeks ago, Loudon was desperately defending the Duggars and insisting that anyone who's not Christian has no moral code. Last week, she was making grossly uninformed rantings about transgenders, doubly disturbing since she claims to have a doctorate in psychology.
In this week's WND column, Loudon begins by explaining how "The elections in 2016 can be won by the right," then goes on to "remind conservatives watch for Saul Alinsky’s rules to be used against them over, and over, and over" -- apparently oblivious to the fact that conservatives use those same rules against liberals all the time.
Then, Loudon pulls the oldest trick in the book -- attacking the messenger -- in order to distract from the unabmbiguously proven allegations about the Duggars, raising the irrelevant specter of the background of the company that owns In Touch, the gossipmag that broke the Duggar story:
Let’s take a look at the people behind the assault on the Duggars and American-style individual liberty and protections for children.
Bauer Holdings, the German conglomerate that owns In Touch Magazine, trades in all kinds of societal derogating trash and probably enjoys little readership among Duggar family loyalists. Christian converts are bad for business. Attacking the Duggars is a three-fer: Sell magazines, defend your market, and help make sure no conservative is elected to the White House in 2016. So they would dedicate a lot of time and money to investigate and paint the Duggar family as exhibit A of why we can never give spotlight or power to a conservative.
According to an investigation in the The Wrap, one of Bauer’s subsidiaries is Der Landser, a Nazi-sympathizing, skinhead magazine in Germany. Germany’s equivalent of Time Magazine, Der Spiegel, described the Bauer publication as “a specialist journal for whitewashing the Wehrmacht,” Hitler’s war machine.
Bauer also published the magazine Zuerst! Dieter Munier, the publisher of that magazine is a known German neo-Nazi leader for more than 40 years. Bauer sold that magazine in 2012 after public outrage became overwhelming.
Bauer’s holdings don’t stop at Nazi sympathizing or Holocaust denial. Bauer owned multiple distributorships of pornography, including (you can’t make this up) many Nazi-themed porn movies.
Like any good apologist, Loudon never explains how this disproves In Touch's reporting on the Duggars -- of course, that's because it doesn't. In Touch didn't use any secret Nazi techniques to get the Duggar story, as Loudon would like to imagine; it used old-fashioned reporting.
Loudon also repeats her if-you're-not-Christian-you're-nothing smear of anyone who's as far-right as she is: "If you look closely, the entire Duggar story was a not-so-subtle message to conservatives, especially those who are seeking office: Only those who have no standards should be allowed to judge those who do."
Loudon presents herself as a Christian, yet she lies and smears with ease and impunity and stoops so low is to invoke Nazism to defend a teenage child molester. What are these "standards" she claims to have again?
NEW ARTICLE: CNS Protects The Duggars Topic: CNSNews.com
Despite calling itself a "news" website, CNS did its best to ignore news of a sexual molestation scandal in a family of right-wing darlings as long as it could, reporting the facts only grudgingly. Read more >>
WND Finds 'Obama Scandals' That Obama Had Nothing To Do With Topic: WorldNetDaily
A June 3 WorldNetDaily article by Bob Unruh touts how something has joined "the long list of Obama scandals" -- specifically, how "Federal documents obtained by the government watchdog Judicial Watch confirm Secret Service agents were 'covertly deployed' from the White House to the private home of an aide to the agency director to monitor what essentially was a neighborhood fight over noise."
Funny thing: Nothing Unruh cites from Judicial Watch ties President Obama to anything that happened. That would seem to make it a Secret Service scandal, not an "Obama scandal."
Unruh then writes:
WND recently compiled a big list of Obama scandals and already identified a number associated with the Secret Service that included serious security breaches at the White House, agents soliciting prostitutes before a presidential visit and alcohol abuse.
But if you go to that "big list," it provides no evidence Obama has any connection to those other Secret Service-linked scandals either, other than the fact that he was president when they were made public.
Unruh's article includes an in-article promotion for the WND-published "story of a top-ranked Secret Service agent who walked away from it all," Dan Bongino’s "Life Inside the Bubble." The book's promo touts how Bongino is attacking Obama for creating "a 'bubble' which distorts his view of the world and detaches him from the tragic results of his poor policy choices."
Given Bongino's disdain for the president he was supposed to be protecting and his key role as a self-proclaimed "successful, 12-year Secret Service agent" -- which appears to not be all that different from the Secret Service agents who got in trouble -- it could be argued that Bongino is much closer to these Secret Service scandals than Obama is.
Yet WND insists that these are "Obama scandals." Go figure.
When the unemployment rate has dropped under the Obama administration, CNSNews.com is loath to put that in the headline, choosing instead to cherry-pick other numbers in an attempt to hide good news about the economy. But if that rate ticks back up, by golly, CNS is on the spot with the details.
None of Meyer's articles mentionthe fact that 280,000 jobs were created in May. Can't give Obama any credit for something positive, y'know.
And Meyer's mildly xenophobic article on foreign-born workers is rather laughably illustrated with this image of migrant farm workers:
As if they were the only image Meyer and her CNS could think of when discussing "foreign-born workers." She ignores the foreign nationals who work in high-tech industries under special visas, for instance. They clearly don't fit into CNS' stereotype.
If I see that creepy Vanity Fair cover of Bruce Jenner come across my Facebook feed just one more time, I’m going to gouge out my eyeballs and bleach the sockets.
Ladies, please, if you ever again struggle with body image, just know that those stupid chick magazines you thumb through every day while nibbling arugula and baby carrots like some bulimic bunny, can, through the simple magic of $200,000 in plastic surgery and enough airbrushing to power a windmill farm, make a 65-year-old mentally ill man look, sort of, like a 35-year-old country club ninny. Brucie baby ain’t got nothin’ on you, sweetheart, I promise. It’s all fake as the rubber grapes on grandma’s centerpiece. You are you, he is he, and the cover models on your silly mags don’t look a stitch like that.
WND's Gina Loudon Pushes Misinformation About Transdenders Topic: WorldNetDaily
Gina Loudon may have a doctorate in psychology, but not only does she have her own mental issues, she's incredibly dishonest.
Just look at how Loudon startsout her June 4 WorldNetDaily article on "the dark, untold story of transgenderism":
Unfortunately, the tragedy of sexual-reassignment surgery has a sordid history.
The heinous idea began with well-known sexual-perversion advocate Alfred Kinsey. Contending that people are “sexual from birth,” he used experiments on babies during World War II. His legacy stands largely unchallenged today by the American Medical Association, despite his advocacy of bestiality, pedophilia, sadomasochism and incest.
“Kinsey has given the sexual revolutionists their license to sexually pervert our culture,” said Judith Reisman, author of “Kinsey, Crimes and Consequences” and director of the Liberty School for Child Protection.
Loudon doesn't mention that Reisman is a documented liar about Kinsey. The Kinsey Institute points out that Kinsey never conducted sexual experiments on children.
Loudon clearly doesn't care about the truth if she is treating Reisman with any kind of credibility. But that's not all. She goes on to quote Paul McHugh's anti-transgender claims despite the fact that, as we've noted, he has numerous critics who note that he ignores current research on gender dysphoria:
In a Wall Street Journal commentary, McHugh calls a sex change “biologically impossible.”
He cites a 2011 study at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden that followed 324 people for up to 30 years who had sex-reassignment surgery. The study showed that about 10 years after the surgery, transgendered people began to have increased mental difficulties. As they progressed through life, their suicide mortality rose almost 20 times above the comparable nontransgender population. McHugh points to the data as evidence that the high suicide rate trumps the typical surgery prescription propagated by many as the answer to gender confusion.
McHugh points his finger at the “everything is normal” movement for allowing, even advocating, for this tragedy exacted on the transgendered population, now cluttered with casualties of the sexual revolution.
Such claims ignore research into why transgenders have such a high suicide rate. Sociologist Jay Irwin (a transgendered man) explains:
The transgender population does have a staggering suicide rate. More than 40 percent of the participants in a recent national survey reported attempting suicide, compared with 2 percent of the general population.
But consider why that is, Irwin says. In the same survey, nearly half also reported being assaulted in school. Many drop out because of harassment. Half of the respondents reported losing a job because of their gender identity. If all that isn’t isolating enough, ponder this: Six out of every 10 Americans who regard themselves as transgender men or women report that they haven’t told anyone in their immediate family.
Here’s the rub: When studies look at transgender Americans who are accepted by their families, friends and communities, “the negative mental health outcomes decrease dramatically,” Irwin says. Depression and suicide, way down. Employment and income level, way up.
Loudon is simply too concerned about forwarding a right-wing, anti-LGBT agenda to care about telling the truth -- or about doing anything that would actually do anything about transgender issues she'd rather exploit for her political purposes.
MRC's Double Standard on Speeding Ticket Coverage Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's Tim Graham did a lot of sneering at the New York Times's story about the speeding tickets Marco Rubio and his wife racked up.
"Is this supposed to punish the Rubios when Hillary Clinton hasn’t driven a car during this entire 18-year period?" Graham huffed in a June 5 NewsBusters post.
Graham followed that up later in the day by suggesting that the story had "Democratic oppo fingerprints" on it, highlighting the #RubioCrimeScoop Twitter hashtag that "describe[d] tiny offenses – stealing a bank pen, failing to return a library book – in the same vein as the Times gumshoes."
The funny thing? The MRC used to think speeding tickets warranted national media coverage.
In a June 2001 MRC CyberAlert, Brent Baker howled that "speeding and reckless driving citations issued to Albert Gore III for going 97 mph in a 55 mph zone", which happened the weekend before the 2000 Democratic convention that nominated his father as the Democratic presidential candidate, demanded media coverage. That was intended as a form of punishment of the kind Graham claimed the Times was doing to Rubio -- Baker's goal was to distract from the foibles of President George W. Bush's twin daughters, who were busted twice in a month for underage drinking and using a false ID to obtain alcohol.
Baker did concede that Gore III was 17 at the time and, thus, a minor, while the Bush twins were 19. He didn't note that Gore's father was merely a candidate while the Bushes' father was the sitting president, and the children of sitting presidents are by definition newsworthy, especially when they break the law -- or that one reason the Bushes got busted was because of a law their father passed while Texas governor that aimed to get tough on underage drinking.
(As we noted at the time, the ConWeb did a lot of excuse-making to distract attention from the Bushes, of which the Gore speeding ticket was but one.)
Graham himself demanded media coverage of Gore's speeding ticket in a November 2000 pre-election column written for National Review. He was trying to punish and distract as well, this time from news of George W. Bush's mid-1970s drunk-driving conviction. Graham admits Gore III "is not supposed to be a public figure," but then demands that he be made one: "But is it fair to spike the unfavorable news angles — especially when a presidential nominee's child breaks the law — and then celebrate the child, or more precisely, celebrate the parenting of the child, on a different day?"
As far as spiking unfavorable news angles go, Graham might want to have a chat with the folks at CNSNews.com, down the hall at MRC headquarters, which has done everything it can to censor and bury the Josh Duggar molestation scandal.
Graham even demanded that the media get tough on then-tennage Chelsea Clinton despite the lack of any evidence she had ever done anything to warrant it: "Chelsea Clinton has never had a brush with the law, but how can the public judge what a 'princess' she is when the media have placed her in a plastic bubble?"
Also: If the Times' story was supposedly Democratic "oppo research," we should then assume that the MRC's desperate attempts to maker Gore III's speeding ticket a national issue was its attempt to serve as oppo research for Republicans. Doesn't that cross the line of what the MRC is permitted to do under its nonprofit tax designation? Graham might want to think twice before making such an allegation.
Duggar Story Miraculously Returns to CNS Front Page Topic: CNSNews.com
It seems that CNSNews.com has realized that the Josh Duggar molestation story is news after all. Or maybe they just got tired of us pointing out that its attempts to censor and bury the Duggar story disqualify it as a news operation.
A day after CNS perfunctorily summarized the Duggar family's Fox News interview on the scandal -- in which it treated the Duggars' statements as indisputable fact and ignored their misleading statements and self-proclaimed victimhood over the molestation report going public -- then pulled the story off its front page as soon as it could, the story on the Duggars' "sins" (not crime) mysteriously reappeared on the CNS front page in the culture section:
The front-page section summaries appear to reproduce the top five headlines on its culture page. As we noted, CNS originally made sure the Duggar story wouldn't make the front-page summary by burying it below stories that were much older. Sometime on June 5 -- a day after CNS originally buried the story -- the Duggar story got promoted to the fifth slot, thus making it appear on the front page.
But also notice what the lead story is in the entertainment section -- an Associated Press article on Fox News' ratings for the Duggar interview. So, apparently, touting the ratings coup for CNS' friends at Fox News for the interview is bigger news than the content of the interview itself.
Well, it takes baby steps for CNS to make its way back to the pretense of being a real news organization.
CNS Managing Editor Lazily Recycles His Anti-Transgender Hate Topic: CNSNews.com
When we read CNSNews.com managing editor Michael Chapman's June 2 article rehashing a right-wing psychiatrist's claim that "transgenderism is a “mental disorder” that merits treatment," we thought it looked a little familiar. Turns out we were right.
Last August, we caught Chapman devoting an article to "a recent commentary in the Wall Street Journal" by "Dr. Paul R. McHugh, the former psychiatrist-in-chief for Johns Hopkins Hospital and its current Distinguished Service Professor of Psychiatry," even though the article had been published a full two months earlier and had ceased being news, if it ever was (except by CNS standards, anyway). We noted that Chapman made no effort to mention the many mental health professionals who disagree with McHugh's claims.
Then we clicked on the link we provided for that August article -- and discovered it pulls up the June 2 article. All Chapman did is slap a new date on his discredited 10-month-old piece to pretend that it's relevant with the coming out of Caitlyn Jenner.
We already know Chapman is lazy enough to consider serving as stenographer for right-wing evangelist Franklin Graham a legitimate journalistic endeavor. But Chapman, it appears, is such a lazy journalist that he must recycle his hate and can't be bothered to lift a finger to do any reporting to update to current events.
And this man is the managing editor of a "news" organization?
CNS Actually Reports On Duggars -- Then Quickly Buries It Topic: CNSNews.com
CNSNews.com is only grudgingly reporting on the Josh Duggar molestation scandal, as if it wouldn't be happening if the "news" part of CNS' name wasn't instilling guilt in its editors. It first censored the story, then reported on it only when it became too big to ignore -- and even then it was dismissed in a blog post, not treated as actual news.
The Duggar family's interview with Fox News' Megyn Kelly was also too big to ignore, so CNS couldn't get away with censoring it. Thus, we have a June 4 article -- unbylined, credited only to "CNSNews.com Staff," as if no CNS employee wanted to be on record reporting facts about that Duggars that conflicted with their right-wing Christian image -- that dutifully summed up the interview. The article was still an advocacy piece for the Duggars, playing down the actual offenses of Josh Duggar and playing up the family's self-proclaimed victimhood at the release of the police report on his offenses.
Those offenses are only referenced once in the first 12 paragraphs of the article, eupemistically described as him having "inappropriately touched" his sisters and "groped a babysitter." The article declared that "the Duggars detailed the problem they faced 12 years ago -- a son who three times came to them and confessed to molestation; what they did about it -- eventually sending him out of the home for Christian-based counseling and later to talk with a policeman; and what they now see as the bigger scandal -- the illegal May 21 release of their son's juvenile police record to a tabloid." The article further insisted that "The Duggars explained the facts of the case."
CNS was certainly not about to live up to its mission statement to "fairly present all legitimate sides of a story" and acknowledge criticism of the Duggars. Thus,you won't read at CNS how some of the Duggars' answers to Kelly are at odds with the established facts in the case. And you certainly won't see CNS point out the obvious conflict between Jim Bob Duggar's claim that "We had nothing to hide" and his complaint about the juvenile record of Josh Duggar's offenses being release.
Another sign CNS wants to bury this story: While it appeared on the CNS front page this morning, all trace of it was off the front page by mid-afternoon. And even on the CNS "culture" section page, it's buried under much older stories, such as a May 27 article detailing the latest attempt to portray any LGBT-related federal spending as a waste.
Apparently, news is "news" at CNS only if it advances the right-wing agenda of its parent, the Media Research Center. Otherwise, it will get short shrift.
Perhaps it's time for CNS to admit that it's not in the news business but, rather, in the propaganda business.
Did WND's Farah Really March With Martin Luther King? Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah had another one of his thin-skinned reactions to criticism last week, devoting his May 27 column to misinterpreting Republican activist Bruce Bennett's contention that readers of right-wing "news" organizations like WND are engaging in "self-censorship" to claim that Bennett said WND was brainwashing its readers.
In the midst of his self-righteous, self-aggrandizing defense, Farah declared that he was "the guy who actually marched with Martin Luther King Jr." Thanks to an alert ConWebWatch reader, we know that Farah has made this claim before: here, here and here, for instance.
But Farah, to our knowledge, has never written about the details of this march with King. Even his 2007 book "Stop the Presses!" about his journey in journalism appears to be silent about it.
This begs the question: When did Farah actually march with King? It's an interesting question, given that, if the birth date on his Wikipedia page is correct, Farah was only 14 years old when King was assassinated.
Unless Farah was an unusually precocious and race-conscious tween, that likely means any occasion Farah would have had to march with King was somehow facilitated by his parents. That hardly plays with the image he has constructed for himself as a radical left-winger in his youth.
Farah in known to embellish his self-proclaimed left-wing past. He evolved one claim to have been a bodyguard for Jane Fonda and once invited to meet Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn to proclaiming that he was "literally working shoulder to shoulder with the likes of revolutionary terrorists Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn and whacked out traitors Tom Hayden and Jane Fonda."
We've emailed Farah to ask for the details of his march with King. We'll let you know if he responds.
P.S. The Farah "liar" image -- which we never thought we'd get so much use out of when we first created it -- is provisional, placed on this post based on his extensivetrack record of falsehoods. If Farah adequately answers the question about his claimed march with King, we'll remove it (from this post, anyway).
UPDATE: To be perfectly accurate, King died three months before Farah's 14th birthday, so Farah would have been no more than 13 years of age in any march he and King allegedly participated in.
The New York Times classless liberal columnist Paul Krugman has a reputation for exploiting tragedy for partisan gain, and did so again in a Sunday afternoon blog post about former Republican House Speaker Dennis Hastert, who is accused of using hush money to cover up sexual misconduct with a former student.
Waters is not lamenting the aformentioned "tragedy" for Hastert's victims -- he's lamenting it for Hastert. How dare Krugman write about a Republican congressman's alleged crimes?
By the way, the word "crime" appears nowhere in Waters' post in relation to Hastert's alleged actions. But he knows it's somehow a "tragedy" -- but, apparently, not a crime -- for Hastert for such behavior to be revealed.