CNS' First Reaction to Charleston Shooting: Invoking Al Sharpton Topic: CNSNews.com
When it came to covering the news of a white man shooting nine unarmed blacks in Charleston, S.C., CNSNews.com knew what it had to do: pander to the racial animosity of its right-wing readership by raising the specter of Al Sharpton.
Thus, CNS' first piece of original coverage of the Charleston shooting is an article by "CNSNews.com staff" posted at 7:54 a.m. on June 18 quoting Sharpton's statement about the alleged shooter: "Obviously he's deranged. Probably a hate crime."
Jones then undermined her own attempt to portray Sharpton as race-baiting over the shooting later in her article, when she noted that "Police described the mass murder as a hate crime." Oops.
This was embarrassing even by CNS' usual standards -- usually, its attempts to pander to its right-wing audience aren't this blatant. CNS seemed to recognize this, as the article didn't last long on its front page.
Strangely, CNS tried to play this same card a couple hours later, with an article by Melanie Hunter noting that Attorney General Loretta Lynch is launching a hate crimes investigation into the shooting. While Hunter noted that the shootings occured at "a historic black church," she curiously didn't note that the suspect, Dylann Roof, is white.
Plus, it turns out that Sharpton and Lynch's suspicions were proven correct: Law enforcement officials said the shooter rose during a prayer service, declaring that he was there to kill black people.
The only other bit of what passes for original reportage at CNS on the Charleston shooting is another piece by Hunter, this time quoting a sermon given by one of the victims, Rev. Clementa Pinckney, in April after "Walter Scott, an unarmed black man, had been gunned down by former South Carolina police officer Michael Slager." Hunter didn't mention that Slager was white, or that Scott was running away from Slager at the time he was shot.
Since 1998, CNSNews.com has been THE alternative news source for individuals, news organizations, and broadcasters. As a member of the Media Research Center family of networks, CNSNews.com has evolved into one of the top sites on the Internet—reporting the news that the liberal media refuse to cover.
We have produced one major scoop after another and are an indispensable online resource for news as it should be reported—accurate, balanced, and unfiltered. No wonder conservative talk show host Mark Levin says, "I read CNSNews.com every day, and you should too."
As its Duggar fiasco demonstrates, CNS' brand of journalism is anything but "accurate, balanced, and unfiltered." And Levin says that about CNS because the MRC pays him to say it.
The pitch concludes by declaring that CNS "rely solely on donations from conservatives to help us report the news the liberal media distort, slant, or censor." So CNS can do its own distortions, slants and censorship, of course.
It's a sad little pitch that denies reality -- and actually tells lies -- to make a grab for cash. But that's what the MRC does.
Trump's Candidacy Gets A Newsmax TV Special Topic: Newsmax
The mutual lovefest between Newsmax and Donald Trump goes way back -- it was the lead cheerleader for a Trump presidential candidacy in 2011, and the two attempted to host a Republican presidential debate together. Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy has no problem with this, saying at one point, "Trump realizes the great potential of Newsmax and has been using it very adroitly. We're well aware he's using it, happy he's using it."
Newsmax has been touting Trump's presidential ambitions again for this election cycle, and Ruddy hung out at Trump's house to watch the Super Bowl. So with Trump actually declaring a presidential run, it's no surprise to see Newsmax give a little extra love. As a June 16 Newsmax article by Todd Beamon explains, Trump's announcement is getting its own special on Newsmax TV:
Newsmax TV will feature a special presentation on Donald Trump's 2016 Republican presidential announcement Tuesday at 10 p.m. EDT.
This special edition of "Newsmax Prime" will feature host J.D. Hayworth and analysis by former New York Lt. Gov. Betsy McCaughey.
In a rousing, no-nonsense speech at Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue in New York earlier Tuesday, the billionaire developer and businessman declared: "I will be the greatest jobs president that God ever created.
"I will bring back our jobs from China, from Mexico, from Japan, from so many places," Trump said.
Correct us if we're wrong, but we don't recall Newsmax TV giving the "special presentation" treatment to any other Republican presidential candidate.
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?